Posts by Beth

Bready or Not Original: Cookies and Milk Quick Fudge

Posted by on Aug 7, 2019 in Blog, Bready or Not, chocolate, cookies, fudge, no-bake dessert, oreo | 0 comments

Old-fashioned stovetop fudge is great. It’s also fussy, sometimes refusing to set or turning out gritty, and makes the cook babysit a hot pot to stir and stir. I’m all about quick fudges, especially during the Arizona summer. This Cookies and Milk Quick Fudge is especially nice because it has endless variations!

Bready or Not Original: Cookies and Milk Quick Fudge

Choose a crisp, crunchy cookie from the store. Maybe on a good sale. In my case, I used Keebler’s Deluxe Grahams. A lot of Keebler’s cookies would work here–just don’t use the soft-baked ones.

Bready or Not Original: Cookies and Milk Quick Fudge

Prep the cookies by chopping up a cup and a half. Freeze those bits; it won’t take long. From there, it takes just a few minutes to mix up the fudge.

Bready or Not Original: Cookies and Milk Quick Fudge

The hardest part is waiting for the fudge to set for the next few hours.

Bready or Not Original: Cookies and Milk Quick Fudge

This recipe makes a lot of fudge, but it’s easy to portion out. Slice it small, and keep it sealed and stored in the fridge!

Bready or Not Original: Cookies and Milk Quick Fudge

Make this recipe time and again with different cookies. It could even be customized for the holidays or sporting events with the addition of differently colored sprinkles on top. Have fun with it!

 

Bready or Not Original: Cookies and Milk Quick Fudge

This quick fudge is fast to prepare and ready to eat after a few hours of chilling. Use any variety of crisp, firm store-bought cookies here, like many of those made by Keebler. Chop up the cookies and spread them on a wax paper-covered dish to freeze, which won't take long at all. This recipe makes a lot of fudge, and it can keep for weeks if sealed in the fridge.
Course: Dessert
Keyword: fudge, no bake, quick fudge
Author: Beth Cato

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups chopped store-bought cookies frozen
  • 3 cups white chocolate chips
  • 14 ounce sweetened condensed milk can
  • 3 Tablespoons mini chocolate chips

Instructions

  • Line an 8x8 or 9x9 pan with foil and apply nonstick spray. Set aside.
  • In a large microwave-safe bowl, heat the white chocolate and sweetened condensed milk in 30 second increments, stirring well after each bout, until it is melted and smoothed. Watch it closely!
  • Quickly stir in the frozen cookies and pour into the prepared pan. Sprinkle chocolate chips on top and tap them into place. Refrigerate at least 2 hours. Use foil to lift fudge onto a cutting board to slice into small squares. Store in a sealed container in the fridge.
  • OM NOM NOM!
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Book Blog: The Good Son: A Story from the First World War, Told in Miniature by Pierre-Jacques Ober

Posted by on Aug 2, 2019 in Blog, book blog | 0 comments

I review everything I read and post reviews on Goodreads and LibraryThing. That’s not enough. Good books are meant to be shared. Therefore, I’m spotlighting some of my favorite reads here on my site.

The Good Son: A Story from the First World War, Told in Miniature by Pierre-Jacques, Jules Ober, & Felicity Coonan

out now; Indiebound, B&N, and Amazon

The Good Son

I received this hardcover book through the LibraryThing Early Reviewer’s program.

This is a picture book for children, but don’t assume it’s about rainbows and happy endings. It’s not. This book is intense. It is honest. It is bleak. Without a drop of red, it depicts the horrible nature of war. This is a book that might really bother some kids (and parents), but I see this as a book to inspire some hard but necessary discussions.

Without even considering the content, the The Good Son is an artistic masterpiece. It is fully illustrated through the use of toy soldiers, elaborate sets, and brilliant use of perspective. The effect is stunning. The use of toy props doesn’t cheapen the message in the slightest. On the contrary, the pages look eerily realistic at times. I think kids will really connect to the scenes because there ARE toys being used–which again, might be bothersome for some, but that is something to be worked through.

The text is minimal but effective. This book would be quick to read, but so much is happening in many scenes, I found myself lingering on each. The set up for the book is stark: a young French soldier named Pierre went AWOL for two days over Christmas to visit his mother, and upon his return, he is imprisoned and sentenced to death. He is to be made an example of to prevent further desertions. Pierre reflects on his time as a soldier and what he has learned about his German enemies as he awaits dawn and his execution. Again: this is not a book with a happy ending. That’s the nature of life, and of war–especially the Great War.

Some people might argue that the very premise makes this a horrible book for kids. I strongly disagree. There’s a great Madeleine L’Engle quote: “You have to write the book that wants to be written. And if the book will be too difficult for grown-ups, then you write it for children.” Children aren’t oblivious. They see and experience a lot. Teaching them that war is glorious and that heroes can’t be killed does not do them favors in the end. This book uses toy soldiers to get on the same level as kids, and respects their ability to understand what unfolds.

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Bready or Not Original: Homemade Ginger Liqueur

Posted by on Jul 31, 2019 in alcohol, Blog, boozy, Bready or Not | 2 comments

Make ginger liqueur at home in a matter of days, and save a lot of money over buying the store stuff!

Bready or Not: Homemade Ginger Liqueur

I’m frugal. I wanted to try an apple pie recipe that called for ginger liqueur, so I priced it. Um, no way was I paying for a $40 bottle when I needed just a smidge.

Therefore, I utilized the powers of the internet to find a way to make my own ginger liqueur. I ended up combining a couple recipes, and to great result. I used Kirkland brand vodka, from Costco, which made this even more of a bargain.

Bready or Not: Homemade Ginger Liqueur

The result of the infusion is sublime. Citrus hits the palate first, followed by the ginger, leaving the mouth tasting fruity, zesty, and refreshed.

Use this ginger liqueur in baking (that apple pie recipe will be up in a few weeks!), drink it straight, or mix it into cocktails. It’ll be delicious no matter how you drink it, and–thanks to the vodka–it will keep indefinitely.

Bready or Not: Homemade Ginger Liqueur

 

Bready or Not Original: Homemade Ginger Liqueur

Make your own ginger liqueur and save a lot of money! Using store brand vodka from a place like Costco makes this an even better bargain. Use clean jars and lids, but you needn't sanitize as rigorously as when making homemade jams or jellies. Vodka itself is a sanitizing agent.
Course: Drinks
Keyword: alcohol
Author: Beth Cato

Ingredients

  • 4 ounces ginger root peeled and diced
  • 1/2 cup caster sugar
  • 1 vanilla bean halved
  • 16 fluid ounces vodka
  • orange zested

Instructions

  • Combine all ingredients in a large jar or bottle with a good lid. Shake to mix. Let steep for 2 days, shaking the jar a few times a day.
  • Strain out the solids using a coffee filter or cheesecloth. Rebottle it and let it sit a day or two more to mellow before using it.
  • Store sealed. Drink straight, use in mixed drinks, or in recipes. Should keep indefinitely.
  • OM NOM NOM!
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I won a Rhysling Award?!

Posted by on Jul 29, 2019 in anthology:poem, awards, Blog | 2 comments

Rhysling winners 2019

The Rhysling Award is the top award within science fiction, fantasy, and speculative poetry, as voted on by members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Poetry Association (SFPA). I’ve had poetry make finalist for like four years now–but this is no short list. The nominees fill an entire small book, and these poems are GOOD. Like, make you cry or gasp in reaction kind-of-good. I’ve always been happy to have my poems hang with that crowd.

This year, something bonkers happened. I WON. My poem “After Her Brother Ripped the Heads from Her Paper Dolls,” published in Mythic Delirium, won 1st place in the short poetry division. Even more bonkers, I also placed 2nd in the long form category with “The Fairies in the Crawlspace,” published in Uncanny Magazine.

Thanks to everyone who voted for my poems. I remain gobsmacked by this honor.

#SFWAPro

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Bready or Not Original: Easy Apple Cinnamon Cake

Posted by on Jul 24, 2019 in apples, Blog, blondies, Bready or Not, breakfast, cake | 0 comments

Easy Apple Cake! This delicious cake is great to bake up, slice, and store in the fridge or freezer to enjoy for weeks to come.

Bready or Not Original: Easy Apple Cinnamon Cake

If this recipe looks familiar, it’s because this is a rewrite of a recipe I posted back in 2016. The original version asked the baker to arrange the apple pieces in the middle and again on top.

Bready or Not Original: Easy Apple Cinnamon Cake

After making this cake many, many times, I realized that was an unnecessarily fussy step. Ain’t nobody got time for that!

Bready or Not Original: Easy Apple Cinnamon Cake

I started folding all of the apple chunks into the batter, and this saved a lot of time. The apples were perfectly distributed and the taste was the exact same.

Bready or Not Original: Easy Apple Cinnamon Cake

This cake remains a very favorite for both my husband and my dad. They’ll eat it for breakfast, snack, or dessert.

Bready or Not Original: Easy Apple Cinnamon Cake

When I travel back home to California, I always make this cake for my dad. Since my mom doesn’t stock baking ingredients, I measure up my own (one sandwich baggy with brown sugar and cinnamon; another with flour, baking soda, and salt; one more with white sugar) and whip him up a cake in no time!

 

Bready or Not Original: Easy Apple Cinnamon Cake

These dense, luscious apple cake squares are perfect for breakfast, brunch, snack or dessert! Use firm baking apples like Granny Smith.
Course: Breakfast, Dessert, Snack
Keyword: apple, bars, cake
Author: Beth Cato

Ingredients

  • 3 medium apples peeled, cored, & chopped into small chunks
  • 1 teaspoon cinnamon heaping
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar packed
  • 1 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/3 cup vegetable oil
  • 1/3 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs room temperature
  • turbinado or maple sugar for topping optional

Instructions

  • Preheat oven to 350-degrees. Line a 9×9 square pan with foil and apply butter or nonstick spray.
  • In a medium bowl, toss peeled and chopped apples with cinnamon and brown sugar.
  • In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.
  • In a larger mixing bowl, whisk together the white sugar, vegetable oil, sour cream/yogurt, and vanilla extract until it's smooth. Add the eggs.
  • Add the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients until everything is just mixed. Fold in the apple chunks.
  • Pour batter into the prepared pan. Sprinkle turbinado or maple sugar over top, if desired.
  • Bake 1 hour, until it passes the toothpick test in middle. Cool completely, chilling in fridge if desired. Use foil to list contents onto a cutting board. Cut into pieces.
  • These are great individually plastic wrapped and stored at room temperature or in the fridge; bars can be frozen and keep well for months. Eat from the fridge, or at room temperature, or warm in the microwave or oven. However you eat it, it'll be delicious!
  • OM NOM NOM!
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