Sunday, February 17, 2013

Family Fun with Homemade Pizzas

Pizza with anchovy tomato sauce, olives, beech mushrooms & cheddar.

One of my 4 year old's favorite foods is pizza. Actually it's one of mine as well. I could eat pizza for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. It wouldn't be the same pizza but even if it was I would happily eat it all day. I would make a special breakfast pizza, lunch pizza, and then dinner pizza. The possibilities with pizzas are endless!

Rocket shaped pizza.

I love making pizzas and getting the family involved. It's a bit of work but then we have food for a couple of days. I also tend to freeze some for emergency meals. I start by preparing the pizza dough a day in advance. It's always a blast to make our own pizzas. We usually make pizzas on a Friday too so it feels like a weekend party. My 4 year old would request for odd shapes like a rocket ship. He gets the idea from the Curious George Pizza Party story we often read. He loves to assemble his own pizza and then would be so proud to eat it :) I would love to have a pizza party for him and his friends one day. Maybe when we have a larger home.


Pizza sauce, olives, anchovy paste





Assembled by our 4 year old


For my husband, he gets his vegan pizza. Here is an example of what he will put together.

Vegan Pepperoni and Cheddar

Homemade thin crust pizza dough
Simple tomato sauce
Vegan pepperoni
Daiya Cheddar (or Mozzarella)
Mushrooms
Basil
Capers

Vegan pizza with a gazillion things on it.

I love them all but I have my personal favorites. For all my pizzas, I add most of the cheese right after the sauce, then toppings, then top with just a few sprinkles of cheese. This way, you can identify what is actually in the pizza. For the ones I use fresh basil, I add the basil after the pizza is cooked so it lies on the very top in uncooked form. It's prettier that way as well :) Two of my favorites are the following.
Pizza: Anchovy tomato sauce with black olives and capers.

Anchovy Tomato Sauce with Black Olives

Homemade thin crust pizza dough
Tomato sauce mixed with 1-2 tbsp of Anchovy paste
Olive Ni├žoise
Capers
Mozzarella cheese
Some cheddar cheese (optional)


Pesto Sauce with Fresh Tomatoes, Basil, and Smoked Salmon (or Chicken, Shrimp, or Ham)

Homemade thin crust pizza dough
Homemade almond pesto sauce
Freshly sliced tomatos
Fresh basil
Smoked Salmon

Pizza scene from a previous time but so funny to see.

Other toppings that I love:

Caramelized onions
Cheddar cheese
Feta cheese
Sliced fresh pineapple (especially if there is ham)
Capers
Marinated artichokes
Sundried tomatoes
BBQ sauce (especially with chicken breast)
Mushrooms
Fresh cherry tomatoes, halved

Making pizzas at home seems like a lot of work, right? Besides being totally fun to do with your family, here are a few other reasons for you to make your own pizzas at home:
  • You can customize the shapes and make small or big ones.
  • You can have varieties in many smaller pizzas, instead of 1 or 2 different ones in a larger size.
  • You can put whatever you want on them, some toppings of which may not be an option when you order at a pizza shop. E.g. anchovies, marinated artichokes, or capers
  • You can add extra cheese or a variety of cheeses!
  • You can make it vegan. Let's face it. There aren't many vegan pizza stores out there.
  • You can control the bad stuff that you put on them. I.e. less processed foods and preservatives. It may also give you a peace of mind knowing that that stuff you add is fresh.
  • It's a lot of work but in the end, you do save some money.
  • In my opinion, homemade pizzas taste better overall.
  • Finally, you enjoy it more if you make it yourself :)
Do you make pizzas at home with your family? What are some of your favorites?

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