Pizza night

I have discovered over the years that I really like to cook. There are many nights that I can barely figure out what to serve my family and it feels like I search in the fridge or cabinets for something to throw on the table. “Brinner” a term coined from that hilarious sitcom Scrubs (breakfast for dinner) is a big favorite in our house and is easy for mom which is a big plus. Pumpkin pancakes and egg in toast are probably the most common brinners for us.

When I have the time, or someone to entertain the kiddos, I really like to cook and come up with my own recipes or variations on someone else’s recipe. Tonight’s dinner was pizza. My four year old had a rough day at the doctor with a recurring fever and a subsequent blood test so when he asked for “movie night” and ordering pizza, I convinced him that we could have a movie night and make homemade pizza and it would be just as good for him and even better for me.

We ended up at Trader Joe’s to purchase smoked salmon for his favorite lunch and then the ingredients for pizza. TJ’s does a good pizza dough, so I picked up one bag of the regular and one bag of the whole wheat for the parent’s pizza. I probably could have served my kids whole wheat without much complaint, but I got the regular. The kids had pepperoni with mozzarella cheese and since none of them particularly like red sauce, I used a pesto base (again, thank you TJ’s – I will make my own pesto when my basil is growing again!) I have never seen my kids eat almost an entire pizza. My oldest gobbled it up and he really isn’t a fan of pizza. He usually dreads those birthday parties where pizza is served, but he is slowly being turned on to one of his favorite uncle’s favorite dishes.

The true artistry of the night took place with the grown up pizza. I used the whole wheat crust with the pesto sauce and then added all the veggies I could find in my fridge and cupboards that sounded good to me.  I added baby bella mushrooms chopped fine, artichokes drained and chopped, sun dried tomatoes and fresh spinach. I topped it off with just 1/2 cup of TJ’s quatro formaggio shredded cheese blend. It was delicious although when I added the recipe to MYFitness Pal it had more calories than I would have liked. I have to experiment with different crusts to see what tastes good and is a little healthier for us all. I have been experimenting with homemade bread, so pizza dough should be pretty easy.

Pizza and movie night was a hit. We watched Matt Damon in “We Bought a Zoo,” a movie the kids had seen, but we had not. We enjoyed the movie, the pizza, our soda stream root beer, and most importantly a little family time. Pizza and movie night was a success.

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