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FAQ

I need directions to your store. Can you tell me the easiest way to get there?

Are your menu items kid-friendly?

I'm still having a hard time grasping this whole concept. Can you explain it one more time?

What if my family hates a meal that I make

You say that you enjoy cooking. I don't. Will I be able to assemble the meals easily and still have a good time?

This sounds expensive. How much does a cooking workshop typically cost?

Why don't you do package pricing? The other place I went to only charged me one fee for all my meals.

How long will the workshop take?

How many servings are in each entree?

I only have limited freezer space above my refrigerator. I don't think I'd have room to store the meals.

How do I sign up for a workshop?

What do I need to bring to the workshop?

How do you practice food safety at your workshops?

What are these private workshops I see on the calendar? Can my group schedule private gatherings?

What if for some unforeseeable reason I have to cancel?

What else can I expect?

Can you accommodate special dietary needs and family sizes?

My family has several food allergies and my kids don't like spicy food. Can you help us?

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I need directions to your store. Can you tell me the easiest way to get there?
The easiest way is to map directions from your home to our store on your computer.
Directions to Meals in the Bag™ in White Bear.


I'm still having a hard time grasping this whole concept. Can you explain it one more time?
Sure we can! It took us a while to understand this cooking style when we started doing it  years ago. Basically what we're offering to you is a service. We'll do all the hard parts of freezer cooking: the planning, shopping, prep, and menu research. We do all the things that make cooking ahead hard and we do the cleaning! You register on our website or over the phone for the menu items you wish to make. On your registered workshop date and time, you come to our kitchen and assemble your meals from our deliciously fresh ingredients. We have a large reach-in cooler that you will be assigned a personal bin in which you will store your completed menu items until you're ready to leave. You need to bring a cooler to transport your meals home. Your responsibilities are to register for your workshop, clear out the old freezer-burned hot dogs to make room in your freezer, and come to your workshop ready to have fun and make your meals. It's so simple--and you'll love having a freezer full of healthy meals for you and your family.

Are your menu items kid-friendly?
Our menu items are all taste-tested first in our own homes. Our families and children give all our recipes thumbs up before we place them on our menus. Remember that you are completely in charge of the ingredients when you come to Meals in the Bag™. If your family doesn't like green peppers, leave them out. If you don't like things spicy at your house, add only half of what the recipe calls for. We are happy to help you adjust the spices and ingredients so everyone at your table is happy.

What if my family hates a meal that I make?
We wouldn't want that to happen! We first recommend that you pick the Meals that most fit with your family's taste preferences. If you make something at Meals in the Bag™ and it just isn't up your alley, we will replace your item. We so strongly believe in the quality of our food and recipes that we are proud to offer a 100% satisfaction guarantee on each and every item that you make.


You say that you enjoy cooking. I don't. Will I be able to assemble the meals easily and still have a good time?
Freezer cooking is great for both the expert and the novice. It's also wonderful for people who enjoy cooking and those who don't. If you enjoy cooking, it will add to your family's regular menus by filling in on those busy days. You can still try new recipes and cook on other days. If you don't enjoy cooking, it will get all your meal-prep over with in just one short session. And you won't have to do much planning except to pick from our delicious monthly menu selections. Our goal is that each participant enjoys the sessions. Think of it as a gathering of friends each accomplishing something very necessary, but having a great time. We'll put on some fun music, chat, and put together the meals at the same time. Everyone who's attended our workshops thus far has said they've had a great time.

This sounds expensive. How much does a cooking workshop typically cost?
You'd be surprised at how reasonable our meals are. An average entree costs between $8 to $20 per menu item and you go home with 8-14 menu items that feed 4-6 people and a complimentary pantry item. We charge a base workshop fee of $35, in addition to your menu item costs, that covers our services. At every workshop, you'll also make a free item for your pantry. All shopping, set-up, prep work, containers, and instruction are included in this price. And there's no charge for the fun!

Why don't you do package pricing? The other place I went only charged me one fee for all my meals.
We tried the flat fee payment structure in our early days of facilitating workshops, but we found it just didn't work. Why pay the same price for Garlic Mashed Potatoes as you would for Bourbon Glazed Salmon? A flat fee structure also limits the number of each menu item that you can make. Our pricing structure gives you the flexibility you need. Having a crowd for dinner this weekend? Make six of our Gourmet Burger of the Month entrees. Do you only need 2-3 servings for your family? Come to one of our workshops for Singles, Seniors, and Empty Nesters, where you'll pay a smaller price for smaller portions. Our pricing structure allows you to pay for what you need and to pay at our store. No fear of being charged if you can't make your workshop appointment. Payment occurs at the end of the workshop at our location. We want you to be satisfied with your experience before you make payment!

How long will the workshop take?
Typical freezer cooking sessions last between 1 1/2 - 2 hours. This all depends on the number of menu items you're making and the speed at which you work. We don't want you to rush! We want you to enjoy your time with us. You might be surprised at how quickly your meals go together -- and you're welcome to hang out and enjoy this time with friends if you finish early.

How many servings are in each entree?
The original owner's grandfather had a recipe on which he had written: Serves 6 regular people, 4 hungry people or 2 gluttons, and I always think of this when we are asked about serving sizes. We follow the food pyramid guidelines for serving sizes, but we also try to keep in mind the way that normal people eat. Each of our menu items serve 4-6 people. During the workshop you have the opportunity to purchase additional portions of meat to adjust for your family's needs. Please contact us if you have any questions about the menu selections and how they will fit your family size. Your feedback is important to us.

I only have limited freezer space above my refrigerator. I don't think I'd have room to store the meals.
Many of the meals are packaged in zip top freezer bags and stored flat. We've put over 30 meals in a similar freezer and still had plenty of room for other items.

How do I sign up for a workshop?
Click Register or give us a call at 651-407-9649.

What do I need to bring to the workshop?
Most importantly, wear comfortable clothing and comfortable shoes. This isn't a day to wear your best clothes. Cooking can be messy business and because we know this firsthand, we provide aprons for you to wear. You should bring a cooler for transporting your meals home. Use your best judgment, depending on the weather, as to how much ice you need in your cooler for safe storage. You should plan to go directly home and freeze your menu items.

How do you practice food safety at your workshops?
Your safety and the safety of your family is always on our minds. In fact, it's the most essential ingredient to our success! We began thinking about your safety before we even began construction. We worked hand in hand with local Health Department sanitarians to insure that our facility was safe from the ground up. Their input was crucial in the development of our policies and procedures. We worked with them to achieve the highest standard of licensing possible for a facility of our type. We're held to a much higher standard than any other similar facility in the area and that's the way we like it. All Meals in the Bag™ employees are required to attain ServSafe certification, which is a safe food handling course designed for food managers. We utilize easy to sanitize stainless steel tables. Our cold pans keep perishable food colder than the Health Department requires and are easily sanitized in the dishwasher. Every customer is required to read through our sanitation instructions and is oriented to sanitation practices and procedures before they begin a workshop. And our cooking coaches insure that practices are followed throughout the workshop.

What are these private workshops I see on the calendar? Can my group schedule private gatherings?
We host a wide variety of private functions. We love to see Brownie and Scout troops, Bible study groups, baby/bridal showers, girl's night out, corporate team building events, or just about any gathering. We also have themed workshops like Surprise Your Spouse (aka Frozen Romance!) or Mother's/Father's Day mini-workshops where you and your kids can make a surprise meal. Stay tuned for more information as we continue to develop more ideas.

What if for some unforeseeable reason, I have to cancel?
Things happen and we understand that. Please give us a call so we know that you aren't able to attend and we will gladly help you reschedule.


What else can I expect?
Every month, we offer a free item for your pantry or freezer. This could be a fabulous spice rub for the grill, a muffin or bread mix, dip mix, cookie mix, a glaze or marinade, or some other wonderful item. Past offerings have included: citrus sage rub, rotisserie chicken spice, beer bread, pancake mix, etc. We charge $3.50 for additional pantry items, if you desire them.

Can you accommodate special dietary needs and family sizes? 
You as the cook ultimately control what ingredients go into your meal. So if you're allergic to nuts (or just don't like them) you'll be able to leave them out. We hope to offer enough choices each month that you'll be able to find choices that work for you. We are also able to offer sessions devoted to smaller families, singles, retirees, and daycare providers.

My family has several food allergies and my kids don't like spicy food. Can you help us?
We need to know of any allergies in your family at registration time. Ultimately, the ingredient choices you make are your responsibility, but we can help steer you away from any possible allergens. From experience, we know that families with allergies are very well versed in what they can and can't eat, so we rely on you for accurate information. Adjusting the spices in a recipe may affect final product, so we can't guarantee the taste if you vary from our instructions drastically. We create recipes that are mildly zesty and will specify when something varies from this. If you have a question about spices during a workshop we will be happy to help you adjust the recipe to your family's taste level.


Cooking without the Shopping, Chopping or Mopping!™
Copyright ©2005 Meals in the Bag

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