Tag Archives: pizza

The Perfect Play Date

IMG 9420IMG 9424IMG 9425PizzaThis morning Grae and I had the absolute pleasure of hanging out with the lovely Little Miss Mama and her adorable curly-haired girl.  There was good play, an explosion of toys, many sharing opportunities, and best of all, a make your own pizza station for lunch.  The girls made pizza together, ate over an episode of Winnie the Pooh (I think this blew G’s mind), and us mamas got a few minutes to chat in between.  Oh, and Grae ate FIVE pieces of pizza, so lunch was obviously delicious.  

It was the perfect play date.  We’ll miss these two ladies terribly while in Kuwait.

♥ 

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Make Your Own Pizza Station

Over the course of the last week or so, the one thing Gracen can’t stop talking about is ‘when she gets bigger’.  So far, she’s told me she’s excited to get bigger so she can cross the road by herself, ‘work at a job’, walk in parking lots alone, drive a car, and go to university (Eesh…slow down, baby girl).  Part of me wants to curl up and cry, and the other part is incredibly proud that she desires such independence and self-sufficiency at 2.75 years old.

Making Your Own Pizza Lunch Station | Mama Papa BubbaWhile I’m not ready to hand over the car keys or let her navigate her way across a busy road just yet, I am ready {and more than happy} to let her put together some of her own meals. Given the proper set up, it’s something she’s totally capable of and she’s so, so, sooo proud after having done so.  A couple of days ago, she created her own breakfast banana split, and today she assembled her own quick and easy pizza lunch.

To make is super simple, we skipped pizza dough all together and used wholewheat Middle Eastern flatbreads instead.  These work perfectly, but wholewheat tortilla shells, pitas, and even bagels (cut in half of course) are great too.  Together, we cut up a bunch of stuff we had in the fridge (grilled chicken, red and yellow peppers, zucchini, and mango) and I set it all out, along with some grated fresh mozzarella and pesto, in a little pizza making station for my girl.

IMG 8347We’ve done this many times now, and what I’ve learned is that it’s best to let her create her pizza masterpiece directly on the parchment-lined baking sheet we’ll use to bake the pizzas.  After that, I kind of just let her go.  I’m a big fan of not directing our activities all that much (well except when it comes to safety, I guess), and really, it doesn’t matter which order the toppings go on in all that much.  The finished product will undoubtedly be delicious no matter what.  

IMG 8349That being said, we’ve made our favourite from scratch pizza together so many times in the past, she pretty much sticks to the sauce, cheese, toppings order.  And when this girl does toppings, she does toppings!

IMG 8351Here’s her mini pizza, ready for the oven.  I cook ours for about 5 to 8 minutes at 350 degrees, then crank up the temperature and broil them for just a minute at the end.

IMG 8354I can’t even explain how proud Miss G is after creating her meal on her own… She exudes pride.  And my personal opinion is that when kids take part in creating food, they are much more likely to eat it.

IMG 8355The verdict?  A total hit.  A pizza assembling station is always a hit in our house. 

♥ 

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Learning to Cook at Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co.

There is absolutely no doubt we love our neighbourhood Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co.  Whether it’s for Mother’s Day lunch, a lunch play date with friends, or an evening workshop that yields an awesome new change, Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. has left us delighted again and again.  

IMG 8351Being the uber generous, community-focused company that they are, RMFC invited Miss G and I, along with a pile of our blogger mama and munchkin friends, down to the restaurant for a toddler cooking class this morning.    Now while this could be a challenge given our crunchy ‘food philosophy‘ as one of our lovely readers called it, the thing I love most about this place is that their philosophy on food totally jives with ours.  Their ingredients are as simple and natural as possible, plus they’re most often organic and/or locally-sourced.  Win!

IMG 8366Our morning began with Suzanne, the restaurant’s co-founder and owner, fearlessly leading our kiddos through the process of making their own mango guacamole.  What I loved most is that Suz allowed the kids to do the prep work themselves… No watching an adult cook around here!  She gave them the tools, modelled the process, and set them free to be the capable little chefs that they are.

IMG 8357Some avocado, mango, lime juice, and fresh herbs later, Gracen and her little friends had a delicious dip for their carrot sticks.

IMG 8390Next up was a simple and much better for you version of lemonade…  A bunch of freshly-squeezed lemons, a little pour of pure maple syrup, and a lot of icy cold water and we had a drink that will be perfect for hot summer days.

IMG 8401After that, we made my personal favourite… Suz’s apple pie popcorn (you can see our slightly modified version here).  Oh my goodness.  I don’t think I’ve ever tasted a sweet popcorn nearly as delicious, and Gracen agreed all the way.  When it was time to move onto making our pizzas, I basically had to pry her popcorn bowl out of her hands, promising to keep the crumbs for later.

IMG 8410Together, Portia (one of the sweet little ladies belonging to Jessica of North Shore Mama) and Gracen shared the duties of making a pizza from scratch.  Grae covered her half in chicken, mango, and cheese, and ate all 3 pieces once out of the oven.  

Despite the fact that Grae had had an early morning and had a couple of meltdowns during the workshop, it was such a wonderful morning.  Because it’s hard for the combination of friends, cooking, and delicious  food to equal anything but wonderful, really.

Once again, we owe Suzanne and Rocky Mountain Flatbread Co. a huge thank you for graciously having us all down to experiment and learn.  If you’re in Vancouver, or Canmore for that matter, I highly recommend visiting a RMFC location for one of their weekly family pizza nights.  I promise it will be a blast, just as I’m sure one of their onsite birthday parties would be. 

Also, as a little treat, one of RMFC’s Facebook fans will be chosen at random and given 2 tickets to enjoy their family pizza night!  Be sure to ‘like’ their page to qualify.

♥ 

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Our Favourite Homemade Pizza {Two Ways}

Today Miss G and I made one of our favourite weekend dinners… Homemade pizza.  Though I do find it takes a little advanced planning to make pizza from scratch, making the dough just after breakfast and letting it sit on the counter all day until we’re ready to make dinner in the evening is easy enough for us.  Plus, this recipe makes two BIG thin-crust pizzas, which allows for a few (or at least a couple) of good meals {even when your husband scarfs down 12 pieces in one sitting… hi babe! ☺}

IMG 9925Here are the ingredients for our go to dough, adapted from the lovely Pioneer Woman’s recipe…  Wholewheat flour, dry active yeast, table salt, olive oil, and warm water.

IMG 9926First, sprinkle the yeast over the warm water and set it aside.

IMG 9928Next, add the flour…

IMG 9929And the salt to the bowl of your electric mixer. (This could be done by hand too, of course.)

IMG 9930Put the paddle attachment on your machine…

IMG 9931And give the dry ingredients a quick mix.

IMG 9933Next, measure out the olive oil…

IMG 9934And slowly pour it into the bowl while mixing.

IMG 9938Next, give the yeast and water a quick stir…

IMG 9939And with the mixer on, slowly add the yeast water to the flour/salt/oil mixture.  Mix on low until the dough starts to come together in a sticky mass.

IMG 9945Prepare a separate large mixing bowl by drizzling it with olive oil.

IMG 9946Use your hands to pull the edges of the dough downwards and shape it into a ball.  Place your dough in the bowl and gently toss it to coat it in olive oil.

IMG 9947Now cover your bowl tightly with plastic wrap.  It can be put in the fridge and stored for 3 or 4 days, or it can be used later on in the day. If we’re making pizza the same night, we just leave ours on the counter. 

IMG 9949Now, for my favourite… A very simple roasted veggie pizza.  Chop up a bunch of vegetables of your choice (these are my favourites), drizzle them with a little bit of olive oil, and put them in a 400 oven for about 10 minutes.

Pizza PrepWhile they roast, grate some cheese (we use fresh mozzarella or, like tonight, an all-natural extra sharp cheddar) and slice some fresh mushrooms.

IMG 9950Take your veggies out of the oven when they’re slightly soft and just beginning to turn golden in some spots.

IMG 9955With your toppings ready, it’s time to retrieve the dough you made earlier in the day.  By now, it should be well over double its original size and soft and spongy to the touch.

IMG 9957Prepare a baking pan by lining it with parchment paper and sprinkling on little cornmeal (this is completely optional, but it does add a nice texture).

IMG 9958Using 1/2 of the dough, press it down into a thin rectangular shape.  Don’t worry too much about holes – just patch them up as you go along.

IMG 9963For this pizza, we often use a fresh pesto sauce, which is really yummy.  Equally delicious, however, is just a drizzle of olive oil and a tiny sprinkle of sea salt.

IMG 9965Next, arrange the veggies on the dough {stuffing as many of the red peppers into your mouth as possible, if you’re like Gracen}.

IMG 9967Top with cheese (adding some feta into the mix is really good too!} and pop it into the oven.

IMG 9971Remove when the cheese is bubbly and the crust is golden brown and let cool for a few minutes.

IMG 9953Now onto the one Brad prefers… A BBQ chicken pizza. Tonight we used roasted chicken breasts cut into small chunks, raw diced orange pepper and sweet onion, and some white kernel corn (adding jalapeños is really tasty too).

IMG 9968Prepare your pan and dough the same way as before, then spread a thin layer of BBQ sauce onto the  uncooked crust (this is one of Miss G’s favourite jobs).

IMG 9969Add the toppings…

IMG 9970Cover with cheese…

IMG 9972And bake ’til golden.

Voila!  Dinner is done.  Serve on its own, or with a fresh salad.
 
Wholewheat Pizza 
  • 1 teaspoon of active dry yeast
  • 1 1/2 cups of warm water (not hot, but not lukewarm)
  • 4 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil
Sprinkle yeast over warm water.
 
Mix flour and salt together.  Add olive oil while mixing.   Give the yeast/water mixture a quick stir and add it to the mixture while stirring also.  The mixture will be sticky and wet, which is perfect.  
 
Prepare a separate mixing bowl by drizzling it with olive oil. Using your hands, shape the dough into a ball by gently working the edges downwards and underneath. Gently toss the dough in the bowl to coat in olive oil, then cover tightly with plastic wrap.  Store dough in fridge for up to 4 days, or leave on counter if using later in the day.  
 
When ready, prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper and sprinkling it with cornmeal.  Flatten the dough on the pan, top with sauce and toppings, and bake for 10 – 15 minutes in a 450 degree oven. Remove from oven when the cheese is bubbly and the crust is golden.  Cut into squares and serve.
 
Enjoy!
 
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