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Friday, January 29, 2010

Happy Birthday, Noah

What a wonderful grandson to have!  Today is Noah's 11th birthday and we celebrated this momentous occasion with favorite foods (Pepperoni Pizza and Cupcakes), family, and friends! The party included Noah, of course, and his mommy, good friend...Rianne, Trey, Nana and Pawpaw.  Our scrumptious pizza party consisted of Noah and Rianne making their very own 'scratch' pizza...as they like it.  If you have not ever made homemade crusts and tomato sauce along with your favorite toppings...what's your problem? Try these great recipes and you may never order take out pizza again! And, so long Chucky Cheese!

Basic Pizza Dough
Makes 1  10-12 inch round pizza
1 1/2 cups bread flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp rapid rise dried yeast
1/2 - 2/3 cups lukewarm water
1 tbsp olive oil

Sift the flour and salt into a large mixing bowl.  Stir in the yeast.  Make a well in the center of the dry ingredients.  Pour in the water and oil and mix with a spoon to a soft dough.  Knead the dough on a lightly floured surface for about 10 minutes until smooth and elastic.  Place the dough in a greased bowl and cover with plastic wrap.  Let rise in a warm place for about one hour or until the dough has doubled in size.  Punch down the dough.  Turn on to a floured surface and knead again for 2-3 minutes.  Roll out as required and place on a greased baking sheet.  Pinch up the dough to make a rim.  The dough is now ready for topping.

Tomato Sauce
Enough to cover 1  10-12 inch pizza
1 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
1 14 oz. can chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp tomato paste
1 tbsp chopped mixed herbs such as parsley, oregano, thyme, and basil
pinch of sugar
salt and black pepper

Heat the oil in a pan, add the onion and garlic and gently saute for about 5 minutes until softened. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste, herbs, sugar, and seasoning.  Simmer uncovered, stirring occasionally for 15-20 minutes or until the tomatoes have reduced to a thick pulp.  Let cool.

Favorite Toppings
Have on hand shredded mozzarella cheese, Parmesan cheese, chopped veggies, pepperoni, and cooked ground beef or whatever you so desire.  Spread the cooled sauce on the prepared crust. Sprinkle with toppings and cheeses.  Cook at 425 degrees until crust is brown and cheeses are bubbly...about 20-25 minutes.  Enjoy...along with a competitive game of Pin the Tail on the Donkey!