Homemade Pizza! Pizza!

by Jenn (eating bender) on January 16, 2010

Allo! Happy weekend!

**Thanks for your sweet comments on my last post. You all know how to get a girl excited about wedding details :) New news: we have scheduled an engagement shoot for mid-February! It came with our photography package and I’m really excited to meet with the photographer and get Bobby to let loose for some fun photos. Anyone have some tips on how to get a guy to relax in front of the camera? ;)**

I missed you this week! However, there was a “good” reason for my absence. We are currently in the midst of a huge client launch at work! If you’re interested in checking out what I’ve been up to all week, visit the Good Mood Mission. It’s a campaign with a “good” message that partners with Feeding America. We’re asking people to answer the question, “it doesn’t get better than ________.”

My answer? It doesn’t get better than a homemade meal enjoyed with friends and family!

What’s your “it doesn’t get better than” moment?

Speaking of homemade meals, last weekend Bobby and I brought back a summer 2008 tradition. At the time, we were still in college, spending our first summer in Chicago as interns. Homemade pizza was the perfect thing to come home to after our hour long commute to and from the city.

All I have to say is that IT’S ABOUT TIME we brought it back!!

Pizza! Pizza! [Watch those two videos for some amazingly cool creative work and 90s flashbacks!]

The homemade pizza is super easy and therefore perfect for The Lazy Chef.

Here’s how we did it.

Ingredients (makes 4 servings — or in our case, 2 large ones!):

  • 1 whole wheat pizza crust
  • 1 can tomato paste or pizza sauce
  • 3 vine ripe tomatoes
  • 1 Brat Hans roasted red pepper and garlic chicken sausage
  • 3 cups spinach
  • 2 cups chopped mushrooms
  • Topping: part-skim mozzarella cheese

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400* and start by putting the whole wheat crust on a pan to avoid ingredients oozing all over your oven while it’s cooking :) Then top the crust with the can of tomato paste or pizza sauce, leaving enough room for the beloved crust.

Shall we compare this to a blank canvas waiting to be painted? Too nerdy? Forget I said anything ;)

Next up, the toppings! First, add three chopped vine ripe tomatoes for an extra boost of red.

Then came the chicken sausage. I found these Brat Hans — another foodie who liked them is in that link! — at Whole Foods last week and got them on sale as part of the store’s coupon newsletter.

These sausages come fully cooked, so we added them to the pizza without heating them up. The oven did all the work for us and they were an awesome addition for some protein.

Up next: VEGGIES! We sprinkled a small layer of mozzarella cheese on to hold all the ingredients together, then topped the pizza with three cups — more or less — of spinach.

The nice thing about spinach is that it wilts down in the oven to create a flatter pizza. We also added two cups — again, estimating there — of chopped mushrooms to hold the spinach down.

How mouthwatering! Once we were done with the toppings, we added a final layer of mozzarella cheese for the final topping. Can you tell which side was Bobby’s and which side was mine? I’ll give you a hint: he’s the cheese fiend.

And…we’re off! Cook the pizza at 400* for 10-12 minutes, or until the cheese is completely melted and the crust starts to brown. You can be the judge of the crispiness factor!

While you’re waiting, pour yourself a glass of wine. This is Flora Springs cabernet sauvignon.

Bookshelf, Sharpie pen and laundry rack not included :) Just in case you’re wondering.

This was an excellent glass of wine. I highly recommend! Look at that purple at the bottom of the glass — I just realized it looks exactly like my wedding color :) Oy, can you tell what’s on my mind?

Once the pizza is ready, pull it out of the oven and let cool for 2-5 minutes. This allows the ingredients to chill out for a bit so that everything melds together and holds still when you’re cutting!

Then it’s time to eat! Bobby and I like to cut the pizza up into quarter pieces. We each take one and then decide whether we’re hungry enough for the other half. Most of the time, we eat it :) But I will say that if you don’t think you can finish half the pie — although I encourage you to try because it’s a solid ingredient list — this pizza makes great leftovers the next day!

I consider myself pretty picky when it comes to pizza. Spending 5 years in Chicago will do that to you. I love deep dish from Lou Malnati’s or Gino’s. But there’s something about making it yourself that just tastes so much better. It’s nowhere near the taste of restaurant pizza but that’s a good thing. You don’t get pools of grease on top of the pizza and I was content to eat half of it. Try doing that with Chicago deep dish pizza and I would have a massive stomachache. Actually, definitely do not try that :)

***

There is SO much going on in the blogosphere right now! I’m still catching up over the weekend so apologies if I’ve missed something, but some of the highlights:

  • Amazing ladies such as Val and Katie are doing their part to help people in Haiti. I am sure there are many more of you so PLEASE leave links to your posts in the comment section.
  • Miss Janetha is offering up My Secret Bloggie Valentine. Sign up if you’re interested in spreading some love this February 14.
  • Fitness challenges GALORE! Check out Angela’s, Gina’s, Caitlin’s, and Tina’s winter shape up plans for some inspiration (Gina’s plan starts this Monday so you know you won’t want to miss it!). Thanks also to Brittany for the link love inspiration :)

I’ve got plans to meet up with one of my lovely co-workers today for some girl time. It should be a lot of fun but I’ve got to clean my messy apartment first! What are you up to this weekend?

I’ll be checking in with you more often, promise! Week long hiatuses are no fun. Has anyone ever done a study on the addiction of blogging? If not, they should. I was in serious withdrawal ;)

Abrazos,

{ 51 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Ashley January 16, 2010 at 11:13 am

Great minds must think alike. Last night was my homemade pizza night also. Well calzone night!

Making crust is the EASIEST thing ever. Plus it’s fun to toss up in the air! It was as good as it was unhealthy lol.

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2 Chocolate-Covered Katie January 16, 2010 at 11:16 am

Thank you so much, Jenn, for mentioning Haiti in your post. Hopefully, through the power of our words/reminders, many of us in the blogworld will make an impact on the amount of aid sent out. God knows, they need as much as they can get.

Happy Saturday, pretty lady!

Love,
Katie

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3 Mara @ What's For Dinner? January 16, 2010 at 11:41 am

YUM there really isn’t anything quite like homemade :) It’s so good! Yours looks particularly great, though I’m with you… deep dish is really my favorite!

My best moment? So far it goes to my wedding day, the moment I finally got to hug Adam after not seeing him for a day and all the anxiety of the wedding was finally coming to a close… *sigh*

Love you girlie!

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4 Erica January 16, 2010 at 11:43 am

What a great tradition- homemade pizza truly is the best. Love all of your veggie choices. Especially those slices of tomato. I think Bobby needs to take a few shots before your engagement pictures ;) JK! He’ll do great! The photographer will help you guys get in the right serious and then silly moods! Cannot wait to see the pictures. Have fun with the girl time! I just got back from teaching Step & Pump and grocery shopping. I plan to watch football and crash for the rest of the day :) Then we’re going out to dinner with friends!!

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5 verbalriot January 16, 2010 at 12:04 pm

Pizza and wine. Ah, what a life! :)

I am celebrating my aunt’s birthday this weekend and watching the JETS game…GO J E T S!

Hope you have a wonderful weekend!

Olga
healthingit.com

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6 MarathonVal January 16, 2010 at 12:08 pm

Thanks for helping to get the word out about Dress Down, Jenn!

Are you still crazy busy with work? If not we need to schedule a meet up soon! :)

Have a wonderful weekend!

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7 gina (fitnessista) January 16, 2010 at 12:10 pm

so glad you’re back- you’ve been up to some exciting stuff :)
thank you so much for the link love- i’m way excited for the winter shape up
HOMEMADE PIZZA! we haven’t had pizza in far too long, either. it’s time to bring it back :)
hope you have a wonderful weekend <3

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8 Mama Pea January 16, 2010 at 12:32 pm

I’m glad you are back and with pizza too! Hope you are have a great weekend!!!

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9 Jessica January 16, 2010 at 12:45 pm

I looooove homemade pizza. I could eat some everyday! Looks so yummy. :)

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10 jsutera654 January 16, 2010 at 12:54 pm

Ok, first things first…”it doesn’t get better than a snowed in Sunday with the one you love, cuddled under a blanket, watching movies while chicken soup cooks on the stove.” ;)

LOVE homemade pizza, btw. Scott and I do it all the time, we have quite a few friends and family that are huge fans and request it regularly…mm and now I want some right now!

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11 glidingcalm January 16, 2010 at 1:18 pm

AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH pizza!
ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh homemade pizza! zeeeeeeeeeeeee yummiest!!!

i wish i had been over for din din!!!

love the action shots too!!

my advice for loosening up bobby? TICKLE HIM! or give him a couple drinks!

love you!
gc

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12 kbwood January 16, 2010 at 1:27 pm

YUMM!!
love me some pizza!! :)
home made is the best, better than ordering!

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13 Melissa S. January 16, 2010 at 2:51 pm

I need to come to your place for pizza! i’m lazy and just use tortillas! gotta love that thin crust though!

I MISS YOU!!

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14 Chloe January 16, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Wow, that pizza looks to die for. Making me hungry just looking at it! Its forever since I last had a slice of pizza!

It doesn’t get better than ‘lazy Sundays reading the papers’ or ‘a fun night out with girls, drinking cocktails’.

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15 Bec January 16, 2010 at 3:07 pm

mmm Pizza looks great :) I am sure the engagement photos will turn out amazing!

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16 Lexi January 16, 2010 at 3:15 pm

Gorgeous homemade pizza! I love making pita pizzas at home!

This weekend: I am totally relaxing! Have a good one!

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17 ksgoodeats January 16, 2010 at 3:15 pm

My advice? Be a goof and say things to make him start laughing. If all else fails pull out the alcohol :D

That’s a pretty shade of purple that you picked for your wedding color (and wine)! I like it a lot! Your homemade pizza looks delicious – I love that there’s spinach in it! Have fun with the girls!

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18 eaternotarunner January 16, 2010 at 3:25 pm

Homemade pizza is the best! Yours looks awesome :-)

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19 Krista January 16, 2010 at 3:34 pm

It doesn’t get better than watching my kids enjoy their sport of choice!

“Eggplant” was the colour I choose for my wedding many years ago! ;)

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20 Molly January 16, 2010 at 3:37 pm

that pizza looks YUM!
Id have to say “it doesnt get any better than RIGHT NOW” I mean, right now is all we have, right? Gotta make the best it can possibly be!

(might also help that I am at the beach with 2 of my favorite chefs ;) )

Good luck with the photo shoot. Maybe some shots before pictures would loosen him up? haha

Have a good rest of your weekend girly!

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21 Jenny January 16, 2010 at 4:26 pm

the pizza is bellissimo! It doesn’t get any better than pizza, wine, and spending time with the dude.. that’s for damn sure! It also doesn’t get any better than being content with life and laughing a lot :)

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22 learningtocookeatandenjoydeliciousfood January 16, 2010 at 4:40 pm

It totally doesnt get better than my mom’s homemade lasagna!! I love it and do not think I would eat anyone else’s lasagna!! :)

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23 Lauren January 16, 2010 at 4:57 pm

It seems that a pizza date night is all the word right now. My hubby and I are getting ready to have one of our own tonight! :)

Best date night is homemade pizza, a glass of good wine, and a movie to cuddle up to.

Hope you have a wonderful weekend sweetheart! :)

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24 Jenna January 16, 2010 at 5:33 pm

Holy yummm!

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25 Pure2Raw Twins January 16, 2010 at 6:01 pm

Nothing like homemade pizza :) Wine looks delicious as well ;) No big plans this weekend though my travel to Charlotte<NC tomorrow for the day besides that just same old work!!!

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26 Stef @ moretolifethanlettuce January 16, 2010 at 7:41 pm

woo that pizza looks amazinggg! got your email, you’re sweet to keep me updated but no worries, take your time! i’m in no rush, and you sound hella busy ;) your work project sounds really cool btw

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27 Brittany January 16, 2010 at 8:03 pm

Hooray for seeing an eating bender post show up in my google reader. I’ve been missing you!

Homemade pizza is simply the best. I love all the different toppings that you and Bobby used. I think I need to put homemade za on the menu for next week!

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28 Jocelyn January 16, 2010 at 8:52 pm

mmm that pizza looks totally YUMMY!!! I agree that you can eat more of the homemade stuff. Less grease=eat more ;)

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29 Jessica (jesslikesithot) January 17, 2010 at 11:31 am

You and Bobby are just adorable!! And that pizza sounds perfecttt!! I’m sure it was so fun making it at home, together…and I love the his & her cheese sides–that’s hilarious!!

Have a great weekend Jenn!! XOXO

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30 MEgan January 17, 2010 at 2:02 pm

That pizza looks great. Did you know that most pizza parlors let you buy dough from them (or sometimes give it to you for free!!) It’s SUPER delish!

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31 Marianne January 17, 2010 at 3:00 pm

I’m definitely a bigger fan of homemade pizza than take out. I think because I can completely customize the amount of sauce, toppings, etc to my liking. Not that I don’t appreciate the simplicity of calling and ordering a pizza as well though ;)

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32 Katherine January 17, 2010 at 5:17 pm

Tonight I’m making a lil pizza myself. Yours looks sooo good! Reading about your wedding plans is kind of awesome by the way :)

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33 Julie @ Pickley Pear January 17, 2010 at 6:09 pm

Your pizza looks amazing, and I’m on a pizza kick right now! How was the chicken brat? Love your blog!!

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34 janetha January 17, 2010 at 6:40 pm

thanks for spreading the word about the swap! oh man~ that pizza looks epic. great idea to chop that chicken sausage up. ooooh i cant wait to see the wedding in full color AHH it’s gonna be gorgeous.

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35 jenngirl January 17, 2010 at 6:45 pm

You’re job sounds perfect for you Jenn–good moods and good food are definitely things that make me think of you! You’re always a positive inspiration for me :)

Reuniting with my school friends over drinks last night after a LONG winter break was definitely my “it doesn’t get better than…” moment.

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36 small homes January 18, 2010 at 2:12 am

I always make homemade pizzas! It is a hobby of mine and I do it every week! I get to put all the toppings that I like in one big pizza dough!

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37 Heather January 18, 2010 at 3:38 pm

I love a piled-high pizza! Looks good!

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38 BroccoliHut January 18, 2010 at 3:49 pm

That is one veggie-tastic pizza! The way I like it:)

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39 Mae January 18, 2010 at 6:18 pm

Hey Jenn, My cousin’s wedding was a few months ago and while they were taking the engagement pictures they also did photos of themselves holding up numbers (big, cut out ones… Either from Michaels or Home Depot) and then framed the pictures and used those as the table numbers. It was so adorable!!! :-)
Good luck and the pizza looks delicious.

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40 Jenn (eating bender) January 21, 2010 at 7:26 am

Mae ~ That is a GREAT idea! Thank you so much for passing it along. I’m going to bring it up with my photographer and see if we can make it happen!

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41 Heather Eats Almond Butter January 19, 2010 at 5:05 pm

I recommend giving Bobby a few glasses of that cabernet sauvignon before your photo shoot. ;)

Pizza looks so good Jenn. I don’t know if CD and I have every made homemade pizza together. I think we need to remedy that soon!

It doesn’t get better than…warm sunshine on your face. One of my favorite things in the world. :)

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42 Lara (Thinspired) January 19, 2010 at 7:17 pm

Jenn your pizza looks SOOOO yummy. I have chili planned for dinner tonight but now I’m really considering running to the store to make something like this instead :)
I haven’t stopped by to say hi for a while—I hope you had a great holiday season and your 2010 is off to a great start!

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43 Katie January 20, 2010 at 1:23 pm

*SQEAL*

I’ve been out of the bloggie loop for a while so I just read your big news. Congrats! All of your wedding planning details look so fun!

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44 April Rueber January 20, 2010 at 2:20 pm

That pizza looks so good and so easy! Throw on some sauce, meat, spinach, mushrooms and cheese. I can do that and I will!

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45 Jessica January 20, 2010 at 3:13 pm

Pizza and vino… Yum! I am going to have to put this one on the menu!!!

http://jess2impress.blogspot.com/

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46 Paige (Running Around Normal) January 20, 2010 at 7:37 pm

Mmm homemade pizza is always good! I’ve been on a pizza kick this week, too!
Your job sounds amazing! You can totally tell you’re so very passionate about it.

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47 Nicole January 21, 2010 at 7:11 am

Chicago deep-dish really is the best! Makes me miss the Windy City! The pizza looks great, and this post reminds me…I want stemless wine glasses! Badly!

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48 Lori January 21, 2010 at 1:45 pm

Great lookin’ pizza! Yum!

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49 Mary (Food Fit & Fun) January 23, 2010 at 10:48 am

yum. homemade pizza is SO good! YOu should def try making your own crust…the best.

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50 Bekah February 1, 2010 at 6:51 am

Vino! ;) Looks delicious with the pizza.

And I am soo ecstatic for you and your wedding! I hope the blog gets full details missy. Cannot wait to see your pictures with the future hubby.

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51 Jenn (eating bender) February 2, 2010 at 10:55 pm

You know it, Beeks! I will be sure to give you the full recap and play-by-play ;) SO GLAD to hear from you as I’ve been reading your blog from afar. I need to drop you a note!

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