Leba Dinovitz took some stellar pictures. She was amazing, as was Tzivi D. – the food stylist…. first picture being the delicious delectable chocolate mousse in a chocolate cup.
Our Indian Samosa – (Leba D. Photo) always a fan favorite appetizer.
7 Spiced Seared Tuna -(Leba D. photo) another fantastic appetizer – normally served with a dot of wasabi cream.
Always a good time for sushi (Leba D. photo)
One of our signature dishes – the zucchini weave with cous cous inside (although sometimes it’s rice, quinua or stuffing – photo by Leba D).
Homemade Pizza: What’s for dinner?
What to make for dinner? What will the kids eat? What will my husband eat? What is healthy and nutritious and doesn’t take too long? Well, these are sometimes the $64,000 questions in my house and tonight the answer was Homemade Pizza! Mostly because one of my kids wanted pizza, so I thought, let me try. I pulled out my trusty “Spice and Spirit” and used a modified version of their recipe.
First of all, if you are counting your pennies, making your own pizza is economical. To buy a pizza costs $18. To buy a premade crust costs $2.50 per crust. To make your own (drum roll please) it costs: $0.71 for the crust (and that’s for 2-4 pizzas!).
The toppings: $3.
So, it’s worth it to make your own, and if you forgo letting the pizza rise – it takes about 40 minutes, from the time you decide you are going to make the pizza to the time it comes out of the oven(which is quicker than some delivery times). While you are baking the pizza – throw together a salad (my kids eat olives like they are candy – so throw in olives – or better yet, let them throw in the olives – they have done studies that show when children participate in making the food they are *MUCH* more likely to eat that food. And my kids like sunflower seeds, so in they go, as well as craisins and mandarin oranges. Top it off with a dressing of their choice, and voila a yummy and easy salad! Then, bake some french fries alongside the pizza (in my house french fries and pizza go together) (you can buy the frozen kind and just throw them in the oven at the same time). And, as an added bonus you now have a meal that is balanced and *eaten* which is always good.
If you’re interested, here’s a breakdown of the costs of the pizza:
- I generally buy my flour at Sam’s Club – $8 for 25 pounds of flour. That means each cup costs $0.10, and the five cups necessary for the pizza dough add up to $0.50.
- I also buy my sugar at Sam’s Club – $3.98 for 10 pounds. So that’s about $0.04 for the sugar.
- For a teaspoon of salt – a 2 pound container of salt costs $1. Thus a teaspoon of salt is less than a penny (so we’ll call it $0.01).
- I buy this at Sam’s club. It turns out if you buy those little packets – you are wasting a lot of money. It’s $2.20 for a pound of yeast, so it’s 6 cents for 4 1/2 teaspoons. BUY YOUR YEAST IN BULK. In case you don’t already buy your yeast in bulk, and you don’t have a membership to a club – there’s even a gemach in town, you can look it up – the woman who runs the yeast gemach is super sweet (and she’s doing it for precisely the reason that if you buy those little packets of yeast you are spending way too much money).
- I buy 1 1/4 gallons of oil at Sam’s club for: $7.89. (There are 256 tablespoons in a gallon, thus) 4 tablespoons: $0.10 (really $0.098, but I rounded up).
- A jar of tomato sauce (Barilla) costs me $2.50 (on sale), So for 1 cup it’s $0.83.
- A 2 pound bag of grated cheese is $10 (cholov yisroel). 8 ounces for 2 pizzas would be $2.50 (I like my pizza cheesier, so I add more cheese).
Homemade Pizza Ingredients:
- 2 packages dry yeast (NO – don’t buy it this way – it’s 4 1/2 teaspoons, and much cheaper to buy in bulk, see above note)
- 2 cups water
- 5 cups flour
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 4 tablespoons oil
- 1 tsp salt
- 1-2 cups Marinara sauce
- 8 – 16 ounces grated cheese
I used this for 2 9×13 trays – but it could’ve easily made 4, Especially if I would’ve let it rise (I used it directly after mixing for the first tray, and the second tray I let it rise a little bit and there was a great deal more crust during baking, and it was easier to mold).
Preheat oven to 425. Spray pans with cooking spray (I used Pam).
- Add water and sugar and yeast.
- Add all ingredients and knead until mixed (the original directions say to knead until satiny – I didn’t have this kind of time).
- Divide the dough into 4 parts and roll out (I used my hands for this, I felt very Italian, although I did not throw the dough up into the air, but I could’ve).
- Immediately put the marinara sauce on and bake. The directions say let the dough rise for 1 hour and then put marinara sauce and toppings on. This probably would’ve been better, but I was in a time crunch. We ate this pizza in record time, I am not completely convinced you have to wait for your pizza dough to rise – it was denser than the second tray which rose a little, but if you have no time, then just go ahead and bake it without the rising – it worked out fine.
- Possible additional toppings: caramelized onions, raw thinly sliced onions, sliced green or black olives, pineapple slices, thinly sliced red pepper, sliced mushrooms, garlic, etc.
- Bake 30 minutes.
Sweet and Good Catering not only catered our wedding, they’ve catered intimate dinner parties in our home as well. Their menu is to die for, a varied and savory mix of ethnic temptations. Every bite is literally saturated with taste, bursting with a new flavor surprise for your palette. The originality and quality of the food offerings is paralleled only by their presentation. Bracha, company owner, is a gourmet genius. I’ve never witnessed such a combination of loving preparation, professionalism, and attention to detail. Until Sweet and Good Catering, it was impossible, to find local catered food that is on par with the quality and ethnic variety of that available in Los Angeles or New York. I love that I can order Cajun, French, Mexican or Moroccan-themed meals, to name a few, and that the food arrives elegantly packaged and easy to serve. Plus, it’s startling how affordable the prices are, exactly the same, or less, than what I’d be paying for bland, traditional take-out.
You MUST try the homemade pesto – it’s the best I’ve ever tasted – and the samosas with chutney. And there aren’t any words to describe the avocado and apple salad, it’s an entirely new level of sensory experience.
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