Well, it's Friday, my friends. We made it! This week has sure been a crazy one, but one thing happened that makes me feel like spring can finally start whenever it wants to:
Our entire house is freaking clean.
I wanted to enjoy conference weekend at our home without thinking about how much my carpets could use a thorough cleaning, how high my dishes have piled, how unorganized my pantry is, how scary those leftovers in my fridge are getting, and generally how much clutter surrounded me. I just wanted to focus and enjoy. I always find this time of year to start anew.
So one thing I love to do each year before Spring and Fall general conference, is clean the heck out of the place. Yesterday, I purged the apartment, once again, of any excess clothing/toys/anything we didn't need to keep around, and our nasty carpets received the deep cleaning they deserved. Let's just say toddlers have a way of destroying carpet, and with potty training behind us, the carpet has received a beating in the worst way possible.
I feel like a brand new person when my home is spotless. Yes, a light cleaning happens often (I'm kind of a neat freak that way and enjoy the whole "work before play" method (whatever motivates me to get it done faster)), but the deep cleaning happens twice a year. And when it does, I feel like I know where everything is in my house, everything has it's place in the apartment, and I can sit on my couch without wondering where that GOSH DANG AWFUL smell is coming from in the living room & kitchen, and can open my mind for any inspiration that's thrown my way.
Now, someday when we buy/build a house of our own (only a couple more years of apartment living, crossing our fingers after his clerkships are over), I'm sure the deep cleaning will take more than a few days, and my standard of "clean" will definitely change. However, I really love the feeling of a clean, uncluttered home. I promise I'm not a prissy little wench or anything, I just like it tidy and stink-free is all. Even if it only lasts a few minutes before the toddler wakes up from his nap, or I decided to do a little recipe testing/creating in the kitchen. Then all bets are off :)
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I made this stuff after a long Sunday afternoon. Thankfully it took minutes to throw together, so I could get dinner on the table very quickly. However, I was not prepared for how much flavor and ridiculous awesomeness would be packed in this little pasta dish.
It was incredible!!! And we seriously fought over the leftovers for a couple days after. The pasta soaked up all that enchilada sauce and cheese like a sponge, and the ground meat made this thing a million times more hearty; leaving us more full with less. Did I mention how easy it was to make?? All you do is saute the onions and garlic, brown the meat, pour in a little broth and enchilada sauce, toss in some pasta, put the lid on to simmer, pop off the lid, stir in some cheese, top with your favorite toppings, and BAM. DONE! I am a huge sucker for one-pot meals like this. They're easy, less mess, and come together in minutes. Definitely perfect for those busy weeknights/weekends, or even if you are only in search for something easy and delicious to throw at your family for dinner time.
Easy Enchilada Pasta
makes 6 servings
2 T EVOO
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 small onion, diced
1 lb ground turkey or ground beef
2 C low-sodium chicken broth
1 19oz can or red enchilada sauce
8oz dried rotini pasta (or campanelle, or whatever you have on hand that's small/short)
2 C freshly shredded Colby Jack cheese
Toppings: green onions, black olives, avocado, and tomato.
1. In a large saute pan with a fitting lid (set lid aside for now), saute garlic and onions in oil over medium low heat until soft and fragrant. Add ground meat and stir until cooked through, breaking up any pieces, until browned.
2. Add pasta (yep, uncooked pasta right in there), chicken broth and enchilada sauce to the pan. Bring to a boil, then cover with the lid. Reduce heat to a simmer/low and cook for about 15 minutes.
3. Remove lid and stir in 1 cup of cheese. Top pasta with the other cup of cheese and place lid back on to melt cheese. Garnish with olives, avocado, tomatoes, and green onions.
recipe source: no 2 pencil