Extra Fizzy Homemade Carbonated Beverages

Have you ever been disappointed with how flat your homemade rootbeer or soda is? After spending an hour watching rootbeer and dry ice bubble in a cooler you would expect something fizzy, sadly the concoction never lives up to expectations.

In order have carbonation strong enough to spray soda everywhere you need three things:

  1. Cold temperatures
  2. CO2
  3. High pressure

The drink cooler plus dry ice method provides both CO2 and cold temperatures but is missing the crucial third ingredient, high pressure, and therefore makes flat soda.

Commercially, high pressure CO2 is provided by a CO2 tank and regulator setup as seen here. Unfortunately the equipment is somewhat expensive.

Another method of obtaining pressurized CO2 is yeast, sugar, and a sealed bottle. The drawback to this method is it takes 3-4 days.

Finally, and this is the extra fizzy quick cheap method, using a safety valve, sealed bottle, and dry ice. Now you probably know that a tightly sealed bottle and dry ice combine to make a powerful dry ice bomb. This is due to the dry ice building enormous CO2 pressure until the bottle ruptures. To harness this high pressure CO2 without creating an explosion, a soda bottle is fitted with a pressure relief valve.

The pressure now rises until it reaches the set point of the relief valve. The valve then continuously and safely vents the excess CO2, always keeping the bottle at the perfect carbonating pressure. This results in deliciously fizzy carbonated beverages in about ten minutes.

Here is a recipe I tried:

  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 10 cups cold water
  • 1/4 (2 ounce) bottle root beer extract

Mix well, pour into carbonator bottle, add several chunks of dry ice, screw cap on tightly, allow 10 minutes to carbonate then enjoy.

This is how I attached the safety valve to the bottle cap:

Drill a hole in the soda bottle cap

Fit the safety valve to the cap

Secure valve with the locknut

Valve and bottle

The valve and locknut can be ordered from mcmaster.com:

  • $5.26 48435K71 Extend-Life ASME Pop-Safety Valve W/Test Ring Brass, Medium Flow, 1/8 NPT Male, 60 PSI
  • $1.67 50785K141 Med-Pressure Brass Threaded Pipe Fitting 1/8 Pipe Size, Locknut

Be aware that carbonated water (carbonic acid) can corrode the brass valve. Keep soda off of your safety valve and store soda capped with a regular cap.

Ron Paul Stuffed Pasta Shells

Ron Paul Quick'n Easy Stuffed Pasta Shells

Ron Paul Quick'n Easy Stuffed Pasta Shells


Since receiving a copy of The Ron Paul Family Cookbook, Adelaide has made Oreo Cake, Original Chocolate Chip Cookies, Banana Nut Bread, Orange Rolls, and now Ron Paul Quick’n Easy Stuffed Pasta Shells. If you have the cookbook, the recipe is found on page 5.

Adelaide says:

Ron Paul Stuffed Pasta ShellsI halved the recipe, and still had half of them left over. They were really rich and filling. I paired it with breadsticks and a salad, and it made for a fairly quick and delicious dinner.

I especially liked the part in the recipe that gave directions for making this as a freezer meal. I think I’ll freeze half of them the next time I make it.

Photo Credit: Adelaide
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Ron Paul Oreo Cake

Ron Paul Oreo Cake

Ron Paul Oreo Cake


Since giving a copy of The Ron Paul Family Cookbook to Adelaide, she has made Original Chocolate Chip Cookies, Banana Nut Bread, Orange Rolls, and now Ron Paul Oreo Cake. If you have the cookbook, the recipe for Oreo Cake is found on page 1.

Adelaide says:

Ron Paul Oreo Cake ready to serveI made the Oreo Cake for the treat for Family Home Evening. I actually halved the recipe because I only had one container of Cool Whip, then I divided that in half to take over with dinner to a neighbor who just had a baby. So I ultimately made a quarter of the recipe for us. It was very tasty, reminding me of mud pie. It was a fun change from just plain pudding, and was the perfect size for our small family.

Photo Credit: Adelaide of Ada Shot Me
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Ron Paul Cookies

Ron Paul Original Chocolate Chip Cookies

Ron Paul Original Chocolate Chip Cookies coming out of the oven


Since giving a copy of The Ron Paul Family Cookbook to Adelaide, she has made Banana Nut Bread, Orange Rolls, and now Ron Paul Original Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Ron Paul Original Chocolate Chip Cookies

Cream the following ingredients:
1 cup Crisco
1 cup granulated sugar
1 cup brown sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla

Dissolve 1 tsp. baking soda in 1 tbsp. hot water and mix with:
2¼ cups flour
1 tsp. salt
1 cup chopped nuts
1 large bag chocolate chips

Drop by teaspoon on cookie sheet and bake at 350° for 10 minutes.

Adelaide says:

Ron Paul Chocolate Chip CookiesI made the cookies a few nights ago. I didn’t add nuts, and I only put one regular sized bag of chocolate chips (opposed to the large bag it calls for), but they seemed to turn out rather well. The recipe made 4 dozen large cookies, and we ate 2 dozen that night, another dozen yesterday, and I sent the last dozen with Steven to work today. Overall, I think they were a big hit.

Photo Credit: Adelaide of Ada Shot Me
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Ron Paul Orange Rolls

Ron Paul Orange Rolls

Ron Paul Orange Rolls


I gave a copy of The Ron Paul Family Cookbook to Adelaide. She soon made Banana Nut Bread from page 5 and now she has cooked up Ron Paul Orange Rolls from page 20.

Adelaide says:

I’ll send orange rolls home with Jill for you to try. I made them last night and refrigerated them overnight so we could have hot rolls for breakfast. I used a cookie sheet instead of a 9×13 pan, and some of them burnt on the bottom (the filling spilled out, which maybe doesn’t happen with the pan?) So I’ll have to try it again using two 9×13 pans to see if they turn out better, but they still tasted great!

You could easily half the recipe for only a dozen rolls. Also a package of active dry yeast is equivalent to 2 tsp (in case you use a jar of yeast, like I do.)

I ate three of the rolls and they were mighty delicious. Adelaide, you should have sent over a whole plateful.

I gave out the recipe for the Banana Nut Bread but this time get the Cookbook and support the Ron Paul Campaign.

Photo Credit: Adelaide of Ada Shot Me
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Shopping With A Quiet Child

Bryson Playing Angry Birds on a Kindle Fire

How to shop with a quiet child:

  1. Place Bryson in shopping cart
  2. Give him a Kindle Fire
  3. Run Angry Birds

Good for 15 to 30 minutes of quiet. Results vary by child.

Photo Credit: From the iPhone of Megan
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Ron Paul Banana Nut Bread

Ron Paul Banana Nut Bread

Ron Paul Banana Nut Bread


 
After a small donation last week to the Ron Paul Campaign I received three copies of The Ron Paul Family Cookbook. I gave one of the cookbooks to Adelaide and she made Banana Nut Bread, with a slight change of ingredients:

What I did different: I didn’t use nuts, as we didn’t have any pecans, which is what I like using in banana nut bread. Also, I used 2 mini loaf pans instead of a regular sized loaf pan, but still cooked it for 45 minutes.

Ron Paul Banana Nut Bread

½ cup sugar
2 eggs
3 ripe mashed bananas
2 cups flour
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. salt
3 tbsp. milk
1 tsp. vanilla
1 cup chopped nuts

Mix and bake the ingredients at 350° for 45 minutes.

So how did it taste? Adelaide said:

Oh, and it was really good. We ate one of the loaves yesterday (which is when I baked it) and have devoured most of the second one today.

Photo Credit: Adelaide of Ada Shot Me
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Motor Trend Auto Show

On Monday I stopped by Motor Trend’s Auto Show in Sandy. My sons Paul and Jake wanted to see it so I went along. In the time I was there, I wasn’t approached once by any salespeople (a positive) and I was able to check out a lot of new autos. I was interested in Jeeps and any alternative fuel vehicles.

The Nissan Leaf was interesting but with a 100 mile range it didn’t work for me. I already own a natural gas vehicle with a 200 mile range which is the minimum for me. The Ford Focus Electric was on display and looks to be similar in performance to the Leaf.

Jeep Wrangler

Jeep Wrangler Unlimited

Jeep Wrangler

Jeep Wrangler on obstacle course

Nissan Leaf

Nissan Leaf charging port

Nissan Leaf dashboard

Ford Focus Electric
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Building a Giant Snowman

I thought it would never snow but overnight we got several inches in Kaysville. Out came the snowman builders to construct a giant snowman. Just build him like a regular snowman but bigger. You may need some help to hoist his head so pay attention to the photographs that follow.

Pass the snow

1. Pass the snow

Compact the snow

2. Compact the snow

Lift his head

3. Lift his head

Secure his head

4. Secure his head

How it is done

5. Use a step ladder

Give him a mouth

6. Give him a mouth

The engineers

The engineers. Dan, Rachel, and Jake

Later in the day our snowman got a nose but lost his buttons.
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