Lunch – and Dinner – is Served!

We are now into week five of the lunch and supper service at the Brooklyn American Legion, and couldn’t be happier with the response to the food. It is always fun when someone tells you your creation, be it food, art, fashion or writing, is good. As a society, I think we need a lot more compliments and a few less complaints. OK, I’ll get off my soapbox now. We would certainly like to see more customers — not only to help us taste test recipes, but also to introduce folks to the beautiful Hall with amenities and capacity for banquets of up to 150 people. A full commercial kitchen, wireless Internet, dance floor, sound system and plenty of free parking are just a few of the items that make your meeting or social event much easier to put together. You can cater your own event, or we can provide event planning and catering for you. My goal is to provide a wide variety of healthy items, but we are not all veggies and water. This week’s entrees, for example, include sweet & sour chicken with rice, and Beef short ribs on a potato-carrot mash with a red wine sauce. Both are quite yummy, if I do say so. We are presenting smaller servings at a much smaller price than the going market rate. While not a great business model, we are attempting to tempt the diners to try new items, like to tapas plates with such goodies as roasted fig, caramelized onion and goat cheese on flatbread, turkey nachos, crostini caprese, and coconut chicken tenders. Two soups are offered daily and a variety of salads. Hours are noon to 7:00 pm on Tuesdays and Wednesdays only. Take out orders are available and the public is most definitely invited! Hope to see you soon!

Brooklyn American Legion Post Open House

We are extending an invitation to everyone to join us as the Brooklyn American Legion Post #315 celebrates recent renovations with an Open House this Friday from 2:00 pm until??? Doors will open at 2:00, and Fresh is Best will be serving a FREE light buffet beginning at 5:00, compliments of the Post. There will be door prize drawings throughout the event, music, and special drink prices. This is the perfect opportunity to check out their banquet facility, and talk with the members about their activities in the community. Membership is open to anyone who has served, and their extended families–please come and check it out!

Online At Last!

We are full of energy and excitement today! After more than a year of fits and starts regarding a commercial kitchen, we are very happy to be partnering with the American Legion Wilber Bartlett Post #315 in Brooklyn, to provide the catering and educational services of Fresh is Best, along with showcasing the beautiful banquet facility at the Post. This historic brick building can accommodate 150 people comfortably, with plenty of free parking, a full bar, ADA accessible, stage and sound system and WiFi. You may use Fresh is Best, LLC, for your catering and event coordinating needs, or you may cater your own event in the spotless commercial kitchen. For rates and availability, please contact the American Legion directly between 2:00 and 8:00 pm at 517-592-6534. Interest in our educational events is growing by leaps and bounds! We had several great suggestions from attendees at the Women’s Expo, and are interested in what you would like to see offered. Some of the suggestions included: Cooking for Teens; College/Dorm Survival Cooking; Ladies’ Night Out; healthy baking; everyday gourmet (using ingredients I actually have); seasonal canning and preserving. Please add your ideas via a survey on the Fresh is Best website. For menus and full details of the online lunch service, see How It Works on the Fresh is Best weebsite: www.fresh-is-best.com

Women’s Expo this Saturday!

By far, the largest public exposure event for Fresh is Best is the huge Women’s Expo sponsored by American 1 Credit Union. This is our third appearance and we are more than excited to share our new online lunch service menus for the first time, as well as feature our junior cooks demonstrating foods they have made at Cooking with Kids Club. Stop by and see us at Booth 8! March 9, 10:00-6:00, Parkside Middle School.

December 15 – Gifts You Can Make in the Kitchen

Cooking With Kids Club will meet on Saturday, December 15 from 10:00 a.m. until noon at the American Legion, Wilber Bartlett Post #315, 211 Chicago Street in Brooklyn. Our topic is Gifts You Can Make in the Kitchen, and we will be preparing all sorts of goodies that our junior chefs can use for holiday gifts. Those who register early will have their choice of projects. Some of the options are: gourmet hot chocolate mix, brownie mix, dog biscuits (yes, for the real dogs), gourmet popcorn and candy coated pretzels. We are looking at several other options. Please plan to join us and bring a guest…this is a trial event at the American Legion facility, and we value your feedback. As always,please pre-register so we will have adequate supplies.

Updates are very scary!

For several days now, my Motorola Droid has been telling me that a system update has been downloaded and is ready to install.  I passed for some time, but decided to go ahead and let it do it’s thing this morning. OH MY!

Nothing looks the same; could not find my home screen for 40 minutes- and have no idea how I got here. No help or info on any screen or option; and far, far fewer word suggestions, which are an absolute blessing to poor typists like myself.

Change is often unsettling,  but this one was really scary!  Well, nothing to do, but wade in and do it!

Started final weeding of the raised vegetable beds this morning. Still have flat leaf parsley,  oregano, and several mints surviving, so going to have the grandson help me erect a mid*height hoop house to see what else we can raise.

OK, I am now cheered up somewhat by one successful task completed on the “upgraded” phone, so back to work.

Cooking With Kids Club Resumes November 17

After a Summer hiatus, we are excited to continue our popular Cooking With Kids Club. CKWC meets the third Saturday of the month, November through May – June will likely be an off-site special event!! At present, we are still working on the location – but we do have a back-up location. It is vital that you pre-register on the website; this helps us with the supplies, helpers, ingredients, etc. It is better to pre-register and be unable to attend than to stay at home because you forgot to register. We have been adding to our cookbook library, and have also added a blog – Freshie’s Best, although it is still a work in s-l-o-w progress. We hope to get that on a more regular schedule now that the CWKC dates are confirmed. November’s topic is “A” is for Apple. We will be learning about the delicious and healthy foods that can be made from apples, as well as using some of the tools that are helpful. We sure hope to see you there – and please tell your friends!!! – See more at: http://fresh-is-best.com/news.php#sthash.lKWltZtt.dpuf

And there went Autumn!

Wow, OK, September and October are largely history. Guess my goal of two blogs per week needs a little more attention.   I promise to be much more diligent and sharing…there are so many great topics and ideas out there for healthy and tasty lunches and snacks for kids and their busy parents [and other caring adults].

The BIGGEST NEWS – however, is that the very popular Cooking With Kids Club is starting back up on November 17.  This is a hands-on educational and fun event for junior cooks from 3 – 12 years of age.  We have enjoyed as many as 21 in a class, and as few as six – and everyone has a great time preparing – and eating – healthy foods.

Part of the reason for the disappearing blogger this Fall was the chore of finding a commercial kitchen that is available for our use at a very reasonable rate. We are still working on that, but happy to say we are closing in.  Meanwhile, we do have a back-up plan.

There is a modest food and supplies fee of $5.00 per junior cook – no charge for adult helpers – we need you!  Pre-registration is a must,becuase we purchase supplies and ingredients based on them.  Please pre-register, even if you are not 100% sure you can attend, rather than stay home if you forgot to pre-register.

Our first Class will be Saturday, November 17, from 10:00 am. until Noon.  The topic is “A” is for Apple.  We will be exploring tasting, stewing and baking all sorts of apple treats.

‘Twas a Very Busy Week

Starting with our return from the Mother Earth News Fair in Pennsylvania on Sunday, this has been a whirlwind week. Monday, as you might expect, was a little bit of rest and a lot of planning and shopping for the state-wide Chamber Ambassadors event on Wednesday,  for which I was preparing a fresh fruit dish.

Tuesday included Business 2 Business Connections, and final shopping. Watermelons are very hard to come by this time of year!

My plan was to create the Cascades Falls with fruits, as a representation of one of Jackson’s most unique attractions.  Description and photos may show up on Pinterest, or in another blog, at some point.  Wednesday was entirely devoted to the Ambassadors event and it was a beautiful evening.  Many, many local restaurants and other food services provided the visitors with a wonderful variety of some local cuisine and products.  Kudos to the Jackson County Chamber Ambassadors for a successful event!

Thursday and Friday brought extra duty – for which I happily volunteer – at Riddermark Farm as Tammy completed the equine massage training.

Today, I will travel to beautiful downtown Kalamazoo to help celebrate the retirement of good friend Warren Cook.

Got to get outside and enjoy this Pure Michigan fall day :-).

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