I don’t know about you, but for me, the normal state of affairs at the end of a business trip or even a regular workday is silent panic as I think “What the heck am I going to make for dinner tonight?”
This is usually followed by “Do I even have anything thawed?” If the answer to the second question is no, then I am sunk and we will probably end up eating packaged ravioli ith jarred sauce and a salad. It’s easy and tasty, but oh so predictable. However, usually I do have something thawed. The real problem is deciding what entrée I can create with it in 30 minutes or less. Not an easy task, especially when it is repeated 4 nights a week (thankfully, Friday is pizza night). fast food
So this past Wednesday evening decided to try something new, and I went to a place called “Dinner Me Quickly.” I had already signed up online and chosen my 12 entrees (10 different items, two each on two selections). When I arrived, the proprietress showed me where to wash up, handed me my list and directed me toward one of the various prep stations. There were about 14 different stations, each set up with the ingredients to build a particular entree (along with the appropriate mixing/measuring/storing items). The key is that all the prep work is done for you. No chopping, slicing or trimming needed at all – Just measure and combine as you like.
I originally wrote this in 2006. I have since been back to DMQ faithfully every month.
As I finished each entree, I moved to the finishing station where I either boxed or bagged the meal and added a sticker with the title, preparation instructions and suggested side items. After that, I just placed it in the large cooler I had brought along and then moved tothe next station (no waiting!).
After just under two hours I had 12 complete dinners, each enough to feed 4-6 people, and I was ready to go! The suggestion is to thaw out three entrees each week, so the 12 meals should last for a month. Last night we had Beef Wellington – 4 oz. cuts of lean beef topped with breadcrumbs, seasonings and sauteed mushroom slices and then wrapped “en croute” with puff pastry. Everyone cleaned their plates, so I was pleased.
The other items I chose were Moroccan Chicken Stew, Lemon Pepper Haddock, Chunky Ham & Corn Chowder, Turkey Saltimbocca, White Lasagna, Smoked Bacon & Apple Stuffed Pork Chops, Beef Short Ribs in Ale Sauce, Chicken Marsala and Seafood Scampi with Broccoli over Linguini. I was impressed with the quality of the ingredients, especially the meats. It was definitely equal to or better than what I would have normally purchased at the supermarket.
All of the meals are either baked in the oven, on the stovetop or in a crock pot. How much easier could it be? I let the kids choose next week’s selections, so we will be having the lasagna, scampi and turkey. Not bad for a two-hour and $209 investment!
Follow up: I originally wrote this back in the Spring of 2006. I have since been back to DMQ faithfully every month. There have been a couple of “misses”, but for the most part the whole family has been very pleased with the meals. More importantly, I am much less stressed at the end of the day, because I already know what we’ll be doing for supper and it’s a snap.
Stephanie Kot still serves DMQ meals to her tween & teen in Albany, NY