Hosting a holiday dinner doesn’t need to be stressful

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Entertaining, Holidays | November 6, 2017 | By

Dinners with family have been our company’s focus for 15 years now; however, entertaining was a focus for our company’s founder for many years before 2002, during Stephanie Allen’s pre-Dream Dinners life as a caterer. Even today, Stephanie is the “the hostess with the mostest.” She invites groups to enjoy at her home and before people know it, there is a spread of food that could feed an army. 

The mystery is that you never see her leave the gathering. She spends so little time in the kitchen and so much time with her guests, you have to ask yourself where she hides the elves. Surely, she has a merry band of chefs working with her behind the scenes. No, she doesn’t. She’s Stephanie. She’s learned through the years that it’s absolutely possible to focus on her guests because she’s taken the time before her gathering to prep and pre-cook what she can.

She once wrote that guests can pick up on a host’s mood quickly. If a host is stressed, the guests can’t really relax. Stephanie exudes a sense of relaxation that can only be emulated by pages in a lifestyle mag, where everyone is smiling and every plate and glass is filled: Cheers! Always laughing and with an ear to listen to the many stories, Stephanie quietly goes about the final touches. She is eating with her guests, laughing around a fire pit and cracking crabs at the beach because she’s taken steps ahead of time to make sure she’s not stressing and is focused on her guests.

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Bruschetta Chicken Skewers

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From weeknight dinner to holiday appetizer in a flash.

We’ve learned a few tricks to turn Dream Dinners into dream appetizers during the busy holiday season. Founder Stephanie Allen loves to entertain, so she is always looking for fun ways to remix our recipes into appetizers when the holidays roll around.

One recipe on our November menu is Grilled Bruschetta Chicken Skewers. The skewers are perfect for dinner over rice, but when guests come knocking at the door, you can easily create a tasty appetizer when you bake the chicken, cut it, then place them on garlic crostini instead. Drizzle the chicken-topped crostini with the sauce.

Here are our instructions for this quick dinner, which of course, can be served as an appetizer, as well.

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Appetizer – Coconut Shrimp Skewers with Tropical Chili Sauce

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Simply delicious, tender shrimp coated with a sweet coconut crust served a Tropical Chili sauce.

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Dream Dinners Community Bands Together to Aid in Hurricane Relief

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The last few weeks have been tough on Texas, Florida and the Gulf Coast. Hurricanes Harvey and Irma made landfall back to back, causing extensive damage; even affecting members of our Dream Dinners family. Despite our communities being evacuated and closed stores, our team reacted quickly to aid those needing assistance. We talk about being committed to serving others through our mission, but events like this showcase how our dedicated franchisees do this without thinking twice about it.

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Dream Dinners Makes it Easy to Fight Hunger

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Choose the Living the Dream Meal of the Month for your next session

Dream Dinners is making it easier than ever to join in the fight against hunger and food insecurity, in your own backyard and abroad, by simply making a homemade made easy meal for your family.

When you choose your meals for your next Dream Dinners session, make sure you check out the Living the Dream Meal of the Month. A dollar from each Living the Dream meal sold will be donated to the Living the Dream Foundation.

When you choose the Living the Dream meal of the month, everyone benefits. You’ll not only enjoy a delicious meal with your family, but you’ll help us make a measurable difference and fight food insecurity locally and globally.

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Dream Dinners Stores Donate $15,000 in Inaugural March Matchness Campaign

The results are in! Dream Dinners stores nationwide put their game faces on for “March Matchness,” a unique program that allowed guests to host in-store fundraising events and give back to their favorite local organizations while helping to bring families together around the dinner table.

At the end of the month, the top six fundraisers nationwide received matching donations of up to $1,000 each. Altogether, the Dream Dinners family across the nation rallied together to donate $15,000 to a variety of great local causes throughout the month of March.

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Appetizer – Pacific Rim Glazed Steak Bites

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These steak bites come from aged sirloin marinated in soy sauce, garlic, ginger, sesame and green onions. Served on top of a gorgeous salt and pepper wonton.

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Appetizer – Sausalito Chicken Flatbread Triangles

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These whole wheat flatbreads are topped with thinly sliced seasoned chicken, creamy Florentine sauce and our special cheese blend.

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Appetizer – Southwest Chicken with Ancho Hummus and Pita

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All-natural chicken breasts seasoned with an aromatic blend of Southwest spices kick up the flavor on this quick and easy appetizer served with our smoky Ancho Hummus and pita.

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4th of July Entertaining

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It’s officially last minute.

4th of July is less than a week away and if you’re planning to attend an Independence Day event, showing up empty handed is usually not an option— this is a great weekend to bring your Dream Dinners along.

June’s menu has some great backyard BBQ recipes including:

We also recommend taking a classic dinner and remixing into an inspired single-serving and shareable appetizer.

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