Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Hi Everyone,

My new book "Spirit Of The Sea" will be out this week, but I'm torn on the two choices that my cover artist has given me. I need your help.

Vote on the cover you like best. Leave your answer in the comment box.


Cover #1

Cover #2

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Guest Blogger Kevin Lynn Helmick

Welcome Kevin ,

For Unlawful Carnal Knowledge

A Guest Blog

Kevin Lynn Helmick

  Hello one and all. I’ll spare the introductions because my name is plastered right up there, but thank you Donna for having me stop by. I won’t waste very much of you’re time, I promise, but there is something I’d like to talk about before I get to the shameless self promotion part of guest blogging. I won’t spend a lot time with that either because you’ll be able to find it all in the links and thumbnails provided.
  Are ya with me? Will ya hang for a sec? Ok.
  I’m a writer, of the slice of life, literary, thriller, action, drama, suspense, fiction kind. I know, I know, pick a genre, right? Well I don’t pick-em, they pick me. But it’s recently been brought to my attention (not that it needed to be) that there’s a lot of swearing going on with my characters, and not just in moments of climactic tension. Some of these folks walk around swearing like drunkin sailors for no apparent reason at all. “It’s their language, their culture,” I say. The kind of people I’m familiar with. The kind of people I write about.
  I write about people: their struggles, problems, their awareness’ and awakenings. They pick on corporate religion, political correctness, and liberal and conservative agendas. Some of them abuse drugs, alcohol and so on.
  And to my defense, all I have to say is, “yeah well, that’s the way they talk.”                                                    
  Profanity doesn’t seem to have the same impact from film or television as it does in print. For some reason the f-bomb is more shocking in print, than it is every ten seconds coming from your favorite movie star. Not that, that’s why my characters use it: I’m not trying to shock, or justify, in fact, for the most part, on a first draft, I’m mostly unaware of it.
  So whudya do?
  I’ve grew up, small town, lower middle class, (no-a little lower than that, thank you) two bedroom house on the wrong side of the tracks, (if there were tracks) with four older brothers: fighting and cussing, busting holes in the walls over maybe a back seat romp in a 57 Chevy with the others girlfriend, or the borrowing of a Triumph Bonneville without permission, son of truck driver, and passive mother (god bless her, she tried.) And twenty five of those years later I spent on framing (rough carpenter) crews all over the country. So I’ve heard it all, and not even Henry Miller can make me blush and yes I am educated enough and intelligent enough to behave accordingly in public. I clean up pretty good, if I do say so myself.
  Anyway, if you made it this far, you’re wondering if there’s a point to my ramblings. Well there is. I have a question; does it bother you when the characters of a book you’re reading swear pointlessly, casually in their dialogue? If so, how much does it bother you, and does it depend on the writer, the character, the setting? I mean Nabokov wrote one the best, and of the most controversial subjects of all time, without a single profanity. But Humbert Humbert was an educated European and poet, His thoughts and action were filthy, (for most readers) but his language was not. And Henry Miller, the Tropic books, dang . Bukowski, geesh. Even Stephen King gets a little rough sometimes.
  I guess what bothers me is more on personal level. When my first editor, first reader, (wife) say’s “You’ve got to tone this down, this will offend people. You’ll never be a mainstream writer with language like this. You can’t use that word, it’ll piss people off.” My first thought is, I don’t care, I can’t please everybody. This is what I have, this is it. But that’s the rebellious artist in me, (he gets me in trouble sometimes) and I really do want to please, especially my wife, who tolerates and assist in these time consuming, fruitless, creative endeavors. I mean for the amount of time I put into it, she expects that…well she expects I just crank out The Notebook, just like that, and we all go live on a beach somewhere. I liked The Notebook, but that’s probably not gonna happen.
  Not all the characters swear, just the ones that most likely would and hopefully the story is engaging enough, realistic enough, that it can be overlooked or at least seen, that they talk the way they do for a reason.
  I’d like to know your thoughts; is swearing and politically incorrect references a deal breaker for you, for the publishing industry and the writer?
  Now I know-different kinds of people, readers or writers, have different taste. So whatever your opinion, it’s probably no going to change mine. But I’m curious for you readers, do you throw in the towel at the first four lettered word? And you writers, do sensor for the more sensitive folks. Do you worry about what Mom or Aunt Libby might think, or do let it fly, tell like it is.
  I know my philosophy. What’s yours?

  I’m gonna leave you now with a small taste of something I’m in the final stages of now, currently titled For The River And Sky, pg 41 chapter 6, of 60.000 wrds. It should be ready for submissions in a month or two. And thanks again Donna, and thanks to you guys that have dropped in.

He pushed the tiny trees aside and stepped carefully down a snow covered hill. The cold wind stung his cheeks. He tightened his grip on the shotgun and slid just a couple feet to the bank of a creek in the valley. He saw a structure high on the next hill and stopped: probably three, three and half miles from anything or anybody, he figured.             
Hunting season would be over soon and there would be a couple of months of nothing before shed hunters would start combing these woods, and the spring rains would wash the arrowheads from their ancient graves into the creeks. More trespassers, traffic. He walked to the top of the ridge and reached the remnants of an abandoned farm. A stone chimney stood stubborn and straight not to far off in the distance covered in dead vines. It had become one with the earth. Barely distinguishable but his eyes were keen.
He ignored the big doors hanging open and slipped through a space on the side where wood was missing. A murder of crows took flight from the rafters and circled the loft and disappeared one by one out the broken louvers of the copula above. Sunlight fluttered in the panic of their black wings as he watched and waited till the last one escaped.
He leaned the gun against a stall door and stepped to the center of the barn and crouched. He pulled off his glove and grasps the dirt floor. It was cold and hard as concrete and he took note in his mind. He stood, picked up the shotgun and walked carefully and quietly into one of the stalls where the soil was softer. Decades of decomposed excrement and straw had left a bed, a suitable bed. He sat on an old milking stool in the corner of the stall and stretched his legs, laid the gun across his lap and lit a cigarette. This would be the place, and he imagined the scene taking place and the various movements as they would be, as they had to be.

Some of my other titles, can be found, with full descriptions, reviews, and my bio at my Amazon authors page,                                                                              http://www.amazon.com/Kevin-LynnHelmick/e/B003IR7PU0/ref=ntt_athr_dp_pel_pop_1

Thanks again, hope to hear from ya.



Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Guest Blogger Jim Baugh





About the new novel “HOOKED” by Jim Baugh

HOOKED” is based on the true-life story of Virginia outdoor television producer Jim Baugh. Jim Baugh Outdoors TV is one of Americas most diverse and entertaining outdoor programs and has been in syndication since 1989.
“HOOKED” is a hilarious look behind the scene stories of filming a southern outdoor TV show. From the Chesapeake Bay to Key West these on location excursions will make your sides hurt with laughter. A cast of sea faring characters full of color and humor. From the docks in Gloucester Virginia to the Atlantic Ocean and a boat load of jolly swashbuckling Pirates. The stories and characters in “HOOKED” are timeless and span a period of over forty years.
In contrast, “HOOKED” also explores the solemn drama of dealing with divorce, death, and mental illness.
The story also delves into the totally crazy insane world of mid-life on-line computer dating. This is a hilarious look at dating in the computer world after 25 years of solid marriage. These “Dating” stories are contemporary, racy, scary, cheerful, timeless, and based on true events. Anyone who is old enough to date will soon relate to “HOOKED” as the comical reference for dating in the new millennium.
This adult romantic comedy story also relates to the power and testament of faith.
50 Years of an exciting action packed extremely charismatic colorful life and career, packed into 28 chapters . It is a fast ride for sure.

Jim Baugh Bio


Jim Baugh has been producing national and regional television shows for close to 30 years. Programs include: Award winning Jim Baugh Outdoors TV (220 episodes), Ski East, Classic Fishing. Fishing Virginia and, RV Times. Jim also holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Electronic Music from Virginia Commonwealth University. Jim writes, performs, and engineers all the soundtracks for his television programs.  
Jim Baugh Outdoors has broadcast on The Family Channel, The Outdoor Channel, The Sportsman Channel, Fox Sports, America One, and many broadcast affiliates throughout the Mid-Atlantic and South East.  
 Writer \ Author 
Jim Baugh has written over 300 columns for numerous magazines during the last 23 years including: 
Motor boating Magazine, Fishing Smart, The Chesapeake Angler, The Sportsman Magazine, Woods and Waters, Colonial Outdoors, Virginia Beach Sports Fishing and Travel Virginia Magazine.  
Jim also writes and manages three on-line blogs including “Jim’s Galley” and the “JBO TV” main website.  
Jim Baugh’s first published book, “HOOKED” was released by Solstice Publishing world wide late June of 2011. The book instantly won critical acclaim and earned a five star rating and was featured book of the month by the publisher during the first month’s release. 
Jim’s second book, “COOKED” stories behind the recipes will be released during the fall of 2013.  
Hi Jim, and welcome to our blog site. How was the trip over?
Well, considering I did not have to deal with rental cars, a taxi, air planes and hotel accommodations, I would say pretty good. Just put in the old web site address and away we go. World wide travel in seconds. It is a very, “Go Green” way to travel and do an interview for sure.
Tell me a little about why you wrote “Hooked” and what initially was the inspiration for such a funny book.
It probably initially started when I was around five or six years old. I grew up on the docks of Gloucester Virginia and the characters on the boats and docks were just larger than life, always doing practical jokes, fishing, just having a ball.
Growing up I always thought those times were very special and wanted the memory to live forever.
Then, during my forties I was single again after a great marriage of 25 years. When I was thrust upon the on line computer dating world, things changed real fast. The people I would meet and the stories were just WAY to funny.
I was dating the woman in HOOKED, DC Nympho, and we were in the swimming pool laughing how funny on line dating was. We swapped war stories, then I began to get an idea. Produce a game show called, “Meet My Match Game”.
Well, the idea turned into a screenplay, then finally a book. However it took me a few years to figure out how to combine the story.
I wanted to also include in the story line my memories of growing up on the docks in Gloucester, and also the hilarious behind the scenes antics of producing a southern outdoor show.
Sounds like a great idea!! Then you started to write??
I tried, but could not. I started with a screenplay and kept wanting to direct and block shots as opposed to just writing. That slowed me to a halt.
What did you do??
I called a high school friend of mine who had been a successful playwright in NY City and ask for advice. He simply said it did not mater if it was a book or screenplay, just get it down on paper. So, since I had been a columnist for 20 years, I figured I would try the manuscript approach.
Did that work?
Yes, I wrote the book in 12 days.
That is pretty much impossible, no one writes close to 400 pages in 12 days
Well, I was actually also editing Jim Baugh Outdoors as well at the time. This is hard to explain, but once I figured out how to write the book, it was like turning on a garden hose at full power.
The manuscript just flowed at full speed. Afterwards it did take over four months to edit and polish, that was were the real work was, because for sure I had to do a lot of fictionalizing and compositing of some characters.
I was so truthful in my writing, I would have gotten in BIG trouble with certain people had I not fictionalized the book. That took some careful writing because although fictionalized, I did not want the essence and truth of the story to be changed, and it was not.
What were the hardest and the most enjoyable part of the editing process for you?
The hardest would be continuity- that can be a real bear. Especially when you’re fictionalizing, changing names and places, etc, etc.
The most fun was the humor. Once mostly edited I would read through the manuscript and look for ANY place that I could interject some humor, make the situation more humorous or more realistic and true.
The characters in HOOKED are so larger than life, simply by writing true to their character was funny enough. That was key, getting the character down so that the reader could feel like the person was sitting right in their living room. This, I believe worked very well in the book. You don’t feel removed from the characters at all, you feel like they are sitting next to you. That, is one of the things that makes HOOKED so special.
Do you have some favorite “FUNNY” lines form the book??
Oh yes, here are just a few! I LOVE these!

Chapter, “It Foams at the Mouth”. –The early years. 

* From what unearthly demonic poisoned shallow grave did he drag this possessed ugly beast from I will never know. Someone must have sacrificed a goat in a gone wrong satanic ritual somewhere in the neighborhood and then this thing showed up. She made Mommy Dearest look like one of Santa’s Elves grandchildren at Mass.  
* I would think at any minute she would pee on the floor, spit pea soup, do a 360 head turn, and speak in foreign languages while levitating off the bed. We are talking a SERIOUS Bitch here.
* “You are not allowed to sit in these chairs, but we are going to have your portraits done and hang them over the chairs.” I thought to myself why not just let us sit in the chairs and skip the portraits.
Chapter, “Tennessee Tim”-Behind the scenes of JBO TV
* I think Tim and I had a little different perspective of what a houseboat was and his renovation meant that he bought a pool toy at WalMart and stuck it inside the floating shack.
* Now shooting a wild pig and boarding it was not enough for this captain, no, he immediately gutted the pig and cleaned it right there on the boat. He said it was easier to do it on his boat, and he was right.
* Next morning, walking back to the front of the trailer on the sofa was the passed out Dominick’s Pizza Delivery guy. I opened the door and outside was his car still running, door open, and now 50 cold pizzas in the back seat.
* I said, “No sir, the only problem I have is that your B & B is 100 degrees and you put chocolates in your guest’s beds.
* “Damit man!!! Don’t listen to me I don’t know shit about flying an airplane, just photography! Fly the dam plane and don’t listen to a word I say!!’
* “We don’t need air conditioning up here in the mountains”. Really? Boy could have fooled me. To me 100 degrees is a 100 degrees whether you’re in the mountains or at the beach. According to my math, it is the same.
Chapter, “Dating in the Mid Life”
* She had so much baggage she should have had a retractable handle coming out of her ass and rubber wheels instead of feet.
* She did not want Nassau. She wanted the Pope and she was not even Catholic.

* Without a doubt, she could be the permanent poster child for the Jerry Spring Show.

* Could you imagine having her as your physician? I’d rather take up Scientology!

* She had turned into DC Nympho! It was like Clark Kent running into a phone booth and turning into superman. In this case blond-e had turned into raging sex goddess with a BIG attitude.
Yeah, I can see you have a pretty good sense of humor there Jim!! Was there any stumbling block in the story?? No mental block at all??
Yes, the ending. In the screenplay outline I had the ending down, however for the book, different story. I was stuck. So, I left it as is, Rose and I would come back from the Keys, then simply go into the final Chapter that was a very short chapter. Sort of my wrap up about faith and how it pulled me out of many difficult times throughout my lifetime.
To be honest, the last chapter, chapter 28, I did not write. The man upstairs wrote it, I just took dictation.
Very true, this happened on night at around 3 am, I woke up from a perfect sleep. Wide awake and it just came to me, this vision of how to perfectly end the book, and I was only a third of the way through writing it at that time.
The vision was of this football game when I was in high school, and we had won a game by only inches. I sat down and starting writing this final chapter, not making any sense at all to me, again, I felt like I was taking dictation, not writing.
Once done, I read it and thought, gee, I don’t know how this is going to work at all, but will leave as is. Then I wrote the rest of the book.
Sure enough, chapter 27 flowed into chapter 28 like it was destined to be. Like I said, I owe the credit to someone else, not me. It is a very inspiration ending and has effected just about everyone that has read it. Wish I could take credit.
That is quite an incredible story, sound like you have a very important co writer?
Yes, you could say that. I only wrote that Rose and I got married during the last week of editing. I did get stuck on that one to. But with some guidance from you know who, the “Big Guy”, I was clearly directed to end it getting re married on the beach in Key Largo. This is the only thing in HOOKED that actually has not happened, but hope to one day.
Getting re married in the book was a big deal, hear is why. It enabled me to wrap up all the messages in the book, all the themes came together, and it was about the most positive reflection on a relationship one could have.
In HOOKED, there was quite a bit of trouble with woman. To or three mental cases, bizarre dating stories, etc,etc. So ending HOOKED on such a positive note helped smooth out the message. I could not of figured a better way to wrap things up. Very inspirational and funny read.
Now that HOOKED is published and out there, what do think about the publishing business so far?
Interesting. I can’t say enough good things about our publisher Solstice Publishing. Great people and they work closely with their authors. I like that a lot. Not something you’re likely to get in NY.
However I recently do have a gripe on the business end regarding our wonderful world wide distribution system.
Lord tell, what is that? (laughs)
The market is being drowned in 99 cent eBooks that is flooding the market in mostly a negative way. It is not good for published authors or publishers, and in the long run, not good for the reader either.
Explain, Please!
Here is what happens. Self published authors will put up anything on the web and sell it for 99 cents. Add to that, there are some published books that ARE good and worthwhile that are also doing the 99 cent thing. This fills up readers eBooks with an occasional good cheap book, but fills the rest with crap. Then the reader says, “Hell, I got 3000 books, mostly for free on my kindle, why would I buy and other books? I have more to read in a lifetime!”
The thing is, out of the 3000 books, there may be 10 worth even looking at.
I would like to see some sort of catorigaztion so that people would know what they are buying.
But, then again, the market may just take care of itself. Once the word gets out, you get what you pay for, then maybe that will stop the on-slaught of 99 cent books.
The other thing that I am not sure authors realize is that if you get catorigized as a 99 cent author, I think you can forget ever being published by a reputable publisher. Some may squeak by, but only a few.
What do you think is a fair price for eBooks?
Depends on the eBook. I think if you want them to sell, they need to be on the low end at least a couple of bucks, on the high end up to seven bucks. I just priced HOOKED at $4.99 and that is where it will stay for quite a while. Five bucks and under is where most of the sales are going to happen. The industry is not changing by the month, but by the day.
What are some other books that you have been reading lately?
I just finished Bill Bruford’s autobiography and loved it. Rutie’s just finished the Help and loved it. Next I am reading Joe Jacksons How I left the state of TN and am a better man for it.
Sounds good Jim! How do people get in contact with you and are you going to give us a recipe like you promised??
First up is the HOOKED web site \ blog. Everything is there, contact info, order info, our newspaper reviews, which thankfully have been excellent. Hooked is available just about everywhere on line. Amazon, etc.
My direct e mail is
Also I am on GoodReads now, great site

NOW! Here is that recipe I promised. This is one from our Galley Blog, you will love it.
Thanks Jim for stopping by, it has been a fun chat, now, what’s for dinner!!!
Ok, you are gonna love this one!!!

Jim's Chicago Style Deep Dish Pizza! AWESOME!!!!!!! (dough recipe)

Made in a spring form pan

When it is late January, early February and the Rockfish have moved some 15 miles off our coast and we are stuck with a three mile limit, AND the last of the fresh vacuum sealed frozen Rockfish was served up to your lady friend for New Years, What do you do?? What,- do you do??

My first thought since it has been cold and rainy lately was to jump in an airplane, fly to Chicago and pig out on the worlds most famous Deep Dish Pizza. Now THAT would be FUN!!! Great idea! But, -wait a minute. Gazing at my checkbook, looks like I need to pull out my MVP card and start pedaling my Go Green Bicycle to Food Lion!

It may be hard to believe, but you can make authentic Chicago style deep dish pizza right at home, and it is just as good, if not even better than what you would get in Chicago. Here today, we are celebrating the deep dish pizza and giving out to all our wonderful viewers and readers my own very special deep-dish pizza recipe. It is about as good as it gets.

There is the debate as to which is better, Chicago style or New York Style pizza. I never understood this at all. Both pies are such different beasts, they should not even be considered in the same category. Both are fantastic, and both are called, “Pizza”- and it should stop there. It is about the same as comparing a Rockfish Filet with a Tuna Filet or a Swordfish Filet. They are all fish, and all fantastic, but all very separate in just about every way. Which one is best?? They ALL are the best, that is, as long as you know how to prepare the filet. Fish is a lot like pizza, one of the biggest keys to preparing each is that everything is fresh. Everything, including the herbs.

First a little background on where I got my deep-dish recipe. There are several famous deep-dish pizza restaurants in Chicago. My recipe takes a little bit from several of the better known restaurants, combined what I liked best while keeping the recipe as authentic as possible. I also made the recipe a bit healthier than some of the other pies that are popular. Both the dough and sauce recipe can be varied somewhat depending on your individual liking. We just love Basil (lots of it) parsley, garlic, and oregano, so my pie probably has more of these ingredients than the original. Some die hards will even say that if oregano is in the pie, it is not authentic. That may be, but I still love oregano, so I use it. Now, here is from start to finish how to make Jim’s Chicago style DEEP DISH PIZZA! AT HOME!

The Pans

Serves Eight Slices

The JBO TV Kitchen is located on the Hampton River and it was totally renovated two years ago with the most efficient stainless steel appliances I could find. CLICK HERE TO VIEW JBO KITCHEN I also put in granite countertops which is a great surface for making all sorts of dough recipes. One thing that I do not have is a brick oven heated with charcoal and wood! That one would have been a little difficult to pull off in a condo. Soooooo, here is the trick for the pan with a deep-dish pizza.

Use what we use, stoneware by Pampered Chef. This clay stoneware dish is a 9-inch square that is well over 3 inches deep. The key to stoneware is that it gets VERY hot and cooks evenly. Basically it simulates a brick oven that you would find in high-end restaurants. This stoneware does need to be seasoned, similar to a cast iron skillet. Once seasoned, food will never stick to the cooking surface. This dish may cost you 30 bucks or so new, but it will last a lifetime and it has many multiple uses for baking, and the dish can be microwaved or even put in the freezer.

Once I seasoned our stoneware pan, never have I had any issue with anything sticking to it. Truth be told, it is the most non-stick cooking surface I own. This Clay stoneware is truly amazing and worth every penny! (Ok, it was a gift, but I love it!)

I have also used spring form pans and it works VERY well! Also seasoned cast iron pans are very good and can add flavor.

NOTE: I also will grill thin crust pizza's using a Pizza Stone and two smoker boxes and a Pizza Peel. We have also cooked our deep dish on the grill as well and has turned out very good. Typically I will use the grill over the oven in most cases.

Be careful with your Pizza stone, I have broken two simply by transporting them to pizza parties.I have now been using an Onedia square pizza stone, bought two of them. They are thicker and hold more heat, and have not broken one yet. Very good stone. You can also use the stone to set above the deep dish in the oven to help more evenly cook the deep pie.
BELOW: These are two of our deep dish pies using two spring form pans and cooked on the grill. Spring form pans do work very well!
Second pic is the finished pies using spring form pans.

NOTE: When I grill the pies, I use Apple and Cherry wood in one smoker box. We do the same with NY style Pizza.

The Dough

Work in light flour

There are many variations on pizza dough and you can surf the Internet to find what you like best, however when it came to the dough I wanted it to be as authentic as possible. Problem is, these Chicago pizzerias don’t exactly give out their recipes. Here I did a LOT of research and found what I believe to be the closest to the original as I could find, it is fantastic and is supposed to be similar dough from Pizzeria Uno. So, this is the recipe I use, it is simple, but really good. I did make some minor changes to his recipe. This dough is great for deep dish as well as thin crust.

* 2 1\2 packages instant rise dry yeast
* 2 cups warm spring water
* 1/2 cup olive oil (My preference)
* 1/2 cup cornmeal, ground fine (My preference)
* 5 1/2 cups bread flour Note- Chicago Dep Dish uses AP, my prefferance is Bread Flour, both   work. AP will be a bit more flaky
* two tbls of salt (add salt last after kneading)

*2 tbls corn oil (My Preference)

Dough NOTE 1:  WHOLE WHEAT -Since this article was published, I have sinced changed the flour recipe by adding whole wheat flour. This makes a light multi grain crust that taste better and is better on the diet. It really is a better crust. Try this:
3 cups bread flour, 2  1\2 cups of whole wheat, and 1\2 cup finley ground cornmeal. GREAT dough!

Dough Note 2: Some restaurants in Chicago do use lard \ Crisco instead of or with corn or olive oil. While this will make for a rich great crust, us health conscience folks prefer good old olive oil. If you don't have a weight problem and the doc says you are healthy as a horse, try the lard. Both are actually fantastic. If you are going to be using this dough for a high temp pie on a grill like 600+ degrees, stick with the olive oil and skip the lard, and do NOT use butter in your dough. It will burn.

Dough Note 3: My recipe calls for the dough to raise three+ hours. Some Chicago restaurants will let their dough raise all day, and also put in the fridge overnight. This does work fine however a four hour raise to me works well. Try both and see which you like best.

Dough Note 4: For a thin crust, neopolitan style, use HIGH GLUTEN FLOUR! AP is fine for Deep Dish and will give you the flaky crust, however you will need a high gluten flour product for thin crust. Both work well with a whole wheat mix as suggested. High Gluten is tough to find in stores, however you can buy on line no problem. If you ever wondered why you cant get your thin crust to stretch thin and have that airy incredible taste, the reason is the Pizzeria is using a high gluten flour product and of course buying it wholesale. High gluten flour products can get pricey.

Dough Note5: SOURDOUGH STARTER! A great tip for making some excellent pie crust. Make your own wild starter or purchase on line. I use two, one wild and one that is the KAF 250 yr old starter. If you use a starter, use less yeast and do a cold overnight rise for sure. Much more about starters on our Neo-Ny Pizza recipe and Baugh's Baguette recipe. Check them out here on the Galley Blog.

Kneading and preping the dough:
Dissolve the yeast in the water until it foams (proof). Or you can just put the yeast straight into the mix. Add the vegetable oil, olive oil, cornmeal, and half of the flour. Beat for 3 minutes. The dough will be very wet like a pancake batter. Then let sit covered for 20 minutes.Then mix in the remaining flour. Knead for about 10 minutes in mixer on low then increase after 7 minutes. Then place dough on granite countertop mixing in flour lightly. Kneading by hand only a few minutes. The dough should not really be sticky at all.

Remove dough and place on a clean countertop or bowl. Cover and allow to rise in warm place until double in bulk. Bout three \ four hours. Be sure to coat the dough with olive oil prior to raise. OR, at this time you can put it in the fridge overnight and take out the next morning. Some people like to let the dough stand in the fridge from 2 to even 5 or six days. Overnight should provide you will a dough that will be wonderfull. I have let dough stand for two days in the fridge. Results were good. There is also nothing wrong with just a four hour raise.

If you have left over dough, vacuum seal it and freeze for later use.

NOTE: This dough recipe is enough to make two 9 inch square pan pizzas, and have enough left over for a 10 inch snack pizza.

Cheese goes first, not the sauce

When we go to the trouble to make home made deep-dish pizza, a simple cheese pie is not going to cut it. Ours is this combination: Italian sausage, hamburger, pepperoni, Canadian bacon, hickory smoked bacon, mushroom, onion, Spinach, sliced tomato and green pepper.

Pre cook meats and veggies

Take your hamburger and sausage and cook them together in a cast iron skillet then drain off the fat. Next, lightly cook the Canadian bacon until it is golden brown then set aside. Next cook your bacon, drain the fat, and set the bacon aside. Wipe the skillet and lightly sauté the veggies until they are tender, then set aside.
Layer veggies on top of meats

This is probably the biggest difference between Jims Deep Dish, and authentic Chicago deep dish Pizza. Some of the Chicago pizzerias use raw sausage right in the pie and all the grease stays in the pie. I find it a much better pie to precook the meats and drain the fat. It is healthier, and the pie is saucy enough as it is, it does not need the extra grease.

Sauce goes last

Sauce is a matter of preference. There are some restaurants that actually just pour the tomatoes right from the can with little seasoning and away you go.  Here is what you will need for a cooked sauce.
Cooked Sauce
One large can tomato sauce
Olive oil
Fresh chopped Garlic
One Caned tomatoes cut (San Marzanos)
Crushed red peppers
Sugar- teaspoon
Some onion salt
Dash Oregano
Dash Parsley
Chopped Basil
Dash of thyme
salt 1\2 teaspoon
Parm Cheese 1\4 cup
2 teaspoon red wine vinegar

* Use fresh ingredients if possible.

First heat olive oil is saucepan then sauté the garlic. Next, just add everything and simmer with a closed lid for at least 35 minutes. Let cool to room temperature with the lid on. Lastly, store in a GLASS jar and keep in the fridge 24 hours before serving. NOTE: The red wine vinegar helps give the sauce a bit of zing or tang which works very well, but optional.

UNCOOKED SAUCE, best with fresh herbs, mix all together, let sit overnight.
28 oz. can San Marzano tomatoes
2 oz.  tomato paste
1/2 cup grated Romano cheese
3 Tbls. minced garlic
1 Tbls. black pepper
1 Tbls. granulated sugar
3 tsp. fresh basil
1 tsp. fresh oregano
1\4 cup red wine vinegar
crushed red pepper to taste
Teaspoon Sea Salt

Assembling the Pie

Ready for oven at 455, lower rack

Grease your stoneware dish with olive oil up to and around the sides. Place your dough in the center of the dish and push \ work outwards towards the side of the pan. Pull the dough up the sides of the dish. The crust on the bottom should be fairly thin. The crust on the sides should be also. Make sure that the inside bottom corners of the pan do not stack up with dough. Keep pushing the excess dough out of the corners and up and over the sides of the pan. Deep Dish should NOT be an extremely thick crust, actually quite thin everywhere. You don’t want to end up with a loaf of bread with sauce on it!

Next, place your cheese on top of the dough, and then add all of your pre-cooked meats on top of the cheese. Next up, add your veggies.

Finally, pour your sauce on top and garnish with Parnassian Cheese. I like to also put some fresh basil on top of the sauce just because I love basil! Never get enough. You should see the size of my basil bush, huge!
Preheat to 455 and cook for 40-50 minutes. Place pie on the bottom of the rack. If the crust is getting to brown on top just use some aluminum foil at the end to cover. (Usually not necessary) When done, let stand for five minutes or longer then serve.

This recipe is based on the authentic Chicago style Deep Dish Pizza, with some variation. Basically, we just drain the fat off the precooked meats and also like to use a lot of basil, oregano, and parsley. As far as the sauce, we like it either pre cooked, or not. Our preference is to precook and let the sauce sit over night in a glass jar in the fridge.

Making a deep dish pizza is a little bit like making a Lasagna, you can pretty much make it anyway you want, and as many layers as you want. Stuffed pizzas are popular however a deep-dish pizza has enough dough already. To protect my six-pac abs, one layer of dough is enough for me!!!

Other Tips

What a slice! (Pic was taken when pie was cold out of fridge.)

***I cook plenty of all the fillings because I know I will have enough left over dough to make one, or even two more pies. We take several vacuum seal bags and pack the dough separately, then the meats and veggies, even vacuum seal the sauce. Wrap tape around all the packages and through them in the freezer. Then we have awesome home made pizza ready to go, just thaw and assemble. All ingredients hold up great in the freezer properly sealed.

***When working the dough up the sides of the pan, keep pulling the dough until it goes over the side. Then after all the fillings are in, cut with a knife about one inch down the outside of the pan. Then turn the edges upward in a swirl pattern. Makes a great presentation

***Brush the top of the crust with a mix of olive oil, garlic, and your fav Italian seasonings.

***A small amount of Ricotta Cheese on top of the Motz layer is good as well. Other GREAT fillers are spinach and a few anchovies. Again, what ever you like, put it in. Just pre cook and drain your meats so the pie is less fat, less filling, taste better, and will maintain a crunchier crust. Pre cooking the filling also will make your pie less watery and firmer. If you use fresh tomatoes for a filling under the sauce, be sure to take out all the seeds and slices should be very thin.

***Try putting some honey (two tbls) in your dough mixture, very good.

That’s It!! One more thing, leftovers are da bomb!

So, when the Rockfish are to far offshore to fish during January, and you want the deep-dish pizza experience without the cost of flying to Chicago, try my recipe. You will love it!!

Jim Baugh JBO TV

CREDITS: Ginos East, Lou Malnati’s, Uno pizzeria, Ruth Gurganus for the Pampered Chef Deep Dish, and Even Guia.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Guest Blogger: Jeanette Sharp

Hi Everyone,

Welcome my Guest Blogger Jeanette Sharp.

Q. How did the death of your father when you were ten affect you spiritually?
A. Shortly after my father died, I found myself alone and freezing on a dark street. I
whispered to God what seemed to me to be a prayer of gigantic proportions, not
really convinced that God even heard me. But within minutes, He answered that
prayer. Awestruck and filled with excitement, I ran home to tell my family what
had happened. That experience convinced me that God saw me, knew me, and
loved me. It became a spiritual marker that anchored my life in Jesus forever.

Q. Did you walk with God from that point on?
A. I grew up attending church three times a week, but as a young adult I allowed that
practice to slip. When I was away from home and on my own, I made mistakes
and drifted further from God. Then, during a desperate time as I was
overwhelmed with the consequences of my life choices, I cried out to God, and
He made Himself known to me again in a real and personal way.

3. Q. What was the turning point for you in that desperate time?
A. I discovered that the God of my childhood had not changed. He still saw me,
knew me, and loved me. Being divorced and a single mother presented its own set
of challenges.

4. Q. What were some of the challenges you faced as a single mother?
A. For one thing, my health fell apart and I was diagnosed with lupus. I also
struggled to maintain a business I’d founded. But when I looked to the Lord for
my every need, He didn’t fail me.

Q. How did the Lord help you when you were ill and struggling with your own
A. During my recovery process, I drew closer to the Lord by reading and studying
His Word. Over time, I became a Bible study teacher and a prayer leader. God
brought a timely buyer for my business, and I was reunited with an old flame
from the past to whom I am now married.

in the beauty industry?
Q. You’ve owned a number of beauty-related businesses. Are you still involved
A. Not anymore. Now, my love of writing, coupled with my delight in encouraging
people to know Jesus, has led me to form the company Hurray God! LLC.

Q. When did you begin writing?
A. About 15 years ago, I wrote a Christmas story, “Five Boxes of Christmas Cards,”
and included it with our Christmas greetings to family and close friends. It
received such a great response that my husband encouraged me to pursue writing.
It became the first short story that launched my writing career. Your
readers/listeners can read it for themselves on HurrayGod.com.

Q. Was writing that short story all you needed to do to become a successful
A. No. I knew I needed to become better equipped, so I enrolled in Jerry B. Jenkins’
Christian Writers Guild’s two-year Apprentice course. I recommend it to anyone
who is seriously interested in writing.

Q. What motivated you to write this particular book, Hurray God: Hope, Pray,?
A. The book was born out of my passionate desire to encourage people to have hope
and faith in God during difficult times. I can do just so much of that one-on-one,
but written stories will reach a far wider audience. And there are people the world
over that need encouragement and hope.