A thought for Sunday...

"When you follow your bliss...doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors, and where there wouldn't be a door for anyone else."

~~~ Joseph Campbell


Catching Up...

I have been in "book love" lately. Fiction, non-fiction...there are just the best books available now. I've read and enjoyed Mary Kay Andrews newest release, The Fixer-Upper, Lisa Gardner's The Neighbor, an earlier release from Josh Bazell entitled Beat the Reaper, and I've listened to Jane Green's Dune Road and Jennifer Crusie's Anyone But You while cleaning the house. I'm usually not a fan of audiobooks other than for car travel, but I've downloaded books to my iPod from our library's digital download page. Easy, free, and the iPod fits in my pocket. My favorite new non-fiction book is pictured above...Lisa Sonora Beam's The Creative Entrepreneur A DIY Visual Guidebook for Making Business Ideas Real. This book summarizes and explains in visual terms all of the modules I took last year in my Public Service Administration courses. Finance and marketing, SWOT...everything. I borrowed the book from the library, but I found it on the shelf at Jo-Ann Fabrics this morning and used my 40% coupon. Awesome book.

School started last Tuesday...lots of papers, interviews, etc. for the semester. It will go fast, and I should graduate with a Masters in May 2010...not too far off. I'm still thinking about taking some library science classes, most likely at IUPUI...not the University of Alabama. So many colleges are offering on-line classes, so travel is not an issue.

I need to get back in the swing of blogging. There are lots pictures to be taken, and my favorite season is on the horizon.


What is this?

Does anyone know what kind of plant this is? It looks vaguely familiar to me, but I can't remember the name. I walk by this plant nearly every day and it's pretty gorgeous. Just wish they would have used a camo tie up instead of white laundry line!
On another note, I've 'dot.commed' PlumWater Cottage...just because I could. Didn't realize it would create a whole new set of problems/opportunities...such as losing my entire listing of "Favorite Places to Visit". That little listing (135 blogs) took forever to put together. I have a few (dozen) listings in my favorites on my computer that I hadn't added to the list, and a few entries in Google Reader, but it's going to take a while to recreate my listing. Look for some 'housekeeping' changes on the blog...
If you subscribe to this feed, please change the url to : www.plumwatercottage.com


Breakfast Pizza from The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook

I brought this book home from the library earlier this week...it has some really wonderful recipes and stories...and beautiful food photography. The breakfast pizza (shown below) is a recipe I'm going to try out tomorrow morning after my daughter competes in her first 5K race.
If you are already a 'doughmaker' this recipe is pretty easy. If you don't make your own bread, a loaf of frozen dough would be a good stand in. I'm going to make the dough this evening.
Here's the recipe for Breakfast Pizza:

Bread flour or all-purpose flour, for dusting
6 bacon strips
Your favorite pizza dough recipe, shaped into 2 balls
1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese
2 cups grated mozzarella
6 eggs
Kosher salt, to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons minced flat-leaf parsley
2 tablespoons minced chives
2 whole scallions, trimmed and thinly sliced
1 shallot, minced

At least 1 hour before you start baking, adjust the oven rack to the lowest position, put a baking stone on it and preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

Generously dust the surface of a pizza peel (a flat wooden or metal shovel with a long handle) with flour.

Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the bacon strips and pan-fry until crisp. Put the bacon on a plate lined with paper towels, let it cool and then chop into bite-size pieces.

Lightly dust a work surface with flour. Working with one ball of pizza dough, dip your hands and the dough in the flour to make them less sticky, and pat the dough down into a disk shape with the tips of your fingers. Once the disk is large enough, drape the dough over your fists and carefully start stretching and expanding the dough from underneath it to form a round that is 10 to 12 inches in diameter. (If you’re feeling lucky, try tossing the dough over your head in a circular motion to stretch it.)

Place the dough on the prepared peel. Sprinkle it with half of the Parmesan, mozzarella and bacon, and crack 3 eggs over the top. Season with salt and pepper to taste.

Before you put the pizza in the oven, do the “stick test”: Shake the peel slightly to make sure the pizza is not sticking (if it is, carefully lift the section that is sticking and sprinkle a bit more flour underneath). Then slide the pizza directly onto the baking stone and bake it for 8 to 12 minutes, checking it after 5 minutes and rotating it if necessary to ensure that it’s baking evenly.
When the crust is golden, the cheese is melted and the egg yolks are cooked to medium, use the peel to remove the pizza from the oven and transfer it to a cutting board. Let it cool for 2 minutes and sprinkle with half of the parsley, chives, scallions and shallots. Slice and serve immediately.

Prepare your second pizza the same way.
Makes 2 pizzas (2-4 servings).
Adapted from “The Big Sur Bakery Cookbook: A Year in the Life of a Restaurant” by Michelle and Philip Wojtowicz and Michael Gilson with Catherine Price


White Wednesday

It's White Wednesday again...visit Kathleen at Faded Charm to follow other links for White Wednesday beauty.

This week, I'm featuring a few of my photos and a few photos from my inspiration file. From the top...1) a house around the corner from my house...isn't the espalier neat? 2)a garden shot I've seen everywhere...books, magazines...it's one of my favorites. Who wouldn't want to have a garden like that? 3) another of my mantel/hydrangea shots 4) my star jasmine 5) an old clockface [not mine] 6) inspiration urn 7) a photo from an old Country Living...white chippy table...a relaxing little porch scene and 8) a white Katrina Cottage.

Baking and cheese making...

In the "learn something new" part of my life, yesterday I learned how to make mozzarella cheese.  Making and baking French bread w...