I have got to get a rope on this blogging thing. I wanted to turn over a new leaf and post regularly but alas, I’ve fallen into very familiar habits. I’ve definitely been cooking (girls gotta eat) but its the taking photos and getting to the keyboard that I regularly forget about. Well, let’s try to kick this together shall we? I cook, photograph, write, post and you read. How ’bout that? Here we go!

winter at 920

This actually happened a few months ago but the memory lingers and I want to apply the final step of the shampoo mantra – Repeat! We gathered at the home of some beautiful friends at their house high on a hill – literally. There is always a faint smell of burning rubber after we’ve scaled the incline at the bottom of their street. They have an amazing view of the Salt Lake valley from their front door and they have turned this out-dated, wood-paneled, disco era house into a sophisticated, modern marvel. One of the crown jewels of their efforts is the kitchen….sigh. I heart their kitchen.

Our hosts, Marian and Justin, had concocted the idea of making our own pizzas. Making our own pizzas was quickly becoming one our favorite dinner plans. We had made pizzas while we were in Sweden as an alternative to the inflated expense of eating out in a western European country. And we discovered we were really good at making pizzas! We got together with friends after we got back and had another pizza making party. But this? This was intense.

Marian, displaying amazing powers of planning and execution had assembled an impressive list of ingredients for our pizza masterpieces. She bought 4 bags of raw pizza dough from the local Whole Foods and a smorgasbord of toppings. Italian sausage sautéed with bacon, fresh basil leaves, Boursin cheese, fresh mozzarella, parmesan cheese, arugula, homemade tomato sauce, thinly sliced potatoes that were sautéed in truffle oil with fresh rosemary (my favorite), and many more things I just cannot remember. Another couple, Tom and Sofia, brought homemade sun-dried tomatoes, fresh from the garden. Their huge kitchen island was covered in containers full of amazing toppings, seasonings, sauces and veggies. As we prepared to assemble our pizzas we noshed on puff pastry pinwheels stuffed with caramelized onions, chicken and cheese, and little plates of Caprese salad. Yeah, that’s how this couple rolls.

rollin the dough

Each couple got to make their own pizza pie (with some gentle guidance from Marian). We rolled out dough, ladled sauce, sprinkled on cheese and arranged toppings. We ended up with 4 different, beautiful pizzas. Combinations ranged from a loose interpretation of a Margherita pizza to an ‘out-of-control’ sausage and potato pizza that was mind-blowing, verbage courtesy of our hostess. As we dug in,  it was very apparent that all of us had a gourmet pizza chef that was inside just waiting for the right opportunity and grocery list to emerge. Our pies were delicious and the feeling of accomplishment that comes with marveling at your handy work is soooo satisfying.

potato sausage pizza

veggie pizza

Bottom line: make your own pizzas! Get some friends together, buy some dough, and some toppings. Wait, let me correct that – buy a crap load of the craziest gourmet toppings you can think of and have your friends bring additions they love. You get to see your friends and let them tap into their creative side, you get to have really good pizza for dinner, your house will be warm from the oven and you get really good pizza – did you get that? Add a few bottles of wine and beer and you have more than just a dinner party – you have Pizza Magnifique.

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