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Dash of Grace: Anything goes pizzas

Have fun customizing pies at home

After being under the weather for a few weeks, it feels great to be in the warm sun again. A long winter is finally over. I wanted to do something fun and creative.

We decided we would make homemade pizzas. So we got everything out, opened the doors and windows, and started our chopping, dicing and peeling. Our cooking friend, Diane, showed up, and we had a great fun day cooking. We had a good time tasting the pizzas we put together, and we made huge messes. 

You can get the entire family involved in making pizzas, and when you are done, everyone can help clean up. The kids can get out all the ingredients, chop them, and have them ready to pile on the pizza as soon as they get home from school. They can even have supper ready when everyone gets there. These pizzas make meals or snacks great fun for the kids and parents. 

The kids and the grown-ups can put whatever they want on their pizzas, and it is a perfect meal for two, for which I get lots of requests. They can be both fun and creative. No big argument about whether to make plain cheese or the “garbage pizza” – they can do both. Anything goes for these personalized pies.

We bought 2 pizza crusts, but not the frozen kind. These are partially baked, but not browned. They are near the pizza sauce aisle or in the dairy section. You can put whatever you choose on them: meat, chicken, salad, veggies.

Someone told me he likes mashed potatoes on his pizza. Sorry, I did not get that recipe.

Mini dessert pizzas can also be customized to accommodate your family’s tastes.  

The directions on the package will tell you how long to bake the pizzas, but ours were done 5 to 10 minutes before the directions suggested. I like them thinner. You want them crisp, but not tough or hard.

Try these two pizza recipes below and then experiment with a couple more and see what you come up with. If you find a really good combination, pass it on. Read the directions, then follow them. There’s a fine line between done and burned.

Sweet pepper sausage pizza

Mix half of a 6-ounce jar of sun-dried tomatoes, rough cut in the jar, with a 14 ½-ounce can of crushed tomatoes. You can add your own pizza sauce or Italian spices. Don’t forget the basil, garlic, and a little oregano. McCormick has a good Italian seasoning mix.

Spread this sweet-smelling sauce on the pizza shell. Stir-fry a cup of mild, sweet, brightly colored mini peppers, sliced, and a cup of white onions, sliced, on top of the sauce. Cover with a couple of cups of mozzarella or your favorite cheese, or have fun with a mixture. 

Feta cheese pie

Separate and rinse spinach leaves and place them in a colander or on paper towels, and let them dry a few minutes. Place the spinach leaves on the pizza crust and crumble the feta cheese with your fingers over the spinach. Slice some grape tomatoes in half and sprinkle over the feta cheese layer.

Bake in a 400-degree oven for about 20 minutes until the crust is brown and crunchy. Watch carefully so that the crust doesn’t burn or get hard. The crust directions will tell you how long to bake the pizza. Ours were done 5 to 10 minutes before the directions suggested. 

Try these two pizzas then make a couple more and see what you can come up with.

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