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Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sunday is Homemade Pizza Night!

Our family has a tradition on Sunday evenings. We call it our "Pizza and a Movie" night. Original, huh? It's nothing fancy, but I generally make two or three small home made pizzas and we watch a movie of Owen's choosing, complete with buttered popcorn. My kids are actually pretty flexible on what they eat, so I'm able to experiment a bit with pizza (can you imagine how fun it would be to eat cheese and only cheese pizza??!!) I've also found a great pizza dough recipe I thought I'd pass along. The best part about it is it only requires 15 minutes to rest, so it's quick and easy. I'll also share our favorite pizzas : )

Pizza Dough
1 packet rapid rise active yeast
1 cup hot water (not boiling)
2 1/2 cups flour (I use a combination of whole wheat and bread flour)
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp sugar
1-2 tbsp evoo ( use 1 tbsp to cut down on fat and it tastes fine)

Dissolve yeast in water with a whisk. Add remaining ingredients and stir with a wooden spoon until dough moves as a ball (rather than sticky consistency.) Set aside 15 minutes. Roll onto floured surface to desired thickness. Place on pizza stone that has been rubbed with corn meal and poke generously with a fork. Bake in a 425 degree oven 3-4 minutes and remove. Add sauce (if desired) and toppings and return to the oven for 5-7 minutes, until cheese is bubbly.

Spinach Feta Pizza (our fav)
1 pizza crust
1 clove of garlic, crushed
2/3 cup spinach, chopped
1 medium roma tomato, diced
1/4 cup mushrooms, diced
1 tsp fresh rosemary, minced (or 1 tsp Italian seasoning)
1/3 cup feta cheese, crumbled
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1 cup marinara

Heat saucepan to medium high and add a swirl of evoo. Add spinach garlic and rosemary, stirring occasionally for 3-4 minutes. Add tomatoes and mushrooms and stir for additional 3-4 minutes. Spread marinara evenly over pizza crust, top with mozzarella cheese. Sprinkle spinach and feta on top and bake until cheese is brown on the edges.

Caramelized Onion and Goat Cheese Pizza (our second fav)
1/2 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
4 oz goat cheese, crumbled

Heat small saucepan over medium and add a swirl of evoo. Add onions and cook, stirring occasionally, about 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low and continue to cook an additional 6-10 minutes until onions are limp and opaque. Sprinkle cheese on top of pizza crust (no sauce.) Add onions and goat cheese and bake until done, 8-10 minutes. (Roasted red peppers can be added, too.)

BBQ Chicken Pizza - super easy!
1 cup cooked chicken, diced or shredded
1 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup red onion, thinly sliced
3 tbsp cilantro, chopped
1 cup BBQ sauce, plus 1/2 cup for chicken

Combine 1/2 cup BBQ sauce and cooked chicken and let marinade for 15 minutes (at least.) Spread BBQ sauce on top of pizza crust, sprinkle mozzarella cheese on top. Evenly distribute chicken, onion, and cilantro on pizza and bake until cheese is melted.


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