Posts in October 2008

Going Out of Business Sale: The Dinner Company

on October 29th, 2008 by

As you may have learned from my previous article, The Dinner Company in Salisbury, MD is closing its doors. They are having a raffle and a Going Out of Business Sale. Below is an excerpt from an email I received from them regarding the Going Out of Business Sale:

“This weekend, Saturday, Sunday and Monday, November 1st-3rd, we will be holding a GOING OUT OF BUSINESS SALE from 7am to 7pm each day where we will be selling meals, spoodles, recipe books, furniture, decorations, office equipment, and commercial kitchen equipment. Everything must go!”
– The Dinner Company

In a flyer that accompanied the email, they also stated that “Many items will be 50-75% off” and listed many of the items they are selling:

  • Home Décor Items (couch, lighting, plants, pictures, rugs, etc.)
  • Office Equipment (computer, printer, fax, small items)
  • Large Restaurant Equipment (double door freezers, refrigerators, sandwich units, prep tables, 3 bin sink, shelving units, etc.)
  • Small Kitchen Wares (measuring cups, knives, cutting boards, bins, pans, spoons/spatulas)
  • Meals (many of from our favorites menu)
  • Miscellaneous Items (food, SS sink, toilet)

So, please visit The Dinner Company located at 810 Beaglin Park Drive, Salisbury, Maryland 21804 in the same shopping center as the Old West Steak House on Saturday, November 1st thru Monday, November 3rd during the hours of 7am-7pm.

Chance to Win $20,000 in Cash

on October 29th, 2008 by

As you may have learned from my previous article, The Dinner Company in Salisbury, MD is closing its doors. They are having a raffle and a Going Out of Business Sale. Below is an excerpt from an email I received from them regarding the raffle:

“We are selling raffle tickets for a chance to win $20,000 in cash.  It is a way for one of our lucky participants to take home a wonderful prize and for us to recoop some of the costs that we have incurred as closing small business owners.  Your support would mean a great deal to us.  Each ticket is $20 or you can get 3 for $50.  The drawing will be held on Friday, January 30th. We will be selling tickets during our going out of business sale as well as by phone and through friends and customers.  We would greatly appreciate it, if you know of anyone that may be interested in this great opportunity, to please have them call us for their tickets *phone numbers omitted*. Our goal is to sell 3000 tickets.”
– The Dinner Company

Chicken with Peppers & Zucchini

on October 19th, 2008 by

Chicken with Red Peppers & Zucchini
Ingredients

  • Red Bell Peppers, organic (2 large)
  • Zucchini, organic (2 medium)
  • Chicken tenders, natural (1lb)
  • Canned Tomatoes, organic (28oz) (type depends on preferred liking)
  • Water (optional) (1/2 cup)

Directions

  1. Place chicken separated in bottom of baking dish.
  2. Cut up veggies and place on top of chicken in baking dish.
  3. Pour tomatoes and water over veggies and chicken.
  4. Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes.
  5. Check chicken temperature to make sure it is 165°F to verify it is fully cooked.
  6. Enjoy!

Nutritional Information

  • Calories: 142.5
  • Fat: 1.3g
  • Cholesterol: 48.8mg
  • Sodium: 229.6mg
  • Carbohydrates: 11g
  • Fiber: 3.5g
  • Sugar: 6g
  • Protein: 22g

Makes 4 servings

Modifications
Will change nutritional information

  • Swap out peppers and zucchini for preferred veggies

Egg Salad

on October 19th, 2008 by

Egg Salad
Ingredients

  • Eggs, large brown natural cage-free (12)
  • Mayonnaise, light canola (1/4 cup)
  • Mustard, yellow organic (1 tsp)

Directions

  1. Hard Boil eggs using desired method (See Egg Boiling Steps).
  2. Cut up hard boiled eggs into a large bowl.
  3. Add mayonnaise and mustard to eggs and mix thoroughly.
  4. Enjoy!

Nutritional Information
Serving size 3oz

  • Calories:118.1
  • Fat: 8.1g
  • Cholesterol: 322.5mg
  • Sodium: 121.9mg
  • Carbohydrates: 1.5g
  • Fiber: 0g
  • Sugar: 0g
  • Protein: 9g

Makes 8 servings

Modifications
Will change nutritional information

  • Add more or less of the ingredients depending on preference

Dinner Company Closes Its Doors

on October 19th, 2008 by

After a long summer struggling to keep their facility open, The Dinner Company in Salisbury, MD is closing its doors. I received an email earlier this week letting me know and I was saddened to hear but understood – people are cutting back everywhere they can save a few dollars. They are staying in business though just modifying their business strategy in these trying economic times. They have reinvented themselves to exclusively a dinner delivery system. I considered the meal delivery option, however, I like preparing our meals and making adjustments when needed (that was one of my two favorite things about The Dinner Company – the other getting to socialize with the owners), so unless we are super busy, I feel as if we will be preparing our meals again. I have learned so much though that I have so many new tools at my disposal for preparing meals ahead of time now.

Over the last couple months as I was hearing that they were having troubles but hanging in there, my husband and I started planning a back-up strategy (always have a back-up plan with as many things as you can). We wanted a way we could still have our prepared meals that we put in the freezer and then into the oven, but where we could modify things, should the opportunity arise. During out recent visits to The Dinner Company, we started to change over to glass dishes to store our dinners in the freezer to reduce waste and tried to put as many things into zipper plastic bags to reduce the space needed in the freezer. We also wanted to go more organic and natural with our food choices which The Dinner Company was moving to with using natural chicken, but they started thinking about moving to organic right before the economy started to suffer, so some of that got put on hold – understandable. We now have the opportunity to eat more natural and organic foods, decrease our packaging waste, and use the glass bakeware that we bought by preparing our own meals at home.

Glass Bakeware

For tools to get us started, don’t have to go out and buy much to prepare. We already have the bakeware and lots of kitchen tools that we have collected over the years from places like Pampered Chef. The largest learning curve will be the oven temperature and length of time to cook the meals along with figuring out nutritional information and thinking of what to prepare for the next week or two.  At the start, I believe we will prepare a week of meals ahead of time, however, I would like to move to preparing meals 2 weeks ahead of time to give more variety to choose from and less preparation time over all.

Planning and preparing meals for a time will be more complicated, but we adjust well. Once we get into our new routine, all will be fine. At least I have a whole month to plan for the change since next week I get to pick up the meals for next month that we ordered and paid for at the beginning of this month. When I heard they were closing their doors, I was afraid that we would loose the money that we paid for these upcoming meals, but they are two wonderful people that are treating their customers well even when they are struggling. I am so proud of them and hope they succeed in their next venture.

As a result of this new food cooking adventure of ours, I will now be posting meal creations with pictures, ingredients, and notes. How exciting!

Park and Flea

on October 8th, 2008 by

A couple weeks ago I heard about a local flea market called Park and Flea in downtown Salisbury, MD where all kinds of vendors and yard-salers alike can sell their items in a group setting. There are large and small spots to set up. We aren’t exactly sure on the details of the large spots other then they are $10 on Saturday and $5 on Sunday. We, however, used one of the small spots they had available. For $5 on Saturday or Sunday, a 3 car width space is available to pull up your vehicle and unload the items you want to sell in any matter you wish – blanket, tables, off a trailer, or right out of the back of your vehicle. It starts at 7am on Saturday and 9am on Sunday and goes until whenever you wish – you can stay a couple of hours or stay until everyone is gone.

For the last couple weekends, it has rained, so I was happy that we finally got a chance to check it out this weekend. We ventured out and were really excited to see so many people selling items. For the first hour, we sold some small items and worked on assembling the futon couch we wanted to sell. Along with some video games that brought in some money, we had the delight of finally selling our futon couch. It was sold for a little less than we would have liked but a man with money and a big truck showed up before we had to take it home, so it was a deal we couldn’t pass up since we REALLY didn’t want to take it back apart, load it up, and take it home.

FutonFutonFuton

Since we did well, I know we are going back again to sell the other futon, some bookcases, and more small items. With the space we get to sell at the Park and Flea, we are thinking of loading both vehicles with stuff and trying to sell as much as possible in one trip.

In preparation for the Flea Market, we bought a wonderful folding table by Lifetime from Sam’s Club that is 4′ long and the height varies for lots of uses. It even folds up so that it is 2′ x 2′ and only a couple inches high which is great for storage.

Folding Table

The table worked out great in conjunction with some crates we carried the items in to the flea market. If we do well, maybe we will get another table for more space to sell things or for events later. I am really looking forward to selling more items so that the kitchen can finally be freed up of all of the items we have wanted to sell for the last year. Yea! The stuff is finally moving!

Third and final cake for class

on October 2nd, 2008 by

Our last class – Sept 30th.

I am so happy with my final cake for the completion of Course 1 of The Wilton Method of Cake Decorating.

3rd CakeRoses Closeup
Roses CloseupSide Detail

I challenged myself to new levels for this one. I didn’t use the Crisco icing for any of the icing this week. All of the icing is by Cherrybrook Kitchen. It was the chocolate icing for the roses and the vanilla icing for the rest – again I substituted organic butter for the recommended margarine. When using butter instead of Crisco, the icing needs to be refridgerated to be stiff and then it warms up as you use it. So, whenever it gets to soft, back into the fridge it goes. Unless you are icing the cake however, then you do not want it refridgerated. For the cake this week, I chose the Namaste Foods Spice Cake and did the Carrot Cake Variation. For the directions, I followed their directions with one deviation – I replaced the 2/3 cup oil with 1/3 cup applesauce and 1 Tbsp +1 tsp of oil to reduce the fat and it came out beautifully. For the carrot cake variation, I added their recommended 1 cup of shredded carrot and for the nuts and fruit, I added 1/2 cup (56g) of chopped walnuts and 1/4 cup (40g) of organic raisins. I meant to add 1/2 cup of raisins, so I will see how this tastes and see if it needs more raisins or if it was a good omission.

Getting startedSpice Cake

I did the roses before class this week since I thought it would be a lot of pressure to do six roses in the time given and have them not melt (due to the butter in the icing) without having a fridge nearby.

Chocolate RosesChocolate Rose

I did take a cooler with me to class to keep the roses and icing cooled. It worked out great. Also, when I was working with the icing in class and it became too soft, I placed it in the cooler for a couple minutes and then I was great to work with again. I know it sounds like a lot of trouble to go through, but I would prefer to make something I like and will probably eat than to make something I won’t like.  We received a Certificate of Merit at the end of the class and a $5 off coupon to encourage us to take the next class.

Certificate

The next class, The Wilton Method of Cake Decorating Course 2: Flowers and Borders, is slated to start the beginning of November 2008. I think we are going to hold off on taking that class until late winter or spring since I just don’t know how much more cake we can eat – and November is just so busy getting ready for Christmas toward the end of the month. Wow! To think, Christmas is less than 3 months away.

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