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Something different for supper

For some time now I have been eyeing the hard tostada shells when I pass through the Mexican food section at Aldi. I recently decided to purchase a package of them and we had tostados for supper one night this week.

There's not an actual recipe for this, I'll just tell you what I did.
I heated the shells in a 250 degree oven while I was heating a jar of pinto beans seasoned with some Johnny's seasoning. I then mashed the pintos with a potato masher. To eat the tostadas we layered them with pinto beans, cheese, lettuce, tomatoes, guacamole, and diced onions. They were messy to eat, but delicious. I will be making them again. I'm sure you could make this with cooked chicken or a ground beef mixture as well. It made a fairly quick, tasty meal.

Something new for breakfast

Spring is rapidly approaching and I've been trying to use up some of the fruit from the freezer. When I saw this recipe recently I thought it would be a good one to try. I had never eaten Chia seeds before, but have since seen quite a few variations of this recipe which utilize them.

Overnight Oats

1 cup vanilla yogurt
1 1/2 cups milk
1 tsp. vanilla
about 1/3 cup all fruit jam (or sweetener of your choice)
1 cup dry oatmeal (I used instant oats)
2 Tbsps. chia seeds (I bought these at Aldi in the baking aisle)
about 1 1/2 cups chopped fruit
nuts, if desired

Combine yogurt, milk, vanilla, jam, oats, and seeds, then stir in fruit. I have made this using blueberries and blueberry fruit spread and strawberries with strawberry fruit spread. Aldi has a variety of these fruit spreads and I'm sure this would also work with regular jams or even maple syrup. Mix gently and then portion into jam jars or other containers of your choice. I usually get four full jars and a partial. Refrigerate overnight and enjoy the next morning.

This recipe is similar to Swiss Musli which was popular years ago. The "new" twist is the yogurt instead of cream and the chia seeds which are an added source of protein. Keep this in mind for a simple but tasty breakfast idea.

An announcement

It has been a great while since I have posted. Life has been busy for us for the last few months. Our daughter, Nora, had a very difficult pregnancy which resulted in home bed rest (briefly), hospital bed rest (for about a week), and then the early delivery of her baby seven weeks early.

Little Oliver James was born on January 27 and has been in the NICU since then. He is a strong little boy and has made significant progress in the two weeks since his birth. He is eating well and is off all tubes, etc. At the moment he has just one monitor. His mother was allowed to begin rooming in with him just yesterday and if he continues to do well he may come home very soon.

We are extremely grateful for answered prayer on his behalf and on behalf of our daughter, Nora. People have been very kind in providing food, gifts, and child care for his big sisters. The girls have not been allowed to meet him yet.

Here are two of my favorite pictures:

The first is to give a bit of perspective. He is next to a 20 oz. soda bottle.

Here he is without any tubes and with his eyes open.

We are praising the Lord for our seventh little grandchild.

Another September birthday

Our second September birthday belonged to little Renny who turned one year old on the 21st. We held the party at our house but Nora did most of the work. Our son in law, Topher has given her the nickname Renbird so Nora decided upon a bird theme.
Here are some pictures documenting the event:

Here she is wearing the little crown Nora made for her:


Here is part of the family at her party:


Here's the rest of the fam:


The food was also bird-themed. We had little individual spaghetti "nests" topped with tomato sauce and meatballs, bread sticks; aka "twigs", broccoli salad with sunflower seeds (little trees and seeds), and applesauce.

Nora made little bluebird cookies, cupcakes with a nest and eggs on top, and a birdcage cake for Renny to smash.


Here Della is anticipating the smackdown:


This is my favorite--Renny lowered her head down into the cake!


We all enjoyed celebrating this special day with her and are thankful for her good progress during this first year of life. She says quite a few words, is an accomplished cat chaser, eats nearly everything, and has ten teeth. She has more than tripled her birthweight and seems to have caught up from her early arrival.

She will not be the baby much longer since the family will be increasing with the advent of a little brother in the spring. We are looking forward to this event and will keep you posted. 🙂

Birthday month

September is a big birthday month in our family. I've been wanting to post a few things about our recent family birthdays and finally decided to write about them individually rather than to write about all three.

Our daughter Megan has the first birthday of the month on the 17th. We were not able to celebrate with her in person but we did talk with her on the phone and we sent her a package with a few items. Her husband and children came up with some fun activities to help her celebrate. Megan teaches first grade and has an apple theme in her classroom. She suggested that she would like some different pillow covers so she could have a themed pillow to place on the rocking chair she has in the reading area of her classroom. She sent me a picture of one that she had seen and I did a little research and found instructions for something similar that I thought I could create.

Here's a picture of the finished product:

It was fun to look through my fabric scraps to come up with all the colors for the apples. I also tried a new technique for appliqueing the apples and leaves onto the pillow cover called raw edge applique. You machine stitch around each piece twice in contrasting thread.


I have tried free-motion quilting in the past and wasn't very good at it, but this was much easier on such a small project. I did have a bit of trouble with the giant rick rack edging on the pillow. I think smaller rick rack would have been easier to maneuver around the corners of the pillow.

In my next post I will chronicle little Renny's first birthday party.