Tuesday, January 4, 2011

A Pizza Christmas

You don't have to have ham or turkey to honor holiday tradition. We did have spiral ham for our own little family gathering. But at our Christmas Eve celebration with my family, beef brisket is always on the menu.

Our celebration with Randy's side of the family is less predictable. After his parents passed away, we have often celebrated Christmas with Mexican fiestas at Kathy's house.

And when we are here on the County Line, I often opt for pizza. And it's still all about tradition.

Randy's mom, Marie, was known for making pizza. When the kids were in high school, I'm told she made dozens of homemade pizzas to serve kids who came for youth group, for game nights and other gatherings.

She had a signature gift which she gave to young brides during church showers. She would wrap up a pizza pan with all the spices and seasonings needed to make their own pizza. She also included a box of hot roll mix, which she used to make the crust.

For Jill & Eric's bridal shower at the church, my sister-in-law, Kathy, wrapped up a pizza pan gift - a tribute to her mom. It was perfect, since Marie was so central to happenings like that at our church.

I make my own dough, but the sentiment - and the memories - are still there. It's a way to pay homage to my in-laws. Even though they aren't here to celebrate with us, it kind of feels like they are.

Marie, Jill, Melvin and Brent at a long-ago Christmas

This year, I made three different pizzas - a hamburger (pictured above), a cheese and a pepperoni. The other two were gone before I remembered to take a photo.

Kim's Homemade Pizza Dough
1 pkg. active dry yeast
1 cup warm water (105 to 115 degrees)
1 tsp. sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 tbsp. vegetable oil
2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour or whole wheat flour or combination

Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in remaining ingredients. Beat vigorously 20 strokes (If you need to, knead briefly to get it to form a ball.) Let rest about 5 minutes. Makes 2 crusts.

Divide the dough evenly and spread onto two pizza pans. I prepare the pans by rubbing with shortening and I have my hands well-greased with shortening to spread out the dough.

I don't really have a recipe for the rest. I use canned pizza sauce and just add hamburger, pepperoni, cheese, etc.

Once you have your toppings added, bake in a 425-degree oven for 15-20 minutes (or so), until cheese is light brown and crust is nicely browned. My oven bakes hot, so I always check it early.

Marie's Pizza
1 box hot roll mix
Salad oil
Onions, to taste
1 6-oz. can tomato paste
1 8-oz. can tomato sauce
Oregano, to taste
Basil, to taste
Topping of your choice (mozzarella cheese, pepperoni, hamburger, veggies, etc.)

Prepare dough according to directions on hot roll mix package. Using greased fingers, spread dough on well-greased pizza pans.

Brown onions in small amount of salad oil. Add tomato paste and sauce and seasonings. Stir until well blended; simmer. Spread on pizza dough. Add topping and bake at 425 degrees for 15-25 minutes until cheese is bubbly and crust is crisp.


My sister-in-law continued the pizza theme with the dessert she brought to the party. She made the treat with a little help from her cute assistants.

And here are Emily & Amanda, who at that point, had filled up on savory AND sweet pizzas and were ready for the main attraction - opening presents!

Fruity Brownie Pizza
1 pkg brownie mix (8 in. size)
1 pkg (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
1/3 c. sugar
1 can (8 ounces) pineapple tidbits
1 small firm banana sliced
1 medium kiwifruit, peeled and sliced
1 c. sliced fresh strawberries
1/4 c. chopped pecans (opt.)
1 square (1 ounce) semisweet chocolate
1 T. butter (no substitute)

Prepare brownie mix according to package directions. Spread the batter into greased 12 in. pizza pan. Bake at 375 for 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool completely. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Spread over crust. Drain pineapple, reserving juice. Toss banana slices with juice. Drain well. Arrange banana, kiwi, strawberries, and pineapple over cream cheese layer. Sprinkle with pecans. In a microwave, melt chocolate and butter. Stir until smooth. Drizzle over fruit. Refrigerate for 1 hour. 12-14 servings.


  1. Ah...Aunt Marie's Pizza! Kathy passed on the tradition in her honor when I got married too!
    Thank you both for keeping her in our daily thoughts!

  2. Thanks for chiming in, Stacia! Even though it's been a long time, we all miss her!

  3. Yum! I love that you honor Marie this way. Family traditions are what keep love alive for generations! So sweet!

  4. And a bonus - everyone will be happy and eat it! There might be a picky eater or two in the bunch!