TDS 34: How To Turn What's For Dinner Into Yum. Interview With Andrea Love

Andrea Love of Dinner Delights

Andrea Love of Dinner Delights

What would you do if you opened the fridge and dinner was right there waiting for you? For many busy families, couples on the go, and singles who don’t have the time or inclination to cook a meal for one, this solution would be eagerly welcomed.

We have migrated to food on demand from many venues. Ingredients for dishes come mailed to our door, groceries can be delivered, and the ability to have food delivered from ANY restaurant has saved us from a life of pizza delivery.

But what about affordable and healthy food you can either prepare yourself in bulk at a fun gathering or have prepared for you without any effort? We talk about these options with Andrea Love of Dinner Delights during this week’s episode of #thedeliciousstory.


As Andrea elaborated on the options of meals catered to your exact desires, we also dove into the challenges people have with food. For most of us, there are foods that won’t pass our lips, either due to an “allergy,” personal convictions, or an aversion for foods based on flavor or texture.

I like salmon and other light fish, for example, and shrimp or lobster on occasion. But I don’t like fish that tastes “fishy.” I imagine I’d like many other fish options if prepared well, but since I don’t know how to cook fish beyond salmon that’s just a theory. My husband David won’t eat any crustaceans at all, so these items aren’t found in our fridge most of the time.

Andrea talks about her customers and addressing their preferences when preparing meals via her in-home chef services, as well as helping them make dishes at frozen meal parties. You don’t like onions or peppers? No worries because you can exclude those items.  

And for those who are looking to be more adventurous, Andrea points out that a meal prepared via Dinner Delights affords clients a chance to try something new with less risk. You can sample something for one meal without having to invest in a lot of product, in case it turns out you don’t like it. You can try the turmeric in a dish, for example, and if it doesn’t jive for you, then you are spared having a container of it in your cupboard collecting dust.


One feature of #thedeliciousstory is to capture memorable meal stories shared by our guests. In that small world way of memories, we can always connect because we all have special meal experiences. Andrea talks about a meal at the restaurant called La Rosa Nautica in Lima, Peru. I was excited to realize I’d been there because our daughter Alexandra lives in Lima.

One of the key characters of Andrea’s memorable meal is a dish called ossobuco. In case you’re not familiar, as I wasn’t, ossobuco is an Italian dish which means, “bone with a hole.” This will matter when Andrea gets to the punchline of her story, which has a funny ending once you know a bit about the dish!

I’ve only been to Lima a couple of times so far but can attest that if you travel to Lima try the ceviche which IS the dish which draws people there. I found this video by Samuel and Audrey travelers taken at La Rosa, which features variations on ceviche, doing a heady turn at showing how lovely a meal there can be.

The other story Andrea shared involved a mishap that changed the course of an evening’s meal. Again, you’ll want to listen to Andrea tell it to get the full impact of what happened, but as she spoke, I realized this is a great question to ask future guests.

I figure most of us have lessons we’ve learned in the kitchen with the memories (or wounds) to prove it. I conducted a quick search and found plenty of posts that cover this topic, including this very funny one over at Bored Panda. I laughed out loud and thought you’d find it funny as well.

I indulge here for a moment to share my mishap, which occurred many Thanksgivings ago. We were the designated location for dinner that year, and I was excited to prepare EVERY dish for the evening’s feast. That was mistake #1 of course because the meal is so much better when everyone pitches in with something.

I didn’t have lots of experiences roasting turkey,  but I read recipes and determined to make one that would be beautifully golden with all the herbs and seasonings. I worked over that bird basting and checking on it constantly, but couldn’t get over a nagging feeling that it didn’t quite look like the one in the picture of the recipe.

At the end of the roasting, I pulled the turkey out of the oven and was disappointed that it still didn’t look ANYTHING like the picture, I tried to truss up the legs to give the bird some perk to no avail. It was only then that I realized I had cooked the turkey as it had lived with its breast side down on the pan. The breast meat certainly was moist, but there was no Norman Rockwell moment with the presentation of the turkey. The turkey’s breasts looked anemic and pale, but it was tender meat!


For many of us, answering the question of what’s for dinner isn’t easy or fun. We are fortunate to be living in times when creative people offer services to make life easier and afford us a chance to do those things that we most enjoy.

Andrea and I finished up the interview with her offering a few options for people interested in taking advantage of freezer meal parties. It turns out you don’t have to host people at your home if that isn’t your preference, but can convene at gatherings organized and held in community kitchens that Andrea has scheduled in locations in the Des Moines metro. Of course, if you’re ready to try her for in-home chef services, you can call to secure her time on the calendar and arrange the plan that best meets your needs!


Alexandra and Sherry, 2016

Alexandra and Sherry, 2016

Sherry is the founder of Storied Gifts a personal publishing service of family and company histories. She and her team help clients curate and craft their stories into books. When not writing or interviewing, Sherry spends loads of time with her grandchildren and lives in Des Moines, Iowa.


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