25 April 2007

food in a bag?

Last night, my newly created cooking club had our first official meet-up (I'm not counting the very first one because we just sat around and introduced ourselves and brainstormed ideas for events). Unfortunately, not everyone who had signed up to go showed up. Lucky for us, the owner of the DreamDinners franchise that we went to was nice enough to let us assemble our dinner even with only five people.

If you've never heard of DreamDinners before, it's rather ingenious. It's the brainchild of Stephanie Allen and Tina Kuna, out of Washington state. Basically, you get all the fun of cooking the dinner without any of the prep work, and everything is frozen and can be stored for a few months. Just pop it in the fridge to defrost a few days before you want to eat it. Here's how it works:

First: Go online to dreamdinners.com. Find a location near you. Sign up for a session. Sign up for your meals (36-servings or 72-servings) - ranges from $2.50 - $5.00 per serving, depending on how many you buy and which meals you choose. Pay online.

Second: Show up at the store on the date of your session and assemble your dinner. Each meal has it's own station. You just go around to the station and follow the instructions given at each one. All the ingredients will be there, as well as everything you need to pack it all up. You'll even get nifty labels to place on the outside of your packages so you know how to cook it when you get home.

Third: Take your meals home and stick them in the freezer. When you want to eat them, just pop the package in the refrigerator a few days ahead to defrost. Then follow the directions on the package as to how to cook the meal. ENJOY!

I think it's pretty cool, since you still get to cook everything, just all the prep work is done for you ahead of time. It saves a lot of time and energy. Also, it's equivalent to going to the grocery store once a month (if you have a large family) or every couple months (if it's just you alone). You get great meals, and healthy, meals to make at home - and you would only have to go to the grocery store to get drinks and snacks, and maybe some side dishes.

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