Mondays are a lost day around here, thanks to long work days for both me and Mark. The house and its inhabitants are a mess by the evening, Operating in survival mode by 7:00 pm , we take care of only the absolute necessities. A quick supper and then it’s off to bed — often for all of us! It took some doing, but I’ve learned to turn a blind eye to the piles of dirty dishes, the junk counter that spilleth over, and the strange smell coming from the laundry room. There is only so much you can do with 24 hours, and I draw the line at trading sleep for clean counters.
It would be natural, then, for Tuesdays to be my time to clean up and catch up, right? I’ve got three solid hours to myself thanks to preschool. The truth is, though, on Tuesdays mornings all I can think about is getting in a good, sweaty workout. Sure, maybe I’m a little bit torn between working out and the desire (perhaps that is too strong of a word) to tackle the many household tasks in front of me. But just a little. Getting in that workout almost always wins out.
Today was no different, except that it was different. I did both!
Life has been nuts for the past six weeks , and I am determined to reclaim it with some order, for Pete’s sake! So I made a list (always a sign I’m ready to kick some organizational butt), and I moved like a cyclone to get it all done INCLUDING the workout and a plan for dinner as well as a bit of cleaning and several much-needed errands.
A plan. That’s the key and that is where all this is leading…if I don’t have a plan for dinner, it doesn’t matter how many hundreds of dollars worth of food there is in the house. 4:00 rolls around and I start panicking a little. Having a plan for dinner is good, even if at 8:00 am I can’t even imagine what I might like to eat at 6:00 that night. Deciding what I was making for dinner allowed me to plow through everything else and even take some time to relax without that annoying voice in my head saying, “Yeah, do you even know what you’re making tonight?”
This recipe came from my pal, Michelle, who I think came up with it on a whim. I’ve made it three times, including once with chicken instead of sausage, and we all love it. The kids, with their sensitive palates, do say it’s a bit on the spicy side, but that’s cool. It just encourage them to drink more milk! So, if that voice in your head won’t leave you alone, shut it up with this recipe so you can concentrate on other more important things — like how you’re going to watch both the Bruins game AND So You Think You Can Dance tonight.
Penne with Turkey Sausage and Sun-Dried Tomatoes
1 lb. sweet Italian turkey sausage
8 oz. whole wheat penne (like Ronzoni Healthy Harvest)
1 med. green pepper, cut into chunks
1/2 large Vidalia onion, cut into chunks
2 oz. sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
6 oz. Lawry’s Tuscan Sun-Dried Tomato marinade
Spray oil for pan
1) Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and keep warm.
2) Coat a large skillet with spray oil and heat over medium heat. Cook sausages until they are browned all over. Remove to a cutting board, cut lengthwise and then into chunks, and return them to skillet.
3) Add tomatoes, peppers and onions to skillet at this time. Continue cooking, stirring occasionally, until sausage is cooked through and vegetables begin to soften.