It’s 4:30pm and they start asking the question. “What’s for dinner?”
Are you like me and simply dread the question because you just do not have an answer? Or I did the meal planning calendar for the week but now I lost my gumption to get things started. Feeding a family is hard.
Last week, Chef Kat from Chef Noon Culinary Services knocked on my door like a little angel in a red chef’s coat to save the day. She actually saved 3-4 days by coming to my home with a wagon full of groceries to prepare 3 complete meals for my family.
It all started with an email from Jenny, the most delightful and helpful concierge. She wanted to know all about my eaters. How many there are, what they like, what they don’t like, and if we had any dietary restrictions or food allergies. This was really important for me because my seven-year-old son has a very severe food allergy to dairy and all the derivatives. I gave all my info to Jenny and she then sent over a menu for me to look over. She encouraged me to really examine the menu and report back to her if there was anything that I wanted to change or add. She explained that the creation of the menu was totally in my hands and there was no request too big or too small that they wouldn’t be more than happy to accommodate.
I explained to Jenny that I do not like raw onions and my husband doesn’t like eggs. Of course, the dairy allergy was discussed in full detail. I also explained that I have a threenager and it’s a crapshoot what he will like on any given day. It also happened that I had a major abdominal surgery the week before and couldn’t eat anything too rich, fatty, or spicy. The initial menu featured one meal that had shrimp in it. Personally, I love shrimp but my hubby is totally grossed out by it. I was assured it was no big deal to simply use chicken in that dish instead of the shrimp. Everything else on the menu sounded perfect so we scheduled the cook date.
Chef Kat was assigned to me and she arrived with a warm smile and all the groceries needed to prepare our meals. It was explained to me that they do the grocery shopping at Fry’s using ClickList (which by the way, if you have not jumped on board with the ClickList service at Fry’s then you are really missing out on something truly amazing and spectacular!). The chef shops for sale items and generally goes with the lowest priced, highest quality item. For example, the generic, store brand version of Dijon mustard as opposed to the pricier name brand version. If you prefer a particular brand, they are happy to accommodate that. If all organic is your preference…Done! One of the meals Chef Kat had on our menu was a pork tenderloin dish. It just so happened that the meat was buy-one-get-one free and they were packaged with two tenderloins. So that’s 4 tenderloins for the price of one! That’s the deal she picked up and so she made two tenderloins and stocked our freezer with the other two. While Chef Kat worked in my kitchen preparing all the food, I divided my time between chatting with her (because grown-up conversation is so exciting!), tending to my three-year-old, and doing my daily routine around the house.
She used my pots and pans, but brought all her own cutlery and utensils. She had aluminum trays to cook in and store the finished food in. Everything she used to make the meals was what she brought with her, right down to common pantry staples like salt and pepper. Chef Kat was very efficient and cleaned up as she went along. When she was finished making all three meals, she packaged them up in aluminum trays with lids, labeled them with the name of the meal, the date and the instructions to reheat. Even though I had cleaned out my fridge before she came to make room, she still ended up rearranging everything to make it fit. When she was done, I got to keep any of the leftover items she had purchased specifically for our “cook.” For example, a bottle of Dijon mustard.
Chef Kat hand washed, dried and put away all of my pots and pans that she used, took the garbage out to the dumpster, and even swept and mopped the kitchen floor!
That night, all I had to do was preheat the oven and pop one of the entrees in for the recommended cooking time. I couldn’t have been happier about the amount of time I saved at dinner time. Not only to not have to cook dinner that night, but the time to clean up after dinner was minimal. I saved time by not having to think about dinner, go to the grocery store, prepare, clean up, etc. This was for 3 nights and also for lunch because there were enough leftovers and then on the 4 th day, we finished up all the leftovers we had.
As an allergy-family, I was so comfortable with this service and having the food prepared at my home, on my own kitchen counter, with ingredients I could see and watch. There is an option to have food prepared prior and simply dropping off the meals. As a busy mom this was a godsend. As a busy mom who was recovering from surgery, this was truly such a tremendous blessing to our family. I think arranging a visit from Chef Noon Culinary Service would be a great way to bless a new mom! CNCS can do anything! Private cooking lessons, preparing a multi-course meal for a girls’ night in or an important dinner with a business associate, assistance to help to stay on track with a new eating lifestyle. So many possibilities! We all work so hard at this mom gig. Arranging a visit from Chef Noon Culinary Services is a great way to reward yourself for all the hard work that you already do each and every day.