My books can be purchased as e-books for only $1.99. If interested, just click here: Books.
Match Play is a golf/suspense novel. Dust of Autumn is a bloody one set in upstate New York. Prairie View is set in South Dakota, with a final scene atop Rattlesnake Butte. Life in the Arbor is a children's book about Rollie Rabbit and his friends (on about a fourth grade level). The Black Widow involves an elaborate extortion scheme. Doggy-Dog World is my memoir. And ES3 is a description of my method for examining English sentence structure.
In case anyone is interested in any of my past posts, an archive list can be found at the bottom of this page.
My newest novel, Happy Valley, can be found here.

Wednesday, December 14

The Voice Results, Trump's Cabinet Choices, & Holiday Recipes

The Voice finale disappointed me in the results. I did get one right, Josh Gallagher in fourth place, and I had the right order for Wé McDonald and Billy Gillman. But the winner? Sundance Head as the best voice? Not even close. I also now know why Sundance won. As Donald Trump often said before he was elected, “The system is rigged.” That’s also the case with The Voice vote. The results weren’t based on voters trying to pick the best voice. It was based on how many ITunes downloads each of them got. In other words, popularity rather than vocal quality. The Voice producers put way too much emphasis on ITunes, thus skewing the results. If popularity was the main criteria for finding a winner, then Weird Al Yankovic or Tiny Tim might have had a chance at the title. Yankovic’s “The Night Santa Went Crazy” has had 8,445,413 views on YouTube, and Tiny Tim’s 1968 version of “Tiptoe Through the Tulips” has had 6,512,161 YouTube views. Does that mean either of them has a great or even a good voice? No, no, and no. If you’re not familiar with Tiny Tim, you should hear him on YouTube. Spooky. I may have to give up watching The Voice.

And while I’m at it, why not a few words about Trump’s cabinet choices? He seems to be loading up on very wealthy businessmen with little or no experience in diplomacy or government, as, for example, his choice for Secretary of State, oil multi-millionaire Rex Tillerson, who has financial ties with Putin and Russia. And far too many of his other choices have experience only in the private sector or in Trump’s campaign. It seems to me that we may be led for the next four years by a president and members of his cabinet who are political novices. The jobs are too complex and important to be handled by amateurs.

Since it’s nearly Christmas, you may want to try three of my wife’s favorite sweet-tooth recipes. The Apple Pie Cake is really simple and makes a dessert that I’ve never seen or tasted anywhere else. Sticky Buns are the easy answer to cinnamon rolls for picking up a family morning get-together. Buster Bars are all of our children’s and their children’s favorite, especially over the holidays.

Apple Pie Cake

1 cup sugar
¼ cup butter
1 egg
1 cup flour
2 tbsp. hot water
⅛ tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
½ cup crushed walnuts
2½ cups diced raw apples
Mix all together.
Bake uncovered in 9” pie tin at 350º 45-60 minutes.
Top each serving with scoop ice cream or Kool Whip.

Overnight Sticky Buns

15 or 16 frozen dough for dinner rolls
1 small pkg. vanilla pudding (not instant)
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup pecan or walnut pieces (or a combination of the two)
1 stick butter
1 tsp. cinnamon
Separate dough (still frozen) and place in Bundt pan (Doesn’t everyone still have a Bundt pan
somewhere hidden away in a cupboard?).
Melt butter and pour over rolls.
Mix dry pudding, brown sugar, cinnamon, and nuts and sprinkle over rolls.
Cover and let rise on counter overnight.
Bake at 350º for 30 minutes.
Let cool for 30 minutes, then turn onto cake plate.

This recipe will serve six to eight people . . . or two very hungry people . . . or two pigs. Each serving would probably be about 1500 calories, so one should not make it more than two or three times a year. Any more often than that and you’d have a family of Pillsbury Dough Boys.

Buster Bars

Mix together:
24 crushed Oreo cookies
½ cup melted butter
Put in 13x9 inch pan.
Chill for 1 hour.
Soften ½ gallon vanilla ice cream and spread over
crust. Return to freezer.
Boil together for 8 minutes:
½ cup butter
2 cup powdered sugar
2/3 cup chocolate chips
1 tsp. vanilla

When lukewarm, pour over ice cream. Top
with small can of Spanish peanuts and more cookie
crumbs. Keep frozen until ½ hour before serving.

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