Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Cooking Class - Mini Pizzas

Since moving back home to Albuquerque from my time in Oklahoma, one thing that's really changed dramatically is how much I cook. It's like night and day. We're talking about going from an eat-out-everyday, occasional microwave dinner, bachelor lifestyle to made-from-scratch meals for eight.

Don't get me wrong, I don't cook most days. But when I do, I try to mix it up or tackle recipes I've never attempted before. But one of my favorite things to do is open up the pantry and refrigerator doors and take my inspiration from the ingredients already sitting there.

It most definitely helps that we are typically well-stocked with a variety of food. Recently, I scoured around and found the following ingredients.

As soon as I saw this, I started assembling mini pizzas in my head. I was already planning a simple pasta dish so this recipe pairs well with your typical spaghetti night. Just make a little extra marinara. About two cups is more than enough.

Here it goes...

I would hope the pictures are self-explanatory but I'll give you a few tips. I thought these would heat up well in the oven but even after 20 minutes at 350° the string cheese doesn't really melt well so don't expect it to. You can still stick them in to warm them through before serving but I'd suggest toasting the bread first and spooning warm marinara on top. Before serving, dust with parmesan and top with a little basil or your favorite Italian seasoning. It really kicks up the flavor factor so be generous.

This was a real favorite with the kids around the house. Much more fun than any slice of garlic bread could ever hope to be. And the kids can help assemble them. After cutting up the string cheese, leave them in a bowl and assign them a number they can put on. I told the kids each pizza gets eight pieces of cheese (we were more liberal with the mini pepperonis). And suddenly you've turned cooking into math class in a fun way.

Hope you enjoy the recipe!

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