Thursday, December 24, 2009

Twas the Night Before Christmas

A few years ago, actually probably four or five, our family was contemplating what to make for dinner Christmas Eve. I don't know who came up with homemade pizzas (probably me ;) ) but the idea was genius and we've since made it a "tradition." Back then Boboli crusts and whatever brand of pizza sauce was on sale graced the kitchen counters, along with packages of pepperonis and Kraft mozzarella cheese. Though I'm sure the rest of my family would be perfectly content with their pre-packaged ingredient list, I can no longer bare to unwrap a pizza crust with a shelf life that defies the laws of natural food. Especially since I've discovered easy dough and sauce recipes that are so worth the effort.

I came across these recipes for the first time a little over a year ago when I had first started snooping around Smitten Kitchen. That evening a friend and I were hanging out and decided to make pizzas and watch Across the Universe. Great Movie. Great Pizza. Smitten Kitchen has yet to fail me.

First off, the recipes are here: I actually used a different recipe for the crust this Christmas, but purely by mistake! I am a fan of whole grain breads all the way, even pizza crust, and recipes with a touch of honey in them are simply divine. I replaced half the flour in the crust recipe with whole grain flour and it was fantastic. Obviously I didn't use the same toppings as this recipe called for, each of us tops our pies with whatever sounds good that evening. Pepperoni is always around, last year we had some special sausage and a really good hunk of mozzarella, mine is usually struggling to support a garden's worth of vegetables... this year I'm treating myself to ricotta cheese and topping my pizza off with fresh spinach and slices of roma tomatoes!


The best part of pizza making is that it caters to all of us, a dinner option that doesn't happen very often. The rest of my family can load their designated crusts with whatever meats they so choose, and I... I can experiment with whatever I want :D My dad and brother usually have their own versions of meat lovers and my little sister has lately frequented pepperoni calzones.

Mom got creative this year and tried to mimic Puccini's "campfire" pizza. I think it had tomato sauce, Gorgonzola cheese, sausage, caramelized onions, and a few spices. I didn't snag a bite, but she seemed to like it.


And here's mine! Like I said before, ricotta, spinach, roma tomatoes... all on a thin whole wheat crust. So good!


These recipes really are delicious, and fairly easy (though maybe just a little time consuming). Making pizzas is also an excellent way to get the family to hang out together, have fun with friends, or even makes for a great date night ;) This is a fun one, I promise!

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