Friday, May 29, 2009

Pizza nite

What's the best way to spend $1.50? How about turning your kitchen into a pizzeria? OK, you might have to spring for the sauce ($2), cheese ($3.50) and some toppings (optional, as far as my kids go, but maybe another $5), but you don't have to tip anybody, and it tastes great!

Other things you can do with the $1.49 bag of plain pizza dough from Trader Joes:

1. Make instant focaccia bread. Prepare dough as for pizza, but form into rectangle and place in small cookie sheet. Make some imprints with your finger, so it looks authentic if anyone cares. Brush lightly with olive oil, sprinkle with herbs of your choice and some salt. Bake for 15 minutes at 375. Or make pesto focaccia, by spreading the dough with some fresh pesto instead of the olive oil and herbs.

2. Make cinnamon sticks. Cut dough into 10-12 small pieces. Roll each piece out by hand into a rope about 6-8 inches long and about 1/2 inch thick. Place on cookie sheet covered with parchment or a silpat. Have some melted butter and cinnamon sugar standing by. Bake plain sticks for about 5-7 minutes at 375, until just beginning to brown. Brush with a little butter, sprinkle on a little cinnamon, and return to the oven for 2 minutes. When they come out, drizzle each stick with a little more melted butter, then roll the whole thing in a tray of cinnamon sugar. Churros, anyone?

NOTE: Their pizza sauce is terrific. I often keep an extra to throw in the pot when I'm making meat sauce for pasta.

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