Thursday, March 3, 2011

Did Someone Say Pizza?

Our Coastal Gourmet flatbread pizza stations have always been popular for events, and lately I've been thinking about how much I loved Pizza Parties as a kid. For me, it would be a Friday night and the scene would be set with the likes of Cyndi Lauper and Pat Benatar, (along with other legends from the 80's) humming in the background. All of my friends would come over, the soda would be flowing, and if we were lucky, someone's mom brought ice cream. Nostalgia recently got the best of me, and I decided to host a good ole' fashioned Pizza Party at home- with a grown up twist! Instead of ordering out, I decided to have my guests join in the fun of cooking and we came up with the idea that we would each create our own unique pizzas. If you ask me, the best parties are interactive; it sets a fun, casual tone, and encourages more mingling amongst guests. Glass of wine in hand(we traded in the traditional soda of my youth), and set out to make some delicious pies that would have given the local pizza joint a run for their money.

Here is what I did for my party, and some suggestions for hosting your own "Grown Up Pizza Party":

I set everything out on the counter, and let my guests work in pairs, creating their own personal sized magical masterpieces. Having only one oven, we cooked each pizza one by one, and we sampled each one as they came out of the oven.

Homemade Pizza Dough- it's not as hard as you might think! Check out this easy recipe I used. You can also pick some up at your local grocery store too.

Pizza Sauce- I used this recipe that calls for tomato paste, sauce, oregano, garlic & paprika. Feel free to feel adventurous and add your own twist! I also put out some pesto, as an alternative for the traditional red sauce.

Cheeses- I stocked up on shredded mozzarella, asiago & parmesan

Toppings- Here is where things got fun! I put out pepperoni, proscuitto, spinach, fresh basil, tomato slices, grilled chicken, olives, sundried tomatoes, roasted red peppers, onions, artichoke hearts, mushrooms and threw in a surprise with some anchovies. (I was curious who would actually be brave enough to use these!)

For the wine, I had a simple chianti for the red and one of my guests brought an Australian Chardonnay... both went great with the menu!

The last bit that pulled the entire event together was the dessert. You didn't think I forgot about that ice cream, did you?! We all made rootbeer floats and proceeded to pass out in a food coma on the couch in front of the latest chick flick. I couldn't have asked for a better evening!

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