Family Pizza Night! Hoot! Hoot!

What a beautiful day! Robbie appeared in the kitchen this morning and whipped out another Dairy Free Banana Smoothie.  As a mother, I smiled knowing he made breakfast by himself (independence) and is leaving for school with something more than a glass of juice in his stomach (yes!).

Tonight was a fun night – pizza night always is. Kids l.o.v.e. pizza. Imagine being a teenager and not being able to eat pizza.  For a long time after hearing my son should be gluten and dairy free, I kept telling him all the foods he couldn’t eat.  Now, I hear what he wants and we learn how to make it differently.  He eats pizza again!  Standing in the kitchen making pizzas with your kids can not only make you laugh, but can give busy parents some quick quality time on even territory.  We are extremely grateful to have found our new favorite cookbook, “Cooking for Isaiah” by Silvana Nardone and her recipe for Perfect Pizza Crust.  Her recipe is simple and quick to prepare (truly about 5 minutes), which I usually make right as I’m running out the door to pick up or drop off a kid and it’s ready to bake when I return.  Keeping them pre-baked in the freezer means Robbie can pull a crust out anytime he wants.  If you don’t have an interest in trying to make a gluten-free pizza dough, DO NOT feel guilty.  Life is too precious to waste time judging yourself.  We also keep Udi’s Pizza Crust in our freezer at all times.  They are pricey but at least it’s pizza again!  Now, let them go crazy and add anything they think sounds fabulous.  Relax and watch as each child’s pizza is interestingly unique. Suggest BBQ sauce and chicken, sautéed onions with bell peppers, chorizo, taco meat, cilantro or any amazing leftovers sitting in your fridge.

Family Pizza Fun Ingredients

Perfect Pizza Crusts (Gluten Free)

Pizza sauce

Mozzarella flavored Rice shreds (we buy it at Whole Foods or PCC)

or Soy Mozzarella (we like the brand Follow Your Heart)

A dash of dried italian herbs

Pepperoni, Sausage and any other toppings

These ingredients are staples in my kitchen along with traditional pizza dough and huge blocks of mozzarella.  Teens are social creatures and I cherish my time watching them interact with friends.  How do you make the teenagers think you are a really cool mom?  Feed them and you will be included in their circle!  The Carter boys enjoy having groups of friends over on weekend nights and I finally learned, instead of cooking for them, there’s more fun in passively directing them to cook for themselves.  Now, I give them the pizza ingredients and let them go at it while I sit back, watch and listen. Oh, I learn so much from listening!

Go plan your family pizza night and let go of the thought that pizzas are only for those who can tolerate gluten and dairy. I’d love to hear what your favorite pizza toppings are.