Wednesday

Easy White Pizza

White pizza, or pizza bianca, is one of my favorite varieties of pizza. Like other red pizzas, its construction and the cheeses used vary regionally. One of the tastiest, I think, uses ricotta as one of the cheeses, but not many do. Some white pizzas are adorned with broccoli florets or less commonly, spinach.

White pizza is actually very easy to make at home and a nice change from the tomato-laden variety. Start with any type of pizza dough - homemade, store-bought or even a prepared shell from the supermarket. Brush the shell with extra-virgin olive oil and dust with ground rosemary and oregano. Sprinkle generously with grated mozzarella. You can also employ other cheeses as well - romano and parmesan work nicely on a white pizza. Then top with dollops of riccotta about two inches apart.
Another method is to spread the riccotta and then cover it with the mozzarella and other cheeses, it's up to you. You can spice it up with diced onion and fresh garlic sprinkled on top. Fold your dough over and it makes a wonderful calzone.

If you simply can't do without your tomatoes, sun-dried tomatoes are another option for a topping, but I prefer my white pizza to be rich in cheese and garlic. Bake until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is golden brown.

Monday

Cookie Dough Pizza


Here's an idea for dessert pizza that the kids will love and is so easy, they could do it themselves.

Start with any recipe sugar cookie dough. Packaged sugar cookie dough mixes up quickly with little fuss or for an even easier cooking project for the kids, start with pre-made dough that comes in a roll, like Pilsbury's. Press the dough into a pizza pan. If you're using the refrigerated log dough, cut it into circles first, set them out to fill the pan then press them together at the edges.

Bake the giant pizza cookie according to the dough recipe directions. Using another batch of dough, use cookie cutters of whatever shapes are right for the season, or use the log dough in a cookie shooter to make flowers and stars. You can add food coloring even to premade dough, just let it soften to room temperature, add your coloring and then shape it into a log again and refrigerate until firm. After baking, let the individual cookies cool.

Cover your large pizza cookie with a layer of vanilla ice cream. Take the decorative individual cookies and place on top of the ice cream layer for decoration. You can always add other toppings, too. Drizzle on some chocolate syrup, use chocolate chips, M&M's or sprinkles.

The kids will love it. It's easy to make and delicious to eat.

Friday

Family Pizza Night

Ever notice that when people want to get together to celebrate, that pizza is often the menu choice for large groups? The reason is pizza's popularity, there is scarcely anyone who doesn't love some variety of pizza and plain cheese pizza is always a safe bet for a large get-together. The words "pizza" and "party" just seem to go together.

For example, my son's elementary school is holding a school pride "Pizza Party" for students who have been an example of their pride and policies of good effort and good conduct. Because he was chosen to participate, he gets to have pizza with his other chosen schoolmates and the prinicpal.

Pizza is as close to being the American national dish as hotdogs, hamburgers and apple pie. Why not set aside a special day each week that your family celebrates just being together? A Family Pizza Party will bring you all closer, give you quality time together and be a wonderful shared experience that could become a family tradition. Why not tonight? Make Friday, Family Pizza Party Night and enjoy the warmth that is family.

Thursday

Crispy Melt Pizza New from Dominoes

Dominoes has just introduced its latest tempting pizza creation, the Crispy Melt Pizza, asking the customer to decide: is it crispy or is it melty?


The pizza features two crispy, thin crusts with melted provolone and cheddar with all the pizza sauce and toppings sandwiched in between.

I can't wait till Pizza friday to try this one. I love crispy crust and all that cheese....yum. A medium, one-topping Crispy Melt Pizza sells for $9.99 from Dominoes.

Tuesday

Halloween Pizza Ideas


Here's the easiest Halloween pizza idea you will ever come across. Having kids in for a Halloween party? Make pumpkin and ghost pizzas. It's perfect for the kids, you can let them make and decorate their own.

Start with already made pizza crusts from the supermarket or you can use large round pitas, get a jar of ready-made pizza sauce and all your toppings and let the kids get creative. Look for colorful items, like red and green peppers, that can be used to add detail to your pizza. Remember, after baking, a strip of ketchup can look like dripping blood.

For a more traditional pumpkin pizza, use a grated orange cheese or a combination of mozzarella and cheddar. Pepperoni can be used to form a mouth, sliced black olives can be arranged as eyes, broccoli for the stem or even hair if your pumpkin pizza-maker prefers a well-coifed pumpkin. Be creative, a roasted red pepper can be a stuck-out tongue.

If the kids want a ghost pizza, then start with french bread cut into half loaves and sliced length-wise. For ghosts, use plenty of the white mozzarella cheese and black olive slices for ghostly eyes. One pepperoni serves well as a gaping mouth that seems to say "Boo!".

Bake the pizzas on non-stick baking sheets in a 425° oven until cheese is melted.

Monday

Homemade Pepperoni

Pepperoni is the most popular of all pizza toppings in the US. Pepperoni is a kind of dry, hard, salami made generally with pork and beef in the US but in Italy may contain goat, turkey or fish.

In Italian peperone is the name for a type of red bell pepper and if you wanted what we call pepperoni, you would ask for salame piccante.

If you are a pizza purist or just like to make your pizzas from scratch, you might want to try making your own pepperoni. Here are some recipes we found.

About.com Homecooking - caution, you have to be really serious about this endeavor as it takes 6 to 8 weeks of hanging to dry and cure your pepperoni

Recipe4All This appears to be a shortened version of the above

CD Kitchen - A good recipe if you like easy and quick. If I were going to try a first hand at this type of food preparation, this is the one I would go for.

The easiest way of course, is to buy a stick of pepperoni in your supermarket's deli or have it sliced up fresh for you right there. However you decide, pepperoni sizzling on a homebaked pizza is heavenly.

Saturday

Poll Says Americans Love Pizza Best


The results of a national survey commissioned by California Pizza Kitchen in honor of National Pizza Month are not surprising. Americans love their pizza. 94% of the population eats pizza and pizza was voted the number one comfort food. The average American eats pizza at least once a week. When asked which food one would NEVER give up, nearly 50% of all Americans surveyed (aged 25-34) said they could not live without pizza.

California Pizza Kitchen, the pioneers of California-style pizza consisting of innovative toppings and worldly ingredients, has been dishing out their famed Original BBQ Chicken Pizza and other pizza favorites since 1985.

Friday

Librarian Lures Teens With Pizza

If you want to lure teenagers into the library for some sneaky introduction to literature, what's the best way to ensure a good turnout? Throw a pizza party of course.

That was the idea of Amy McCue, the librarian in Windsor, CT. She held a pizza taste test and invited children ages 11 to 18 to come to the library for free pizza and to judge the contest. There were pizzas from several local pizzerias and while the kids were busy munching and mulling over the ratings to give each pizza, McCue introduced them to books and reading.

She also invited those attending to read a book and write a review which she would include in a bound book. She promised to wear a funky costume of the kids' choosing to work if she got 100 submissions. The event was a success and several books were checked out of the library that evening.

Pizza and kids, they naturally go together.

Wednesday

Pizza Contest Winner is Dessert

Stone Fire Pizza Company of Eagle, Wisconsin held a Create-a-Pizza contest. The imaginative pizza recipe that won was the creation of 10-year-old Josh Olsen.

Josh covered his crust with apples, chocolate, syrup, caramel, M&M's and sprinkles to create a dessert pizza.



Josh Olsen's winning dessert pizza

The winning pizza will actually be served at the restaurant.

Tuesday

The Lion and the Pizza Dude

Detroit Lions wide receiver Roy Williams made headlines when he admitted in an interview earlier this month that he doesn't tip the pizza dude.

Apparently, Williams didn't know that you were supposed to tip the guy who hands you the pizza. But a little advice from a Pizza Hut delivery driver set him straight.

"It was the pizza guy. I’m not saying I don’t tip waitresses or anything else. I mean we’re talking about the pizza guy who hands me the pizza and I give him the money. The ironic thing Saturday night I’m heading to the hotel and I stop at a light I never have to stop at, and it was red. And guess who pulls up next to me? Pizza Hut man. I roll my window down, and I say, 'Pizza dude, how much am I supposed to tip you?' He said 'Three, four maybe five dollars.' And I said, 'Thank you.' So now I see it’s three, four maybe five dollars and I’m going to start tipping the pizza man."


Pizza Hut President Scott Bergen sent an open letter to Williams challenging him to make up for past tipping sins by delivering pizza on October 16, and that Pizza Hut would donate all his tips to World Food Program. Williams accepted the offer and will deliver pizza for Pizza Hut in Detroit.

Lahmacun - Turkish Pizza

If you're an adventurous type and you want to try something different, how about a Turkish Pizza? Lahmacun, a traditional Turkish dish is often called Turkish Pizza and it does have similarities.


The lahmacun is a flat bread that is covered in minced meat (usually beef or lamb), and sprinkled with lemon. The dough is thin and formed into ovals. After cooking, the lahmacun is often rolled up and served with tomatoes or other vegetables.

I found a wealth of recipes on the net that vary in authenticity and difficulty. Some include instructions for making your own dough, others substitute pita bread for a quick and easy homemade turkish pizza. Here's a sampling of recipes, one is sure to make your mouth water.

Turkish Foods & Cooking - authentic recipe

Recipe Zaar - a spicy but easy recipe using turkish bread as a base

Food Network CA - a delicious recipe but you better be a skilled cook. The picture will convince you to try it, yummy.

Turkish-Cypriot Cuisine - the easiest recipe I saw, using pitas and ground beef. The directions are clear and simple.

Monday

Quick Pizza Dough

Love to make your own pizza but you don't want to fuss too much with the dough? Here's a very easy recipe I found for a dough that is tasty and quick to make. The recipe produces enough dough for two pizzas, so you can freeze half for later. What could be better than that? How about homemade pizza that fills the house with that fresh-from-the-oven aroma? Heavenly.

Here are your ingredients, gather them up and head over to Taste.com for all the detailed instructions.

Ingredient List:
* 2 cups plain flour
* 8g sachet instant dry yeast
* 1/2 teaspoon caster sugar
* 3/4 cup warm water
* 2 tablespoons olive oil

Sunday

Authentic Neapolitan Pizza

What we call pizza today, and is the type most commonly consumed in the US is based on a traditional authentic Neapolitan Pizza, the Pizza Margherita.



Pizza Margherita is made with tomato, sliced mozzarella, basil and extra virgin olive oil. There are specific rules about making the dough and the baking of the pizza in order for it to be considered a "true" traditional Neapolitan pizza (there are only two main variations of pizza considered to be authentic).

The dough must be made with Neapolitan wheat flour and baked for 60 to 90 seconds in a wood-fired brick oven at 485°C. The pizza must not exceed 35 cm in diameter or be more than a third of a cm thick at the center. The toppings must be locally produced.

The other authentic Neapolitan pizza is the Pizza Marinara. The toppings include tomato, oregano, garlic, extra virgin olive oil and usually basil (basil was not an original ingredient, however). There is no cheese on the Pizza Marinara, something that might make it much less popular as an everyday pizza choice in the US, but this pizza is made in many pizzerias in Naples and may be enjoyed by tourists looking to sample authentic, traditional pizza.


If you would like to try baking this traditional cheese-less pizza at home, there is an excellent recipe at e*rcps.com

Friday

Jack-O-Lantern Pizza

If you're lucky enough to live near a Papa Murphy Take 'N Bake Pizza, you can bring home this Boo-tiful pizza to feed all your wee ghosts and ghoulies. It's sure to be a popular Halloween treat.



The Jack-O-Lantern Pizza is topped with freshly grated cheese and the face is constructed of pepperoni. The pizza bakes fresh in your home oven in 12 to 18 minutes. The Jack-O-Lantern will be available starting OCtober 24 through Halloween, but is sure to be a highly requested item so pre-ordering is recommended.

To find out if there is a Papa Murphy's near you, check their store locator.

Thursday

Pizzeria Owner Makes Fake Dough

A pizzeria owner in Dobbs Ferry, NY was making more than just pizza in the back room of the Brick Oven Pizza Shop. Police seized $6000 in counterfeit money as well as printing and cutting equipment. Owner Frank Donato is accused of making fake dough, in $50 denominations.

His pizza shop was so popular that even the police used to eat there. But Donato was supplementing the pizzeria's dough with some he made out of ordinary paper on a laser jet printer. His counterfeits weren't that convincing but police say he passed the phony money at small convenience stores where the cashiers were likely to be teenagers who wouldn't check the bills.

Wednesday

All Things Pizza - Pizza Fun Facts


October is National Pizza month in the US, so designated in 1987. Pizza is one of America's most popular foods, with approximately 69,000 pizzerias in the US!

To celebrate Pizza Month, here are some other fun facts about pizza:

* Pepperoni is the most popular pizza topping in America

* Anchovies are the least popular pizza topping in America

* Americans eat about 100 acres of pizza every day

* Pizza ranks as the most popular food with kids ages 3 to 11

* 3 billion pizzas are sold annually, that's 46 slices each for every man, woman and child in the country.

* 62% of Americans prefer meat toppings on pizza while only 38% prefer the vegetarian variety

* Thin crust is the most popular with 61% of pizza lovers preferring thin crust. 14% vote for thick crust or deep dish as their favorite.

* The world's most extravagant pizza can be found at Nino's Bellisima in New York City. The 12 inch pizza, topped with caviar, lobster, creme fraiche and chives, sells for $1000.
That's $125 for each slice. The pizza must be ordered 24 hours in advance, as the caviar has to be ordered.

The History of Pizza

Pizza most likely originated in Naples, Italy, and was originally a dish common among the poor who added tomato to their yeast-based flat bread. As it gained popularity, tourists sampled the local dish. Vendors sold their wares in the streets, carried in cylindrical drums with false bottoms packed with charcoal from the oven fires to keep the pizza hot. From these humble beginnings, the favorite dish of America was born.

Pizza was introduced to the United States by Italian immigrants who sold pizza in the same way as the original Naples' vendors on the streets of American cities where there were large Italian populations.
The Antica Pizzaria Port Alba in Naples is possibly the oldest pizzeria in the world.

The first pizzeria in America is believed to have been opened by Gennaro Lombardi in 1905 when he first began selling pizza from his grocery store.

Today there are more than 3 billion pizzas sold annually in the United States, making pizza one of America's favorite foods.