One of my absolute favorite meals is homemade pizza! I grew up enjoying made-by-mom pizza and while I loved it, it seemed like a huge deal to make it. I'm sure it wasn't - just my perception. :) Anyway, after I realized how easy it could be, I've never looked back. We pretty much never order out pizza these days. It takes me less than 30 minutes to have a homemade pizza on the table and it's one of our favorite menu items for family nights!
Here are some keys to great pizza:
1) Let your dough rest for a few minutes after kneading (I let my mixer knead it).
2) Oven Temperature! This is probably the biggest thing - turn that baby up! I bake my pizzas at 450 degrees F.
3) Bake it on a stone.
4) Be creative with toppings.
Some of our favorite topping combos are:
bacon, onion & green pepper
chicken, smoked cheddar, sharp cheddar & BBQ sauce (instead of marinara)
plain cheese (mozzarella & cheddar)
Greek - olive oil (instead of marinara), mozzarella, feta, & gyros meat (this is excellent on pita!)
broccoli, onion, pepper, tomato
Most of the time we top pizza with marinara, cheese and then other toppings. I make my own pizza sauce with tomato sauce, fresh herbs (or dried, depending on season), garlic, a pinch of sugar and a little salt. Sometimes I add a can of tomato paste and sometimes not - I prefer it with. The dough recipe I use is the one I frequently post on my menu plans. :) It's easy and delicious - for an extra great finish, I occasionally brush the edge of the finished crust with olive oil.
Our kiddos associate pizza with movie night (not that it always means that :)) and they LOVE it! It makes a great family tradition - we put a tablecloth on the floor upstairs and enjoy our finger food while watching a kid movie. I think Andrew and I look forward to it just as much as the boys. Pizza makes us all happy and family times makes us even happier. Establishing family traditions is important to us - we both have great memories from childhood and we long for our children to have fantastic memories, too. This is an easy way (and inexpensive!) to create a fun family evening. And for other days, it's a go-to recipe for a quick meal. What does your family enjoy for fun nights?