Sausage and Peppers
I love cooking with my kids. For real, I do! Sure, there are the messes (flour all over the counter, an entire carton of eggs broken on the floor - that really happened, the list of messes go on…), but they are some of my favorite memories. I remember the first time my youngest, Will (3) successfully cracked an egg into the mixer without getting any shells in the batter and I heard a super loud “YESSSSSSS”!! I love that my oldest, Jack (6) is absolutely amazing at cutting up vegetables for me - he pretty much does all of my cutting while I am getting the protein ready for dinner. But, what I love most about cooking with my kids is that it is something special that is ours. They WANT to do it and I absolutely love it! (Also, I am just going to preemptively say “You’re welcome” to their future spouses - you are going to have 2 awesome chefs!). Will loves cooking sooo much that if I just quick whip something up and then yell “Dinner!!” when it is ready, he comes into the kitchen crying because he didn’t get to help (is it bad that I secretly love that he wants to help me this much??).
Sometimes though, I just need to get dinner cooking and I need to do it fast. On these days, I try to find some other activity that they can do in the kitchen to keep them occupied and included while I can get dinner ready quickly. Today, we decided to make cookies! And not just any cookies - pumpkin cut out cookies (it is fall after all)!
I made the cookie dough ahead of time so that it would be ready for them. You may be thinking, “Okay, well how is this saving you time?? You have another thing to bake, clean up, etc.” Well, a couple of things happened here: #1. They made our dessert for after dinner (my husband is obsessed with cookies and was extremely thrilled with this scenario). #2. Since I made the dough ahead of time, all I really needed to do was help them roll it out and then pop them in the oven, so it really didn’t add much time. #3. I was able to quickly get everything in the pan for dinner so it could start cooking. #4. They thought it was amazing - what kid doesn't want to make cut out cookies and decorate them (and eat them)??
Okay, so on to what I was making while my kids were making cookies: sausage and peppers!! I love this meal, its quick, easy and my whole family loves it! First, you want to brown some sausages. You can use any kind of sausages here - I like to use skinless pork bratwursts (I buy these at HyVee). You want to brown the sausages to get a nice sear on the outside. While you are browning the sausages, chop up some green pepper, red pepper, onion and garlic (lots of garlic). Add the vegetables to the pan along with some spices and Dei Fratelli Fire Roasted Crushed Tomatoes. Then, let it simmer in the tomatoes to develop the delicious flavors!
You can serve these sausage and peppers in a couple of different ways. I love to serve them as is with a slice of really good crusty bread to scoop up all of the delicious sauce. Then, with the leftovers the next day, you can slice up the sausages and serve it over pasta. Make this meal and you’ve got 2 weeknight dinners all ready to go!
Sausage & Peppers
1 red bell pepper, sliced
1 green bell pepper, sliced
6 cloves garlic, sliced
1/2 white onion, sliced
1 tsp dried basil
salt and pepper, to taste
bread, for serving
Warm a pan over medium high heat and brown the sausages on all sides.**
While the sausages are browning, slice the red and green peppers, garlic and white onion.
After the sausages are browned, add the sliced peppers, garlic and onions to the pan.
Turn the heat to medium and add the crushed tomatoes and basil to the pan.
Simmer until the sausages are cooked through.
Serve with some good, crusty bread to scoop up the sauce!
*I prefer to use skinless pork bratwursts, but you can use whatever type of sausages you prefer.
**If needed, you can add 1 Tbsp of olive oil to the pan to brown the sausages, but I find that the sausages brown just fine without.
TIPS FOR INVOLVING KIDS
Let your kids help you slice up all the veggies with their very own knives!
Have them help you pour in the tomatoes and measure out the basil.
There is always going to be a mess when you cook with your kids but, like my little guy Will (3 years old) says, “It’s okay Mom, chefs make messes and then they clean it up.” Have fun cooking with your kids!!