#NationalDessertDay

 

Today might be my favorite day of all time… National Dessert Day!  We all know the best non-alcoholic pairing for something as savory and scrumptious as pizza is SWEETS! That’s why Spinato’s has spent years perfecting their dessert recipes, giving us the best homemade sweets that you can get outside of Grandma’s kitchen. From hand-crafted tiramisu, to hand-piped to-order cannolis, there is a sweet treat to satisfy anyone’s sweet tooth at Spinato’s! Here are some highlights of my personal favorites!

 

Tortine

Formerly known as the Red Velvet Ding Dong, we decided to spruce up the name for this decadent dessert. A Red Velvet cake with cream cheese frosting in the middle, coated in a hard chocolate shell. Trust me, you’re not gonna want to share this one! 

 

Tiramisu 

A classic Italian dessert, but better because it’s HOMEMADE! Bet you’ve never had made-from-scratch Tiramisu before. Everything down to the ladyfingers! You’re allowed to share this one, but only because you’re not gonna be able to fight off the forks coming for your dessert! 

 

Pink Cannoli 

All month long we have been making these extra special pink cannolis in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, and in partnership with the local foundation Don’t be a Chump, Check for a Lump! Just like we did with all desserts in September, we are donating $1 for every pink cannoli sold to Don’t be a Chump! It’s easy to satisfy your sweet tooth AND give back when you buy pink cannolis! Homemade cream that we pipe in shells to order! Always a fresh cannoli when it comes from Spinato’s!

 

I hope I got your sweet tooth going today - it's time to celebrate! We hope to see you enjoying some treats with us at one of our restaurants. As always, thanks for joining us at The Spinato's Family Table. Alla Salute!

Meet the Writer

 

We are a tight-knit family here at Spinato’s. We work great together in teams, individually, and as a whole entity. As in any business, each member has their own set of responsibilities and duties, and aces are in their places. Hopefully you’ve been enjoying the blogs so far, learning about family members, Spinato’s secrets, and diving into fun and adventurous topics together. But, since we’ve had so much fun already, I think it’s about time you meet the brains behind the best blog in the entire world: ME! 

You all know me as the hostess of The Spinato’s Family Table. While it has a nice ring to it, I usually go by my government name instead. Hi, everyone! My name is Veronica Sutliff, and I am Spinato’s personal blogger! I work in the Marketing Department here in HQ, and I also serve at the Tempe location! I am a Spinato through and through, and have been entrusted with the fun and important job of talking to all of you through this platform. I have so much fun curating content that is meaningful to you and meaningful to us. Thank you for letting me button mash in the blogs! I love it! 

Just to give you a little more background on who exactly you’re listening to, I’ll give you guys a brief bio about me, so you can feel more personally connected to the blogs, myself, and Spinato’s as a whole. 

I just graduated from Arizona State University in May 2019 with a degree in Marketing and a minor in Music. I served through college and while at Spinato’s one night, Anthony Spinato himself came in and we got to talking. He offered me an internship in HQ in the Marketing Department, and here we are now, writing blogs and making pizzas. It’s a dream! 

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When I’m not at Spinato’s (which is rare - I love it here!) you can find me reading, making music, or riding bikes around Tempe Town Lake (don’t come looking for me now; I know I’m a celebrity and everything, but I’m just like you). I love going to local rock shows at local venues. I love to travel. I’m a Sagittarius. I love to eat, but I HATE raisins and olives. I have no hand-eye-coordination whatsoever, but I can carry a tune. Two older brothers, so I’m a tough cookie. Animal lover, plant mom, and advocate for the planet. 

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Anyways, thanks for letting me word vomit on this particular blog. I hope you found it valuable or just entertaining to learn a little bit more about whose words you’re reading every Monday. And we hope to learn more about you on our social media pages, too! Don’t be shy on Facebook and Instagram - come say hi! As always, thanks for joining us at The Spinato’s Family Table. Alla Salute! 

Extending Family Dinner to Family Night

 

Welcome back to The Spinato’s Family Table! We’ve had so much fun talking about the different ways to gear up for Family Meal Month and participating in this campaign! We hope that you have gotten some golden nuggets out of the blog and can utilize some of the tips and tricks to suit you and your family’s needs. At Spinato’s, family and community are the most important things to us - which is one of the reasons we were so quick to jump on this campaign for September! So, we wanted to take Family Dinner and extend it to Family Night, launching connections and making memories after dinner is gone. Here’s how you can turn family dinner into a family-filled evening in 5 simple steps:

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  1. Make the food good enough to stick around for. The better the food, the easier it is to get people to come AND to stay. Reference September’s first blog to get easy and delicious recipe ideas!
  2. Foster connection through conversation. Reference our most recent post for conversation starters and ideas to get people sharing and communicating at your round table. 
  3. Make cleaning up a group effort. If everyone has to stay after eating to help clean up, it eliminates opportunities for people to bolt away right after finishing their meal. Cleaning up together not only also fosters a sense of community and togetherness, but it also serves as a segue to whatever after-dinner activity you have planned.
  4. Have an after-dinner activity planned. Whether it’s a movie, going out for dessert, or a competitive card game, have an activity planned that everyone can join in on after dinner. Try a different activity each time to see what resonates with whom and adjust to suit the needs of you and your family. 
  5. Keep it natural!  We can all tell when it’s forced, so just don’t force it. If the first couple of nights don’t go exactly as planned, don’t lose hope! Keep trying - these new habits take getting used to for everybody. Give it time. 

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And just like that, you have yourself a well-oiled Family Night machine. These nights can be so special to families, creating memories that will last a lifetime and moments that are more valuable than most. We have this in our family and want all of you to experience it in yours. We hope your next Family Night goes smashingly! Thanks so much for joining us at The Spinato’s Family Table! Alla Salute!

Round-Table at your Round Table 

 

There are many elements that go into a family dinner. You have the food, the people, the settings, the conversation, and the environment. We won’t even talk about the clean up; let’s just pretend it doesn’t exist, shall we. In the last couple of posts, we talked about the menu and how to get the family gathered together to eat. Now that everyone and the food is set at the table, what do we do? Family Dinners aren’t necessarily natural or look the same to everyone. So, in order to make things easier for you this Family Meal Month, we wanted to give you a list of topics that will help kick off your family dinner discussions. Let’s dig in!

The easiest way to start off the conversation is doing a round-table on everyone’s day. There are a few ways to do this, but one of my favorites is the high-low game. You go around the table and each person shares the highest point of their day and the lowest point of their day. This fosters discussion, interest, and insight into the lives of our loved ones over the dinner table. High-low can be applied a plethora of ways: of the day, of the week, of the meal(s) you’ve had today/this week, of school, of work, of current events, etc. 

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Open-ended questions are going to be your best friend at your round table. Questions and topics that allow room for commentary and additions create an environment that encourages your family members to participate in the discussion. Not only does it get rid of the awkward eating silence where all you can hear is the chomping and lip-smacking as people chow down but it develops a whole new ambiance around dinner time - where the family comes to connect, discuss, and learn about each other. The Family Meals Initiative gave us some great stats and infographics to help spread the message! 

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Now you have a plan to gather, a menu to cook, and discussion topics to use while everyone eats. I’m no expert (let’s be honest here, yes I am), but I’d say you are just about ready to have a Family Meal Night! Now go forth, cook, connect, and prosper! As always, we are so glad that you’ve chosen to join us here at The Spinato’s Family Table. Alla Salute! 

 

*In case anyone has been wondering, “Alla Salute” is a cheers that roughly translates from italian to, “to your health.”

How to Plan a Weekly Family Meal - Raise a Mitt to Commit

 

Welcome back! This week, we are continuing the journey of Family Meal Month to encourage and support you all to eat more meals at home together. We have the menu down thanks to last week’s post, so now we have to gather everyone together to eat! It can be very difficult to get everyone in the family with differing schedules to sit down and eat at home together every night. So, we start small with baby steps and work our way to the regular scheduled family meal night. 

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We start with one night a week. There are 7 nights in a week. That’s seven opportunities to get everyone together and eating at home. Say it’s every Monday night after the family gets home from work and school, extracurriculars are over, and it’s time to relax a little (this is where the easy recipe comes in from last week’s post). Establish it! Write it on the whiteboard, in the kids’ agendas, and put it in the husband’s work calendar. Remind everyone as often as possible until it becomes ingrained in their heads that Monday night is family night. This night is excluded from all plans outside the family. Sorry kids, no sleepover at Cindy’s after school on Mondays. Sorry Richard, the boys and the golf clubs can wait until Tuesday night. And for goodness sake Janet, you can finish your crossword puzzles after dinner is over. 

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If you are like me and have a hard time remembering, committing, or following through with scheduled things like this, then follow my lead. First, grab an oven mitt. I know you have one (okay, if you don’t have one, pick a dish towel or something similar). Now raise this mitt, and repeat after me: "I promise, nay, commit, to do my very best to make ____ night family meal night every week until it becomes a habit for all of us. " This month is the perfect month to create new traditions and experiences - just in time to gear up for all the Fall Holidays coming up soon! 

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Thanks for raising a Mitt to Commit to this cause that we feel very passionately about. We hope that these posts have inspired you and that your family connects and creates memories over delicious foods. As always, thank you for joining us at The Spinato’s Family Table! Alla Salute! 

Recipes for the Modern Family

 

It’s 2019 people. Things are different. Everything around us is evolving and adapting to the times as it races by us. Everything down to the family dinner table is different across households, and that’s the beautifully unique thing about it! The modern family looks different from household to household, and we celebrate that here at Spinato’s. This month is Family Meal Month, where, despite how different your family dinner table may look than the next, everyone is encouraged to and supported in eating more meals at home with family. We know this can be difficult these days, so we want to support and help you achieve this goal! Here are a few recipes for the modern family, courtesy of Spinato’s!

When I was drafting this blog, I thought to myself, how would I like a recipe classified if I were looking to eat meals at home? Then I remembered that I can’t cook to save my life, so I needed a recipe that basically did all the leg work for me. And I know I can’t be the only one out there with a clear forte away from a stove. So, allow me to present three recipes of varying difficulty to suit every home cook’s needs. Let’s dig in.

Easy: This is what I’m talking about, easy peasy lemon squeezy. For those nights you just don’t have the energy or skill set to cook a five course meal, Spinato’s extends our Broccoli Crust Pizzas. These guys really are the full package, especially for a family setting. 

  1. Everyone loves pizza
  2. The crust is made with real broccoli, so you all are getting a dose of veggies in every bite
  3. Fast and easy to bake, 15 minutes or less
  4. They are customizable! You can add toppings, sides, or anything else you might want

A dinner like this will make it easy to get the family around the table together, and happy eaters make for happy conversation, connection, and memories that will last a lifetime. 

Medium: Okay, I can handle medium I think. Just give myself some extra time for when I burn something, because I will burn something. Spinato’s makes unmatched sauces that can be used on pastas, as dips, on pizzas, sandwiches, and nearly anything you can imagine. Pick your favorite pasta, pick one of our three amazing sauces, and start cooking! My favorite combination is penne pasta with the vodka cream sauce. Mmm mmm mmm. There’s also spaghetti with Marinara, or a pizza with tomato basil as its base. Whatever combination you choose, it’s bound to be delicious and bring the family together. It’s always fun to try different combinations, so why not use all three sauces on three different pastas or pizzas throughout the week and see which one takes the cake to the family! 

Almost hard: Make a feast! This is for the bigger families, the dinner party hosts, or those who just like to have options! Very soon, our a la carte Broccoli Crusts will be available to buy at grocers, and that gives you the perfect healthy, hearty, and delicious base to make your very own pizzas at home! This is fun to do as a family activity, where everyone gets their own Broccoli Crust to make a pizza however they like! We’ve got sauces to get the base nice and prepped for cheese and toppings, and you create the rest! While pizzas are being dressed, you can also have pasta cooking on the stove and sauces heated and ready to serve. Now you have Broccoli Crust pizza and pasta to serve up to your hungry families. 

 

There you have it folks. Now you don’t have the excuse of not knowing what or being able to cook for Family Meals Month - I just gave you three of varying levels. You got this! As the month continues, we will keep talking about how to have a successful September and eat more dinners together at home. Thanks as always for joining us at The Spinato’s Family Table! Alla Salute! 

 

We are honored to be listed as a "Best Place to Eat" as seen in Flightnetwork's article -Best Places to Eat: Getting to Know the Foods of Phoenix! This fun article lists 7 restaurants in Phoenix that really capture the Arizona essence and are must-go-to's for visitors, new residents, and locals who simply have never been! We are so excited to be featured and listed as one of the coolest spots to eat in Phoenix! Check out our little cameo!

Thanks so much to FlightNetwork as well as our family members (immediate and extended - that's you!) for helping Spinato's to achieve the dream of great company over even better food. We can't wait to see you soon. Alla Salute!

Spinato’s Secrets 

Skip the Wait

 

It's not called a Secret Sauce Society for nothing.

 

 

The newsletter -that I know you’re signed up for, right?- comes with special deals, coupons, and insider information that is NOT available to the general public. That’s why it’s a Secret Sauce Society Newsletter (we couldn’t find a good word for newsletter that started with an “S” for the alliteration, okay. We tried). But we want to share some more saucy secrets with you. That’s why we’re starting this little inner-blog series to give you a little insider look at the inner workings of Spinato’s! 

 

The first secret we are going to uncover for you is how to skip the wait! Now, we all know that Spinato’s is a first-come first-serve basis - no reservations required. Because of this, our wait time can build up around rushes, and can even vary by the time you call to ask what the wait is, and the time you arrive to put a name on the list. This can be frustrating when you’re hangry! So when do you come in to eat if you don’t want to have 14 people ahead of you on the list. It’s all about the timing.

If you want a restaurant that’s more or less to yourself, I’d suggest coming in between 2pm and 3pm. This is the time that servers use to clean up after the lunch rush, and get ready for the dinner rush. Which means, you will have a server who isn’t juggling 6 tables, just you and 1 or 2 others. Nice! AND, because these servers still have side work to accomplish, you don’t have to be afraid of the lingering server who checks on you every 2 minutes because they have nothing else to do. It’s the perfect balance for a slow, calm, and relaxing service. 

 

If you want a popping restaurant that is full, but not quite on a big wait yet, 4-5 is your window. If you’re in a social mood, ready to be out and about with the world, but still have yourself in a seat and fed quickly, see you at 4pm! If you get to the 6pm and beyond window, that’s when everyone else is getting dinner too. You’ll be looking at a bit of a wait. 

 

At any rate and at any time you come in, the wait (however long or short it is) is always worth it. As soon as that first bite of ‘za hits your tummy, all worries and frustrations are gone with the wind! We hope this little tid-bit of insider information helps you get yourself and your families fed and happy! For us, that’s the art of pizza. 

 

As always, thanks for joining us at The Spinato’s Family Table! Alla Salute!

Lunch: The Most Important Meal of the Day - Benefits of Eating a Large Lunch

 

It has been ingrained in our brains that breakfast is the most important meal of the day, that eating a big, healthy breakfast sets up your day for success, and even that breakfast should be the biggest meal of your day! Yeah, yeah, yeah. We’ve heard it all before. I am here, ladies and gents, to tell you that it is not breakfast that should be capturing your attention and tummies, but lunch. I am here to tell you that lunch is the most important meal of the day - and here’s why.

 

There are many diets out there that range from caloric intake to keto and paleo. Diets are always trending, and it’s up to us to stay on top of each trend and decide if we feel it is a good fit for our lifestyles. Or you could be like me, and just not diet at all! (Don’t be like me people, I get winded after a flight of stairs). One of these diets has to do with the time of day that you eat, and how much you eat during each time frame. This isn’t a foreign concept of course, but if we apply it to different areas of our 24 hour days, let’s see what the results might be.

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According to a study published in the International Journal of Obesity, people who ate the majority of their calories before 3 p.m. lost more weight than those who ate the majority of their calories after 3 p.m. In layman’s terms, this means that people who made breakfast and lunch their biggest meals of the day lost more weight than those who made dinner their biggest meal of the day. Weight loss is a main benefit of eating a large lunch, but it is not the only one! I consulted the help of EmpowHer to find out some other benefits of eating a larger lunch; let’s find out!

 

Because of the larger caloric intake throughout the day rather than at the end of the day, your body has more fuel to keep it energized and functioning. It also helps to build a higher metabolism! By not skipping lunch and taking in the majority of your calories before 3 p.m. you build your body’s metabolism and keep it functioning healthily throughout the whole day, rather than letting the majority of your food sit in your stomach at the end of your day when physical activity lowers. And lastly, forming this new habit with healthy foods can help suppress unhealthy cravings. New habits replace old ones eventually!

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There are lots of benefits to eating a larger lunch, and we hope that you spend some of those lunch hours with us, whether it be in one of our restaurants enjoying the Spinato’s Experience, or at home creating your own experience with our retail frozen Broccoli Crust Pizzas. As always, we are so happy you joined us here at The Spinato’s Family Table. Alla Salute!

 

 

Images: The Family Table - The New York Times

Back to School with Spinato’s

 

Parents love it. Kids dread it. You know what time it is. Back to school time! This time of year always comes with a multitude of challenges and opportunities. Lots of exciting and new things happen around back-to-school time. Well, fear not, families. Because The Spinato’s Family Table has you covered on how to successfully bring in the new school year! Let’s dive right in.

What to do what to do. Kids are back in school and you’re back to the grind of the mundane. Get them up, dressed, to school, then get them home, fed, and spend time together before homework and bedtime. There’s a lot to do in only 24 hours! I won’t assume how much sleep we’re all getting a night, but let’s all make it a goal to get our 7-8 hours in for health reasons. That only leaves us with so much time in a day to get everything done! But don’t worry. We are here to take at least one thing off your plate (literally)! Dinner can be the most challenging part of anyone’s day, especially with young children. We want to give you back some of that precious time that we all cherish to ourselves and with our families. Spinato’s has the answer!

You’re running around all day, trying to get things done. Maybe you worked an 8-hour day, maybe you ran errands and paid the bills and cleaned. Whatever you did today, you did it hard. Now the kids are coming home from school and they are starting to get hungry for dinner, But you’re exhausted! You want to give your family a healthy meal, but you’re also not trying to break another sweat today. We have the solution for you. Spinato’s frozen pizzas are the perfect Monday night dinner for the family. You have picky eaters you say? HA! We laugh at the thought that our delicious pizzas in several flavors could disappoint anybody. We got 3 cheese, tomato basil, margherita, primavera, and mediterranean options that will suit anyone’s preferences.

Oh wait, you have celiac members in the house? Again, we got you. Our broccoli crust pizzas are always gluten-free, AND, the broccoli crust makes for a crispier and more nutritious crust than any other gluten-free or plant-based crusts. Your kids win, your health wins, and parent, you win. Kids will love it and you for making Monday night pizza night! Guilt-free, too! Congrats!

 

Back to school is going to be a breeze. Your kids are going to excel and enjoy the year, all while being fueled by delicious and healthy food that you are providing for them. Parent of the year! As always, thanks for joining us at The Spinato’s Family Table. Until next time, alla salute!