Four Lean Turkey Sausage Recipes from YouTube’s Beth’s Happy Home taste test. See the video for the rankings.

January 9, 2021

This video will go live on Wednesday, Jan 13 2021 at 3:00 p.m.

Mix all recipes well. Flavors will blend well if you let the mixture rest for at least a couple of hours. You can use any ground meat, but I choose lean ground turkey because it has the least fat, cholesterol and calories.

Recipe # 1 (Good sturdy breakfast sausage recipe)

1 lb 90% lean ground turkey

1/2 tsp onion powder

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

pinch of cayenne pepper, (I recommend 1/2 tsp for a little more zip.)

Recipe #2 (From DivasCanCook) (Complex and flavorful)

1 lb lean ground turkey

1/2 tsp fennel

1 tsp sage

1 tsp thyme

1/2 Tbls. brown sugar

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp liquid smoke

1 1/2 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp salt

Pinch of ground cloves,

Pinch of red pepper

Pinch of cayenne pepper

Recipe #3 (distinct sage flavor)

1 lb ground turkey

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 tsp black pepper

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp onion powder

2 tsp sage

2 tsp basil

1/2 tsp hot pepper flakes

dash of cayenne pepper

Recipe #4 (Mild and pleasant)

1 lb lean ground turkey (or other meat)

1 tsp onion powder

1 tsp garlic powder (or granulated garlic)

1 tsp ground sage

1 tsp thyme

1 tsp ground rosemary

1/2 tsp salt

Fresh vs Powdered Milk Greek Yogurt, Which is better for homemade yogurt?

January 2, 2021

Yogurt is a superfood for gut health, strong bones, and even weight loss.

Here’s a link to the video experiment. I used the precisely same technique and fermented them together. The results surprised me!

Homemade Yogurt is DELICIOUS!

1 quart of milk (any fat content including non-fat)

Yogurt with active cultures for a starter (see video)

Quick read thermometer or candy thermometer

Hot pot/ electric pressure cooker or slow cooker with a yogurt setting OR oven with a bread proofing setting, OR large, insulated bottle/jug (like a thermos).

Delectable Toasted Almond Caramels

December 23, 2020

Toast 2 cups of whole almonds, (10 minutes in a 350 oven spread on a cookie sheet)

Spray 2 9×9 pans with non-stick spray or use a jelly roll plan with a 1 inch lip

Spread toasted almonds on sprayed pan

In a large, heavy pot, add

4 cups white sugar

2 cups white corn syrup

1 cup slated butter (2 sticks)

Cook until bubbly stirring constantly. Gradually add 2 cans of evaporated milk so that it continues to boil. It will take several minutes to add it all.

Continue stirring until candy registers 238 (soft ball) on a candy thermometer.

Stir in 2 teaspoons vanilla

Pour hot candy over toasted almonds.

Optional: Sprinkle lightly with sea salt and or chocolate chips. When chocolate chips melt, spread evenly in a thin layer over caramel.

Cool completely, cut into small squares, (an inch or smaller), Wrap in parchment paper or wax paper. (cut paper to about 3 inches square.)

Bath Bomb recipe

December 20, 2020

Here’s the link to the my Youtube video version. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WF9coopte6M

In a bowl, mix:

1 cup baking soda

1/2 cup citric acid

1/2 cup epsom salts

In a separate bowl, mix

1 teaspoon water

a few drops of food coloring

1/2 teaspoon peppermint extract (or other extract with a strong scent)

5 Tablespoons olive oil

Gradually add liquid to dry, stirring well until it has the texture of damp sand and will hold it’s shape when molded. If it’s a little dry, add water a teaspoon at a time. (If you add too much water, the baking soda activates and will cause the molded forms to expand. They will still give a nice fizzy bath.

Mold in anything you want. You could use a muffin tin or a silicone mold of any shape. You want the finished bath bomb to be 3-6 tablespoons.

Wrap in fabric netting and tie with a ribbon. If you crumble one, wrap it up anyway and label it “cookie crumb peppermint.”

Out with the old and in with the new.

December 17, 2020

After 5 full years of writing my newspaper column, Americana, I have decided to end that effort. There were a few more articles I intended to write, but Covid has been so restrictive to travel, that I suppose the world will hold together just the same without those. Frankly, I’ve run out of ideas and without fresh inspiration through travel, I can’t refill.

With Covid restricting us to our homes much more than in recent years, I’ve turned my attention to a video blog on YouTube. It’s called “Beth’s Happy Home.” There I deal with every aspect of happy homemaking, including parenting, cooking, woodworking, sewing, decor and even remodeling.

My Youtube channel will be linked to this blog and I will post recipes and written instructions here also. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTdhiO-V-QakZLFnK-b_oxw?

I would be so humbled and grateful if you are inclined to subscribe to the Youtube channel and enable notifications. There are limits to my use and abilities on Youtube until I reach certain levels of subscribers and watch-time.

I expect 2021 to be a year for publishing at least one of my finished historical fiction novels. I also anticipate publishing either a sci-fi fantasy juvenile novel or a juvenile-targeted historical fiction novel (unfinished but underway.)

I can’t do any of it without the support of my friends and followers. I promise that you will enjoy the books and videos I am prepared to release, once I meet the metrics to make it possible.

It’s sort of a catch 22. I have to have a certain level of support before I can move forward, but the way to get that support is to produce the content to attract those supporters.
Thanks so much for your past and on-going support. It means so much to me! Here is a link to my Youtube channel.

https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTdhiO-V-QakZLFnK-b_oxw?

Change is constant

January 31, 2020

It seems to me that not only is change in circumstances a constant in my life and probably in all humanity, it’s a healthy thing. Here are a number of things/opinions that are or have changed for me.

I have competely reversed my opinion of Mitt Romney. I was devastated when he lost the presidential election. I felt it was the last hope for America. I heard this morning that he voted for more witnesses, eager to prolong the witch hunt as long as he can. Apparently, he has no sense of justice. The impeachment articles don’t even cite a crime! The witnesses are all offering their opinion about what was in President Trumps mind.

The huge irony is that the more I hear of what Trump has done concerning international relationships and diplomacy, the more I respect him. I have gone from being a never Trumper to voting for him in the last election to an actual supporter. His speeches generally drive me crazy, but his actions speak louder than his words, and that takes some doing.

I believe that Trump’s background in show business has prepared him for the presidency better than anyone. He manages to stay in the news every single day. Like PT Barnum (??) said, there’s no such thing as bad publicity.

The most effective weapon the media could use agaisnt him would be their silence. Mocking, hating, alleging unfounded crimes only allows him to contradict them in front of a gossip loving citizenry.

I’ve watched a fair amount of the trial from both democrats and the Defense, and I fear greatly for this nation that the Democrats got as far as they did. They have no respect for the rule of law or the Constitution. Then Romney votes for more witnesses. That’s prosecutor saying to the jury: If you’re not convinced that this man is guilty, you must go interview, research and talk yourself into agreeing with me. Pelosy even says that it’s impossible for him to be aquitted because the jury didn’t go out and seek evidence.

In truth, Trump can’t be acquitted because he has not been accused of any crime. The democrats have built thier case on a disagreement on the way the President does his job. But even they couldn’t find a single accusation of wrongdoing that they could actually prove.

Obviously, they felt no need to prove anything. If they were confident that they could, they would have allowed the President to defend himself. Trump totally overturned their conspiracy when he released the transcript. Further, the Ukranian President, a former Democratic ally publicly proclaimed that he had NO notion of a quid pro quo.

The Democrats declared on the VERY DAY that Trump won election that they would impeach him. They reached a verdict before he even had a chance to do anything wrong. Pelosi promised that Trump would be so tied up in investigations that he would be unable to govern. That was their plan, that is what they have done. Except that Trump has thumbed his nose at them and gone ahead and done what previous politician presidents didn’t have the courage or the will to do.

Trumps impeachment is an utter disgrace. I would be ASHAMED if it was my party, no matter how much I disliked the President. I’m disgusted with any Americans (in this case Democrats and the media) who enjoy all the blessings of this great nation but have no scruples about trashing our Consitutional form of government.

More to the point, I watch our elected officials and use this as a test of corruption. If they were not corrupt, they would stand up on the side of justice.

Romney, I”m ashamed of you. You turned out to be exactly what your Republican opponents said: a Fair Weather Politician with wavering, weak principles. I deleted the old pictures of you and me together (Romney was campaigning and we happened to be there). I will work to make sure that you never win another Utah election.

GOODNESS, it feels good to write about politics once in a while. I try to keep my column, Americana, completely positive, inspiring and informative. But there are no rules but my own for Chocolate Cream Centers!

On a more personal note: My mother is moving back to Utah after spending three years in my sister Mary’s care in Montana. She will be living in an Assisted Living facility in Lehi. I think it will be a good arrangement for her, and I’m looking forward to spending much more time with her.

We have two new grandbabies on the way so far this year.

Jeff has planned a marathon trip that will start in Switzerland, move to France, with a side trip to Monaco, and possibly Belgium and from there go on a Baltic cruise that visits Norway, Sweden, Germany, Denmark, Estonia , Finland and Russia. We’ll be gone more than a month.

On a trip we took in December, I heard the story of how a violinist achieved her extreme skill. I realized that perhaps, with persistent practice, I could become a competent pianist. Since the last week in December, I have practicing the piano every day for about an hour. I got my piano tuned, and am improving steadily. I don’t know what level I can reach, but I am enjoying it every day for the first time in my life.

I’m back to studying Spanish every day, too, using the Duolingo app.

More next week about some of the surprises on our trip to the Holy Land.

A Day to Remember and Honor

September 11, 2019

I visited Ground Zero last month. I went knowing it was a place to honor the fallen and remember, but once I visited the museum and found the stories of those who freely offered their lives, I stood in awe. What a solemn duty we have to remember the firefighters and police who gave their lives, not as victims but as true American heroes.

The Newspaper column only publishes one picture, so here are several more that I loved.

Here is my Americana article published last Sunday.

https://www.heraldextra.com/news/community/americana-americans-changed-forever/article_48fa4770-c56f-5cc1-9921-0a433aa3185b.html

The mall at Ground Zero is meant to look like a dove of peace. (left) The One World Trade Center reflects the world around it like a mirror.
Site of the North tower. 911 Memorial with 1 World Trade Center in the background.
Steel support beams taht buckled and tore in the heat and impact.
Firetruck parked too close to the towers was destroyed in the collapse. 343 firefighters died trying to rescue people from the burning towers.
The names of all the immediate victims of the 9-11 attacks are engraved around the rims of the falling water reflecting pools. Many first responders who were not in the building have have of cancers tied to their presence at the Twin Towers on 9/11/2011.
The memorial flag posted on the smoking ruins later in the day on 9-11.
The South Tower footprint part of the memorial. There is nowhere around the perimeter of either pool where you can see the bottom of the central pit. The waterfalls around the entire perimeter make these pools the largest manmade waterfalls in North America.
One World Trade Center (from the Hudson River) stands like the steeple on a temple of the New York skyline. It is a temple to the resilience of America and the principles of freedom.

Only in America, God Bless it!

A Guilty Pleasure

September 4, 2019

There are few of us that enjoy getting phished on any of our devices. But there is sometimes a little fun to be had. My idea is that the more of the phisher’s time I take up, the less time he or she has to victimize others. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

So today I got a facebook message from an old friend with whomI have little contact. It started out with “How are you doing?” I’ll cut and paste the rest of the conversation.

I recognized the typical approach, but since recently I ignored a similar greeting for several weeks, only to find it was really a friend giving me a story idea, I decided to respond. So I answered.

Me: I’m doing well. How are things in your life

phisher:
I’m pretty good and Good to hear from you too, and i’m not sure you heard about the recently good news yet?

Me: Which good news? (By now I knew beyond doubt that it was a scam. . .but I wanted to see what they would try.)

Phisher:
It’s a new specially program for those who need to clear bills buying their own car, buying their own house , retired, widows, single, raising child…Are you aware of this before ?

Me: No, I thought you were talking about the arrests the DHS has been making of internet and social media hackers. It’s so cool how they have been able to find the thieves who are responsible and fry their systems remotely.

Phisher:
This is real and legit okay

Me: Ha ha ha.

Have you heard about Attorney Eric Holder before? He’s the one helping people getting their NUF money, because it was not advertises publiclyHe’s an honest agent and he’s doing it through his private email so that no scammer can discover this okay, This is an big offer for you okayAnd I can share you his private email to apply easily and you will get your money okay, if it’s not real i won’t inform you okayIt’s an honest Agent that want the way forward of this country, you search his name onlineAttorney Eric Holder okay, so as to believe me, Thanks

Then the phisher sent me this picture for proof positive.



Me: You’re hilarious. You should follow American news so you would know what Eric Holder is up to these days. (He’s involved with Obama’s scheme to redistrict red states so that the Dems can gerrymander their way into winning elections.)

PHisher; I do, because he was the one help almost 4 (almost 4? wouldn’t that be 3?) of my friends to get this NUF money and me too, that’s why I’m informing you this is a big offer for you okay,It was not advertise publicly because of scanners so I can send you his private email address to apply as well so that you can believe that I’m telling you the truth give a trial okayAttorne***********@ ******* (I blanked it so no one would get curious and click).comMail him or text him on hangouts If you have it, I believe you gonna get your own money for NUF,

Me: I am not needing more money. Here is the number for someone that will probably be interested in your offer. 801-*** ****. (I gave the number of the local FBI.) Are you in China? I think you’ll have to add the number 1 before you call.

Phisher: There’s no any limit of amount that you can apply for, even more than $50million dollarsDon’t miss this offer. You gonna thank me at last okayOkay just tell him about what I just told you then we gonna contact our self about it okay. Then you gonna understand what I mean by it. thanks

Me: Between my CCA and my SIA and my VRA, I don’t need any money. You better call him (the FBI) . He’s not as rich as I am. He might feel insulted if I call him myself.

Phisher: If you want to help, make sure you do it the end okay,  I wanna do mine for that’s why I told you, but since you are are not interested, don’t bother okay

Me: I knew you were a hacker from your first response okay. (I wanted them to think throwing in the word ‘okay’ was correct America speak, since it’s such an effective red flag.) Where are you really? Are you trying to get money to come to AMerica, or do you just try to steal from AMericans?

PHisher: I need money from American to come, because sufferness is too much There’s no job after you graduated from school

And it’s just a little money I need to come to USANobody wanna helpThat’s why I’m trying to do this to get just $500 and if you can get me this, when I get to USA I will do everything that you want hun

(Hmmmmm. Slavery is illegal, as far as I know.)

(I laid the phone aside for a few minutes while I was doing something else)

Phisher: Why are you not saying anything dear

Me: Where are you?

PHisher: West African If you wanna help me okay, just get me an amazon gift card of just $500 in $100

Me: You’re lucky to have a computer and internet service. There are honest ways to make money using those tools okay If I were to send you Amazon cards, you’d have to give me your personal information.

Phisher: Deal!!!If you will promise me that you won’t betrayed me I will give you and you gonna get me that amazon card with the receipt okayDo you agree with that or you have go and get the amazon gift for me now, let me know

(I notice that he/she wants the receipt. They realize that if they can get access to my accounts, they’ll steal a lot more than $500.)

Me: Why would I promise not to betray you? Of course I would give your information to the authorities. I would far rather give money to someone I know truly needs it. You don’t know enough about Americans to scam us.

Phisher: Smiles (followed by vile expletive.) (He/she does know how to cuss in English)

So, this phisher was working on me for over an hour. If everyone engaged them without responding to any email we could eventually frustrate them so much that they’d give up. It would be a public service.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it.


What Makes a place Sacred?

August 25, 2019
View of the Sacred Grove from the path that leads into it.


Jeff and I recently returned from a road trip to the Eastern United States. Most of the places we visited, I had visited several times before. My sister in law, Lynda and her husband Barry travelled with us, so we revisited some places we might not have bothered to see again.

The motivation to take the trip in the first place was to collect a bunch of stories for my newspaper/online column, Americana. It’s about everything good in America, so we went in search of interesting places, history, cultures and traditions. I’m set through the end of the year!

View toward the Sacred Grove from inside the Smith Cabin back door.

We also visited Church history sites. As many of my readers know, I’m a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. We believe in living prophets and that the Churh is restored (and still being restored) to its New Testament beginnings.

The process of restoring the full, simple Gospel of Jesus Christ began when a young boy named Joseph Smith was troubled about what Church he should join. He read that God will answer our prayers and give us wisdom if we sincerely seek him.

So 14-year-old Joseph Smith went into a grove of trees near the cabin where his family lived. He found a private spot and knelt in prayer, asking “Which Church should I join?”

He was instantly attacked by an evil spirit. He felt smothered and overwhelmed. The Adversary was attempting to destroy him. But just as he was about to succumb to dispair, a beam of light appeared over his head. God the Father and His Son Jesus Christ descended in the light and spoke to him, comforting him and instructing him that the complete Church of Jesus Christ was not on the earth and must be restored. He learned that he was to participate in that restoration and that he must prepare himself and keep himself worthy.

As we visited this place in upstate New York, near Palmyra, I contemplated the significance of what had happened there. It’s a rather ordinary grove of trees. The trees are younger than the cabin and The Church of Jesus Christ has groomed the paths and placed benches in quiet nooks.

The grove made sacred because God and Christ came to Joseph Smith near here.

As we strolled those cool, quiet paths, I thought about the other places on earth where God has visited prophets and faithful servants. An unidentified place on the road to Damascus. . .the entire road to Emmaus, Sinai, But it doesn’t matter the exact location where young Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ.

Imagine how surprised Joseph was by the results of his query in prayer!

While it’s true that it’s natural to contemplate the events of the Restoration in that beautiful place, each of us should have a sacred place. It might be a grove of trees or a rock by a stream. It might be a place in your home, a room in a hospital or in a temple.

I am of the opinion that if we seek to have our own sacred place, it is wise to find a place where we can be alone, quiet and unrushed: a place where we can wait on the Lord.

The important truth that struck me as I wandered the grove we call “Sacred” is that wherever we are, God, our loving Heavenly Father, will come to us. We can make any place of contemplation, any place where our heart is open, any place where we feel an outpouring of gratitude a place sacred to us.

Figurtively, God will come to us if we seek Him in the darkness of depression. God can come to us in our despair. God can come to us when we’re afraid, or feeling reverent.

God will come to us to fill us with his powerful, personal, intimate love. God will give us peace and confidence. God will come to us to give us courage and resolve. God will guide us as we humble ourselves and try to follow our Savior and Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

I know that there are sacred places all over the world. They are places where God revealed his pure love, or even his person to people who seek Him. All over the world, in unknown corners, God has and does and will come to His children to teach us, help us, and to reveal His nature to us.

God will come to us, wherever and however we need to meet Him. More places, more days, more memories will become sacred.

A new insight

May 19, 2019

First off, I love the new Come Follow Me Study program in The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Today, I was very touched when a thought that lingered in my mind from Sacrament meeting attached to a question in Sunday School.

At the end of our Sacrament meeting today, the Bishop took the last few minutes to give us one of the non-negotiables for his family that he wants us to incorporate ward-wide. He pleaded with ward families follow his advice. He asked that electronic devices be kept out of our children’s bedrooms. He asserted that very little good comes of kids having devices in private spaces and much harm can come.

I 1000% agree. Keeping electronics and televisions in public places might be the policy that saves our loved ones tremendous heartache and pain. We didn’t have game systems or devices in our home and I think that was one of the best decisions ever. (We do now have a Wii.) But we didn’t pick up on the computer in a public place fast enough and paid the price.

Now, there are a multitude of devices that are easily carried to a private place. It takes far more diligence on the part of interested parents to protect and help their children avoid the heartache, disappointment and failures that can result.

But I glanced around the chapel and realized that many of those listening had not lived long enough to know how vital our Bishop’s council may be. We sometimes hear that messages from Church leaders and think of an excuse or special reason why it doesn’t apply to us or why we can’t make that change. I hope and pray that the beloved members of our ward and all those who read this blog hearken to this good man’s council and make that one simple change. It may save your child!

Then in Sunday School, we were discussing the rich young man who came to ask Jesus “What lack I yet?” Jesus told him to keep all the commandments. The rich young man said, “I already do. Is there anything else?” Jesus told him to go and sell all that he had and give to the poor and come follow him. The young man went away sorrowing.

As is usually the case in our Sunday school class, many of the ward members had great insight into the situation and why it’s in the scriptures in three places. “Was it really the riches that were the problem or merely the reliance on them? Was this advice for the young man specificially because Jesus recognized his one failing?

Heidi Balderee commented that for Abraham, the “Big Ask” was to sacrifice his son. To the rich young man, he was asked to give up his riches. Then Heidi posed the question, ‘What is each of our Big Asks?”

What is my ‘Big Ask?’ What is the hardest thing I could be asked to endure or give up or change for the sake of becoming a true or truer disciple? I think it’s going to be something a little different for each of us. Leisure time? Family ties? Reputation? Popularity? Entertainment? Physical pleasures? Time? Influence? Social status?

So our Bishop asked us to make a change that seems small to me. But are electronics or popularity with our kids the “Big Ask” that cause us to ‘go away sorrowing? We know that apostles and prophets have warned us many times of similar things. It’s not just pornography, but it’s pressure to be popular on social media. It’s time robber games and puzzles. It’s inane or impersonal communications that replace healthy interactions, etc, etc, Most of us recognize the dangers of too much exposure, but we don’t realize that it’s been too much or of a harmful sort until the damage is done and the consequences descend.

“Whether by my own voice or the voice of my servants, it is the same.” D&C 1:38 What does He ask by the voice of his servants that will cause us to “sorrow” instead of rejoice with gratitude?

It has certainly given me a lot to think about this afternoon.

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