Easy, dreamy dinners

12 May

Dream Dinners mis en place

This foodie loves to cook. Seriously. I love nothing more than going to the store (preferably Harvest Time in Lincoln Square or Gene’s Sausage Shop), picking up the ingredients for a unique risotto or another time-intensive dish, and making a day out of preparing a meal for friends and family. Even if I was preparing dinner for me and my husband on a Wednesday night, I always enjoyed and took pride in pulling out the stops.

Then you add a newborn to the mix and time isn’t quite what it used to be, or rather, time isn’t as available as it used to be. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve already had a couple of dinner parties since they baby’s arrival, but the meals during the week are the ones that are trickiest since I’m all alone while my husband’s back at work.

A good friend told me about Dream Dinners and my initial reaction was: “no thanks!” Essentially, Dream Dinners is a service where you select meals for the month then you head over to their store front (on Belmont) to assemble them, bring them home, pop them into the freezer and then thaw and prepare them when you’re ready to eat them. To me, it sounded like it took all of the fun out of cooking. But then as I thought more about it, it made more sense, so we decided to try it out.

It turns out, Dream Dinners has been absolutely amazing. It gives me the opportunity to still “cook” dinner from home, but it takes out all the prep-work and mess. And I must say that the dishes are really delicious. With the exception of a few (I won’t get their shrimp options anymore), they’re all very good and healthy.

So when you arrive at the Dream Dinners shop on Belmont, you get the list of the meals you’ve selected then it’s time to get to work. You arrive at a station and everything is set up for  you. It’s a pre-set mis en place and you can plow through preparing 12 meals in 30 minutes. All the meals are in gallon zip lock bags with the instructions, so when you take them out for thawing, it’s already together and you don’t have to go searching for components/ingredients.

All in all, in an ideal world, I’d be making meals from scratch seven days a week. But let’s get real. There’s not enough time in the day, even without a baby. I’ve found Dream Dinners to be a huge help (and of course I’m always adding my own spices and spin to their meals)- plus, there are no preservatives- everything is very fresh (because you made it) so I’m way happier with these than frozen options (as if). I know there are other concepts out there like Dream Dinners, but I think this one is the best I’ve come across.

This is a completely unsolicited review and my endorsement of Dream Dinners is purely from a paying customer perspective.

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One Response to “Easy, dreamy dinners”

  1. stephanieallen May 24, 2010 at 12:29 pm #

    I am glad you had a wonderful Dream Dinners experience. It is the ultimate buy in bulk and save way to have a home cooked dinner and does cost less than buying the same ingredients at a grocery store. It is also very eco friendly, so much less packaging when you buy in bulk. We actually have children on our tasting panels; it is amazing to see what kids will really eat. We put kids in a box when we only feed them “white foods”. Don’t miss our new Dream Rewards loyalty program. You can get more dinner ideas on my blog Take care. http://stephanieallen.wordpress.com/

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