Tag Archives: dinner

The Magic of Meez Meals

12 Feb
photo from Meez Meals Facebook

photo from Meez Meals Facebook

So a mom walks into the kitchen (stop me if you’ve heard this one). She looks in the fridge. Nothing. She goes to the pantry. Even less. She opens the drawer, pulls the Thai takeout menu, and voila, dinner is served.

In a nut shell, this has become the story of my life. You wonder why I don’t update this blog all the time? Oh, it’s because if money grows on trees, then so do hours in the day, and I’m just rolling in all the time in the world. Okay, I don’t mean to sound bitter, I’m just tired. But I digress.

Back to our lack-of homemade dinners. I used to take joy, even pride, in the delicious concoctions I’d come up with for weeknight meals. That was before I had a feisty three-year-old and a five-month-old (oh, and a demanding career, but that’s easy in comparison!). These days, I am just trying to get something, anything, on a plate and call it dinner.

And then, as if the universe waved a magic wand, I have come to discover Meez Meals. And it feels like life may never be the same. Or at lease dinner.

Let me explain. I’ve tried these pack’em and freeze’em and thaw’em meals before. And they were….meh. Fine. But then my friend and colleague told me about Meez Meals. They deliver the meals fresh to your house. The meals are all vegetarian and they are in a word: amazing. Delicious, fresh, healthy, and EASY. What you end up getting is a beautiful mise en place with instructions on how to simply cook the meal and usually in less time it would take for my Thai delivery, an honest to goodness homemade meal is on the table. Also, the prices are really reasonable. And there are always leftovers.

I’m one of these people who when I love something, I can’t stop talking about it, and that’s definitely the case for Meez Meals. I mean, it’s brought me out of hibernation for this blog. Definitely check them out. They’re based in Chicago, but offer delivery throughout the burbs. Enjoy and let me know what you think of them!


Easy, dreamy dinners

12 May

Dream Dinners mis en place

This foodie loves to cook. Seriously. I love nothing more than going to the store (preferably Harvest Time in Lincoln Square or Gene’s Sausage Shop), picking up the ingredients for a unique risotto or another time-intensive dish, and making a day out of preparing a meal for friends and family. Even if I was preparing dinner for me and my husband on a Wednesday night, I always enjoyed and took pride in pulling out the stops.

Then you add a newborn to the mix and time isn’t quite what it used to be, or rather, time isn’t as available as it used to be. Don’t get me wrong, we’ve already had a couple of dinner parties since they baby’s arrival, but the meals during the week are the ones that are trickiest since I’m all alone while my husband’s back at work.

A good friend told me about Dream Dinners and my initial reaction was: “no thanks!” Essentially, Dream Dinners is a service where you select meals for the month then you head over to their store front (on Belmont) to assemble them, bring them home, pop them into the freezer and then thaw and prepare them when you’re ready to eat them. To me, it sounded like it took all of the fun out of cooking. But then as I thought more about it, it made more sense, so we decided to try it out.

It turns out, Dream Dinners has been absolutely amazing. It gives me the opportunity to still “cook” dinner from home, but it takes out all the prep-work and mess. And I must say that the dishes are really delicious. With the exception of a few (I won’t get their shrimp options anymore), they’re all very good and healthy.

So when you arrive at the Dream Dinners shop on Belmont, you get the list of the meals you’ve selected then it’s time to get to work. You arrive at a station and everything is set up for  you. It’s a pre-set mis en place and you can plow through preparing 12 meals in 30 minutes. All the meals are in gallon zip lock bags with the instructions, so when you take them out for thawing, it’s already together and you don’t have to go searching for components/ingredients.

All in all, in an ideal world, I’d be making meals from scratch seven days a week. But let’s get real. There’s not enough time in the day, even without a baby. I’ve found Dream Dinners to be a huge help (and of course I’m always adding my own spices and spin to their meals)- plus, there are no preservatives- everything is very fresh (because you made it) so I’m way happier with these than frozen options (as if). I know there are other concepts out there like Dream Dinners, but I think this one is the best I’ve come across.

This is a completely unsolicited review and my endorsement of Dream Dinners is purely from a paying customer perspective.