There’s something about the winter that makes me want to stay at home and cook, even on days that my husband and I would normally go out. Maybe it’s the cold weather outside, weather which causes even the short walk from home to car and from car to restaurant to be an unappealing one. Or maybe it’s the early sunsets and dark evening, factors both of which make the warm, bright glow of the kitchen particularly alluring. But whatever the reason, however, there’s little doubt that some of my best home-cooked meals are made during the winter months.
This year is shaping up to be no different. This past weekend, after a busy day shopping at the mall and assembling Christmas gift baskets, all I initially wanted to do was sit on the couch and curl up with a book. But as soon as I did so, a new desire took hold of me – the desire to cook.
My friend has recently been raving about the home-made pizzas that her daughter had been making for their family. She said that, when done right, a home-cooked pizza is easy to make, delicious to eat, and its ingredients are cheap to buy. What’s not to like about that? With this thought in mind, I set out to make an easy, cheap, and delicious pizza.
Here’s what I bought:
-Pizza dough. Cost: $1 from Trader Joe’s.
-A block of cheese. This can be any kind of mozzarella or cheddar. I bought a Wisconsin Sharp Cheddar. Cost: $2.50 from my local grocery store.
-Pizza Sauce. Most grocery stores have small cans of pizza sauce in the pasta aisle. I got mine for under $1.
-Toppings. This can be whatever you’d like, naturally. My kids usually prefer to keep things classic and simple, so I just bought some cherry tomatoes to put on top. Cost: $2.50
So, for a total cost of $7, I had all the main ingredients for making a pizza that could feed my family. You’re also going to need some olive oil and flour, but both of those were already sitting in my pantry at home.
Then, here’s what I did:
-I covered the bottom of a large baking pan with flour.
-I flattened the dough onto the baking pan.
-I put layers of ingredients on top of the dough: first olive oil, then pizza sauce, then cheese, and then cherry tomatoes.
-I put the pan into the oven and let it cook for about half an hour. When the crust gets brown and the cheese turns golden in color, your pizza is probably done.
It’s as easy as that. After the pizza was done cooking, I cut it up and put it on the kitchen table. My family was shocked to hear that, no, I hadn’t ordered in from a high-end restaurant. And, furthermore, I had only spent 10 minutes putting the whole meal together. My first pizza experience was an undisputed success.