Getting new ideas for freezer cooking using make and take food centers.
The benefit of freezer cooking in allowing busy mom’s to prepare meals in bulk and freeze so that they are available when needed have been known for years. However, in the past several years, a new trend called meal preparation / meal assembly has swept the country. It began in California but now franchises for companies such as Dream Dinners, Everyday Gourmet, Let’s Dish, and Supper Thyme USA can be found all over the country. These franchises recognize that families have less time to prepare meals. Instead, families want home cooked meals without all the shopping, preparation and clean up. The store offers a monthly menu and consumers can come, make as many dinners as they choose, and bring them home to freeze. It’s the ultimate in convenience since you still get to customize the meal for your family but don’t have to shop or clean up. The ingredients are already cut into the size needed for the recipe.
To make a dozen dinners that serve 4-6 at a meal preparation center costs approximately $250 in Maryland. However, it can be a wonderful way to get ideas that you can reuse in your own kitchen. If you’re a busy mom who has been using freezer cooking for a while, you’ve probably gotten into a rut and frequently make the same meals. Going to a meal preparation center and making a number of new recipes can be a great way to see how your family likes the dishes. Because all the chopping and cleaning is done for you, it is possible to make 12 new dishes in a two hour session. It’s also a lot of fun if you go with a friend or family member. Since the meals are intended to be frozen, the owner has selected dishes that will freeze well.
If there isn’t a food preparation center near you or the price is more than you are willing to pay, then looking at their menu can provide many ideas for meals that freeze well. At the web site, the company normally provides this month’s menu as well as next month’s menu, usually illustrated with a beautiful picture of the meal. Although the actual recipe isn’t given, a list of ingredients is normally provided. If you see a dish that you want to try, Google recipes and three or four of the main ingredients. You’re sure to find a recipe close to the one the store uses. Many of the menus are seasonal so it also a good way to use local, fresh ingredients.
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