Italian Half & Half: Lasagna & Warm Salad Meal!

Tuesday, March 26th:  Italian Half and Half!
(small $32, regular $38, large $45)
Goat Cheese Lasagna with Italian Sausage or Butternut Squash
Roasted Vegetable Salad GF
Romaine Salad with Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing GF
Add Garlic Bread Loaf ($5)
Add GF Stuffed Zucchini with Italian Sausage ($6/$12)
Kids' Meal:  Pizza Porch Pockets & Marinara (3 for $6 or 5 for $10)
Dessert:  Spring Chocolate Bark with Candy Eggs ($6)

GYTTW Options:
Antipasti Shrimp in Paper with Cheese Ravioli ($30) GF except ravioli
Indian Spinach & Chicken Enchiladas or Spinach & Cheese Enchiladas ($25)
Flamenco Chicken and Artichoke Rice Casserole ($25/$30) GF
Chorizo Lentil Stew and Salad Meal ($25) GF
Crock Pot Beef with Barley Stew ($30)
Crock Pot Vacation Gumbo ($25) GF
Make Your Own Pizza Packs ($22/$30)

Optional Goodies:
Mimi's Queso & Chips ($6)
Fresh Veggie Bag ($6)
Fresh Salad Pack ($10)
Cilantro Jalapeno Ranch Dressing ($5)
Camino Bakery Pumpkin Bread ($5)
Camino Bakery Cinnamon Raisin Bread ($6)
Vantastic Pimento Cheese ($5 regular or spicy)

Okay, before I talk about this week's great menu, I have to take a minute to explain my food philosophy, because our Half and Half menu this week is the food equivalent of my thoughts about eating, if that makes any sense.  Not yet?  Okay, so over the many years that I've been responsible for feeding myself, and then eventually other people as well, my thoughts on food have evolved through many stages.  The first stage was my second semester of senior year of college, when I lived off campus and thus was no longer on the food plan.  During this semester, I more or less subsisted on Snackwell cookies, if memory serves me, punctuated only by 10¢ wings every Wednesday night.  (As an aside, I can't believe how little I appreciated the whole dining hall deal when I was in college.  I even complained about the food!  Hello 18 year old Claire!?  A buffet of three meals cooked for you every single day, where someone else prepared everything and cleaned up after you?!?!?  That's the best thing that may ever happen to you!)

Moving on, and skipping several decades to today, I have evolved to a simple food idea that I use to guide what I eat and what I try to feed my family and all of you.  It's not a diet or a restriction on a certain thing like sugar or carbs.  It's just to "Eat Food, Not Food Products."  And as much as possible, I try to follow that idea.  Yes, we go through drive throughs on road trips, my kids eat normal cereal for breakfast and we like Jif peanut butter much better than natural.  But when I walk through a normal grocery store now, even Trader Joe's, I feel like 90% of the items for sale are products, and the actual food - meat, cheese, fruits, vegetables, grains, etc - are being squeezed out of the place.  The newly renovated Harris Teeter at Thruway seems to have expanded their cereal bar selection to fill a whole aisle practically, while they have shrunk the dry pasta area to a few measly racks.  Why?  Because dry pasta is cheap and cereal bars are expensive, and they make more money when they sell expensive items.  And, I suppose, because people buy them, despite the fact that you might as well be eating a bag of Skittles for all of the nutrition in a cereal bar.

But I digress.  I could fill a whole book with outrage against the food industry, but other people have already done that, so I'll just say that if you try to eat actual food most of the time - even if you didn't make it yourself - you will be eating better than almost anyone else in this country.  If that food is also organic or grass-fed or whatever, that's even better.  Plus, if you eat actual food, you'll also find that it's pretty easy to avoid things that you may not want to eat - like excess sugar, or gluten.

Okay, so, how does our Italian Half and Half Dinner fit in here?  Well, of course, we make all of our meals with actual food, so that part is easy.  But I also love to enjoy foods like lasagna or enchiladas or pizza, paired with lots of healthy vegetables.  Is it diet food?  No.  But I've found that eating a smaller portion of something like lasagna and then a big, delicious salad is so satisfying that I don't end up feeling like I need to be rolled away from the table on a stretcher.  It's the European way, and I think it could be our new way too.  So we're serving a meal where the salad is just as awesome and exciting as the lasagna - not some wilted shards of lettuce with shelf-stable salad dressing that makes everyone feel sad.

Our Goat Cheese Lasagna is one of our most - perhaps even the most - requested things we make!  It's delicious, filled with four kinds of real cheese, an awesome homemade Fire Roasted Basil Marinara, fresh spinach and Italian Sausage - so, so good!  The veggie version is amazing as well, with flavorful butternut squash mixed in with all that great gooey cheese and sauce.  If you've had it before, you know how good it is, and if not, don't miss the boat!

The Roasted Vegetable Salad is a flavorful, delicious medley of seasonal veggies, and we love it warmed up and served over lettuce - our Warm Salad idea!  Drizzled with our Homemade Blue Cheese Dressing and topped with a few crunchies, this is a fab main course salad that you'll all enjoy!

Our Kids' Meal this week is a fun treat - everyone loves these little Porch Pockets filled with cheese, pepperoni & served with marinara dipping sauce.  They will keep frozen too, so you may want to stock up for an easy snack or dinner!

Speaking of stocking up, we're off the week after Spring Break, so make sure to plan ahead with one of our yummy GYTTW meals.  We love the Antipasti Shrimp in Paper - it's so elegant looking all wrapped up like a present!  You bake it, boil the ravioli, and deliciousness ensues!

We love the Indian Spinach and Chicken Enchiladas that we made for the first time this week!!  They are unique and delicious - stuffed with a great spinach mixture and topped with Cilantro-Mint Sauce.  The flavors are interesting, mild and so fun!

The Flamenco Chicken and Artichoke Rice Casserole is a simple, healthy dish made with all-natural ingredients - not a can of chicken soup!  Our artist/chef Beth has been pestering us to make it for a while, and finally she brought me the recipe, handwritten on an old, old recipe card from some distant relative, so I knew it would be a good one.  And it is!

The Chorizo Lentil Soup and Salad Meal is a perfect small meal to have on hand for an easy dinner that is delicious as well!  The soup comes frozen, so you can keep it on hand if you prefer!

We are loving the Crock Pot Meals and we're happy you all are too!  Weeknight meals and Sunday dinners are easy and delicious cooked right in your own kitchen.  The Beef & Barley Stew is a great comfort food that your family will love, and if you're heading somewhere with great seafood for Spring Break, bring along a Vacation Gumbo Meal.  We'll include everything that you need to make an amazing Gumbo, and if you're vacationing at the coast, pick up some great fresh seafood and throw it in too!

We have so many other great things we're making up this week, so check it all out, feel free to email me questions, and then let us know what we can bring to your Porch this Tuesday!!

Have a great weekend!!

Claire & Alex


Here are just a few things to keep in mind:
  • Email your order to dinnersontheporchorders@gmail.com and be specific!!!  
  • Size Matters!!  Now that we are offering Small, Regular and Large portions of our Main Meal, things are a little more complicated!  We only need you to specify if you want a Small or Large - if you don't specify a size, we will assume you want the Regular, $38 meal.  
  • If you do not like any particular ingredient, just let us know and we'll be happy to accommodate you.  If we can't do it, we'll let you know!
  • You will receive your confirmation & reminder on Monday night - call me asap on Tuesday morning if you do not receive that email because it means we do not have you on our list! 
  • Dinners will be delivered or be available for pick up at Sociale Gourmet on Tuesday afternoons between 2-6 pm.
  • If you are new, please send your address so we let you know if you are a pick-up or a delivery person.  
  • If you have any food allergies, please let us know!
  • If you like extras of anything like salsa, sour cream, etc, just let us know and we'll be glad to include it in your bag at no charge.
  • For any other questions, check out the Order 411 page or email me at dinnersontheporchorders@gmail.com.