Part of my new approach to meal planning is that I’m designating specific nights to eating certain types of food, and it’s making getting dinner on the table a lot easier than I originally thought.
Friday nights are now officially pizza nights. We’re trying new variations and toppings, and it completely takes the guesswork out of wondering what to make for dinner that day. Ben always has a hockey game that night, so we eat pizza and then head to the rink. It’s a pretty good routine to get into for the fall and winter months.
Saturday night is when we eat out or order in. We may go out as a family, or just as a couple, or we might arrange for take out and eat it while watching movie. It’s the official no-cook night of the week and what we eat changes often depending on who’s home and what the teenager has planned.
Sunday is now known as Family Supper Sunday and it’s a big meal with our extended family members. Last week, I made shepherd’s pie and kale Caesar salad, and yesterday I served roast chicken with gravy, mashed potatoes, and buttered green beans. No two weeks are the same, and the meal is usually one that might be too time-consuming for your average Monday night.
Speaking of which, for the meals I need to make during the week, I’ve narrowed it down to a soup and sandwich night, a pasta night, and a meat-lovers night (this could also include fish). The remaining weeknight is left open so I can cook whatever strikes my fancy that day. I might serve something I need to cook for work, something I’ve wanted to make, or something from a new cookbook I’ve been sent. It’s my day to play in the kitchen and it’s usually a surprise, even to me, what ends up on the table.
Last Friday night, I experimented with a homemade deep-dish pizza. Everyone declared it a new favourite, and I can’t say I disagree. The only downside to this dinner is that one pizza is definitely not enough to feed my family so I suspect I’ll be heading out this week to purchase a second springform pan for the future (side note: the next one will definitely be a 10-inch which is what the recipe calls for. I only have a 9-inch pan and the crust was a tad too thick). Small portions aside, I think we could all agree that the billowy crust was the ideal surface for the various toppings, and the slices held their shape nicely making this easy to eat with hands.
Next on my pizza-esque list of recipes to try are Stromboli, calzones, and panzerotti. Do you have a particular pizza you’re fond of? Are you more partial to thin or thick crusts? And lastly, what is your must-have pizza topping?
P.S. This no-knead pizza dough is still our go-to recipe for our weekly pizza dinner.
Deep-Dish Bacon and Mushroom Pizza
Makes one 10” pizza
For the crust:
- 1 ¼ teaspoon yeast
- ½ teaspoon sugar
- ¾ cup warm water
- 3 Tbsp. olive oil, plus extra for oiling the pan
- 2 – 2 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
For the filling:
- ¾ cup marinara or pizza sauce
- ½ cup cooked and crumbled bacon
- ½ cup cooked mushrooms or caramelized onions
- 1 ½ cups grated mozzarella cheese
- ¼ grated Parmesan cheese
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
Combine the yeast, sugar, and water in the bowl of a stand mixer and let rest for 5 minutes, or until the yeast is foamy.
Add the oil, 2 cups of the flour, and the salt to the bowl. Mix at medium-low speed with a dough hook until smooth. Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth and elastic, gradually adding in as much of the remaining flour as needed.
Place the dough in a large, lightly oiled bowl and cover. Allow the dough to rise in a warm place for 1 ½ hours or until doubled in size.
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Coat the bottom and sides of a 10-inch springform pan with the olive oil. Punch the dough down and turn it out onto a lightly floured surface. Using your fingers, press the dough into a 13-inch circle. Carefully lift the dough and place it into the prepared pan, pressing it into the bottom and halfway up the sides.
Spread the pizza sauce over the dough and top with the crumbled bacon and mushrooms. Sprinkle with the mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses. Scatter the oregano over the entire pizza. Bake for 25-28 minutes, or until the crust and cheese are golden brown. Let stand for 5 minutes, release the pizza from the pan by removing the outer ring. Cut into 6 wedges and serve.
*Pizza dough recipe adapted from Cooking Light