Friday, April 30, 2010

Pizza night, the small version

So we were lucky enough to be connected in with a monthly pizza circle in Richmond recently, and I had the chance to see some truly creative work happening with the pies. Though there were no other kids around, it proved a delightfully kid-friendly event for Buttercup, too. Good times.

Fast-forward a few days to Thursday, a night we'd sworn to go swimming after missing the past few days. Pool night means a good bit of relaxation, but it also means eating later than usual. (We've tried going to Mekong after swimming a couple times, and while it is delicious, the night can sometimes be a bit too indulgent.) In any case, we've lately come to three parameters for dinners: 1. Get dinner ready so we can eat together; 2. Eat before the kid gets too tired and/or cranky; 3. Use what we have so we do a better job of staying within the budget.

L suggested pizza. She could thaw the TJ's dough in the freezer. At ninety-nine cents a pop, Trader Joe's fresh dough is a lifesaver — high quality and easy to use. To make life for later even easier, she divided the dough into two smaller pies and pre-baked the crust.

We got back from swimming just after 8 p.m. and raided the fridge. The kid wanted pepperoni and olives. A good quality salumi was a good pepperoni substitute. Add marinara, some grated mozzarella, some feta and a few kalamata olives, and the kid's pie was ready to go. Ten minutes in the oven, and it was finished. Ours was more of a hodge-podge: the last of the artichokes and roasted peppers, some leftover fresh sage, marinara, blue cheese and mozzarella, olives, and some crushed chili. And this is what the hodge-podge looked like:

Delicious. Cheap. And it was all a matter of what we had in the fridge. What a perfect cheapicurean moment.