One MUST in preparing for a new baby’s arrival is have your freezer stocked – as much as you can, I recommend! At least five to ten meals to get you through those first days!
A few weeks ago, I visited Dream Dinners to try their Introductory Offer – 18 servings for $74.95. Depending on whether you order 3-serving or 6-serving meals, you could end up with 3-6 dinners. It’s a great way to see if their service is right for you. I’m pretty sure, if you’re like me, you’ll be in love within the first ten minutes!
What is Dream Dinners? A fantastic place where you show up, assemble dinners (3 or 6 serving sizes) and take them home to freeze for later (or use right away!). It’s NOT a take-out place – but a true meal solution for so many lifestyles, and saves you time and a big mess in your home! Dream Dinners was created by two “Soccer Moms” over a decade ago as a solution for so many situations:
- busy parents (have dinner at home with your family, saves money on eating out, healthier than take out/fast food!)
- post-pregnancy (saves an exhausted new mama time and energy!)
- creative gift idea (for the person who has everything, for someone with an extended illness or post-surgery, even for a bereaved family who could use a break from meal prep for awhile).
- dinner parties (make multiples of the same dish to serve a crowd and not dirty up your own kitchen, portion meals into smaller servings to create appetizers for a party!)
- portion-control (each dinner is three filling portions, but not over-sized like you might get in restaurants)
To walk you through my experience: I went online to pre-order my meals from the Dream Dinners menu, and pick an appointment time that worked for me. Dream Dinners changes their menu monthly so you always have a variety of dishes to select; some favorites cycle through but there’s always a ton of new choices! I picked Market Salmon, Mediterranean Steak, Layered Ravioli, Sweet & Spicy Pork Roast, and Caliente Pork Chops!
On a Saturday morning, I drove to my local Dream Dinners’ storefront, and they had a cooler marked just for me! As you complete assembling each meal, you store it in the cooler. Each guest wears an apron and gloves, and uses their own containers/bags to create their meal, so the process is quite hygienic.
Each station holds chilled ingredients for two different meals. You follow the steps on the appropriate meal card to compile your ingredients. Some things are pre measured – like side dishes of corn or mashed potatoes, and the meat is already frozen solid. But all the seasonings, spices, etc, you add in yourself, so you can always add a little less onion, or more cheese sprinkles to suit your family’s tastes!
Ingredients already have measuring spoons/cups so you scoop what you need, then seal up your bag! You put all your meal items into a larger bag along with the instruction card for that meal – and voila! Meal is done!
I moved slowly because I was a newbie, and still each meal only took about fifteen minutes to assemble. There are staff members circulating to help you find things, clean spills, or clarify directions. I even had time to sample a few of their dishes! (Oh yes, free samples while you create your dinners – amazing!).
If you want extras like more sides and desserts, Dream Dinners has several coolers of yummy baked goods, appetizers and other sides already prepped! (Only available to customers with a Dream Dinners appointment).
Each dinner entree usually comes with a starch side like mashed potatoes or rice, and you add salads and other sides at home to complete the meal. Meals can last in your freezer about three or more months. The few weeks following my trip to Dream Dinners were delightful, because I had five delicious meals ready to go! It was such a treat to thaw, cook, and serve, and saved me prep and clean up time. (Each one was delicious!).
Here’s a few of our dishes cooked at home (salad and carrots were my own additions) – these are the Slow Cooker Sweet & Spicy Pork Roast and the Market Salmon with Corn Medley:
I definitely plan to return to Dream Dinners as soon as I can! The Introductory Offer of $75 for five dinners (3 servings each) is only about $15 per meal and $5 per serving. While that is more than I’d spend if I made my own meals at home, it’s definitely LESS than if we decided to go out to dinner five times. So considering, you could actually save money if you regularly go out because you had no time to make a meal.
Check out Dream Dinners’ delicious menu choices online, see photos of their stores, and read more about how the Dream Dinners service works! I guarantee you’ll want to go!! (Put it on your birthday wish lists, mamas!).
Local Connecticut Readers… YOU are INVITED!!
Taste of Dream Dinners Event!!
WHO: YOU are invited! Yes, you (as long as you can get to the location)! And it’s totally free!
WHEN: Tuesday, May 15, 2012
TIME: 6 pm and 7pm (2 time slots, 8 guests per slot! )
WHERE: Manchester, CT Dream Dinners on Tolland Turnpike
WHAT: You’ll create one Dream Dinner to take home (FREE!), and also sample several of their dishes while you are there!
You MUST fill out this RSVP form by Friday, May 11 to attend. I need to know your time slot AND dinner choice (four yummy choices). I can only take the first 8 people to RSVP for each slot (total of 16 guests), but I’ll keep a wait list in case someone drops out. I will confirm attendees, and free slots will be offered to the wait list on Saturday. I must give the RSVP list to Dream Dinners on Sunday, May 13th so after that point the list will be closed.
I can’t wait to meet some of my local readers at this event!!!
Thanks to Dream Dinners for letting me try their Introductory Offer and offering this great event for my readers free of charge! All opinions are my own and 100% honest!