After a weekend of computer problems, while traveling, I think we have everything finally worked out. We traveled to Oconomowoc, Wisconsin to the Olympia Resort: Hotel and Spa for the Wisconsin Winter Feis and the Dairyland Feis. We had a great time with friends. The first day my daughter didn’t do as well as she had hoped to in her regular dances but she got a first place trophy for her treble reel!
The second day she danced much better and placed 1st in her traditional set, 3rd in her reel and 3rd in her treble jig. She was most excited about the 3rd in her treble reel because she has only been dancing this one for about 5 months and placed ahead of 20 other dancers.
When we were getting ready to leave for the Feis I realized I needed to make a dinner for us. This was the first time in a long time that I pulled out our To-Go containers. The kids were excited because it meant no fast-food meal. I used to use our To-Go containers at least 2-3 times a week last year when we were traveling to dance, orchestra and between places during dinner time. Because they are a bit older this year we don’t have as much conflict but this is an idea if you don’t mind your children eating in the car and you want to avoid drive-thrus.
We used regular plastic divided dishes, plastic silverware and paper towels for the meals that were served as they were getting in the car. So they would each get a divided plate with an entree and vegetable or salad to take in the car and eat on the way to class or between classes. IF the meal needs to be kept for awhile it is best to invest in insulated plates and insulated bags. These will keep your hot foods hot and your cold foods cold (remember to store them in different bags). You want to keep the temperature appropriate for each food so you are not making your children ill.
I really wanted my kids to have the full dinner experience so I used to have them use regular silverware until I lost so many forks and spoons that I had to replace them all. Now, we use sturdy plastic utensils and they work just fine. Covered cups are also worth the investment. You will not be cleaning up so many spilled drinks.
One last tip, is to keep a change of clothes in the car for each child, no matter how old they are with a stain stick for spot treating the clothes. We have had dripped salad dressing or pasta sauce on a shirt too many times to not be prepared.
This meal with a green side salad was perfect for the car because I was able to leave some of the sauce on the pasta but drain a bit of it off so it wasn’t too saucy but it still had a great flavor. Each child had a nice sized serving and it was able to hold them through the meetings and classes so they weren’t hungry during the events.
Pasta with Italian Sausage and Creamy Sauce
- 1 1/2 lbs. bulk Italian sausage, or sausage removed from casings
- 1 (12 oz.) box pasta, your choice – cooked according to package directions to al dente
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 small onion, diced
- 1 (28 oz.) can diced tomatoes, drained
- 1 1/2 cups heavy cream or whipping cream
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 handful of fresh basil, chiffonade or 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, freshly shredded plus extra for serving
- dash of red pepper flakes, to taste
- Cook the pasta according to package directions.
- In a separate pan begin cooking sausage over medium heat breaking the sausage up into little pieces as it begins to cook. Add onion, garlic and red pepper flakes to pan after 5 minutes to begin cooking. Stir often. Drain any excess fat off the pan after the meat is fully cooked and the onions have wilted and are turning brown.
- Add diced tomatoes, cream, salt, basil, and Parmesan cheese to pan. Heat to a low simmer and then reduce heat cooking for 6-8 minutes until sauce thickens slightly.
- Toss with pasta prior to serving. Serve hot with extra Parmesan cheese and basil if desired.