The Perfect Winston Winter Dinner

When our winter weather is playing Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde on us like it is lately, it's hard to know what to eat for dinner.  Driving the kids to school in the morning, bundled up and so grateful for my hot coffee, I'm thinking about soups and stews and hearty meals.  By midday, I've shed various layers of clothing and am thinking I could go for a nice piece of grilled chicken and a salad.  By 5:30, still mired in indecision, I'm digging around in the freezer for anything that can pass for a meal.  (I know this may come as a surprise to those of you who might think that since I am capable of preparing dinner for 100 families a week, cooking dinner for my own family must be a snap, but sadly, it is not.)

In any case, I've decided the perfect solution to this weather-related dinner drama is a hearty soup and a fabulous salad.  We can only wish that a hearty soup and a fabulous salad could solve all of life's problems!

Tuesday, January 17th:
Homemade Hummus & Pita Chips
Greek Orzo Pasta Salad with Chicken, Feta & Fresh Veggies
Rosemary Bean & Roasted Potato Soup
Fresh Spinach with Homemade Roasted Red Pepper Salad Dressing
Vegetarian Option:  Greek Orzo Pasta with Tofu
Optional Extra:  Camino Bakery Tomato Basil Parmesan Bread ($6)
Optional Extra:  Extra Quart of Orzo Salad - great for lunches! ($10)
Kids' Option:  Orzo Pasta with Marinara & Feta Cheese ($6)
Dessert:  Lemon Bars ($6)
GYTTW:  Red River Tortilla Pie with ground beef or mushrooms ($22, reg or $30, large)

Y'all know my love of this Homemade Hummus, and I would even say that when I don't have any around, I may get a little cranky.  If I am making dinner for my family, you can always find a bottle small glass of wine and bowl of hummus & crackers right where I'm working, since I find those items take the edge off of many things, not the least of which is hunger.  Plus, it's nice to have something that the kids like to eat before dinner so that I don't have to deal with too much whining and become Mommy Dearest.  (In one famous incident a year or so ago, several events conspired to cause me to become so annoyed while trying to make dinner that I threw a whole pot of cooked spaghetti across the kitchen and stormed out of the house.  Not my finest moment, but we learn from our mistakes.  It probably never would have happened if I had had hummus & wine on hand.  Just saying.)

We've made our Greek Orzo salad many times, and I have to say that I never get tired of it.  It's great warm or cold, on its own or over fresh spinach as a green salad dish.  We're sending some of our favorite Roasted Red Pepper Dressing in case you like to mix it all up!  The pasta has so many yummy goodies all mixed in - feta, fresh red peppers, snap peas, edamame beans, chicken - that you really feel very virtuous even while you are eating it.  It's also oddly appealing to kids, even with all of the crazy stuff mixed in, since it's in a pasta base and they can sort of pick out the things they like and leave the things they don't.  I particularly enjoy eating it over lettuce for lunch, so I've added an option to get an extra quart in case you like that too!

The Rosemary Bean & Roasted Potato Soup is a new item on the DOTP rotation, and I think you'll like it!  It's what a cookbook would call "rustic," which I think seems to mean that a normal person is familiar with all of the ingredients and might actually be able to make it.  Like the Orzo, it's got lots of veggies, including the newly-popularized Southern staple, kale, potatoes, beans, tomatoes and carrots.  You'll add in a little shredded parmesan cheese & find yourself transported to a scene from the Godfather (one of the scenes where they visit the Old Country and have lots of parties and such, not one of the scenes where the Family takes out another family in a gory bloodbath, just in case you were worried).

This week, we're offering two tasty treats from our friends at Camino Bakery!  To go with dinner, we love their Tomato Basil Parmesan loaf - so good with soup, salad, or on its own.  After dinner, who can resist a Lovely Lemon Bar?!  We are not joking when we say "lemon" here - they are delectably tart, made with fresh lemon juice and zest, layered on a coconut-shortbread base.  So heavenly!

Finally, we don't like to leave you hanging with nothing to eat the rest of the week!  Our Red River Tortilla Pie is a big-time crowd pleaser!  It's got layers of veggies, lean ground beef, cheese and tortillas, and finished up with a crispy topping.  It's great for dinner, lunch, serving at a get-together, taking to a new mom or sick friend, or just generally any old reason you can imagine.  Pair it with a green salad and you're good to go!

That's all we've got this week y'all.  I hope we'll get to see you on the porch!

Claire & Alex

The Fine Print:

  • Please have your orders in to dinnersontheporchorders@gmail.com by Saturday
  • Please be very specific when you order!
  • A "regular" dinner is $33, and the larger portioned meal is $40.
  • All deliveries will be made between 2-5:30 on Tuesday, pick-ups will be available between 2-6 pm, and payment can be made at the time of delivery or pick-up, or via our PayPal system.
  • If you have other questions, please visit our Order 411 Page, or email us directly.