About two years ago I was introduced to Michael Angelo's frozen Italian entrees. Not only do they not use preservatives, the food is made in small batches with fresh foods found at the market place (not the science lab) to make sure that using fresh ingredients goes a long way. Just as you would prepare an extra lasagna for another night and put it in the freezer, Michael Angelo's prepares and packages their meals for your family.
It's All About The Family
And with any good meal comes the people behind it. And I can tell you first hand that the people behind Michael Angelo's are pretty special. Michael Angelo's was started by Michael Angelo and his mother, Sara, and every box carries their family name.
Like any good son, Michael believes that sharing Sara's home-style Italian cooking is the best way to deliver quality and convenience to anyone who truly cares about what they eat. In the Angelo family, authentic, Italian taste is everything.
Inviting the Family Over
So in keeping with the family theme, I invited a few special women over for a night of pasta, wine, and fun! My in-laws! You see... my mother in law is one of 5 girls. Can you believe it? So we invited 4 of the sisters who are in town over for a night in. My sisters in law were busy so it was just the 5 of us.
Knowing these ladies pretty well, I knew they'd be up for anything. So when I had comment cards and pens out, they had no problem taste testing for me and giving me their full opinion. And they didn't even need some wine to win them over. Cookies were a must though.
Cooking Up The Lasagna
Any good taste tester knows that variety is key. We can't just compare two dishes, we needed three lasagnas to really test the competition. So I prepared three different brands for my in-laws. What was most surprising, besides the fact that each looked different from the other, was the fact that each had a different cooking time! Ranging from 35 minutes all the way up to 80 minutes. And no, I didn't use the microwave.
Without telling my family what lasagna was which brand, we dug in and tried each three. I set out marker cards so that the ladies could decide what they thought about each lasagna. And these ladies had some pretty detailed opinions about the pasta!
The Sides and Drinks
In an effort to give a well-balanced meal, I also picked up a bag of Green Giant Seasoned Steamers. The Tuscan-Style broccoli was the only one Target carried that sounded good with the pasta so we went with that.
Each of the ladies also tried the broccoli and sadly it didn't meet the mark. Most thought the broccoli was too soggy for their taste even though I cooked it the minimum amount of time. It just didn't work for this family. However I think if we would have been able try one of the other flavors we would have enjoyed it a bit more! I'll be giving the Mediterranean blend a try soon.
I also served some yummy wine (which I partook in) and delicious cookies from Uncle Biffs for dessert. While my in-laws aren't crazy about wine, they are crazy about cookies! No, seriously... you should see our Christmas get togethers. Cookiepalooza!
While all of the lasagnas were tested, there clearly was no winner. Our group was split between two brands (and one of them was Michael Angelo's!). We did agree on one thing. The brand we didn't like. Sorry, Stouffers!
What most liked about Michael Angelo's was the cheese factor. This lasagna is tasty and has plenty of delicious cheese in the center. The flavor was great, not too spicy, and it wasn't runny or juicy. And it was known to have hte best sauce. However a few preferred the Marie Callendars lasagna (with a lot more fat!) because of the texture. The noodles in the Michael Angelo's lasagna were too thick.
I absolutely loved the Michael Angelo's lasagna and the thick noodles added to that love for me. From the amazing meaty sauce to the thick delicious noodles and the surplus of cheese, Michael Angelo's was the winner for me hands down.
A Great Time All Around
After we finished our dinner we decided to enjoy a fun game of Spontuneous. And the rest of the night was a blur of cookies, laughter, and fun. If you're planning a night in for the girls and don't want to futz with dinner, consider grabbing a frozen lasagna (or three) and a large salad, pairing it with some wine, and enjoy a night without worrying about what's for dinner!
You'll enjoy a tasty meal filled with delicious ingredients right from the grocery store with an Italian taste that you can't get anywhere else! Well... besides Italy.
A Trip To Italy!
If you're interested in enjoying your meal in Italy, Michael Angelo's is offering one grand prize winner an eight-day trip for two through the Trip to Italy sweepstakes. Winners will stay in a private villa with the Michael Angelo’s family, and will tour the region throughout the trip, including an exclusive event at Castello Banfi. Founder and CEO Michael and his mom Sara spend a great deal of time in Italy, and they make great tour guides!
The sweepstakes is open now through November 4, 2012. I encourage you to enter the sweepstakes and to share it with your friends, family, and more! Who knows? You might be enjoying your lasagna in Italy!
Disclaimer: I received a Walmart Gift Card to facilitate this taste test for review purposes only. Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.