For years, families have wondered, "What's for dinner?" and have been met with blank refrigerator stares, or last minute expensive meals at nearby restaurants. Now, with affordable personal chef services and interactive cooking courses, we can toss out the question along with our table scraps.

There are a number of Tampa-area companies that provide wonderfully affordable meal options for the family constantly on the go. Here, I will highlight a couple of them.

Dinner Done! - Boasting a tagline of "Quick Creative Cuisine", Dinner Done offers many different dining choices to their customers, including a to-go session, a delivery option, and kitchen sessions.

With the to-go option, you can order a family or a petite session.  The family session includes a minimum of four family-sized entrees that serves 4-6 each while the petite session includes eight petite-sized meals which serve 2-3 people each.  Prices for each to-go option start at under $100.00!  Choose delivery for your to-go order for an additional $25.  Dinner Done! also offers $5 Delivery Day specials on a monthly basis. Find out more delivery information here.

The kitchen session is the real neat part!  For this option, sign up and be ready to cook your own meals (chosen by you ahead of time) in a professional kitchen.  Dinner Done! provides aprons, disposable bakeware and anything else you may need to store entrees.  The process is simple: go from one station to the next preparing your entrees by following recipe cards and using the ingredients that are already measured, chopped and prepared just for you.  After the session, enjoy the meals throughout the week, following the included cooking instructions, and looking into the suggested side items and accompanying wine- all shown on the attached label.

Dinner Done! can accommodate private parties, offers gift certificates for purchase and has special services including a Stork Session (discounted entree preparation for expectant parents) and a Helping Hand Session (to-go preparation fees waived for those undergoing radiation or chemotherapy, recovering from surgery, or who have just lost an immediate family member).

Tampa Bay Personal Chef Services - Just like Dinner Done!, Tampa Bay Personal Chef Services offers premium services for those that either have too little time in their day and/or want to create their own chef-inspired meals.  In addition to offering catering services, Tampa Bay Chef also offers cooking classes, sushi-preparation courses, meal packages, and classes for kids.

With the personal chef meal package service, customers fill out a questionnaire from the chefs, detailing likes/dislikes, allergies, dietary restrictions, etc.   After that, the chefs will not only prepare the meal at your home, but they will even do the grocery shopping for you!  Meals can be stored in the freezer and heated up again according to label directions prepared by the chef.

Cooking classes offered by Tampa Bay Chef include: individual, group, couple and for kids.  All cooking classes are held in a venue of your choice, most often your own home for the ultimate convenience.  Cooking demonstrations are also available if one doesn't want to be too hands-on.

A great feature of Tampa Bay Personal Chef Services is how much they conform to the all too familiar diet plans.  If you enlist Tampa Bay Chef to prepare your meals for the week and you want to continue to follow your diet, simply share your diet plan with your chef and the right foods will be prepared.