Dear , Welcome to another edition of Embracing Dinner, a meal prep newsletter that aims to simplify your cooking life. Living in Chicago, you wouldn'


Dear ,

Welcome to another edition of Embracing Dinner, a meal prep newsletter that aims to simplify your cooking life. Living in Chicago, you wouldn't think that we would have year-round access to high quality locally grown food from independent farms. But we do! I pinch myself every Saturday when my Irv & Shelly Fresh Picks box arrives. I love it for the freshness, the variety, and the time-saving. It is what inspired our Kitchen Tip this month: Simplify with Services! And the gorgeous ramps that arrived this week prompted our Featured Recipe: Loaded Vegetable Spring Quiche.

In April, I attended my first vendor event as a Specialist with Cutco At Home (Pilgrim Community Nursery Spring Craft Fair). I had so much fun doing the event; I cannot wait to do another! Does your charity, church, school or synagogue hold a similar fundraiser event? I would love to support your cause by having a table there! And don't forget you can earn FREE Cutco by having a few friends over to make appetizers with me! Check out the Cutco at Home May Hostess Incentives at the end of this newsletter - they are awesome as usual.

That's all for now - enjoy!

CutcoAtHome logo

Embracing Dinner,

Cutco At Home Specialist


Featured Recipe: Loaded Vegetable Spring Quiche

embracing dinner salad

Quiche is a staple at our house. I make it at least once per month. I will often make 2 at a time, serving one and freezing the other. I like to vary the ingredients and will generally use whatever veggies I have on hand. This week I made the recipe below, and added roasted red pepper for color. I served with a Dandelion Greens salad (from the backyard!!) and roasted potatoes. Try it and let me know what you think!

1 bunch ramps, cleaned and sliced (reserve 1/4 cup of the green parts for garnish)
2 cloves of black garlic
1 packets of buna-shimeji mushrooms (or any mushrooms you fancy will do)

5 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1 Tablespoon olive oil or butter
1/2 cup frozen peas

Make your own crust (I like to make an Oat-based crust, super easy) or pull out prepared crust. Heat olive oil (or butter) in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the ramps and sauté for two minutes. Next, add in the garlic, mushrooms, frozen peas, salt, and pepper. Sauté for 5 or so minutes or until everything has softened. Set aside.

Beat together the eggs and milk. Pour the vegetable mixture into prepared crust and then pour egg mixture over it all. Cook for 30 minutes or until the eggs have set and there are a few brown spots on top. Remove from oven and let cool slightly.

Season with more salt and pepper and top with ramp slices. Serve warm.


Kitchen Tip: Simplify with Services

I have been reading a book called The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Upby Marie Kondo. The basic principle is that when we discard items in our home that no longer bring us joy, we are left with ONLY those things that represent joy for us. Can you imagine? Being completely surrounded by joy all the time?!

Now what if we were to do this same exercise with our daily actions? Make a list of everything you do during the day. For each action, indicate whether it brings you joy or not. If it doesn't bring you joy, can it be outsourced? Is meal prep, cooking or grocery shopping on this No Joy list? The good news: there are plenty of services that you can hire to help bring back the joy in dinner.

Allow me to introduce you to your new best friends.....


Grocery delivery services - If you enjoy cooking or like having the greatest control over the ingredients in your meals, grocery delivery is a great service for you. My local favorite is Irv & Shelly's Fresh Picks because of their high quality products and excellent service. Other popular options include: PeaPod, Instacart, and perhaps even Task Rabbit if you have specialty or other errands you want handled at the same time.

Meal Planning services - When I first started dreaming up this newsletter, I thought I might start my own business as a meal planning service or app. When I started researching the topic, I discovered that there were tons of good options in this arena. I found this lifehacker blog post to have good reviews of various services. Fresh20 looks particularly appealing to me.

Meal Assembly Kitchens - Pre portion and prep your meals once a month at a Meal Assembly Kitchen and streamline your grocery shopping, meal planning, prep time and clean up! Quality and variety varies, but definitely worth a look, particularly for occasional use. Two recommended options: Let’s Dish (Baltiomre), Dream Dinners (Chicago).

blue apron

Meal Kit Services - Meal Kit Services are what you get if Meal Planning and Grocery Delivery Services could have a baby. The ingredients for your weekly meals arrive at your door pre portioned and ready to go, you just take it to the finish line by completing the final cooking or assembly step. If you consider paying for one service (meal kit) rather than three (meal plan, grocery delivery and prep time), this might be the best value. Here is a lifehacker review of some popular options (Blue Apron, Hello Fresh, Plated).

Meal Delivery services - Not interested in doing any of the work in the kitchen? or putting in long hours at the office? Meal Delivery may be the service for you. A favored local option is Factor75 and a reasonable national option is Magic Ktichen.

Personal Chef services - Just like it sounds, a personal chef is someone that either drops off fully cooked meals for you or cooks in your own home. Their services can be reasonably priced, so do not discount this option without doing a little research. You might be surprised what you find!

Meal Planning Coach - Overwhelmed by the options? Not sure where to start? Meet with a meal planning coach or consultant one-on-one to put together an action plan to better execute your meals. When I meet with clients for this service, we review all aspects of the process to make it more efficient and infuse it with greater joy! Email me ( to set up your FREE phone consultation.


Cutco At Home May Hostess Incentives

At a Cutco At Home Social, I teach proper cutting techniques and demonstrate our high quality cutlery, while making appetizers with you and a few of your friends. It's low key and fun. As a hostess in the month of May, you could earn some or all of the Cutco shown below!

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