Every year, Kyle, his sister, and I reel over what to get their grandmother for Christmas. She's been cleaning out her home and was adamant she didn't want more "stuff," so, we thought an "experience" is what we'd get her. We researched broadways shows and plays, but nothing fit the days that we could do anything. Then we got more creative. Last year, we surprised their parents with a cooking class as an anniversary gift and they both loved it. Of course, cooking classes are slim to none right around the holidays, so we continued to search, and search, and search some more.
Low and behold, someone from their church just began his own catering and pastry company after 30 years of working for some of the biggest restaurant and hotel companies around the US. Eureka!

He and his wife came over GG's home, and we had an in-home cooking class earlier this week. I'm still full.

The "class" latest about three hours, and included 2 appetizers, a salad, two entrees and two desserts. It was so incredibly fun!!! For someone who is not exactly a whiz in the kitchen, I not only learned a lot but it helped spark my interest in all of the amazing things you can do with food.

The whole night was meant to be hands-on, so Scott and Terri showed us what to do, explained how and why, and let us do it all. They also knew we liked healthier food so they catered the menu to lighter dishes (minus the creme brulee, of course)

First appetizer: Brussel Spout Chips

You'll hear me say this after every dish, but these were delicious!
The 2nd appetizer was a BBQ Chicken Pizza on rosemary foccacia, complete with homemade bread and BBQ sauce.

This is one of my favorite pizzas of all time, and I must admit it will be hard to beat this homemade bread. I'm not sure our beloved Cottage Inn stands a chance.

While Linda and I were busy making the appetizers, GG and Kelly were preparing GG's all-time favorite dessert: creme brulee.

After we finished the appetizers, and snacked on some amazing bread, we started on the entrees and a "very pretty salad!" In the mean time, Scott also worked on some sugar concoctions and flavorings for the meat.

At this point, I didn't get many pictures of the main entrees, mostly because my hands were dirty and my stomach was almost to bursting point.

The sugar tooth in all of us couldn't wait for the grand finale of the dessert! Who doesn't love some creme brulee?!

From start to finish, the whole evening took about 3 hours. It went so smoothly, was easy and fun! (and of course, very, very scrumptious!)

I couldn't locate the website for our cooks, but I did find a great article written about Scott when he worked at Amway as the Executive Pastry Chef. You can read it here.
If you are in Michigan, I'd highly suggest getting in touch with them! He actually specializes in wedding cakes and pastries, and plans to open a storefront in Grand Rapids this year.

From now on, I think we need to buy more "experiences," rather than "stuff" for everyone in our family :)


  1. Love the "experience" vs. "item" gift idea!

  2. What a great idea! My dad would love something like this!


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