Saturday, January 24, 2009

The Versatility of Pizza

Pizza is a favorite to many, and on almost every kid's top foods list. Just mention the idea of ordering pizza for dinner and the kids get quite excited. Even schools now have pizza nights, where the school receives a certain percentage of orders from a pizza parlor placed by parents on a specific evening. Pizza is just plain good!

I've reached the point in my pizza making that my kids actually prefer my homemade pizza to anything we order from a pizza place. I have finally perfected a couple of different crusts that I make in the bread machine that everyone absolutely loves. One is a whole wheat Weight Watchers recipe, and the other is made with my sourdough starter. A couple of weeks ago, I ran out of white flour and made about a third of the required flour whole wheat, and the kids deemed it "gourmet" crust. Who knew??

One of the best things about pizza is that you can put just about ANYTHING on it and it gets eaten up. What is it about a bready crust and melted mozzarella that makes everything taste great?? Years ago, we lived in the very college town of Springfield, MO. There was a pizza joint there which had all sorts of bizarre toppings, from artichokes to tuna to everything in between, and people just flocked to their locations! Lately, I've been experimenting a bit with my pizzas just to try a few things that were in my fridge waiting to be utilized. I haven't been disappointed yet!

Tonight I had chicken alfredo pizza on the menu. Earlier this week, we had grilled steak (YUM!) and beef tips in gravy the next night. I still had a small piece of steak left, AND I hadn't made sourdough yet this week, so I needed to use my starter. So....we had steak pizza on a sourdough crust. That doesn't sound so strange, does it?? Well, I also tossed on a couple of handfuls of fresh spinach leaves. The kids thought it was fantastic! I truly believe I could put just about anything on a pizza and it would be gobbled up in one sitting.

If you're used to ordering pizza and not sure you can tackle the task of making the crust (though I really recommend trying, as it isn't that difficult), you can start with one of those pre-baked crusts at the store (i.e. Boboli) and start experimenting from there. My pizza tonight was made of a piece of steak that was literally about 5 inches long and 2 inches wide at its widest point, and it was plenty of meat for it. It doesn't take much! You can also change your cheese if you don't have mozzarella. I've made one entirely with cheddar cheese before. As long as it's pizza, it's going to be good!

So, if you're needing to use up a bit of meat and some veggie toppings and nothing really sounds good, give a pizza a try! I bet you don't get any complaints, no matter what toppings you choose. And if you have any funky combinations you've tried and your family raved about them, please post a comment. Creativity is fascinating and very appreciated!!!


  1. Because of mystery shopping, I haven't made a homemade pizza in months. But when I do, I sometimes like to par-cook the crust, top it, and finish it off on the grill. Yum!

    Thanks for the good pizza ideas!

  2. This pizza sounds so good!! I have to say we haven't really done any really different kinds, I do like sausage with feta cheese, yum!!


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