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Take Home Uncooked Meals

Is there a place or company or grocery store or restaurant that gives you all the ingredients to cook a meal for 2 at home? I'm thinking of something different for my fiancee's birthday and I think that would be fun!

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  1. There is "Dream Dinners" but I think you cook a whole WEEK'S worth of food, check out their website

    2 Replies
    1. re: jackattack

      Yes, and a whole week of pretty gross food at that. Think sysco in the comfort of your own freezer...

      1. re: sll

        dream dinners is probably not what the original poster is looking for.....but, I have to disagree with sll.

        No, it's not "home cooking" the way I would do it. But, it's very healthy (no or very few preservatives), meat is high quality, and it's more economical than shopping. So - if you're trying to be heatlthier than take-out, but don't have time for home cooking on a regular basis - I highly recommend it.

        With one caveat -- I usually triple or quadruple the "flavor" ingredients in the recipe. That way, my husband won't lose too much weight:)

    2. Trader Joe's has a lot of stuff that you could make for two. A date did that for me one time - I know you are engaged. He picked up the frozen stuffed salmon and there are a million other things @ TJ's. It was one of the loveliest "home cooked" date meals I've ever had.

      1. P.S. Divine Pasta has some great things you can heat up too, if you want to go the pasta route.

        Also, I think Honeybaked Ham has smoked turkey, ham, etc. if you are into that. I served a smoked turkey once for a late summer dinner fom Honeybaked and it was a hit. I picked up wine, dessert, appetizers @ TJ's.

        1. How un-cooked do you want it? Clementine always has delicious food in the fridge and freezer (soups, pastas, etc) that just need to be heated and served. You could pick up cold side dishes and dessert while you're there.

          I can't say that I've tried any pre-packaged meals that I've really enjoyed at Trader Joe's (frozen Indian and Thai food, oven baked fries, frozen scallops, packaged sauce mixes...all just okay or worse). I like their unadorned frozen vegetables and berries. I guess I would rather eat a broiled piece of fresh fish with just some salt and pepper than a marinated piece of frozen salmon rolled around some breading. That said, they did have some marinated rack of lamb in a vacuum pack that looked good.

          1 Reply
          1. re: Pei

            Clementine's is my go to place. Just about everything is great! One has to play around a bit to find what they most enjoy. Many things are freezer ready, some soups already frozen. On the west side it is simply the only place of quality for take out, bring in, heat and serve in my opinion.

          2. "Is there a place or company or grocery store or restaurant that gives you all the ingredients to cook a meal for 2 at home?"

            hmmmm... confusing question. in order of increasing effort on your part, here are your options. what do YOU want to do?

            you can get all the raw ingredients you need to make a several course dinner at ANY decent grocery store.

            you can get premade but uncooked fresh sausages/pasta/pizza and salads at local delis.

            you can get items which are precooked, but just need reheating at most Bristol Farm/Whole Food/Trader Joes type places.

            7 Replies
            1. re: krushdnasty

              What I'm looking for is this... if you would take a recipe into a grocery store, I know you can buy everything separately. But, what I'm looking for is to enjoy the cooking with someone in one already prepared kit. Bad example, but if I'm making some type of pasta, all the ingredients come in one package and I can make it at home! That would include, oils, herbs, etc.

              If it's not out there... business idea??

              1. re: UMich99

                Didn't there used to be a place on La Brea that did this? You could go in and pick up all the components of dinner with sides etc and cook them up at home. Does anyone remember this place, and if so is it still there?

                1. re: UMich99

                  Not a grocery store, but that reminds me of an oden (Japanese fish cake and vegetable) packet you can get at Nijiya or Mitsuwa.

                  It comes with fishcakes, tofu, seaweed, and a sauce packet. You add cubed daikon, carrots, and some cheap sake. I add more things, but that's the basic idea. Simmer for an hour or so.

                  Serve with rice and some Japanese mustard.

                  I've been seeing pre-packaged soup mixes in some of the Asian markets lately as well (168 and Rosemead Superfood come to mind). The vegetables are already all cut up raw and packaged in styrofoam and plastic wrap. It says what it's for (pho, chicken stock, etc.) and I assume you just dump it all in a pot of water with the appropriate meat.

                  1. re: UMich99

                    I think I'd have to go with "business idea". And in a city like LA, not a bad one. The problem is that for a dish you really need so many things for a good mis en place. Let's take a dish like Beef Stroganoff. You wanna make a good one, not some chef-boyardee schwag right? So the ingredients should go something like this:

                    filet mignon tips, oil portion for browning, mushrooms, shallots, creme fraiche portion, mustard portion, fresh dill, salt, brandy, white wine, beef glace portion, cracked pepper, paprika, and of course a seperate noodles portion.

                    So, the problem as I see it is that things like beef glace, creme fraiche, wine/brandy/cognac/armagnac, cracked pepper, dill, salt and mustard are obviously things that cannot be strictly regimented as far as portionality is concerned. On a wet day that you need extra comfort and pizzazz you may put in more creme fraiche and mustard. When longing for a rustic oaky tone you may flambe with extra cognac. When it hot and summery, you may not use hardly any finishing butter, but you may use extra dill for freshness.

                    So a business need to put in enough of each component so that their diverse customer base can each fufill their individual preferences every time. Nothing worse than paying for AND preparing a dish that you just can't stop thinking... "Why aren't their enough mushrooms for the beef?!?!" But, as a business, you can't provide *more* than what they need, 'cause then your just losing money (yes the customer has already paid for it, but won't keep paying for it if they are tossing out excess ingredients). Portionality would be a nightmare!!

                    Also, what degree of preparation? Mushrooms already washed are not long for this mortal coil! They begin shuffling off soon as the wash water stops flowing! Precut shallots go horridly sulfury and bitter if not sweated right after chopping. Wine oxidizes and goes vinegary if portioned out in cooking-type quantities.

                    So, portioning and degree of preparation are all that are standing between you and a multimillion dollar business! Let me know if you want me to jump in!! ;-)

                    1. re: krushdnasty

                      In San Francisco, there's Boulette's Larder, which supplies the more-labor intensive ingredients for home cooking. However, I have my doubts whether L.A. cooks are serious enough to embrace a place like this. Check out the list of things they offer though, it's pretty amazing.

                      1. re: schmanny

                        of course....the original post is from 2006.....

                  2. Are you thinking of Cube, formerly Divine Pasta on La Brea? They have pizza, pastas, cheeses and charcuterie, and could probably help you assemble a nice dinner. There are definitely more places in the San Francisco area that do this type of thing, like Boulette's Larder.

                    1. It sounds like Dream Dinners might work for you. I've never used their services but a friend of mine has. She said they provide all of the ingredients and the recipes and you "cook" the meals. http://dreamdinners.com/main.php?stat...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: coffee_addict

                        I think Dream Dinners is not the answer here, if I am reading the intent of umich99 correctly. Unfortunately at Dream Dinners the food is all pre-prepared by the customer at the store... not at home with your "other". Only popping a sheetpan of preprepped items into the oven remains. UMich is hoping to do some intimate, sultry and potentially even sexy cooking at home with the signicant other. The name of the game would be a place which offers meals to go requiring not toooo much prep and effort, but that are also fresh, uncooked, seasonal and frankly exciting. Something that makes the cooking process a "together activity" and leads the evening into what could be termed a "nice, romantic evening at home"(although this lacklustre phrase has been smitten with a decidedly undeserving reputation as being unbearably boring!). Perhaps this meal would even inspire a non-foodie to start to become interested in the process of meal preparation and cooking! Who knows, the possibilities are endless.

                        I think thats what Umich is lookign for, and I have caught the bug as well. Sounds good and I hope to look around and find a place that can provide a likeable service to this effect. I'll post back if I find one!!

                        edit: btw.. just looked at the dream dinners website. and personally I think there is nothing worse than misselling a dish. Since when does Carbonara have beef, alfredo sauce and tomatoes? ugh. horrendous.

                        " BEEF CARBONARA
                        A Dream Dinners favorite. These large, tender pieces of aged beef are slowly simmered with onions, bacon, mushrooms and herbs in a flavorful tomato spiked Alfredo sauce. Served over egg noodles (provided), it’s perfect for a chilly evening."

                      2. How about Costco?

                        Bottle of nice wine
                        Costco's own Frozen Pizza
                        Cheesecake (from the freezer aisle)

                        Voila! Dinner.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: ipsedixit

                          Costco's cooked/rotisserie chickens are really good. If you hurry home it will still be warm enough.

                        2. I would try Joan's on Third. They used to do something similar. Just don't know what the mimimum would be.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: kproq323

                            do you have a link or an adress? Thanks for any info!!

                          2. Whole Foods has pre-cooked menu for 2. You can get cornish hen with a lot of sides or prime rib.

                            1. www.joansonthird.com

                              they are near the beverly center off third street