Archive for August, 2009

‘Guiding Stars,’ Make Thyme for Dinner Join Forces on Recipe Ratings

Each month, a portion of Make Thyme for Dinner’s 16 offered recipes will earn one, two or three stars in accordance with their nutritional value, as indicated on the South Portland, Maine-based company’s Web site and in-shop signage. Guiding Stars Licensing Co. (GSLC) will rate Make Thyme for Dinner’s ‘cook at home’ recipes, thereby helping busy consumers select meals that offer the most nutrition for the calories. Make Thyme for Dinner enables customers to assemble a month’s worth home-cooked meals in under two hours by provides all of the recipes and prepared, fresh ingredients.

‘Guiding Stars,’ Make Thyme for Dinner Join Forces on Recipe Ratings

Cooking guru Rachael Ray’s tips for school lunches

TV cooking guru Rachael Ray knows the secret to making cheap, healthy lunches your kids will like.

“Give them ownership by involving them in the process,” Ray said.” It’s an opportunity to let the kids be the boss.”

When grocery shopping, for example, ask them to pick out the fruits, vegetables or whole grain breads they like best. Let them pick a treat, too, so it doesn’t seem like a chore. Or ask them to choose and make a recipe for a pasta or tuna salad they’d like to try.

Cooking guru Rachael Ray’s tips for school lunches

Summer is officially over!

Well, at least in my neck of the woods as the kids head back for their first day of school today. And what a summer it’s been. Putting the business aspect aside, I personally had a great summer break. I went camping with the family for the first time in many years, participated in several charity biking events (and slimmed down because of it), taught our youngest how to ride a bike (we’re a little late on this one), got our oldest moved into her college apartment and began to look to the future of our next oldest and began looking at colleges for her. I have to say it was one of the best summer’s I’ve had in many years.

From the meal assembly perspective things look as bad as they ever were. Stores show no sign of improvement, the economy isn’t showing too many signs of recovery and the future is still predicted to look pretty bleak. Home foreclosures are expected to reach yet another all time high.

I really thought the melding together of grocery store and meal prep had staying power, but sadly I was wrong as seen by Publix calling it quits on both their short lived stores. That follows along with the others ultimately giving up after this long, slow summer. Since this is the worse time of year for any food related business, I can’t help but feel bad news is forthcoming for many more meal prep stores. One can only hope a back to school rush is around the corner, but since it hasn’t materialized for the past two years, I don’t think we have the right set of circumstances to end that streak. Further, news about this industry seems to be at an all time low. I think customers and reporters have really pushed this industry aside and moved on.

In many ways the year is about over. Labor Day will be the real end to summer for most and then daylight savings rolls around which signals Halloween and the start of winter. Then it’s a mad rush to the end of the year as all attention turns to Thanksgiving and Christmas. I’m sure many people are already putting plans into place and budgeting accordingly.

Hopefully there will be some good economic news by the time Christmas rolls around, but I’m not expecting it and will plan to keep things as cost effective as possible.

So what did you do on your summer vacation?

Meal Planning Site Offers Free Directory of Thousands of Gluten and Dairy-Free Products

Consumers who are allergic to gluten or dairy products can now take advantage of a free directory that makes it easier for them to find delicious foods to fit their diet restrictions. The directory, which contains thousands of products without gluten or dairy, can be downloaded at www.MealPlansWithout.com/glutendairyfree.html.

MealPlansWithout.com is an innovative meal planning site that specializes in dairy and gluten-free menu options, healthy food and lighter fare. The online food planner is ideal for people on restricted diets because it makes it faster, easier and more convenient for them to find a variety of allergy-friendly menus that can be tailored to their needs. The interactive Web site offers an extensive database of recipes that its members can use to plan up to two weeks of meals in just minutes. They can also create categorized shopping lists and integrated cooking instructions to save time and money, as well as enhance their health and quality of life.

Meal Planning Site Offers Free Directory of Thousands of Gluten and Dairy-Free Products

Publix ends its Apron’s Make-Ahead Meals store experiment

Just like so many others they “had trouble turning the nascent industry from a fad into a long-turn business trend”. I think this should remove all doubt that it’s the end of the road for this industry.

Publix Super Markets Inc., has quietly deep-sixed its experiment in the easy prep meal assembly business.

The Lakeland chain has closed two Apron’s Make-Ahead Meals stores in Jacksonville and Fishhawk Crossings Shopping Center in Lithia.

Publix ends its Apron’s Make-Ahead Meals store experiment

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