I have been so busy today with errands, laundry, some cleaning, organizing, and knitting! It seems that in the winter, I save most of my errands for the weekend. But I accomplished a lot today.
So after the busy day, I was thinking what we should have for dinner. Homemade Pizza! It’s the perfect thing for a Saturday night. I always have these ingredients on hand and making it is such a fun, family experience at our house.
The tradition of the homemade pizza started when I was a kid. You start with a box of Chef Boyardee Cheese Pizza Mix, and you “doctor it up” until you have a great mouth-watering pizza. My dad would make the crust, my mom would make the sauce, and cut up all of the ingredients. My brothers and I would “hover” around the counter, and “snitch” cheese, pepperoni, or other chopped up vegetables. Sometimes we would layer sauce, pepperoni, and an olive, or mushroom on a piece of mozzarella cheese, making our own “pizza”. Honestly, the making of our pizzas were great “family affairs”.
As I grew older, my dad would work at his store until 9:00 on Monday nights, so my mom and I would make the pizza to be ready when he got home. My brothers and I still snitched. Sometimes eating half of the ingredients before they even made it to the pizza! We learned early that when making pizza, you need extra ingredients to allow for the pre-pizza snacking!
I have so many great memories of making pizza with my mom and dad, both at our home in Ohio, and at the lake in Indiana. I really never make it without thinking of how much fun we had as a family.
In my own family, we have carried on the pizza snitching party tradition. When I make it, I always make sure that my husband and kids are home to snack on the ingredients as I’m making it. (They wouldn’t have it any other way!). Tonight, Amy and Pat were both home so it was a great night to make it.
The first thing we do to “customize” the Chef Boyardee pizza is to add some spices to the pizza sauce. The mix comes with sauce, and grated parmesan cheese. I mix these together in a bowl and shake in some marjoram, and oregano.
Then I make the pizza crust according to the box instructions.
As the crust rises, it’s on to cutting the mozzarella, pepperoni, onion, green pepper, olives, and mushrooms. I sometimes use fresh mushrooms, but I didn’t have any on hand tonight so I used canned. We have used other ingredients sometimes, but pepperoni, mushrooms, onion, and green pepper are pretty much always on our pizzas. We like lots of “stuff”!
Amy, of course was hovering by….. 🙂
Then I spread the dough on the greased pizza pan and add all of the ingredients. We have used several types of pizza pans over the years. Starting with a cookie sheet, a pizza stone, and currently we are using an aluminum pizza pan with holes in the bottom, that seems to help make the crust more crispy.
But anyway, here it is all assembled.
As you can see, we “customize” parts of the pizza. So Amy, who doesn’t really want olives, has a part that doesn’t have olives. And I, who love mushrooms, fix a part of the pizza with extra mushrooms. The great thing about homemade pizza is that you can have it totally your way.
We pretty much bake it according to the box instructions, in a 425 degree oven for about 20 minutes. You can bake it shorter or longer depending on how browned you want your pizza. But I have found, for my oven that 20 minutes is just about perfect.
Here’s the finished product! And it was great!
I think my favorite part of this pizza is making it. It brings our family together for more than just the actual meal. I so enjoy having them in the kitchen with me while I am making it. Do any of you have family traditions around food or making meals? What kind of things do you do to get your whole family involved?
I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend. I am off to do some more knitting!