Random Acts of Living

Sunday, April 10, 2016

Golden Wheat Chapter Genealogy Meeting

Sunday April 10th was the Genealogy meeting of the Golden Wheat Chapter of the American Historical Society of Germans from Russia.

Our meetings begin with a covered dish dinner and there is always a wonderful variety of tasty foods.

Great selections at the desert table, too.

Our president, Karen, asked for blessings for all present and those unable to attend. 

Then it was time to chow down!

Our Watkins table was set up to take orders to keep us supplied with their excellent products and contribute to our funds.

After everyone had sufficiently stuffed themselves we all moved over to our library (the bookshelves in the back) for our Genealogy meeting after a short chapter business meeting. Our featured speaker was Melvin Epp discussing his recent book on his Epp family history going back as far as he could trace them. 

His second book, "For the Children: Pursuing Religious and Political Freedoms." His ancestors joined the Anabaptists movement after the Protestant Reformation of 1517. Generations of the family relocated from Holland to West Prussia, to southern Russia, and finally to America in the 1880s in the continuing search for places where they could practice their Mennonite religion with freedom. By now his grandfather Epp has over 700 descendants living in the US enjoying the freedoms that the family sought through the years.

Then Dennis introduced everyone to the AHSGR website and what resources are available online for research. This was interactive and everyone was encouraged to ask questions about their ancestors.

Another GREAT meeting. 

Monday, April 4, 2016

What a Crock! Taco Salad & Soup

Cooking for two can sometimes be challenging. Most recipes are usually 4 servings. Leftovers can be a problem and eating it ALL is certainly a problem. That is why lately my favorite appliance has been my 1.5 qt. crockpot. (All pictures are from the web, I didn't think about blogging this till after the fact.)

Its only real setback is that it only has two settings, on and off. It's not what I would call a slow cooker because it does bring the food to a boil. I bought it years ago for little smokies in BBQ sauce and only recently have been using it for regular cooking. I thought I'd share the easy two meals I made the other day.

Easy Crockpot Chicken Fajitas

  • 1 lb of Chicken Breasts
  • 3 Peppers (Green, Red & Yellow), sliced
  • 1 Onion, sliced
  • 1 Package of Taco Seasoning
  • Flour or corn tortillas
  • Toppings - sour cream, cheese, guacamole, etc.
  1. Slice peppers and onions then place them on the bottom of the crock pot
  2. Put Chicken on top of peppers and onions
  3. Sprinkle taco seasoning on the top
  4. Cook on low for 6-8 hrs (or high for 3-4)
  5. Shred everything up and mix together
  6. Serve with tortillas and all the toppings - sour cream, guacamole, cheese, lettuce, etc.

That is the actual recipe^^^ that I more or less followed. I cut up onion and bell pepper to layer the bottom of the pot and placed three small chicken breasts (frozen) on top. I have a bottle of taco seasoning...
...that I sprinkled freely over the chicken. Put the lid on, turned it on and let it cook for 4 hours. Instead of making fajitas though, we had fajita salads. They're like taco salads except with chicken fajita meat and vegetables.
I added black beans but not corn or avocado. I think I like the salad better than a wrap. One of the granddaughters was here and she didn't care for the onions or bell pepper which left me with quite a bit of taco flavored broth, bell pepper and onion. Back to the web to search for a recipe for Chicken Taco Soup. I scoured through all the recipes for common ingredients and find I only need to add the half cans of diced tomato and black beans that I already had opened for the salad, then a can of whole kernel corn and a can of kidney beans. This made for a full pot. Later I added a little more taco seasoning and taco sauce.
Quick to prepare and easy to make. Full of flavor, I really like it. The only picture that I did take was of the nearly empty pot.
These two dishes will absolutely get repeat performances. Let me know if you give them a try and what you think.

Sunday, January 31, 2016

Golden Wheat Chapter AHSGR Folklore Meeting

Members were encouraged to bring their favorite fairy-tale books to share.

Melvin Epp brought his newly published, "For the Children" 

Karen welcome guests and shared announcements

Ella share with us her interesting recipe for Black Forrest cake

After Karen returned blessings it was time to partake

For the meeting we moved to the room that holds our library. 

We had Installation of Officers

and a Memorial Service

Our program began with Karen introducing us to Russian folk tales

Fay read a Russian folk tale about sister rivers racing to the sea

Then our Grimm skit of the Wolf and the Fox

This is my granddaughter we're my fox ears

Ella gave us a very interesting history of the folk tales and how Disney has transformed them

Our folklore meetings are always one of the more popular meetings because of the ethnic foods and entertaining and informative program. Everyone had an enjoyable time.

Friday, December 18, 2015

Christmas Greetings

I've done a Christmas photo shoot with the grandkids every year since 2011 that I've shared on Facebook. I thought this year I'd see if I could get the Photobucket slideshow to work here. There are 50 pictures...

moonshadow74's Christmas cards album on Photobucket

Merry Christmas
Blessings for the New Year!

A Smiley Birthday

The Princess Knight has a new handle, Smiley. Grandpa has been calling her this for a while and Princess Knight has kind of retired. So Smiley it is!

Watching a movie and waiting for the party to begin.

Cake and cupcakes await.

Equine themed plates and napkins.

Pizza for the party with two pieces set aside for dad.

Mom giving brother a bite of pizza. In the background Gr-grandma and Aunt Missy inspect the kitchen island rebuild that Aunt Shandy did.

Big brother on the couch watching a movie and eating pizza.

The party guests have arrived and everyone gets pizza.

Movie time.

Smiley with her birthday cake.

Cake closeup.

How many candles? 12?

(Note the hat on Aunt Shandy's head. Smiley was not happy, told her she was going to steal it.)

Mom and her frosting antics. At least there's no face in the cake and only frosty on the nose.

Cupcakes and ice cream for everyone.

Smiley cleaning up her face.

Time to open the presents.

Candy and fun stuff.

Somebody knows her, she loves her candy canes.
(Note the hat now on Smiley's head. Smiley is a happy camper!)

Nail decorating.

Bracelet making.

Nutella from Gr-grandma.

A Diamond Sword!

And cash.

She said read the card. It's a really funny card. Human bean, get it? Human being.

Hanging on tight to the Diamond sword and the cash while keeping an eye on the Nutella. All coveted presents. 

Dad made it home in time for cake and presents. Little brother is all partied out.

And there went the Nutella, get the thief use your Diamond Sword!

Another Happy Birthday, Another Year Older!

Have a WONDERFUL year Smiley, next year you'll be a TEENAGER!!!