Harvest Creations: Low Carb Chicken Pizza

Follow Casz's Fiction Farm on WordPress.com

So it’s the new  year and you’ve promised yourself you’re going to eat healthier. But you love Pizza. Yeah, me, too.

Here’s the solution I’ve come up with:  Chicken Pizza. No, the chicken doesn’t go on the pizza, it is the pizza, or rather, the pizza crust.

Notes about the recipe:

You may want to beat the chicken breasts a little thinner to make it more like crust. I have made it both ways and it is delicious either way and it just depends on how much time I have to make dinner or if I’m starting out with frozen or not breasts.

For the fresh basil leaves, you’ll need approximately two per breast, but depending on size of breasts and leaves you may need more/less. You can use fresh spinach if you don’t have basil.


Four boneless, skinless chicken breasts

olive oil and a bit of butter

Pizza Sauce (I recommend you make your own to cut down on salt and sugar; but can sauce works fine)

Click to enlarge photo

Provolone cheese slilces


Fresh Basil Leaves

Parsley, optional

Optional:  mushrooms, sliced tomatoes, peppers — you know pizza toppings. In the photos there is sliced tomatoes. If you put more on the chicken than the basil and pepperoni and cheese, you will need some shredded Parmesan to help make the toppings “stick.”

Homemade pizza sauce is easy and healthier.


Big Cast Iron Skillet with lid


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Slowly heat your pizza sauce on the stove on low. You will use this like a marinara sauce for dipping as well as to put on top of the chicken.

Pound the chicken breast thinner, if desired, but optional. Season breast with salt and pepper.

Heat your skillet with some oil or a pat of butter on medium heat.

Once the oil heats or the butter melts, put the chicken breasts in and let cook on one side at least five minutes.

Then flip breasts over and cover skillet.

Cook for another five minutes or so. Flip back over, add a little bit more oil or butter, if needed (you don’t want the chicken to stick to the pan).

Fresh Basil is so wonderful.

Turn off the stove heat. With breasts still in cast-iron skillet, put a spoonful of sauce on the chicken breast and spread around.

Put on your fresh basil leaves.

(At this point if you’re adding more toppings, sprinkle a little Parmesan cheese and then add the toppings. Mushrooms and peppers should be pre-cooked, so there’s not too much moisture pulling off the toppings off the chicken “crust.” Remember, the more toppings the longer it will need to cook in the oven, just like real pizza.)

Put one slice of provolone cheese on each breast.

Add pepperoni. Sprinkle with dried parsley if desired.

Put skillet in oven and cook for about 10 to 15 minutes.

Be sure skillet is in the middle of the oven.

Serve one breast per person with a side of the sauce (like shown above).

You can even hand pepper flakes and grated Parmesan to everyone just like at the pizzeria. Enjoy.





In The Weeds: Weekly InfoSec Round-Up 1/5/18

Follow Casz's Fiction Farm on WordPress.com

Happy New Year Hackers, Nerds, and Geeks! After reassessing this blog schedule, I’ve found that you all like this article on Fridays. So, new year, new day!


What’s new but wins for the most eye-rolling headline this year… anyone even interested in #infosec knows that every device is vulnerable at any moment — doesn’t matter if it’s network, software, or hardware.   https://www.nbcnews.com/tech/tech-news/hacking-fears-security-flaws-put-virtually-all-phones-computers-risk-n834511

If you’d like to know some of the signs if you’ve been hacked, Bill Hess with Pixel Privacy has this nice write up you should read:  Have you been hacked?

Whereas this headline let’s you know more of what’s going on and gets even us noobs up to speed.   https://gizmodo.com/what-we-know-so-far-about-meltdown-and-spectre-the-dev-1821759062

As we all prepare for tax season:  https://techcrunch.com/2017/12/30/how-a-simple-tech-upgrade-at-the-irs-could-transform-the-economy/

I love my password manager, as anyone who reads my blog knows, but here’s a vulnerability to be aware of:  https://www.theverge.com/2017/12/30/16829804/browser-password-manager-adthink-princeton-research

Have Net Neutrality concerns as far as your #infosec? Here’s a primer:  https://www.thedailybeast.com/youll-need-one-of-these-5-vpns-once-net-neutrality-is-gone

As in weeks past, feel free to leave a comment here about any of those articles. Let’s learn from one another. Okay, have pity on the noob and let me learn from you.

Have another great week InfoSec geeks. See you next week.

Harvest Creations: Polish Stir-Fry (AKA sausage and sprouts)

Follow Casz's Fiction Farm on WordPress.com
We ate this so fast, I neglected to get more photos. This is just before it went in the oven.

The holidaze rush is upon us and you want to feed your family hearty and nutritious without heading through the drive in or filling your fridge with Styrofoam take-out containers. Save a few bucks and make this meal instead. Literally, it can be ready in 30 minutes. You’ll need a big cast-iron skillet, your oven, and a cutting board and sharp knife. Super easy. You can cut up the bacon first and then while that cooks, cut up onions, then peppers, then Brussels sprouts, then the sausage. Or if you have a few extra minutes, get it all prepared before you start cooking and while you cook, enjoy a warm seasonal beverage with brandy.


2 pounds of smoked sausage or kielbasa, sliced into one-inch chunks

6 strips of bacon, cut up into one-inch chunks

1/2 cup of sliced red and sweet onions (you want about one-inch rings, quartered)

Red & Yellow bell peppers, one inch chunks

2 cups of sliced Brussels sprouts



Paprika (optional, but really adds to the dish)


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Take the bacon and fry up in a cast-iron skillet. Until it’s almost crispy. Remove the bacon from the pan and set aside on a plate lined with paper towels. Leave the bacon drippings in the pan and then put in onions. Cook for one minute. Stirring occasionally. Then add peppers. Cook the onions and peppers together for one minute. Stirring occasionally. Then add in the Brussels sprouts and cook between three and five minutes, also stirring occasionally. Remember, this is called Polish Stirfry. Then add in the sausage. Put a lid on the pan and cook for about two minutes, stirring occasionally. Take the lid off, stir again, add the bacon, add the salt, pepper, and paprika, stir again. Then put cast-iron pan without lid in oven for about 10 minutes until sprouts are fork tender. Serve immediately. If you’re in a super hurry, you don’t need to do the oven part — just stir-fry a bit longer on the stove top. But roasting all the meat and veggies together creates a yummier flavor.





Harvest Creations: By Any Other Name It’s Mulled Wine

Follow Casz's Fiction Farm on WordPress.com
Gløgg ready to serve with a few of my souvenir European Christmas Market mugs.

Ever since I lived in Europe, the holidaze are not the same without Mulled Wine. My first exposure to it was at the Deutsche Weihnachtsmarkts (German Christmas Markets), which are all outdoors. Little kiosks dot the central squares with fire pits for warming in between the vendors selling homemade wares, foods, holiday decorations, roasted chestnuts, and of course Glühwein, all while festive musicians and dancers entertain the holiday shoppers. Then I learned about Gløgg, brandied version of mulled wine from my Nordic neighbors. Next I tasted Vin Chaud in Paris. And in December of 1995, it was vareno vino in Macedonia. Often in the European Christmas Markets you could pay a deposit (around $5) and get to keep the mug, that would be a souvenir for that holiday season. I have several in my collection that I still use today. It would be a few years back living in the states where I was suddenly missing such a wonderful traditions. Getting an outdoor market, however, in America was not going to happen, but I sure could make some mulled wine myself and it’s super easy. You can do it, too. The recipe below is enough to serve about three adults for an evening or afternoon in the holiday season of wrapping presents or coming back from skiing. However, I  use my big crock pot so a box of wine triples the recipe and fills the crock. Not to worry, trust me, this goes fast, especially if you’re entertaining.


Click to enlarge

1 bottle of red wine (it doesn’t need to be fancy, hence the box o’ wine)

2 oranges — one that you will poke with whole cloves, another that you will peel and slice out

Enough whole cloves to pierce one orange.

Cinnamon Sticks

Star anise

Crystallized Ginger


Apple Cider (you can use juice in a pinch)

Brandy (optional)


Crock pot

Cheese cloth

Food-grade kitchen twine


Poke the one orange with the cloves to intermingle the aromatics of the orange and cloves.

It should look something like this:

Click to enlarge










Put the clove-studded orange in the crock pot. Next make your aromatics bag. Break the cinnamon stick at least in half before adding to release even more cinnamon goodness. Add a few whole star anise (about a tablespoon) and cardamon (about a teaspoon), and a few slices of crystallized ginger.

Click to enlarge










Tie up the aromatics bag and stick in crock pot.

Pour the whole bottle of wine into the crock pot. next add 2 cups of apple cider. Then the peels and orange slices of the second orange. Add a few shots of brandy if you’re so inclined (this is more Gløgg than Glühwein).

Click to enlarge










Turn on low (use high if you’re in a hurry, but it will still take an hour or more to get ready on high) and let it fill the air with its holiday goodness. When it’s warm like tea, it’s ready to drink. Be sure to ladle in one orange slice into each mug. After it’s warmed, be sure to turn your crock to “keep warm” setting. You don’t want this boiling.

Sip around the fire with twinkle lights comfy clothes and your favorite people. Goes very well with roasted chestnuts or Yule cookies. Enjoy.