Archive for November 14, 2006
I was watching Food TV one lazy Sunday afternoon a long time ago and came across a story about a woman who had opened a store that would allow you to create pre-prepared frozen meals. The business owner of the store used to make a week’s worth of dinners every Sunday afternoon. That way her family could just pull a pre-portioned meal out of the freezer, throw it on the stove top or in the oven, and 35 – 45 minutes later have a perfect meal. First, of all kudos to the ingenious woman who decided to make this meal preparing experience into a business.
This woman partnered up with another woman to create Dream Dinners. There are a number of these stores in my area. You go online and choose which meals you’d like to prepare. You can order the meals and pay online. Then when you arrive at the store there are little stations set up that let you make each of the meals you’ve ordered. You get a plastic baggy or a foil baking tray, (depending on what you’re making), and you fill it with the mix of ingredients listed in the recipe.
I didn’t know if I really wanted to spend money preparing my own meals, so I asked for a gift certificate for my birthday. Dream Dinners has a deal for first time customers. For $50 you can make 3, (6 serving), meals. Since my husband and I don’t have any children, we made the equivalent of 6 meals for $50.
Dream Dinners has made the work week a lot easier. For example, after eating dinner on Sunday night, we pull Monday night’s dinner out of the freezer and into the fridge. On Monday we pull dinner out of the fridge and into the oven. Saving time on meal preparation each night allows us to work our normal hours, which are often late, without having to eat a late dinner.
The Dream Dinners owners recently created a cook book. I bought the book and have spent a couple of Sunday afternoons preparing dinners. The book suggests making meals in batches. After all, it takes about the same amount of time to brown three pounds of ground beef as it does to brown one. So you brown three pounds and make three pans of baked ziti. We have also started marinating chicken as soon as we bring it home from the store. My husband and I cut up the chicken into specified portions, throw it into a baggie, and add store bought marinade.
When we worked late in the past we’d often pick up something on the way home. Cooking prepared meals is definitely helping us to eat earlier and healthier than we did before.