Janet's Notebook
We're Having a Pizza Party

Spicy Spinach Pizza

I love hosting pizza nights. But, I don't always call my favorite pizzeria. I love to whip up some great - and unusual - pies in my own kitchen.

Making homemade pizza does not need to be hard. Some pizza stores will sell you their dough or, these days, you can pick up pre-made pizza pie crusts in your local grocery store. Making your pie is only limited to your creativity! Seafood, meat, cheese, veggies, BBQ, sauces ... it's up to you. And, you do not need any special equipment other than your oven. Although a pizza stone and pizza peel are really nice tools and fun to use!

Here are a few recipes to spark your pizza night menu.

"Some really awesome recipes are total accidents - like this one," is how Janice Joy Miller describes coming up with her Spicy Spinach Pizza. I love a happy accidental recipe. The addition of Kasseri cheese was interesting and definitely not traditional. It added great flavor to this pie.

"My family is a traditional pizza kind of family, but one of my brothers mentioned trying this combination and I rose to the challenge," says Brandi Kirkpatrick of her Chicken Alfredo Pizza. I love a good food challenge. The creaminess of an Alfredo recipe, combined with the heartiness of the chicken is great. This recipe could be served as a dinner or cut into smaller pieces for a cocktail party app. So versatile - and filling!

Megan Conner's Italian Stallion Pizza is one hefty, hearty pizza. "This is a different approach to the traditional pizza," says Megan. Everyone loved this when I've made this - men, women and children alike. I like to add a smidge more sauce and cheese than what the recipe says because I love cheese - and you can never have enough in my mind.

"[This] is a variation of pizza, but no crust," says Janna Hogan of her Meatza Pie recipe. No crust? Hmmm. I was surprised at how much I liked this recipe. It's SUCH an easy and tasty recipe. Janna's recipe is a wonderful foundation. Add additional toppings that you enjoy!

Janell Smith's Fruit Pizza is a fun dessert twist to pizza. "[It's] always a huge hit," says Janell. This pizza is light and refreshing. Try adding a bit of lemon juice to the cream cheese mixture for an added punch of flavor.

Ok...I know Christine Reardon's Fun Pizza Dip isn't actually a pizza, but it would be great to munch on while waiting on the pizzas! If the recipe has fun in the name, it has to be good ... right? "It is the perfect appetizer for a small gathering," says Christine. This dip is very easy to throw together. You can serve it with crackers ad Christine suggests, but I'd also try breadsticks, rye crisps or even tortilla chips.

Making pizza is a great way to get family and friends involved in making dinner. And use these recipes as a starting point. Create some pies using your favorite ingredients. The options are endless!

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Donna Graffagnino - Jan 19, 2014
Judy & Nancy, try Sargentos - I haven't had a problem with it.
Donna Graffagnino - Jan 19, 2014
Pizza is probably the worlds most perfect food. I have a large rectangle pizza stone that I leave on the bottom shelf in my top oven - I read somewhere that it helps distribute heat more easily, especially if you don't have a convection oven.

PS - I received my JAP apron yesterday. I love it!!!
Tamara DeVault - Jan 15, 2014
I have made my own from scratch, it was really good. And also bought the pizza dough mix. It was better from scratch. And not that hard, just gotta let it rise. Was so good! I always make extra as they freeze well.
Dana Icenhour - Jan 15, 2014
They all sound great. It's been years since we have made our own pizza, we must do it again one night after seeing waht is in all these pizzas. Sounds delish!
nancy west - Jan 14, 2014
@ Judy Hart, I am finding the same problem with cheese also and it's not just pizza cheese.I have always purchased Borden sliced cheese and the last package I purchased would not even melt when toasted. Something has changed for sure.
Bettina Cabrera - Jan 14, 2014
I've found that both dough's are exactly the same. My daughter works at the supermarket where I get my dough and it's made exactly the same as the one home made ;)
bread flour, sugar, yeast, salt, water and a little bit of oil...
nancy west - Jan 14, 2014
I like making the dough from scratch. Its so much better that the store bought. The secret is using bread flour instead of plain flour.
Judy Hart - Jan 14, 2014
My favorite crust and sauce is using the Chef-Boyarde pizza box mix, bob evans sausage, and my other favorite toppings.
I am having issues finding a favorite shredded cheese, my all time favorite use of Kraft shredded mozzarella, seems to have changed, and does not cook as well as it use too, will be trying different types to replace the kraft with.
Bettina Cabrera - Jan 14, 2014
I love purchasing pizza dough at the supermarket! I also do pizza nights all the time, and use veggies that need to be used soon, that way nothing goes to waste! ;) I also use left overs, from a previous night, chicken, ground beef, even ham or cheese or turkey from the deli!
Estelle Lauletta - Jan 14, 2014
Most supermarkets sell unprepared Pizza dough. Either in the bakery or deli section