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Saturday, September 7, 2013

Busy, Busy, Busy!!!

Both DSs were off to school on Monday, so hopefully things will slow down at home..  However, last week was a different story; packing, shopping, laundry, cleaning and organizing kept me pretty busy.  That doesn't allow for a break from cooking though, so I thought I would share with you a couple of easy dinners that got me through the crazies.

 The first is my French Dip, which consists of a quick au-jus made by sauteing a small onion chopped with a clove of garlic in a tablespoon of oil.  When translucent, I add about two tablespoons of flour, cooking for a minute or two, then I whisk in a box of beef stock.  The flour doesn't actually thicken the stock, it just gives it a slightly opaque quality.  I season this with Montreal steak seasoning to taste.  When I get to this point, the DH is capable of getting dinner on the table when I am at work.  He only has to re-heat the au-jus, add sliced roast beef from the deli, and heat through.  The warmed meat is placed on rolls that are toasted in the oven with slices of swiss or provolone cheese.  Serve with juice on the side for dipping and french fries or chips. Really easy and super good.

The second meal came about because DH said he was in the mood for Italian sausage pizza.  However, neither one of us felt like going out and funds were on the low side.  Therefore, Italian Sausage Pasta Bake was born.  I had some Italian sausage in the freezer, green peppers and onions. I defrosted the sausage in the microwave, sliced one green pepper, one medium onion and sauteed those in a little olive oil, seasoning with salt, pepper, garlic powder, a few red pepper flakes, AND oregano, just like a pizza!  When the sausage was defrosted, I noted it happened to be Italian chicken sausage, although any sausage would be fine.  I sliced the sausage, added it to the veggies and cooked this until the sausage was done.  Because of my sausage was precooked it only took about 10 minutes, however, if you are using regular sausage I would cook this separately from the veggies and then mix the two together. I then added a can of crushed tomatoes, letting it simmer while I boiled a box of penne.  I mixed everything together and put it in a casserole dish, topped with Parmesan and mozzarella cheeses, baking in the oven just until the cheese melted (about 10 minutes).  This literally took about 30 minutes from start to finish.  Great busy night dinner.

Enjoy, and I hope these can help get you through the crazies.

Sneek peek for my next post, downloadable magazines, cooking and football.

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