Thanks to all my readers for the incredible response to my last post, Why we are taking the FUN out of life. It was overwhelming and humbling to see something I wrote resonate with so many. Thank you for sharing!! When you write for free, it’s the very best pay off. I feel very blessed to be surrounded by so many incredible parents and individuals in my life who are trying so hard to raise this new generation.

Today we are moving on to a fantastic review of a local business, Ann Arbor Cooks. I attended a company function there last year and we had an INCREDIBLE time and ate seriously delicious food. However, this post is by guest blogger, Ann Luke  who is a regular at Ann Arbor Cooks. She blogs about her life and interests for family and friends at ENJOY!

When it comes to cooking, I always joke with my husband that I wasted my twenties.  I could be found almost anywhere but the kitchen and regarded meal preparation as a necessary evil to keep us alive.  I had no cooking skills and no interest in obtaining any.  Fast forward ten years to my mid-thirties and I there I am with two young children, a deep desire to put nutritious and delicious meals on the table, and no idea where to start.  Luckily for me (and my family!) I somehow managed to stumble across Ann Arbor Cooks.

While all of their classes stand on their own and teach you everything you need to know, I started my culinary adventures by taking a knifeskills class, where I sliced and diced my way through a variety of vegetables and even learned how to cut a whole chicken into its parts. Then I got into the often sold-out Bootcamp series where one night a week for five weeks I spent time in their kitchen learning a variety of cooking techniques and making some ridiculously good dishes.  After that class finished, I continued to go back for other one-night classes that interest me, and I just recently finished taking a four-week Sauce Bootcamp series which built on some of what I learned in the original Bootcamp.
Every class I’ve ever taken at Ann Arbor Cooks has been phenomenal.  You always start with an instructor-led demonstration of the dishes you are going to make that night, and then you break up into teams to make everything on the menu yourself.  It’s a full hands-on experience prepping the ingredients and cooking them.  Then you get to sit down to enjoy the dishes you made and take home any leftovers!  While you’re given the printed recipes, they really focus on technique during the classes to help you become a more intuitive cook.  My skills and comfort level in the kitchen have increased exponentially, and I actually look forward now to spending time in my kitchen versus avoiding it!
Located on Jackson Road near Zeeb, Ann Arbor Cooks is a small, local business committed to supporting other small businesses in Ann Arbor.  All of the ingredients are seasonally appropriate and locally sourced – the meat and seafood we’ve cooked with has always been amazing!  The instructors are all chefs with oodles of experience and insight to share and everything you could possibly need is provided for you.  While I went as a beginner with absolutely no skills whatsoever in the kitchen and have learned a lot, I also think more experienced cooks would find their classes interesting and engaging.  And your kids can get in on the action too.  While my girls aren’t old enough yet to go, they have parent/child classes, family dining classes, kids-only classes and summer cooking camps!
While I normally take cooking classes, the photo below is from their Bouche de Noel baking class (a traditional French Yule log cake served around the holidays). 
So if getting into the kitchen and making more delicious and nutritious meals is a goal of yours for 2014, I highly encourage you to give Ann Arbor Cooks a try.
For more information visit: Ann Arbor Cooks