MYO Pizza: KISS Edition

We have had a lot of event filled weekends this Fall and, as a result, have fallen out of our Friday Family Fun Night rituals.

Last weekend we were away from home (again!) and when we arrived home on Monday after an exhausting drive on a very foggy, driving snowy, blowing snowy, swirling snowy, rainy snowy, SNOWY snowy, Cobequid Pass, we decided that we would reinstate the Friday Family Fun Night tradition and have a weekend of very nearly zero obligations.

We are trying to keep it simple, remember?

In keeping with the manifesto, I made a very simple plan.

MYO Pizza – which everyone loves!

To make it even simpler, I made all the pizzas using ready made pizza crusts.

 

The Things shared this happy-making Pepperoni & Cheese pizza.

 

Smiley Pizza

 

Daddy-O chose a more classic Pepperoni & Cheese with veggies (red pepper, red onion, mushroom).

Lots of veggies for Daddy-O!

 

I was very excited to try the Kinnikinnick ready made gluten free crusts that friends in the know suggested.

GF Pizza for Me!

 

I am thrilled to report that the pizzas turned out great and that the crusts themselves are quite delicious.

Yum!

 

It’s really nice to know that I have a viable option for those nights when I just need to keep it simple.

Fourths!

 

Doesn’t that look delightful?

Two thumbs up!

 

Yummy!

Mine had the Kinnikinnick crust, pepperoni, mozzarella cheese, red pepper, red onion, mushroom, pickled jalapeño slices, and gluten free turkey sausage.

It was glorious!

 

 

After everyone had full tummies it was time for us to settle in with the evening’s planned entertainment. We opted to skip a movie in lieu of the excellent Bullying Awareness schedule on the Family Channel.

The cast of “The Next Step” hosted the evening and introduced some of our favourite shows – “Austin & Ally”, “Girl Meets World”, and “The Next Step” – all of which were featuring bullying storylines tonight as a part of their Stand UP to Bullying campaign. All three shows led to much discussion about friendship and bullying and how important it is to stand up and speak up and to never, ever be a bystander.

We especially loved “Girl Meets World“. It is so well written and I love how they keep managing to tie “Boy Meets World” storylines and characters into the show. It’s just so well done!

The Popcorn Pix feature presentation was another trip into bullying territory, with “Contest”. It was very good, but pretty harsh in many ways, as well. Very serious subject matter, obviously, and they hinted at some very heavy elements of being the bullied one. Overall it was very good. Definitely not for the younger ones. Thing 2 is 8 and she was snuggled up pretty close the whole time. Still though it’s such an important topic and we really cannot talk about it enough. No one can. Keep talking!

 

So, how was your week?

Busy?

Did you have a good one?

What will be on your agenda this weekend?

What about your plate?

Did you take in any Bullying Awareness Week programs or events?

Do you have an open dialogue with your kiddos and the young people in your life about bullying and mental health and how to get help if the need arises?

 

 

 

MYO Pizza: Low Carb & Gluten Free Edition (aka The Pizza-Alike)

Gluten Free Goldilocks

Make Your Own Pizza Night is a long standing tradition at Chez Peady and I will not be the reason it stops.

Not being able to eat delicious, chewy, crispy, fluffy, flavourful pizza crust (without feeling horrible) has put a serious dent in MYO Pizza night for the last little while and, quite frankly, we’ve had a lot fewer MYO Pizza Nights as a result.

I have had rather hit or miss experiences with making gluten free crusts. I’ve made this cauliflower crust and had it turn out great, but I have also made this exact recipe and had it turn out terrible. There are myriads of cauliflower crust recipes now – most are still just a variation on the same theme – and I have yet to find a sure thing.

So this week when I knew we were going to reinstate MYO Pizza Night, I knew I needed to approach it from a more creative place.

First, I prepped the pizzas for my family using pre-baked pizza stone crusts and the toppings they enjoy most which we, pretty much, always have on hand. Everyone has favourites and MYO Pizza Night is a great time to get what you want!

Daddy-O likes lots of veggies, cheese, pepperoni, and fresh jalapeño slices. Muy caliente!

Thing 1 is a carnivore and if the entire pizza could be fashioned out of meats and cheeses he would be praising cheeses!

Thing 2 likes a variety of flavours just as long as it isn’t too spicy.

The easiest way for me to deal with this, usually, is to have everyone make their own, but in the interest of saving time (there was a movie in our FFFN* plans) I just used the pre-made crusts and whipped up two pies! One for Daddy-O (leftovers were today’s lunch!) and one for Thing 1 and Thing 2 to share (again, leftovers for lunch today!).

They turned out great** and everyone was happy with a very simple MYO Pizza Night to ease back in.

So, yay!

BUT!

Now what the heck was I going to do?

The trouble with needing a gluten free option is that it does take a bit of planning and extra preparation. Oh look! Two things I almost never do for myself! Shocker, eh?

You know what I almost always do for myself though? Think. So, I thought about what I needed and wanted and came up with a simple idea.

I would make a Pizza-Alike. It would have a tonne of veggies and jalapeños and it would not have a crust at all. Weird? Yup. Delicious? You bet your sweet bell peppers, it was!

Here is what it looked like.

This is what I did.

I used a glass pie plate and lined it with pepperoni slices (you could use another meat as a base).

I added my cheese (mozzarella & cheddar).

I added sliced red bell pepper, sliced mushrooms, some sliced jalapeño and a teensy sprinkle of parmesan.

I popped it into a 400 degree oven until it looked all melty, golden, yummy, and the pepperoni was crisp.

When it was ready, I removed it from the oven to let it cool a bit.

I sliced it into six wedges and placed them onto some paper towel and let them sit for a minute so some of the fat would be absorbed. (If you had a fat free or low fat pepperoni, based on this experiment, I’d say use that!)

Then I served up a few slices on a little plate with about a tablespoon of pizza sauce for dipping.

MYO Pizza Night Victory!

 

So tell me, are you gluten free? Do you eat low carb? Are there dietary restrictions *you* need to adhere to so you can be at your healthiest and happiest?

What alterations have you come up with so you can still enjoy your favourite foods?

Leave a comment and share with the whole class!

 

 

*Friday Family Fun Night. It’s a thing!

**The pizza crusts came from Costco and were an experiment. I was so happy they liked them. KISS! Simplicity rules!

Source: http://www.thenakednaturopath.com/wp-content/uploads/2013/10/gluten-free-cartoon1.jpg

Friday Family Fun Night: Olympic Pizza Edition

We have a tradition at Chez Peady. To be truthful, we have many, but Friday Family Fun Night has been a part of our family, practically since we became a family.

It may have started with a frazzled, hormonally charged “I am a failure as a mother and therefore as a human being!”, but I assure you it has evolved into a lovely family tradition over the years.

Friday Family Fun Night can be anything that works for your family at the end of a busy week. We have, on occasion, even moved FFFN to Saturday to assure a more relaxed experience. I know we can’t be the only set of parents, come Friday, who would really just prefer to crawl into bed and zonk out until the light of day. We are not alone, right? RIGHT?! I didn’t think so.

We tend to change up our FFFN activities on a regular basis so that it doesn’t just start to feel like yet another obligatory “scheduled something” that we have to do. That being said there is one component that seems to have rooted itself deeply into our Friday night plans. Can you guess what it is? No. Guess again! No. Guess again! It’s PIZZA!

(You really should have gotten that sooner. I mean it’s right there in the title of this post. We have to work on your reading detective skills.)

Pizza always plays a part and on a Friday night there is NOTHING easier or more appreciated than a delicious, cheesy pizza. Wait. When you are a kid, there kind of is – it’s making your very own pizza! The Things are pretty creative and over the years we have had a myriad of pizza themes and shapes. From faces to animals to the Death Star and many things in between.

I know that, traditionally, today is a day for hearts, but that would have been cliché and besides with all the Olympic *love* we are seeing and hearing about, tonight’s theme was obvious. We would make an Olympic themed pie. Specifically, we would make the Olympic Flag. And we did!

It was easy and delicious, as usual, but it also fit in perfectly with our Canadian pride (Go, Canada, Go!) and like other MYO Pizza nights the activity is built right into making the meal. How fun is that? I think it’s great because no one is ever waiting around for dinner. They are actively taking part in the preparation, learning new things, making decisions, talking to each other, laughing and having fun. (Speaking of activity, while the pizza was cooking there was a pretty heated game of “Horse” happening between Daddy-O and the Things. I highly recommend those over-the-door basketball hoops.)

This time we really had to think about what kinds of toppings we could use to make those iconic Olympic Rings. We needed blue, black, red, yellow and green. Some toppings popped immediately into our minds. Green peppers and tomatoes seemed obvious choices for green and red.  Three out of four diners enjoy green peppers and tomatoes on their pizza, too, so that was a done deal. It took only a second more to come up with pineapple, which everyone enjoys, for yellow. Great! Thing 1 then had a “Eureka!” moment and shouted “Black Beans are black!”. Terrific! Now blue. Blue was tricky. There was a rather lengthy discussion about which would be more disgusting on pizza: blueberries or blue cheese. Blue cheese won the prize for grossest topping because “it has mold!” and then there was further discussion about the fact that all cheese has mold, but some molds are more scrumptious than others. (Thing debates are the best! I should really record one one of these days.) In the end, blueberries won their place in Olympic pizza history!

We think it turned out great. What do you think?

Veggies

Green peppers, pineapple, tomatoes, black beans, blueberries. Yummy!

Black beans

Thing 1 started with the black ring in the centre, so it would all be even. Logical! (Black beans are *actually* just really dark brown.)

Blueberries

Thing 2 added the blueberry ring and ate a LOT of blueberries in the process.

Veggies

Almost done! What do you think? Doesn’t this look delicious?

Flag pie

Ta daa! An Olympic pizza.

Yummy!

Thing 1 approves of his blueberries and black beans.