Culinary Cuties: Pizza Party!

Why play with play-doh when you can play with Pizza Dough!!  Plan a fun family night or party with friends and let your little ones make their own personal pizzas.  We found an Ina Garten recipe that, adapted slightly, is perfect for little hands.  It’s egg-free, quick and easy!!  When we combined it with our delicious local produce from Palmetto Organics, we had an Organic Pizza FEAST!!

Shopping List
·         1¼ cups warm (100 to 110 degrees) water
·         2 envelopes dry yeast
·         1 teaspoon of sugar
·         3 tablespoons good olive oil
·         4 cups all-purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
·         2 teaspoons kosher salt

Optional Toppings
·         Cheese (Or Cheese Alternative)
·         Spinach
·         Onions
·         Tomatoes
·         Mushrooms
·         Bell Pepper
·         Any Veggies or Meats You Like
Before Little Hands Get Involved

Step 1 – Make the Dough: You may enjoy letting your little one help for this part.  We chose to do the blending and waiting during nap time.  But, next time, I think we will let the little ones join in! (Recipe Adapted from Ina Garten’s Pissaladière Dough - Barefoot in Paris - Clarkson Potter/Crown, 2004)
·         Combine water, yeast, sugar, and olive oil in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a dough hook. (If the bowl is cold, start with warmer water so it’s at least 100 degrees when you add the yeast.)

·         Add 3 cups of flour into which you have already added the salt; mix on medium-low speed.
While mixing, add 1 more cup flour, or just enough to make a soft dough. Mix dough on medium-low speed about 10 minutes, or until smooth, sprinkling it with flour to keep it from sticking to the bowl.

·         When dough is ready, turn it out onto a floured board and knead by hand a dozen times. It should be smooth and elastic.

·         Place dough in a well-oiled bowl and turn it to cover lightly with oil. Cover bowl with a damp kitchen towel; allow dough to rest at room temperature 30 minutes.

·         Divide dough into six equal parts, shaping each into a smooth ball.  Place all that you are going to use immediately on a baking sheet and cover it loosely with a damp towel. Each ball should make about an 8-inch pizza crust.

·         Allow dough to rest another 10 minutes. (Wrap tightly any dough you don't plan to use now and refrigerate or freeze it for next time.)

·         Preheat oven to 450 degrees while you are shaping the dough and adding toppings so that it will be ready when you are.

Step 2 – Prep your toppings: We choose to sauté our onions while we are preparing the dough; and we simply chop our spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms and other toppings. 
Quick Tip: I finely chop the spinach and mix it in with our shredded cheese before the little ones see the options.  This way the little ones choose spinach when they choose cheese.  J

Step 3 – Let the ingredients cool and get your culinary cutie ready to cook!
The Little Chef's Job
Step 1Saftey First: Make sure your culinary cutie is in a safe, secure location in the kitchen.
A great place might be secured in a high chair or booster seat pulled to the kitchen table.  Check to make sure that, wherever they are, they are not near any hot appliances or foods, sharp objects, or breakable items. Never leave them unattended in the kitchen.

Step 2 – Make Your Pizza:  
·         Give each little one (and participating adult) his/her own ball of dough and let them press need and work it into shape.  Then help them finish up with a rolling pin.
·         Top it!  Help your little one sprinkle toppings of choice on their own personal creation.
·         For added fun… sing the silly pizza song!! J
Step 3 – Cook Your Pizza:  Brush the edge of the dough with olive oil and place in the oven for 9 - 14 minutes.  The cooking time is going to depend on the thickness of your dough and your oven so keep an eye on it.  10 minutes is about the norm.

Itza Pizza Time!!

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The Wasting Nothing Philosophy

Playing, cooking, reading, exploring, loving, laughing, and making a mess with your little one is NEVER a waste of time! It is priority one! It's not just about getting to know your little one. It's about letting your little one get to know you!