BLT Pizza🍕in my Outdoor Oven (with full recipe)

Our very first home came with a wood-burning fireplace, which I adored, but after nearly 30 years, the hubby wanted to replace it with gas.

Him:   gas IS cleaner

Me:    NO

Him:    it’s better for (our daughter’s) allergies

Me:    NO. I never want to be without a wood burning fireplace

Him:    What about converting the indoor one to gas, and building a wood burning fireplace in the backyard?

Me:   :::perking up:::: REALLY??

Him:    Why not?

Me:    you’d do that just to get me to agree to gas indoors?!

Him:    You’ve always wanted a pizza oven. It makes sense now

Me:    YES YES a thousand times YESSSS

Have I ever told you how lucky I was to marry this guy?

House Specialty is CPK (California Pizza Kitchen’s) BLT Pizza

INGREDIENTS

BASIC PIZZA DOUGH Makes two 9″ pizzas

1 tsp yeast

½ cup plus 1 TBSP warm water (105° to 110°)

1½ cups bread flour

2 tsp sugar

1 teaspoon salt

1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil (plus one tsp. reserved to coat bowl dough will rise in)

(See Directions for Honey Wheat Crust version & toppings details…)

DIRECTIONS

CALIFORNIA PIZZA KITCHEN’S PIZZA CRUSTYou will need a pizza “stone” to bake on and a pizza peel for both these recipes.

BASIC PIZZA DOUGH Makes two 9” pizzas1 tsp yeast½ cup plus 1 TBSP warm water (105° to 110°)1½ cups bread flour2 tsp sugar1 teaspoon salt1 TBSP extra virgin olive oil (plus one tsp. reserved to coat bowl dough will rise in)

HONEY-WHEAT PIZZA DOUGH Makes Two 9” pizzas1 tsp yeast½ cup plus 1 tsp warm water (105° to 110°)1 cup bread flour½ cup whole wheat flour5 tsp clover honey1 tsp salt1 TBSP exta virgin olive oil (plus 1 tsp. reserved to coat bowl dough will rise in)

Add ingredients in the order the manufacturer of your machine reccomends. Use the dough setting ( I know, I know but I don’t like to leave anything assumed in giving a recipe).  

 When you’re dough cycle is finished, remove dough and place into a lightly oiled, 1 quart glass bowl. Seal the bowl with clear food wrap; seal air tight. (The dough could be used at this point, but it will not be that wonderful, chewy, flavorful dough that it will later become.) Place the bowl in the refrigerator overnight covered airtight.  

ABOUT 2 HOURS BEFORE YOU’RE READY TO ASSEMBLE YOUR PIZZA, remove the dough from the refrigerator. Using a sharp knife to divide into 2 equal portions. Roll the smaller doughs into round balls on a smooth, clean surface; be sure to seal any holes by pinching and rolling. Place the newly formed dough balls in a glass casserole dish, space far enough apart to allow for each to double in size. Seal the top of the dish airtight with clearfood wrap. Set aside at room temperature until the dough balls have doubled in size (about 2 hours). They should be smooth and puffy.  

Roll out the dough to a 9” diameter.  IMPORTANT!! MUST PRE-HEAT PIZZA STONE IN 500° OVEN FOR ONE HOUR.  Dust your pizza peel with cornmeal. Place dough on the peel and assemble your pizza with your toppings. Carefully transfer your pizza to the pizza stone. Cooks in under 10 minutes…..watch carefully.

MY FAVORITE TOPPING FOLLOWS……IF YOU LIKE BLT SANDWICHES…..YOU’RE GONNA LOVE BLT PIZZA:  crisp, crumbled bacon finely shredded romaine lettuce mayo shredded mozzarella cheese fresh roma tomatoes, sliced thin (if you use reg. tomatoes be sure to drain them!!) and olive oil.

After the crust….this is a cinch!! Brush one tablespoon of olive oil on each pizza. Top with shredded mozzarella and crisp, crumbled, bacon and more mozzarella…then tomato slices. Bake til center is bubbly 8 to 10 minutes (WATCH CAREFULLY). Remove and cut pizzas into slices. Top with lettuce mixed with one tablespoon mayo. 

Knit Happenz 😎

First EVER knit-a-long – I loved it so much I took my time in finishing it. EVERY family member laid claim to it, so it’s headed to where our family gathers – our beach home on Saint Simons Island 🌴

Each month Jimmy Beans Wool would ship a Madelinetosh DK weight specially dyed yarn illustrating a sign of the Zodiac.

I wish the colors were available for separate purchase but they’re long gone.

Knit Happenz is my alter ego on Instagram™

Shipwreck – a metaphor for ❤️ & 💔

“I’m old. What that means is that I’ve survived (so far) and a lot of people I’ve known and loved did not. 
I’ve lost friends, best friends, acquaintances, co-workers, grandparents, mom, relatives, teachers, mentors, students, neighbors, and a host of other folks. I have no children, and I can’t imagine the pain it must be to lose a child. But here’s my two cents…
I wish I could say you get used to people dying. But I never did. I don’t want to. It tears a hole through me whenever somebody I love dies, no matter the circumstances. But I don’t want it to “not matter”. I don’t want it to be something that just passes. My scars are a testament to the love and the relationship that I had for and with that person. And if the scar is deep, so was the love. So be it. 
Scars are a testament to life. Scars are a testament that I can love deeply and live deeply and be cut, or even gouged, and that I can heal and continue to live and continue to love. And the scar tissue is stronger than the original flesh ever was. Scars are a testament to life. Scars are only ugly to people who can’t see.
As for grief, you’ll find it comes in waves. When the ship is first wrecked, you’re drowning, with wreckage all around you. Everything floating around you reminds you of the beauty and the magnificence of the ship that was, and is no more. And all you can do is float. You find some piece of the wreckage and you hang on for a while. Maybe it’s some physical thing. Maybe it’s a happy memory or a photograph. Maybe it’s a person who is also floating. For a while, all you can do is float. Stay alive.
In the beginning, the waves are 100 feet tall and crash over you without mercy. They come 10 seconds apart and don’t even give you time to catch your breath. All you can do is hang on and float. After a while, maybe weeks, maybe months, you’ll find the waves are still 100 feet tall, but they come further apart. When they come, they still crash all over you and wipe you out. But in between, you can breathe, you can function. You never know what’s going to trigger the grief. It might be a song, a picture, a street intersection, the smell of a cup of coffee. It can be just about anything…and the wave comes crashing. But in between waves, there is life.
Somewhere down the line, and it’s different for everybody, you find that the waves are only 80 feet tall. Or 50 feet tall. And while they still come, they come further apart. You can see them coming. An anniversary, a birthday, or Christmas, or landing at O’Hare. You can see it coming, for the most part, and prepare yourself. And when it washes over you, you know that somehow you will, again, come out the other side. Soaking wet, sputtering, still hanging on to some tiny piece of the wreckage, but you’ll come out.
Take it from an old guy. The waves never stop coming, and somehow you don’t really want them to. But you learn that you’ll survive them. And other waves will come. And you’ll survive them too. 
If you’re lucky, you’ll have lots of scars from lots of loves. And lots of shipwrecks.”
Author unknown

•No WONDER I have always loved the sight of a beautiful shipwreck❤️•

Chicken Kiev

More time consuming, than difficult, this one’s started on top of the range, but transferred to the oven to complete.

INGREDIENTS

4 whole medium chicken breasts (3 lbs.)

2 tablespoons fresh-snipped parsely

1 to 2 tablespoons chopped green onion

1 stick of butter, chilled

⅓ cup all purpose flour

1 beaten egg

1 tablespoon water

½ cup fine dry bread crumbs

Cooking oil or shortening for deep-fat frying

DIRECTIONS

Skin, halve lengthwise, and bone chicken breasts. Place 1 piece of chicken between two pieces of clear plastic wrap. Working from center to edges, pound lightly with a meat mallet, forming a rectangle about 1/8” thick. Remove plastic wrap; sprinkle chicken with some parsley and onion. Season with salt and pepper. Repeat with remaining chicken.

Cut chilled butter into 8 sticks, each about 2 to 2 & 1/2 “ long. Place 1 of the sticks on each chicken piece. Fold in sides; roll up jelly roll style, pressing all edges together gently with your fingers, to seal.

Place flour in a shallow dish. in another shallow dish combine egg and water. Roll chicken in flour to coat, then dip in egg mixture. Coat with crumbs. Cover, chill at least an hour.

Heat an additional 1/4 cup butter in a large skillet. Fry chilled chicken rolls on all sides about 5 minutes or until brown. Transfer to a 12×7.5×2” baking dish. Bake ina 400 degree oven for 15 to 18 minutes. Spoon pan drippings over individual servings.

Serve over buttered noodles with a green vegetable.

| LAST IMAGE is prior to being baked for 15-20 minutes | Finished dish’s photo got interrupted by a self imploding watermelon 🍉 on the counter. 😂😂

iFilmed the Eclipse 🌙

I apologize in advance for the bouncing video, but I CAUGHT the eclipse – using the glasses held in front of my iPhone’s camera lens – during a Facebook™ LIVE session 😎

The birds were so confused … the sky turning dark as it did, disoriented them so that they were swooping down and flying erratically. I suppose they are typically where they’d roost for the night, when it turns to dusk.

Thinking you’re alone, only to hear the eruptions of cheers by your (unseen) neighbors was really an unique experience.

My husband and I were sharing a pair of glasses, so I had to wait for the safety of totality before I could film.

But I got ‘er done. ❤️X💯 Still image is my favorite from our area.

Chicken with Walnuts – Stirfry

My first ever stir fry dish came from a Better Homes & Gardens cookbook. To this day it remains a favorite.

Everyone I’ve served it to asks me for the recipe. It doesn’t call for red bell peppers but I love the color they add to the dish.

INGREDIENTS

1 and 1/3 pounds whole chicken breasts

3 T Soy sauce

2 t cornstarch

2 T dry sherry

1 T grated gingerroot

1 t sugar

1/2 t salt

1/2 t crushed red pepper

2 T cooking oil (I use peanut oil)

2 medium green peppers, cut into 3/4″ pieces

4 green onions, bias-sliced into 1″ lengths

1 cup walnut halves

Hot cooked rice

DIRECTIONS

Skin, halve lengthwise and bone chicken breasts. Cut chicken into 1″ pieces. Set aside.

In a small bowl stir soy sauce into cornstarch; stir in dry sherry, gingerroot, sugar, salt and red pepper. Set aside.

Preheat a wok or a large skillet over high heat; adding cooking oil (watch it as it spatters). Stir fry green peppers and green onions in hot oil for 2 minutes or until crisp-tender. Remove from wok or skillet. Add walnuts to wok or skillet; stir-fry 1 to 2 minutes or until just golden. Remove from wok or skillet.

(Add more oil if necessary) Add half the chicken to the hot wok or skillet and stir fry 2 minutes. Remove from skillet. Stir-fry remaining chicken for 2 minutes.

Return all chicken to wok or skillet. Stir soy mixture; stir into chicken. Cook and stir til thickened and bubbly. Stir in vegetables and walnuts; cover and cook 1 minute more (I never cover it). Serve at once with hot rice.

Notes: Use a long-handled spoon or spatula to lift and turn the food with a folding motion. Be sure to maintain high heat so the food cooks quickly —