Wednesday seems like a L-O-N-G time ago. Probably because I’ve been in a little slice of paradise called the San Ysidro Ranch since Thursday and coming back last night was sort of like walking into the full-on midday sun the morning after your 21st birthday…with no sunglasses. Okay, maybe not that bad. But I didn’t want to leave. More about that in my next post. This post is dedicated to the good time I had before I left!
We had our neighbors over for dinner on Wednesday night. Basically, I generically invited them over the week before for dinner and swimming, and then I forgot to actually follow up with a date. Once I remembered, I was already booked for dinner the rest of the week. I invited them to come over on Wednesday the following week (which was last week…are you lost yet?) and then began brainstorming what kind of dinner I could make that had little (no) cleanup and would satisfy both kids and adults.
About that time, I opened June’s Cooking Light to the “Fresh Summer Pizzas” section and decided we would bring back an old party we used to throw all the time in Law School: Make Your Own Pizza Night! We have an amazing pizza stone that’s designed for our grill, and if you buy the dough, making your pizza is a snap. I think Cooking Light said it best: “Invite friends over, scoop up some fresh ingredients, and throw and easy pie party…start with the dough. Fast and simple means store-bought, not homemade.” Exactly, CL, you’re speaking my language. We called a local pizza joint, Pie Hole and ordered 5 large doughs. Tuesday night, I roasted eggplant, squash, zucchini and onion. I also bought mushrooms (which I sauteed Wednesday), kalamata olives, pepperonis, canadian bacon, shredded and whole mozzerella*, parmasean, romano, ricotta, tomatoes**, spinach (also sauteed), garlic, tomato sauce and pesto.
I left the pizza dough out when my husband brought it home and that made it easy to stretch into pizza form. Then, I put it on a cookie sheet covered with corn meal (to prevent it from sticking) and let my guests team up to make their pizzas. They could add whatever toppings they wanted, and then we baked the pizzas for about 10-15 minutes! I made the Three Cheese Pizza with Spinach and thought it was pretty good. My husband and another guy made a “man pizza” which came to be called the “POTN” (pizza of the night). The kids had fun making “patterns” with the pepperoni and tomato.
One of our neighbors brought Sangria. I will ask her for the recipe to post it, but I know the primary ingredient was Carlo Rossi jug wine. It was dangerously delicious.
I also made a three berry pie for dessert. My husband said it wasn’t “real” pie because it had a crumble on top instead of a lattice top, but I thought it was delicious. I got the recipe from Nepenthe in Big Sur, and I’m calling it Hippie Pie because the instead of a cook time, the recipe advised to bake until “the top is golden and bubbles rage”. HA!
*Mozzerella is so squashy it’s really difficult to cut without it completely losing its composition. I found that freezing the mozzarella in the package and then taking it out when it’s hard (that’s what she said) makes it way easier to slice.
**Put the sliced tomatoes on a jelly roll pan lined with paper towels for 20 minutes before you put them on the pizza. It makes the pizza less soggy.