As the kids have finally unwound and are enjoying freedom from the confinement of their school days, moms are in full gear with summer routines, and the one downfall centers around all day meal time madness.
With school age children home all day, it means being a bit more creative in the kitchen. In our home, the reality centers around children of all ages flying in and out of the house at any time, any hour. It always begs the question, “Am I ready to feed a crowd on a moment’s notice?”
Since I have been caught in that predicament more times than I care to admit, I’ve become quite equipped to provide for the masses with a few staple recipes that I keep loaded in my repertoire of Ten Minute Dinners.
One of those recipes that crown me “Mom for the Day” anytime I serve it for a teen guest is the “Make your Own Pizza Bar.”
Who doesn’t like pizza? No one that I have met, especially when guests can make their own personalized pan pizza with their choice of toppings, and I get the satisfaction of serving a fun, winning entrée for fraction of the price. Not only is it a budget saver, but it’s just plain fun.
Anytime we have guests, there is always a wide range of preferences, so creating a DIY pizza bar is a sure way to please the entire crowd. We are meat lovers in this house, so the pizzas I buy at the store never satisfy my carnivore guys. I’ve learned that by lining bowls filled with every kind of lunch meat and smoked sausage available, I’m sure to hit the mark for everyone.
The only true prep work comes from getting the dough ready, and chopping up the veggies and meat. If you are truly in a time crunch, grab the store bought pizza crusts, and divide them into mini pan pizza sizes. If you are a true pizza purist, my homemade pizza crust is simply delicious, and much easier than most would think.
For the sauce, I offer both the traditional red pizza sauce and also white Alfredo sauce. By giving those varying choices, it’s been fun to see guest’s creative juices go to work. Many have tried their first white sauce pizza this way, and I’ve talked a few kids into attempting Ham and Pineapple pizza, which is typically a more adult variation.
Next comes piling on the cheese, and being a true Wisconsinite, I feel one can never have too much cheese. Shredded mozzarella and Monterey jack are my favorites for pizza, with a dash of parmesan on the side.
Now the fun can truly begin. Assembling your own pizza and creating your signature dish allows individuality to come out, and it’s always intriguing to see what occurs.
Are you more reserved with just pizza? Or do those dominating personalities pile it high?
Before the meal, chop an assortment of toppings and then line them up buffet style for the guests.
Topping ideas can include one or more of the following:
Dice green and red peppers
Some of our favorite meat options are:
Variety of sausages
Cheese filled sausages (yes, my cheese lover comes out)
Grilled chicken breast
Land O’Frost Premium Home-style Brown Sugar Ham
Land O’Frost Deli Shaved Oven Roasted Turkey
Land O’Frost Canadian Bacon (in a variety of flavors)
Cooked & drained Italian sausage
These are just a beginning of what you can offer for your pizza bar. Once a guest has assembled his/her pizzas, stick it into the oven for 15 minutes (or throw it in the grill for summer time fine) until crust is lightly golden and the cheese melts.