Our Focus This Month
Fresh Ideas from Let’s Dish!
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:
Asian Garlic Drumsticks with Coconut Rice
All-natural chicken drumsticks coated in a sauce of hoisin, garlic, ginger, sesame and chili garlic.Â 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 havenâ€™t featured before. Weâ€™re excited about this addition and see it as a great weeknight mealÂ 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 minutesÂ Hoisin & soy sauce, ingredients in the meal contain gluten.
These were a big hit with the group. â€śVery flavorful, juicy chicken, love that sauce!â€ť
Notes from the kitchen:
I knew I wanted to bake the drumsticks and avoid the mess of frying. What I didnâ€™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 didnâ€™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 riceâ€¦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 â€“ I love quick clean-up!
Look for this new meal and lots of Letâ€™s Dish! favorites on the January menu at letsdish.com.
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.Â 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. Itâ€™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 â€śuh oh, hurry up and get them fed quickly before someone loses itâ€ť window closing.
What does work? Planning ahead! At Letâ€™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 Oâ€™dark thirty? Well, hereâ€™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 Â 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 canâ€™t afford to sacrifice it. Change up the routine and turn the six oâ€™clock stress into the 7 AM solution.
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:
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. â€śThe balsamic pork is a nice contrast to the slightly tangy, slightly sweet pears.â€ť
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.
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.
â€śJust like I would get in a restaurantâ€ť 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 Letâ€™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!
The September menu is always one of my favorite ones to plan.Â After months of light, warm weather meals, itâ€™s time to bring back some hearty Letâ€™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.Â Served over couscous, this meal has a foreign flair but feels familiar at the same time.Â A weeknight winner for sure!
Buffalo Chicken Sandwiches are a football favorite at my house.Â 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.
Â Our Apple Cider Pulled Pork has been updated this year and is now served with an apple spread on brioche rolls.Â The apple spread adds just the right amount of bright flavor to wake up the slow cooked pork.Â And the brioche rolls?Â Egg-y and buttery these rolls are special!Â 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.Â An original food truck!
Farm Stand Frittatas are new this month and celebrate the end of summer bounty. Â Oven roasted tomatoes, corn, basil, egg and cream are topped with cheddar, mozzarella and fresh green onion to make up two 9â€ť round frittatas. We will be sampling this new meal all month â€“ I canâ€™t wait for you to give it a try!
September is a month of transition.Â We move from sandals to sneakers, from camp to school and from summer meals to fall seasonal favorites.Â Thank you for allowing Letâ€™s Dish! to be a part of your familyâ€™s September story.
~Elizabeth Blake, Letâ€™s Dish! Menu Development
To view Septemberâ€™s full menu, click here.
Fresh Ideas from Let’s Dish!