Life here at My Whit’s End may get unorganized and crazy, but one thing that is certain is that every four hours, SOMEBODY is hungry. I love to have meals in the freezer that are ready to go. We often have to dash off to piano lesson, soccer practice, or baseball, and I love these personal pizzas that I can pull out and reheat in a few minutes. Add a fruit and I can herd everyone out the door without any guilt that I have failed to feed my kiddos something somewhat sustaining and somewhat healthy. And if he or she isn’t completely full, no problem. We usually have a second supper after practice no matter how big of a meal I fed he or she before practice. sigh. Meals are my life. Laundry is my past-time, cleaning is my hobby, and complaining is my gift.
As usual, I cook en masse. I first had these personal pizzas at a Family camp in Michigan we attended last summer. The pizzas were served on bagels. I intended to make mine on bagels also, but then saw Pitas on sale and I used them instead. They were easier for the kiddos to eat, so I have used them ever since. I buy up Pitas as they go on sale and put them in the freezer, therefore, I usually end up with a variety of brands–both white and wheat.
Gather the ingredients–spaghetti sauce, mozzarella cheese, and pizza toppings. I often just buy Barilla spaghetti sauce, (at $3.50 it is pricy, but it saves about an hour of time). However, I haven’t gone to the grocery store this week, so I am a bit low on supplies. (You also would “make-do” if you knew your Hunni was coming home, and that meant you could go grocery shopping ALL BY YOUR LONESOME SELF! and maybe even splurge and buy a coffee. Walk slowly up and down the aisles sipping a coffee without anyone pushing the cart onto the back of your heels.) Today, I made my own sauce. You probably have a favorite recipe, so just use your own.
I like my spaghetti sauce more like a condiment–i.e. garlicy and with mucho spices. Make yours according to your tastes. (If you are “saucing” up as many pizzas as I am, you will need more like 3 jars of tomato sauce.)
I love garlic!!! Add as much as your Hunni will let you and still be willing to kiss you. OR, add all the garlic you want and then just brush!
We are meat-i-tarians. That means, pizza = sausage. Brown up a pound in your skillet. If you are adding onions and garlic to your spaghetti sauce, brown them first.
While the sausage is browning, collect all your trays and cookie sheets. If one of your trays is being used for a tea party, you may have to turn the sausage on low and sit down for a tea party.
After the tea party, lay out all of your trays and cookie sheets, and cover them with the pita bread. (Don’t worry, you aren’t going to cook them on these trays, so you can use plastic ones.) Now, if you have any hommus in the house tear into a pita and dip it into hommus while you are cooking. You just left a tea party where a little girl was pretending, so do some pretending yourself. Imagine. . .you are at your weekly book club meeting. You look great in your flippy skirt, espadrills, and sheer, white, cotton, peasant blouse. You begin conversing with the CEO lady beside you. Imagine what you would say, you know. . .something on the order of “My daughter prefers Gouda to Havarti on her sprouts and hommus sandwich.” Or try out this one. . .”I just HAD to buy some better tennis shoes, mine wore out in a month with all my training for the Boston Marathon.” Or you could say,. . .”I am struggling with Writer’s Block, and my editor wants the novel in two weeks!” Go ahead. Have fun!!! My sister-in-law and I once eaves dropped on conversations in Whole Foods just to pick up phrases like this. Okay, we also bought a few things, but the eaves dropping was great fun!!! Back to pizzas.
Next add the spaghetti sauce. Schloop it on with a spoon. Think of all the meals you are making at one time.
Here’s the fun part. Add all the pizza ingredients. I do some customization for some of the kids. I love to add zucchini on mine. Sliced zucchini beats pepperoni if you ask me, and it freezes just fine. However, like I mentioned earlier, I haven’t been to the grocery store this week, so I will just have to add it later. I also was a little short on cheese. I can also add that after the pizzas are frozen. My favorite pizza is sauce, sausage, onions, mushrooms, green peppers, zucchini, and cheese. Oh yeah! and if I am feeling extra skinny, add on some crumbled bacon!!!
Here’s a close-up. Don’t droll on the keyboard. It isn’t lady-like, and “drool” isn’t covered in the warranty.
And now, here’s the secret ingredient. Parmesan cheese. It gives the pizzas a zip. BTW (by the way–for the non-texters), we argue about how this cheese is pronounced. Is it par-ME-shun? or PAR-muh-shawn? or par-muh-zon? or none of the afore mentioned?
Here is where you stop for lunch. Preheat the oven. Save out any pizzas that you don’t think will fit in a quart-sized, plastic bag and cook them up for lunch. All these personal pizzas need to be frozen before you try to slip them into plastic bags. I load them all over both freezers and somehow fit all of them in. Leave them in overnight.
After they are frozen, you can store each one individually in a quart-sized, plastic bag. Since they are completely frozen, you can easily stack them.
And here is a close up of a finished pizza. I usually cook them a little over 350–like 375. They only take a few minutes once the oven is at temperature. You also can pop them into the microwave, however, the crust doesn’t get crispy.
Now you are set for many quick meals. And if you should suddenly get four extra boys staying for lunch, just grab 8 more pizzas!
P.S. I would like all my family members and guests that made fun of my IKEA spider-like-looking kitchen light fixture to notice my new classic-in-style light fixture. I hope you are all happy now.
P.S.S. That “J” hook on the curtain rod is from Christmas time, when I hung a wreath on the backdoor. If anyone would like to crawl under the basement stairs, and put it away for me, I would be very thankful. I might even share some of my secret chocolate stash with you. wait. I think I polished it off already.
And now for another gift give-away. Let me hear your BEST book club comment. Make it funny. or. Make it creative. or. Make it sarcastic. And if you are lacking in inspiration, just head to Whole Foods and eavesdrop! (You just might want to buy something also.) I have three very, very small gifts. Nothing great, just a little something for fun. So go ahead and give it your best shot.