As I sit here typing I am asking myself, do I acknowledge that I have not done a post in a whole month, or do I just ignore it and go on with the post as if nothing has happened? Obviously, by the subject of the first sentence I have decided to acknowledge it. You see friends, every once in a while, I suffer from mild depression.
|No, I am not disrespecting depression by using this picture, but it seemed like the perfect depression picture to use for the month of Halloween. Even beautiful, sad clowns are creepy.|
Fortunately, it doesn't happen very often and, even more fortunately, it doesn't last for long. But, last month, I had a bout and didn't/couldn't do anything. And I do mean anything - cleaning, cooking, crafts, my blog, they all went to the wayside as I could only sit in my house and read or watch television. It was awful. A part of me wanted to do other things, but I just couldn't. I am happy to say that it has passed, and I am back to living my regular life with a vengeance and trying to catch up on all of the stuff I fell behind on.
The first step back to claiming my life and my space was to decorate my living room and mantle. I still had the summer decorations up. Which, I understand that Louisiana is hot, but that is still no excuse to not try to bring in the season with fall decorations. This year I decided to go with a Dr. Jekyll type theme for my Halloween decorations. It was all inspired by my husband's Phrenology bust.
He has it in his Murder Shop for most of the year, but I decided that it would be awesome to use it as the inspiration for Halloween decor this season. Yes, you read that correctly, we call my husband's shop the Murder Shop. This is not because my husband is a serial killer who performs mutilations in his shop, it is because, when we bought our house, the gentleman who owned the house before us was a master electrician. So there was a large amount of hooks and wires hanging all around the workshop. There were hooks on the ceiling and hooks on the walls it was really kind of disturbing. When a friend of ours came over to see the new house and shop, she said that the shop was kind of creepy and looked like a murder shop. And the name stuck.
Here is a another angle of the close up of the mantle. As you can see, I stole books from the pub library. I tried to keep with the theme of a 1800's doctor so one is a book of poetry and the other is collected stories and poems by Edgar Allen Poe. I don't know if I have told y'll this or not, but I read a collection of Poe cover to cover every year during October. It is a Halloween tradition for me.
Last year, I did a lot of cobwebs, so this year I decided to go for a different approach.
For the kitchen I went for a more country theme. But not too country because I have an open space floor plan and I wanted the decorations to still blend with one another.
|This may be my favorite use of an actual practical kitchen appliance as decoration.|
And this is on the counter top.
Yay!!!! Halloween and fall is now present in my house.
Which meant that it was now time for me to start cooking some Fall foods. And what says Fall more than pizza?
No seriously. Thanks to Trader Joe's I have come up with a pizza specifically for Fall. When I was in Trader Joe's getting my inexpensive cheese and wine, I came across a sauce that intrigued me.
This sauce is a combination of tomato, pumpkin and butternut squash. I thought that it was either going to be very, very good or very, very bad and I had to try it. So I took it home and made the most plain pasta that I could to see how it would taste and what it would taste good with. After making the pasta, I still had half a jar left, and it was delicious, so I was inspired to make a pizza using the sauce.
Autumnal Harvest Pizza
Okay, so you are going to notice in this recipe that I don't have set in stone measurements. This is because I think of pizza a bit like I think of smoothies, you should put as much or as little of an ingredient as you think would be delicious. But I am giving you some measurement simply as a guideline.
1 pizza crust of your choice (I used the Pillsbury pizza dough you get in the can)
2 - 3 tbsp. Autumnal Harvest Sauce (If you like more sauce, then do it!)
2 slices thick cut bacon, diced
1/2 chicken breast, diced
2 scallions, minced
1 tsp. Herb de Provence, split
1 tsp. White Balsamic Vinegar
salt and pepper to taste
The following ingredients you can use in increments of your choosing, as long as they equal about one cup of cheese.
Shredded Sharp Cheddar Cheese
Shredded Truffle Cheese
Freshly grated Parmesan Cheese
1. In a small frying pan cook the diced bacon over medium-high heat until the bacon is crisp but not cooked the entire way through. Using tongs, remove the bacon from the pan and place in a bowl lined with paper towels.
2. Drain all but about 1/2 tsp. of the bacon grease out of the pan. Lower the heat to medium and add the diced chicken, the white balsamic vinegar, 1/2 tsp. Herb de Provence, and salt and pepper. Cook until chicken is cooked through but not dry, about 3 minutes.
3. Remove the chicken from the pan and place in bowl until you are ready to assemble your pizza.
4. Shred and grate all of your cheeses onto a large plate. Once cheese is grated, add 1/2 tsp. of Herb de Provence. Using your fingers toss the herbs into the cheese until it has been well mixed.
5. Prepare your pizza crust according to package directions, this will let you know what temperature you should set your oven and how long you should cook your pizza. The Pillsbury dough that I used has you cook your dough in a preheated 400 degree oven for eight minutes, remove from the oven and then add toppings.
6. Assemble your pizza in the following order:
Using the bowl side of a spoon, spread the sauce onto the pizza crust.
Sprinkle diced chicken evenly over sauce and crust
Sprinkle bacon evenly over sauce and crust
Sprinkle minced scallions evenly over sauce and crust
Sprinkle Cheese mixture evenly over sauce and crust
Make certain that you do not spread your sauce and ingredients to far to the sides. You want to leave about one inch of naked crust all the way around the pizza dough so that you have a crust "handle" to grab on to once you are eating your pizza.
7. Bake pizza according to dough directions. I cooked mine for 8 minutes.
8. Remove from the oven and enjoy!
This pizza is delicious and is a way to enjoy pumpkin without falling into the pumpkin spice craze. (Although, I won't lie to you, I love pumpkin spice.) Keep checking back with the blog and I will give you more craft ideas and recipes for Halloween and the Fall season!