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08 January 2010 @ 11:35 am
Dream Dinners  
You guys! I am so excited! A couple of weeks ago, a guy here at work brought in some pot roast and mashed potatoes for lunch, and shared. They were really good, and I told him so. "It's a Dream Dinners recipe," he explained. "What is that?" I asked. "A cookbook?" "No," he said, and proceeded to explain to me what Dream Dinners is.

Essentially, it's this place that offers a new menu of home cooked meals every month, and you pick your menu for the month and schedule a time, and go in, and they have everything there waiting for you to assemble and cook, and they do all the prep and cleaning up after, so you're in and out in about an hour, with enough cooked meals for you and your family for three nights a week for a month. You put them in the freezer at home, and when you want to eat one, you just take it out and warm it in the oven. Twenty minutes later, dinner!

Now, I love to cook. But there are plenty of times when it just feels like a whole lot of work I don't want to do. Those inevitably become pizza or eating out nights. Which is fine, but isn't necessarily good for either your wallet or your waistline in excess. I know if we had a wonderful dinner just waiting to be popped in the oven, we would probably choose to stay in and watch a movie at home that night. (TV dinners do not appeal, for many reasons.)

The emphasis on Dream Dinners is tasty, healthy portions of home cooked goodness. For about $4/serving, ie a meal for one person. $8 for Mark and I to eat a great meal when I don't feel like cooking? Sounds awesome to me!

So, Joe (the guy at work) set it up for tomorrow morning so that we could go in together and he and his wife could show me the ropes. There is a "minimum purchase" of 36 meals per month. But that works out to be about $170, which is $42.50 per week. I don't grocery shop and get three meals a week for less than $80 these days, it seems. I am so excited about this! I can still cook when I want, but have these great back up meals in the freezer, and if I already have enough for a month, I can just not go in and get more.

I will have to do things like chop a quick salad to go with them, sometimes, but hey, all the hard work is done. I guess there are other Dream Dinner around, and similar places with different names. I had no idea these things existed, but talk about the best thing ever for a working family or two income home, or even for busy stay at home Mom's. :)

Next month, they have one of my all time favorite dishes ever on the menu, chicken marsala!

ETA: Also, when I am busy writing and the husband is wanting more of a dinner than totino's party pizzas or top ramen, I can pop something in the oven, tell him when to take it out, and go back to my writing! *bliss*
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indie: slow foodindiefic on January 8th, 2010 10:22 pm (UTC)
I caught a Dream Dinners special on Food TV a while ago and have been very intrigued by the idea. I think it sounds like a great idea. As soon as I get a deep freeze, I'm totally using them.
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