BBQ Chicken Pizza

Dinner Idea #1: Fettuccine Alfredo with seafood…but no butter means no alfredo sauce.
Dinner Idea #2: The boyfriend suggests BLTs. Again. Promptly vetoed with a scowl.
Dinner Idea #3: Pizza, the constant fall-back. He suggests Chicken Bacon Ranch Pizza. But no ranch means no chicken bacon ranch pizza.
Dinner Idea #3.5: Sticking with the pizza, but how ’bout BBQ Chicken Pizza? Chicken, BBQ, crust, cheese, veggies – check!
Chicken BBQ Pizza

Seafood Pizza

Seafood Pizza:
shrimp + scallops + crab + bacon + red onion + garlic + white asparagus + jalapeno hollandaise

Pizza Night Every Night

When you were little, you were lucky to have pizza night once a week. When you’re in college, it’s nothing strange to have pizza night every night.

This week I struck a fine balance with pizza night every other night, twice so far. And I struck that balance even finer for going out one night and staying in the other.
Tuesday we went out to Dewey’s Pizza in Lakewood. And we didn’t just go out — we went all out. Wine? Of course. We’ll take the Red Rock winemaker’s blend, the smoother of the two we tasted.
Salads? Sure. I went for the Candied Walnut and Grape, served up with Gorgonzola and citrus basil vinaigrette. When the greens arrived, we realized $5 was well-paid for a heaping side salad the size of a full one on most menus.
And then the ‘za — the toughest decision of the night. I had trouble ruling out any of the specials, actually. Like the Green Lantern with mushrooms, goat cheese, pesto and artichoke, or Ryan’s Inferno with buffalo chicken, red onion, ranch and celery. The decision eventually and unanimously narrowed to one: the Billy Goat. On a fresh, soft crust, you get: goat cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, green peppers and mushrooms, plus garlic and the mozz. Delicious, and soon gone.
Pizza sounded good again by Thursday, and we had the time and gumption to do it ourselves. Thanks to a leftover packet of Chef Boyardee dough (just add water!), a convenient squeeze bottle of sauce (which, we commented, should have been invented decades ago), and a fridge-full of veggies (2 heaping cups, to be precise), we mastered it.
You’re looking at red onion, black olive, fresh garlic, green pepper, pepperoncinis, fire-roasted diced tomatoes (which is my new favorite thing) and a variety of cheeses. All it’s missing is mushrooms, but you should be jealous anyway because it was delicious. And you wish you could have pizza night every night again, too.

Margherita Pizza

Looks yummy, doesn’t it? Well, it was – and even more so because I had no part in the making of this pizza, other than grilling the chicken and being at the grocery store while the other ingredients were purchased. Sure, there’s a certain satisfaction that comes from making your own meals; but the only thing better is when someone makes it for you.
Believe me, the hype around this dish had been building up for months as my boyfriend kept telling me about his specialty margherita pizza. Finally, last Sunday – appropriately, after we saw “30 Minutes Less” about a pizza delivery guy who gets kidnapped, strapped to a bomb and forced to rob a bank (true story, although the real thing wasn’t as funny as Danny McBride and Nick Swardson in monkey suits) – we decided to make our own. Pizza, that is, not a plot to rob a bank.
I was feeling guilty for being away from my book writing for the duration of the movie, so he took over in the kitchen while I got back to work on the laptop. He even stirred up the cupcakes I ambitiously agreed to bring into work for birthdays the next day – but he told me not to tell anyone that because he wants to maintain his reputation as a cook, not a baker.
As long as he keeps making me pizzas, he can call himself whatever he wants.

Homemade Pizza Girls’ Night

Last night, a friend from work came over to make a pizza with me. Homemade pizza is one of my fondest childhood meals. It was greater than or equal to the excitement most kids probably feel on those special nights you get pizza delivered. Probably greater than, because you can put whatever you want want on it. And as much cheese as you want! Unbeatable.

I just remember those being the nights we relaxed and hung out together and watched a movie. And, if last night is any proof, it’s still true. Now, paired with the perfect beer (Fat Tire, obviously) it’s just as memorable.

Easy Homemade Pizza
1 loaf frozen bread dough, thawed (I like wheat) OR Appian Way box mix
olive oil
spices – I use at least a tomato/basil/garlic blend
3/4 can pizza sauce
toppings (last night: pepperoni, 1 green onion, 1/4 red onion, 1 green pepper, 3 cloves garlic, missing: mushrooms)
1 bag shredded cheese

Spread dough evenly on a 12″-round baking stone. Trust me, it works better than any pizza dish. I like to rub a little extra oil into the stone before I spread it on.
Drizzle olive oil and then sprinkle spices around the edge of the crust.
Next, spread sauce outward from center to 1/2-inch from edge.
Scatter any desired toppings.
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 minutes.
Cut into center – should still be doughy.
Sprinkle cheese.
Bake another 5-10 minutes, until cheese melts and dough is baked through.
You could cut it with pizza cutter, but cut it with scissors. It’s more fun.

Sometimes, I make breadsticks out of another thawed loaf of dough. Roll a piece into a snake and then twist it around so it spirals. Lay them on a greased baking stone and baste with softened butter. Sprinkle with garlic salt. Bake for about 12 minutes. If desired, drizzle more melted butter and garlic salt over them after removing from oven. Dip in the remaining pizza sauce left over from pizza recipe.