Dream Dinners: Turn Dinner Time into Family Time with 100 Assemble-and-Freeze Meals

( 9 )

Overview

"What's for dinner?"

If the sound of those three words sends you reeling or, worse, straight to the nearest fast-food chain or take-out joint, then relax. Dream Dinners will change all that forever.

With their new cookbook, Stephanie Allen and Tina Kuna, founders of Dream Dinners, bring the successful philosophy behind their hundreds of assemble-and-freeze-meal stores across America into home kitchens. Dream Dinners offers up one hundred ...

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Dream Dinners: Turn Dinner Time into Family Time with 100 Assemble-and-Freeze Meals

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Overview

"What's for dinner?"

If the sound of those three words sends you reeling or, worse, straight to the nearest fast-food chain or take-out joint, then relax. Dream Dinners will change all that forever.

With their new cookbook, Stephanie Allen and Tina Kuna, founders of Dream Dinners, bring the successful philosophy behind their hundreds of assemble-and-freeze-meal stores across America into home kitchens. Dream Dinners offers up one hundred recipes for flavorful meals made with easy-to-find ingredients.

The premise is simple: Scoop or pour ingredients into baking pans or plastic bags, then store the uncooked dishes in the freezer. Later in the week or month, when dinnertime rolls around, just pop one of the frozen meals into the oven. Each recipe is provided two ways: One, prepare just one meal for the night, or two, prepare enough for three meals and freeze the other two. Dinner after sports practice, music lessons, and play rehearsals has never been easier!

In addition to recipes for hearty, family-pleasing classics such as Baked Pesto Ravioli with Chicken, Beef and Zucchini Casserole, and Cider-Braised Pork Loin Chops, Stephanie and Tina give a wealth of time-saving shopping tips and cooking pointers. More than for convenience, eating dinner together provides benefits for the whole family. Study after study shows that mealtime matters. Families who dine together form stronger bonds, and kids get better grades and develop lifelong healthful eating habits. Dream Dinners makes it easy for families to gather around the dinner table and share the ups and downs of the day.

With Dream Dinners, you will spend less time stressing in the kitchen and more time connecting with family and friends.

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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
Stephanie Allen is a veteran caterer and recipe whiz. Her coauthor, Tina Kuna, has an equally impressive background in management. Together these founders of the Dream Dinners franchise have created a meal philosophy that makes sense to today's harried parents. The strategy is simple: Scoop or pour ingredients into baking pans or plastic bags, then store the uncooked dishes in the freezer until you need them. Then you can choose between preparing just one meal and preparing three meals; using one and freezing the other two. Each of the recipes in Dream Dinners enables you to make the choice. In addition, Allen and Kuna provide a wealth of timesaving shopping tips and cooking pointers. A quick step toward a family meal.
Library Journal
Allen and Kuna's Dream Dinners franchise now has more than 150 shops across the country. Shoppers can sign up for sessions in which they put together prepared ingredients for that month's main-dish recipes, then take them home to freeze for cooking later. Their cookbook is based on the same idea, with easy recipes for all courses of a meal. Each recipe lists the ingredients needed for just one dish to serve six and those needed to make three batches, one to serve that night and two to freeze for later. The recipes are fairly pedestrian and, overall, seem rather dated; many of them rely on convenience foods, e.g., canned cream soup. Buy for demand only. Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780060784225
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/29/2006
  • Pages: 320
  • Sales rank: 584,797
  • Product dimensions: 9.06 (w) x 7.28 (h) x 0.84 (d)

Meet the Author

Two busy working mothers trying to balance professional and home lives, Stephanie Allen and Tina Kuna founded Dream Dinners in 2002. Today there are hundreds of Dream Dinners stores across the nation. Stephanie and Tina have revolutionized dinnertime in America, providing an inexpensive alternative to takeout and bringing families together around the table. Dream Dinners has been featured in the New York Times, O, The Oprah Magazine, and Time, among others. Stephanie and Tina live in Snohomish, Washington.

Two busy working mothers trying to balance professional and home lives, Stephanie Allen and Tina Kuna founded Dream Dinners in 2002. Today there are hundreds of Dream Dinners stores across the nation. Stephanie and Tina have revolutionized dinnertime in America, providing an inexpensive alternative to takeout and bringing families together around the table. Dream Dinners has been featured in the New York Times, O, The Oprah Magazine, and Time, among others. Stephanie and Tina live in Snohomish, Washington.

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Read an Excerpt

Dream Dinners

Turn Dinnertime into Family Time with 100 Assemble-and-Freeze Meals
By Zondervan

HarperCollins Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2006 Zondervan
All right reserved.

ISBN: 0060784229

Caribbean Pork over Rice

Serves 6

This dish calls for jerk seasoning, which can be found in the spice section of most grocery stores. You can buy shredded cooked pork in your supermarket's meat department, but it's easy to make it yourself: place a lean pork loin in a crockpot, cover it with canned low-sodium chicken broth, and simmer for eight hours on low. The pork will shred easily when you pull the meat apart with two forks.

Ingredients:

For One

4 cups (1½ pounds) shredded cooked pork
2 cups canned chicken broth
½ cup light unsweetened coconut milk
2 teaspoons jerk seasoning
1 teaspoon grated orange zest
1 cup uncooked white rice for serving
½ cup (4 ounces) sliced almonds for garnish

For Three

12 cups (4½ pounds) shredded cooked pork
6 cups canned chicken broth
1½ cups light unsweetened coconut milk
2 tablespoons jerk seasoning
1 tablespoon grated orange zest
3 cups uncooked white rice for serving
1½ cups (12 ounces) sliced almonds for garnish

Instructions:

Putting the dinnertogether

Prepare the rice according to the package directions. In a large bowl, combine the pork, chicken broth, coconut milk, jerk seasoning, and orange zest and stir until incorporated. If you are preparing a triple batch, divide the mixture into three equal portions. Set aside one portion for tonight and divide the other two portions equally between two 1-gallon resealable freezer bags.

For dinner tonight

Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the meat mixture and bring to a boil. The pork should be heated through. Serve over the rice and garnish with the sliced almonds.

To freeze

Place ½ cup of the remaining sliced almonds into each of two 1-quart resealable freezer bags. Place 3 cups cooked and cooled rice in a 1-gallon resealable freezer bag. Place the bags of almonds, rice, and pork into a 1-gallon resealable freezer bag. Repeat with the remaining almonds, rice, and pork. Label, date, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before cooking as directed above. To reheat the rice, put the rice and ½ cup broth or water in a dish. Cover and cook in the microwave for 1-minute intervals until the broth is absorbed.


Pork Tenderloin with Pears

Serves 6

Pork, pears, and onions are seasoned to perfection in this dish; just add rice or pasta and you have an elegant dinner party perfectly suited for a small dinner table. Serve this with the Pumpkin Icebox Pie (page 232).

Ingredients:

For One

Nonstick cooking spray
6 (1½ pounds) 1-inch-thick slices pork tenderloin
2 cups yellow onions, thinly sliced
1 15-ounce can(s) pears with syrup
2 teaspoons minced garlic
¼ cup dried cranberries
½ cup white wine
¼ cup balsamic vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon dried thyme
¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg
½ teaspoon grated fresh ginger
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper

For Three

Nonstick cooking spray
18 (4½pounds) 1-inch-thick slices pork tenderloin
6 cups yellow onions, thinly sliced
3 15-ounce can(s) pears with syrup
2 tablespoons minced garlic
¾ cup dried cranberries
1½ cups white wine
¾ cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon dried thyme
¾ teaspoon ground nutmeg
1½ teaspoons grated fresh ginger
1 tablespoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon black pepper

Instructions:

Spray one (three) 9 X 13-inch baking dish(es) with nonstick cooking spray.

Putting the dinner together

Place 6 pork loin slices in the prepared baking dish(es) or in a crockpot.

If you are preparing a triple batch, divide the remaining slices equally between two 1-gallon resealable freezer bags. Set aside. In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and mix until incorporated. If you are preparing a triple batch, pour one-third of the mixture into the crockpot or baking dish, and divide the remaining mixture equally between the two bags filled with the pork tenderloin.

For dinner tonight

If you are using a baking dish, preheat the oven to 325°F. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 2 hours or until the internal temperature of the pork reads 160°F on a meat thermometer. Alternatively, slow-cook the pork in the crockpot on low heat for 5 to 6 hours, until the pork is tender.

To freeze

Label, date, and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before cooking as directed above.

Continues...


Excerpted from Dream Dinners by Zondervan Copyright © 2006 by Zondervan. Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 13 of 10 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted October 24, 2006

    All the recipes that no one is intersted in

    I go to dream dinners every month and prepare meals for the month, so when I bought the book and realize none of the recipes I use are in the book I was very disappointed. And the recipes they did use in the book are ones I would never cook. I am returning the book.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2006

    A copy cat of a copy cat of another copy cat...

    It is ironic that yet another 'fix it and freeze it' book hits the stands, and like others of this genre, there's really nothing new here, and the recipes, well we've seen them before, in one fashion or another! 'Super Suppers' at least has attractive color photos!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 26, 2006

    What a disappointment!

    I was really looking forward to the release of this cook book. However, just the quality alone is not very gift giving. And who cooks catering size quantities for their family? Not one photograph...and how ironic that Super Suppers released their book at the same time! It'd be nice if they'd add 'heart friendly' meals. Looks like I'll be crossing this off my Wish List for Christmas :-(

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted February 13, 2009

    yuk

    I love the concept of this book, but the recipes themselves are horrible. I tried at least 10 and only one tasted good. I will use the idea of freezing dinners, but this book will be leaving my cookbook shelf.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 25, 2007

    this book is meant for the non-chef or the person who won't step foot a 'meal-assembly' store

    This book is good, but not necessary for everyone. yes it has some decent, good and great recipes in it but that's what cooking is about. it's subjective. if you know how to cook then the book is good for a few new ideas, if your not such a cook the book is perfect. this book is like 'rules', it's more of a guideline - so you can learn to cook.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 11, 2006

    Outstanding Book

    I love this book! It has some great tips and recipes in it. Dream Dinners is the best meal assembly place in my opinion. You have to check this book out!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 1, 2006

    Good food, good tips

    Having gone to a Dream Dinners franchise, I was really looking forward to this book. The authors present a good variety of food, including appetizers, salads, and desserts as well as the main courses (well over 100 recipes). I was a little disappointed that many of the main dishes amounted to little more than marinating meat... which means I still have to come up with a side dish or two! I do like the many little tips and suggestions for quick sides, what freezes well vs. not so well, and ideas for changing up dinner time. The 'Times three' columns and useful index (recipes listed by title and main ingredients, e.g. Seafood Chowder is listed under S and C) are also appreciated. I like the layout of the ingredient list and simple directions for assembly. Most directions are clear (though I didn't do layers for the strata right the first time because I misunderstood what was written).

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2006

    An Answer to my Prayers!!!!!

    Oh my gosh! I have attended the 'classes' at several local Dream Dinners and, to have this reference book, is a treasure! Amongst some of their signature dishes, I found several of their family favorites....not published until now. Truly, the recipes they shared are obviously an example of 'from where they started!' Their side-bars depict the importance of family...not only from the standpoint of cooking, but to continue with the importance of family meeting times. I will always treasure this book and have several in mind for the perfect (hard to buy for) upcoming Christmas gifts! Thanks Dream Dinners!!!! :)

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    Posted September 18, 2011

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    Posted January 25, 2010

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    Posted April 23, 2011

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