The holidays are upon us, and there’s no other time of year when we spend more time with family, friends and food. Many of us just don’t have time to cook for a crowd – and restaurant food can get expensive, particularly for a crowd. Avoid a nightmare cuisine crisis, and visit Dream Dinners.
The concept of this Washington-based franchise is simple: you (either alone or with a group of friends) come in at a pre-arranged time to one of the six Tri-State locations and assemble freeze-and-heat meals out of fresh ingredients, according to a posted recipe. Everything to make an entree is included — a protein, vegetables and sauces — so all you have to do is heat according to directions and serve. Meal choices include a variety of options like Caribbean jerk chicken, beef pasta bolgonese, french toast and pumpkin cheescake.
Generally, Dream Dinners customers buy one month’s worth of meals at a time. Each dish can be purchased in 3- or 6-serving portions, so you can serve a family or just a couple. “Many people are concerned that Dream Dinners is too expensive. This just isn’t true. Each dish averages about $4 per person, with no waste and no leftovers to deal with. It’s cheaper than going to the grocery store!” says Trisha Wilkins, co-franchisee of the Blue Ash location, which she opened with her sister-in-law. Wilkins also suggests private parties, where a group of friends can get together and assemble the meals together: “A lot of parties bring some wine and relax as they assemble,” Wilkins says. “We all need a girls night out.”
The holidays are an especially busy time at Dream Dinners. They offer a Holiday Side Station, which offers four side dishes (including stuffing, biscuits, green bean casserole and mashed potatoes) in one package. You just have to add a main dish (which you can also purchase at Dream Dinners). You get the ease of takeout with healthy, whole ingredients. It’s an easy way to save a little time during the busy holidays without breaking the bank or sacrificing taste, quality or healthfulness.
For those calorie-counters, don‚Äôt fret! Dream Diners uses mostly all-white, skinless chicken and many low- to non-fat dairy items and tries to cut calories where it counts – without losing the delicious flavor.
Check out any of six Dream Dinners locations in Cincinnati: Anderson, Blue Ash, Western Hills, West Chester, Florence and Hamilton.
Photo: Courtesy of Dream Dinners