Friday, August 21, 2009

Friday Night is Pizza Night

Family traditions start small. Duplicate a fun event several times and it becomes tradition. We love to celebrate Friday nights with pizza and a movie.

In Utah we ordered the pizza for two reasons - one, I was working full time and by the time Friday night came around I was beat, and two, we had a really great pizza place that I loved.

Here in Texas it's a different story. Friday night comes around and I'm even more beat than I was when I was working "full time", but we haven't managed to find a remarkable pizza place. Thus I've been trying out different pizza recipes. After several attempts I found a winner tonight. This crust was perfect! A few modifications and I made it stuffed crust, topped with ham, turkey, pineapple and monterey jack cheese - it was heaven!

To finish off the "fast food" experience, we completed the meal with sweet potato fries. They were a great compliment to the pizza and the kids ate them up!

Quick Pizza Dough

2 1/2 cups flour
1 tbsp. quick-rise yeast
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup warm water
1 tbsp. oil (I used EVOO)
t tbsp. honey

Preheat oven to 425°. Combine flour, yeast and salt in a large mixing bowl. Separately combine water, oil and honey. Combine with flour mixture. Knead for 2 minutes - it will be stiff and crumbly at first. Roll out. I rolled a little extra big for my pizza pan so that I had extra to roll over the 'stuffed crust'. There is no need to let the dough rise, or to bake it first.

Place on pizza pan/stone. For stuffed crust I added cut cheese the size of small carrot stick around the perimeter of the pan, then rolled the extra dough around the cheese. Add pizza sauce - I used left over spaghetti sauce from yesterday's Eggplant Parmesan. Add any additional toppings prefered by your family and bake in preheated oven for 9 - 12 minutes.

Sweet Potato Fries

2 medium sweet potatoes
2 tbsp. olive oil
1/2 tsp. cumin
1/2 tsp. oregano
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. parsley

Preheat oven to 425°. Spray baking pan with cooking spray. Skin sweet potatoes with potato peeler, and cut into sticks that look like carrot sticks, approximately 1/4" wide.

In a large mixing bowl add olive oil and cut sweet potatoes. Using hands, mix potatoes and oil until all potato sticks are coated. In a separate bowl add all remaining ingredients and mix well. Sprinkle over potato sticks while mixing with your hands to ensure good coverage. Spread on baking pan, taking care to separate each stick. Bake for 20 minutes and turn with a spatula, then bake and additional 20 minutes.

These are great! They are perfectly crisp on the outside and sweet and soft on the inside!

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