Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Dream Dinners

I know there's been a serious lack of writing here, which is mainly due to the fact that I'm not going out to eat as much. It's very sad, but thanks to the not-so-fun economy, I've chosen to eat in more.

Now, this is a big problem for me, because I am not a big fan of cooking. I love to bake, but when it comes to the main course, I'm always at a bit of a loss. I can also be incredibly lazy- again, another reason I love going out to eat! A co-worker suggested Dream Dinners to me and I decided to give it a try. I found a 15% off coupon for my first time, which made the price pretty irresistable. I think my first time was around $170.00 for 36 servings- 12 3-serving meals. Considering that I easily spend this much at the grocery store for a week, this is really reasonable. The price does vary by store, though- I noticed one in a different neighborhood was quite a bit more expensive.

Here's how it works: For my first time in, I went on the website, chose a location, then went through the menu choosing which meals I wanted. All meals come in 3 or 6-serving sizes. As time has gone on, I've been ordering 6-servings on some of our favorites and splitting them in half when I'm making them. The menu changes every month. I noticed that in the summer there were lots of grilling items- steaks, burgers, etc. With Thanksgiving approaching, they've even got a full turkey breast and all the sides. There are some items called 'Fast Lane', which are already prepared and ready to go, but these only come in 6-serving sizes.

The actual making of the meals is really fun and easy. BUT, if you're not interested in getting your hands dirty, the staff will make the meals for you for a few extra bucks ($15 at my location). You just swing by and pick them up at an assigned time. When you go in to prepare your meals, you get an apron, a little box assigned to you for your personal belongings, and a fridge area to store your meals as you finish them. The room is set up in stations for each meal, with everything you need laid out and measured. All you have to do is follow the instructions on the sign. So easy, and you can change things up a little according to your own taste.

Now for the really important part: Are they good? An overwhelming yes. I will admit, we've had maybe 3-4 meals we didn't care for, but only 1 that was inedible. I think it was halibut (or maybe cod?) and sweet potato fries. The fish was really gross, but it could just be that we don't care for fish that much. There have been plenty of really great meals, though. Our favorite so far was Gorgonzola Meatloaf- so delicious. My personal favorite was a Mediterrenean chicken and pasta dish, as well as the Coconut Shrimp. They offer such a huge variety of food that we get to switch it up a lot during the week- chicken, steak, BBQ pork, pasta... I really appreciate that.

Everything is super-easy to prepare, too. Usually just throwing it in the oven, or sauteeing something. I've seen some negative reviews of DD, so I wanted to throw in my 2 cents. It's been 4 months now and I always get excited about trying new dishes from there. I've also seen a huge savings in my bank account from not eating out so much.