It’s a universally loved food with both children and adults. Pizza dough is versatile stuff – if I’m trying to whip up a quick dinner, I’ll make one large Grandma Style Pizza on a cookie sheet or if the kiddos seem to be looking for something to do we’ll make individual pies. Either way it is a great way to incorporate all types of ingredients.

When the kiddos make their own pies I put out as many ingredients as I can find in the fridge or freezer. The kids have a great time making designs on their pies and eagerly eat whatever they create. It’s a great time to get your children to try new veggies. The only caveat is that you want veggies to be cooked. I find that frozen veggies such as peas, corn and broccoli work well. Also, don’t forget your fruit bowl – apples and pears are delish on pizza.

Last night’s leftover corn becomes a great topping with grilled chicken and a variety of cheeses. I take the kitchen sink approach to Pizza making – there are no right or wrong answers. I dare you to find a kid who won’t eat cheese covered veggies!

This is what I call a Blueprint recipe one basic recipe which can be transformed into a million options (well almost!) & if you don’t have the time or inclination, using pre-made dough works just as well.

This is a recipe I adapted from a recipe in Gourmet. I like the combo of the white and whole wheat flour and the honey adds a lovely note to the dough.

Pizza Dough

2 (1/4-ounces) packages active dry yeast

4 1/2  cups unbleached all-purpose flour, divided

1 Cup Whole Wheat flour

2 cups warm water (105-115&Deg;F), divided

2 teaspoons salt

1 1/2 Tablespoons Honey

1 Tablespoon olive oil

Mix yeast, 2 tablespoons flour, warm water & honey in a bowl – let stand until begins to foam. Stir together salt and remaining flour in the bowl of a stand mixer with the dough hook. Add yeast mixture , 1 1/2 cups warm water & olive oil. Mix if the dough is too sticky add enough additional flour until the dough pulls away from the side of the bowl. This is a really sticky dough. Flour counter well and knead the dough until smooth about 10 mins. Add additional flour to counter if dough is too sticky. Form dough into a ball and place in an oiled bowl, cover with a tea towel and let sit for an hour in warm spot – top of your stove is just perfect.

Heat oven to 500 and if you have a convection option use it. Meanwhile while the oven is getting roaring hot start getting your toppings ready. I use jarred marinara sauce, but if your feeling super motivated you can always make your own. I like to mix up the toppings as well as the cheeses I use.  I cook my pizzas on cookie sheets-for Grandma Pizza I spread the dough evenly all over the tray and push down with my finger tips. With the individual pies for the kids I  turn the dough into 4 balls ( 4 kids, 4 pizzas) and roll them out. I make 2 pizzas per tray.

Spread sauce over the dough, evenly cover with cheese and add toppings. Put in the oven for about 10 mins or until the cheese is bubbling. Remove and slice! These are a couple of my favorite combos:

                                              Broccoli Bacon & Cheddar Pizza


* Pre cook the bacon & broccoli. This is made with straight up cheddar which is awesome.

                                               Turkey Meatball & Asparagus Pizza


* Key here is to cut the asparagus up and toss with olive oil and put on raw.

                                                  Grilled Chicken & Corn Pizza


*Here I used leftover corn from the night before, but fresh corn would be great as well. Goat cheese would also, be a fun addition.

Here are a couple of examples of the kiddos’ masterpieces. I like to give them a ton of options and they love to eat their creations. Pride of ownership at it’s best.