Last Week of Summer Dinners: Orzo Two Ways

I am a huge fan of orzo pasta for its versatility and tastiness!  And in the summertime, what could be better than a cool, tangy pasta dish loaded with colorful veggies and chicken.  Your dinner will be a crowd pleaser, as your kids can enjoy something familiar - pasta with marinara, while the grown-ups can feast on a healthy, hearty dish of orzo, chicken, feta cheese and vegetables, all tossed in a homemade roasted red pepper dressing.  Your kids might even be tempted to try some of the big people pasta!

Don't tell your kids, but the marinara sauce will be made with fresh tomatoes and chopped spinach, so they'll be getting a healthier version of the standard fare.  I keep jars of Ragu in my cabinet for those nights when I can't come up with anything, but when I have the time to make fresh sauce, my kids always like it better and don't even realize how packed with good stuff it is.

For the adult version, I'll focus on fresh, local produce, like tomatoes, peppers, basil, spinach, and whatever else looks good at the farmers' market, and then throw in some good olives, and a generous amount of feta and chicken.  The whole mix will be tossed in a great dressing made fresh without preservatives or corn syrup or whatever other junk they put in salad dressings to allow them to live long lives on the supermarket shelves.  The leftovers (if there are any) are awesome for lunch the next day over lettuce!

For snacking on the side, you'll enjoy my favorite hummus with olive tapanade and served with pita chips. I can almost guarantee you won't want to share this with the rest of your family!

For dessert, I have a limited amount of fig preserves (made from figs hand-picked off of our fig tree) that I'll serve with a very sharp cheddar cheese.  You can have some vanilla ice cream on hand if you like, but I prefer the combination of the sweet figs and the sharp cheese - the perfect way to end a summer night!  If we run out of the figs, I'll be making iced chocolate brownies (no nuts) served with M&Ms that your kids can use to decorate.  The fig/cheese combo will be $8, and the brownies $5 for 6 brownies.  If you're feeling wild, order both!

As I mentioned, this will be the last week of the summer for ordering, but we'll re-launch in September.  For the time being, we're going to stick to once a week - Tuesday nights - and keep the concept basically the same.  Look for an email around Labor Day explaining anything new.

Thanks so so much for all the support, feedback and enthusiasm - it's been so fun & can't wait to think up some new menus for the Fall!

Thanks,
Claire

Order at dinnersontheporchorders@gmail.com and include your name, address, and any specifications (vegetarian, dessert order, extra portions, etc).

As always, if you won't be home to receive your dinner between 4 -5 on Tuesday, just leave a cooler & a check and your dinner will be waiting for you on the porch!