Growing Home Again

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Best Thanksgiving


Thanksgiving is here, so our minds have turned
To what time has taught us, to what we’ve learned:
We often focus all our thought
On shiny things we’ve shopped and bought.
We take our pleasure in material things,
Forgetting the pleasure that friendship brings.
If a lot of our stuff just vanished today,
We’d see the foundation of each happy day
Is special relationships, constant and true,
And that’s when our thoughts go directly to you.
We wish you a Thanksgiving you’ll never forget,
Full of love and joy—your best one yet!

By Joanna Fuchs


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Jalapeno Popper Dip

Several years ago I brought two dips to my friend’s house for Thanksgiving – Artichoke and Jalapeno Popper. In my hurriedness, I accidentally doubled the Jalapeno P0pper dip. The reviews on the Artichoke dip were wonderful. It was appreciated. The emptiness of the double order of Jalapeno Popper dip bowl was defining. It’s been requested every since. And without further ado…

Jalapeno Popper Dip


  • 8oz cream cheese at room temp
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar – divided
  • 1 cup shredded or grated parmesan – divided
  • 4 – 8oz pickled jalapenos – chopped
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1 large clove garlic – minced
  • Olive Oil

Heat an oven safe skillet over medium heat and sauté the minced garlic for a few minutes. Don’t let it burn! Remove from heat and scoop garlic and pan drippings into another bowl or plate. To the heated pan add the cream cheese, mayo, 3/4 cup cheddar, 3/4 cup parmesan and chopped jalapenos. Sprinkle garlic on top of the cheese mixture and stir well. If you don’t remove the garlic I’ve found that it doesn’t distribute evenly and tends to burn near the bottom of the pan while in the oven.

In a separate bowl mix the remaining cheese and panko bread crumbs and top the cheese mixture.

Pop into a 350-degree oven for 30 to 45 minutes or until the cheese is bubbling.

Remove from oven and reduce the urge to dive right in. It’s molten lava at this point in time. Let cool for 30 minutes. Serve with tortilla chips, crackers, French bread, etc…


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Deep Peace

Deep peace I breathe into you,
O weariness, here:
O ache, here!
Deep peace, a soft white dove to You;
Deep peace, a quiet rain to you;
Deep peace, an ebbing wave to you!
Deep peace, red wind of the east from you;
Deep peace, grey wind of the west to You;
Deep peace, dark wind of the north from you;
Deep peace, blue wind of the south to you!
Deep peace, pure red of the flame to you;
Deep peace, pure white of the moon to you;
Deep peace, pure green of the grass to you;
Deep peace, pure brown of the earth to you;
Deep peace, pure grey of the dew to you,
Deep peace, pure blue of the sky to you!
Deep peace of the running wave to you,
Deep peace of the flowing air to you,
Deep peace of the quiet earth to you,
Deep peace of the sleeping stones to you!
Deep peace of the Yellow Shepherd to you,
Deep peace of the Wandering Shepherdess to you,
Deep peace of the Flock of Stars to you,
Deep peace from the Son of Peace to you,
Deep peace from the heart of Mary to you,
And from Briget of the Mantle
Deep peace, deep peace!
And with the kindness too of the Haughty Father
In the name of the Three who are One,
And by the will of the King of the Elements,
Peace! Peace!

From The Dominion of Dreams Under a Dark Star by Fiona Macleod (1895)

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Fried Pizza

Who doesn’t like pizza? I’m sure there’s somebody out there that doesn’t like pizza but, in general, most folks at least don’t mind eating pizza.

Next question – who doesn’t like fried foods? I know, we aren’t supposed to but sometimes – it’s tasty. Admit it. Even if you have to admit it to yourself. So why not mix the best of both worlds? FRIED PIZZA!!!!

Before your imagination goes crazy – this does not involve anything deep fried in a stick or covered in batter. Sorry, that’s reserved for your favorite fair.

I came up with this recipe out of desperation actually. I’ve been trying to successfully make pizza crust for years. Many have tried to help me and I’m just jinxed. The pizza crust gods hate me. I’ve managed some passable thin crusts and one time I must’ve sacrificed to the right god and came up with a Chicago style crust which rocked. Everything else is, at best, tasty bread with pizza toppings. Tastes fine but it isn’t PIZZA!

pexels-photo-large.jpgOne day though the culinary gods did finally smile on me, Awen!  My family and I were gluttonously working our way through a local agricultural fair and I bought fried dough for a snack. Deep fried dough covered in “butter” (it isn’t really butter – not by a long shot), cinnamon and sugar. Oh sweet deep fried goodness. Much to my chagrin, I didn’t thoroughly coat one edge in cinnamon and sugar and it was just fried dough. We were also walking by a pizza place and between the smells and the fried dough I came up with an idea – one that could solve my pizza problems. Fried Pizza!

Fried pizza is a comfort food and pretty quick to put together. Make the ingredients from scratch or buy them from the store.

Fried Pizza


  • 1 large ball of pizza dough or bread dough.
  • Crushed Tomatoes, Pizza Sauce, Spaghetti Sauce
  • Mozzarella cheese
  • Ricotta Cheese
  • Meatballs
  • Fresh Basil
  • Salt, Pepper, and Pepper Flakes
  • Frying oil – peanut oil, shortening, lard, etc…

Cover a deep skillet in approximately 3 inches of oil and heat. I don’t actually take the temperature of my oil but use the end of a wooden spoon to check the heat. To check the oil temperature place the end of the spoon in the oil. If bubbles appear on the wood, you’re at heat. If not, let it sit for a while longer and test again. Once you get to heat you need to regulate the heat a bit – smoking oil isn’t a good thing.

Begin by prepping your dough.  I highly recommend making fresh dough. My favorite is a modification of Olive Oil bread found in Zoe Francois’ book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day: The Discovery That Revolutionizes Home Baking. I just add half a cup of dried Italian herbs to the dough.  Half a recipe of Olive Oil bread is more than sufficient for my family of 4!

Divide up your dough into individual pieces. For my family, I aim for somewhere just shy of a baseball. Stretch, pull and flatten each of the smaller bits of dough into rough circles. When the oil is ready, poke several holes in the dough and gently set into the oil. Fry for 3 to 5 minutes and carefully turn over to fry the other side. You want your crust to be golden brown. Let drain on a paper towel for a few minutes.

The next few steps are up to you – add your toppings! For this recipe, I had leftover goat’s milk mozzarella and ricotta cheese along with meatballs from the night before. As a side note, I highly recommend New England CheeseMaking Co  for all your cheese making needs.  I sliced the meatballs  in half to make them a bit more manageable on the pizza.

Once your pizza is dressed to your liking, place in a 450-degree oven for 5 to 10 minutes, until the cheese is bubbly and melted. Remove immediately from the oven and set aside to cool. Top with salt, pepper, pepper flakes and fresh basil!


Perfect crust pizza!

The pizza crusts can be made well in advance and freeze great. To reheat, thaw crusts overnight and top as normal. Bake in the over at 375 for 15 to 20 minutes.