17 different women, 36 crazy children, 0 babies in utero
Adventures, Advice and Questions from a group of Mormon women who met in Queens, NY and have now scattered all over the place.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Ding! Dinner is Served

Thanks to an email response from Jen months ago, I have discovered My Girlfriends Kitchen. I have started making home made, gourmet meals, at least 12 times a month. I haven't done a repeat yet. Yep. Amazing. My husband loves me (he always did, but he also loves all the "new" dishes).

My Girlfriends Kitchen has saved my cooking life since Jr. came along. Why does it seem harder to get dinner done when I'm home all day than when I was at work all day? What? Anyway, my mom and I go once a month. We assemble 12 dinners that feed 4-6 people. You choose your menu on the internet before you get there and they have everything ready and waiting with an apron right as you walk through the door. It takes 2 hours. They have everything chopped, diced, shredded, cubed, halved, quartered, READY. They clean up. They do the dishes. I leave with 12 great meals to put into my freezer.

There are places like this all over. I have only tried Girlfriends Kitchen, but I like it. The portions are generous. The meals are interesting and diverse. They have choices between chicken, fish, beef, lamb, pork, vegetarian, pastas, casseroles, stews, crock-pot dishes, grilled, baked, fried, and sauteed. The instructions, ingredients, nutritional values, and even weight watcher points are all on the packaging.

It's great not to stress about finding new recipes. I still cook our favorites, but its a relief not to have to come up with dinner ideas every night and buy ingredients/spices that I will only use once in my life. I'm glad I gave it a try!


  • I just wish there is one of these places in DC....it is such a great concept! I'm glad you are getting a lot of good use out of it.

    Another idea that I would love to get involved in is a dinner co-op (I think I heard about it first in Real Simple magazine). A group of neighbors/friends gets together. Each family picks a day of the week to be in charge of a meal. You cook once a week for 4-5 families and the other nights, you have a meal waiting for you.

    Can you tell I like to spend minimal amounts of time in the kitchen?
    posted by Blogger Jen at 10/26/2006 06:27:00 PM  

  • Jen - there are places like that in the DC area - Dream Dinners and Supper Supers are two places - a group of us went from College Park Ward as a private party and had a great time visiting and preparing meals. Websites: www.dreamdinners.com and www.suppersupers.com - I've used Dream Dinners and the food is very tasty, although they might be pricier than Supper Supers.
    Helen K
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 10/26/2006 09:06:00 PM  

  • Great post - i'm jealous! Does anyone know if this is available in the Bay Area (East Bay)????
    posted by Blogger chloe at 10/26/2006 09:28:00 PM  

  • I have only done dream dinners and it is great!! My family loves the variety. They now have a cookbook out that has all their most popular recipes and then some...it would be great if you didn't have anything like these shops nearby you but wanted to do it on your own or a dinner co-op like Jen mentioned. The recipes are very easy--dump a bunch of ingredients into a freezer ziplock bag and freeze until you are ready to use. They are broken down to make one meal or three at a time. I highly reccomend it if you are looking to have a stock of meals on hand. These recipes are specifically designed to be frozen. An added bonus to this method is no more meal anxiety when the compassionate service sign-up is passed around in RS. I actually jump at the chance now because it is service I can do with a smile!!
    posted by Anonymous lazy cook at 10/26/2006 09:52:00 PM  

  • Chloe, I did a quick search and found that Dream Dinners is in California. Not sure if there are any locations near you, but here's the link: http://dreamdinners.com/main.php?page=locations

    It is such a great thing! I think it has the potential of saving hundreds of $$$ in eating out because no one feels like cooking. When there's a good meal in the freezer, there's no need! I have tried the OAMC but honestly can't find the time to do that now that I have the twins. I hope you can find something in your area.
    posted by Blogger Tandy at 10/26/2006 09:56:00 PM  

  • Jen,

    I don't know what part of DC you live in, but I live in the Baltimore area and there are several places called "Let's Dish" that I go to. There is one in Columbia, just off Rt. 29. Their website is www.letsdish.com I love their stuff--I go about every other month and split the dishes with a friend. The portions at Let's Dish are meant to feed 6-8, so when we split them, we walk about with 12 meals to feed 3-4 (which is perfect for our smaller families).

    We also do a freezer meal exchange with eight people. Everybody makes 8 meals that can be frozen and once a month we meet up and swap. It's been wonderful.
    posted by Blogger The Nag at 10/27/2006 07:05:00 AM  

  • oh if only....there probably is a place like that here in NYC....I think it's called a live-in housekeeper
    posted by Blogger Kage at 10/27/2006 08:38:00 AM  

  • here's another similar company

    Evidently this is the new big thing - I plan to stock up before baby comes in January
    posted by Anonymous Emilys at 10/27/2006 11:00:00 AM  

  • Thanks Tandy for the link - I found a place 20 minutes from me so I think I"m going to check it out!
    posted by Blogger chloe at 10/27/2006 12:08:00 PM  

  • Another one that is growing in popularity is Dinners ready!
    I love the concept and have tried them out. A little spendy but way nice if you don't mind spending a little extra for convenience!
    posted by Blogger ReeSesPcS at 10/27/2006 12:30:00 PM  

  • I tried dream dinners, but thought the quality of the food was poor and they used way too much salt and sugar in most of the recipes, but I will be the first to admit I am a food snob.

    I love trader joes and the idea of a meal exchange.
    posted by Blogger trimama at 10/27/2006 01:02:00 PM  

  • I just heard about these kinds of businesses for the first time last week. I have been thinking about trying one of them out. Dream dinners is the one closest, but now I am worried that I won't like it from TriMama's review. Hopefully I can find a friend that might want to split a package with me.

    And I can only eat/and or prepare freezer meals in the late fall, winter and early spring. All the other times, the weather is too warm here in CA to eat anything heavy or to heat up my house by turning on the oven.

    I remember reading that DYM does/did a successful dinner exchange. I think I am too picky with what kinds of things I like to eat to really enjoy the exchange although the idea sounds divine.
    posted by Blogger TftCarrie at 10/27/2006 01:16:00 PM  

  • tftcarrie - I thought the Dream Dinners meals were very good - and the nice thing about the process is that you can follow their recipes exactly, or do your own thing - you can adjust the ingredients anyway you want - I try to follow their recipes as written on the first visit - and then I made changes (less garlic, not as much salt, completely eliminating a spice that I didn't like). I bought a 36 serving order (medium)- everything was packaged in freezer bags except the lasagne (which you can only buy in the large size). It all fit in the freezer section of my upright refrigerator. My experience has been very positive. If I didn't work so many hours, I'd be doing a lot of home cooking but I don't have the time now - and I think my cooking skills are pretty decent - I brought Kage a meal right after Darby was born and Kage is still standing! One of the nice things about Dream Dinners is that you can go for a preview and they have a sample of something from their monthly menu to taste. Give it a try. You can even go and buy prepared food for a little extra money. Also, the portion control of their offereings is what Americans should be eating.

    Helen K
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 10/27/2006 02:53:00 PM  

  • chloe,
    there is a "my girlfriends kitchen" opening in Brentwood (east bay area) in November... there is also a similar place in walnut creek but I can't think of the name.
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 10/27/2006 04:50:00 PM  

  • chloe,
    maybe this place? http://threestonehearth.com/
    posted by Blogger cchrissyy at 10/28/2006 07:13:00 PM  

  • Helen K/Anon.....I confess I don't remember what you brought...but that's probably a good thing, you only remember the scary ones!!! And yes, still standing...
    posted by Blogger Kage at 10/30/2006 04:11:00 AM  

  • Hey I just saw a sign for component cooking in Manhattan! Yeah...looks like we have it too:
    posted by Blogger Kage at 11/04/2006 01:35:00 PM  

  • there is a my girlfriends kitchen in gambrills md it's not far from dc ,check it out www.mgfk.com
    posted by Anonymous Anonymous at 11/10/2006 09:00:00 PM  

  • Cooking Accomplished! has been a great find for myself and several of my friends. The concept is simple; you go online, pick the entrees you want and the date you want to assemble them. The difference between Cooking Accomplished! and several other businesses like this in Portland, is quality! The owner is a trained chef. They have a commercial kitchen where all the ingredients are prepped by Shelley and her staff. Many of my friends, prior to joining me for meal assembly sessions at Cooking Accomplished!, admitted to serving and eating frozen or pre-cooked meals several times a week and to dining out two or three times a week. We decided since we are worried about nutritional value and using quality local ingredients we would research meal assembly as a solution to reducing time spent shopping and preparing dinners with the goal of eating healthier. The only assemble-your-own meal company that we found in Portland, that had great selections, high quality local ingredients and prepped all their food in-house is CookingAccomplished! in Lake Oswego. Since I started preparing meals at CookingAccomplished! I've also signed up for a couple of great cooking classes. My son attended a kids class as well and he can't wait until the next one. Shelley has done a fantastic job of creating a quality experience!
    posted by Blogger Rebecca at 10/21/2007 05:10:00 PM  

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