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.