Our NYC Appetizer Adventure

Tina and I just had the craziest week traveling to NYC to appear on Good Morning America Live. I say, ‘week’ but it was really only 2 days!

Our segment was on demonstrating Super Bowl party appetizers using Dream Dinners.

Before we left, we packed up all of our frozen dinners in a suitcase and pre-cooked the flank steak. Also in our bags were, green and blue shirts along with 12th man buttons so we could properly root on our home team. Go Seahawks! I threw in a knife too (which ended up being a brilliant idea that I will tell you about later).

We took the red eye flight to JFK and had the best taxi cab driver take us into the Big Apple. He was hysterical which prefigured the rest of our trip.

tina-stephanie-times-square-studio  tina-gma-studio

Our hotel was only 1 ½ blocks from GMA’s Time Square Studio.  It was surreal that we could watch the show on TV, leave our room, walk down the street, and see it happening live through the studio window!

stephanie-studio     stephanie-backstage-gma

We spent Monday enjoying Time Square and seeing all the hoopla for the Super Bowl. They have completely closed down about 8 street blocks and renamed it, “Super Bowl Boulevard.” It’s filled with everything to do with the big game including a two-story Fox studio!

We shopped at ‘Eataly’ which was wonderful! We bought serving platters and the fresh ingredients we needed for the show.

Early to bed; early to rise… that’s 5 a.m. Eastern time (2 a.m Pacific). We were on adrenaline.

While we waited in the Green Room, the make-up people came in and powdered our faces and teased our hair. After an hour we were getting a little panicky. The kitchen was being used for another segment on the show and it was not ready yet.  With time running out, we started planning our fastest multi-tasking strategy to get everything cooked and ready for show time.

tina-backstage-gma             stephanie-backstage-gma

We ended up having only one hour to make five meals in a hallway outside the kitchen. We literally used a laundry cart with cardboard over it as a table. Food was flying and we were going back and forth, “I’ve got that, here use this…” We were laughing our heads off! Tina made friends with a guy named Eddie, who would take stuff back and forth into the kitchen to cook. This is where my knife came in handy. We were making do with everything!

Our target time was to get the appetizers on a platter that would go on the host’s table at 8:53.Then we would have about 15 more minutes before we were ‘live.’

They came and said, “Let’s go!”

I said, “Just the host appetizer tray, right?”

“No, everything.”  That meant our buffet table was supposed to be ready too.

I’m asking Tina, “Do I have any poppy seeds in my teeth?”  (We were hungry and had been sampling our food)!  “How do I look?”  No time for a mirror check, we had to do that for each other.

Swoosh, we set it all out and went stand-by at our table off-camera watching the segments that preceded ours.

Before we knew it the interview began. There was no time for the ‘Props Crew’ to style our food before we went live. It went great though! It was so fun getting to share our ideas for Game Day appetizers and telling others about Dream Dinners.

We even concluded with a home team shout out, “Go Seahawks!”

As quickly as it began, it was done.

Back at SeaTac our parking ticket read, 49 hours and 20 minutes. I know, it couldn’t have been right. It was most definitely a week!  😉

Looking forward to the Super Bowl,


olivia and stephanieStephanie Allen is Co-founder and President of Dream Dinners and a New York Times best-selling co-author of The Hour that Matters Most. Naturally a visionary and optimist, Stephanie hopes to inspire America through her nurturing voice of encouragement, assuring families…    

“You’re doing a great job!”