Sunday, October 31, 2010

Quick and Easy 3-bean soup

I can't tell you how many times this recipe has saved me when dinner time hits and I haven't even thought of what to make. It goes great with cornbread (posted below). The best way is to get the cornbread cooking (WAY easy recipe) then do the soup and they'll get done right around the same time. Voila! Dinner in under 30 minutes total!

3bean soup

1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, pressed
1 T olive oil
1 can each white beans (garbanzo are great!), kidney beans, black beans, all drained
1 can chicken broth
1 t basil
1 can diced tomatoes
6 T Romano cheese
salt and pepper to taste

In a saucepan, over medium-high heat, cook the onion and garlic in olive oil until translucent.
Add the rest of the ingredients except the Romano cheese and stir well.
Salt and pepper to taste, and heat until nice and hot.
Top each bowlful with a tablespoon of Romano cheese and serve.

White Cornbread

1 1/4 C flour
3/4 C white cornmeal
1/3 C sugar
2 t baking powder
1/2 t salt
1 C milk
1/4 C oil
1 egg, beaten

Mix toegether the flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, and salt. In a separate bowl, combine the milk, oil, and egg. Gradually add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients while stirring. Butter and flour an 8x8 pan and then bake mixture at 400 degrees for 20-25 minutes.

"The Way He Lived" review

The Way He LivedThe Way He Lived by Emily Wing Smith

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Smith is a local author and the book takes place in what seems to be a fictional town but solidly based on Utah culture. I couldn't emotionally connect. When the story starts Joe is already dead and it's told from I believe six different characters who knew him (some only acquaintances, others best friends, others siblings). It was an easy read and interesting. Not my fave, but not too bad if you want an easy read that isn't completely mindless.

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"Sun and Moon, Ice and Snow" review

Sun and Moon, Ice and SnowSun and Moon, Ice and Snow by Jessica Day George

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I actually really enjoyed this! I got caught up in this different world and the mystery of the ibjsorn (enchanted bear) and the ice palace. A fun read!

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Sunday, October 24, 2010

545 people

This has some very valid points. Politicians make my skin crawl - they are probably the most duplicitous people (just as much or moreso than con artists). This is correctly attributed to the purported author.(I checked it out at Snopes It's pretty short and totally worth it. The question is even if we vote in all new people, will those new people really be any different? I hope there's hope for some much needed change (and NOT the Obama psuedo change)

"Charlie Reese, a retired reporter for the Orlando Sentinel, has hit the nail directly on the head, defining clearly who it is that in the final analysis must assume responsibility for the judgments made that impact each one of us every day.

It's a short but good read. Worth the time. Worth remembering!

545 vs. 300,000,000


Charley Reese has been a journalist for 49 years.

545 PEOPLE--By Charlie Reese

Politicians are the only people in the world who create problems and then campaign against them..

Have you ever wondered, if both the Democrats and the Republicans are against deficits, WHY do we have deficits?

Have you ever wondered, if all the politicians are against inflation and high taxes, WHY do we have inflation and high taxes?

You and I don't propose a federal budget. The president does.

You and I don't have the Constitutional authority to vote on appropriations. The House of Representatives does.

You and I don't write the tax code, Congress does.

You and I don't set fiscal policy, Congress does.

You and I don't control monetary policy, the Federal Reserve Bank does.

One hundred senators, 435 congressmen, one president, and nine Supreme Court justices equates to 545 human beings out of the 300 million are directly, legally, morally, and individually responsible for the domestic problems that plague this country.

I excluded the members of the Federal Reserve Board because that problem was created by the Congress. In 1913, Congress delegated its Constitutional duty to provide a sound currency to a federally chartered, but private, central bank.

I excluded all the special interests and lobbyists for a sound reason. They have no legal authority. They have no ability to coerce a senator, a congressman, or a president to do one cotton-picking thing. I don't care if they offer a politician $1 million dollars in cash. The politician has the power to accept or reject it. No matter what the lobbyist promises, it
is the legislator's responsibility to determine how he votes.

Those 545 human beings spend much of their energy convincing you that what they did is not their fault. They cooperate in this common con regardless of party.

What separates a politician from a normal human being is an excessive amount of gall. No normal human being would have the gall of a Speaker, who stood up and criticized the President for creating deficits... . The president can only propose a budget. He cannot force the Congress to accept it.

The Constitution, which is the supreme law of the land, gives sole responsibility to the House of Representatives for originating and approving appropriations and taxes. House members, not the president, can approve any budget they want. If the president vetoes it, they can pass it over his veto if they agree to.

It seems inconceivable to me that a nation of 300 million can not replace 545 people who stand convicted -- by present facts -- of incompetence and irresponsibility. I can't think of a single domestic problem that is not traceable directly to those 545 people. When you fully grasp the plain truth that 545 people exercise the power of the federal government, then it must follow that what exists is what they want to exist.

If the tax code is unfair, it's because they want it unfair.

If the budget is in the red, it's because they want it in the red ..

If the Army & Marines are in IRAQ , it's because they want them in IRAQ If they do not receive social security but are on an elite retirement plan not available to the people, it's because they want it that way.

There are no insoluble government problems.

Do not let these 545 people shift the blame to bureaucrats, whom they hire and whose jobs they can abolish; to lobbyists, whose gifts and advice they can reject; to regulators, to whom they give the power to regulate and from whom they can take this power. Above all, do not let them con you into the belief that there exists disembodied mystical forces like "the economy," "inflation," or "politics" that prevent them from doing what they take an oath to do.

Those 545 people, and they alone, are responsible.

They, and they alone, have the power..

They, and they alone, should be held accountable by the people who are their bosses.

Provided the voters have the gumption to manage their own employees...

We should vote all of them out of office and clean up their mess!

Charlie Reese is a former columnist of the Orlando Sentinel Newspaper.

What you do with this article now that you have read it........ Is up to you.

Sales Tax
School Tax
Liquor Tax
Luxury Tax
Excise Taxes
Property Tax
Cigarette Tax
Medicare Tax
Inventory Tax
Real Estate Tax
Well Permit Tax
Fuel Permit Tax
Inheritance Tax
Road Usage Tax
CDL license Tax
Dog License Tax
State Income Tax
Food License Tax
Vehicle Sales Tax
Gross Receipts Tax
Social Security Tax
Service Charge Tax
Fishing License Tax
Federal Income Tax
Building Permit Tax
IRS Interest Charges
Hunting License Tax
Marriage License Tax
Corporate Income Tax
Personal Property Tax
Accounts Receivable Tax
Recreational Vehicle Tax
Workers Compensation Tax
Watercraft Registration Tax
Telephone Usage Charge Tax
Telephone Federal Excise Tax
Telephone State and Local Tax
IRS Penalties (tax on top of tax)
State Unemployment Tax (SUTA)
Federal Unemployment Tax (FUTA)
Telephone Minimum Usage Surcharge Tax
Telephone Federal Universal Service Fee Tax
Gasoline Tax (currently 44.75 cents per gallon)
Utility Taxes Vehicle License Registration Tax
Telephone Federal, State and Local Surcharge Taxes
Telephone Recurring and Nonrecurring Charges Tax

Not one of these taxes existed 100 years ago, & our nation was the most prosperous in the world.

We had absolutely no national debt, had the largest middle class in the world, and Mom stayed home to raise the kids."

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Homemade Crockpot Beef Stew

This is so yummy and easy! It's fresh and filling and perfect for the cooler weather :) I was going to include a picture that I took, but any soup usually just looks like someone vomited in the crockpot, so I didn't think it would be very tempting. But, trust me this is great. If you want to make it stretch a little farther, serve over rice.


2 lbs beef stew meat, cut into 1-inch cubes
1/4 c all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp ground black pepper
1 clove garlic, minced
1 bay leaf
1 tsp paprika
1 tsp worcestershire sauce
1 onion, chopped
1 1/2 c beef broth
3 potatoes, diced
4 carrots, sliced
3 stalks celery, chopped


1. Place meat in slow cooker. In a small bowl mix together flour, salt, and pepper; pour over meat and stir to coat meat with flour mixture.
2. Stir in remaining ingredients.
3. Cover, and cook on Low setting for 10-12 hours, or on High setting for 4-6 hours.

"God is Not One" review

God Is Not OneGod Is Not One by Stephen R. Prothero

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Don't be fooled by the inordinate amount of time it took me to finish this book - it's very interesting! Prothero covers what he sees as the 8 main religions of the world (based on a combination of number of members and influence on culture) and what their basic beliefs are. I have to confess I'm pretty uneducated about even the most basic tenets of other religions and saw this as a great opportunity to broaden my understanding of what drives others' beliefs. The first religion covered was Islam, which is, of course, both interesting and completely relevant. Next was Christianity, followed by Hinduism, Buddhism, Confuscianism, Yoruba, Daoism, and Judaism.

The great thing is Prothero is quick to point out that even within the different religions, there is much disagreement as to not only what is accepted teachings, but the interpretation of said accepted teachings. It's also nice to see an objective breakdown of what a religion sees as the problem of society and what the solution should be. Like Confuscianism sees the problem as anarchy and the solution as strict societal rules dictating proper behavior. Whereas Doaism (which is often practiced right beside Confuscianism as a sort of balance of Yin and Yang) sees the problem as a disconnect from the natural way of things (societies rules are killing us a little day by day) and the solution as a return who we are naturally. Prothero tries to be as objective as possible, though sometimes his derision for certain ideas in a religion subtly leak through. He even has a brief chapter on Atheism at the end and helpfully splits it into 2 categories, friendly and unfriendly. But, it's nice to see someone call it out for being just as strict in it's views and dogma as any other religion.

I highly recommend this book to anyone looking to gain a rudimentary knowledge of other's beliefs and practices in an easy-to-understand setting.

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Incredible Impersonator

This guy is crazy good!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Why are people such scumbags???

I don't think I'll ever understand how people justify taunting, mocking, physical violence, or abuse in any way toward others with whom they disagree. You most assuredly cannot call yourself a Christian in any degree if you do. The fact that the church even has to come out with a statement like this is ridiculous (obviously it's needed, but that's what I'm lamenting - it's necessity).
This response is well spoken and sincere. I couldn't have said it better. I've included the video if you'd like to watch and the transcript below it.

"Oct 12 2010 — Salt Lake City
News Release
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints issued the following statement through a spokesman following the delivery of a petition by the Human Rights Campaign:

My name is Michael Otterson. I am here representing the leadership of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to address the matter of the petition presented today by the Human Rights Campaign.
While we disagree with the Human Rights Campaign on many fundamentals, we also share some common ground. This past week we have all witnessed tragic deaths across the country as a result of bullying or intimidation of gay young men. We join our voice with others in unreserved condemnation of acts of cruelty or attempts to belittle or mock any group or individual that is different – whether those differences arise from race, religion, mental challenges, social status, sexual orientation or for any other reason. Such actions simply have no place in our society.
This Church has felt the bitter sting of persecution and marginalization early in our history, when we were too few in numbers to adequately protect ourselves and when society’s leaders often seemed disinclined to help. Our parents, young adults, teens and children should therefore, of all people, be especially sensitive to the vulnerable in society and be willing to speak out against bullying or intimidation whenever it occurs, including unkindness toward those who are attracted to others of the same sex. This is particularly so in our own Latter-day Saint congregations. Each Latter-day Saint family and individual should carefully consider whether their attitudes and actions toward others properly reflect Jesus Christ’s second great commandment - to love one another.
As a church, our doctrinal position is clear: any sexual activity outside of marriage is wrong, and we define marriage as between a man and a woman. However, that should never, ever be used as justification for unkindness. Jesus Christ, whom we follow, was clear in His condemnation of sexual immorality, but never cruel. His interest was always to lift the individual, never to tear down."

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Auction in Sandy

Some of you might know that I used to be Assistant Manager at some apartments. Many times when people can't pay rent or are evicted, they leave a bunch of stuff behind. The lawyers then try and sell it to help pay off any money owed. I am on the emailing list for Kirk A. Cullimores for when they hold such auctions and thought I might pass along when they have these Auctions for any who are interested. Please be aware they are cash only. I've never actually been, but from working in apartments I can tell you that while a lot of junk is left behind, you'd be surprised at some of the nice stuff people leave as well. Anyhow, here's the info that was sent to me for an auction being held next Saturday, October 23rd:

"Hi Sale people,
Sale as been posted for October 23, 2010 9:00 a.m.
644 east Union Square (9400 south) Sandy
The items to be sold are subject to withdrawal from the sale. Because
these items are to satisfy judgments or resulting from liens owed to
landlords, the original owners have the right to pay what they owe to
obtain the return of their items. That payment can be made up to the
time that the items are actually sold.
All items are sold AS IS.

The sale is a CASH ONLY sale. Although it is a public sale, people that
disrupt the sale or are disorderly will be asked to leave and not
permitted to return."

They emailed me a list as an attachment, but I can't copy and paste it. But there are computers, dvds, furniture, cell phones, etc that will all be there. If any of you go, let me know how it goes!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

"Teenage Dream"

My brother-in-law sent this to my hubby and I just had to share. This kid is hilariously lip-synching to Kate Perry's song (which, I have to admit I had never heard before, but then again, I'm not really a Kate Perry fan)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Easy Olive Garden like Braised short ribs over tortellini

This recipe looks so fancy and tastes wonderful, but is sooooo easy! The short ribs are tender tender tender and how can you fail with sauteed portobello mushrooms?! :) I love this with a simple salad and breadsticks (I wonder where I could have come up with THAT combination?)

1-2 lbs. boneless beef short ribs
1- 14 oz. can diced tomatoes, no salt added
4 oz. red wine (I just use cooking wine, but you could go all fancy if you'd like)
1 onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 Tb olive oil
1 bay leaf
beef broth, as needed to keep meat from sticking to pan
salt and pepper as desired
1 pkg. frozen cheese tortellini
1 lb. portobello (or baby bella) mushrooms, sliced into bite-size peices

Saute onion and garlic in olive oil in large pot until onions are translucent. Add rest of ingredients through salt and pepper and turn heat down to medium-low. Cook (braise) for 3 hours, checking liquid and adding if necessary every 30-40 minutes.
Cook tortellini according to package directions.
Saute mushrooms in a little bit of butter.
Cut short ribs into bite size peices and return to pan.
Combine tortellini, mushrooms, short ribs and sauce.
Serve with fresh parmesan sprinkled over it.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

"The Hunger Games" series

I was talking to my friend and we both have this perverse desire to not read or like things that are intenselely popluar. That's why it took both of us so long to give in and read the Harry Potter novels and the Twilight series. Again with this, I've been putting it off a little. Then I borrowed the first one from another friend and finished it within 36 hours and had to get the 2nd one which I finished withing 24 hours. Basically I read all 3 over a 5 day period. Needless to say I got caught up :) Twist after unique twist, Collins kept me guessing as to what would happen next. I'm sure you are all familiar with the premise (to keep the 12 districts in line the Capitol has an annual Hunger Game where each district has a raffle to pick 2 children as tributes who then go to the capitol and all fight it out till only one is left alive and he/she is the winner). It's disturbing, and dark, and I'll admit it, downright fascinating. I loved the main character of Katniss - she's self-sacrificing, clever, but also a bit clueless. She becomes a major figure, but also is just a pawn.
This one of the most intricate and well written series I've read in a while. If you've been putting it off, go and get them right now. It's well worth your time!

"House of Mirth" movie

This is based on one of my all-time favorite novels of the same name written by Edith Wharton (one of my favorite authors actually who also wrote "Age of Innocence" and "Ethan Fromme"). It follows the tragic decline of Lily Bart who believes she wants to marry a rich husband more than anything, but cannot seem to follow through with it. This is no Austin (no offense, I do love me some good Austen). The wit is sharper, the relationships more ambivalent. While Lily is self absorbed and a bit of a fortune hunter, she is without guile and a little obtuse about the impression her actions give.
Enough about the actual story... the movie! Gillian Anderson plays Lily. I would not have imagined her for it, but thank heavens I was not in charge of casting! Who knew this woman could ACT?! It proves "Bleak House" wasn't some fluke. I cannot say enough good things about her. She is able to go from youthful energy, and determination to bleak, lost, but ever dignified.
Laura Linney plays Bertha Dorset, who personifies everything I most despise about this kind of society (facetious and devious). Dan Akroyd does surprisingly well. And Eric Stolz (with whom I am not familiar) plays Lawrence Selden, a man Lily cares for and likes, but isn't rich enough to provide her with what she wants in life. Not that he's knocking her door down to marry him.
It's a very quiet movie and being familiar with the story as I am, I can't help but think if you weren't, some changes in time and circumstances might be a bit confusing. Also, the director seems a little self indulgent sometimes, especially in his transition from New York to the Dorset's yacht. But, stick with it. It's so painfully beautiful and poignant and most of the confusion is cleared up sometime in the next scene. The library has it (that's where I got it from). It came out in 2000, though I think the only other version is a 1918 :)
I remember when I read this book I lamented that it wasn't a movie. Well, it was, I just didn't know it. I'm so glad I found out! Make sure you watch the deleted scenes, because the first scene between Lily and Lawrence got cut down and is much better at the longer length.


It's a must watch for any fan of period film. It isn't a great trailer, to be sure (when will they make great trailers for these great movies?!) but, just to get a taste (Can I please have Gillian's hair as a wig?):