What’s for Dinner?

My last post was a re-post of an article I had written on menu planning. Another advantage of menu planning is that if something comes up, it is so easy to change things around.

For example, my husband will not be home tomorrow night, which is our homemade pizza night. While I can do it myself, I count on my husband’s help to wrangle the kids and help supervise veggie cutting while I’m making dough. 🙂 Plus, it’s a great family cooking experience! Since he won’t be home tomorrow, I decided that tonight would be our pizza night.

In the middle of making the dough, I again changed my mind and decided that we would make calzones. Same recipe, just a different shape. 🙂 And it adds variety! Another advantage to the calzones is that if everybody wants something different, it’s easier to handle. Also, if the ingredients are a little skimpy, as they were tonight, they tend to go farther in calzones. 🙂

For our pizza night, I take my favorite bread dough recipe (any 2-loaf yield recipe will be plenty for two medium or two large pizzas). I make the bread dough as usual, but stop at the first rising. You can do the first rising, if you prefer, and you’ll probably get a fluffier crust. I usually don’t plan ahead enough to get the first rising done before dinner time! 🙂 Then, just divide it into as many servings as you need (we feed 6-8 very easily with this recipe).

For calzones, roll each chunk into a circle, fill with toppings, then fold in half and roll the edge. We coat the top with olive oil and sprinkle with a seasoning mix we made up – parmesan cheese, salt, oregano, parsley, onion powder, and garlic powder.

For pizzas, divide the dough in half and roll out to fit your pan. We have salvaged pizza pans from a pizza chain my husband used to work for, so we use this recipe for up to 3 medium pizzas in these pans. I’ve also used large baking/cookie sheets as pizza pans and cake pans, too. 🙂

I usually buy pizza sauce, but tonight I didn’t have any. So, I took a can of diced tomatoes and whizzed it up in the food processor with some salt, oregano and parsley. You can easily mash it with any kitchen utensil you have available.

That’s it! Add any toppings you like and you have your own pizzeria style pizza at home for only $6.00 worth of ingredients. For us, the cheese costs the most. You can buy pepperoni at the store, italian sausage (we just strip it from the casings and saute it to sprinkle on, or use breakfast sausage in a roll), green peppers, onions, garlic, etc.

Bake at 450 for about 15 minutes, or until golden brown on top (same for calzones & pizza).

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