Tag Archives: pizza

Poor Girl Pizza

I really think summer ’12 is going to go down as one of the craziest of my life.  What’s my excuse now for not posting in a while?  Oh, you know, I got invited very last minute to attend my sister’s elopement (word?) in Nashville.  No big deal.  Then my niece ended up coming to Bloomington so I’ve been taking her out to eat instead of cooking.

I did,  however, make these pizzas for her after an especially exhausting day.

The great thing about using tortillas is that they can make the tortillas nice and crisp by preheating them in the oven while you prepare the other ingredients.  Oh, and a 12 pack of corn tortillas costs $0.59.  No joke (El Millagro from Chicago).

The other great thing about these pizzas is that any leftover ingredient in the fridge tastes great.  Got left over pasta sauce? great! Leftover salsa?  That works out perfectly, too.  You can literally do anything- alfredo, salad dressing, olive oil…at some point they become flat breads and not pizzas though 🙂  My other favorite thing about these is that sometimes I just don’t want leftovers.  I can make as many as I want and not worry about storing the rest in the fridge.

So, anyway, now that I’ve told you all the reasons I’m in love with these pizzas, I suppose I’ll tell you what I did.

Poor Girl Pizza

-preheat the oven to 400 degrees
-place as many tortillas as desired on a pizza pan and let the tortillas heat while the oven preheats
-chop whatever vegetables you would like (aka leftover CSA veggies) (I used zucchini, onion, garlic, and tomato)
-take the tortillas out of the oven, spread pasta sauce on tortillas
-top with slices of mozzarella cheese (or goat, or parmesan, or whatever strikes your fancy 🙂 )
-add your veggies
-season with salt, crushed red pepper, and fennel
-bake in oven for 5-10 minutes

Total Cost: $4.13 (or $0.59/pizza)
7 tortillas: $0.34
-1/2 organic zucchini: $0.50
-2 small organic onions: $1.00
-2 cloves of organic garlic: $0.30
-1/6 jar of pasta sauce: $0.33
-1/3 lb mozzarella: $1.67

7 were enough for 2, so I’d say you can’t beat that.


Pizza Pizzazz

How can you not love all those z’s?

Pizza on Friday nights is quickly becoming my favorite routine.  When I was little, Friday night was always pizza night.  We would go to the mall while the pizza dough rose, my dad and I would hit our favorite places (the arcade and the record store) all the while losing my mom to the shoe section at Penny’s.  As soon as we got home we would always get started on making the pizza.  My mom would add the sauce and it was my dad’s job to do the seasoning.  I remember him being super particular about it.  Then my mom would add 1-1/4 pounds of cheese.  Seriously.  This was also the only night my parents and I would eat in front of the tv instead of at the table.  We would set the pizzas on a wobbly tv tray and watch the TGIF shows.  That always seemed like such a treat to me.

Since then, pizza in my house has changed a bit.  They’ve evolved to become a little bit ligther on the cheese, a little bit heavier on the veggies.  We’ve experimented a little with other toppings.  My mom changed from using canned tomato sauce to her home made spaghetti sauce.  What hasn’t changed, though, is that whenever my whole family is together, there’s usually a pizza night involved.

When I got to college, my mom bought me a food processor for the sole reason to be able to make pizza dough.  This enthralled my roommates.  We would make pizza on Fridays and it became my favorite meal to have the night before a race.  We would have friends over for pizza often and my homemade crust became somewhat of a staple on the team.

Since being in grad school, I’ve really enjoyed making pizza for my friends.  Our Friday nights with Zach, eating pizza and watching tv, remind me of home and the good times I had at Marquette.

This past Friday night was easily one of my favorite pizza nights.  My (20 year old) nephew texted me last week to tell me he would be in town and asked if I wanted to get dinner.  I gave him the choice of me taking him out or I could make him a home cooked meal of pizza.  I was so happy that he chose the pizza.  He ended up coming over around 9 and we ate and watched Portlandia, sharing stories of our college lives.  We used to be close and slowly grew apart over the years.  Spending Friday  night with him, though, made me feel like things between us are getting back to the way they were when we were little.  It just seemed fitting that it ended up happening over one of the meals that I think epitomizes my family.

As far as what I made, it turned out pretty great.  I gave my nephew his choice of toppings and he chose ground turkey and spinach.  I did ground beef, onion, and thinly sliced turnip.  I also used the cheese I made the other day.  This time I made the cheese much less dry and I think that substantially added to the quality of the pizza.

I forgot that my nephew isn’t a huge eater, so I ended up with ten slices of pizza left over.  This worked out well, though, because I’ve had enough to last me through the weekend.

I really think pizza is the greatest meal ever.  It can change with your mood (classic, spicy, eccentric, exotic..) or can go with any theme (Italian, thai, German (sauerkraut anyone?).  You can modify it for your healthy-ness preference, food allergy (lactose-intolerant roommate?  got goat cheese?), and is universal.  Best of all, pizza has the great ability, more so than any other food I’ve ever come across, to bring people together.  Just think back to kindergarten when the thought of a pizza party made everyone get along…

Squash Part 2

Unfortunately, I don’t have any pictures for this one.  We’ve been making a habit out of Friday night dinners with friends, and I was so excited to try my potato-squash-onion-ground beef pizza that I forgot to take a picture of it.  Actually, my roommate reminded me that I should have as I was taking my first big bite.  That’s okay, though, this post can be an exercise in imaginatory brain power.

I was a little bit nervous about my pizza because I have never had most of the ingredients I used on a pizza before.  I don’t mind making something and having it be bad if it’s just for me, but when other people are involved, I tend to care a little bit more 🙂

The pizza turned out fantastically, though.  If I were to change anything, I would utilize some advice that was given in a comment on a previous post and roast the potatoes a bit before putting them on the pizza.  I thought the garlic olive oil sauce was a great complement to the toppings.  I would maybe use a little bit less next time, though.  Here is what I did:

Potato-Squash-Onion-Ground Beef Pizza with Garlic-infused Olive Oil Sauce
-at least 3 hours ahead of time, make the pizza crust (mix 1-1/2 cups wheat flour, 1/4 tsp yeast, 3/8 cup warm water (I probably ended up using closer to 3/4 cups) in a food processor until a ball of dough forms, let rest for 3+ hours)
-prebake crust at 410 degrees C for 10 minutes
-while the crust is baking, put 3 tablespoons olive oil in a small sauce pan and crush or finely chop a clove of garlic into the oil.  Set stove-top to low and let sit while crust bakes, stirring occasionally.
-thinly slice 2 potatoes and 1/4 onion
-brown 1/4 lb ground beef, add salt/pepper
-pull pre-roasted butternut squash out of the fridge
-after crust is done baking, brush olive oil/garlic mixture over the crust.
-add fennel and italian seasoning
-add desired amount of cheese
-add potato slices, onions, ground beef, and squash on top.  I would suggest salting the potato slices
-pop in the oven for another 8-10 minutes

Total Price: $3.79

crust: $0.61
garlic: $0.10
cheese (not organic): $1.00 (old cheese from before this project began)
squash: $0.13
potatoes: $0.60
onion: $0.20
ground beef: $0.75

100% Home-Made, Organic Pizza

I know what you’re thinking…3 posts, one night??! It seems like maybe I’m setting myself up for failure by posting too much, too soon, but I’m just so gosh darned excited and have done so much cooking over the weekend that I have to share it.  Had I known I was going to write this blog, I would have taken a picture of the pizza.  Unfortunately, I don’t have one.  The pizza was delicious, especially when paired with Portlandia on IFC.  Wonderful Friday night, if I do say so myself.  The pizza took a little longer than expected, so I’ll give you a timeline, too 🙂

For a 7 PM pizza:

Anytime before 3:30 PM you need to make the crust:

In a food processor or kitchen-aid mixer combine

1 1/2 cups flour (wheat or white, I’ve made both and it works equally well)
1/4 tsp yeast
3 ounces warm water (it usually takes more for me, and it seems to take even a little more when using whole wheat flour)

Mix until a ball of dough forms.  The dough should be moist but not sticky.  If it is too dry, add more water, if too moist add more flour.  Place in a bowl and cover with a cloth.  Leave it out on the counter out of sun light.  To avoid the dough from becoming cracked, grease the bowl and coat all sides of the dough by rolling it around in the bowl.  You need to let it rise for at least 3 hours before baking.

5:30- make the sauce (can most definitely be made ahead of time, or make it for spaghetti and freeze)

Bring to a boil:
1 29 ounce can of diced tomatos (OR, 1 can diced, 1 can whole tomatos)
1 small can of tomato paste
enough water to make your sauce the desired consistency
suggested seasonings (the amounts really don’t matter, just play around):
salt, pepper, crushed red pepper flakes, cloves, a bit of nutmeg, sage, fennel, bay leaf

sautee onion and a clove or two of garlic in olive oil or butter, then add to the sauce.  Let it simmer for at least 30 minutes..add more water if needed

5:40 – while the sauce simmers, make the cheese (this recipe is from D.I.Y. Delicious, written by Vanessa Barrington)

bring 1 gallon of milk to 185 degrees F
Add 1/3 cup apple cider vinegar to the milk.  Let it sit for 8 minutes, undisturbed.
Using a slotted spoon, transfer the curds to a cheese cloth lined strainer.  Less cheese cloth = drier cheese.  I made my cheese very dry, which made it not melt very well.  I honestly really liked this, it was more like a dry feta.
Once your cheese has reached the desired dryness, season it with sea salt (I used tea smoked salt).

6:30- spread the dough onto your pizza pan.  I use a 14” pizza pan for a very thin crust.  If you prefer a thicker crust, use a smaller pan.  If you do not have a pizza pan, cookie sheets also work.

6:35- pre-bake the dough in the oven at 410 degrees F for 8-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of your dough.

6:45- spread your sauce, add your cheese, add your toppings.  I like to add whatever I have available in the kitchen.  My most recent pizza was browned ground beef, onion, and spinach.  If you have enough sauce left over, add some to the top of the pizza.

6:50- put back in oven for 10 minutes.

7 PM- enjoy..preferably with Blue Moon’s spiced amber ale 🙂

Food costs:

crust: $0.61 (whole wheat flour, $6.99, used 6/68 of the bag)
sauce: $1.25 (made for spaghetti night before, used half for spaghetti, half for pizza- can of whole tomatos- $0.99, can of diced tomatos – $0.68, can of tomato paste –  $0.42, onion- $0.30, garlic – $0.10, spices ~ $0.10)
cheese: $3.00 – (used 3/4 of a gallon, only used 3/4 of the cheese made, gallon of milk was $6.00)
ground beef: $0.47 (bought ground beef on super sale, $1.88/lb a while ago, used 1/4 pound)
spinach: free! (roommate out of town, said I could use it)
onion: $0.30

Total: $6.05

That may seem a little bit expensive, but, compare that to a Little Caesar’s hot ‘n ready, which is about the same price.  So much better, so much healthier 🙂