Of things Italian

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How i wish I had known about batch cooking back when my two older boys were teenagers. One night I arrived home from work to be asked by the second–oldest son what was on tap  for dinner. I replied: “Boiled chicken.” You can imagine his reaction.

They’re grown men now, so that’s been many a year ago. But it would have helped when I was working countless hours and raising three children on my own to have known there were better ways to cook.

Consider this dish. I’m talking Italian sausage, tonight, only this time I’m headed for my crock pot rather than my oven.

Crock pot dinners are so easy. I’m cutting my sausages in half and dumping them in the crock pot. Into this I add  two green peppers and one yellow onion, both sliced into generous ships. Then I toss in a in a 15 oz. can of tomato sauce. The whole of which I cook on high for 4 hours. You could also opt to cook it on low for 8 hrs. That’s beauty of crock pot cooing: It’s flexible.

Either way the end result may be dished up on buns or served over mashed potatoes or even spaghetti noodles. Take you choice. My grocer sells the sausages in sets of five, so I divided the remainders into four packets to add to the freezer. When I want to eat one of these, I let it defrost in the freezer overnight and reheat it in a pat with sauce.But don’t forget the simple stuff.

Or an Italian pasta salad

Last night, I cooked bow-tie pasta in a pot of boiling water. About four minutes before it finished cooking, I tossed in a few broccoli florets. When the pasta was done in at total of  11 minutes, I drained it and the broccoli, cooled it under running water. Then, I dumped it in a bowl, added a few rounds of pepperoni, and dumped some Ranch dressing over all. The exact measurements will depend on  how hungry you are.

It was epic… and as easy as sin.

Remember: Cooking dinner doesn’t have to be an all day or even an everyday chore. Plan ahead, use your freezer, and enjoy an amazing array of meals.

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