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Super Suppers/My Sister's Kitchen

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cbauer Jan 11, 2007 12:19 PM

Not sure if this is the right forum, but has anyone else heard of these places. I've been hearing tons of advertising on the radio for these places. Essentially, you either pick up a pre-prepared meal or assemble it there yourself, take it home and cook it. They apparently chop all the ingredients up for you and you throw it together. Do these people mean to tell me that people can't even dice an onion or mince some garlic? (that's what they seem to imply in the advertisements)

Has anyone used this service? If so, what's the quality like and price vs. value? This whole concept seems to boggle my mind. Someone, please enlighten me.

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  1. bolivianita RE: cbauer Jan 11, 2007 12:46 PM

    don't know your location but there are palces like this around here (Balt/Wash) called Lets Dish they have a website too but I don't know the address.

    1. x
      xena RE: cbauer Jan 11, 2007 01:08 PM

      Seems like these places are sprouting up all over. Sort of wish I'd thought of it!
      I have not tried it but know someone who has. This woman does not like to cook and has a busy schedule. Their kids are grown, both work, and it fits in their budget. She loves it because she can spend a couple of hours assembling meals and be just about finished in the kitchen for several days. Not having tasted it I can't vouch for the food (they are happy, though) but think the concept is ok.
      Just remembered that occasionally her grown daughter joins her there and they spend the time together and each go home with their haul.
      Again, this woman does not enjoy cooking so the idea of someone chopping her onions for her is appealing. Not so much a matter of "can't, more "don't want to".
      Plus, they clean up the kitchen after you!

      1. c
        cackalackie RE: cbauer Jan 11, 2007 01:33 PM

        I haven't tried it yet, but would like to. For me, it's not so much "can't" or "don't want to", but "don't have the time".

        Putting together your own food (that you can freeze) in a place like that is preferable to buying ready meals - or spending all day Sunday preparing them in your own kitchen. For some of us working moms, it sounds like a good idea.

        You don't have to agree, but I'm offering that perspective.

        1. Candy RE: cbauer Jan 11, 2007 01:43 PM

          I'm with you cbauer. It really seems pathetic. I was boggled at Thanksgiving when I saw Stuffing Mix in my grocery produce dept. It was chopped up celery and onions ini a sealed bowl. So I guess you buy your bagged dressing mix and the sealed bowl and throw the stuff together. Just like slice and bake cookies. Homemade y'all!

          6 Replies
          1. re: Candy
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            cackalackie RE: Candy Jan 11, 2007 04:18 PM

            Looking for time-saving ways to produce home-cooked meals is pathetic? Who knew.....

            1. re: cackalackie
              Candy RE: cackalackie Jan 11, 2007 08:23 PM

              Yes it is. It takes seconds to chop celery and onions in a food processor and a few more in a mini chopper and less than 5 mins. to chop by hand. It also is less expensive and does not involve the use of wasteful packaging

              1. re: Candy
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                uptown jimmy RE: Candy Jan 11, 2007 08:30 PM

                I'm with Candy. This "food concept" seems absurd to me. The extra drive alone is more time-consuming than chopping veggies, and by all accounts the quality of the food in these places is pretty bad.

                And so the downward trending continues....

                1. re: uptown jimmy
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                  cackalackie RE: uptown jimmy Jan 11, 2007 11:09 PM

                  Who said people are making an extra drive? I've heard that people do it on their lunch hour.

                  And why the need to be so judgmental about people in different situations than you?

                  1. re: cackalackie
                    Candy RE: cackalackie Jan 12, 2007 12:19 AM

                    Sounds pretty confrentionaly defensive to me. Many of us find this pre chopped stuff pretty silly. It really does not take much time. I was totally boggled by frozen crock pot stuff. There is a real difference between homemade and home- cooked. I think uptown jimmy and I prefer to know where our food is coming from, what ingredients are in there and actually have some control over the quality of what we are eating and select our own meat, fish and vegetables. Maybe we are not really comfortable with allowing someone else to make those selections and and not having the quality control with allowing someone else to make those decisions for us unless we are dining in a restuarant. We all have to choose how we are going to spend our time but I will point out that my mother raised 4 children while holding down a full time teaching job. Yeah she would occasionally resort to Kraft Dinner, I would not touch it. But for the most all of our food was from scratch cooking. She had no food processor, no blender until I was about 12, a hand mixer and her own hands. She managed to supervise homework and read to us every night. She also did this with my father gone, he was an AF pilot and was often not around. None of us were negelected. We had well prepared meals and there were few short cuts. It made me the cook I am today and I remember those meals fondly. She controlled the cooking and what was being prepared but I was there in the kitchen and learned
                    much. Opening pouches of this and that is not going to be a good example. Not learning how to shop and select good food is really sad. It starts early. I have a photo of me standing on a chair and "helping" to roll out pie pastry, maybe 4 years old. I guess if those moments are not important and you can't make a bonding moment out of food prep then is is sad. But if it is not in your values then you don't make the time for it.

                    My neice has 3 boys, 8 to -1. She cooks from scratch and manages to put a good dinner on the table. She learned from my mom, my sister and me. She does not work outside her home and her boys all have quality time with her. She buys fresh food and does her own prep. It is important to her. All 3 of her boys will know their way around a kitchen as do my nephews. It is just that important to al of us.

                    1. re: cackalackie
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                      uptown jimmy RE: cackalackie Jan 12, 2007 05:50 PM

                      Can't find anything in my post that is overly "judgmental" about people, except when I pointed out that it involves an extra drive, which negates any time saved, unless of course they walk to the place, which you know isn't happening.

                      My closing line was sound and, I think, inarguable, and it contained two basic points: first, the quality of food in these places is by all accounts largely shoddy, and they therefore are another example of a downward-trending in the quality of food in this country that has been occurring for decades now. Second, this board has for a while now been seeing more and more people who seem confused as to what Chowhound is all about, if I may be so bold. Not to imply you, of course...

                      Ultimately, this is Chowhound. Chowhound exists to provide a forum for people who have strong opinions about food, people who are tired of mediocrity in food, people who are comfortable making well-informed judgements about food.

                      There is a Chowhound mission statement. I humbly suggest doing a search for it, and then reading it. It details the basic reason for Chowhound existing. It's a good read. :)

            2. x
              xena RE: cbauer Jan 11, 2007 01:53 PM

              Yeah, it does sound sort of funny when you put it that way but I try to remember that I am really interested in food while others simply are not. Or, like Cackalackie said, a lack or time can be the driving force here. Many of us pay the cleaners to wash & press our shirts because we don't want to, for whatever reason, while my own sister who loves to iron wouldn't dream of it. I cannot relate to that personally (hate ironing!) but understand our boats are afloat on different waters. Same thing with food. Different interests and priorities.
              I do believe, however, that I'm having a much better time in the kitchen than she's having in her laundry room but I suppose she'd disagree. ;)

              1. chowser RE: cbauer Jan 11, 2007 02:36 PM

                I signed up my SIL when she had a baby for a delivery of 12 meals. She said it was the best gift she received. They divided the 12 meals into 24 smaller entrees. Costwise, they buy in bulk so it's not too bad, plus they have meals some people might not make but are willing to try (My SIL chose kibbeh as one of the meals). As Xena said, some people love to cook but some don't. It beats fast food--whether you're doing the chopping or not, it's real food. I wouldn't knock someone's decision to do it.

                1. a
                  abowes RE: cbauer Jan 11, 2007 05:37 PM

                  There are such things here in our area (central North Carolina) springing up left and right. My friend and I share a trip about once every other month (we split 8 menu items - 4 each, and we each split them into smaller portions since she's cooking for one, and I for 2). We really like it for a quick, easy, interesting meal (entree, usually, really) from the freezer from time to time (I use about one a week). DH and I have *really* liked some of the things, and others have been simply fine. There's an orange chipolte salmon recipe the place I use does, which I make on my own now, and which is the recipe that finally got me eating salmon.

                  One note - the place I use, at least, uses largely frozen chopped veggies when it comes to onions, peppers, squash, and zucchini and the like... as opposed to the worker bees chopping fresh veggies prep you might be envisioning. I rarely use such things in my own cooking, but since the finished product is bound for the freezer anyway, I don't stress over it.

                  I really enjoy the concept for its convenience and strongly prefer it to picking up takeout. I've been using them for a little over a year now, and intend to continue doing so.

                  1. vktp RE: cbauer Jan 11, 2007 05:47 PM

                    We have Super Suppers and Dinner Station (I think) in Dallas. 2 of my coworkers swear by them. But they both have small kids to feed, so it's the alternative to hauling the family to Chili's every night or waiting until 9pm at night to eat. And given the fact they have infants, toddlers, and tweens to contend with, I can't fault them for not wanting to dice an onion. But they aren't that into food either, so. . .

                    1. p
                      personalcheffie RE: cbauer Jan 11, 2007 05:53 PM

                      I have a former client who went this route, because she was too cheap to pay for a personal chef. It's not great food, everything pretty much comes in frozen, stays frozen, until you thaw it and prep it. Gourmet is not a description. It's middle of the road food. They're cost per meal is under $1.80, so you are paying $4.00 which is still reasonable. They order in bulk from Sysco or whoever is the purveyor in their area, most serving sizes are 6 oz of protein. A lot of already made things for sauces are used.

                      Good? Not by my standards, but it is convenient and it is better than fast food. I would prefer to know what's in my meatballs, sauces and gyro meat, rather than get it from some purveyor already prepared.

                      1. s
                        swissgirl RE: cbauer Jan 11, 2007 06:25 PM

                        I wonder just how nutritious these meals are. And if they cater to those that are vegetarian or prefer low fat meals.

                        Depending on cost, I might look into this as a dinnertime solution for a couple nights per week. However, I eat very little meat, so I would want things like veggie lasagna, dishes with tofu, etc. as options. That Orange Chipotle Salmon mentioned above does sounds good!

                        2 Replies
                        1. re: swissgirl
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                          personalcheffie RE: swissgirl Jan 11, 2007 06:41 PM

                          Go online and view their monthly offerings. I believe they will have one or two veggie options. It is $4 a serving, so a family of four eats for $16. Just remember, hardly anything is fresh, and if it is, it's the few locations that actually have fresh onion or bell pepper for you. Those can be frozen uncooked if you are going to cook them only. Otherwise, they things need to be blanched.

                          1. re: swissgirl
                            chowser RE: swissgirl Jan 11, 2007 07:00 PM

                            I don't know about the places mentioned above but the place where I bought my SIL's meals, everything was fresh, even some herbs but not all. And, some places have whole grains. They have a list of entrees for the month so if you want to pick just a few, or make something and leave out the meat, you can. I've never eaten something from them but my SIL said they were good. The advantage of putting together the meal yourself is that you custom make it so you can make it healthier by piling in veggies.

                          2. j
                            JennyHunter RE: cbauer Jan 11, 2007 08:43 PM

                            I live in Virginia and go to Let's Dish about every 6-8 weeks with a few other girlfriends. I used to cook almost everything from scratch, but I now have a one year old. I still love to read cookbooks, search out quality ingredients, chop, etc...but all of those involve time which I no longer have as a stay at home mom. My priorities have changed. I take my son to the park, the library, etc.. during the day. The evening is a busy time, and it is hard to cook like I used to. We were gettiing into the habit of eating out all of the time. We live in a small town and don't have alot of restaurant options. So, it was getting boring, unhealthy and expensive all at once. Maybe it would boggle the minds of someone not being able to chop an onion. But I would be willing to bet that you don't try to do it with a one year old attached to your hip the whole time. And then you have to make it to the store, think about the recipe, the clean up, etc...all of which take more time.

                            Let's Dish has really been a great solution. I still cook from scratch some nights, but we probably eat there meals 3 times a week. At Let's Dish, all of the meat is fresh - not frozen. And about half of the veggies are fresh. I do believe the onions, peppers, asparagus and squash are frozen. But you make all of the sauces, marinades, etc.. with real ingredients and can alter them to your own tastes. The herbs are usually fresh - I think they use dried oregano. But one recipe last month called for lime zest and they even had the whole limes there to zest.

                            When an entree calls for rice you have an option of white or brown. Same usually when they offer bread. And the meals are pretty healthy for the most part. And you know exactly what you are puting in them. Obviously, if you make an alfredo dish it might not be healthy - but you wouldn't expect that.

                            The meals are good - not great (Although a few have been really good). And you can't beat the price and convenience. And we turn it into a social event with other new moms and have dinner afterwards. They aren't as good as if I probably cooked everything from scratch - but they sure beat McDonalds or hotdogs. Plus, when I do cook, I can do something special and my husband really appreciates it.

                            4 Replies
                            1. re: JennyHunter
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                              MakingSense RE: JennyHunter Jan 12, 2007 02:44 AM

                              Lots of us had kids. So did our mothers and grandmothers. Babies and one-year olds and 4-year olds and they kept growing.
                              My kids were in the kitchen with me in babyseats and highchairs and on the floor. Their toys were in kitchen toyboxes or they played with plastic bowls and wooden spoons. We sang along with tapes. Oh! And I talked to them. And as they got older I found little chores to involve them in fixing the meals. And then they were responsible for setting the table. Now they're adults and they still come over and sit in my kitchen - or I in their kitchens - while we fix meals.
                              You never have time. Unless you make it part of your routine. It may be just as important as going to the park to raise your child with an appreciation for the simple routines of family meals. Going to a store can be as educational as a library - you can see colors and count things and learn new words. When they were older they helped choose what we ate.
                              The time we spent together was just as important as the good food that resulted.

                              1. re: MakingSense
                                j
                                JennyHunter RE: MakingSense Jan 13, 2007 12:33 AM

                                We go to the store a few times a week together and of course it can be an educational experience. We also go out to eat frequently for lunch. Today for lunch my son had Miso Soup, tofu, and salmon and veggies at our local Japanese restaurant.

                                My kitchen floor is constantly scattered with pots, pans and wooden spoons. He crawls and walks all around when I am in the kitchen - even over to the pan cupboard where he pulls out the drawer, grabs his favorite green handled wooden spoon, and actually stirs the pot. And we almost always have the IPOD palying with music. He lves it at times. I am home with him and make him a healthy - from scratch - breakfast, lunch and 2 snacks. But when evening comes he usually wants a little more attention - and to be perfectly honest there are trying days where I am exhausted. And on those days the thought of cooking from scratch -and then having all of the clean up that goes along with it - is not always appealing. This is where the pre-made meals are a lifesaver. We still have dinner together EVERY night as a family. And I am pretty sure that feeding him a chicken breast that was FRESH when I made the marinade 2 weeks ago at Lets Dish, and has since been thawed out and baked for dinner is really no different than if I bought a pack of chicken breasts at the store and had to freeze them at home before I used them. But that night I just have to dump the whole bag onto the baking dish. I don't have to start from scratch. And the nights that I do cook from scratch are a little more special.

                                I think that implying that if you don't start from scratch every night you are somehow neglecting part of your child's upbringing is just false. And frankly, unfortunately, I know several people that dining on Let's Dish meals would be a major improvement in their family diets. I am consistenetly appalled at the eating habit of some friends - and even worse those of their children. We have 3 family friends I can think of immediately that only feed their kids chicken nuggets, string cheese and bagel bites. It's gross.

                                1. re: MakingSense
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                                  julesrules RE: MakingSense Jan 15, 2007 04:05 PM

                                  Personally I have about 30-60 minutes between getting home from work and my 1 year old wanting to go to bed. In those 30-60 minutes she wants my full attention and will pull at my pant leg, etc. So if there is a premade meal, it means we can sit down as a family and eat dinner during that small window we do have together.

                                  Now I have been making all of our pre-made meals myself, but I am starting to investigate some local caterers - but I live in an urban area and I have some options that way. Cooking and a healthy variety of foods are important to me but I do understand the "I don't have time" thing much better now that I am a working parent. On the weekend I don't necessarily want to spend all my time cooking for the week ahead, sometimes I want to cook for a dinner party instead :)

                                  1. re: julesrules
                                    m
                                    MakingSense RE: julesrules Jan 17, 2007 03:51 AM

                                    You deserve those precious minutes to enjoy your child, not to mention sitting down yourself after a hectic day. I remember what it was like for my mother who worked, with 3 kids, when we all got home together late and there were no convenience foods or microwave. And how exhausted I was sometimes with my two.
                                    I guess you and Jenny and all of the young moms have to do what you can and it sounds like you're doing a good job.
                                    I don't think my kids cared that much about variety and certainly not trendy foods or "presentation."
                                    What they do remark about to this very day, is that we all sat down together every night, even if it was scrambled eggs and toast.
                                    Your priorities are straight. What's around the table is more important than where you got what's on it.

                              2. c
                                cbauer RE: cbauer Jan 12, 2007 11:40 AM

                                Thanks for all the responses everyone. It's interesting that some of the places mentioned (btw - I'm in the Baltimore area) use frozen veggies. I would think that if they are doing that, then wouldn't it be easier to buy all the frozen stuff and assemble at home? Let me make it clear, I'm not critizing anyone who uses these places at all, just oddly curious. I guess I could understand it better if the places used ALL fresh ingredients and I can certainly understand it if someone hates or can't cook. It just boggles my mind and I wanted to get your opinions. Different strokes for different folks. Thanks again everyone.

                                1. chowser RE: cbauer Jan 12, 2007 04:14 PM

                                  This reminds me of dinner making parties I used to have. My friends would e-mail me a copy of their favorite dinner, one that could be frozen. I'd multiply the recipe by how many attending, figure out in total how much we needed of everything (xxx cups of chopped onions, yyy pounds of chicken, etc.). I divided the list by the number of people, the ingredients w/ less prep were more expensive. Then we'd get together at my house for wine/appetizers and we'd all cook our dinner for the number of people there. All the ingredients were ready to go (think of how easy it is on those food shows w/ everything prepped), it was cheaper to do it in bulk, plus we had a great time, and we'd have dinner done for the next couple of weeks.

                                  1. h
                                    hbgrrl RE: cbauer Jan 12, 2007 09:01 PM

                                    I've edited and re-edited this post 10 times already. And still can't get beyond a, 'I don't understand this.'

                                    1. c
                                      cooknKate RE: cbauer Jan 13, 2007 03:08 PM

                                      I do understand it, and yet also, I don't. But I am also not in the shoes of the millions of people who use these services around the country, the ones who have made it one of the TOP GROWING franchises ever. For whatever the reason, these places are red hot. I know many people who have used them; busy professionals and parents etc....who simply either don't have or don't want to take the time to make a good meal. But everyone needs to eat, right? And eating better, whether at home or in a restaurant is a definite necessity.

                                      While I grew up with a mom who taught me to cook, the sad reality is that this is a lost art, and the generations behind me are not learning this necessary tool of survival at all. The art of scratch cooking is slowly being lost, phased out and re-defined. It just breaks my heart to hear what people call home cooking these days. It kills me to see what multitudes of garbage are being marketed to families with kids, what kind of foods kids are putting into bodies that desperately need good solid nutrition to grow properly. Many many studies have proven that nutritional defects can be attributed to ADD and ADHD, and the onslaught of processed foods are the culprit. It's sad.

                                      So these places offer a service, a decent meal and the ability to gather the family around the table and eat something relatively good. It's all a matter of perspective. I don't think anyone would argue that it's a far better option than some of the junk being called meals these days. Everyone has their own unique fingerprint, and I just think "to each their own". It's not my way, but for those who use it, it works for them. My goal as a personal chef is to teach people the lost art of cooking from scratch, at least to those who want to learn. And from what my clients tell me, that number is far higher than most people could even imagine.

                                      4 Replies
                                      1. re: cooknKate
                                        chowser RE: cooknKate Jan 13, 2007 09:23 PM

                                        Great post. It's great to hear that more people are coming back to learn to cook. It never occurred to me that people would hire a personal chef to teach them to cook--I always think of them more as a personal restaurant for people with an abundance of money.

                                        1. re: chowser
                                          c
                                          cooknKate RE: chowser Jan 15, 2007 03:32 PM

                                          chowser, that is mostly the norm for personal chefs, however I have felt strongly that my calling in that area is to teach skills to people who want them, and subsequently I do not offer services to people who want someone to come in and cook their meals for them. Should it be for a medical need, such as surgery etc. I can do that short-term, but I have very strong opinions about parents who "simply can't find the time" to cook because they have overscheduled themselves and their families to death.

                                          There are many places to take a class aimed at a specific type of food, a certain cuisine or meal but the premise is that you already know something about basic cooking. There aren't many places at all that will teach you the skills to make good food at home, such as what the difference is between chop and dice; what's the best way to cook a chicken breast so it's not dried out (i get that question A LOT) and how to make healthier meals etc. My clients hire me to teach them what their mothers did not, and I get an immense amount of joy in seeing them thrive and learn. The best part of my job is the occasional email or phone call from a past client, one who came to me with little to no skill, who is gushing over the meals the family is now eating. Whoever said "Find your niche and fill it" nailed it completely on the head.

                                          1. re: cooknKate
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                                            uptown jimmy RE: cooknKate Jan 15, 2007 03:35 PM

                                            Great stuff. Sounds like a nice life you're living!

                                            1. re: cooknKate
                                              chowser RE: cooknKate Jan 15, 2007 04:42 PM

                                              That sounds great. I know quite a few people who could use a service like that. Sounds like you've found yourself an ideal job.

                                        2. h
                                          HillJ RE: cbauer Jan 13, 2007 08:40 PM

                                          The locations near me are advertised as "make a meal centers" and as event party options. Baby showers, bridal showers, working girls, mens clubs are all booking "dinner parties" and the place appears to be thriving.

                                          So, I've come to view these new meal options as a social outlet as much as a shortcut for folks with a few duckets to spend.

                                          While picking up my dry cleaning, I noticed the place was buzzing with meal prep and lots of laughter!

                                          1. a
                                            AnnaEA RE: cbauer Jan 13, 2007 09:17 PM

                                            Around here we have My Girlfriends Kitchen, and Dinner Plans -- I've talked to the women at MGK, and they source their ingredients from Gordon Food Services and Sam's Club.

                                            The concept is a commercial venue for what I know as Once-A-Month-Cooking, or Frozen Assets -- get into the kitchen and cook your butt off once in a while to fill your freezer with decent easy to prepare food. The places locally are marketing themselves as time savers, and social events -- the MGK baby shower seems popular - stock up Mom's freezer just before the baby comes. Not really a revolutionary idea -- I did a major OAMC session before my baby was born.

                                            I think lots of younger folks are just plain scared of day to day cooking, and services like this are taking advantage of that by making it easy and social, and providing lots of hand holding and guidance for getting it done.

                                            1 Reply
                                            1. re: AnnaEA
                                              u
                                              uptown jimmy RE: AnnaEA Jan 13, 2007 10:42 PM

                                              Well said, and that makes sense. Maybe these joints will serve as a springboard to more at-home cooking for the unintiated...

                                            2. j
                                              JennyHunter RE: cbauer Jan 14, 2007 01:44 AM

                                              I think that those of us reading this board obviously enjoy cooking and we probably tend to forget that millions of americans aren't like us. One girlfriend I go with can cook a little - but some of the ingredients we've used like Miso Paste (Put on Salmon) was really foreign to her. And some of the conversatins I have overheard have blown me away. I've had people ask me very, very basic questions about ingredients and technique. People haven't know what artichokes, chipotles, or even jalapenos were. And I remember one dish that was an asian style peanut sauce that had some thinking that was totally bizarre. But atleast they were in there trying it. Maybe they will discover something new that they like and learn from there. It's not scratch cooking, but for them it was better than their typical McD's or Subway.

                                              1. r
                                                RiJaAr RE: cbauer Jan 15, 2007 11:25 PM

                                                Many of you sound apalled at the idea...insulted even, that people do this sort of thing, that they don't take the time to do it all by hand, well,get over yourselves for a second.

                                                You are chowhounds and probably love to cook, or if not, at least you don't mind it. There are people however (and i know a few) for which cooking is an ordeal. Terrifying and much hated. Any amount of time shaved off kitchen duty is a blessing. Perhaps these people are tired of going out for dinner, or perhaps they are tired of T.V. dinners.
                                                I will agree with JennyHunter above. half the poeple in this world don't even know what an artichoke is. My DH won't order takeout from the Vietnamese place i like, becasue he doesn't know what some of it is, and until he's tasted mine, he won't order it.
                                                Its sad that people are so afraid of food, but they are.

                                                Or on the other hand... I would try it, because it sounds FUN!

                                                1. r
                                                  recordkitten RE: cbauer Jan 16, 2007 01:31 PM

                                                  cbauer--IIRC there is Let's Dish kinda place in Timonium and another in Columbia.

                                                  The concept just boggles my mind. But maybe I'm from the generation that mom taught to cook. ( I had a SAHM until my high school years)

                                                  My 20 year old daughter, however, HATES to cook- although I've tried to teach her at least some basics (she recently moved outta the nest) As a "starving college student" she's found she can't afford to eat out so she now cooks Hamburger Helper, Ramen Noodles and her specialty Tuna Casserole (Kraft Mac& cheese, can o tuna and some frozen peas-LOL) Her room mate has the same cooking skills apparently.

                                                  I give her easy recipes--say what you will about the uber-perky Rachael Ray, she does have some recipes that are great for a beginning cook.

                                                  She cooks a mean frozen pizza...LOL

                                                  Heaven help us if Sandra Lee get's wind of this. Can't you just imagine Semi-Homemade Franchises where YOU can make Sandy's dishes AND get tablescape tips at the same time??

                                                  4 Replies
                                                  1. re: recordkitten
                                                    RShea78 RE: recordkitten Jan 16, 2007 02:44 PM

                                                    >> She cooks a mean frozen pizza...LOL

                                                    One day back last summer my sis ran out to the store and got one of those ready to top and bake pizza crusts. It was one of those brands I never liked and one should just bake them up and let the kids toss them around in the back yard like a frizbee.

                                                    Anyway, my comment must have been taken a bit too serious. I said something like that she would be better off using brown and serve rolls mashed flat, top and bake them.

                                                    Geez, how was I expected that she would actually do it and it make a good snack.

                                                    -----

                                                    1. re: recordkitten
                                                      c
                                                      cbauer RE: recordkitten Jan 16, 2007 03:30 PM

                                                      recordkitten - You DID NOT say that Sandy comment out loud did you? Do not give that idiot any more "ideas"! LOL The horror! Could you imagine all the Fandra's out there? They'd be in heaven. Oh the humanity!

                                                      1. re: cbauer
                                                        r
                                                        recordkitten RE: cbauer Jan 17, 2007 04:15 PM

                                                        CBauer--no, I only "thought" it and thankfully she doesn't appear to be psycic. Psychotic yes, psyycic no.

                                                        1. re: recordkitten
                                                          c
                                                          cbauer RE: recordkitten Jan 17, 2007 07:56 PM

                                                          recordkitten - THANK GOD - you had me so worried!

                                                    2. j
                                                      JennyHunter RE: cbauer Jan 17, 2007 01:47 AM

                                                      I might be defneding the Let's Dishes of the world, but you won't find me defending "Semi Homeade". I don't get it. I occasionally see her show if I am watching Barefoot Contessa and she comes up next. I don't think I have ever seen 1 thing that I would want to eat - or one trick that I thought was smart. I just don't get it. And she has a cookbook I just saw today at Costco. And what is the deal with the kitchen colors always changing?

                                                      2 Replies
                                                      1. re: JennyHunter
                                                        c
                                                        cbauer RE: JennyHunter Jan 17, 2007 12:26 PM

                                                        JennyHunter - she changes her kitchen colors to match her outfit and her "food". She also makes sure the liquor bottle matches her outfit (no I'm not kidding). She also has every color Kitchen Aid mixer to match her "decor"

                                                        1. re: JennyHunter
                                                          r
                                                          recordkitten RE: JennyHunter Jan 17, 2007 04:16 PM

                                                          Jenny... our stock answer to thte eternal questiopns of Semi-homemade WHY?? is "she's drunk, honey"

                                                          Why she has a show-- cause she can suck the chrome off of a bumper....

                                                        2. j
                                                          julesrules RE: cbauer Jan 18, 2007 02:52 PM

                                                          Okay I am looking at a website for a local place because an acquiantance wants to go, as a group thing. And unlike most hounds, I was somewhat open to the idea based on current family circumstances. My number one concern would be taste, number two cost.

                                                          But I have to say, based on the entree selection... I *really* don't get it! I assumed they were peddling ready-to-eat, complete meals. But a lot of the choices are just the meat... like a pork roast (not even stuffed!). Or jerk chicken. Okay there are some stews, but overall I really don't see much time savings over grocery store seasoned meats or simply applying a prepared sauce to your own meat.

                                                          1. Kajikit RE: cbauer Jan 18, 2007 09:50 PM

                                                            I've got a friend who swears by them because she's extremely busy and she doesn't much like cooking, so she has trouble coming up with meal plans that work... she went there a couple of times and whipped up a month's worth of meals and shoved them in the freezer until she needed them. After that it occurred to her that she could just as easily do the prep herself at home, so she started OAMC instead and just 'borrowed' her favourite recipes...

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