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Reasons for making your own pizza

Recently a dear friend was mourning the loss of her favorite weekend treat; pizza delivery on Friday night. She said she couldn’t justify $50 for two pizzas.

I tried to keep my frugal poker face and hide my shock at the cost. I can feed a family of four for a week on $50. I’ve seen me do it.

I suggested she make the pizzas herself. She suggested I was nuts. “It’s just not the same” said she. “No, it’s better,” said I and here’s why:

1) It tastes better and is better for you. Do you eat organic or gluten free? Want to steer your family away from sausage and cheese toward chicken and veggies? The solution is making pizza at home. You control the thickness and crispness of the crust, the amount of cheese and sauce.

2) It’s a great way to eat seasonally. Artichoke and spinach in spring, luscious tomatoes and basil in summer, roast butternut squash in fall and kale and sweet potatoes in winter. Pizza makes a great base for fresh, healthy seasonal eating.

3) It’s way cheaper! You knew this was coming. Even an over-the-top deluxe pizza will cost under $5.

Awesome Pizza

This makes two 12 inch pizzas. Precook toppings like chicken or sausage. Buy pizza dough in the refrigerated section of the grocery store or buy from a pizzeria. It’s easy to make from scratch but that’s another column.

What you need:

1 lb. pizza dough

½ to 1 cup sauce

2 to 3 cups toppings of your choice

1 to 2 cups shredded or sliced cheese

Here’s How:

I’ll assume if you have a pizza stone you kinda know how to make pizza, so these instructions are for a baking sheet. Heat oven to 450°F for 30 minutes before putting the pizza in oven. The high heat will make a crisper crust.

Divide dough in half; cover one half with a damp towel. Lightly brush a baking sheet with olive oil.

Roll or press half the dough on a baking sheet until the dough is about 1/4-inch thick (or thinner).

If the dough shrinks back after you roll, let the dough rest a few minutes and repeat.

Place 1/4 cup of sauce on the pizza and use the back of a spoon to spread it around adding more if you like. Add toppings and cheese.

Bake pizza on the baking sheet for 10 to 20 minutes depending on thickness of crust and toppings. Make the next pizza while you wait.

It’s done when the crust is crisp and the cheese is melty and browned. Slice, serve and take all the credit.

Join us on Facebook for pizza recipes next week at DivasOnADimeDotCom. Frugal Food contributed by Patti Diamond, author of Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous! , www.divasonadime.com.

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