Pizza With a Side of Pluck

One of the aspects of blogging that I enjoy most is the flowing exchange of ideas. If it was not for all of the wonderful (not to mention friendly, intelligent, and strong!) food bloggers that I now know and read, I would never have tried recipes that have now become some of my favorite dishes. Take this pumpkin, apple, and cotija quesadilla, for example -- without The Duo Dishes blog, I would never have discovered this amazing meal. I also never would have known the creamy pleasure that is cotija, a part-skim Mexican cheese. What a shame that would be!

Today I once again find myself grateful for the culinary inspiration I find on my fellow bloggers' sites. This time I thank It's a Wrap! for the idea of using pumpkin puree as a pizza base instead of tomato sauce. I never even considered the possiblity before reading her awesome blog, but now I am so glad I tried it. I read about her unique pizza sauces the other day and knew that I had to try some of them, and soon. In addition to pumpkin, this blogger also uses varieties of hummus mixed with tomato sauce on her pizzas. You know I'll be testing that out soon!

I also enjoyed how she combined nontraditional toppings, such as goat cheese, chunks of granola bar, coconuy curry tempeh, bananas, and tuna (yes, tuna -- I feel a little nervous about that one!) to create a truly unique dish. And that's not to mention delicious-sounding to boot!

So, guided by bloggy inspiration, I decided to branch out while making tonight's pizza dinner. I let the Best Husband Ever stick with his happy favorite of part-skim mozzarella, sliced olives, pineapple, pepperoni, and tomato sauce with a little basil and oregano on a pita. As for me, I ventured outside the pizza box. In letting myself get a little crazy, I was able to test out another use for a unique cheese that I spied in the grocery store a while back and had to try. It's Long Clawson Dairy's white stilton cheese with mango and ginger. Sounds pretty darn amazing, right? Well, it is, but the only uses I've been able to find for it are as a salad mix-in or a cracker spread. Boring. Tonight I was bold, though, and crumbled this cheese over my pizza.

The resulting dinner was tasty and filling. It was not blow-my-mind-amazing, but it was fresh and unique, and both my tastebuds and my creative inner chef enjoyed the adventure. You can try recreating this pizza for yourself and see what you think, or just visit It's a Wrap! for ideas. If I make this type of pizza again, I will test out different fruit and veggie toppings. I'd love to get some spinach on a pizza, for example, and broccoli, cauliflower, and bell peppers could all be quite interesting. I would not be averse to sauteed sliced apples with onion, either. So try it and send me your inspiring results! Play around and see what happens. It may be that you discover your very own personal perfect pizza in the process.

(Please be aware that all of my measurements in this recipe were eyeballed or done "to taste." Don't be afraid to do the same in your own cooking. Although it's hard to replicate such creations, it's super fun.)

Pumpkin Pizzazz Pizza

1 six-inch yellow corn tortilla
1/2-3/4 cup pumpkin puree
1-2 T garlic, minced
1-2 T peanut ginger sauce
1-2 oz. white stilton with mango & ginger
sliced mushrooms and beets
capers
dried cranberries

Mix a heaping spoonful of minced garlic in with the pumpkin. Spoon enough pumpkin on the tortilla to cover its surface at your desired thickness. Spread about a Tablespoon of peanut ginger sauce over the pumpkin layer. Place the mushrooms, beets (I used canned, but you can also use fresh), capers, and dried cranberries in what ever frequency and pattern makes your tastebuds tingle. Sprinkle the fruity white stilton cheese over the top and bake at 400*F for 10-15 minutes, or until the toppings begin to brown slightly.

Makes 1 personal pizza.

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