Most of the time I’m a cook from scratch kind of gal. Seriously–I feel guilty using jarred spaghetti sauce. So in the normal course of events I don’t buy a lot of frozen meals.
Except. . .
Whenever I go on a trip I ALWAYS buy frozen meals for the family. This makes it easy for Yankee Bill to get dinner for the family, and it’s far less expensive (and healthier) than running through a drive through somewhere or taking them all out to eat.
This year’s trip down to Walmart Headquarters for the annual shareholders meeting happened coincide with a call to action from Walmart to try some of their Marie Callender’s meals (the dinners are on rollback nationwide right now for $2) and share my experiences. I was heading out to Walmart to buy frozen meals anyway! Kizmet!
I chose to purchase 3 Salisbury Steak meals (my kids LOVE that), 3 Turkey Pot Pies, and a couple of the “steamers” like the Beef Pepper Steak you see above. While I was gone they ate one pot pie and two steamers. Yankee Bill in particular thought the steamer meal was very fresh and tasty.
That’s nice and all, but you are probably wondering why I used “to the rescue” in the title. How did Marie Callender’s save the day? Well I arrived home from my trip to Walmart totally exhausted–we had been running from early in the morning until late at night every day–meetings, business meals. . . all of it good but just tiring. Then I had about 12 hours at home (and that included sleeping) and it was time to drive 2 1/2 hours to meet up with the rest of my family who had already headed north for my 2 year old niece’s Christening. After spending 36 hours there I had to drive back home–arriving at supper time.
I was sooooo tired. The thought of having to come up with something for my family to eat was just daunting. Marie Callender’s did indeed come to the rescue! I just grabbed the remaining meals out of the freezer, heated up the oven (you can use the microwave, but I like the pie crust better in the oven) and 45 minutes later dinner was ready.
The kids and Yankee Bill ate the Salisbury Steak Dinners. The “steak” patty was about the size of a hamburger, the gravy was tasty, there were plenty of potatoes, and the cheese and broccoli were a decent portion. Princess told me that she thought the cheese sauce was particularly good “for a frozen dinner”. I snitched a taste from the kids–I was impressed that the texture of the potatoes and the broccoli were so good–not mushy or grainy at all.
I ate one of the Turkey Pot Pies (the other went in the fridge and was used the next day). The crust was really good–but it should be! One of the things Marie Callender’s is known for is it’s pie crust. Ever since 1948 people were drawn to Marie Callender’s pies because of her dedication to using high-quality ingredients and the care she put into everything she made–and the company has continued that tradition.
The pie was very tasty. There were good sized chunks of turkey, peas, carrots, and a very nice gravy. I thought the size was impressive too. It really seemed more like a double serving and I felt positively STUFFED and a bit guilty by the time I had finished it. The next day for lunch I only ate a half of a pie and let Princess eat the other half as an after school snack when she got home.
I like that Marie Callender’s meals are made from premium, real ingredients including:
o Cheddar cheese from Vermont
o Fuji apples from California and Washington
o Red and white wines from California
o Tomatoes from California
o All white-meat chicken and premium cuts of USDA Choice beef
Marie Callender’s takes special care to make each meal look and taste homemade. By using fresh ingredients and tried and true recipes, each meal tastes like it was made from scratch.
So while I always love home cooked meals and encourage you all to cook from scratch–it’s never a bad idea to have a couple of frozen Marie Callender’s meals in the freezer for those hectic days when you just don’t have the energy to cook a meal–or when you have to rely on some not so kitchen savvy members of your family (like a husband or child) to get dinner ready.