Saturday, August 15, 2009

Feelin' Like Fall

We have been having a little taste of fall with some stormy weather here. I just love fall and everything that comes with it. Fall and spring are the two seasons that I just crave following a harsh season before. I love decorating for fall too. Getting out all my warm colors and spice candles give me a sense of hominess and security.

This morning I woke up to clouds and wanted to watch the Food Network channel (funny how those two things come hand-in-hand for me!) I love watching their chefs prepare comfort food dishes while it’s cold outside (it was only 45 degrees when I woke up!) and sometimes wish that I could be the chef on the show in the beautiful kitchen and cooking whatever I want – no matter the cost – so I can show off my talents to amateur’s. Let me clarify…I AM an amateur and only WISH to be the professional chef (oops, it’s back on. Gotta take it off mute).

Here’s what I’m watching right now:

Ellie Krieger making Mushroom-and-Onion Pizza with Basil

Mmm, I LOVE basil; definitely my favorite herb. I have never watched Ellie on the food network before (my favorites are Giada de Laurentis and Tyler Florence). Ellie seems to be a health nut…hmmm, not really my style. But hey, if it’s healthy AND tastes good then I’m definitely first to give it a try. And I just love her kitchen. Second from watching what the chef is cooking is seeing how their kitchen looks and flows together. Ellie has white cabinets with dark grey countertops – could be soapstone? It’s hard to tell. But I love the contrast of light cabinets and dark countertops. She has a beautiful glass subway tile backsplash and mullion cabinet doors to show off her pottery. Can you tell I love kitchen design?

Here’s the recipe for the pizza:

• 1 tablespoon olive oil
• 8 ounces mushrooms, sliced
• 1/2 medium red onion, sliced
• 2 cloves garlic, minced
• 1 (10-ounce) baked thin pizza crust
• 1 cup marinara sauce
• 1/4 cup sliced, reconstituted sun-dried tomatoes
• 4 ounces shredded, part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 1 cup)
• 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan
• 1/4 cup thinly sliced fresh basil leaves

Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Heat the oil in a skillet over a medium heat. Add the mushrooms and onions and cook until tender and most of the liquid evaporates, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic and remove from the heat.

Place the pizza crust on a baking sheet. Spread the sauce over the crust leaving a 1-inch border. Top with the mushroom mixture and sun-dried tomatoes. Sprinkle with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Bake until the crust is crisp and the cheese is nicely melted, about 13 minutes. Sprinkle with basil, cut into 8 slices and serve.

Looks easy enough, right? (oh no, the sun is coming out!) Now I just need it to truly be fall so I can get out my warm jackets, spice candles, and change up my d├ęcor.

Enjoy the recipe!

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