One of the *many* things that I have been very excited about since moving to Tulsa is the ability to have a guest stay over in my SPARE BEDROOM. You guys don’t get it. Spare bedrooms just don’t exist in LA (or, let me revise, they didn’t in my tiiiiiny apartments). The thought of someone being able to fly in, and host and entertain them in my REAL SINGLE FAMILY HOME just really gets me going. I know, I’m easy to please (and maybe a little strange).
This dream was realized when one of my best friends, Nicole, came to visit Tulsa from LA over Halloween weekend. Having just moved into this house about 7 weeks ago, of course I still had a LOT to do before she came. I started being my usual obsessive self, wanting to have every velvet throw pillow and every NEST Pumpkin Chai candle in exactly the right spot for her arrival.
I was like the Tazmanian Devil of interior design last week, sprinting from West Elm, to Restoration, to Target, to IO Metro, back to West Elm, TA Lorton (OMG I want everything in that store)…you get the picture.
To make a long story short, on Thursday before she arrived, I got the news that my dining room chairs which I did NOT expect to arrive on time would arrive just before Friday. Amazing! However, there was a mix-up with the table and it would not. A dining room full of JUST CHAIRS????? NOOOOOOOO. Then, a sewage pipe burst in my backyard. Thank you, old house. I was privately devastated that my home wouldn’t look like the inside feature of Southern Living Magazine.
After a few sniffles, I remembered that it wasn’t about the house looking perfect (not to mention Nicole is the LAST to judge about such a subject), it was about showing my friend a great time and catching up. We had a blast around Tulsa, having some great meals, touring the Philbrook gardens, and having a very happy Halloween around the fire. And at least 2/5 rooms did look like the cover of Southern Living, okay?! Basically, don’t ever try to make a house look perfect, because then you will wind up with 7,000 chairs and sewage in your backyard.
BTW, these pizzas are amazing. Not only do they taste great, but they are very convenient. You can scoop out the mushrooms and prep all of the toppings ahead of time, assemble them, and throw them in the fridge to bake later. This is what I did, and then when I got home from CrossFit at 7PM, all I had to do was pop them in the oven! They also are easy to make in large batches for leftovers!
6-8 medium/large portobello mushrooms
1lb. hot Italian sausage
1 jar marinara sauce
1 can sliced black olives
1/2 red onion, sliced into thin half moons
1 package pepperoni
1 jar roasted red peppers (or you can use fresh bell peppers if you prefer)
Basil for garnish
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Using a spoon, scoop out the gills of the portobello mushrooms. This doesn’t have to be perfect or pretty, just get the majority of the black gills out without destroying the sides of the mushroom. Be gentle.
- Over medium high heat, cook the sausage in a large skillet until done and set aside.
- Place the mushrooms in a baking dish. Spoon marinara sauce onto each mushroom, creating a thin layer.
- Layer the toppings, starting with the sausage. I like to then do the red onion and roasted pepper, and finish with a layer of pepperoni, olives & grated parmesan.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes at 375, or until the top is golden brown and the cheese is bubbly. Another option if you want a crispier top is to finish the pizzas under the broiler for 2-3 minutes.
- Garnish with fresh basil, and serve!