Gingerbread houses -- Decorate a gingerbread house with your child with frosting, candies, pretzels and more at 4:30 p.m. or 7 p.m. Tuesday at Whole Foods Market in the Annapolis Harbour Center, 2504 Solomons Island Road, Annapolis. $10 per house. Registration required; call 410-573-1800.
Christmas Eve cooking --Learn to make an Italian Christmas Eve dinner featuring seafood at 6:30 p.m. Dec. 19 at Donna's in Columbia, 5850 Waterloo Road. $40; reservations required. Call 410-659-5248, ext. 112, or go to donnas.com.
This free site sponsored by the French Culinary Institute is a great source for holiday baking information, with handy reference charts on how to convert ingredient weights and measures, cooking temperatures, a glossary and listings of sources for pastry supplies.
To pack delicate or decorated cookies, align two of them back to back and wrap in tissue paper. Nestle pairs of wrapped cookies into a tin lined with tissue paper or bubble wrap.
Know a helpful shortcut in the kitchen? Send it to Kate Shatzkin, Food Editor, The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore 21278 or e-mail it to firstname.lastname@example.org.