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

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

by Stephanie Allen, Tina Kuna

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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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780060784225
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication date: 08/29/2006
Pages: 320
Product dimensions: 9.06(w) x 7.28(h) x 0.84(d)

About 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.

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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