Outsourcing Home Cooking

Too busy to make dinner? Meal-assembly kitchens may be the answer. Our man tests them

Karen Calhoun preps her meal according to a recipe at the Let's Eat! location in Winter Park, Florida

There was a time when everyone knew what cooking meant. You chopped food into smaller pieces, mixed them together, added seasoning and heated the whole thing up. Then things got confusing. Was dropping frozen peas in a pot cooking? Was combining Campbell's cream of mushroom soup, Bumble Bee tuna and Ritz crackers cooking? Heating a Hungry Man?

Right now I have no idea if I'm cooking. I'm standing at a Dream Dinners location in Burbank, Calif., next to a lot of moms. Following a posted recipe, we're scooping cubes of frozen, dry-looking chicken into a Ziploc bag, adding measuring cups full...

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