Lily’s Blog, Dragon Absconded!
Baking Until I Drop

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Sunday 3rd, August 2008

Pizza Making Extravaganza + RANT



Mozzarella Cheese Pizza, originally uploaded by Lilandra.

We like Pizza.
I mean seriously like it…home made especially.
Every time we made our own pizza we wonder why do we buy? (1. cleanup 2. hard work 3. time)

But it’s a fun thing we do together.
So, last time we made homemade pizza we did a cross from Peter Reinhart’s (recipe found online before I got the book with the oodles of tips and instructions) and Alton Brown’s.
It was awesome.
I think we didn’t have enough and used the Naps cookbook recipe to supplement…and we could taste the difference.
*sniff*
Nobody wanted those…or at least we left them until last.

The great thing about making pizza is it can be a family affair. I couldn’t knead or roll dough to save my life (still can’t really roll…or TOSS!) but usually mom would make some dough for us in advance and then Chennette at the appointed time would roll it out. Sister the elder would chop everything (it’s never a hardship for her to slice onions and tomatoes or anything else. My brother and I would have burgers and hotdogs with only condiments partly because we don’t see the point of slicing for one person, partly laziness and partly because we also like plain burgers and hotdogs. Seriously!). I’d help out Sister the elder also…but usually my job would be grate cheese. Tonnes of cheese. My brother’s too I guess.

And then the serious production line starts.

As fast as Chennette produces a crust we’d top and shove in the oven.

So, I must admit, having every body in the house is perfect time for pizza. I made the dough balls waaaay in advance and kept trying to figure out the perfect time.

When Chennette flew in overnight on the way to that Canadian wedding, I figured yay!

And I thought everybody was on board with that.

Chennette, as usual, slept the whole day away.
Hmph.
We think we’re just a sleeping spot for her.
So…no help with the dough toss.

Sister the Elder has two children who decided to be awake and seriously it would be better her upstairs than the 2 and a half year old downstairs “helping”. (Thankfully she was there to bounce off my ideas).

Mom…who said we had no bread in the house and nothing to eat put up a bread in the bread machine.
Geez mom! I’m making pizza for the whole house. Even the non-cheese eater father will eat it, you know???

And…my brother and sister-in-law (and daughter) went by her parents for the evening. Didn’t you get the memo??? Didn’t you realize this was a joint effort?

My family.
Did they seriously think I wanted to spend whole day making 9 pizzas by myself and then be soooo pooped and sweaty…too tired to even eat or bathe???

Let’s not even talk about the family-bonding experience this was supposed to be.

Hmph

Thankfully, mom, who wasn’t supposed to do anything…she was supposed to be resting because her children (not just poor overworked Lily) were going to be making dinner, came to my rescue.

I sliced, made pico de gallo, grated cheese.
Mom defrosted spinach, found olives, hunted for the missing nachos which we seem to have hidden from the elder niece.
She listened to me when I wondered if I really should be making all these different pizzas.
Was morale booster when those people almost got only cheese pizzas! HA!
Unfortunately some of them might have liked that…



Tortellini, Mushroom and Pesto Pizza, originally uploaded by Lilandra.

So, I planned to make pizzas we loved and a sorta tribute to Antonio’s pizza in Amherst where I probably spent a lot of money.

I had 9 crusts and was walking around all week with a list of numbers and organzing what goes on what crust. I decided two cheese pizzas, two veggie pizzas, two avocado quesadilla pizza (in danger because people kept eating out the avocado and the niece wanted the tortilla chips), two spinach pizzas and one tortellini pizza.

So, during day light, I diced tomatoes, onions and tossed them with minced garlic, lime juice and bandania. This went in the fridge to chill or set. Oh man it smelled so good. Like a nice tomato chow.

I boiled a bag of Barilla cheese tortellini and then tossed it in some Barilla pesto (so what it’s not homemade).

I sliced local mushrooms and sauteed them in olive oil.

I took frozen spinach and sauteed that with…onions in olive oil.

I sliced tomatoes, onions, olives, pineapples.

In addition to a bag of shredded mozzarella and another bag of cheddar and jack, I grated more cheddar and sliced fresh (wet?) mozzarella and havarti and crumbled some feta and located the brie. Was there more cheese? Who knows.

I say I alot because it was rather a blur. I know mom was there. But I really needed her help for the crusts.

I took out two bottles of sauce (yes! bottles). Barilla N** something and some artichoke sauce.

When all the prep was done we covered everything and I went upstairs and relaxed until the sunset prayer.

All to start again.

I tried to find 9 pans…I think I found 7 and then had to use some deep pans. Yikes!

Mom and I tried tossing crusts but haha. No.
So mom started rolling and stretching on the table for me.
They were rather small.
And we wanted them too big.
We ended up joining a few of them together.

And…MWUHAHAHA!



Cheese and Veggie Pizzas, originally uploaded by Lilandra.

We still wanted 9 pizzas so we took the almost done rising dough from the bread machine (you remember this, don’t you?) and mom made two pizzas out if it. These two pizzas got one veggie pizza (tomatos, onions, pineapples, olives, mushrooms, cheddar, mozzarella) and one cheese pizza (cheddar, mozzarella, anything left over).

THere was another veggie (almost same toppings except one of them had more mushrooms and a touch of olives and the other more olives and a touch of mushrooms).

Also, we made a mozzarella only cheese pizza.

Oh…I should say none of these went in the oven while we were topping because I didn’t want to get confused and forget them or have toppings and no pizza…so we were doing all this in a 550F kitchen. It was HOT!

We spread ricotta and pasta sauce on two crusts. Not a lot of sauce, just enough to get a little taste. Then we ladled out the spinach and onion mixture and topped it with the crumbled feta and olives. I think this pizza was a great hit. When I woke up the next morning I had some difficulty believing only half of it was left.

Then there was the carb on carb special (yes lifted from Antonio’s not because it was my favourite pizza there but did hold a special place in my heart…fascination? train wreck?). We spread more pesto on the crust and then topped it with tortellini and mushrooms and brie and mozzarella cheeses. Of course we only made one of these. We’re not silly!



Avocado Quesadilla Pizza, originally uploaded by Lilandra.

And then the pizza I’d been craving forever. Avocado Quesadilla. Really just cheddar, jack, ole tortilla chips, sour cream, pico de gallo. Anything else I forgot? Who knows. I should’ve put more avocado. But regardless it was good and spicy and…I loved this at Antonio’s but…I don’t remember it tasting so good. Has four years really done a number on my memory or my cravings or was this just better? Who knows!

It took forever to bake. 9 pizzas at about 10 minutes in a 550F oven. I tried putting two pizzas at once but it got too hot and things dripped and burned and smoked so we scratched that idea. We??? ME!

Mom left me I think after the first pizza came out.

And Chennette, elder niece, nephew and their mother came to eat. Finally.

ANd at the tail end of our eating…brother, sister-in-law and baby niece came home to a nice smelling house at about 11pm? And couldn’t wait.
Would you like a slice?



A plate of pizza for breakfast!, originally uploaded by Lilandra.

I left them to do some clean-up.

All the pizzas were done and laying on the table…I took out cloths to cover them…told them to wipe up, wash up…I’m not sure if I had swept already. All my baking endeavours involve sweeping. Gah! I may have passed a wet swiffer but decided it needed real mopping.

ANd I was tired.
It was worth it by taste alone.
We couldn’t even tell that mom’s bread dough wasn’t the same as the rest (except I could…but it blended okay).
I would do it again…maybe
But I’m not crazy.
9 pizzas and only my mom to help???
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO

But HA! At least they all ate at the dining table because the kitchen table was unavoidable occupied.



Our Kitchen, aka the Pizza Making Extravaganza, originally uploaded by Lilandra.

You can see the whole set here.

7 Comments »

  1. Yummy Pizza and it ws really appreciated by me and I am sure the others who ate…..

  2. for the record…I didn’t really know you were going to be making pizza…and you of all people knew i didn’t sleep the night before
    the pizza tasted really good in the hotel in Toronto too even after traveling hours on a plane!
    I thought your tortellini was better than Antonio’s. And avocado quesadilla was the best – good to know we(you) can replicate that.

  3. oh – and I could totally tell the bread dough pizzas…it tasted and had the texture of bread dough. not bad or good, just different.

  4. i thought my tortellini for sure was better than Antonio’s. it had more depth…those mushrooms and pesto were great.
    but if i made my own tortellini who knows!
    all i wanted from you was to roll dough :-D

    avocado quesadilla…mmm
    mom said she didn’t have any
    we’ll have to make again
    i’ll make some crusts and freeze

    well…you were the one who looked at me and said well this one can’t be the bread dough can it? and it was! so there!
    it was..thicker…more…um…even…consistent?

  5. hmmm … all this and the pizza got made and eaten and was well appreciated by all and it even got a plane ride to Toronto… imagine that … and enjoyed there as well……….

  6. […] slowly but surely get into will this never end? Will there be pizza? Where is brother who promised, after last time to help next time I make […]

  7. […] slowly but surely get into will this never end? Will there be pizza? Where is brother who promised, after last time to help next time I make […]

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