Date Night by the Slice

pizza-1179404_640“On Venus you could cook a 16-inch pepperoni pizza in seven seconds just by holding it out to the air. (Yes, I did the math.)”

– Neil deGrasse Tyson

“I’ll stay on Earth and wait the 20 minutes, thanks.”

– Me

Parents regularly attempt to trick their kids by claiming their favorite heroes got the way they are by eating vegetables and other gross foods. I was a super smart kid however, so I knew the only way to become a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle was to eat pizza, not broccoli. Thanks to the Ninja Turtles, I knew I didn’t want anchovies near my pizza long before I knew what an anchovy was. While I eventually came to accept that I would never actually become a Ninja Turtle, my love for pizza never waned.

Pizza and a movie is a classic date idea that lets you stay in for a romantic evening at home with little to no work. It’s not hard to look up a great pizza place that is cheap, nearby, or that delivers quick. With Netflix, Hulu and even YouTube, it’s not hard to find a movie anymore. Minutes after you get home from work, you could be enjoying a relaxing evening on the couch with a hot, cheesy pizza and a movie you love. But that would be too easy for you wouldn’t it?

Pizza and a movie was a good start for us, but we had a simple idea to make our date night a lot more complicated – I mean fun, a lot more fun lol. We could make our own pizzas!

Now, if you’re one of those health nuts, I want you to keep this link handy so that you can combat the emotional stress the rest of this article will most likely induce. You’re welcome.

It all started when I saw a box of pizza mix on sale at the grocery store, and I thought “Great! Cheap pizza!” Actually, I didn’t let myself do the math, but I’m sure a Little Caesar’s pizza would actually come out cheaper after purchasing all the ingredients lol. Making pizzas, however, would be a lot more fun. So we gathered up everything we wanted on our pizzas and waited for date night to arrive.

IMG_3532 editThe Dough

You can really use almost anything for the crust of your pizza. My dad actually can make some pretty good pizza dough, but sometimes when you’re a kid (or a parent) you just don’t want to take the time, and that’s okay. As a kid, we used everything from bagels, to dinner rolls, to hamburger and even hot dog buns to make our own pizzas.

For our date night, we used a cheap box of pizza dough mix that I found on sale at the grocery store. It was beyond simple to make and still tasted pretty good. All we did was add warm water and knead it together.

Something I started doing in college (surprise) was making pizza out of that biscuit dough, because it was cheap. Buscuit dough is easy because you don’t even have to add water. It is hard to get into a nice flat shape though because it always wants to shrink back together, and it’s hard to cook it thoroughly (which is gross for some people, but is actually a plus for me).

You can use flat bread to make a pretty good pizza, and I’ve even heard of people using flour tortillas!

If you are the kind of person who just has to have a perfect crust, check out Sally’s Baking Addiction for a much better crust you can make at home. Or, if you want to feel more like a master pizza chef, check out this video of Anthony Falco showing Sam Sifton of the New York Times how to make the perfect dough.

The ToppingsIMG_3516 edit

Your imagination (and budget I guess) really is the limit to what you can put on your pizza. One of the main reasons to make your own pizza is so you can choose what goes on it.

We picked spaghetti sauce for our red sauce and alfredo sauce for our white sauce (mainly because we need/have them for making pasta. Spice up the sauces by adding additional seasonings. If you want, you can thicken the sauce by adding tomato paste, corn starch, or even just flour.

Some of the ingredients we used were: Mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, pineapple, jalapeños, chicken, onions, tomato slices, and garlic. If you are hurting for ideas, just do a quick google search…if you’re too lazy for that click here 😉 

Crafting the Pies

Since I get off work before Ana, I tried to have most of the prep work for the ingredients finished before she got home, like shredding the cheese and placing things into little bowls so that they were ready to toss on a pizza. As luck would have it, however, we were missing some of the most important ingredients: pizza sauce and tomatoes.

IMG_3558 editAfter a quick trip to the store, we were ready to go. I mixed some warm water with the dry ingredients from the box and soon we were kneading our pizza dough into terrible looking circles…seriously getting the circle shape was almost impossible for me…Ana ended up with a much better circle, but I got way more surface area haha!

Fearing it would not be enough pizza, I made another crust out of biscuit dough. I personally think biscuit dough as pizza crust is irresistible. There are complications to using it, but I’ll get to all of that later in the “tips.”IMG_3559 edit

You can really get to know a person by the toppings they put on their own pizza. I, for instance, learned that Ana likes jalapeños on everything she eats…oh wait, I already knew that. She was a little weirded out when I put bananas on mine though 😉

We ended the evening by watching How to Train Your Dragon 2, which Ana hadn’t seen yet. It’s a fun movie I highly recommend!

Do’s and Doughn’ts

Once you’ve got your dough in the right shape, brush some oil on it and bake it for a few minutes before you put the toppings on

If you are brave enough to attempt the biscuit dough, take the time to get it very flat in the middle if you don’t like gooey! Also, maybe try flipping it over after a few minutes of the pre-topping bake time to try and give both sides a little head start on cooking.

Make a checklist of all the ingredients you want so you don’t forget to buy the sauce like we did. A checklist would also be helpful for you to keep track of what you are putting on your pizza so you don’t leave a perfectly good avocado unused like we did.

You can learn a lot about someone by the movies they like, but do you know what your IMG_3567 editsignificant other’s favorite movie was as a kid?? This can be a great opportunity to revisit a movie from your childhood and wonder why you ever loved The Brave Little Toaster so much. If I had to pick an old movie to watch again, it would be Steven Spielberg’s Hook for sure.

Milk and cookies make a great dessert for movie watching 😉

If you’re not feeling up to making your own pizza, just order one and stay in! Or get a frozen pizza and add some extra toppings. Pizza and a movie is a great way to just stay in together.


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