White Pizza

Pizza with Alfredo Sauce

Pizza with Alfredo Sauce

I zipped through a food and restaurant supply store, a place not on my usual circuit.  A tractor beam locked on my cart and drew me right to the sample station.   Straight from the entry to the table, the pull was irresistible and the smell was tantalizing!  Or maybe it was because the station was right by the produce I wanted and it was past lunchtime!  The sample lady handed me a tiny plate with a bit of white pizza.  It was  heaven!

Pizza is not on our radar.  If presented with pizza  somewhere, we will eat and enjoy.  But to intentionally order, make, or buy a pizza – attention goes elsewhere.    Bytes was allergic to tomatoes for a long time, but now he will take a frozen pizza every few months,  throw it in the microwave, roll and inhale it like a burrito.  Not sure that counts, but that’s the extent of pizza consumption in our house.  People are shocked to hear that.  Heretical, I know.

But this was different.  So I asked and she was happy to share the recipe.  So simple!  I didn’t get the ingredients that day, since I was on a different mission, but next grocery trip, they found their way into my cart.   Sample lady used a toaster oven so I did too, but this would also adapt well to the oven if you are serving more than a few people.   The toaster oven makes this recipe quick and easy,  perfect for snacks, summer lunches or appetizers. I made it for lunch with a generous salad to accompany and the guys were as impressed as I was!  It has a distinctive flavor, so a smaller serving size is satisfying.

I posted this in the first month of A Pinch of Joy.  Since then we’ve tried a few variations that we like and I wanted to share it. Plus a better photo!   The original used  bacon.  I’ve discovered real bacon, cooked, crumbled and packaged works well.  Costco has Kirkland brand 100% real bacon that is crumbled in large pieces, homestyle.  I used a heaping Tablespoon full per slice of bacon called for in a recipe.   We discovered that we  like diced ham as a topping too.    And chopped spinach.  So the recipe has been updated as well.  Enjoy!

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White Pizza

White Pizza

Ingredients

  • Indian flat bread
  • OR prebaked pizza crust
  • 1/3 cup Alfredo sauce, plain, from the jar or your favorite recipe
  • Topping alternatives
  • Bacon, 4-5 slices cooked crisp and crumbled
  • ½ to ¾ cup of diced ham
  • ½ to ¾ cup spinach, coarsely chopped
  • Topping
  • ½ to ¾ cup shredded Parmesan cheese

Instructions

  1. Place crust on baking pan
  2. Spread with layer of Alfredo sauce, not quite to edge, covering evenly.
  3. Sprinkle your choice of topping across top.
  4. Coax shredded Parmesan into even layer on top. Add more if you like, but don’t overwhelm.
  5. If using flat bread, bake 8-10 minutes at 400 degrees, until warm through and cheese melts. If using pizza crust, bake according to directions on package or until cheese is melted and crust is golden.
  6. Cut into serving pieces, about 2 inches square for appetizers or 4 inches square for lunch.
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Halloween Party for Preschoolers: Snacks and games

Mice made from donut holes A Pinch of Joy
Plan a fun Halloween play date with the preschool set!  Nothing scary for this age.   I’m a fan of decorations, snacks and games centered around scarecrows and spiders, pumpkins and cats for little ones. Parties should be simple, quick and colorful with the emphasis on the fun activities and playing with friends.

Mice made from donut holes A Pinch of Joy

These cute – and yummy—little mice are made with three simple  ingredients.  Glazed donut holes, chow mein noodles for the tail and sliced almonds for the ears.

Snake made from string cheeseSammy Snake is made from pieces of string cheese alternating with cherry tomatoes. He has a cheddar slice tongue and eyes from black frosting gel. Instead of cherry tomatoes, use chunks of ham, mini crackers, carrot or green pepper slices.

Halloween snack spider made with round crackers Spiders made from round snack crackers are quick and easy. Use Ritz crackers as they are less likely to crumble as you work with them than are other brands (at least the ones I’ve tried!) Put 6-10 crackers on a microwave safe plate and place a candy melt wafer on top of each cracker. Microwave on 50% power for about one minute. Spread the melted candy over each cracker. Add eyes. I used candy eyes from Wilton, but mini M&Ms or other little colorful candies will also work. Let cool and harden. On a second set of crackers put a generous teaspoonful of peanut butter in the center of each. Add six thin pretzel sticks to make legs. (Yes, spiders have eight legs —but the cracker only holds six without looking weird!) Set chocolate covered cracker on top of peanut butter and push down gently. You may need to add more peanut butter to the bottom of the chocolate covered cracker to make it fit over the legs and stick together. If there is a peanut allergy to consider, substitute cream cheese for the filling. Older toddlers can assemble their own spiders as a party activity if chocolate has hardened ahead of time.

Decorations are best kept simple. Bright orange tablecloths make the table festive. Large and colorful cutouts from the dollar store or craft store “teacher” section add atmosphere. Friendly pompom spiders are quick and easy decorations to hang from doorways or light fixtures. You can make them different sizes from large to small. Their fuzziness makes them more cuddly than scary!

Plan for some active games and vary the pace with a few quieter games. Younger kids don’t always pick up on directions when they are excited. Have some games that are familiar to them and alter them just a bit to the season. Here are three possibilities:

1. Cat, Cat, Spider. Follow the rules for duck, duck, goose. It goes around the circle saying “cat, cat, cat, cat . . spider. The spider jumps up and runs to get back to his/her spot in the circle before the cat slides in. You can use any two Halloween creatures – ghost,ghost, witch for example.

2. Musical pumpkins. Make a circle on the floor by using a piece of orange construction paper for each child – minus one. Play a Halloween song such as “Monster Mash”. When the music stops the children set down. Remove a piece of paper before starting the music again. NOTE: For a small group, rather than having children stand on the sidelines, let them share seats. The more rounds, the fewer the seats and kids are still in the game if they are touching a child on a seat. At the last round all children are clustered in one spot.

3. Ring Around the Pumpkin. Circle up with children holding hands. All move in the same direction singing: “Ring around the pumpkin. We are spooky munchkins. Hop scotch, pumpkin. We all fall down.”

Tips for successful preschool party games

  • Have easy to follow rules, clearly spelled out by leader (repeated as necessary!)
  • Keep things moving.
  • Always have a helper or several!
  • Prizes aren’t always necessary. Little kids are pleased with just the game itself!
  • Plan for one or two more games than you think you will need. You will be prepared if kids lose interest. Don’t be offended some games just don’t “click” with some kids. Or you may need to fill a few more minutes while the snacks are being set up.
  • Become a Facebook fan to download Halloween Party Games! Click the Facebook button at the top to go to A Pinch of Joy page and then “like” for access.

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