REVIEW — Time for Dinner

Time for Dinner

Meal assembly businesses have sprung up in cities everywhere, and we have one of the better ones here in the Midwest.  We have been visiting this establishment nearly every month for the past two years.  We started after a co-worker told the story about her experience and we wanted to go, too.   It’s a lot of fun to go there after work with friends, and Dear Hubby tries to get involved whenever he can.  Sometimes we take a bottle of wine and sip a little while we are assembling.  I guess you could say this experience is one of our “whimsical” moments.  It’s just plain fun!

Even better, it’s a huge timesaver.  Remember I’ve mentioned that I’m a working girl, so I like to find ways to serve meals “at home” that are healthful and quick!  It is so easy to pop one of these entrees into the oven and then add a salad and vegetable.

Each month there are about 14 dishes to choose from, and typically we make the standard 6 entrees.  The menu selections are different each month.  Each entrée creates 6 servings – sometimes more. 

This month we selected the following six choices:

1.) Big Daddy’s Shrimp –  a shrimp dish involving orzo pasta that can be can be made on top of the stove.

2.) Bourbon Steak – steak rubbed with a blend of spices and drizzled with Bourbon sauce and crunchy onions

3.) Chicken Dijonnaise – I wouldn’t have thought to blend this combination together to create a scrumptious sauce topping, but it really works and we love it.

4.)  Chicken Pot Pie – this is the first time we have made this so we are eager to see how it turns out, but it certainly looked impressive while we were making it.

5.) Chicken Roulade – Wow!  This involves blending cheeses and herbs and rolling boneless chicken breast around the cheese mixture and the asparagus.  The whole thing is wrapped in a slice of bacon and sauce is spooned over the top.

6.)  Party Pork Tenderloin – lean pork tenderloins rolled in a blend of mustard and herbs and then rolled in a cracker crumb blend.  After this is cooked the raspberry sauce is drizzled over.  This can be used as an entrée to a meal or sliced thinly and passed as a warm appetizer.

We have made all of the entrees before at some point over the past couple of years with the exception of the Chicken Pot Pie, which is new to us this month. 

I am not a persnickety housekeeper (by far), but I am a bit obsessive about cleanliness in food preparation areas.  I was pleasantly surprised (relieved) to see that the operation is clean and I believe they take the same care with the handling of food that I demand in my own kitchen.

If you are concerned about the cuts of meat offered for the entrees, you need not be concerned.  I am always impressed with how fresh everything is and how neatly trimmed the meat is that is prepared in advance. 

The entrees are labeled with cooking instructions and nutritional information, including calorie count and Points.

It is a joy to go to TIme for Dinner because of the people that we meet.  All of the employees are cheerful and friendly, and even the owners take time from their busy schedule to stop by and chat with us – even on the busiest nights.

If you are curious about this activity check out their website for more details and references to their monthly menus.  There is also a great video describing what to expect when you go to prepare your meals and a Time for Dinner Facebook page where you can find a lot of people who seem to love this place as much as I do.

Assembled for the month…………..DebraJ

I have not received any compensation or free gifts to create this post.  The ideas and opinions are my own.

REVIEW – Great Value Apricot Pineapple Preserves

Great Value Apricot Pineapple Preserves

I picked these up at the store because I had never seen this particular combination before.  I always pause around the aisle that contains the jelly & jam because my son-in-law really likes jelly, so I am always looking for something different to offer to him if he is at the house.  When I saw apricot pineapple, I was intrigued.

Yes — this is yummy on whole wheat toast.  I think anyone would be delighted with this product as a basic topping on toast.  I was wondering about a couple of other ways this combo might be used.

I have a basic chicken recipe that requires the boneless breasts be flattened, then they are sauteed in the pan before some chicken broth and wine is added.  I wonder if a couple of tablespoons of these preserves with a 1/2 teaspoon of soy would give the entree a bit of an Asian flair.  It could then be served on a rice pilaf with a sprinkling of sliced scallions.

Another idea would be to make up a sauce for grilled wings and include the preserves as the sweetener.  Drop the hot wings directly into the sauce from the grill and then remove and drain.  This is a variation on the numerous recipes for wing sauce.

I’ll probably pick up another jar of this product.  The combination of sweet pineapple with the more hearty apricot flavor was right on.

50 calories per serving.


I have not received any compensation or free products to write this review. The ideas and opinions are my own.

Brummel & Brown (made with Nonfat Yogurt) — is it good?

Dear Hubby and I are always on the look out for products that will offer great taste while at the same time be a more healthful choice.  The issue of butter is always a challenging effort because there is precious little that equals the sweet creamy flavor of, well…butter.

After recently reading about Brummel & Brown in one of the “Eat This, Not That” books, we decided to give it a try.

It was listed at $3.49 at our local Midwestern grocery store.  It has a similar appearance to some of the other “tubbed” margarine products and the fragrance was pleasant.  We smeared some on whole wheat toast and found the taste to be good, but it didn’t melt very well.  We also put some on a hot roasted vegetables and it did melt a little better and tasted quite fine this way.

One tablespoon of this spread has 45 calories (of which the number of fat calories is, yes – 45).  There are 102 calories in a tablespoon of butter, so this is a nice way to budget if you are on a calorie controlled diet.    It lists 35% vegetable oil blend, one of which is the controversial Palm oil and Palm Kernel Oil – both are highly saturated fats.

It seems that this product would be like everything else — use in moderation.

BB_Brummel & Brown

Spreading it on……….DebraJ

NOTE:  I have not received any compensation or gifts for reviewing this product.  The thoughts and opinions are my own.