HDYDI: Family Pizza Night

I’ve mentioned our family pizza nights on the blog here and there, but I’m not 100% sure I’ve ever explained what that means here at Casa Whitaker. Here goes.

Family Pizza Night

For as long as forever, we’ve had pizza on Friday nights. Not just any pizza, but 100% homemade. During our first year of marriage, we splurged and bought a $30 Calphalon pizza pan. On a graduate student income, it took us like three months to pay for it. No lie. In that box, came a recipe for crust. And, since we were too poor to buy the pre-made kind, I whipped up our first batch of homemade and never looked back. The recipe is below. What’s left off is knead the dough, adding more flour as needed, then cover and let rise 15 minutes. It makes enough dough for two pizzas. Once your pizza is put together, bake at 400 for about 10 minutes, or until the crust is brown.

hdydi, pizza night_013

My mom gave me a great recipe for pizza sauce and now I just use it as a general “guideline.” You know, pinch of that, pinch of this and a wee bit of that. It’s just a can of tomato sauce (per pizza) with oregano, basil, garlic salt, pepper, salt, fennel and whatever other Italian seasoning sounds good. No week is the same. Every Friday, after we make our usual Sonic happy hour run, we head home and I get the dough going while the kids play. Then, it’s off to make the sauce, brown the sausage and get out all the fixings.

The kids usually come screeching in the house when I’m just about ready to assemble the pizzas. Figures.

hdydi, pizza night_009

We try our hardest to make Friday night family pizza night, but sometimes a basketball game on the other side of town or a work event interferes. Sometimes we watch a movie, sometimes we have dessert. Sometimes the boys (including the biggest one, the Mr.) enjoy a Wii football game. We rarely make plans on Friday nights and it’s a welcome reprieve from a usually very busy week. Some sweet friends of ours in Indy designated a pizza night with their family and it was sacred time. I’m hoping we’re fostering the same kind of tradition at our house.

It’s nothing fancy, nothing orchestrated, it’s just always on the unwritten calendar. For now, I can get by with two pizzas, but the day is coming (quickly) that momma’s gonna have to double the recipe!

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  1. Erin {Home Everyday} on January 14, 2013 at 7:53 am

    Pizza night is a favorite at our house too! Thanks for sharing your recipe. I know what you mean about doubling the recipe. This weekend, my kids ate through an entire batch of pancakes (they are only 2, 3, and 5). What is it going to be like when they are teenagers?!?!?

  2. Verdina on January 14, 2013 at 8:13 am

    Don and I had pizza every Friday nite for years! I used the recipe on Pillsbury’s hot roll mix for the crust. Don was amazing with the sauce… he was a master in the kitchen. Thanks for bringing that memory to the “front” this morning!
    God bless!

  3. Mike on January 14, 2013 at 8:37 am

    We don’t have a regular scheduled pizza night, but it’s one of my favorite treats. Did it last night for Zach’s birthday… he wanted bacon… just bacon.. for his topping. If you ever want a NO KNEAD recipe for your crust, I’ve got a good one.

  4. Bonnie on January 14, 2013 at 10:48 am

    We love our homemade pizza, too! I use tomato paste because I like a thick sauce – yumo-o!

    Also, here’s a tip a friend and former pizza place employee gave us. You don’t have to brown the sausage. Bake the pizza at 500 for 10-12 minutes and the sausage will be fine. I don’t know if that works with your crust recipe but it does with ours and I LOVE that it saves time and another pan to clean.

  5. Rowena on January 14, 2013 at 12:25 pm

    I can vouch for this pizza crust recipe! It is DELICIOUS, quick, and easy to make. It’s great bonding time as a family to make the pizzas together too.
    I’m glad you shared the recipe in the St. Theresa Cookbook that my husband received some years ago. Once I tried the recipe, I enjoyed making homemade pizza more than ordering out. Thank you!

  6. Nicole on January 15, 2013 at 6:35 am

    Thanks for sharing – would love to try this recipe with our family!

  7. Alli on January 15, 2013 at 7:46 am

    Yea, love pizza night here too. My hubby has his own special dough and technique… high five on the Colts sweatshirt on your big guy. Made me smile. Sending some Indy love your way!! ­čÖé

  8. Jules on January 15, 2013 at 4:25 pm

    Thanks for posting this! It has definitely started to get my wheels turning figuring out when I can next host a ‘make your own pizza’ party

  9. Wayne on January 16, 2013 at 1:37 am

    SO Cute! and of course awesome.
    You’re so diligent about your blog and posting… something I’ve struggled with, though not just with blogging.

    Hopefully I’ll be able to run into you at some Austin events as this is my last semester at UT.

    and goodness i like what you did with your house. just saw the before and after pictures!

  10. Patrizia on January 17, 2013 at 9:47 am

    Dear Kathryn, I read with pleasure your evening with pizza and I enjoyed reading the recipe for American pizza. Italian pizza is different: we do not put butter, milk, sugar or another but only water, flour, salt, yeast and olive oil. Then he has to rise half a day (or at least a couple of hours). Above just put raw peeled tomatoes with olive oil, oregano, salt, and when it is almost cooked fresh mozzarella putting in the pizza oven to dissolve. Then there are variants with other ingredients like more: potatoes (without tomato), ham, anchovies, peppers, olives, carciofici, etc..I’d love to cook with you and eat it all together. HUGS. Patrizia from Roma

    • Kathryn on January 17, 2013 at 9:03 pm

      Oh Patrizia! I feel like a bad American for posting our pizza when YOU must have an amazing recipe. Please share! If I can’t go to Rome next Friday, at least I can have your pizza dough. Oh, I miss you and the boys so much. Hugs to them and Paolo. Baci!

  11. Terri on January 17, 2013 at 9:05 pm

    I love reading your stories of those lean years at the beginning of your marriage. We have similar stories from our grad school years, including homemade pizza! Is it odd to say that I kind of feel sorry for people who don’t have memories of tiny apartments and tight budgets? Thanks for the post!

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