I should have seen it coming. Although we had a brilliant summer, it got off to a slow start. Winter wouldn’t go away gently and spring pushed itself into the early weeks of summer. Everything has been slow to pick up steam. And, after the first few weeks of autumn started off promising with the cold drifts of familiarity, I held out hope that the cycle stopped here. Now.
The last week or so has seen an about face. Those comfortable fall mornings and early evenings still remain but the middle of the day has witnessed a heat resurgence. I guess summer wasn’t done after all. And although I have a real love for fall, I can also appreciate when something this wonderful appears. Happens. And these warmer temperatures left me with a lot to be thankful for.
This unseasonably warm weather came just in time for Thanksgiving, which turned out to be a blessing for more than the obvious reasons. We had three shoots over three days leading up back-to-back family dinners. Nothing’s better than that warm breeze in October as you shoot outdoors. It also keeps the subjects happy.
Everything started out on Thursday night, led by a photo shoot for a pair of beautiful baby twins. We got to work right at 5pm and shot until darkness fell, which, unlike the temperature suggested, was early. Or exactly as it should be in mid-October.
Friday was an engagement shoot for the first couple that booked with us months ago. It was a beautiful Friday shoot overlooking the lake as the sun danced downwards towards the water. Just like the day before, we shot until the light disappeared into the night. But what a beautiful night it was. Made for memories.
And Saturday was all about a family. A family shoot. Full circle. We started early in the day and worked our way from one location to another. A great couple and two beautiful little boys who managed to stay focused for a couple of hours. Incredible, really. The perfect way to end the three shoots. The perfect reminder of what this weekend was really all about. Family. The love of family.
As soon as that last session ended, we could finally exhale. And breathe. We had two thanksgiving family dinners in a matter of days but we knew it would be time away from work and time spent connecting with each other and our families. One spent with her family and one spent with my extended family. Three days of food and family and fun.
After such a hectic lead up to the weekend and all that food that comes hand in hand with the holidays, we needed a break. We needed a couple of days of eating light and fresh. Away from the comfort of family. Away from the noise. We needed normalcy. And some lighter options for weekday dinners.
I wanted to make a fresh flatbread pizza without all the usual heavy ingredients and sauces you usually see with pizza. I adapted a beautiful flatbread recipe I saw at Roost Blog (which you should visit if you haven’t already) and came up with this. A light and flavourful pesto, thinly sliced Italian meat, mozzarella & Parmesan and roasted golden cherry tomatoes. The perfect mid-week meal to follow all the heavy foods we enjoyed over the holidays.
It’s been a few days since the holiday weekend ended. The weather outside is still warm but I know the end is near. I’m still looking forward to the comfort of autumn and the traditions it brings. But, for now, I’ll enjoy the flavours of the season and the warmth pushing us outdoors. Keeping us outdoors. I should have seen it coming. But, this time, I’m glad I didn’t.
From my kitchen to yours,
Parmesan Flatbread with Pesto, Sopressa Prosciutto, Mozza & Golden Cherry Tomatoes
- 2 cups self-rising flour
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp. salt
- 1 tsp. baking soda
- 1 cup boilin water
- 3 tbsp. olive oil
- 2 eggs
- 1 cup grated Mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
- 2 slices of sopressa prosciutto, torn into pieces
- pesto (recipe below)
- golden cherry tomatoes
- fresh oregano, for garnish
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place cherry tomatoes on a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with sea salt & pepper. Bake for 20 minutes, or until blistered. Remove and set aside.
- Combine flour, Parmesan, water, olive oil, eggs, salt and baking soda. Mix well to form a soft dough. Let rest for 15 minutes.
- Pat into a ball and roll out onto a lightly floured surface. Roll until desired thickness and place on a baking sheet and into the oven for 15-20 minutes, or until lightly browned. Remove.
- Spread pesto over flatbread and top with sopressa prosciutto, mozzarella and cherry tomatoes. Place back into the oven on a parchment-lined baking sheet and cook for 5 minutes, or until edges and nicely browned.
- Remove from oven and top with grated Parmesan chese and fresh oregano. Slice.
- Serves 2.
Dandelion & Green Onion Pesto
- 1/2 cup green onions
- 3 cups dandelion leaves
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup cashews (pine nuts are fine, if you prefer)
- 3 cloves of garlic, smashed
- 3/4 cup olive oil
- sea salt & cracked pepper
- Place all ingredients in a food processor, adding in olive oil as it runs. Pulse into the texture you like. I like it mostly smooth with some texture remaining from the nuts.