By the time dinner rolls around, I am completely and utterly exhausted. Instead of thinking about a creative and healthy meal to make with the ingredients in my kitchen, I am convincing my boys to stop jumping off the couch and managing typical chaos. So that’s why I was so incredibly excited to learn about Madison and Rayne, a Chicago based meal service that takes much of the prep and clean up work over so I can enjoy meals with my family—and maybe even snag a few minutes to myself as well.
Madison and Rayne is the delicious brainchild of Melanie Mityas and Josh Jones, who saw a need for busy Chicagoans to have access to high quality food prepared with fresh, local ingredients—in their own home. Healthier and tastier than takeout, Madison and Rayne provides shortcuts so you can focus on what’s important. No running to the grocery store, looking up recipes on Pinterest…the prep work is gone. And clean up is pretty simple too, since they will recycle much of what they personally deliver to you in the first place.
Wondering what a Madison and Rayne meal looks like? Well, I had the pleasure of trying it out on a busy weeknight with my two energy filled little boys and high energy husband….and it was a huge hit with all of us.
This post is sponsored by Madison and Rayne. I received a free sample of their product for the purpose of this review. All opinions are my own.
While we were all out and about during our day, our chef was busy preparing our customized meal. We chose to order the Roasted Amish Chicken Breast entree and the Mixed Greens with Goat Cheese salad, and the ingredients were promptly delivered to our house in the early afternoon. After quickly putting the supplies in the refrigerator, we continued on with our day until it was time to cook. My boys were so thrilled to be focused on building sandcastles instead of supermarket shopping—and so was I!
About an hour before I planned to serve dinner, I leisurely poured myself a glass of wine, turned on some music, and read through the recipe cards. The instructions were so incredibly detailed and thorough, spelling out cooking tips such as what it means to sear meat, using proper equipment and whatnot, that I felt like my own Chicago version of the Barefoot Contessa.
Since we were having both a salad and entrée, it was extremely helpful for both the containers and recipe cards to be color coded so I knew what belonged together and how to organize my cooking space in the best way.
The salad was pretty much put together by itself and all I had to do was toss the mixed greens, quinoa, goat cheese balls, and berries with the balsamic vinaigrette. After sneaking a quick taste, I knew that it was going to be a delicious meal from start to finish. Not going to lie, I could eat this salad five days a week…it was THAT GOOD.
As for the chicken, I at first was a little overwhelmed because there were so many different containers. But after reading through the recipe cards, I realized that there was only one pot I had to dirty to complete the entire meal. Yep, you read that right, ONE POT. Great news for any home cook, especially those busy moms who have to orchestrate homework completion after dinner like myself.
Since the recipe cards were so clear with hands on time and total time to table listed, as well as equipment I would need and what to do before I started cooking, I was able to take a quick break from time to time to check in on my boys and dance along with them when their favorite song came on the radio.
I must admit that I assumed that the roasted Amish chicken breast would take a bit more time to cook through than the card listed, but they proved me wrong because I was able to finish the chicken in the oven, and both the fennel and fingerling potatoes were perfectly cooked and moist once I added the smoked tomato bisque to the pan. It truly was a quick and easy dinner on a busy weeknight.
THE FINISHED PRODUCT
After 30 minutes (I did take some dance party breaks after all), our meal was perfectly cooked and on the table. Since an adult sized entrée feeds two children, we were all well fed, and happily so, with three adult servings, My boys told me that they enjoyed the chicken the most (it was much more moist than when I usually cook, most likely because of the tomato bisque that served as a delicious sauce), while my husband loved the vegetable combo and I was head over heels in love with the mixed greens salad.
Another thing I loved? The easy clean up. All I had to do was put one pan and our dishes in the dishwasher. As for the plastic containers that held the ingredients, I gave them a quick rinse and put them back into the Madison and Rayne reusable bag so that they could be recycled when a team member came to pick them up later in the week.
No grocery shopping. Easy preparation. Delicious food. Quick clean up.
The only thing that was a bit tricky with the meal I prepared was making sure I had the right equipment to use. I originally was using a pan that had a rubber handle, but since that couldn’t be put into the oven, I had to swap out pans early on in the cooking process. If that detail was spelled out a bit clearer in the recipe cards, it would make cooking even more effortless.
So, would I used Madison and Rayne again? Without a doubt. I’m telling you, it was such an easy way to give my family a healthy meal that tasted just as great as restaurants, without the restaurant prices.