Sunday, September 25, 2011

Foodbuzz 24x24: This ain’t your mama’s pizza.

17pizza night

Hooray for Pizza Day
Hooray for Pizza Day
I miss Pizza Day
The best day of the week

--The Aquabats, “Pizza Day”

8pizza nightI remember lunches better than most things that happened at school over the years. I often got school lunch, and even though the pizza didn’t resemble any I’d had outside school walls, we were still willing to eat anything associated with pizza. Maybe that’s what drives my willingness to put anything and everything on a pizza.

My sister-in-law has implemented pizza day with her family which I’ve basically muscled in on. We join them every week for pizza and a movie. I like to eat pizza as often as possible so when Foodbuzz asked featured publishers to come up with a meal using the ingredients found in our cupboards for this month’s 24x24 (since we would use the stipend to go to the festival in November) and I knew immediately what I would pick:

Pizza for Pizza day!

Pizza is the perfect vehicle for creativity. A blank canvas. I’ve made bi bim bap pizza and roasted veggie vegan pesto pizza and I’m always trying to think of a new flavor that goes well with sauce and bread.

1pizza nightThis is one of my favorite things to find when I open my fridge. Pizza dough ready for pizza night. Way too much dough, in fact.

I like to use pizza to get my daughter to try new foods. She knows she likes pizza, so it’s hard for her to resist. She’s gotten used to my weird pizza. Today she asked me if she could have sweet potato on her pizza, too.

9pizza nightDue to the price of food and the fact that we live in a vulnerable island in the middle of the pacific ocean, I have a bulk item pantry with flour, cans of tomato sauce/paste/diced, beans, sugar, toilet paper, rice, cooking oil, MRE’s, water…. Islanders have been through enough tsunami, volcano, dock worker strikes, earthquake, hurricane, flood,  warnings and real deals that many people think this way. I always have yeast (in the fridge, because it dies in our heat) and I always have cheese, because we are obsessed with cheese. Or maybe that’s me. I buy fruits and vegetables from local sources as often as possible because you can spend a fortune at the regular grocery store for shipped-in and usually sub-par products. My freezer is essentially a bulk storage bin with meats and frozen purees, fruits, nuts and whatever likes to be eaten by bugs or can’t sit unprotected from the humidity. We have a joke that in Hawaii the second you open a bag of cereal it goes stale and chewy, and that on the mainland you leave it open so it can get more crisp.3pizza night I think of pizza as one of the cheapest foods without actually tasting cheap. It can be gourmet, and still cheap. You don’t need much for toppings and you can use whatever you have around the house or leftovers in the fridge. There’s a price to living in paradise and pizza is absolutely perfect for what we keep around our house.

kid armuletsWe had our weekly pizza night and the kids watched Rio and made wrist bands of power out of cups when they got bored. I made way too much pizza. Very typical. Amaya specifically requested a cheese-only pizza for the kids, which is probably a good idea, since I want to stop scaring the kids from coming over.

Pizza Tips I’ve made so many pizzas over the years with so many recipes, I think I have it down pretty well, now. Here are a few things I have learned that could help you. Click the link to read more about making pizza, my favorite dough recipe, and how I make sauce.

Click on the links to print the recipes

Okinawan Sweet Potato and Bacon Pizza2pizza night

Local sweet potatoes are one of my favorite toppings. I often make sweet potatoes ahead of time and throw them in different dinners all week, so a half a sweet potato in the fridge is very useful on pizza night. I highly recommend regular potatoes on top of pizza, too. For some reason I forgot to take a picture of this pizza. Probably too busy eating it. The purple slices are very dramatic and fun on pizza. They’re much drier, more potatoe-y and sweet than the yam kind of sweet potatoes, but those will do anyway.

Barbecue Chicken, Colby/Jack, Feta and Caramelized Onion Pizza

barbecue chicken pizzaI am sort of a sauce hoarder. I always have a million bottles in my fridge with a spoonful left of each one. I can’t bear to throw them away until they’re completely gone. I also threw in the last dregs of an orange marmalade jar. It’s perfect for pizza. Especially if you have a little extra chicken or pork leftover in your fridge

Bo Ssam Pizza (leftover Bo Ssam Pork on a Ssamjang base and topped with Ginger Scallion Sauce)

16pizza nightAsian sauces are the other thing I have too many of. I made some Bo Ssam pork the other night and we still had some of that and the sauces I made to go with it. I think this was my favorite.

4pizza nightI keep some bulk storage of nutritional yeast so I made a vegan pizza with homemade vegan cheese but it slid off the parchment paper as I was pulling it out and went straight to the bottom of the oven. And then caught on fire. Filled the house with smoke.

I really need a pizza peel.

Dessert Pizza

13pizza night18pizza nightThe last pizza was a dessert pizza, of course. I had some leftover caramel from a caramel cake Jake made from the Baked cookbook, and that became my base. Then it was crushed up Oreo cookies (bulk buy from Costco, stored in the freezer), chocolate chips (always bought in bulk because I need my chocolate chip cookies), and marshmallows.

Can you say swwweeeeet!

Yep. Maybe too sweet. But it was amazing cold for leftovers today.

Isn’t that the best thing about pizza? Cold Breakfast?

Best Day of the Week!



Liz That Skinny Chick Can Bake said...

Oooh, I love pizza...and you've made some marvelous options! I think I'd have to go for the Asian version first, but they all look spectacular~

Anonymous said...

I didn't know it was pizza day! These look delicious.

Eva said...

If only my kids were so lucky to have parents who made amazing pizza desserts. I'm jealous for them. :)

Nippon Nin said...

Awesome looking pizzas for sure.Great job! Mozely and Amaya look so cute but who is the boy in Mohawk hair? And the little blond?

Damaris @Kitchen Corners said...

I want to implement a pizza night at our house too. What a great idea. Last night we had pizza, made by Chris. I want the okinawa sweet potato with bacon pizza, that sounds amazing. You know the monkeys from the movie Rio? Well those are the monkeys we have here. One came into our house yesterday.

Have fun in SF.

Mariko said...

Lizzy: We think the same... ! :)
Yummy chunklet: (every day should be pizza day!)
Eva: You're already a parent to be jealous of. No pizza necessary.
Nipponnin: Those are Amaya's cousins: Taj and Eden.
Da: You guys don't have pizza night? I know you make it all the time. That is funny because we were talking about whether Rio is offensive with its Brazilian stereotyping. I was going to ask you...

Lilly said...

OMG I am so jealous of your pizza dough!! So much dough and even more toping ideas =)
That Bo Ssam pizza has my name written all over it!
Next time you should try to top it with some custard and raisins! I bet you’d love it!

Ps: very cute kiddie pics!

Katie Lewis said...

I think if I made any of those pizzas I would hate them. But I think if you made one and handed me a slice I would be instantly in love. Why is it food from other people always tastes so much better? Or maybe it's just that you make super amazing food.

jalna said...

Oh . . . my . . . gawd!

Tori @ The Shiksa in the Kitchen said...

Loved this post! I totally remember pizza day in school, it was the best. You are right, it's a sneaky and wonderful way to get kids to try something new. :)

Mariko said...

Lilly: Custard on pizza! That sounds so good. Great idea!

Katie: Ha. I know what you mean. Pizza is a lot of work. Maybe we each should make dinner for the other.

Jalna: :)

Tori: Thanks Tori! I hope so.

Banana Wonder said...

YUM! I want your pizza!

Unknown said...

I loved this post! Everything looks great!

ちびか〜ちゃん said...

I never seen dessert pizza !!

looks so~~~ yammy

Larissa said...

Yum -- your dessert pizza looks amazing!

Kurk said...

You missed the best one - natto pizza...

Jacqueline@HowtobeaGourmand said...

The Bo Ssam Pizza looks absolutely tremendous. I would just want to devour it again and again! Great pictures!

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