momlogic's Julie: My kids and I got the chance to go to Dream Dinners last night -- and like the name says, it was a total DREAM!
We went to the La Crescenta, Calif., location, which is right near my house. I have passed it many times, but last night was my first visit.
The woman who helped me, Jessica, and the owner, Lissa, were SO nice and accommodating when I told them I was coming in with my kids. The minimum age for kids at Dream Dinners is 12, but many Dream Dinners locations offer kids' sessions where you can bring kids 8 and older with you to assemble your meals.
For those of you who've never been there, Dream Dinners provides everything you need to assemble delicious dinners -- from easy-to-follow instructions to fresh, pre-cut ingredients. Their monthly menu includes over 14 different recipes. We tried six of them, including lasagna, buffalo ranch chicken, enchiladas, orange chicken, cornflake-crusted chicken and arroz con pollo. (As you can tell, my kids like chicken! But they offer beef, pork, seafood and vegetarian options as well.)
The cost for the six-meal sampler was $81.95, or just over $13 a meal. That price seemed very fair -- especially since we typically spend $30 to $40 when our family of four eats out.
The kids loved assembling the meals. In fact, they asked me to sit in the lobby area so they could do it on their own! (I said no -- but I was impressed that they asked!) The instructions were easy for them to follow, and they loved feeling like grown-up chefs. And assembling the meals made my two kids work together, whereas they usually fight like cats and dogs. That was a welcome relief!
When we got home, we cooked the orange chicken, and it was delicious. Plus, now we have five other meals in the freezer ready to go. What a relief to know that I can just pop one of them in the oven and have a no-fuss, no-muss homemade meal -- without the mess or the cleanup. My kids are beaming with pride over all the food they "cooked" on their own.
I LOVE Dream Dinners and can't wait to go back!