Dinner can be stressful for families. Mary Fons gets it. That’s one reason she loves her job as manager of the Dream Dinners location in Rochester Hills.
This “fix and freeze” chain, which has three southeast Michigan locations, lets families come in and prep up to a month’s worth of meals in an hour or two. Then, they take the meals home and freeze them. Just thaw, heat and eat.
“What’s great is that we do all the shopping and prep work for you,” says Fons, who’s been with Dream Dinners about five years. “We also handle all of the cleanup.” Customers order meals on the company’s website. When they come in, everything’s ready to assemble, whether one meal or 12. Selections change monthly and you can customize to fit your family – like no mushrooms for a picky eater or extra seasoning if your kids like spicy.
Kids are welcome to come along and help parents. “It’s a fun atmosphere and a great bonding experience,” notes Fons, whose own daughter, Alycia, is now 24 but still enjoys the meals mom brings home from work.
Her top tip? Plan a week. “I know exactly what we’re going to have each night and what I might need to get out of the freezer and what kind of fresh ingredients I still may need from the store.” Get started with this slow-cooker classic.
Note: To freeze, triple the recipe.
- 2 lb. beef chuck roast, fat trimmed
- 1 cup yellow onion, diced
- 1 tsp. minced garlic
- 2 cups ketchup
- 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. Dijon mustard
- 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
- 2 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
- 2 tsp. liquid smoke flavoring
- 1 tsp. kosher salt & 1 tsp. black pepper
- Place the roast in a slow cooker. If you are preparing a triple batch, place the remaining roasts in each of two resealable freezer bags.
- In a large bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and mix well. If you are preparing a triple batch, pour equal amounts over the three roasts.
- Option 1: For dinner tonight: Cook the roast in the slow cooker on the low setting for 6-8 hours, until the meat falls apart easily. Shred the meat with a fork and serve over hamburger buns or baked beans.
- Option 2: To freeze: Label, date and freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before cooking as directed above.
More about Dream Dinners
Make and freeze your meals for a month at this chain. Bring the kids too; just call ahead to ensure there’s space.
Allen Park: 23019 Outer Drive, 313-278-2899
Livonia: 33591 Seven Mile Road, 248-536-2672
Rochester Hills: 1994 Star-Batt Drive, 248-852-3400
Hours/Costs: Contact for details