Pizza Parties, Hey Grown Ups Like ’em too!

Friends of ours, Jason and Nancy, invited Peter and I and another couple over for a make-your-own pizza party last night.

What a great, easy and relaxing way to spend the evening. The hosts provided all the yummy toppings, peppers, sauteed onions, fresh tomatoes, basil, olives, goat cheese, mozzarella cheese, romano cheese, even cheddar. Our friends are quite health conscious (actually Nancy hasn’t eaten red meat since 1989) so we were treated to organic, whole wheat pizza dough they purchased at Whole Foods.

Jason recommends taking the dough out of the freezer in the morning (it comes frozen), unwrapping it and placing it between two damp kitchen towels. If you don’t, he says, the dough gets a crust on the outside that you can’t get rid of. As you can see from the picture above, he’s quite the dough tosser. Make sure you use corn meal to flour your counter or cutting board as well as on the pizza stone, so the pizza doesn’t stick.

Here’s our beautiful creation. Half with tomato sauce, fresh tomatoes, basil, mozzarella and romano cheese. The other half with tomato sauce, portobella mushrooms, sauteed onions, goat cheese, mozzarella cheese and romano. That’s a lotta stuff. But, nothing compared to the other pies to follow. Ours was the meekest by far.

You’ll notice the pizza stone under the pizza. These really are an essential part of creating a nice crisp crust. You can pick one up in our online store or at your local Target. Heat the pizza stone up in the oven prior to assembling the pizza.

Keeping his eyes on the pies. Bake at 450 degrees for approximately 30 minutes. The crust should be golden brown. Jason uses a spatula to lift the pie to make sure the center is cooked. Sometimes when the pies are piled high with goodies, the center takes a little longer to cook.

And, as you can see, the end result was a pizza tasting bonanza. Each couple created their own specialty pie. I have to admit, most were far more creative than mine. And, every one was uniquely delicious. Thank you to Jason and Nancy for reminding me how much fun it is to work together in the kitchen and to dive into a good piece of pizza. You know we Jersey girls and guys, know our pizza.