Chocolate Pudding with variations and a link to the sugar cookie recipe I used for the pie crust.

March 22, 2021

https://www.allrecipes.com/recipe/10402/the-best-rolled-sugar-cookies/

For chocolate pudding (4 large servings)

4 cups skim milk

Add 4 eggs mix well

Add 4 Tablespoons cornstarch (Add a total of 5 for pie filling)

Add 2/3 cup white sugar. (For butterscotch use 1 cup brown sugar and don’t add cocoa)

1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder (leave out for vanilla)

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons vanilla,

Mix well, cook, stirring constantly on medium high heat until thick.

Serve warm as pudding or chill for pie

top with whipped topping YUMMMMMMY!

Irish American Stew with Irish Soda Bread

March 17, 2021

The true Irish would use lamb or mutton and some other special ingredients, but this captures the hearty flavors in an easy recipe.

Brown 1 lb ground beef. When it’s getting a little crispy, Add two cups of coarsely chopped yellow onion and cook until onions start to turn golden. Drain the fat and

Add 5 cups of water to skillet to deglaze the pan

Add 3 generous tablespoons of Better Than Buillion or other beef soup base (or buillion cubes)

When the soup mix is dissolved, Add a hefty 1/4 cup minced garlic

1/3 cup tomato paste

Put it all into a hot pot or electric pressure cooker if you have one.

Add 2 cups chopped celery

2 cups chopped carrots

3 medium potatoes, cut into bite-sized pieces.

Cook on high for 30 minutes.

I add a can of cream soup, (cream of chicken, in this case) to thicken the broth. OR you can remove some of the liquid, cool it down with an ice cube mix in 3 Tablespoons of flour and return to the pot, stirring well.

Irish SODA BREAD

IN a large bowl, add

4 Cups Whole wheat flour

1 1/2 teaspoons baking soda,

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup sugar (I would use 1/2 cup next time for some extra interest)

Mix dry ingredients and add

Add 1/2 cup raisins to dry ingredients.

1 1/2 cups either buttermilk, sour milk or regular milk soured with a tablespoon of lemon juice or vinegar

Mix until it forms a stick dough. Shape with a little oil on your hands. Put into greased dutch oven pot or onto a cookie sheet.

Bake 45 minutes until it sounds hollow and looks brown. SERVE HOT! with butter or jam and Irish stew.

Craving a delicious, Superfood Pizza!

March 11, 2021

I would request this for my last meal. SOOOO GOOD!

Whole Grain Artisan Pizza Crust:

You may use an ordinary mixing bowl and mix it all by hand. Otherwise:

To an electric mixing bowl equipped with a dough hook, add

1 1/4 cups warm water (baby bath temperature)

1 T sugar

2 T active dry yeast (or two packets)

3 Tablespoons oil (I use olive oil in this recipe usually)

2 t salt

1/3 cup vital wheat gluten

OPT: 2 T chia seeds, 2 T toasted, salted sunflower seeds, 1/4 cup shelled pumpkin seeds (pipas)

2 cups whole wheat flour.

Mix on high until blended. Scrape down sides with rubber spatula, then turn down to the slowest or next to the slowest speed and mix for 5 minutes.

When finished, let rest for 15 minutes

While dough is relaxing make the sauce:

1 1/4 cups plain yogurt,

1 1/2 Tablespoon ranch dressing mix. (I use Hidden Valley brand if I have it on hand.)

pinch of salt

Mix well, set aside.

For toppings. Medium chop for all:

Heat a medium skillet with 1 T oil on medium high on the stove and add:

2 medium boneless, skinless chicken breasts (1/2 to 1″ pieces)

half a large onion

1/2 bell pepper

1/2 pound of asparagus spears, cut into 1″ pieces. (Discard any woody ends)

Add 2 generous tablespoons of minced garlic

season the chicken with 1/2 teaspoon salt and black pepper (each)

Stir the chicken occasionally so it doesn’t burn, and when it’s cooked through, mix in the veggies. While that cooks, chop:

6 medium mushrooms (I choose Crimini, because they’re a bit firmer)

1 15 oz can artichoke hearts

1 15 oz can (medium) pitted black olives

Grate 5 oz mozzerella cheese

Measure 4 oz (1 cup) of grated parmesan cheese

Spray pizza pan.

For the last two minutes before the chicken is done, add the mushrooms. Turn off when finished.

Press pizza crust to the edges of the large pizza pan (crimp edges if desired)

Spread with yogurt ranch dressing

add sauteed vegetables/chicken

distribute artichokes, olives and a layer of spinach leaves

sprinkle with mozzerella cheese then Parmesan cheese.

Bake 375 oven for 20 minutes until golden and cheese is starting to toast. UMMMMMM An effort well worth it.

Feeds 8 hearty appetites! 1/8 of this heavy, filling pizza has only 480 calories!

100 Calorie Chocolate Pumpkin Muffins from the YOUTUBE post on Beth’s Happy Home from “10 Favorite 100 calorie snacks”

February 26, 2021

These delicious muffins have only 100 calories. Two with a glass of milk make a delightful breakfast or supper.

Note: I use homemade yogurt and home-canned pumpkin, but store-bought will be perfectly fine, too.

This is a recipe I tweaked up from my daughter-in-law, Lindsay Stephenson. She got the basic idea on THE DINNER MOM

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour

1/4 cup cocoa powder

1/3 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon each of salt, baking soda, baking powder and cinnamon

2 cups of pumpkin puree

1 teaspoon vanilla

1 egg

1 cup plain, nonfat yogurt

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips.

Mix all ingredients, reserving out 2 Tablespoons of the chocolate chips.

Divide into 16 muffins cups, (sprayed with non-stick spray, if not a nonstick pan)

Sprinkle reserved chocolate chips over any muffins that might have been gyped, and then poke down into the batter.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes.

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.

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