Friday, June 7, 2013

B.Y.O. Pizza & Pie Sleepover :)

Build Your Own Pizza & Pie!

Kit will be four in August. My friend's youngest child will be four in June. My friend and I were pregnant together, and our children have grown up together. May was the first time they'd had a sleepover together. And it could not have been more perfect!

Originally, I was planning on ordering pizza. Then, I remembered how much fun I'd had growing up when my parents would have homemade pizza nights. I took that memory a step further and thought, How much fun would it be to have them make their own pizzas AND pies?

The sleepover was to commence on Friday. I realized we had half of the ingredients necessary for such an activity:
  1. Fruit was residing within  my freezer and fridge: peaches, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, blueberries, oranges, and grapes.
  2. I had all of the fixings for homemade pizza sauce: a can of crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, oregano, parsley, basil, and garlic and onions.
  3. Cheese! It was pre-shredded, and I had a couple of varieties.  
Kit and I went to the grocery store on Wednesday to pick up the remaining items we needed. This provided much fun, allowing Kit to participate in making decisions for his big night. The items we stocked up on were as follows: 

  1. Pizza dough -- I wanted to save time, so I bought pre-made pizza dough. Regular for the kids, and wheat for the grown up ladies...all of which turned out delicious!
  2. Pie crust -- I've tried making this from scratch, only to fail. Someday I will master a homemade pie crust, but this was not the event to perfect such a recipe. 
  3. Yogurt for the pie sauce.
  4. Mushrooms and sweet bell peppers.
  5. Sausage and pepperoni.
For my friend and I, I picked up what was needed to make Sangria Spritzers: One liter of blackberry raspberry carbonated water, a large bottle of Pink Moscato, and a carton of tropical juice. Remember, I already have the fruit. 

Come Friday morning, Kit and I did prep work. My reasoning for this was to prevent me from freaking out, taking enjoyment from this wonderful memory and experience we were creating. I also wanted to have the table set up for making the mini-pizzas upon their arrival -- the children would have an easier time focusing on the fun of creating their own pizzas if we did dinner first. I wanted to introduce learning elements into the building of the pizzas: colors, shapes, and counting the number of ingredients placed on the pies. Kit was even trying the veggies before deciding whether or not to add them to his toppings. 

First, we rolled out the pie crusts, and using cookie cutters Kit picked out, we cut out fun shapes for mini-pies. After baking, we set them aside to cool, then wrapped them up to keep fresh until the evening festivities. 

Next, we chopped the veggies and fruit, and I cooked the ground sausage and sliced the pepperoni. We placed all of these items into Tupperware to make everything easier in the evening. 

We also prepared the fruit by separate it all out and placing them in their own containers. At this point, Kit had had about all he could take of participating in this regard, which was perfect because up next was the adult portion!

Now, I do not own a punch bowl, but I do own a soup terrine, and that is what I used to house my Sangria! By the way, its size is incredible deceiving. I ended up using 3/4's of the large wine bottle, all of the carbonated water, and 3/4's of the carton of juice. Before I poured all of the liquid in, I placed sliced strawberries, peaches, mangoes, and sliced oranges in the bowl. I let this concoction sit in the fridge for 8 hours, and believe me, it was incredibly difficult to wait for our guests to arrive before digging into all of this fun!

When our guests -- really they are family, I expect them to help themselves in my house. If you want water, get it. If you want cheese and crackers, help yourself -- finally arrived (remember the sangria?) I greeted my friend with a glass of juice

Not only does it look beautiful, it tasted great! The carbonation cut the sweetness, and there was a nice background flavor of the wine. The tropical juice worked wonderfully to bring out the citrus of the oranges, while balancing the peaches and strawberries. We enjoyed these :)  
We got right to work building the pizzas. Now, I apologize for not having pics of the kids building their pizzas, but we were so engrossed in the process with them that I kind of forgot to take the pictures. Plus, once they were built, they ran off to play, not thinking about us until it was time to eat. Then, when it was time to eat, their pizzas were gone before I could snap the after pictures. Gotta love little boy's appetites!
So, here is a pic of the mothers' pizzas :) We just split the pan in half. I had sausage, pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, and peppers, where my friend opted for a veggie pizza.
We helped the little ones
apply the yogurt, but
the fruit was up to them :)
After Mom and Mom finished their pizzas, it was time to start building pies. Out came the pie crust shapes, fruit, & yogurt. 

They built & ate in record time! They were more excited to play than anything else, but that's how it should be. 

This activity was a wonderful way to involve Kit, and his friend, in making decisions for what they were going to put in their bodies. And it took some time, giving them breaks in play. Which, speaking of playing, it was the best play date the two of them have had in all their times together. There were no fights, tantrums, or playing alone. The two boys were joined at the hip, skittering up and down the stairs, using their imaginations. My friend stayed until about 10:30, and I had the boys in bed by 11. After having to go upstairs a couple of times, they were passed out before 11:30. This was such a successful night in so many regards, I am excited to to this again :) 

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