Wood Fired Pizza Recipes at the best place on earth! (Well, locally anyway.)

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Last Saturday I had the joy of being in Floyd, VA at Dogtown Roadhouse to celebrate their one year anniversary. Which not only meant I was able to hear my boyfriend play bass in the band Grass Monkey live for the first time at this particular awesome venue – those Floyd girls can dance! – but I was also able to sample some superbly amazing wood fired pizza!
Wood Fired Pizza - Restaurante Del Parque

It got me thinking though. Wood fired pizza isn’t local for everyone, although everyone should try it at least once. A good wood fired pizza can put any oven baked pizza to shame. So I did a little scrounging around and I found a great diy on how to turn your regular oven into a brick fire oven. This method kicks your oven up to 700+ degrees versus the regular 500 degrees. While it’s not perfect – a “real” brick oven for wood fired pizza can take three people up to three days to build – it does offer some interesting results. You can find the how to for making your own pizza oven at boing boing. If you’d rather take the time to construct the real deal – because you know the foodie in you is just dying to! – there’s a diy for building a pizza oven from sand at Instructables or one from bricks with free plans from Forno Bravo. They even make and sell kits for this, though you certainly don’t need a kit to build one.

Once you have your oven you’re going to want to try it out. And what better way than by baking – firing? – a pizza from a recipe created just for this style of oven! Feasting on Art Blog offers several excellent recipes for wood fired pizza with combinations that include Pesto, Cherry Tomato, Mozzarella and Parmesan as well as Arugula, Red Onion Marmalade and Goat Cheese; Feta, Parsley, Red Onion and Lemon; and even Spicy Sausage & Jalapeño! You can grab those wood fire pizza recipes here.

Have you ever tried brick oven wood fired pizza? If so, what’s your favorite combination to eat and your favorite place to dine? Be sure to include the city and state in case we come traveling through your neck of the woods!

Scents so right.

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I love fragrances, but I think my favorite fragrances of all are those that are related to foods or places in some way. One of the top ten handmade places I’ve shopped for handmade fragrances online is Modern Atelier. I originally found this shop on Etsy. However, it has since moved on to it’s own domain.
Located in my home state of Virginia, Modern Atelier sells a line of exclusive fragrances inspired by the scents and sights of Richmond. Much like my own handmade soaps that are inspired my hometown of Roanoke, such as Big Lick, Mill Mountain and Star City Seduction, Modern Atelier carries fragrances aptly named Give Me Liberty, Robinson Theater, and Forest Hill.
In addition to Modern Atelier’s line of Richmond inspired scents, Amy George, the perfumer for this shop, also carries a large selection of many other popular fragrances. There are dupes of designer fragrances, spicy scents, and fresh and clean scents. There are fruit  and citrus scents and flower smells. There are scents for him and fragrances that smell like baked goods and others that smell like cocktails. Each fragrance is handcrafted from many individual perfumery notes, blended with the highest quality perfumer’s alcohol, and bottled in a 1 ounce Italian glass bottle with minimalist silver sprayer.
These scents are quite strong so a little goes a long way. And unlike many perfumes, the scent of these fragrances lasts all day without wearing off. They’re very reasonably priced at just $20 per bottle or 4 for $60. You can also choose scents from Amy’s sale bin for $10 bottles. Empty bottle? Send your empty bottle back to Amy and receive $5 off your next order.

Annual Sidewalk Art Show in Downtown Roanoke

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I was able to visit the 52nd Annual Sidewalk Art Show in downtown Roanoke yesterday with clear skies and warm weather! There were 120 artists at this year’s show from as far as Florida to Canada, but the one artist I really wanted to see is a Roanoke local. I’m a huge fan of the works by Scott ToObz Noel, and I just couldn’t pass up seeing him again this year. Last year I bought a fabulous oil painting from him, so this year I just had to do the same. The piece, below, is titled “Running Paynes” and is spray paint on canvas. I love how introspective it seems.

I really got a kick out this three dimensional painting created by Kurt Kindermann of Bedford, VA. It’s suitably titled, “Rabbits (the story of you.)”

And we’re off to the races! I was quite impressed with these sculptural paintings by Ned Moulton. Created from wood pieces and then hand painted, Ned paints not only lively horses, but also hungry hippos and tall giraffes.