Fun Finds For Mom

Whisked Away

A few months ago, my friend Kim spotted a Groupon for cooking lessons offered by a local chef, and sounded the alert. We got together a group of 7 girlfriends, and immediately scheduled our girls cooking night out. It was a good thing too, because Maggie Norris, the chef/owner of Whisked Away (that’s her up there), received over 1,200 sign-ups through Groupon in one day, so she’s now booked through June!

Last night was our much anticipated rendez-vous. I had never taken a cooking class, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. We showed up at Maggie’s home (quite adorable, I might add), and she had chairs set up audience-style, facing the countertop opening into her kitchen. Fortunately a few friends remembered to bring some wine, so we poured our glasses, and settled in while our chef gave us an overview of her background  — culinary school, followed by a job doing food styling at the Food Network, appliance sales, and finally her dream job of running her own business, which came about a year or so ago, after some friends in the neighborhood asked if she’d give them a private cooking lesson. That led to a website, a logo, a Groupon, and oh yes, my cooking lesson…

So where were we? In our gallery seats,  sipping wine. Next, she spent about 40 minutes talking us through each of the dishes, giving lots of helpful tips and tricks along the way. After she reviewed all the recipes, we put on our cute aprons, assigned ourselves to the different dishes in teams of two, and she turned us loose in the kitchen, which was laid out with all the ingredients, bowls and kitchen gadgets we needed.

An hour or so later, we sat down to a delicious meal of Creamy Polenta with Wild Mushrooms, Sesame-Soy Filet, Cranberry and Pear Relish, Walnut Brussel Sprouts, and Gingerbread with Whipped Cream. All recipes came from the Big Sky Cooking cook book, written by Meredith Brokaw (yes, Tom’s wife) which I need to order on Amazon, because the meal was truly delish. I’m planning to make a few of these dishes for our Christmas Eve meal. I also have to say, it was just a little bit wonderful to make a big messy meal and waltz on out of the kitchen, without having to scrub a single dish.

Of course what made the night was the company of my fun girlfriends. This was the perfect way to get out, enjoy a great meal and have a blast. If you live in the Phoenix area, I highly recommend getting a group of friends together for a private cooking lesson with Maggie at Whisked Away (as soon as she can squeeze you in her packed schedule, that is!)

Posted Monday, December 13, 2010 in Uncategorized