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Winter Pizza

The pizza oven has been sitting dormant since end of September.  We’ve only had one really good snowfall so far this winter, and it’s been incredibly mild so far.

Tracey was feeling exhausted with the frequency of having people over since I completed construction of the oven, but I figured we were past due for some wood-fired oven pizza, so this past weekend I fired it up just for us 🙂   Used 4 good sized pieces of split birch to start things off, and added just a couple more pieces of birch and along with a couple small branches of seasoned applewood, and in less than an hour, the oven floor was approaching 700*F.  The first couple pizzas were finished cooking in under 2 minutes!

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Traybaked Chicken & Cauliflower

Traybaked Chicken & Cauliflower
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Serves: 4 servings
Prep time:
Cook time:
Total time:
 
Quick to put together, and tasty!
Ingredients
  • 1 lg. onion
  • 2 lg. carrots
  • 1 sm. cauliflower
  • 2 lbs. chicken breast
  • 3 tbsp. balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • ½ tsp. salt
  • ½ tsp. pepper
  • 1 tsp. sweet curry
  • 2 tsp. BBQ Belt chicken & Rib rub (from Silk Road Spices)
  • 2 tsp. dried thyme
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350"F (I used roast and convection setting)
  2. Split cauliflower into pieces, and put along one edge of tray. Sprinkle with curry powder.
  3. Chop onion and carrot into chunks and place alongside cauliflower. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Cut each piece of chicken breast into thirds or quarters, depending on size. Place in tray alongside onions and carrots.
  5. Season chicken with the Silk Road Spices rub, and thyme.
  6. Drizzle olive oil and balsamic vinegar over everything, and give everything a good stir. Make sure no vegetables are covering up the chicken pieces.
  7. Place tray into oven for about one hour. 15 minutes before hour is up, check things, give it a stir.
  8. If necessary, add a little bit of water or chicken stock (1/3 cup), and give everything a good stir before returning tray to the oven.

 

Denison Barbs in the Aquarium

I’ve seen these fish a few times, and really like their colour, schooling behaviour, and overall activity. Tried making a deal at Big Al’s a couple weeks ago, but they wouldn’t sell them to me. Yesterday they had a sale, 25% off all fish, so I went in to see if they had any left, and I was in luck.

They look awesome in the tank, and it seems the other fish have altered their behaviour a little – the school of Black Tetra’s are out in the open more, swimming along with the Denison barbs, even though they’re 1/3 their size. We have a school of Siamese Algae Eaters that tend to be a little shy until feeding time, but they are out a lot more, swimming along with their new tank mates.

The new fish may grow as large as 6″, currently, they’re around 2.5″ to 3″.

There are a number of names they go by, Indian Flasher Barbs, Roseline Sharks, or Denison’s Barb. The scientific name is Sahyadria denisonii.

Home Automation

I’ve been tinkering a little with the raspberry pi platform over the last few months, and recently purchased a new raspberry pi 2, and a razberry daughterboard.
After playing around with the original zwave.me software to control a couple switches, and then a few other open sources apps, I was finding it a little frustrating how far these types applications had not come.
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