Last night's dinner was a rousing success- it was quick, simple, and most everyone loved it. One of Andy's favorite meals is sausage and peppers- Italian sausage served on a roll with onions, peppers, and marinara. He keeps asking for it, and keeps suggesting that we make it for our Sunday Company Dinner. I keep putting it off, because it really is best if everything is cooked on the grill- and sausage and peppers for company takes a bit of grill space. Or so I thought.
I got the idea from a Taste of Home annual and just ran with it. I had Andy grill the sausage, I cut up peppers and onions, and then he grilled the veggies. In the meantime, I dumped a large container of marinara into a crockpot along with 3 or 4 tomatoes that needed to be used, and a handful of fresh parsley. Then the peppers were cut into chunks and tossed with the vegetables in the marinara. The whole thing simmered away for a few hours, combining flavors and getting even more delicious. And it worked perfectly. I loved that when I scooped the mixture onto a roll I had nuggets of sausage blended with vegetables instead of one long link of sausage. This way, a bite incorporated a little bit of everything. We also had some penne on hand for those who didn't want a sandwich, and that worked just as well as there was plenty of sauce to sauce the pasta. A dual-purpose dinner with very little effort involved. There was plenty leftover as well, so after it cooled, it went into the freezer for a quick dance-night dinner later on. In addition, sausage and peppers is relatively inexpensive to make. Considering that I made enough for two meals, if I break down the price it comes out to about a dollar a person. Not bad.
One reason we needed a quick to put together dinner yesterday was actually because our house was in need of a good cleaning before company came. But imagine this, will you. We arrive home from church, and I set out to make lunch right away for the kids- mentally planning my afternoon of housework and food prep. I pull out the jar of peanut butter, open it up, reach in with my knife, and find the peanut butter full of ants. Tiny, microscopic ants. The PB went straight into the garbage and I grabbed the other peanut butter. Open the lid. Ants. So a closer peek into the pantry revealed a nightmare- an infestation of the tiniest ants I'd ever seen. I grabbed at the last jar of peanut butter- knowing full well what I'd find, but hoping that the gourmet dark chocolate raspberry peanut butter had been spared. But it had not.
I had to recruit my husband. We found ants in unopened cracker packages, open packages of nuts and in the can of shortening. Shortening! I was worried...I had a lot of open packages of baking goods, flours and chocolate chips, pasta, things like that. Oddly enough, the ants stayed away from the sweet stuff- even avoiding the two jars of marshmallow fluff. Much of the pantry had to be emptied and scrubbed. A lot went into the garbage. The surviving goods were moved down into the kitchen annex until we can be sure the ants are gone. We put down some terro, and they did finally find it, so I'm glad for that. But after putting that down yesterday afternoon, they are STILL swarming the stuff this morning. So this is what my pantry looks like this morning, and how it will stay until the swarming buggers are gone.