Thursday, March 4, 2010

Who Do You Call? Ghostbusters!

Lunch: Chicken Quesadillas, Tortilla Chips and Salsa
Dinner: Sausage and Pepper Baked Ziti and Salad
Dessert: Funfetti Cupcakes

While I cannot say there is never a dull moment at the frat (there are, lots of them), the dull moments are soon left behind and superseded by much hullabaloo. This morning when I got to the lodge (did I ever explained that they call the frat house the lodge?) there was a large pile of equipment on one of the dining room tables. I ignored it and went about my work. Soon, however, a troupe of rather nerdy looking guys carrying strange ghostbuster-esque equipment invaded my kitchen. They pointed lasers and took pictures and held weird looking instruments in the air. They looked like they might have been from the Ghost Hunters tv show except they weren’t being followed around by camera men and I highly doubt the frat house is haunted. Or is it? Perhaps that’s why my stuff keeps going missing and things keep getting moved around and misplaced… or that could just be because I work at a fraternity. Come to find out they were testing the lodge for drafts. The VP told me that, apparently, their power bill had been astronomical this past month, and in an attempt to cut back on power usage, they were checking for air leaks that they could stop. Personally I think they could save thousands if they cut back on pulling all-nighters studying. It seems not a day goes by without one of the brothers complaining about not getting any sleep because they stayed up all night cramming. Think of how much electricity that uses… not to mention that all night cramming is useless.

Apparently, the guys also came up with another way to save money last night. They let me know about their brilliant plan this morning at lunch. Are you ready for it? Ok, here it is… They proposed that I cut vegetables out of the budget and spend the money saved on extra meat and potatoes (or noodles). Yup, that was their brilliant plan, to cut vegetables out of the menu as a way of saving money. Yeah… too bad I already had a good answer for that. A food service size can of green beans, which is enough one meal, only costs $2.50-$3. In fact, at any given meal, I only spend between $2 and $5 on vegetables. Furthermore, I pointed out, if only 5 guys eat the vegetables, that would save about 1 serving of meat/ potatoes (because those 5 people would take less of the other stuff). That serving of meat and potatoes would most likely cost more than $2.50. Ah the wonders of irrefutable logic! I have to give them credit though; that is a rather creative way to attempt to get rid of vegetables.

In other news, I was very surprised by my husband the other night. Tyler likes to cook on occasion, and he does help out a lot by starting or even making dinner on weeknights. Of course, when he makes dinner, it’s usually either something he really likes or something relatively easy (like box dinners or spaghetti). He surprised me last night by not only making dinner, but researching and making a new recipe. He usually leaves all that to me, and rarely makes anything that requires a recipe. But when I came home last night, he had his computer in the kitchen and was following along with a recipe to make lemon rosemary broiled chicken breasts. So not only was it something new, it was healthy. Along with the chicken, we had spinach salad and barley cooked in chicken broth (Tyler’s new favorite). It was all very delicious. Who knows, maybe he’ll start his own cooking blog…

I made baked ziti (ok… I used penne, they didn’t have ziti at Sam’s). This dish is very simple, cheap and super quick to make (which was probably good because they kicked me out for 45 minutes so they could do one of their air leak tests in the kitchen). Add a salad, and voila, dinner is ready in no time.

Sausage and Pepper Baked Ziti
Serves 25

3 lbs Ziti (or Penne)
7 lbs Italian Sausage (I used both spicy and mild)
6 Green Bell Peppers, cut into thing strips
2 bulk-sized can, approx 106oz, Spaghetti Sauce
8 cups Shredded Mozzarella

In a large skillet, cook sausages until done. Set sausages aside to cool. Meanwhile, prepare pasta according to directions on package or until al dente. When sausage is cooled enough to handle, cut into bite-sized pieces. When the pasta is done, mix it in a large baking dish with the sausage, spaghetti sauce and green bell peppers; top with mozzarella cheese. Bake in an oven preheated to 375 for 20 minutes or until sauce is bubbly and cheese is melted and browned.

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