Pizza and Parties seem to go together when you have kids. It’s something they all like, well except for one kid, but we banned him from our house. “WHAT you don’t like pizza? GET OUT and never come back!” Just kidding we would never say that to a kid, I was tempted though. I have to admit I was a bit freaked out by a kid that won’t eat pizza….but he was a good kid, so we let him stick around.
Back to the pizza party…..we have four kids and most of our friends have at least three so if we have one family over there’s twelve, two families we are potentially pushing twenty…I know my math skills are impeccable! We could order pizza out, but I have found it more fun and easier to please adults and kids if I do a pizza bar. I make all the mini pizza crusts ahead of time. Then I cut up everything imaginable that a human would put on their pizza. I whip up a batch of my super-duper easy pizza sauce. I ask the dinner guests to bring a nice leafy green salad or a dessert. And then it’s a PARTEEEEEEE!
Super-duper Easy Pizza Sauce
**note this makes a large amount, enough to freeze for future parties
3 28oz. cans crushed tomato’s, if you like a chunkier sauce you can substitute 1 of the cans with diced tomatoes.
1 big can of tomato paste 😛
3 cloves of garlic minced
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
These are the “sorta” secret ingredients…”sorta” because they probably aren’t that surprising. Red pepper flakes, depending on your taste…I use 1/2 teaspoon, and 2 heaping tablespoons of sugar. If you like your sauce spicier use more, if you like it sweeter add more sugar. Get crazy!
directions: I start by heating the oil in a sauce pan with the garlic, let it saute for just a minute, be careful not to burn the garlic….so stay right there. Don’t leave it and go wipe your kids bottom or anything, that can wait. So now after you give the garlic a minute add the paste and stir so the garlic is mixed well with the paste, then add cans of tomatoes. Stir, add salt, sugar and red pepper flakes. Cook this on low for a good hour or more, stir often if you have a bad pan that burns stuff, stir once or twice if you have a awesome pan. This sauce freezes well, it’s great for bread stick dipping, and if you want to make spaghetti a day or two later you can use it as your starter add meat and Italian seasoning and Voila!, you have spaghetti.
Pizza Dough – preheat oven to 450
This is the dough that I buy in my grocers freezer section. Sometimes I make my own and I will give you that easy bread machine recipe another day. For now go buy some, it’s nearly as good and easier.
Now cut that wad of dough into 4ths or 6ths depending on how small you want your pizzas. If you are having a lot of little kiddos I would do 6ths, adults and bigger kids 4ths work good.
Now you can just put a bit of olive oil on your hands and gradually work it into a pizza round from the middle out, be gentle, not too aggressive you will just rip it and spend all your time patching your holey pizza doughs
Now place those babies on a cookie sheets and bake for 5 minutes you just want them to begin to bake, this makes for a crispier crust.
Look at all those nice blank canvases, just waiting for your friends to get all creative on them! I usually do this a day or two ahead of time. And any crusts that are left over I freeze to pull out whenever, and make a quick pizza or flat bread.
Now I have to admit, this looks a bit lame. I usually have a few more. It depends on the crowd. If I have more adults then I do more fun toppings, if its more kids like it was this night I could have just stuck ham and pepperonis out there.
Here is a list to help you with ideas if you need…sausage (already browned), hamburger(already browned), diced ham, roasted chicken, pepperoni, red/green pepper, onions, broccoli, fresh basil, tomatoes, mushrooms, pineapple, olives, roast garlic, mozzarella cheese, Mexican blend cheese. The sky is the limit! I also put a jar of my favorite Sweet Baby Rays Barbecue sauce out there, for crazies like myself that like a barbecue chicken pizza.
Barbecue Chicken Pizza = first barbecue sauce, then chicken, red pepper, onions, Mexican blend of cheese or pepper jack is good too! YOWza I love this pizza!
So there it is the party in action. I line it up on my bar. Salad, crusts, sauces, toppings at the end the pans to put them on and into the ovens at 450 degrees. If its summer these are also fantastic on the grill!
I usually bake up some bread sticks using one of the pizza doughs, to keep the hungry natives quiet while their pizzas are baking. Just take the dough, brush a couple tablespoons of melted butter on there, sprinkle with garlic salt and Parmesan cheese bake until brown and bubbly, cut into strips and serve to as people are making their pizzas.
I hope you have fun with this party. It is ALWAYS a hit with our family and friends, I have done this meal no less than a dozen times, with any where from 10 to 25 people. It’s easy to do nearly everything ahead of time, so there is no stress the day of!