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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Homemade Pizza and a fun Thanksgiving Treat

We had a great time making homemade pizzas with friends! Elise's family had a pizzeria and growing up in New York she made lots and lots of pizzas over the years. She brought Baby Claire who entertained us all. Everyone loved the final product and the kids really loved being a part of the cooking process and making their own pizzas. The Thanksgiving-inspired desserts were a hit too.

Jackie and Tom joined us too. They are originally from England and Tom is in Brennan's class. Jackie is a doll and I could sit and listen to her speak all day long if she'd let me.

Brennan and Tom - 2nd grade buddies

Jackie and Tom slicing garlic.

Thomas slicing scallions.

Elise helping Claire stir our sauce.

Brennan measuring out bread flour for the dough.

Tom and Brennan's final product. Delicious!

Sweet Claire - showing us her belly button.

Making our Thanksgiving treats.

Cute Pilgrim hats!

I didn't try that hard to get a great group photo - here's the best I got. The kids had a great time. And the ladies did too! The hubbies enjoyed their beverages and pizza in the living room, a little removed from the chaos!

Elise's Pizza
1/2 c warm water measured at 110 degrees
1/2 envelope instant yeast
2 cups (11 oz.) bread flour
good pinch of salt

Using a meat thermometer measure temperature of the warm water. It should be about 110 degrees. Pour in the yeast and mix with fingers to remove any clumps. Put the bread flour and salt in a food processor and pulse to mix well. While pulsing, pour the yeast mixture into the feed tube of the food processor. Keep pulsing until a dough ball forms. Knead dough on a lightly floured surface. Cut in two and lest rest for 30 minutes. We made 2 batches. If I had a larger food processor, we would have doubled the recipe.

Elise's Pizza Sauce
28 oz can crushed tomatoes
4 garlic cloves, chopped
2 Tbsp olive oil
chopped basil
Mix in a large bowl.

Once the dough has risen, form into a pizza crust. Ladle sauce on top, mozzarella, and toppings of choice. Cook for 10 minutes in a 475 degree oven. Spin the pizza once during the cooking to brown evenly. Slice and serve.

Elise's Topping Ideas
Cooked sausage
Slice baby portabellas*
Black olives*
Sun-dried tomatoes
Goat cheese
Green peppers
* by the ones we had at our pizza party

A few notes:
* I was surprised how easy this process was. It's pretty much no fuss and even though one batch was a little floury, it turned out great.
* Elise recommended the pre-cooked bacon. It worked really well.
* Elise also recommended buying a block of mozzarella and shredding it during prep time. It melts better than the pre-shredded kind.

Pilgrim Hats
Fudge Striped Cookies
Reese's miniature peanut butter cups
Vanilla frosting
Yellow food coloring
Orange tic tacs or mini chiclets

Mix 7 drops of yellow food coloring in with 3/4 c of vanilla frosting. Place a Fudge Striped cookie upside down on a plate. Smear a good amount of yellow frosting on the top of a Reese's miniature cup. Turn upside down on the cookie and let the frosting squish out to make the trim under the crown of the hat. Use an orange tic tac or mini chiclet for the buckle on the hat.

I made a couple of these and then let the kids do the rest. They had a ton of fun!

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