Friday, October 17, 2014

Homemade Pizza Party {Weekend Fun}

A few days ago we had my nephews over after school.  I love love love these boys, but they can be picky eaters.  So when it came time to picking something out for dinner, I figured I'd keep it simple and go with something I knew they would like: pizza.  Duh.

Now around here we love to cook.  Pizza included.  In fact, sometimes I think we make a better pie than our favorite local joint.  So the pizza was going to be homemade.  I worried about whether or not the boys would eat it.  If there's one thing I know, though, from raising my daughter it's that if she gets to help cook, she's much more likely to try eating or even enjoy something she had previously not tried/liked.   Enter individual pizzas for each kiddo that they got to make themselves.

Here's how it went down:

I cheated and bought frozen pizza dough.  You can usually find this next to the frozen bread dough and I happen to think it's about 25 times better than the quick mix in the baking aisle, the pre made crusts or the ones out of a can.  The only catch?  You have to give it time to thaw.  I find that if I pull a ball of dough out in the morning before work and leave it on the counter all day, it's usually perfect when we get home.  Or you could always pull it out even sooner and let it thaw in the fridge for a day or two.  My husband is the expert dough stretcher-outer and so he got to work on that.  The older boys even tried their hand at tossing the dough in the air.

I mixed up a batch of our favorite homemade sauce.  It's an old recipe from Cooking Light that we keep coming back to.  The only way I stray from the recipe is that I pulse this in the blender quickly.  That way there's no tomato chunks in the sauce.  Not that it's super-chunky to begin with, it just works better that way with the kiddos.

Then, I put a spread out of all the toppings I knew they'd like and some I hoped they'd try.  Well try they did not (even our daughter insisted on cheese only when she usually eats spinach and almost any other topping we put on our pizza)...but I was ok with that.  The big thing was that I hoped they'd eat what they made.  They LOVED putting the sauce, cheese and toppings on themselves.  In fact one of my littlest nephews favorite phrases right now is "I did all by myself", and we heard that many times during pizza prep and dinner.

After that we popped the pizzas in the oven and told the kiddos to run back downstairs to play while they cooked and cooled.  They DEVOURED their pizza and kept telling us that they liked and how they made them all by themselves.  When my brother came to pick them up, they continued to tell that story.

So if you're looking for something fun to do with the kiddos this weekend, spread out the dough, the toppings and let them get to work on their own pizza.  Share your creations with us on Instagram, too!

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