Introduction and Red Nose Day

Hello Dinner’s Ready World,

This is Brian Krikorian, the newest marketing intern for Dinner’s Ready.  I am currently a college student who decided that I want to help my parents out as much as possible.  I am a business administration major with emphasis in entrepreneurship, management, and marketing.  This is how I got the job for the marketing intern.  Serge and Mary, the owners of Dinner’s Ready and my parents, decided that it would be a great experience to start off process of learning the business.

Red Nose Day

Being new to this world of Dinner’s Ready I first had to ask what Red Nose Day was.  Red Nose Day is on Thursday, May 26, 2016 .  The day is about raising money to help kids who are in need.  Half of the money raised goes to projects that support the safety, well-being, and education of kids in the United States.  The other half goes to do the same for kids around the world.

In support of Red Nose day, Dinner’s Ready will be donating 10% of all proceeds on Thursday, May 26, 2016 to the Red Nose Day Fund

So come celebrate with us to help out kids across the world!

 

 

Summer Berry Salad – KARK 4 Feature

Our owner and chef, Serge Krikorian, has been asked to be a regular guest chef on KARK 4 News on their Monday show. In case you cannot watch him during the day, we want to make sure you have the tools to make the recipe we share on the show a success in your kitchen.

Pairs well with the California Grilled Chicken Sandwich. Find recipe in our blog.

Summer Berry Salad

  • 5 oz. spring musclun salad mix or spinach mix
  • 3 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
  • 4 or 5 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
  • 6 fresh strawberries, quartered
  • 1/4 cup whole fresh blueberries
  • 1/4 cup toasted walnuts or pecans
  • 1/3 cucumber, peeled, seeded and sliced
  • 2 green onions, diced
  • Strawberry Balsamic Dressing (recipe below)

Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and dress with Strawberry Balsamic Dressing. Toss to coat evenly and serve cold.

Strawberry Balsamic Dressing

  • 1/2 cup strawberry balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 cup grape seed oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients in a container than can be tightly sealed and shake vigorously to emulsify.

California Grilled Chicken Sandwich – KARK 4 Feature

Our owner and chef, Serge Krikorian, has been asked to be a regular guest chef on KARK 4 News on their Monday show. In case you cannot watch him during the day, we want to make sure you have the tools to make the recipe we share on the show a success in your kitchen.

California Grilled Chicken Sandwich

  • 4 marinated boneless, skinless chicken breasts, 6 oz. each (marinade recipe below)
  • 4 slices cooked applewood smoked bacon
  • 4 ciabatta buns
  • Cilantro Lime Yogurt, recipe below
  • Mesclun salad mix
  • Sliced fresh tomatoes
  • Sliced fresh avocado

Place each piece of chicken between two pieces of plastic film and flatten to ó” with a meat mallet.

Combine the ingredients for the Chicken Marinade and pour into a sealable plastic bag. Add the chicken to the marinade, seal the bag and refrigerate for at least two hours.

Meanwhile, cook bacon according to package directions and drain well. Set aside. Also, combine all ingredients for Cilantro Lime Yogurt in a food processor and process until smooth. Set aside.

Remove the marinated chicken from the marinade and discard remaining marinade. Cook the chicken on a pre-heated grill or grill pan until cooked through, approximately 3-4 minutes per side, until internal temperate reaches 165 degrees. Remove chicken to a plate and cover to keep warm. Toast the ciabatta buns on the grill or grill pan to warm through.

To build sandwich, spread Cilantro Lime Yogurt on both sides of the bun. Top with chicken, bacon, sliced avocado, mesclun mix and sliced tomatoes.

Chicken Marinade

  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper
  • 1 Tbls. olive oil
  • 1 Tbls. lime juice
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic

Cilantro Lime Yogurt

  • 1 cup fat free Greek yogurt
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
  • 1 tsp. minced garlic
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper

Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken – KARK Feature

Our owner and chef, Serge Krikorian, has been asked to be a regular guest chef on KARK 4 News on their Monday show. In case you cannot watch him during the day, we want to make sure you have the tools to make the recipe we share on the show a success in your kitchen.

Goat Cheese Stuffed Chicken with Mushroom Cream Sauce

For the Chicken

  • 4 6 oz. Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
  • Salt and Ground White Pepper, to taste
  • 4 oz. Goat Cheese
  • 1 tsp. Fresh Tarragon, chopped
  • 1 tsp. Fresh Parsley, chopped
  • 1 oz. Baby Spinach
  • 1/5 cup Flour
  • 1 egg
  • 1 Tbls. Water
  • 1/2 cup Italian Bread Crumbs
  • 2 Tbls. Grape Seed Oil

Place each piece of chicken between two pieces of plastic film. Using a meat mallot, flatten the chicken to 1/4″, being careful not to tear the chicken.

Season the chicken with salt and white pepper.

Combine goat cheese with tarragon and parsley. Divide the cheese mixture evenly among the chicken pieces. Top the cheese mixture with the baby spinach. Starting on the short side of the chicken, roll the chicken around the cheese mixture.

Put the flour in a shallow dish. In a separate shallow dish, beat together the egg and the water. In a third dish, put the bread crumbs. Roll each chicken piece in the flour to coat well, dip in the egg and then roll in the bread crumbs, being sure to coat each piece well. Place each piece of chicken on a clean piece of plastic film and roll the chicken in the film, making a tight roll. Twist the ends of the plastic to form a tight jellyroll.

Place the pieces of chicken in the freezer for at least 1 hour.

When ready to cook, heat the grape seed oil in a heavy skillet. Remove the chicken from the plastic film and brown all sides of the chicken. Transfer chicken to a baking sheet. Finish cooking chicken in a pre-heated 350 degree oven until internal temperature reaches 170 degrees, about 20 minutes.

While the chicken is cooking prepare the sauce

For the sauce

  • 1 Shallot, finely diced
  • 6 oz. Button Mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 Tbls. Unsalted Butter
  • 1/2 cup White Wine
  • 1 cup Chicken Stock
  • 1 sprig Fresh Tarragon
  • Salt and Ground White Pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 cup Heavy Cream

Melt the butter in a heavy skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and sauce until mushrooms are tender, about 4-5 minutes. Add the shallot and continue to cook until shallot is softened. Deglaze the pan with the wine and reduce by half. Add the chicken stock and fresh tarragon and reduce heat to simmer 10 minutes. Season with salt and white pepper to taste and stir in heavy cream. Continue to simmer until cream is heated through.

To serve, slice chicken rolls on a diagonal into 3 equal pieces. Spoon sauce over chicken.

Tagalong Chicken Mole

In honor of Girl Scout Cookie Week, we were asked by the Girl Scouts to create a dish with their Tagalong Cookies.  We decided to go savory instead of sweet and created a traditional Mexican Chicken Mole, which contains both peanut butter and chocolate just like the Tagalong Cookies.

Made with Girl Scouts Tagalong Cookies

1 Tbls. Mexican Spice Rub (recipe below)
2 Pounds Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts
1 Tbls. Vegetable Oil
1 Small Yellow Onion, diced
2 tsp. Garlic, minced
3 Cups Chicken Broth
2 tsp. Chipotle Chile canned in Adobo, minced
1/4 Cup Fresh Cilantro, chopped
1/4 Cup Green Onion, diced
2 oz. Slivered Almonds
2 tsp. Sesame Seeds
2 tsp. Dried Oregano
1/4 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
3/4 tsp. Ground Cinnamon
1 Bay Leaf
1 Dried Ancho Chile Pepper, stem removed
3 oz. Raisins
6 Girl Scouts Tagalong Cookies, crushed
1 oz. Mexican Chocolate, melted

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Season chicken breasts with Mexican Spice Rub and put on a greased baking sheet. Cook in oven for 25-30 minutes, until internal temperature reaches 165 degrees. Remove from oven and allow to cool. When cool enough to handle, shred chicken into big shreds with two forks.

Meanwhile, in a large sauce pan heat oil over medium heat. Add the onions and saute until translucent, about 4-5 minutes. Add garlic and continue to cook for another minute.

To the onion mixture add chicken stock, chipotle chiles, cilantro, green onions, almonds, sesame seeds, oregano, cayenne pepper, cinnamon, bay leaf, ancho chile and raisins. Bring to a boil and simmer for 15 minutes. Reduce heat and continue to simmer for 15-20 minutes. Remove the bay leaf. Puree sauce with a submersion blender or, if you don’t have a submersion blender, transfer sauce to a blender and puree.

Return sauce to the pan and stir in shredded chicken, crushed cookies and melted chocolate and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Simmer 10-15 minutes, until thickened.

Serve over cooked white rice.

Mexican Spice Rub

2 Tbls. Brown Sugar
2 tsp. Salt
2 tsp. Chili Powder
1.5 tsp. Ground Cumin
1 tsp. Dried Oregano
1 tsp. Garlic Powder
½ tsp. Ground Black Pepper
1/4 tsp. Cayenne Pepper
1 tsp. Paprika

Combine all ingredients. Store in an air tight container.

Grilled Greek Chicken Kebabs – KARK Feature

Our owner and chef, Serge Krikorian, has been asked to be a regular guest chef on KARK 4 News on their Monday show. In case you cannot watch him during the day, we want to make sure you have the tools to make the recipe we share on the show a success in your kitchen.

Grilled Greek Chicken Kebabs

(4 Servings)

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. boneless, skinless chicken breasts, cubed into 1″ pieces
  • 2 Tbls. olive oil
  • 2 tsp. minced fresh garlic
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 1?2 lemon
  • 1.5 tsp. salt
  • 1?2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1?2 tsp. ground cardamom
  • 1 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1?2 tsp. cumin
  • 1.5 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1?2 tsp. ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cayenne pepper

Directions:

  1. Mix all ingredients, except chicken, in a large bowl. Add the cubed chicken and stir to completely coat the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for at least two hours.
  2. Meanwhile, soak bamboo skewers in water. When the chicken is ready, skewer the chicken on the skewers.
  3. Heat your grill. Cook the skewers of chicken on the grill, turning frequently, until chicken is cooked through and internal temperature reaches 170 degrees.
Quinoa Tabbouleh
Ingredients:
  • 1 1/4 cups water
  • 1?2 cup quinoa
  • 3 tomatoes, finely diced
  • 4 green onions, finely diced
  • 1?2 lbs. parsley, finely minced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/8 cup lemon juice
  • 1?2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 3/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
  • 1?2 tsp. dried mint
Directions:
  1. Bring the water to a boil in a small sauce pan. Reduce the heat and add the quinoa. Stir and continue to cook and stir until all of the water is absorbed.
  2. Meanwhile, remove the stems from the parsley and finely chop in a food processor. Transfer the parsley to a bowl and add the diced tomatoes, green onions, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper, cayenne, and mint. When the quinoa is cooked, add the quinoa to the parsley mixture and stir to combine. Adjust the seasonings and lemon juice as necessary.

Saying Goodbye by Catherine Reid

For a little over nine months I’ve called Dinner’s Ready my home and my coworkers my family. I am saddened to be leaving this supportive, hardworking team but I am excited about my future opportunities. Here are some of my favorite memories over the past nine months, and I’m going to try not to cry while writing this.

Red Nose Day

I kept hearing the commercials on the radio about this Red Nose Day. Everyone was raving about it. When I started to do some research in my free time, I fell in love with the project and I wanted to propose that Dinner’s Ready participate. I had only been the marketing assistant less than a month so I was scared to propose anything with the fear of being turned down. Mary, Serge, and Desiree loved the idea and what the Red Nose Campaign stood for. We went all over Central Arkansas searching for any red noses that were left. We finally got enough for the whole staff and they loved it!  I hope this project continues with Dinner’s Ready even after I’m gone.

Community

One of the best things about our business being in Saline County is our community. The love this community has for Dinner’s Ready (or the treats I bring) is enough to melt my heart. I have met so many business professionals and have learned so much about a variety of businesses. Being a part of a small business has helped me see how important it is to support and shop local. I am proud that I got the opportunity to be a part of the business that won Small Business of the Year from the Bryant Chamber.

Photography

Photography has always been one of my favorite past times. I get it from my mother who took pictures of everything my brother and I did growing up. When I was told I would be doing event and food photography, I couldn’t remember the last time I actually picked up a camera instead of my smart phone. Starting out was a little tough because there was a lot of learning for me to do to make sure our food looked as good on paper as it is when you eat it. With the help of many articles and my boss, I finally started to get photographs I was proud of. I’m still not use to seeing them on social media or on menus, but I am happy that Dinner’s Ready saw my potential and encouraged me to grow as a photographer.

Staff

There is not enough time in the day or room on this page for me to say how much I will miss this team. Coming in, not really experienced in anything but customer service, this team has been patient and kind when teaching me the different aspects it takes to make Dinner’s Ready a success. I have shared so many laughs and memories with this team and I’m going to miss seeing their faces every day. They have been extremely supportive of my new opportunity and I couldn’t ask for anything better.

Whew. I made it through without shedding a tear. I would like to say thank you to everyone out in the community that has made me feel welcome and made being a representative of Dinner’s Ready a breeze. Thank you to all of our loyal customers who made marketing a piece of cake. Thank you to my team members/family at Dinner’s Ready for making me laugh, encouraging me, and picking me up when I’m feeling down. Thank you to Serge and Mary for taking a chance on me and making the work environment a fun one. Most of all, I would like to say thank you to my boss, Desiree, for helping me grow as a marketing professional and as a person. This isn’t goodbye, it’s a see you later.

 

Super Bowl Food Frenzy – KARK 4 Feature

Our owner and chef, Serge Krikorian, has been asked to be a regular guest chef on KARK 4 News on their Monday show. This week’s feature will help you prepare for your Super Bowl watch party. It’s time to start planning and here are some ideas for reviving some classic football fanatic favorites.

Party Pita Pizza

Ingredients:

  • Pita Bread 
  • Pizza Sauce (recipe follows) 
  • Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
  • Favorite Pizza Toppings such as pepperoni, bell peppers, onions, olives, Italian sausage (cook & crumble before putting on pizza), ground beef (cook & crumble before putting on pizza), sliced ham, Canadian bacon, diced tomatoes, pineapple chunks, grilled chicken, mushrooms, Parmesan cheese, shredded cheddar cheese, shredded provolone cheese, fresh mozzarella, fresh basil

Directions:

Preheat oven to 385 degrees.

Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray. Put the pita bread on the baking sheet and top with desired amount of pizza sauce. Top sauce with topping of your choice. 

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly. Slice each pizza into 4-6 slices and serve hot.

Pizza Sauce

Ingredients:

  • 2 8 oz. Cans Tomato Sauce
  • 3/4 tsp. Salt 
  • 1 tsp. Dried Basil 
  • 1 tsp. Dried Oregano 
  • 2 tsp. Garlic Powder 
  • 1/2 tsp. Ground Black Pepper

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Chicken Fajita Pita Pizza

Ingredients:

  • Pita Bread
  • Picante Salsa 
  • Sliced Grilled Chicken (or chopped rotisserie chicken) 
  • Thinly sliced red and green bell pepper 
  • Thinly sliced red onion 
  • Shredded Mozzarella Cheese 
  • Shredded Cheddar Cheese

Directions:

Preheat oven to 385 degrees.

Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray. Put the pita bread on the baking sheet and top with desired amount of picante salsa. Top salsa with cooked chicken, peppers and onions. Sprinkle with shredded mozzarella and cheddar cheeses.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until cheese is melted and bubbly. Slice each pizza into 4-6 slices and serve hot.

 Margherita Pita Pizza

Ingredients:

  • Pita Bread
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • Minced Fresh Garlic
  • Diced Fresh Tomato
  • Fresh Mozzarella
  • Salt
  • Ground Black Pepper
  • Fresh Basil Chiffonade
Directions:
Repeat the same instructions as above.
Pigs in a Blanket
Ingredients:
  • Polish Sausage
  • Puff Pastry
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 Tbls. Water

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Beat the egg with the water to form an egg wash.

Cut the Polish sausage into 3 equal pieces. Cut the puff pastry to size to wrap the sausage with a 1?2″ overlap. Roll each piece of sausage in a piece of pastry and brush the edge of the pastry with the egg wash and press to seal.

Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray. Set the wrapped sausage on the sheet, seam side down, and bake 35-40 minutes, until pastry is slightly browned and flaky. Serve warm with stone-ground brown mustard and Chipotle Ketchup (recipe follows) for dipping.

Chipotle Ketchup

Ingredients:

  • Cocktail Smokies
  • Sliced Bacon
  • Brown Sugar

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Spray a baking sheet with non-stick spray. Cut each slice of bacon into 5 equal pieces.Tightly wrap each cocktail smokey with a piece of bacon and place on baking sheet seam side down.

Sprinkle the top of the wrapped smokies with brown sugar and cook in oven for 20-25 minutes, until bacon has cooked through. Serve warm.

 

Steak Poblano – KARK Feature

Our owner and chef, Serge Krikorian, has been asked to be a regular guest chef on KARK 4 News on their Monday show. In case you cannot watch him during the day, we want to make sure you have the tools to make the recipe we share on the show a success in your kitchen.

Steak Poblano 

(4 Servings)

Ingredients:

  • 2 lbs. Skirt Steak
  • Juice of 1 Lime Juice
  • Zest of 1 Lime
  • 1 Recipe Grill Seasoning (recipe follows)
  • 12 6″ Flour Tortillas
  • 4 Lg. Fresh Poblano Chile Peppers, Roasted Poblano
  • 2 Tbls. Vegetable Oil
  • 1 Lg. Yellow Onion, sliced 1/4″ thick
  • 8 oz. Button Mushroom, sliced
  • 2 Ripe Tomatoes, cut into 8 wedges each
  • Salt & Ground Black Pepper, to taste
  • 1 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese

Directions:

Cut the skirt steak into 4 equal pieces. Places the pieces of steak between 2 pieces of plastic film and beat with a meat mallet to tenderize.

Combine the lime juice, lime zest and grill seasoning in a large plastic bag. Add the tenderized steak to the marinade and allow to marinate for at least 4 hours, preferably overnight.

Grill the marinated steaks either on an outdoor grill or on a grill pan to desired doneness. Meanwhile, prepare the Roasted Poblanos to serve with the steak.

To roast the poblano chile peppers, place the poblano peppers directly over a gas flame burner on your stove and allow to roast until the skin of the pepper becomes black and charred. If you don’t have a gas stove, place the poblanos on a baking sheet and turn your oven to broil. Broil the poblanos about 4″ from the broiler. Rotate the peppers to char all sides of the pepper. Put the charred peppers in a plastic bag and twist the bag closed.

Allow the peppers to cool enough to handle. When cool to the touch, remove the skin of the pepper by wiping with a paper towel. Remove the stem and the seeds from the pepper and slice the pepper into thin strips.

Meanwhile, heat the vegetable oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onions to the skillet and saute until translucent, about 4­5 minutes. Remove the onions and add the mushrooms to the skillet. Cook the mushrooms until they start to brown, 4­-5 minutes. Add the onions and the roasted poblanos to the mushrooms and season everything with salt & pepper. Transferthe pepper mixture to a heavy, cast iron skillet and top with the wedges of fresh tomato. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella over the top of the mixture and put the skillet in a pre­heated 350 degree oven until cheese is melted and just starting to slightly brown, about 12-­15 minutes.

To serve, spoon 1/4 of the poblano mixture onto a plate and top with the grilled skirt steak. Serve with warm flour tortillas.

Grill Seasoning

Ingredients:

  • 1 tsp. Brown Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Smoked Paprika
  • 3 cloves Garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. Salt
  • 3/4 tsp. Ground Black Pepper
  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil
  • 1?2 tsp. Onion Powder
  • 1?2 tsp. Coriander
  • 1.5 tsp. Cumin

Directions: Combine all ingredients in a bowl.

Top 5 Wedding Colors for 2016

By: Catherine Reid

With spring right around the corner, Pantone has released their colors of 2016. They chose ten colors we could not be more pleased with, but here is a look at my favorites and how to coordinate them in your own wedding.

Lilac Grey

526855d0abec2e0f102dc0b38bbd22ff Photo credit to mariages.net https://www.mariages.net/photos/idee-bouquet–f304483

I love the soft colors almost just as much as I love the bright ones, and Pantone’s Lilac Grey is no exception. This beautiful mix of lavender and grey is the perfect balance to any vivid color such as Pantone’s Fiesta, Pantone’s Buttercup, forest green, or deep purple. I love the way the bouquet below has hints of green and yellow while the lilac grey flowers are well represented.

Peach Echo

wedding-bouquet-4 Photo credit to bellethemagazine.com http://bellethemagazine.com/2014/04/12-stunning-wedding-bouquets-28th-edition.html

Isn’t this list just peachy so far? I have fallen in love with Pantone’s Peach Echo. This is the perfect balance between orange and pink. I would pair this color with gold, orange, pink, or Pantone’s Lilac Grey. The bouquet below is so bright and subtle; it is perfect for any spring or summer wedding.

Serenity

courtesy of holly chapple Photo credit to weddingwire.com http://www.weddingwire.com/wedding-ideas/etiquette-advice/14-ways-to-use-pantone-s-2016-colors-of-the-year-in-your-wedding?utm_source=pinterest&utm_medium=social-media&utm_campaign=ww-ideas&utm_content=advice&crlt.pid=camp.DJimhqc9uPmg

Pantone didn’t pick one color of 2016, they picked two! The first color Pantone chose was a light and airy shade of blue. I absolutely love this color with Pantone’s Peach Echo, grey, and cream. The flowers below are paired perfect with the hint of peach, but it’s not too overbearing. I love this bouquet!

Limpet Shell

download (1) Photo credit to themamasion.com http://www.themamaison.com/blog/2015/11/10/limpet-shell

Does anyone want to go to the beach? Pantone’s next color takes us to an exotic getaway with the energetic tones of aqua that remind us the blue water. Limpet Shell pairs perfect with Pantone’s Peach Echo, white, and Pantone’s Ice Coffee. I love this color for any beach or outdoor wedding.  No one really is concerned with what the man is wearing on his wedding day, but this Limpet Shell tie is the perfect match to the bright peach boutonniere.

 

While there are many beautiful colors to choose from, these are just a few of my favorite from Pantone’s Colors of 2016. Let us know what you think. I am so excited to see these colors in our 2016 weddings.