Kitchen Helper

Dream Dinners - prepped mealsI really enjoy cooking for my family. What I don’t enjoy are the non-cooking parts of cooking – deciding what everyone is going to eat, and all that chopping, mincing prep work.

Well we just found a really revolutionary service that take those two items off the dinner menu.



Dream Dinners,
with storefronts in 30 states, is like your very own sous chef. You
purchase a set amount of freezable meals online from up to 18 choices or
so, then book the time you want to head in and assemble them. Choices
this month include Cider Braised Chops, Toasted Pecan Chicken, and a
Sesame Ginger Salmon.



Once there, you follow the instructions, assembling your meals at a kind
of salad bar setup, then placing the components into freezable
containers and bags. Take them home, along with cooking instructions,
and pop them in the freezer. When it’s time, you thaw, do your final
assembly (add the sauce, bread the chicken, and so on), and pop it on
the stove, saving you shopping time, some of the prep work, and all that
pre-meal clean up.
 
While Dream Dinners isn’t for everyone,
lots of folks are into this concept: I assembled next to a harried
Silicon Valley tech type who was assembling meals for himself and his
wife, a grandma who feeds several teens and said she liked the
convenience, a mom who discovered Dream Dinners when she had a newborn,
and three galpals who use their weekly assemble session as their weekly
social hour.



Dream Dinners has a new menu each month and you can somewhat alter each
recipe to suit your tastebuds. I will say most include things like cream
of mushroom soup, dried onions, full-fat dressings and jarred sauces
— leaning more towards Guy Fieri’s diner-fare than Mario Batali’s.



They do offer “Dinners for Life,” a lower-glycemic index menu for diabetics, and you can find nutritional info on every meal listed online.  ‘



Our meals, all six of which took me under an hour to assemble, end up
costing an average of $5 or less per serving — although this family of
four ate one of the six-serving-designated meals and then went rooting
for snacks, so your manga mileage may vary.  - Barbara



Visit Dream Dinners for homemade dinners without the whole homemade part.
 
 

Barbara Card Atkinson is a California based freelance writer, and a former Cool Mom Picks contributor.

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