Just another Manic Monday

… I wish it was Sunday, cause that’s my fun day.

Okay, no more singing for me right now (although I do love that song). It is cold and snowy here today in Missouri. Although, when I say snowy, I mean that there are flurries floating in the sky like mad, yet nothing seems to be sticking (thank ya baby Jesus!). Apparently mother nature decided she had enough of giving us 60 degree weather and decided to make it colder than normal for us all week. Bummer. I was ready to quit wearing my heavy jacket. I can take sweaters still and all that goodness if needed, but I just am over wearing 5 layers to keep warm walking to my car.

However, one plus to the cold weather means that it does give me the okay to make yummy comfort foods all over again and not enjoy the hearty winter type food! Something about winter time makes it all the warm slow cooked meals taste even better. I have a few more ideas for inexpensive and quick meals for you to try out if you are interested! Please keep in mind, most of my meals are intended for 2 people for dinner, as well as an extra meal or two for lunch the next day.

Cheesy Beefy Tortellini Bake (This makes plenty for a couple of days worth of lunches!)

12 oz package of cheese tortellini -thawed if frozen (bonus! If you are a Costco member like us you can get 2 12 oz packages for 9.99! At $5 a package, broken down to 2 people per meal, that is 2.50 for each of us to eat that once PLUS all the leftovers this makes!)
1 lb of hamburger
1 package of Mozzarella cheese (2 cups)
1 Jar of your favorite spaghetti sauce

Cook the hamburger in a large pot, drain fat. Mix your favorite spaghetti sauce in with the meat (I did add some garlic powder and Italian seasoning at this point but it is TOTALLY optional). After simmering together for about 3-5 minutes add your thawed or fresh tortellini and mix together with 1 cup of cheese. Pour into a 3 qt baking dish and top off with remaining cheese. Cook at 350, covered, for about 20 minutes. Uncovered for about 10 minutes to brown the cheese if that is the look you like. 🙂

Chicken Fajitas

2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp cumin
1/2 garlic powder
2 tbsp Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper to taste
1 lb chicken breast sliced
1 red bell pepper- sliced
1 green bell pepper- sliced
1 white onion – medium
1 can of diced tomatoes & green chilies
Tortillas of your choice

Combine spices and oil into bowl and mix. Place chicken in a greased 13×9 baking dish. Drizzle mixture over chicken and stir to ensure it is coated. Add the tomatoes, peppers, and onions stirring to mix also. Bake uncovered at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes until chicken is cooked through. (Bonus! You can add avacado, salsa, additional veggies, cheese etc. to make these fajitas even more flavorful if you wish- but they are delicious and cheap either way) (Note: I understand that the spices make this a little more expensive, I grew up in a household where those were staples in most of our meals so I am used to having them around- once I buy them, they last a long enough time it is wort the purchase, plus I use them in so many things!)

Hot Roast Beef

1 can of brown gravy with onions (we use Campbells usually)
1 lb sliced roasted or lean deli style roast beef
4 hoagie rolls
Provolone or Swiss Cheese as desired

Heat the gravy in a skillet over medium heat and bring to boil. Add the beef to the skillet and reduce to low heat, cook for approximately 10 minutes- until it is hot and bubbling. Serve on rolls with cheese. (Bonus! While the meat is cooking in the skillet with the gravy, I like to toast the rolls in the oven for a few minutes with butter on the bread. It tastes so good! I also prefer to use an extra can cause I like the extra sauce for dipping and even to go with fries etc.)

See, 3 pretty easy, cheap meals for you to try next! Let me know what you think!

Last week seemed to go by fairly quickly around here. Adam was itching to go fishing and attempted to try night fishing down by wildlife area a few miles from the apartment but realized real quick it was not quite warm enough for night time fishing yet. Maybe soon! I finally got out on a Saturday and said to forget all my chores for once and enjoy the nice weather. It was nice to take a day and drink coffee in Barnes and Noble, read,  walk around shops, etc. Then of course Sunday rolled around and as the majority of America- Sunday was based around football! Superbowl Sunday at the Howard Homestead called for 14 hours of football coverage on the TV. (Yes, 14 hours), some good food (hello new found favorite dip, hello Adam’s steak and shrimp Kabobs, Hello Rice Krispy Treats – I am looking at you guys :)) and just relaxing. Just what I needed going into this week! I am working longer days to make up for taking this Friday off. Two of my closest friends are coming into town Thursday and spending the weekend with us down here. I cannot wait! They are the first friends to visit and spend some time with us, and I am honestly so used to being with them daily before moving that this is going to rock having them around even more! I am still trying to figure out what all I am going to take them to see and do, but, whatever it is- it is bound to an hysterical time. It always is when we are together. Poor Adam, putting up with us women all weekend- he is such a trooper. 🙂 But, to reward him, I got us tickets to the PBR next Sunday for Valentines Day! That should make up for all the girl talk and constant chattiness going on this weekend. He will be surrounded by dirt, bulls, and cowboys. Pretty nice Valentines for a country boy right?… Now if only I could figure out what to wear since my outfit I had planned got a “you are going to wear that to a rodeo?” comment from him. (I have never pretended to know anything about this type of environment before -thank you very much!)

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“A good friend knows all of your stories. A best friend helped you write them.” 

On a very sad note, I feel like I cannot have a blog about our lives here and not mention that I received very saddening news last week regarding a dear friend of mine, Kyle, who passed away suddenly. The news caught me, as it always does with an unforeseen, untimely death, extremely off guard. Kyle was this amazingly kind, bright soul. He had this ability to make everyone feel important, make everyone feel that their beliefs and values mattered, no matter how much they differed from him. He had a passion for ministry and serving the Lord and he truly lived up until his very last day, loving and accepting everyone. My heart is saddened and broken, but I am certain he is up there in heaven being obnoxiously loud (one of his favorite things to do), introducing everyone around to Kelley Handers , listening to UnderOath, watching the Bruins and making everyone feel his electricity and fire he has within him (and because of his pure natural energy- probably doing it all at once). A friend of his posted on his Facebook after hearing the news, “There were no prerequisites to receiving his love and friendship.” How true this statement is. It saddens me that no one on Earth will meet this amazing individual, feel the warmth of his personality and experience that magnetic smile. But, as I often have had to learn before, I understand God needed you more, Kyle. I hope you are at peace. You may have always joked and said I taught you all you needed to know about life, but Kyle, you taught me so much more than I ever said. ❤

To brighten up this post real quick one more time I will just make mention that TGIT is only 3 days away and my life will be aligned again when I get to binge watch Shonda Rhimes shows every Thursday for 3 hours and listen to my wonderful, amazing boyfriend complain (but I like to think he secretly enjoys them too).

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This little girl has me wrapped around her paw. And she knows it too.

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