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Thanksgiving Brick Oven Pizza – How the Pilgrims Roll…

2 Apr


Thanksgiving Style Brick Oven Pizza

Timing may not be my strong suit and this post probably seems a bit out of season but bare with me, I’ve been wanting to post this for months so here it goes…. Days after Thanksgiving ends, there seems to be a never ending supply of turkey sandwiches and other fixings left over from our great American pastime. In order to put a little variety in these turkey menu variations I decided to mix things up a bit by creating a Thanksgiving pizza cooked in my brick oven and enhanced with a few extra ingredients. Today I’m sharing that pizza recipe that I believe was created when the Pilgrims settled in Plymouth, or was it San Diego?

Thanksgiving brick oven pizza from Paggi Pazzo

To get started on our Thanksgiving pizza, I typically make the dough before hand and then freeze so whenever I need a few dough balls I always have a few handy. To make your own dough feel free to use this homemade dough recipe. For the toppings I will chop the turkey meat into little strips and make sure the squash is at room temperature because we want to spread like a sauce across the dough. Once we have the ingredients sorted, I start my brick oven pizza fire with a few sticks of kindling and a small log. I have a Alfa Forno pizza oven and it doesn’t require hours of fire building to get to 900 degree temps, in fact it can be reached in 30 mins so once the kindling is going strong add 2 large logs to really get the fire roaring (one draw back is the temp can drop fairly quickly so we want to keep the oven door slightly closed to keep the fire breathing and adding additional logs depending on how much food and company you have).

So our fire is roaring and it’s time to make the pizza. On a clean surface, stretch your dough by hand adding flour when needed to prevent sticking. Before adding your dough to the pizza peel, add semolina flour to again prevent any sticking (we don’t want a pizza in pieces, do we? Or is that how the Pilgrims did it? so confused….). Spread the squash across the dough and top with shredded turkey and any vegetables that you prefer (I added some mushrooms to this pizza). Then add your goat cheese in little chunks across the pizza followed by pieces of prosciutto di Parma and sage. Add a little extra virgin olive oil across the pizza and a sprinkle of Reggiano Parmigiano and now you’re ready to add the pizza to the brick oven. Make sure the pizza oven temp inside the oven is between 750-900 degrees for best results – the pizza will cook in about 90 seconds to 2 1/2 minutes so be sure to turn the pizza repeatedly making sure the pizza does not burn. So there you have it, Paggi Pazzo’s Thanksgiving brick oven pizza, Happy Turkey pizza day to you and yours – time to nap on the coach.

Thanksgiving Pizza Recipe

Prep time: 3 hours

Cook time: 2 mins

Total time: 3 hours 2 mins

Yield: 8 slices

Ingredients

  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon grated Reggiano Parmigiano
  • 2 ounces goat cheese
  • handful fresh sage
  • 2 thin slices Prosciutto di Parma
  • 1/4 cup chopped or shredded turkey
  • 1 Pizza dough
  • 2 ounces mashed squash
  • 1/4 cup chopped mushrooms or asparagus spears
  • 1 teaspoon Semolina flour

Cooking Directions

  1. To make dough, click here
  2. Build brick oven pizza fire with kindling and 1 small-medium size hardwood firewood log
  3. Once kindling is burning hot, add 2 larger logs and once temps are close to 900 degrees, move fire to one side of the oven so pizza(s) can cook on the other side
  4. Sprinkle semolina flour across pizza peel before putting dough on top
  5. Roll out dough then put on top of pizza peel and generously lay squash across, add salt and pepper
  6. Add shredded or chopped turkey across pizza and then top with chunks of goat cheese
  7. Add pieces of prosciutto di Parma across pizza followed by fresh sage and a light dressing of olive oil, then grated Reggiano Parmigiano
  8. When temp is between 750-900 degrees and pizza and turn throughout 90 seconds – 2:30 minute cooking process to prevent burning. Once dough has spotted char marks and toppings have melted (cheese turning an almost light brown), remove from brick pizza oven
  9. Let rest for 5 minutes then slice and serve

Thanksgiving brick oven pizza recipe

5 out of 5
stars based on 0 reviews and 2 ratings.

Click here for Thanksgiving pizza with prosciutto di Parma and goat cheese Recipe and all other Paggi Pazzo recipes.

Paggi Pazzo tries the Grill Pizza Kettle Kit

8 May

As I have continued to research and review potential brick oven pizzas for my backyard, I spent a small sum to buy the Pizza Kettle Grill and try to replicate a brick oven pizza taste for my favorite Romano and Napolitano recipes. Thus far I have to say the product has been pretty good and worth the purchase. There’s some minor challenges and difficulties but for quick wood-fired pizza this kit is a good solution.

Grilling pizza with the kettle kit grill with Paggi Pazzo

Grilling pizza with the kettle kit grill with Paggi Pazzo

The Pizza Kettle Grill comes with a wire box/cage that goes under the pizza kit and separates the charcoal around the pizza cooking area. The kettle itself has an open top and attaches to the cooking surface level of the grill with the top of the grill placed over it. The heat escapes quickly so I went to Home Depot to cut a steel plate top that is directly over the pizza stone and allows the open flames over the edge to flow directly over the pizza. This provides a more consistent temperature for how the top of the pizza cooks compared to the bottom. This is important as the top of the pizza will sometimes cook slower and the kettle grill’s heat can climb as high as 900 degrees, cooking the pizza in 2-3 minutes and if not monitored may give you a slightly burned bottom crust with under cooked toppings. The modification I made of adding the steel plate has reduced these potential problems significantly.

Another downside I’ve found to the pizza kit is a a full cylinder of charcoal is needed to heat the grill for cooking. I don’t use lump hardwood charcoal in this case as it burns very fast and won’t last as long as regular charcoal briquettes (and because they are not directly under the food I don’t have concerns about the carcinogens). Once the charcoal is ready I place it around the wire-cage and add a handful more of unheated charcoal briquettes and pecan wood chunks. My first pizza typically comes out the best and I find that around 750 degrees is the ideal heat. Pizza 2 and 3 I need to lift slightly so the top of the pizza is cooking nicely under the metal plate I inserted but the char on the dough is usually better than the first.

Grill pizza outdoors with Kettle pizza kit

Outdoor pizza kettle grill from Paggi Pazzo

I’m still perfecting the Pizza Kettle Grill myself and can churn out about 3-pizzas in 15 minutes so it’s a fast cooking machine and not a bad alternative to a bigger, heavier brick oven pizza (though I plan to have one someday soon). Check it out for yourself and I think you’ll like the results.

Grilled White Pizzas over wood fire

Grilled White Pizzas over wood fire

Pizza Margherita grilled over wood fire

Pizza Margherita grilled over wood fire

Taleggio & Soppressata Friuli White Pizza – An (almost) Brick Oven Experience

1 May


White Pizza with Taleggio & Soppressata Friuli on the Grill, using the Pizza Kettle Grill Kit

Paggi Pazzo is back from a long hiatus to share my Tallegio, Soppressatta friuli pizza bianca recipe, grilled to perfection (from what I was told). My long desire to build or buy a brick oven pizza has not prevented me from trying to make brick oven like pizza and recently I purchased a pizza kettle grill. The outcome was pretty darn good with the Taleggio melting nicely on the lightly covered olive oil dough and bits of roasted peppers slightly charring over chopped soppressata friuli. Typically pizza bianca found in Rome is topped with little ingredients or not at all so this is more of a Tuscany meets Rome/Lazio recipe (molto piacere, mi chiamo Lazio! 🙂). So let’s get started on Paggi Pazzo’s pizza bianca with soppressata friuli and taleggio chesse, unless of course you have too much time on your hands like these guys. Pizza bianca with soppressata friuli, taleggio and roasted

To start the pizza I make the dough either well before and freeze or prepare that morning letting the dough rest and rise (for best results make the dough on the same day). After the dough is ready, I lightly cover the pizza peel (spatula) with semolina flower to get a nice crunchy texture on the bottom. Drizzle olive oil over the dough with a pinch of salt, pepper, and thyme. Chop Taleggio into little chunks over the pizza, using a pizza cutter slice strips of soppressata friuli and cover generously on the pizza. Then slice Italian roasted peppers (pre-made or store bought) or eggplant or whatever vegetable you like on top. Preparing pizza bianca with soppressata friuli, taleggio and roasted peppers recipe from Paggi

To get your pizza kettle grill nice and hot, in a charcoal cylander, add charcoal and wood chunks and once grey and ready, dump into grill pit with the pizza kettle already attached and then add a layer of non-lit charcoal and wood chunks (place the pizza stone then on top carefully using gloves not to burn oneself). This will get the fire temperature up to 800-900 degrees in about 5 minutes. Once the fire is ready, slide the taleggio, soppressata friuli pizza bianca on the pizza stone and watch closely. The pizza will cook in 2-3 minutes so using quarter turns, adjust the pizza and turn every 30 seconds until the dough is charred slightly and turns a golden brown. Rest for a few minutes and drizzle olive oil on top of pizza before slicing and serving. Crack open a nice bottle of Nobile di montepulciano or Chianti reserva and enjoy! There you have it, Paggi Pazzo’s taleggio and soppressata friuli pizza bianca, un il bocca lupo!!!

White pizza with taleggio and soppressata friuli on the grill recipe from Paggi Pazzo

White Pizza with Taleggio & Soppressata friuli Recipe on the Grill

Prep time: 3 hours

Cook time: 5 min

Total time: 3 hours 5 mins

Yield: 8 slices

Ingredients

  • 2 ounces Taleggio cheese
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 1/2 cups Molino Caputo tipo 00 flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon yeast
  • pinch thyme
  • 3/4 cup Italian water
  • 4 slices Soppressata friuli
  • Handful roasted Italian red pepper sliced OR 1 roasted Italian baby eggplant chopped
  • 1 tablespoon Semolina flour

Cooking Directions

  1. In order to make dough, heat Italian water in a pot for 2-3 minutes until warm then place in a bowl with salt and stir well for several minutes
  2. Add yeast into the bowl and stir for at least 5 minutes until yeast dissolves
  3. Add 2 cups of Molino Caputo tipo 00 flour to bowl, pouring slowly as you stir, then a tablespoon of olive oil and continue to stir for at least 10 minutes, until dough begins to turn into an elastic substance
  4. Place dough on a cutting board or cooking sheet and cover all sides with a little flour, then cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and place under a bowl for at least 3 hours
  5. After 3 hours, take dough and kneed for several minutes, covering with flour as necessary until all air bubbles are removed. Then take dough roller and roll, adding more flour when necessary, to a circular shape but not too thin (dough will likely create at least enough for 2 pizzas so feel free to make another or freeze for another time)
  6. Add Semolina flour sprinkled across pizza peel then place dough on top
  7. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil across dough with pinch of salt, pepper and thyme then chunks of taleggio cheese, sliced soppressta friuli strips and your choice of roasted peppers or roasted baby eggplant
  8. Set up pizza kettle kit on grill, start charcoal fire then when ready add to grill pit with wood chunks on top. Then place pizza stone on pizza kettle kit and cover with top. When temperature exceeds 750 degrees, grill is ready for pizza to be cooked
  9. Place pizza on top of pizza stone with pizza peel carefully as pizza grill will be very hot. Once pizza is placed on stone, quarter turns every 30 seconds until pizza is cooked throughout in about 3-4 minutes
  10. Remove from grill and drizzle lightly with olive oil. Let rest for a few minutes and then slice and serve

White pizza bianca with Taleggio and Soprressata friuli Recipe on the Grill

5 out of 5
stars based on 0 reviews and 2 ratings.

Click here for Grilled Pizza Bianca with Taleggio and Sopressata Friuli Recipe and all other Paggi Pazzo recipes.

Sicilian Style Pizzolo Pizza – Siracusa, Schillaci, and Deliciousness!

7 Jul


Sicilian Style Pizzolo Pizza from Siracusa

Italian pizza has many varieties and traditions from each region and all offer unique flavors and tastes. While Napoli and Roma enjoy a great deal of the attention, down in the south of Italy the island of Sicily offers some of the best. Today I’m sharing my Sicilian Pizzolo Pizza recipe from the city of Siracusa that creates a pizza with a top and bottom dough crust. Yeah, that’s what I said slappy and it’s so good, it will have you celebrating just like Sicily’s own “Toto” Schillaci did at the 1990 World Cup. With some classic ingredients such as caciocavallo cheese, prosciutto di Parma, Sicilian olives and more, this pizza will be a crowd pleaser for special occasions (or if you’re just plain hungry). Think of it as a panini pizza but with way more ingredients and a lot bigger!

Preparing Siracusa, Sicilian Style Pizzolo Pizza Recipe from Paggi Pazzo

Start your Sicilian Pizzolo pizza recipe by making a traditional red sauce with garlic sauteed in olive oil and then add crushed San Marzano peeled tomatoes with salt and pepper. Let that cook for at least 30 minutes at low to medium heat and take your dough (pre-made or you can buy fresh dough) and roll and kneed, then sprinkle with flour. Then cut the dough in half and roll each thinly with one placed on top of the pizza stone. Cover the dough on the stone with your red sauce with attention to more of the middle of the pizza rather than the edges. Now get ready for the fun part! There are different cheeses to use but the traditional Sicilian pizzolo calls for caciocavallo, which I cut into chunks, fresh mozzarella, pancetta (which you can have sliced very thin or chunks pre-cooked), prosciutto di Parma, and arugula topped with diced mushrooms and Sicilian olives (pitts removed). There’s a lot going on in that party! It’s the kind of party you’d expect Brick Tamland from Channel 4 San Diego to invite you to.

So we got the bottom part of the Sicilian Pizzolo recipe finished, now it’s time for the top! Take your other dough and cover the bottom toppings but make sure to leave the edges open, this is not a calzone or stromboli (let your guests now that this is not your first rodeo). Once the top is on, dress lightly with some olive oil and sprinkle with Reggiano Parmigiano and dried oregano. Put the pizzolo in the oven and wait 20-25 minutes for a Sicilian sensation!

When your Sicilian Pizzolo pizza is out of the oven and has cooled, slice the middle center across (but not all the way) with a bread knife or large meat knife. After, finish the cut all the way to the edges with a pizza cutter and then you’re good to go! So there you have it, Paggi Pazzo’s traditional Siracusa Sicilian Pizzolo Pizza recipe, Buon Appetito e Grazie Mille Sicilia!!!

Sicilian Style Pizzolo Pizza Recipe from Paggi Pazzo

Sicilian Style Pizzolo Pizza Recipe
Published: July 6th, 2012

Prep time: 40 min
Cook time: 20 min
Total time: 1 hour
Yield: 8 slices

Ingredients

  • 6 ounces crushed tomatoes (San Marzano)
  • 4 ounces fresh mozzarella
  • 4 ounces caciocavallo
  • 3 tablespoons Reggiano Parmigiano
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons oregano
  • 16 ounces fresh dough
  • 2 handfuls of flour
  • teaspoon salt and pepper
  • 6 extra thin slices of pancetta
  • 4 thin slices of prosciutto di Parma
  • 2 small white or porcini mushrooms
  • 3/4 cup fresh arugula
  • 1/4 cup Sicilian olives

Cooking Directions

  1. In order to make the sauce, add oil to pan at medium heat for 2 minutes.
  2. Add garlic and cook for 3 minutes before adding crushed tomatoes, salt and pepper, then let cook for 30 minutes at low heat
  3. Preheat oven to 420 degrees
  4. While sauce is slowly cooking, add flour to top and bottom of dough and then cut dough in half (store bought or homemade dough)
  5. Begin to poke and stretch one half of dough slowly to flatten out, then take dough roller and spread dough out with edges slightly rolled to create a thick crust
  6. Lightly brush pizza stone with olive oil and place dough on stone
  7. Add sauce to pizza dough after sauce has cooked for 30 minutes with focus on center of dough and not around edges
  8. Chop fresh mozzarella and caciocavallo into little chunks and use 1/2 to spread across pizza
  9. Top with pancetta and prosciutto di Parma across pizza with meat close to edges (make sure pancetta is sliced extra thin as it will not cook as fast in a pizzolo as it would on a normal pizza). Then chop mushrooms and spread throughout pizza topped with fresh arugula
  10. Add rest of fresh mozzarella and caciocavallo, then top with chopped Sicilian olives (remove pits)
  11. Take other half of dough and a little bit more flour, and stretch and use dough roller to create thin dough layer and then lay on top of already made pizzolo pizza
  12. Dress top dough lightly with olive oil and grated Reggiano Parmigiano then sprinkle with oregano
  13. Cook for 20-25 minutes, until top crust is brown and golden
  14. Take pizza out and let cool for 5 minutes before slicing
  15. Slice middle center of pizza across with a thick bread knife or meat knife 2 inches and then chisel the rest to pizza edges with pizza cutter.
  16. Ready to serve!


Sicilian Style Pizzolo Pizza Recipe
from Siracusa
5 out of 5
stars based on 3 reviews and 7 ratings.

Click here for full Sicilian Pizzolo Pizza Recipe and all other Paggi Pazzo recipes.

Authentic Pizza Margherita on the Grill – Hand Made from Napoli….like the Verticoli?

4 Apr


Pizza Napoletana Margherita Recipe on the Grill over a Wood Charcoal Fire

Not too long ago I provided my recipe for La Pizza Margherita with a traditional marinara sauce and typical fresh ingredients baked in the oven. This time, I took it a step further and decided to create the authentic and traditional Napoletana Pizza Margherita, with true ingredients from the city and over a wood fire (or at least as authentic as I can get since I don’t own a brick oven). Today I’m sharing my Authentic Pizza Napoletana Margherita recipe that is so good, it will leave you mind bottling and help you (and me) appreciate the pride and love affair that Napoli has for their beloved margherita pizza.Napolitana pizza margherita dough recipe from Paggi Pazzo

Coming from a Roman family, and more particular a Roman mother, crunchy thin crust pizza and pizza al taglio are my first loves but the chewy and light crust created in Naples is a thing of beauty. In order to create the pizza margherita dough and it’s world famous crust, you need the right flour. Molino Caputo tipo 00 flour is the only flour to use for authentic Napoletana pizza margherita as it is much lighter and finer than more common flours. The other main ingredient which is even harder to find, is water from Naples as Italians will tell you, the water makes all the difference. You may think it’s as difficult as finding a “Verticoli“, but Naples is also recognized for their excellent espresso in addition to their pizza, thanks in large part to their local water. If you have a hard time importing water from Naples, try purchasing other bottled water from other areas of Italy (not mineral water), such as Tuscany as it may be easier to find. Start by warming the Italian water in a pot, then in a large bowl add the water with salt (stirring until it dissolves) and repeat with the yeast. Then slowly add the Italian flour, pouring a little at a time into the bowl while stirring with the other hand. Then once the flour has been added, add a tablespoon of olive oil and continue to stir until the dough starts to take on an elastic substance. Then place on a cutting board or table lightly covered with flour and add a little more flour on both sides of the dough and cover with plastic wrap or a damp towel and place under a bowl for at least 3 hours.Grilling Napolitana pizza margherita over a wood charcoal fire from Paggi Pazzo

While the dough rises and settles, start your authentic Pizza Napoletana Margherita sauce with finely chopped garlic in a pan of olive oil and once it simmers, add San Marzano peeled tomatoes (before adding to pan, place in a bowl and chop the whole pieces into tiny chunks), salt, pepper, and I also like to add 2 finely chopped basil leaves. Allow the sauce to cook at low heat for 2-3 hours and around that time the sauce finishes, you’re ready to kneed and roll out the dough. The dough itself will be enough to make about 2 pizzas so cut the dough in half and prod, push, and kneed the dough to thin out while dousing with flour when necessary (you can freeze the rest of the dough if you’re only in the mood for one pizza). Then use a roller to shape out the dough and make sure not to make it too large or too thin as the traditional Napoletana pizza margherita is 13-14 inches in diameter and certainly not nearly as thin as Pizza Romana. In addition, to make that dream like Napoletana crust, slightly roll the outside edges.

Now that everything is ready to be put together, I start my charcoal grill with 2 chimney starters full of hardwood lump charcoal and oak chips. We’ll want the temperature to be around 450-500 degrees so it’s important to have a pizza stone that can take the heat (full disclosure… I tried making this recipe the week before and got distracted with my children in the house, so when I came out to check on my hard-worked masterpiece, it was burnt to a crisp and I was destroyed inside, for days. Don’t be that guy (me) when trying this at home – please check on your pizza, for the safety of your dough). Once the fire is ready, put the dough on the pizza stone (already slightly dressed with olive oil) add plenty of sauce with an inch 1/2 before the dough edges, then top with thick slices of fresh mozzarella (and be sure not to cover all of the sauce, five to six slices of fresh mozzarella should be enough). I keep 1 grate on each side of the grill, leaving the middle open where the stone can rest on the outside grate edges. I then prefer to cover the grill, opening every 5 minutes or so to check on the pizza (if the pizza is cooking too fast or too slow, adjust the wood charcoal fire tray by moving up or down to control the heat). After about 20-25 minutes, your authentic Napoletana pizza margherita should be ready. All that’s left is to add the basil leaves whole on top. I have to say, for a Roman pizza fan like myself – I really enjoyed this! I usually enjoy pizza with a glass of red wine but instead went with a classic Italian beer, Peroni Nastro Azzurro. You can’t go wrong with that my friend! So there you have it, Paggi Pazzo’s authentic Napoletana Pizza Margherita recipe, Buon Appetito e Buona Sera Napoli!!!

Authentic Napoletana pizza margherita recipe from Paggi Pazzo

Pizza Napoletana Margherita Recipe on the Grill

Prep time: 3 hours

Cook time: 25 min

Total time: 3 hours 25 mins

Yield: 8 slices

Ingredients

  • 12 ounces peeled tomatoes (San Marzano)
  • 3-4 ounces fresh mozzarella
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 fresh basil leaves
  • 2 1/2 cups Molino Caputo tipo 00 flour
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon yeast
  • 3/4 cup Italian water

Cooking Directions

  1. In order to make dough, heat Italian water in a pot for 2-3 minutes until warm then place in a bowl with salt and stir well for several minutes
  2. Add yeast into the bowl and stir for at least 5 minutes until yeast dissolves
  3. Add 2 cups of Molino Caputo tipo 00 flour to bowl, pouring slowly as you stir, then a tablespoon of olive oil and continue to stir for at least 10 minutes, until dough begins to turn into an elastic substance
  4. Place dough on a cutting board or cooking sheet and cover all sides with a little flour, then cover with a damp towel or plastic wrap and place under a bowl for at least 3 hours
  5. In order to make the sauce, add 3 tablespoons of oil to pan at medium heat for 2 minutes.
  6. Add finely chopped garlic and 2 chopped basil leaves for 3-5 minutes
  7. Place peeled tomatoes in a bowl and chop whole parts into chunks, then add to pan with salt and pepper and cook at low heat for 3 hours
  8. After 3 hours, take dough and kneed for several minutes, covering with flour as necessary until all air bubbles are removed. Then take dough roller and roll, adding more flour when necessary, to a circular shape but not too thin (dough will likely create at least enough for 2 pizzas so feel free to make another or freeze for another time)
  9. Dress pizza stone lightly with olive oil then place dough on top, curling edges slightly to create outside crust
  10. Add healthy amount of sauce on top of pizza dough
  11. Cut thick fresh mozzarella slices and spread across pizza (do not cover all sauce with mozzarella, if you do, you’ve used too much cheese)
  12. To start your grill, fill two chimney starters with lump hardwood charcoal and oak wood chips, ignited underneath by olive oil dressed paper towel or newspaper. Once wood charcoal is ready dump into grill pit
  13. Move grates to sides of grill create opening in middle of grill and place pizza stone over wood charcoal directly, supported by outside grates
  14. Grill for 20-25 minutes, covering grill and opening every 5 minutes to make sure pizza is cooking evenly. If pizza is cooking to fast or too slowly, adjust distance between charcoal fire and pizza stone
  15. After 20-25 minutes and crust is a golden brown, and cheese has begun to sink into pizza, remove from grill
  16. Add whole fresh basil leaves, let rest for 5 minutes and then slice
  17. Ready to serve!


Pizza Napoletana Margherita Recipe on the Grill

5 out of 5
stars based on 1 review and 5 ratings.

Click here for full Grilled Authentic Pizza Napoletana Margherita Recipe and all other Paggi Pazzo recipes.

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