Author Archive | Stella

“Tiny Tostadas”

A few days ago I tried a new recipe for what I call “Tiny Tostadas”.  I found the idea online several months ago but I just got the chance to make them myself this past weekend.  I made some alterations to the original recipe and they were a big hit so I have decided to share my version here on my blog.

Tiny Tostadas

Tiny Tostadas

Ingredients:

1 pkg of small wonton wrappers

1 lb. ground beef (or chicken)

1 can black beans

1 jar chunky salsa

1 pkg taco seasoning

shredded cheese

1 jar queso

Optional garnish ingredients: guacamole – sour cream – chopped black olives – green onions

First you will need to preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Add taco seasoning to the ground meat and brown it in a skillet.  When the meat is cooked add the can of drained black beans. Cook until the beans are hot and then drain off the excess grease.

Next you should lightly mist your muffin pans with nonstick cooking spray and then press one wonton wrapper into the bottom of each muffin tin until it makes the shape of a tiny tostada shell.

Ready to cook!

Ready to cook!

Next you will put one small spoonful of queso in the bottom of each wonton wrapper.  Don’t put too much.  Just enough to smear around the bottom.  Then you will put a spoonful of the meat/bean mixture on top of the queso.  Add a spoonful of the chunky salsa to each cup and then top each one with shredded cheese.

( Big appetite? You can repeat the previous steps and make your tiny tostada a “double decker”!)

 

Bake for about 18 – 25 minutes until the wonton wrappers are golden brown.

Remove from oven and add your favorite garnish.  This time I chose guacamole and black olives.  I put sour cream on the side for folks to add if they desired. I think green onions would also go great on top and add a bit of color.

I had several complements on these and they even tasted great when they were warmed over.  These are perfect for parties and they are fun to make!  You can easily change up the ingredients to suit your tastes and any leftover ingredients will be great for taco night later in the week!  Enjoy!

 

0

“Berry Sludge”

Berry Sludge

Berry Sludge

Need a new, fresh and EASY dessert? I tried this new recipe not long ago and it is yummy!  I like it because it is tart and sweet but also COLD and refreshing.  It is simple, fast, and easy to change up to suit your mood.

Ingredients:  1 8oz. tub of Cool Whip – 1 24 oz. container of plain yogurt – 1 package of cheesecake pudding mix -1 package of frozen mixed berries.

Yum!

Yum!

 

You simply mix the yogurt, cool whip, and pudding mix together until well blended.  Then you add in the frozen mixed berries (or just your favorite berry if you prefer). *I used two packages of berries in mine because the only ones available were very small portions.  Just use your own judgement and add to suit your taste.  Chill the mixture until is is cold and firm and then enjoy!

 

 

 

2

Chicken Mania

1235243_10153258997815377_580793251_n

Levi & “Little Miracle”.

My husband and I have been very intrigued by the homesteading lifestyle for quite some time now.  We love the idea of raising our kids with the knowledge of how to live off the land and provide for themselves.  We were both raised in town and have very little experience with anything farm related so it has been a learning process for the entire family.  A few weeks ago a good friend was going to pick up some chicks and we asked him to bring us some as well.  He brought us 10 baby Rhode Island Reds.

They were cute, loud, fuzzy and they smelled “fowl”.  We immediately got busy trying to set up some sort of comfortable accommodations for our new residents.  I contacted a friend who is a chicken genius to ask for a few pointers on how to care for the little cheeping critters.  Well my friend and her husband jumped in the truck and drove 45 minutes to bring me a new feeder and waterer and a huge binder full of chicken wisdom.  In addition to that they also brought me a pair of Cochins!

Fat Sassy Momma & Mr. Gimpy

Fat Sassy Momma & Mr. Gimpy

A full grown hen and rooster which they lovingly refer to as “Fat Sassy Momma” and “Mr. Gimpy” (Because he has a hitch in his get-a-long).  I went from having no chickens, to having a dozen in one day and I really had no clue what do to with any of them.

Over the next few days my husband and I put together a home for our new additions and settled into a routine of feeding, watering, checking for eggs and making sure the babies were staying warm.  Things were going smoothly and the neighbors weren’t complaining too much about Mr. Gimpy crowing at all times of the day.  I thought that maybe I could handle being a chicken lady.  And then it happened…

get-attachment-1.aspx

Taking care of the babies

The friend that had purchased the baby chicks for us had an accident and fell down a flight of stairs.  He was having trouble getting around due to the injuries and soreness from the fall.  My husband rushed over to help out and returned home with TEN MORE CHICKS.  These needed special care because while our friend had been injured, his larger hens had picked on these babies and wouldn’t let them get much food.  Now I was running a chicken hospital.

get-attachment-3.aspx

Bella & the “Bock-Bocks”

It was chaotic but over the next few days we were able to put all but two of the baby chicks outside.  I am happy to report that all 22 are doing fine and seem to be happy and healthy.  We have discovered that dropping a grasshopper into their pen can result in 30 minutes of high spirited entertainment.  The chicks play keep away and our kids gather round the coop and cheer and giggle at the feathery madness.  We jumped into the deep-end of chicken farming and had to learn fast but we sure are having a fine time!

Jessica feeding the babies

Jessica feeding the babies

Many folks are not aware that it is actually possible to keep chickens if you live inside city limits. It is not only great to have your own source of fresh eggs, but it is a great educational experience. My kids homeschool and I highly recommend little projects like this.  If you keep chickens or are considering getting a few, I would like to recommend this website to you.  They have fantastic hen houses at very good prices and they are cute too! Shipping on all orders are free and you can get a great discount by using coupon code:TSCSHOPS.  Check them out!ChickenCoopMart - Chicken Coops

2

A Unique Gift!

Everyone starts thinking about gifts at this time of the year.  In addition to Christmas and the other special holidays, I also have five birthdays in my household between now and the end of the year.  Once the leaves start falling off the trees I go into full gift shopping mode. I have been trying to do more and more shopping online because shopping with four children is just… hazardous.  While browsing online for unique and affordable gifts, I have found a few website that are just awesome!  I wanted to take a moment and share some of my favorites.  Hopefully this will help other mothers who would rather shop at home in their pajamas than drag their little ones to the mall.

AR08-300x250-A-NC

Personalized gifts are super popular right now and I found some adorable gift ideas at I See Me!  This website offers personalized storybooks, puzzles, coloring books, lunch boxes and more! Their prices are fantastic and they have a great selection of themes to choose from.

 

 

 

TTBHoliday_350x230_V2Another great place to find personalized gifts for kids is Ty’s Toy Box! They feature PBS children’s programs and have every character you could possibly imagine.  My daughter is a die hard Elmo fan and she is also obsessed with The Wiggles.  It’s difficult to find some of these characters in the stores but they are ALL at Ty’s and you can have them personalized which is brilliant!

 

Another great site I found is called Happy Kids Productions.  They have a huge variety of products and their prices are very reasonable.  This company offers discounts fairly often which is great when you have a lot of gifts to buy. Right now you can save 10% on all personalized gifts at Happy Kids!

 

 

 

Hopefully this post has helped at least a few of my readers find some great gift ideas. The hard part for me is now deciding which items to buy when I would rather just get three of everything.

0

Fall & Football!

 

1184884_10151604598677256_28035176_n

The turning leaves means that my very favorite time of the year has arrived.  I love Autumn and all that it brings with it.  I love wearing boots and scarves. I love the crunchy sounds the leaves make when you step on them.  I love the cooler temperatures and the vibrant warm colors that harvest time brings.  I also love the excitement around our house when it is time for college football!  My husband is like a little kid on Christmas morning.  On game day he digs out his best hat and team t-shirt and settles in for a few hours of Autumn excitement.  His team spirit is infectious and over the past few years it has spread to every member of our family.

9951_10151604598452256_317836923_n

 

In the state of Oklahoma there are two rival colleges, the University of Oklahoma (OU) and Oklahoma State (OSU). In our neck of the woods we OSU fans are a little outnumbered. When football season rolls around we start hunting for our orange & black. We wear it proud, even if we are surrounded by friends and family all decked out in their crimson and cream.  It’s a fun rivalry and lasts just long enough to make things exciting.  I think that may be why I like this time of year so much.  The weather, the sports, the excitement… it brings family and friends together!  “Go Pokes!!!”

 

FANATICS is a FANtastic place for sports gear (any team, any style, any sport)! Check them out and Gear Up for Fall & Football!

Oklahoma-Sooners---250x250_00Oklahoma-State-Cowboys---250x250_00

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

0

Listen To The Little People

1069222_10151493370457256_1039752484_nToday I have been busy trying to conquer my laundry mountain and my little shadow Judah (4),  has been singing all morning while following me around the house.  The song on his heart today may sound familiar.  It goes like this,  “A sunbean – a sunbean – Jesus wants me for a sunbean – A sunbean – a sunbean – I’ll be a sunbean for Hiiiiim“.  I finally asked him “What IS a sunbean”?  He explained that “It is a bean that grows up into a sun”. “And this is what Jesus wants you to be?” I asked. He promptly replied  “Yes, you know like… (singing) A seed goes in the ground – and soon you will see – that I begin to grow – and do the word of God …“.

It’s amazing the information that you can acquire by paying attention to the little ones who live with you.  We as adults get so busy that we often tune out their chatter while we concentrate on more “important” tasks.  The constant drone of little voices fades into the background of our daily lives and we often miss little snippets of childish wisdom.  I try to pause every chance I get and just listen to what is actually being said by these little people and sometimes their conversations are just awesome. Sometimes you can see reflections of yourself as a child. Sometimes you hear things that upset you.  Sometimes you get a good laugh.  Sometimes you learn a little lesson.  But one thing is certain…

it is ALWAYS entertaining.

0

I’m Still Alive!

I have been absent from my blog for almost a month now and I have been missing it.  Several things have been happening in my world lately that has kept me from posting but there is one in particular that I wanted to share.

 

summersafety_poisonivyIn early June I was attacked by a Poison Ivy plant from hell.  The itchy patches of misery started appearing on my wrist, then above my left eye, then on my chin, down my neck, both arms, my abdomen and both legs.   It was HIDEOUS.  At midnight I left my husband home with the little ones and drove myself to the Emergency  Room in the middle of a storm.  I sat there for an eternity only to find that the only thing they could offer me was a prescription as they were not sure whether I should receive a steroid shot while in the process of weaning my youngest.  The pharmacy was already closed for the evening and so I went back home.  Two days later the prescription appeared to be making things worse. After consulting with my regular doctor I went in for the shots.  They might as well have injected me with water.  It did not change a thing.  The stuff lasted about two weeks and I can honestly say I would rather go through labor than endure one day of that torture.  Ugh…

I have found some interesting ways of  dealing with it and thought I might share a few.

*I tried a foaming soap from the pharmacy called Ivarest which was very soothing and cool.  I used it just before exiting the shower and I was able to go for a long time without any creams or ointments.

* I also used extremely hot water, dial soap and a rough cloth.  That helped much more than the prescription cream the doctor gave me.

* In a fit of extreme desperation I made a paste of white vinegar, coarse kosher salt and baking soda.  I smeared this on the large areas and held a hair dryer (set to high heat) on it for as long as I could bear it.  It sounds extreme but it made an instant difference.

*I also took  Benadryl tablets regularly.  The Dr. had given me a prescription for Clariton but it did not help at all.  The pharmacist suggested the Benadryl and it made a noticeable difference.

I hope none of my readers ever have to deal with this but if you do I sincerely hope this is helpful to you.

Anyway, It’s good to be back!!!

 

 

 

0

Dirt Is Awesome!

 I can distinctly remember the cool, squishy feeling of mud oozing between my toes and the glee that soon followed when I realized that my Mom knew I  was outside playing in the rain and she wasn’t going to get me in trouble.  I was always frustrated that my brother did not share the same enthusiasm for all things filthy.  He would make a feeble effort to play along but in no time he would be crying for Mom to help him wash the goo off his hands. Well not me!  I enjoyed every nasty minute of it. 526483_10152753964545377_1388733928_n

So why bring this up now?  Well because now I am the Mom and it would appear that I have passed on my love of dirt to all four of my children.  They cannot walk from the house to the car without finding a puddle of mud or a pile of dust to drag their feet through.  They come in the house every evening absolutely filthy from head to toe.547387_10152753951045377_1939556000_nIt can be overwhelming at bath time when I am trying to clean four nasty kids and prepare dinner at the same time and then I find that all the clean towels are still in the washing machine.  It’s chaos… every night.  We scrub, wash, rinse, dunk and dry and then as soon as the sun comes up, back to the dirt they go!602702_10152688940060377_613320237_n

Just about the time my frustration reaches its peak I get a whiff of that sweet Oklahoma soil and it all comes flooding back.

You see, I still like to play in the dirt.  I just find a more “mature” way of going about it now.  These days I call it “gardening” and I pretend that it is an absolute necessity and a smart thing to do for my family.

Sometimes I have to wonder if it is really just an excuse to get my hands dirty and sink my toes in the mud…

 

 

1

Brotherly Love

My grandmother had three daughters and one son.  My uncle had two daughters and one son.  My mother had me and one son. My aunt had one daughter and one son. I never really thought much about it until I had TWO sons.  There is an extreme difference in raising one boy as opposed to raising two.  Now don’t get me wrong, boys are a joy.  They are affectionate, protective and tenderhearted little men but they can fight like no animal I have ever seen.   There is a little word that plays a BIG role in a household with multiple boys and that word is “competition”.  It is something deep within the genetic makeup of these little guys that is fascinating and yet infuriating at the same time.   They are best friends and worst enemies depending on which side of the bed they wake up on.  They will share a bed and a bath but they will NOT share a soda without an “episode”.

As a Mom this can be very taxing on the nerves when it must be dealt with on a daily basis.  Everything, and I do mean every thing results in some sort of competition.  “I have the fullest cup”. “I have biggest gun”. “I’m going to get down the stairs first”.   “I am the tallest”.  “I get to carry the most groceries in from the car.”  It is never ending…

Just when I think that they may never get over the rivalry I get a little glimmer of hope that lets me know they are hiding a big secret… deep down they are fierce friends.   

A few nights ago around bedtime I heard a scream from my kitchen.  I jumped up and ran to find Judah (4) sitting in the floor and his sister (9) looking like she was going to faint.  She had been carrying her brother on her back when they stumbled and he hit his forehead on one of Daddy’s tools that was sitting by our back door.  I turned Judah around to find his forehead, eyebrows, and face literally covered with blood.  He had grabbed his head with his hands which were also covered with blood and it was beginning to run down his wrists.  I grabbed a kitchen towel and tried to wipe him clean so I could assess the damage but each time I would remove the towel more blood would run in rivulets down his face.  I was sitting there trying to decide what to do next when big brother Levi (6) came running down the stairs.  He had heard the commotion from his bed and came to see what was happening.  I had no idea he would react the way that he did and I was not really prepared.  He instantly went into full panic mode.  He grabbed his big sister in the middle of the kitchen and began to sob LOUD and uncontrollably.   Big sister joined right in on the panic and turned on the tears as well.  So there I was home alone, sitting in the middle of the floor holding my four year old covered in blood and watching my two eldest, both arms around each other, and both having a total emotional breakdown.  Chaos!

From somewhere I pulled a little “Mommy calmness” and just started talking to everyone and giving them jobs.  “Levi, get a band aid and Jess get a wash cloth…” and I went to work cleaning up the bleeding victim. While I worked on the wound Levi bravely marched up to his brother, placed his little hand on his head and began to pray.  He reached over and grabbed his sister’s hand and insisted she pray too.  I was so proud of him because he was incredibly scared.  I was relieved to find a TINY scrape on the edge of Judah’s hairline about the size of a pencil lead.  That was it.  I have no clue where all the blood came from but that was the extent of the injury.

Once everyone was clean and doctored I showed them how the wound was nothing more than a tiny cut.  You could see Levi take a deep breath of relief and then the tears erupted all over again.  It just goes to show that these two can fight like cats and dogs but they are incredibly protective of each other.  It’s a fascinating dynamic and I am thoroughly enjoying watching this relationship develop as they grow.  Yes, it is exhausting at times.  But then when you see the deep bond they share it is clear that there’s nothing else in the world like it.

Judah & Levi

2

A Disturbing Dilemma

There’s something so sweet about fuzzy baby animals.  Goats are no exception.  They are feisty, curious and playful. We were so excited when the baby goat we were waiting for turned out to be twins.  We couldn’t wait to bring these little girls home.   Our daughter quickly claimed the white one with blue eyes and a pink nose and she quickly settled on the name “Heidi”.  Our son was left with the brown baby girl and he chose the name “Seekie”.   In the months since their birth Heidi and Seekie have become a part of life around our place.  We hear them call when they are hungry and we know their personalities.   The kids spend all hours outside playing with them, hunting them, and going on adventures together.  So it came as quite a shock when our little Heidi started to become quite ornery. She started head butting anything new in the yard and becoming a little aggressive to the other animals.  Upon further investigation of the problem we discovered the reason behind this sudden shift in behavior.  It’s a sad day at our place.  Today we discovered that “Heidi” is really “Harry”.

2

Powered by WordPress. Designed by Woo Themes