It’s a Pizza Party

Despite what it may look like on the blog, I don’t always go out to eat with my friends.  I actually spend quite a lot of nights making basic dinners, and I’m most definitely a bag lunch kind of girl.

Now that I live with my parents, we have taken on a new tradition of pizza night.  Growing up I always loved dinners that involved all of us helping and making the meal together.  Taco night and pizza night were my favorites.  My mom would line up all the toppings and we would make the tacos and pizzas ourselves.  This past weekend we were babysitting my niece and nephew, and I thought it would be so fun to do a pizza night where they could actually help make the pizzas.  This would also also be a great girls night dinner activity with friends.

But I have a little secret.  These semi homemade pizzas are made with crusts from The Dollar Tree.  I know what you’re thinking… ‘that sounds down right terrible!’  And, trust me,  I thought the same thing when my parents told me about them, but after trying them,  I’m hooked.  They are a little thicker than a flour tortilla and perfect for that thin crust pizza.  They also stay very crispy even when loaded with sauce, cheese, and toppings.

I will be the first to tell you, I am in no way, shape, or form a professional pizza maker, but I AM a professional pizza EATER!  I don’t know how to make dough or exactly what type of mozzarella works best, even though it is mostly about preference, but I do know how to turn a normal night into a Pizza Party kind of night.

I also really enjoy the whole wheat and the herb dough from Trader Joe’s, but I find it to be messier and harder to cook especially if you are making it’s with kids.  It does however, make a delicious pizza on the grill.  Grilled pizza is so delicious and a more ‘grown up’ version of pizza night for your get together and parties.  Or if you’re really fancy and you have one of those small wood fire ovens for our patio you could use that too.  If you do, please invite me over-I want to be best friends.

There are endless possibilities for toppings and different types of pizzas.  I searched some of my favorite pizza places for ideas, and eventually it just came down to what my family liked.  We decided to do one prosciutto and arugula, one cheese with mushrooms, and one  pizza loaded with vegetables and Italian Sausage.  We agreed on broccoli, red onion, chopped tomato, kale, fresh mozzarella, and Italian Sausage.

Since these were semi-homemade, some of the ingredients were already prepared for us.  We used pre-made crusts, canned mushrooms, and already shredded mozzarella cheese for the mushroom pizza.  My family likes their mushroom pizza a certain way, and this is it.I really like a white pizza with arugula and lemon, but we decided to do prosciutto and arugula with balsamic drizzle.  I recommend getting a good quality prosciutto for this.  Something like a Prosciutto di Parma or San Daniele Prosciutto.  You don’t need to go crazy and spend a ton of money since you are putting it on a pizza and baking it, but make sure it is  decent quality and not too dry.Personally I like pizzas with a variety of toppings. I like some vegetables, some meat, and usually red sauce with cheese.  Depending on my pizza mood- I like contrasting components. There was a pizza at Lena’s Wood Fire Pizza in my old neighborhood that had Diavola Pizza on their menu I just couldn’t get enough of.  It was topped with sopressata, fried kale, and hot ghost honey.This was my first time putting broccoli and kale on a pizza, and I found that if you boil the broccoli for a just a couple minutes, and you massage the kale with olive oil first before adding ti to the pizza, the broccoli is easier to eaty, and the kale doesn’t burn as easily.Wine with pizza is a must.  I love a slightly sparkling, off dry Lambrusco, but I found this Zinfandel from Sonoma County that was really complement to pizza night.  It’s balanced nicely and not too heavy.  I really enjoy it on it’s own, but its also great as a fun pizza wine.

So what is your favorite kind of pizza?  I’d love to hear all your favorite pizza combinations so I have some ideas for next time…

 

~Lauren

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