Monday, March 22, 2010

personal pizza party

Dinner for a bunch of friends of mixed ages, and with varying eating preferences, can be a challenge. We always seem to have success with a make your own personal pizza party. This past Saturday night was another good one, and I realized that there's a hidden bonus: you don't have to prep much before your guests arrive... dinner becomes a cooperative endeavor. Community cooking is always more festive! The act of rolling out dough and decorating their own little pizza is entertaining for even the smallest guests... who, inevitably just like "plain pizza". Grown-ups will have an inordinate amount of fun getting creative with toppings while drinking a good bottle of wine. If you haven't had a pizza party... please, do! If you already are a pizza party giver... go make plans for another one soon... so delicious!

Personal Pizzas
  1. Double any pizza dough recipe and divide into small fist sized balls. Cover with a cloth and let rest until you're ready to roll.
  2. Pre-heat oven to 500 degrees.
  3. Roll (with a pin) until very thin, no more than 1/4 of an inch and place on baking sheet. I love the pizza pans with holes to achieve a nice crispy crust.
  4. Brush with olive oil. This creates a barrier between the sauce and dough to prevent soggy pizza.
  5. Add your toppings and then slightly roll over all of the edges.
  6. Lower heat to 475 degrees and bake until golden and bubbly. This won't take long, so keep an eye on your pizzas!
Topping suggestions:
The Basic: tomato sauce and grated mozzarella.
The sky's the limit for getting wild or sophisticated with extra toppings. Try The Basic with any of the following: pesto, garlic, mushrooms, bell peppers, olives, feta, spinach, red onions,tepenade, goat cheese etc.
One of our Saturday night chefs made a scrumptious white garlic pizza. No tomatoes, just mozzarella, feta, and lots of fresh pressed garlic. Or go in the opposite direction for a vegan pizza by just adding fresh tomatoes, pesto (w/o cheese) and kalamata olives. I'm getting hungry just thinking about the possibilities.

A few notes:
  • Optional: open the wine before you begin!
  • Set up two different stations: rolling and toppings.
  • Partner up with someone and collaborate.
  • Have children make several at a time, so that their pizza is in a quick rotation for the oven... they can't wait as long as we can.
  • Relax about all sitting down together for the whole meal... this is supposed to be casual. Someone will be topping a second or third sometime during the meal.
What's your favorite pizza topping combo? Pin It

32 comments:

  1. I am such a pizza lover! I love thai chicken pizza with yummy peanut sauce. I also love a pizza with 1/2 pineapple 1/2 feta and red onion.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Perfect timing on this post-I ate at a wonderful pizza place last night and had the Colorado-yellow beets, goat cheese, roasted garlic and pistachios. Fantastic.

    ReplyDelete
  3. I have a stock of great bases in the freezer for the quick fix pizza.
    We have curry parties. Everyone brings a curry and we order in naan and make a big pot of rice. Plenty of mix and match and leftovers for everyone's lunch.

    ReplyDelete
  4. What a neat idea, and I love the red gingham tablecloth!

    ReplyDelete
  5. What a good idea! I will certainly try it.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Homemade pizzas are great aren't they? I make them a couple of times a week because they're so easy to make and taste so fresh.
    My personal fave is Pepperoni, Tuna, and mushroom, with plenty of cheese and fresh basil - yummy!!

    ReplyDelete
  7. Great idea! We love making our own pizzas, but I'd never thought of doing it for a dinner party.

    ReplyDelete
  8. We love this for parties! Just a little tip...I recently started to prebake the crust and it makes things quicker when hungry kiddos are waiting their turn.
    (love the blog, btw)

    ReplyDelete
  9. Ham and pineapple, baby! :-)

    I make homemade pizza often. While I'm not up for doing it for a crowd, I do think my girls would love, love, LOVE making their own! We'll give it a shot this week!

    Great idea. Thanks for posting it!

    Blessings--
    Dana

    ReplyDelete
  10. I like pizza with pesto (no tomato sauce!), chicken, onions, mushrooms, spinach and finished with a drizzle of honey (after it comes out of the oven). yum!

    ReplyDelete
  11. fabulous ideas!! A curry party is now on my list!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Fun! I have an upcoming party I was feeling unmotivated about. Now, I'm excited -- this will be fun ;-) Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
  13. that's a great idea for having people over! here's our favorite topping...spinach, garlic, red peppers, garlic sauteed in olive oil. we top w/ shavings of fontina cheese. yum. lovely blog. so glad to have found it.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Oooooo! Just idea for my son's b'day party! Such fun!

    ReplyDelete
  15. I love pear and gorgonzola (the pear goes between the crust and the cheese - no tomatoes), and the pear sort of melts and becomes sauce. I also love the quattro formaggio from Trader Joe's. That's my favorite pizza cheese. I've been enjoying thin slices of eggplant on pizza lately, too.

    I love the pizza party idea! I remember going to a GREAT pasta party when I was a kid. The guests were all asked to bring their favorite sauce, which went on a sauce buffet. The kids cranked out the fresh pasta at the party. So fun! I definitely want to do this when my kids get a little bigger.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I love this idea for dinner when having guests over. Very informal, fun and less stress for the host.
    We will have to try this.

    ReplyDelete
  17. One of my best friend is Italian and growing up, her dad used to make us an olive oil, garlic, fresh parsley and thinly sliced potato pizza which I still drool about to this day. SO good.

    ReplyDelete
  18. keep your ideas coming... I'm loving them!I'm getting mighty hungry for lunch and it's not even noon!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Nice blog!
    I love pizza!
    Annaira

    ReplyDelete
  20. both of my children LOVE olives on their pizza. a family favorite is bbq chicken pie. grilled chicken, bbq sauce in place of tomato sauce, pineapple, and green onions....jalapenos for the adults. mmmmmm....i want some now!

    ReplyDelete
  21. feta cheese, spinach and roasted garlic

    ReplyDelete
  22. Magic! Pizza for my little boy tonight - he was 6 today and this was his special tea choice. However, tonight was pizza with a twist - rolled up like cinnamon buns and turned into pizza 'snails'. Yummy. The children's favourite topping is ham and pineapple. Oldies are goodies!

    ReplyDelete
  23. What great ideas!I never make pizza but now I want to start. I can't eat cheese but I've heard nutritional yeast is a good substitute. Thanks for all the ideas!

    ReplyDelete
  24. Mountain Girl- I like making dairy free pizza without any cheese substitute, but there are so many alternatives these days. When I was vegan we used to use the Farm Cookbook a lot. This is the link to the nutritional yeast cheese recipe that we used to make... mostly for macaroni and cheese.
    http://www.vrg.org/nutshell/cheese.ht
    Have fun experimenting!

    ReplyDelete
  25. jalapenos tend to always make the cut and pine nuts are delish too!

    ReplyDelete
  26. one of my fave kinds of dinner parties. thanks for the reminder - might do one this weekend!

    ReplyDelete
  27. Goat cheese mixed with lots of roasted garlic and a little olive oil spread on a crust. Then add coarse salt, black pepper and a little rosemary or basil minced. So yummy!

    ReplyDelete
  28. Me and my friends do this... they have a pizza stone... we each bring 2 ingrediants and then each make a pizza and everyone shares each pizza so you get lots of different tastes!!

    Its so much fun!

    ReplyDelete
  29. My husband loves doing this for friends! My favorite combo is goat cheese and sliced red potatoes. Yummm.

    ReplyDelete
  30. I've wanted to do this for a long time but was unsure of how to make it work with only one oven...any tips?

    ReplyDelete
  31. I love goat cheese, roasted red peppers and really food italian sausage. I also love a BBQ pizza--with BBQ for the sauce, add a little chicken, some mushrooms, red peppers, onions and top with a combo of mozzarella and colby-jack cheese...also, this is such a good idea with the pizza party. I am going to plan one for this weekend...

    ReplyDelete
  32. Make this easier by using a pita as the crust.

    ReplyDelete

LinkWithin

Related Posts with Thumbnails