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Chasing Babies... Growing in Grace: Friday Night Pizza

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Friday Night Pizza

One fateful October night back in 2007!

I guess you could say we've come a long way in pizza.  I'm not sure this was our first... but it was definitely from early on in my homemade pizza journey. 

For along time we made pizza at home.  It wasn't the same as going out or ordering in of course.  And it certainly never filled that craving for pizza.  But it was something on the menu.  And it worked.

We worked through several different recipes.  Finally we found one that wasn't too bad.  When I informed my husband one night that I was trying a new recipe, he wasn't thrilled.  "Why mess with a good thing?"  I think he just wanted to know that dinner was going to taste good, and a new pizza recipe can never guarantee that. 

Turns out though, that it wasn't too bad.  And it became the one I made.  I really liked it because it made 3 pizza crusts instead of just the one... a very impressive point for me!  I no longer had to whip up our pizza twice each time I made it and I could put one in the oven.

Finally we discovered the real secret to enjoying homemade pizza.  No matter what recipe we used, the crust was always too tough.  And we suspected that it was because our oven doesn't get all that hot.  We're lucky if we can pass 425 degrees.  So one night we decided to try it on the grill.  We have one of those four burner grills, and if we only turn on the outside two, and we put my pizza stone on the grill to heat up before the pizza is on it (this is important as it wasn't getting cooked in the middle otherwise), we can have our pizza in approximately 6 minutes (give or take... so watch closely).  And it was sooo good.

But, of course it still wasn't restaurant pizza, so after a while I got fed up with the whole thing and we went a long time without making pizza.  After all, it's a lot of work to have it be disappointing.

Then one night at random, I decided to try it again.  My mom was here, and I was feeling well enough to help with dinner.  I made the dough.  But when I pinched off the first section, it was a little on the small side.  Oh well, I thought.  The other ones will just be thicker.

But when it came time to eat that pizza, it was sooo good!  My Beloved even asked about it.  Between the yummy, restaurant style crust and the ranch dressing in place of pizza sauce with "gourmet" toppings, it could have been Pizza Grille!  (Or any other supper yummy specialty topping pizza place you may have in your area.)

Great friends came to enjoy it with us... and they made wings! :)  Yum!
Suffice it to say, pizza was "back on the menu boys!" Er... girls.  Sorry.  (Lord of the Rings moment.)  And we've been eating it weekly (pretty much) ever since... often with company to help us enjoy it.  But instead of breaking it into thirds, I make four pizzas.  The thin crust is what makes it!  Oh, and I don't do red sauce on pizza anymore.  I usually use ranch dressing or blue cheese dressing (for buffalo chicken pizzas)... my favorite pizzas from the restaurants don't use red sauce anyway... why should I?

All this to say... you've got to try it.  High heat (more than 500 degrees) for a short time and this recipe split into 4!  (I should say, I never make the pizzas 15 inches like she says because my stone is only 13 inches.  If you make it a 15 inch pizza, you may want to try making only three.)  But three pizzas at 12+ inches was too thick.)

Topping ideas:

Chicken Bacon Ranch
Ranch dressing as the sauce... as much as you like
mozzerella and cheddar cheese to taste
left over chicken cut or torn into small pieces
red onion sliced thin
bacon crumbled

Buffalo Chicken Pizza
Blue cheese dressing as the sauce... as much as you like
mozzarella cheese to taste
chicken prepared with Frank's Red Hot sauce (I put left over cooked chicken in a pan and pore in sauce and cook till wetness is mostly gone)
additional Frank's sauce (optional... I don't do this because it's hot enough for us without)
additional dressing for dipping!  (we do this... yummy!)

Sauteed Mushroom and Onion (a new one for us... and my favorite!)
Ranch dressing for sauce... as much as you like
mozzarella cheese to taste
mushrooms and yellow onions sliced and sauteed in olive oil to taste

Feta and Sun Dried Tomato
Ranch dressing as the sauce... as much as you like
mozzarella and feta cheeses (I use about 2 oz feta plus whatever else of the mozzarella)
sun dried tomatoes, diced
Kalamata Olives, diced  (though other olives would probably work too)
Red onions thinly sliced

We also do some "normal" toppings from time to time.  Sometimes we'll do pepperoni for special because the kids like it.  But I still use Rance dressing instead of red sauce! 

Use your imaginations and enjoy!

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At October 21, 2011 at 10:06 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yum...I do remember how good that pizza was! My mouth is watering as we speak!! Ma


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