Welcome to August!


Welcome to August!  Our August menu celebrates the end of summer with fresh flavors, fruity sauces and quick cook meals.  Choose Calypso Chicken with Grilled Pineapple, Mango BBQ Pork Chops, Mojito Shrimp with Red Beans and Rice or Chicken Casablanca in Grilled Pitas, just to name a few.

We have four new meals for you to try in August.  First up is our Crispy Chicken Quesadilla Salad (pictured, left). Our favorite all-natural crispy chicken tenders are pan fried, cut into chunks and served over a salad of black beans, corn and fresh diced tomato.  One dressing just wouldn’t do so we paired this with a duo of dressings: a creamy chipotle ranch and a southwestern vinaigrette – both bursting with flavor.  Topped with cheddar and tri-colored tortilla strips, this meal is colorful and flavorful and one that we just can’t get enough of.

Our newest burger offering is our Smokehouse Slider (pictured, middle).  The flavors you loved so much in the Smokehouse Chicken, now available on a slider.   This one is all about the layers, flavor on top of flavor.  We begin with a simple slider – we believe in the basics for this one; don’t mess with the meat.  A gently formed patty is all you need for juicy perfection.  Hit with a dash of salt and pepper and grilled or griddled these cook up quickly any day of the week.  Topped with BBQ sauce, cheddar, crispy bacon and onion straws…these are a crowd pleaser weather you’re feeding the family or the soccer team.

Wrap it up with our Asian Chicken Lettuce Wraps (pictured, right)!  We’re offering you something different this month and instead of using a classic tortilla (which we still love) we’re wrapping this meal up with hydroponically grown Boston Bibb Lettuce.  How’s that for summer-y?  The tender green leaves of this mild lettuce hold a sauté of julienned chicken breast, broccoli, edamame and peanuts tossed in a light Asian sauce.  With this delicate lettuce you’ll need to keep the ingredients fresh in the fridge and prepare your meal within a few days of dishing.  Because this meal is kept fresh (never frozen) is not available for Dish-N-Dash or Delivery Orders.

Excited about the chicken lettuce wraps we decided to offer a vegetarian version of this meal and created the Vegetarian Asian Lettuce Wraps.   Sure we could have filled the lettuce with even more veggies, but what else could we offer?  How about something to replace the julienned chicken breast?  We tested a great vegetarian Chick’n product from Gardein (garden + protein).  These Chick’n strips are made from soy, wheat and pea proteins, vegetables and ancient grains (quinoa, amaranth, millet and Kamut®).  Taste testers (including some real skeptics) loved the taste and texture!  Look for more ingredients like this in our upcoming vegetarian meals.  Exciting stuff!

We look forward to seeing you in the store this month.  As you know, the hour or two spent dishing your meals will afford you more time to enjoy these last weeks of summer.  Maybe your meals are headed to the beach for one last family vacation before school starts?  Whatever your plans, whatever your pleasure, enjoy your month, enjoy your meals…September will be here before you know it!

From our kitchen to yours,


Easter Dessert – Cake or Pie?


Will you be serving cake or pie for Easter Dessert?
Either way we’ve got you covered. Our Caramel Coconut Pie with Pecans is a sweet cold treat and a customer favorite that is served right out of the freezer (how easy is that?). New this month are our Pear Cornmeal Cakes – six individual cakes that keep dessert on the lighter side. Perfect right out of the oven or topped with whipped cream, these cakes are a sweet (but not too sweet) home-style dessert. Both desserts are available in our Ready Made Case – stop by today. Please note: our stores will be closed on Easter.

Happy Easter!

The Dish on Chia Seeds – Give ’em a try!

Our resident foodie, Elizabeth Blake, forwarded me this article (http://www.foodandwine.com/blogs/2014/1/6/9-ways-to-use-chia-seeds?xid=DISH010914WaysToUseChia) because she knew that I am a chia fan.  The team is always making fun of me for it, because chia seeds are a bit off the wall.  In fact, my kids openly mock me with “Daddy eats chia pets!” before dissolving into laughter and running out of the room.

I probably deserve the mocking if I am being honest.  I mainly eat chia in one of two ways:

1) Classic Chia Fresca.  This is when you mix chia seeds with water, lime juice, and some sort of sweetener (I like agave nectar but sugar, brown sugar, and honey work well, too).  I got hooked on this after reading Born to Run.  The heroes of the book drink it all the time and run 100’s of miles.  I drink it before and during long trail races (but unfortunately it hasn’t turned me into a champion like the guys in the book…)

2) Mixed in with plain greek yogurt.  I eat a lot of plain greek yogurt; my favorite is Fage 2%, though I also like Chobani and Oikos.  It can get a little boring, though, and the chia gives it an extra crunch and also lots of extra nutrients (just be sure to eat it right away– otherwise the seeds get  pretty soggy and the experience is nowhere near as good).  I could accomplish the same thing with granola, but I often eat low-carb and so chia is much better.

The reason I deserve the mocking is that in each case, the chia looks pretty gross.  It becomes almost gelatinous in the Chia Fresca, and just kind of blends into a seedy paste when it comes to the yogurt (in an ugly brown color to boot when I mix in cinnamon, which I often do…).

But what are you gonna do?  It’s a superfood and I like it, so I am game for a little mocking.  Some of the ideas in this piece give me hope that I can add some variety to my chia life and perhaps even do it while minimizing the mocking.  A couple quick thoughts on the suggestions:

– I love the pancake idea.   I already sneak in protein powder or pumpkin puree without even telling them!  They would notice whole chia seeds but maybe I could grind them up in the food processor first?  hmmm….

– My younger daughter already makes jam.  It’s delicious, but a bit of a nutritional disaster.  Using chia  as the thickening agent helps with that and delivers a TON more nutrients than regular jam.  I will try this with my daughter and let you know….

– Smoothies and Agua Fresca are what I already do.  If you can get over the weird appearance, they are great.  Perfect for a quick breakfast or healthy snack.  Trust me.

– The salad dressing I just have to try– maybe a proxy for poppyseed?

– I am hoping Elizabeth will test them out in some of our recipes that call for breading– I am intrigued

– The pudding is a wild card.  I just got my girls into almond milk (only chocolate, but hey, it’s a start).  So I want to mix up the chia with the chocolate almond milk and maybe try to convince them it’s special chocolate pudding.  I cannot tell them it’s chia or else they will balk.  Stay tuned….

– I am skeptical of the egg thing.  Gotta draw the line somewhere!  Plus I LOVE eggs…

Bottom line is that chia is a weird but pretty cool and super healthy food.  It’s worth trying to weave into your diet in some way.  It is getting easier to find in mainstream channels, but I still buy mine in bulk from Amazon, so you might check that out.

If anyone has any more great chia recipes, please share them back with me and the group!


Rick’s Signature

2013 in Review: The Top 10 New Meal Countdown

It’s that time of year when we look back and reflect. 

We remember the top movies and songs and events of the year. 

Join us here as we count down the top 10 new meals of 2013 –


10.  Farm Stand Frittatas September 2013




9.  Zesty Grilled Chicken June 2013




8.  Chocolate Raspberry Filled Croissants February 2013




7.  Pecan Crusted Tilapia March 2013




6.  Smokehouse Chicken August 2013




5.  Cookies ‘n Cream Dreams March 2013




4.  Tennessee Whiskey Chicken April 2013




3.  Southwestern Chipotle Shrimp Bowl May 2013




2.  Chocolate Hazelnut Dreams January 2013




1.  Steakhouse Chicken February 2013



Well there you go – your top 10 new meals of 2013!  Look for these on our menu in 2014 accompanied by more new meals…as well as your all-time favorites. Thank you for dishing with us in 2013, we couldn’t do it without you!

Happy New Year from your friends at Let’s Dish!

Have yourself a merry little Christmas…..scone

Our Signature Scones are pretty much perfect as-is, I know.  But it’s the holiday season and I thought I would see if I could turn our favorite scones into Christmas cookies.   Check these out!  I believe they could compete with just about any homemade Christmas cookie!!  Perfect for a party, gifting…or the cookie swap.


Cranberry-Orange Christmas Scones

Cranberry-Orange scones decorated with a pecan half, a dried cranberry and a drizzle of powdered sugar & water glaze.(Wait until scones are completely cooled before glazing) Cutting instructions below:


Cranberry-Orange Christmas Scones

Cut 1 block of frozen cranberry-orange scone dough into quarters.  Next cut each quarter into 4 triangles.  You now have 16 small triangle scones ready to bake.  These are the same size we serve at Let’s Dish!




Cinnamon Christmas Scones

Cinnamon scones cut into rectangles, decorated with cinnamon imperials or holly leaves and a drizzle of powdered sugar & water glaze. (Wait until scones are completely cooled before glazing) 

Cut scone dough into rectangles before baking.  See below:


Cinnamon Christmas Scones

Cut 1 block of frozen cinnamon scone dough into 6 sticks.  Next cut the sticks in half.  You now have 12 cinnamon scone sticks.  These will puff while baking and will yield a wider rectangle scone.  



Holly Berry & Leaves Decorations!

These store bought decorations are super cute.  For young children I would recommend sticking to the cinnamon candies.  The holly leaves took some time and accuracy to apply.  Apply decorations while the glaze is wet so that the candies stay in place. 



Cinnamon Decorations!

These store bought decorations give a festive look and matched the cinnamon flavor of these scones.  Apply while the glaze is wet so that the candies stay in place. 



Blueberry Christmas Scone Bites

Blueberry scone bites decorated with nonpareils and a drizzle of powdered sugar & water glaze.  (Wait until scones are completely cooled before glazing)

Apply candies while the glaze is wet so that the candies stay in place.

What are scone bites? 

Scones cut into bite size squares before baking.  See below: 



Blueberry Christmas Scone Bites

Cut 1 block of frozen blueberry scone dough into quarters.  Next cut each quarter into 4 squared.  You now have 16 small square scones ready for baking. 



The gift of Christmas scones

There are many packaging options out there – cello bags, cookie boxes and the tried and true Tupperware.  These are all great options.  You could also try something different and package in a *baking pan that can be used again. 

All you need to do is wrap this pan with cello and tie with a bow…of course if you kept these all for yourself we would totally understand.

(Note: this picture also includes Harvest Health Cookie bites – our Harvest Health cookies cut into fourths before baking and then drizzled with glaze when completely cooled)


Let’s Dish! Signature Scone dough

Available in the Ready Made case at each of our local Let’s Dish! locations: Baltimore, MD (Timonium), Columbia, MD and Alexandria, VA.

Also available and as an add-on with any DishDelivery order.

*6 cup classic Bundt pan by Nordic Ware purchased at Target.



From our kitchen to yours, have a wonderful Holiday!

~Elizabeth B.

Welcome to December!

Welcome to December!

December is here!  Hanukkah has begun and Christmas will be here before we know it. And then there’s the New Year…so many celebrations in one month!  When planning the December menu we think about what role dinner plays in December.

What meal can be cooked (from frozen) on the night you need to get to school for the Holiday Concert?  How about Design Your Own Calzones?   Filled with your favorite pizza toppings, these cook from frozen in 45 minutes.  Popping these in the oven and being able to walk away means you have time to get yourself and your little musician ready for the big night.

Our new meal, Balsamic Pork Tenderloins with Roasted Gorgonzola and Walnut Pears is simple enough for a week night yet elegant enough for a holiday dinner party.  Invite the neighbors over! This meal is easy to prepare and with our “always tender” pork you can be confident that these tenderloins will be juicy.  The gorgonzola walnut pears might sound fancy, but trust us: it doesn’t get easier than this!


Beef Roulade – a Let’s Dish! favorite that has earned its place on many a holiday table is back this month.  Whether yours is served on Christmas Eve, Christmas Day or New Years, we know just how nice it is to have an impressive meal like this ready to go.

Breakfast and brunch also play big roles in December and we’ve got you covered there as well.  Orange Croissant French Toast bakes from frozen in less than 30 minutes, allowing you to relax and enjoy the morning.  Additional brunch items and sides are available in the Ready Made case (selection varies by store).


In December we celebrate.  We celebrate the holidays and the New Year with our friends and family.  We are creating memories that will last a lifetime.  Some of these memories will be of gathering around the table for a meal shared with loved ones. The team at Let’s Dish! would like to thank you for including Let’s Dish! on your table this December.

We wish you a happy holiday and a joyful New Year!

Behind the Scenes: January New Meal Tasting

Welcome to Behind the Scenes!

Here you will get a sneak peak at the new meals we will be featuring on an upcoming menu. Each month our corporate team meets to review the next menu and to taste (gobble up) the proposed new meals. Last week we sampled the following:

Screen shot 2013-11-22 at 10.09.07 AM

Asian Garlic Drumsticks with Coconut Rice

All-natural chicken drumsticks coated in a sauce of hoisin, garlic, ginger, sesame and chili garlic. Served with a side of coconut rice. Choose white or brown rice.

This one is not only a new meal for us, but it uses drumsticks which we haven’t featured before. We’re excited about this addition and see it as a great weeknight meal as well as a crowd pleaser on game day.

This meal bakes in the oven, from frozen; in 60 minutes – plus stovetop (rice) cooks in 20 minutes Hoisin & soy sauce, ingredients in the meal contain gluten.

These were a big hit with the group. “Very flavorful, juicy chicken, love that sauce!”

Screen shot 2013-11-22 at 10.08.59 AM

Notes from the kitchen:
I knew I wanted to bake the drumsticks and avoid the mess of frying. What I didn’t know was how to get the sauce to really stick to the drumstick. In my first batch I glazed the chicken with the sauce and into the oven it went. The sauce didn’t adhere to the drumsticks and more of it ended up on the pan. In a later batch I tossed the drumsticks in olive oil and seasoning first to build flavor. Into the freezer they went. In this test batch I baked the seasoned, frozen chicken (pictured above) for 45 minutes before tossing in the sauce. Success! The sauce coated the chicken and baking the chicken with the sauce on for an additional 15 minutes sealed the deal. During those last 15 minutes I made the rice…so the timing worked out well. By lining the pan with heavy duty aluminum foil (not pictured, I tried this later) I was able to throw away any mess – I love quick clean-up!

Look for this new meal and lots of Let’s Dish! favorites on the January menu at letsdish.com.


The 7 AM Solution

We all know about the little window of time that we crawl through each evening. It begins at a precise moment shortly after the kids are done with sports or activities, stepping off of the late school bus, or when we finish sending the last email at work to face traffic and make it home. The window closes when exhaustion, hunger and stress of the long day over take all ability to behave rationally.  Somewhere in that window of time we, as caregivers, have to magically produce a healthy and delicious evening meal. It has to be on the table before the meltdowns and chaos over take everything.

What can we do to maximize our ability to preserve the benefits of the family dinner, provide the healthy meals that our growing children deserve, manage rising food costs and over eating, and for purposes of this discussion, get it all done as if you have a magic wand?

There are several options that we have to eliminate like dialing for pizza and eating out several nights a week. It’s neither healthy nor economical to go that route and we all know it. In addition, as the kids get older their workloads grow and they just seem to really want to be at home for a quick dinner. Pizza or eating out once in a while are great and sometimes so is carry out but those cannot be the go to options in a moment of weakness when we see the “uh oh, hurry up and get them fed quickly before someone loses it” window closing.

What does work? Planning ahead! At Let’s Dish! our food team works hard each month to create menus with dishes that range from one pot meals that cook in under 30 minutes to those that take all day to cook in the slow cooker. In between we offer some great options that take a little longer in the oven, on the grill or on the stove top. The instructions are always simple and the clean up is always minimal.

Are you one of the unlucky people whose kids take a bus that picks them up at O’dark thirty? Well, here’s a suggestion, turn that lemon into lemonade! Try cooking dinner at 6:30 or 7 AM with the plan to reheat it quickly the minute you walk in the door with the kids. What if you turn on the oven when the kids leave and put the Wine Country Meatloaf in while you are doing laundry, working out, showering, cleaning or even drinking a cup of joe while you catch up with Matt Lauer? Cook the Pretzel Dusted Chicken or Roasted Apple Pork Chops first thing in the morning and if you have time, set the table too. Sure, reheated chicken, pork chops or meat loaf are probably not quite as good as the stuff you can make at 7 PM but they are much better  for everyone than the alternatives!

Time at the dinner table with the family should be sacred. We need it and our kids benefit from it so much that we can’t afford to sacrifice it. Change up the routine and turn the six o’clock stress into the 7 AM solution.

Behind the Scenes: December New Meal Tasting

Welcome to Behind the Scenes!
Here you will get a sneak peak at the new meals we will be featuring on an upcoming menu. Each month our corporate team meets to review the next menu and to taste (gobble up) the proposed new meals. Earlier this week we sampled the following:


Balsamic Pork Tenderloins with
Roasted Gorgonzola and Walnut Pears

Our always tender pork tenderloins marinated in balsamic vinegar with garlic, thyme and Montreal seasoning. Served with roasted pears topped with cinnamon-sugar walnuts and crumbled gorgonzola.

This meal received rave reviews! Tasters thought it was an elegant (& easy) meal to entertain with. “The balsamic pork is a nice contrast to the slightly tangy, slightly sweet pears.”

This meal bakes in the oven, from thaw; in 30 minutes and is less than 400 calories per serving.
This meal is gluten free without modification.

Mussels and Clams

Spicy Linguini with Mussels and Clams

All natural pre-cooked mussels and clams simmered in white wine garlic sauce. Served over parsley buttered linguine. Not a fan of spicy food? Simply omit the red pepper flakes.

This meal was unveiled to oohs and ahhs! The abundance of seafood impressed the team. Tasters were delighted that we sourced clams and mussels that were already cleaned and cooked, taking all of the guess work out of preparing seafood.
“Just like I would get in a restaurant” was the consensus.

This meal cooks stovetop, from frozen; in 20 minutes and is less than 450 calories per serving. This meal can be gluten free with modifications: replace linguini with rice, replace vegetable base with gluten free vegetable base, both available at Let’s Dish!

Our December menu is live! Look for these new meals along with all of your holiday favorites and let us be a part of your holiday season!

Welcome to September!

Welcome to September!

The September menu is always one of my favorite ones to plan.  After months of light, warm weather meals, it’s time to bring back some hearty Let’s Dish! favorites like Chicken Parmigiana and Wine Country Meatloaf with Mashed Potatoes.

Have you ever had chicken with peanut butter?

It pairs up beautifully in our Skewerless Chicken Satay, where peanut butter, hoisin, chili garlic sauce, fresh green onion & cilantro make up an Indonesian Style sauce for our chicken tenders.  Served over couscous, this meal has a foreign flair but feels familiar at the same time.  A weeknight winner for sure!

Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches are a football favorite at my house.  They will be on my Thursday night menu when the Ravens kick-off the season, and possibly again next week for the return of Monday night football starring the Redskins.

 Our Apple Cider Pulled Pork has been updated this year and is now served with an apple spread on brioche rolls.  The apple spread adds just the right amount of bright flavor to wake up the slow cooked pork.  And the brioche rolls?  Egg-y and buttery these rolls are special!  They come to us from a Pennsylvania bakery called LeBus that yes, in 1978 sold goods out of a school bus at the University of Pennsylvania.  An original food truck!

Farm Stand Frittatas are new this month and celebrate the end of summer bounty.  Oven roasted tomatoes, corn, basil, egg and cream are topped with cheddar, mozzarella and fresh green onion to make up two 9” round frittatas. We will be sampling this new meal all month – I can’t wait for you to give it a try!

September is a month of transition.  We move from sandals to sneakers, from camp to school and from summer meals to fall seasonal favorites.  Thank you for allowing Let’s Dish! to be a part of your family’s September story.

~Elizabeth Blake, Let’s Dish! Menu Development

To view September’s full menu, click here.

Hotspots from Let’s Dish!: We’re coming to your neighborhood!

We frequently hear from our customers that they would love to see Let’s Dish! locations closer to home. While we currently do not have plans to open any new locations, we’re incredibly excited to offer six Hotspots (drop-off locations) in Northern Virginia beginning September 2013. Order up to 12 meals plus ready mades each month and save $30 on delivery fees and save time traveling the beltway! Check out the monthly days, times, and locations here.

Would you like us to set up a Hotspot in your neighborhood? Email bloggers@letsdish.net to let us know where you live, or if you have any suggestions for a retailer that you think would be a good fit us.

Happy dishing!

Meet February’s Featured Disher

I recently reached out to our Dishers via Facebook in search of a ‘Featured Disher’ for our February e-newsletter. This response, from Anne Smith, who dishes at our Timonium, MD location, caught my eye. In light of Valentine’s day coming up, I loved hearing that Anne and her husband often dish together to get in some quality time. And, like many of our customers, she finds dishing a solution for her hectic  schedule and for getting great-tasting meals on her family’s dinner table. There’s limited space in the newsletter – so I’m sharing Anne’s entire submission here….

As a full-time worker, a wife, and a mother of two (with one being a special needs child), my time is limited and my life is a constant whirlwind.  Something ordinarily simple, such as making dinner each night, is often more of just another necessary chore that is hard to fit into my already hectic schedule.  Meals will often tend to be quick, simple, and unfortunately…quite repetitious!  Our taste-buds are always left desiring for something much more delectable and different!

Let’s Dish has been nothing short of AMAZING to me and my family’s meal planning.  With Let’s Dish, I am able to dedicate just an hour or two each month, and prepare a wide variety of meals that are both delicious and healthy.  My husband and I will often go together to make the meals, leaving our kids with their grandparents during our short outing.  It’s been really nice to have this extra quality time together as husband and wife, which is a rarity to get these days!  We have so much fun together reading off the recipes and preparing our meals; and in between dishing up each meal, we usually devour some of the tasty samples and desserts that are out on the counter.  The samples usually then leave us “oohing” and “ahhing” our way to the ready-made case to purchase a few of these extra items while we’re there.

Some of our most favorite meals that we’ve dished so far have been the New Orleans-Style Andouille Pasta Toss, Shrimp Scampi, Southern Crispy Chicken, and pretty much all of the Pork Chop and Tilapia meals, which all taste incredible!  We also can never get enough of the Homemade Potato Chips, the Scones, and our absolute favorite…the Molten-Chocolate Cakes!

What I love most about Let’s Dish is that I’m able to actually prepare meals with a variety of ingredients and spices that I don’t have access to at home; nor do I wish to buy at the grocery store, since I prefer not to spend extra money on a full container of a certain ingredient for maybe just that one sparing recipe that I’d use it for at home.  We are also able to finally eat a variety of different meals for dinner, and each meal now always feels extra gratifying and special since my husband and I dished it together!

Thanks so much,

Anne Smith

Thank you, Anne!

Does Let’s Dish! make your life easier? Do you have a story to tell too? Email us at bloggers@letsdish.net to be considered as a Featured Disher in one of our upcoming newsletters.


p.s. Join us for our next ‘Date Night’, Friday, February 15th, and take home one of Anne’s favorites: a 2-pack of our Decadent Molten-Chocolate Cakes. See you then!

It’s baaack….our annual Halloween-themed parent-kid session!


July’s Dish Tip: The dish on Summer Orzo Salad

tri-color-orzo.jpgOrzo…what is it? Featured in our Santorini Chicken Kabobs and Summer Orzo Salad, orzo is rice-shaped pasta Orzo soaks up the lemony vinaigrette that gives this meal bright summery flavor. Cook orzo the same way as you would any other pasta – in plenty of water. Although typically pasta should not be rinsed after cooking, when making pasta salad we rinse pasta to remove the thin coating of starch that will yield a sticky texture on cold pasta. Toss with the vinaigrette and enjoy immediately or chill in fridge to enjoy later.

If you’re a gluten-free disher, this salad is great with rice swapped out for the pasta.

Love this meal? Think we could make it better? We love hearing your feedback – it’s how we keep bringing you great meals again and again! If you would, please take the time to rate it and share your feedback, or leave a comment here.

From our table to yours,

Elizabeth B.

Now dishing….’Humble Pie’.

I recently reached out to Cathy Alifrangis to be our featured disher in Let’s Dish’s monthly e-newsletter. Cathy is retired (she says dishing and not cooking adds to the joy of retirement 😉 and has a daughter away at college. She has also dished with us, oh, 69 times. She’s what we’d call a “seasoned disher”. One of the questions I posed to Cathy was, “Why do you dish?” Here’s her response:humblepie.JPG

I keep going back because of the staff at Ashburn. I can’t imagine not seeing them once a month. We lament about growing old, share stories about our families, and tease about sports teams. (Last month I had to eat humble pie, even though not on the Let’s Dish menu, when the Capitals moved on and my Penguins were eliminated.) I see the staff more often than most of my relatives. I watch them interacting with new and returning Dishers and, from what I see, I know I am not the only person who feels this way. This group is like a perfect recipe. Take good ingredients and add spice!

We only have so much space in our newsletter, and I thought this was just too good to shorten! Thank you, Cathy, for sharing – and thanks for being such a loyal customer and friend of the Let’s Dish! family. We love the pic, and we don’t hold it against you that you’re a Penguins fan!

Ever feel like you’re part of the “Dish” family? Have a story to share? We’d love to hear it! And maybe you’re the perfect candidate to be our next featured disher. (Psst! There’s about 10 minutes of fame and a Let’s Dish! gift card in it for you!). Email us at bloggers@letsdish.net and share your Let’s Dish! story (and pic).

From our table to yours,


Flank Steak Now Available for Pre-order!

Summer is coming…and at Let’s Dish! that means many of our favorite meals will be on the menu:

~Jerk Chicken with Pineapple Salsafajitastkchlmsauce.jpg
~Chili-Lime Grilled Chicken with Black Bean Salsa
~Montreal Chicken with Homemade Potato Chips
~Napa Valley Burgers
~Pork Tenderloin with Chili-Apricot Glaze

…the list goes on. We can’t wait!

As you may have seen in the grocery store, the price of beef has been on the rise. Unfortunately, current beef prices will keep flank steak off of our regular menu. We can’t imagine summer without some of our favorite Let’s Dish! flank steaks, so we’re changing things up a bit. We are excited to offer your favorite flank steaks on our Ready Mades page (the second page of the monthly menu where you add on sides and scones etc.). In May, we will serve up Mary’s Favorite Flank at a cost of $29 each. Your flank steak will be pre-ordered and will also be available to pick up from the Ready Made case (both full and split sizes will be available).

Believe me when I say we wish we could include flank on our “regular” menu; we also wish we could go back to a time when gas was $2 a gallon. That doesn’t seem to be happening so we are making the best with what we’ve got. Keep an eye on the Ready Made page of your order, there will be more favorites to come!

From our kitchen to yours,

Elizabeth B.

A Little Help with Navigating Spring Sports Season

I recently took on a new hobby: running. I trained with a local group and partnered up with a mother of two. By late February my usually prompt cohort was seen pulling into training sessions last minute. She was a teacher that commuted across town, her husband commuted from their home in Northeast Baltimore County to just outside DC, and both her boys had just enrolled in lacrosse. Juggling schedules was enough; the planning she did to get healthy food on the table each night was a coups: on Tuesdays she was planning her Saturday morning shopping and her Sunday evening mass cooking for the better part of the week. This really gave me an appreciation for what many parents (and a lot of of our customers) go through to bring their families together for a sound dinner during sports season.

I did some internet searches on the the topic and I came across blogger Kathy Yevchak who recently posted on this same topic with an anecdote about getting help from your kids at dinner time – even when you could do it quicker yourself. Seeing as I work for a very family-friendly food company, I thought this was definitely worth a read.

I also reached out to Elizabeth Marcotte, mother of two teenagers and one of Let’s Dish’s co-owners. Here are some helpful suggestions from her:

I have finally figured out how to navigate spring sports chaos! First off, I look at the game schedule for the upcoming week on Sunday morning. Then I think about the each night as one of three categories:  (1) nights I need to have dinner ready early before sports, (2) nights it needs to be ready quickly to feed post game starving kids and (3) nights the family has to eat at different times because everyone is on a different schedule. I plan the whole week out in advance. Here’s my approach:

Nights when kids eat early – On these nights I make something that goes in the oven or on the grill. These dinners typically take longer to cook and I generally cook dinner around 4 PM. I’d rather give the kids a solid protein dinner early then have them carb-load on snacks before they play. They don’t eat a lot before sports but a chicken breast or piece of fish after a day at school and before a game provides enough protein so they can go the distance. Sometimes when they return home later they will have a second lighter round consisting of fruit, yogurt, or cereal.

On nights when the kids have games before dinner, when they get home they are starving and need to eat right away. I make something that cooks quickly in a skillet or on the grill. The minute I walk in the door I pull out some carrots, cherry tomatoes, fresh green beans, and/or cheese and put them on the counter so they can munch on something to take the edge off. Right away I put something in a skillet or on the grill. Favorite options are the Prosciutto Wrapped Chicken, Chicken and Asparagus Risotto, Bacon Cheddar Sliders (done on the grill) or Greek Burgers. While those are cooking I empty a bag of lettuce into a big bowl, add some tomatoes and cucumbers to have a quick and easy salad. Sometimes when the skillet or grill dish is almost done, we sit down to a first course of salad.

On nights when everyone is off in a different direction, we use the slow cooker. Some of our favorites are Let’s Dish’s Southern Pulled Pork and Whiskey Beef over Noodles. It’s great; dinner is hot and ready to be served at any point throughout the evening.

One last tip: cold salads are awesome for on-the-go nights! Let’s Dish’s Thai Style Shrimp and Noodles is a perfect dish to make one day ahead and bring to the game the next day in small containers. Better yet, bring it in one big container with some extra plates and forks and everyone on the bleachers will be your new best friends.

Thanks for sharing these helpful tips, Elizabeth!

So, dishers and DishBlog readers, what works for you? We would love to hear your stories, tips, and strategies for surviving the chaos that is sports season.



This I Believe – The Importance of the Family Dinner

smilesatdinner.jpgThese days, a common theme in Middle School curriculum is the power of conviction. Students are taught to advocate for themselves and to use their voices and written words to articulate their values, beliefs and dreams.

Recently we learned about an eighth grade assignment at The Potomac School in McLean Virginia where each student was asked to write an essay similar to the popular NPR This I Believe essay collection. The NPR program is “based on a 1950s radio program of the same name, Americans from all walks of life share the personal philosophies and core values that guide their daily lives”. The eighth graders were asked to write about a core value – something they believe in.

It’s no surprise that the students chose topics including achieving world peace, feeding and sheltering the homeless, living with high moral standards, and always giving 100 percent. However, one essay about the importance of the family routine was brought to our attention and was particularly meaningful to us at Let’s Dish!

The student’s essay entitled “I Believe in Family Dinner” really hit home for many of us. At Let’s Dish!, we’ve referenced studies about the importance of family dinner from the adult point of view. (http://thedishblog.com/2008/01/08/introducing-family-matters-the-importance-of-family-dinner/) We discuss the fact that children of families that eat dinner together regularly are less likely to have problems with alcohol and substance abuse. We have learned that children who eat dinner with their families are less like to develop eating disorders and we know that these same children score higher on standardized tests. However, this is the first time we have heard the child’s point of view about the importance of family dinner.

The student wrote about how she enjoys coming together at the end of the day because it makes her family more aware of each other’s schedules, achievements and stresses. She wrote that the time at the dinner table makes her family closer because of shared anecdotes and laughter. Most importantly, she wrote that over time she has come to learn that the dinner table is a safe place to raise her fears and concerns about absolutely anything. She wrote:

     I also believe that because I have been having dinner with my family most nights since I was young, it has become a safe place for me.  It is where we go to celebrate the happy things in life such as birthdays, victories, or good grades, but it also is where we are all together during the hard times.  It has become a place where we can comfort each other by just being there.  I feel comfortable when my family is sitting around the kitchen table because I know that no matter what I say, they are all there for me.  Whenever someone in my family is feeling down, the dinner table is where they feel loved and their sadness goes away. 

Wow! What amazing insight from a 13-year-old. We love this story and we really love knowing that Let’s Dish! is a part of so many family dinners in the area.


President’s Day Parent/Kid Session

School’s out this President’s Day (Monday, February 20th) and Let’s Dish! is open for a special Parent/Kid session. Just like our Second Sunday Parent/Kid Sessions, we are inviting you to bring your young one along to help you dish out your favorite meals. Plus, at this special session we’ll be sending you home with a goodie bag to enjoy later.

If you’ve never attended one of our parent/kid sessions, here’s what you need to know:

Kids are welcome at any Let’s Dish! session (not just parent/kid sessions), provided they follow the guidelines listed below. We do encourage you to consider bringing your child along to daytime sessions as they tend to be less crowded, or a Second Sunday where we gear the session towards a younger crowd.

  • Children must be 8 years old (no, we don’t check i.d. 😉 )
  • For safety reasons, children must be able to reach the food prep stations without using a crate or stool.
  • Children must be well-behaved and mature enough to handle basic food safety procedures (hand washing, etc)
  • Children must be accompanied by a parent at the food stations while dishing
  • One child per disher, please

Hours for this event vary by location; check your local store’s calendar.

Looking forward to seeing you and your little disher soon!




Announcing the Lighter Side of Let’s Dish!

While we’ve never considered ourselves a diet company, but rather proud proponents of a healthy lifestyle, Let’s Dish! has helped a lot of dishers (myself included) to make healthier choices at mealtime and shed some pounds. Just this past year we featured Fran Mansuy who lost 158 pounds incorporating Let’s Dish! meals and following Weight Watchers. A couple of years back we heard from Brian and Renee Parks who combined lost 40 pounds.

We thought January would be the perfect time to spread the word about what we’re calling “The Lighter Side of Let’s Dish!”, which essentially makes it easier for you to spot healthy choices while you’re in our stores. What qualifies a meal as being part of the “Lighter Side of Let’s Dish!”? Our guideline is that main course of the meal and the included side together are under 400 calories per serving. The next time you’re in our store, check out our Ready Made case and look for this logo to find a healthy meal selection. (A smaller version also appears on our printed and online menus indicating meals that are part of the Lighter Side of Let’s Dish!)


Again, our focus is a healthy lifestyle and giving you the option to make the healthier choice (check out Ashley’s blog post about making the better choice). It also comes down to this: we’re a local, family-owned business and we have hectic schedules too, (read: soccer practice, karate, chorus recitals, etc!) and we want to make a healthy lifestyle more obtainable. This is just one way we strive to make a difference. We hope you’ll stop by our stores and try our healthier selections and see how easy it can be to make the better choice.



FREE scones for fans if…

*Update! We’ve extended this promo… Help us get to 4500 fans by midnight on Wednesday, November 30th and all fan get FREE scones the following week!*

sconefb.jpgSure, we like popularity. We’re proud that Let’s Dish! has been the region’s leader in meal assembly since our inception 7 years ago. We’re delighted that fans of Let’s Dish! rave about our products and services. And we want to reward those of you who have (and will) formalize your “fanship” by fanning us on Facebook. So we hereby issue a challenge to all those dishers on Facebook (c’mon, we know you have an account and are on there more often than you care to admit!):

Help us get to 4500 fans by midnight on Friday November 25th, and all fans get free scones the next week.

That’s right… just join our growing legion of Facebook fans (click here to get started). Not only will you get access to special deals and offers, but you also will get the chance for free scones on Wednesday November 30th… yup, if we hit the big 4500, we’ll alert all fans over the weekend. Print your FB page with proof of fanship, bring it into any Let’s Dish! location, and we’ll give you scones – FREE. Woo hoo! Tell your friends and help us reach our goal!

Halloween Parent/Kid Session – October 30th!


Space is limited.  Sign up now!

FREE meals for teachers and school administrators!

chalkboard_stt.jpgFrom endless lesson planning to coaching teams, we all know that teachers do so much for our kids and our communities.  So, this back-to-school season, we’re giving them free meals with our new Salute to Teachers event!

Each Wednesday from August 10th to August 31st, any teacher, educator or school administrator can walk-in and assemble one full meal (or, split it into 2 of course!) at any of our stores in Maryland or Northern Virginia. There’s no purchase necessary – just provide proof of employment and a valid email address to create a Let’s Dish! account. Free meals will be chosen from the following favorites:

  • Caribbean Chicken Fingers with Parmesan Green Beans
  • Chili-Lime Chicken with Black Bean Salsa
  • Beachfront Shrimp Al Fresco
  • Greek Pork Wraps
  • Southwestern Pinto Burgers

The best part? Teachers can stock up for fall by upgrading to a 4-, 8- or 12-meal session, with one meal completely free*.

We love our local teachers and support our local schools in several different ways, all year round. If you’re a teacher, PTA member, or you just want to learn about ways to help out your local school, click here!

* One meal must be from the designated list above.  $27 discount will be applied.  4-meal session: $78; 8-meal session: $168; 12-meal session: $233

**Each teacher can dish one meal for free throughout entire promotion.

Making the better choice

A member of the Let’s Dish! team has recently hit the 100 pound weight loss mark (congrats to you!) and looks simply amazing. When people ask her the secret, her response is “I almost always make the better choice.”  We live in a world of crazy fad diets, unrealistic workout programs and thousand of “self-help” books.  Could it really be that simple?

She’s living proof!  So, whether you’re trying to lose 5lbs or 100lbs, and even if you’re not, I think this is a mantra that we all can keep in mind.  This week, I decided to get on the bandwagon.  So far I:

1. Rode my bike to the farmers market on Sunday (I usually drive the three miles and fight for a parking spot.  Tying my bike up to a tree and walking right into the market was pure bliss.)

2. Ordered the small latte at Starbucks instead of my usual venti (Saved myself 90 calories!)

3. Was in the mood for something crunchy and chose baby carrots instead of chips.

4. Enjoyed Firecracker Chicken with Sweet Potato Fries for dinner.

How does the last one count?  I had the choice to eat out, and was really in the mood for chicken fingers. Instead, I stayed home and enjoyed Let’s Dish! Firecracker Chicken instead of Chicken Fingers and Fries from TGIFridays,  saving me approximately 825 calories and 55 grams of fat (and some $$)!  Here’s how the two meals stack up:

Let’s Dish!




See more comparisons like these, here.

I’ll admit it.  I chose to eat two of our Almost Homemade Heath Bar Crunch cookies today.  And they were worth it.  That’s where the “almost” comes in (“I almost always make the best choice”) right?

Let’s Dish! + Wild Kratts = FUN!

Things are about to get noisy (and delicious!) at the Maryland Zoo!  Chris and Martin Kratt, the starts of the PBS series “Wild Kratts” are coming to the Zoo in Baltimore for two live shows on Sunday, June 26… and Let’s Dish! is sponsoring the event!  The best part?  We have 50 pairs of tickets to give away to the first 50 dishers who enter below.

If you are one of the first 50, we’ll email you by Monday, June 20th and you’ll be able to pick up your two tickets at either our Baltimore or Columbia stores. We’ll do our best to accommodate on preferred show times, but they will be given out on a first come, first serve basis.

Make sure to share the sign-up form with your friends and to stop by the Let’s Dish! table at the event for tasty samples and giveaways!

For more information about the event and the Kratt Brothers, visit the Maryland Zoo website or see below.

All this dishing makes us thirsty

img00140-20110602-1014.jpgDoes anyone really find refreshment in a warm glass of lemonade? Not us, that’s for sure. There’s a solution: the Let’s Dish! tervis tumbler, complete with double-walled insulation that keeps your drinks cold (or hot!) even in 98 degree record-breaking temperatures (wow!).

It’s the perfect addition to roadtrips with the family, lounging by the pool, or a day at the beach. Plus, your tumbler helps you live a green lifestyle – using a reusable tumbler reduces trash created by plastic bottles, cans and paper cups. They are BPA free, environmentally friendly and made in North Venice, Florida.

Here at Let’s Dish!, we’re a little obsessed and bring them everywhere!  We see them pop up at meetings, bring them to run errands, and quench our thirst at the gym or yoga class.  We’re all planning to bring them with us on vacation… and you should too!  Snapping a picture of you with your Let’s Dish! tumbler poolside, camping or wherever you vacation could win you a FREE 4-meal session.    

How?  Post your picture on our facebook page (or email to facebook@letsdish.net).  We’ll be collecting submissions all summer long and will pull the winner at random on September 2.  Enter as many times as you’d like (with different photos of course!).  We’re excited to see where the Let’s Dish! tumblers will be this summer.  And, remember that it’s always great to take Let’s Dish! meals with you on vacation, too!

You can purchase your 24oz Let’s Dish! tervis tumbler at any of our locations in Maryland or Virginia for  $13.99 for the tumbler, lid, straw and cap (normal retail price $16.99 and up).  Or, you can sign-up for your next session while in one of our stores to get it for FREE this month (while supplies last)!

Happy Summer!

The Let’s Dish! Team

PS: Find out more information about what makes these tervis tumblers so great.

An Ode to Let’s Dish!

Last week, we posted this to facebook:

“Wanna be our featured disher for May? Post why you love Let’s Dish! and you could be picked for all the fame, glory… and a $25 gift card!”

Our dishers are the best so we got a ton of fantastic responses.  One in particular stood out, however, and we knew she had to be featured in our May newsletter:

carrie facebook

So, meet Carrie, super-mom, attorney, poet and our featured disher for May!

Carrie and daughterName: Carrie Fogle

Kids:  Sarah, Cora, & Sami

Occupation: I am a civilian attorney with the US Air Force, and my husband is active duty in the Air Force.

Favorite Let’s Dish! meals: oh so many…right now it’s the Savory Apricot Shrimp and Pasta Carbonara with Grilled Chicken and Bacon. And the chips….I could easily eat the entire bag of chips :):)

Why do you dish?: For many reasons….I am on Weight Watchers and love that it’s so easy to calculate the points. The meals easily serve my family of 5 plus our babysitter who often eats with us, and we always have leftovers for either myself or my husband (or both) for lunch the next day. The kids have enjoyed every Let’s Dish! meal we’ve offered them. I love that I can bring my daughter; it’s honestly one of our favorite activities to do together,plus there is the added bonus that I get to help her learn math! She loves to sample the snacks and have a cup of tea when she needs a break and she always convinces me we need to add one more meal to our session :):) As I said we are also very grateful for the military discount, there are always fantastic promotions, and the food is EXCELLENT! I love seeing what we make from start to finish so I can feel confident we’re eating fresh, healthy, *real* food.

Anytime saving tips to share?:
We are always trying to get more organized, and one of our huge time savers is using gmail and google calendars and syncing them (Carrie, we use these everyday at Let’s Dish! too – it’s a GREAT tool!). My husband, babysitter and I all share calendars so at a glance we can take a look and see exactly what’s going on during any given day, week, or month. We both travel for work so it’s important to know who is going to be where and when. We also have a whiteboard/corkboard/calendar station in our kitchen, where we write notes to each other, important information (“tomorrow is green shirt day at school!”), and plan our meals for the week.

For meal planning, we each claim 2 days a week and our sitter chooses the last one, and we write what we will be cooking. Or if we forget, freezer freedom saves the day!

Thanks so much for the great tips, Carrie!  And, of course, thanks for the poem!  It made us all smile and we’re framing it to hang in our Let’s Dish! corporate office.

PS: Wanna be our featured disher for June?  E-mail questions@letsdish.net and tell us why you love Let’s Dish!

A tribute to teachers

chalkboard_noback.gifTo kick-off last year’s Teacher of the Year awards, I blogged about my most memorable teacher growing up – Miss Shoemaker.  So, this year (our 4th annual!), I asked the Let’s Dish! team to take a trip down memory lane and remember their teacher who was most inspirational:

I’ll never forget my Freshman English teacher, Mr. Keck. He had the coolest lesson plans (playing Metallica to teach imagery!). On nice days he would teach lessons outside on the baseball diamond. In addition to being a great teacher, he treated each of us as unique individuals and encouraged us to pursue what we were passionate about. Twenty years later, I still reflect on the great memories and valuable lessons he taught!

-Ruth Halle, Operations Coordinator for the Let’s Dish! Mid-Atlantic Region

As part of the Let’s Dish!  “Teacher of the Year” awards, I would like to recognize a teacher by the name of Mr. Al Heller. Mr. Heller by far is the true example of an educator. Not only did he teach me all there was to know about American History as a freshman in high school but also taught me about life in general. He became my mentor and friend.

Going to high school was a scary thought. Overweight, pimples, lack of confidence and self esteem, and major anxiety could characterize me in a nutshell. Not being judgmental and making an opinion based on outward appearances, Mr. Heller just taught me. When the school day ended for most, mine continued. Mr. Heller spent countless hours after school guiding me, coaching me, mentoring me. My profession today, a special education teacher, is a direct result of that special individual that taught me in 1975.

I am so grateful that Mr. Heller saw value in me and never gave up. He truly is the clear definition of a teacher. One who mentors, educates, and finds good in every life he touched. Thank you, Al. You are surely one for the record books.

-Jill Allen, Host in Timonium

My favorite teacher was Ms. Foster. I had her every year in high school – English, journalism and then yearbook class. She always listened and was willing to put in the extra effort to make sure all of her students succeeded.

-Nicole McCracken, Host in Columbia

It’s obvious that teachers have a huge impact on our lives (and our kids’ lives), both in and out of the classroom… and for years to come!  So, let’s give ’em the recognition they deserve, and nominate the best teachers our area to win FREE meals! 

Like years prior, five deserving area educators in MD/VA will each receive a FREE 8-meal session.  Plus, we’re expanding and honoring a sixth recipient this year from the NY/NJ metro area, who will receive a FREE 4-meal DishDelivery session!

We’ll be taking nominations through our website and on facebook throughout the month of March.  On April 4th , we’ll announce the top nominees and let you (and everyone you know) vote for your favorite teacher.  We’ll surprise the winners during Teacher Appreciation Week (May 2-6, 2011).

Nominate now, and show your appreciation!

PS: Feel free to add to our list of tributes!  Just click “Add/View comments” at the top, and share your memories about your own favorite teacher.

Looking for a little weight loss inspiration? Meet Fran!

A few days ago, I posted the following question on facebook: “Have you lost weight with help from Let’s Dish!?”  While all of the responses were great, we were amazed by one from long-time disher Fran:


Wow! 158 lbs!  We knew we had to get the story!  Luckily, Fran was willing to share her weight-loss journey with us, and be our featured disher for our March newsletter (look out for it in your inbox on March 1st!).  Here’s her letter to us, complete with an amazing before and after pic (doesn’t she look great?!):

Dear Ashley,franbeforeafter

Thank you so much for offering to feature my weight loss journey in your March newsletter.  I am somewhat embarrassed by how much I used to weigh, but it’s moments like these that make me realize how much I have actually accomplished… all with the help of Let’s Dish!.  By this Sunday, I expect my total loss to be at 160 pounds, with less than 40 pounds to go to get to my goal.

I work all day, live alone, and don’t have the motivation to come home and take the time to prepare a nice dinner.  I use the Dish-n-Dash option, which could not be any easier.  I order my favorite meals online, request that everything be split into 3-serving meals, and then pick them up on the date I’ve chosen.  I’ve been on Weight Watches for almost 20 months now, and honestly, Let’s Dish! has made losing 160 pounds a pleasure.  I get the most delicious meals at a great price with nutrition and points information provided.  No longer does losing weight have to be difficult or require deprivation thanks to Let’s Dish!.

Thanks again for thinking of me,


Fran, here’s a big round of applause from your friends at Let’s Dish!  We’re all truly inspired by your story and are thrilled to be a part of it.

Fran’s journey got us thinking a little bit, too.  We’re proud that dishing helps families live a healthy lifestyle, but maybe there’s something more we can do?  Would a monthly weight-loss support group at our stores be something of interest?  Or, perhaps, a newsletter specific about weight-loss tricks? You tell us!  We’d love to hear your own weight-loss stories and suggestions!

21 days and counting…

I’ve often heard that it takes three weeks for something to become a habit.  Today, its officially been 21 days since we’ve all made those dreaded new years resolutions.  Are you still going strong? Have you cheated? Or, have you thrown in the towel completely?

istock_stickyorangechicken.jpgThis year, the Let’s Dish! team made a few resolutions of our own, and we’re sticking to ’em!  The first is to bring you even more tasty meals in 2011.  January’s menu includes our NEW Sticky Orange Chicken with Broccoli, which already has a 4.5 star rating on letsdish.com, and Southern Style Shrimp Pot Pies, carrying a 4.7 star rating.  New in February: Beef in Whiskey Glaze (soon to be your new favorite crockpot meal!) and Roasted Veggie and Cavatappi Skillet (veggie lovers rejoice!).  Here’s to starting 2011 off right!

We’ve also resolved to make it even easier for dishers to live a healthy lifestyle.  This has always been an important goal of ours, but we knew we could do better.  So, this month, we’ve launched a few new tools:

scaleforblog.jpg1. New “Under 400 Calories” Icon: This new icon tells you exactly which Let’s Dish! meals have a lower calorie count, without having to dig into the nutritional information (talk about easy!).  We’re proud to say that over half our meals on each menu fall under this category.

2. Updated Weight Watchers Points/PointPlus information:  For all you die-hard Weight Watchers out there, you’ll be excited to know that we’ve updated our entire system to be consistent with the new PointsPlus program.  We also kept the old point values for those of you who don’t like change :).  Are you a member?  Help us spread the word and earn FREE meals! Find out how.

3. Access to all nutritional information through My Cookbook: Now, you can access the nutritional information for ALL of our meals (regardless of which ones you’ve dished), by logging into your Let’s Dish! account and clicking on “My Cookbook.”

I’m proud that Let’s Dish! makes it easy to eat better, without busting our budgets or giving up the foods that we love.  Has Let’s Dish! helped your family to live a healthier lifestyle?  If so, we’d love to hear it!  Post below, or email your story to questions@letsdish.net.  Plus, you can read about the weight loss journey of Renee and Brian Parks here for some motivation!

Cheers to a happy, healthy 2011!

Tis’ the season…

Dishin’ Around the Xmas TreeTis’ the season for delicious food, delectable desserts, and finding the perfect gift for everyone on your list! Let’s Dish! can help with all three, and save you a little dough (and your sanity) at the same time! Here’s how we’re making the holidays hassle-free, fun and delicious:

Dishing with Santa: A Special Parent/Kid session!

Santa Claus is coming to… Let’s Dish! Join us for a special Parent/Kid session at 10am on December 12th for dishing, holiday fun, and, of course, a visit from Santa! Space is limited, and you must register to attend. Click here for details.

Hassle-Free Holiday Entertaining

Let’s Dish! Holiday Bundles

Our new bundle proves that holiday dinners don’t have to be stressful! For just $39, youll get your choice of veggie, potato, stuffing, rolls, and dessert. Just add a turkey (or ham!), and it’s the perfect holiday meal for six! Larger family? Feed 12 for just $75. These bundles will be available in our Ready Made case throughout December (while supplies last), and can be pre-ordered here.

Seasonal Ready Mades

Make the most of the holidays with our seasonal favorites! Our Ready Made case is packed with everything you need to get into the fall and winter spirit, including Mushroom Strudel, Pumpkin Ravioli, Beef Roulade, Roasted-Apple Pork Chops and more.

Hassle-Free Holiday Gift-Giving

Gift Cards

Not quite sure what to give your friends and family this holiday season? A Let’s Dish! Gift Card in any amount is a great gift for the person who has everything… but time! Plus, no need to drive to the store. You can order and print them right from our website.


Through DishDelivery, you can send tasty Let’s Dish! meals right to your loved one’s door! We deliver from NYC to NC and beyond. Click here to see where we deliver, and then order here.

Dishers’ Circle – The gift that keeps on giving!

Give the gift of delicious, home-cooked meals for 3 or more months through our Dishers’ Circle, Purchase the right plan for your friends or family members (In-store, Dish-n-Dash or DishDelivery), and let us know that you are giving the plan as a gift. We’ll put together a festive gift package, complete with menus, a Let’s Dish! apron and redemption instructions for the recipient. You’ll get a discount for purchasing through our Dishers’ Circle, and they’ll have months of tasty dinners. It’s the gift that keeps on giving, well after the holidays! Order Now.

From our family to yours: happy, happy holidays!

The Let’s Dish! Team

No pasta…?! No bread…?!

picture-6.pngCould you live without bread or pasta? A few weeks ago a homeopathic health practitioner recommended I eliminate gluten. As he talked about my apparent intolerance to wheat, I had visions of artisan bread floating through my mind. I really didn’t like the idea of giving up my favorite indulgences.

My mother recently made the change in her own diet and has felt an increase in energy. She’s even dropped a few unwanted pounds, something that I, like most of us, would certainly welcome. So what do I have to lose? Nothing.

And so, my gluten-free journey has begun. At my first opportunity I stocked my fridge and pantry. On the list: quinoa (more on that another day), cheese, yogurt, fresh veggies, hummus, and some more cheese (Can you tell I’m happy that cheese is gluten-free?!). As soon as I returned from the grocery store, I prepared my lunch and snacks for the week. I work evenings in the Columbia store as a Host and didn’t want to set myself up for failure by not having gluten-free options on hand. (You would cave on the scones, too!)

Instead of focusing on what I can’t eat, I’m making it a point to celebrate what I can. Dark chocolate and Greek yogurt have been satisfying my sweet tooth. I love pasta tosses and Mediterranean flavors, so I am simply swapping out the pasta for gluten-free options like quinoa or rice. With roasted red peppers, feta, parmesan, shredded carrots, fresh spinach and kalamata olives, I hardly missed the pasta. As far as those snacks to bring to the store and keep me away from scones – yogurt and carrots with hummus have been doing the trick for me.

Dishing has actually made the transition easier. When I made my meals last week, I was careful to choose those that were already gluten-free or simply required minimal substitutions or eliminations to the ingredients. My favorite meal so far has been the White Wine and Herb Mahi with Orzo Rice Florentine. I swapped out the orzo for white rice and it was fantastic. I used a rice cooker to make the rice and spinach, as I do with all of the Let’s Dish! rice sides. It saves the fuss of watching it on the stovetop and is super easy to clean.

Looking forward to the October menu, I’m anxious to try the Savory Apricot Shrimp. I’ve already tried the Roasted Java Pork Tenderloin at Happy Hour in the store and cannot wait to dish it and bring it home. Both meals appear to be gluten-free with little or no modifications. This diet is looking up!

I’m excited to see how these changes to my diet affect me and how I’ll muddle through life without pasta and bread. Every few weeks, I’ll blog about my progress, discoveries, hits and misses, and I look forward to hearing your comments about your own gluten-free adventure.


>Learn about Gluten Freedom, our monthly update for gluten-free dishers

Disclaimer: Slate LD, LLC produces newsletters and articles like this one as a service to our customers who suffer from various food allergies. They are guides, and represent our best efforts to provide good options using all the information at our disposal. Every person’s situation is unique, and we cannot guarantee that our store environment or prep area is 100% free of any specific food. Therefore, the final decision concerning which diet to follow or which of our meals to consume must be made carefully by each individual in consultation with a medical professional. Neither Let’s Dish!® International, Inc. nor any other organization has endorsed these suggestions.

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