Monday, January 3, 2022

Pizza at Home 2021 - Looking back at a year of pizza

In June of 2020 I started a quest to make pizza for the family every week. And not just any pizza. My goal was to make a unique pizza every single week for as long as I could, and in total I made at least 38 special pizzas in 2020. At the beginning of the 2021 I wasn't sure how much longer I could come up with different pizzas, but as the year went on, new ideas and new inspiration kept coming. 

This is my 2021 Pizza at Home year in review!


Happy New Years! It's traditional for my family, and most southern families, to eat black-eyed peas and greens to bring good fortune for the new year. I don't think Black-Eyed Peas are a common ingredient in pizza, but it was a good start to making something unique to start out the year. 
1. Happy New Year Black-Eyed Peas, candied carrots, ham, and spinach pizza. 


For Christmas, the kids received a Young Chefs cookbook. With just a little supervision, they made mini pizzas and their own pizza sauce for our meal. 
2. Kids make pizzas

A Youtube channel I follow had a recipe for a pizza with a Gremolata topping. What's Gremolata? Parsley, lemon zest (from our own tree), and fresh garlic. I thought it was very tasty. 
3. Gremolata Pizza

Alli was the main driver for the next week's pizza. She's always requested a plain pizza with just sauce and no toppings. A tomato pie pizza will be perfect! She was also a big help in the kitchen, making the tomato sauce from scratch and the pizza dough. I love that both kids like helping out in the kitchen. 
4. Tomato Pie pizza

To celebrate National Peanut Butter Day, I knew I had to make my own peanut butter pizza. And not just that, but also make my own peanut butter! Goofy's Kitchen at Disneyland makes a delicious peanut butter and jelly pizza. I can do that!
And because I have this tasty peanut butter, Theresa suggested I make a second pizza. She wanted one with peanut butter, banana, and honey too. Both pizzas were very good. 
6. Peanut Butter, Banana, and Honey Pizza

My pizza the next week was inspired by a Mexican taco. In an effort to get away from the normal tomato sauce base, I mixed refried beans and salsa and used that as my base instead. I added taco meat, cheddar cheese, tomato slices, and olives, then after baking piped guacamole and sour cream onto it. It looked beautiful!
7. Mexican Taco Inspired Pizza

Broccoli on pizza?!? Congratulations San Francisco, you've ruined pizza! First the Hawaiians, and now you!
I tried to improve it as best I could with an alfredo sauce base, but it was still a broccoli pizza. 
8. Broccoli Pizza - Inspired by Disney's Inside Out

On National Pizza Day (February 9th) I made everyone their favorite pizzas. I've made something similar before for Theresa and Ian, but Alli and I have something unique. Alli's is just a thin crust pizza with sauce on top. Mine has sausage, bacon, goat cheese, pineapple, and red pepper flakes. So good!
9. Thin crust pizzas for National Pizza Day

Happy Valentines Day! Today all our pizzas are heart shaped! I even made heart-shaped garlic knots! My pizza tonight has prosciutto, ham, sausage, pineapple and goat cheese. Yum!
10. Valentines Day Pizzas

Theresa does not care for tomato sauce on her pizza. I asked her what kind of pizza I should make this week and she chose a roasted garlic and chicken pizza with a creamy white cheese sauce. The roasted garlic pizza did not disappoint! Who needs tomato sauce when pizza can taste this good without it? 

One of my favorite meals that is not pizza is slow-cooked pork ribs. I had just made ribs the night before and had a few leftovers. That would go perfectly with caramelized onions. I used a BBQ sauce base, and a sprinkling of mozzarella and parmesan cheese. It was so good and is one of my new favorites. 
12. BBQ Ribs and Caramelized Onions Pizza

Who doesn't love bacon? It's salty, smokey, and savory. Perfect for a pizza! I mixed bacon grease into the crust instead of the usual canola oil. For the sauce, I combined roasted garlic and caramelized onions, instead of using tomatoes. It was topped with bacon crumbles and strips of bacon too. I added a bacon rose in the center. It was everything I was looking for in a bacon pizza. 
13. Bacon Pizza

Happy St. Patricks Day! Potatoes are Irish right? For this week's pizza I used golden potatoes (the Leprechauns will like that), topped them with fresh rosemary, and baked everything on a green crust. 
14. Saint Patricks Day Potato Pizza

What is a pizza? Is it the toppings? Is it the crust? This week I decided to make pretzel pizzas. I made homemade pretzel dough and for some I took the easy route and topped them with cheese and toppings. But I don't always go the easy route. Some times I like to try something a little harder. What about filled homemade pretzels? I filled a couple with mozzarella cheese (like a stuffed crust pizza) and another with red pizza sauce! Messy but delicious!

Every once in a while, I get recommendations for things I should try. Such was the case this week when a friend showed me a pizza parlor that made Loopy Fruits pizza and suggested I give it a try. Theresa had her doubts that this one would go well. I decided to not just make a Froot Loops pizza, but also a Cinnamon Toast Crunch pizza and a Cocoa Pebbles pizza. They were actually much better than expected. I would totally eat the Cinnamon Toast Crunch or Cocoa Pebbles pizza again. 

Holidays are always good inspiration. Easter makes me think of both eggs and bunnies and they both inspired my pizzas this week. 
For the bunnies, I thought it would be something to make a carrot pizza. I dyed the green leaves of the giant carrot, but the orange is carrot puree with a few other things to make it tasty. And it was! I was surprised!
For the eggs I had a couple fun ideas. I used thin crust pizza dough and dyed it different bright colors. The kids could combine the colors, squash them flat, and then use whatever toppings they wanted. The results were beautifully colorful.

I love mac and cheese. Homemade mac and cheese is even better. Homemade mac and cheese with toasted panko breadcrumbs and bacon is pretty hard to beat. I put it all on top of a pizza crust and baked it up. So good!
21. Homemade Mac and Cheese Pizza

Dessert pizzas can be pretty amazing too. I've made a few of these already, but this cinnamon roll pizza is my new favorite. I had a base of thin dough, so you really could slice it and eat it just like a piece of pizza. 

For National Pretzel Day I decided to revisit the whole pretzel and pizza combination that I'd done a few weeks before. Little Caesars makes a similar pizza with a pretzel crust and a cheese sauce instead of a tomato sauce. I can do that! 

We've got a visitor! One of Aubrey's favorite pizzas is a buffalo chicken pizza. I can try that! I've never made buffalo sauce from scratch before. This'll be a new one for me. Once it came out of the oven, I drizzled it with Ranch and more buffalo sauce. 
24. Buffalo Chicken Pizza

Happy Star Wars Day! May the Fourth be with you! We're in Colorado! Lots of people in my family like Star Wars so everyone pitched in to help make lots of different Star Wars themed pizzas. We've got the Death Star, Yoda, Darth Vader, Chewbacca, the Millennium Falcon, Darth Maul, and a BB8 pizza. I also really like the Anakin Skywalker pizza I made too. That's 8 different Star Wars pizzas in total! 
25-32. Star Wars Pizzas

I'm always looking for something interesting to do with my weekly pizza. While at home, my mom made meatloaf. It's the meatloaf that I've grown up on and it's the only one that tastes normal to me. Why not make it into a pizza? I used her meatloaf, a little bacon, along with garlic butter potatoes and cheese.
33. Mom's Meatloaf Pizza

I asked my Dad what his favorite pizza was and it didn't take much thinking for him to give me an answer. Always thin crust pizza. It doesn't matter what toppings you put on it, because there's no way to make a bad pizza. 
34. Pop Pop's Thin Crust Pizza

My Sister-in-Law Megan has been watching all my weekly pizza exploits with interest. She's especially been wanting to try the Ground Pepperoni pizza I made and also the Stuffed Crust pizza I made. Why not combine both of them into one! We did and the results were fantastic!
35. Ground Pepperoni Stuffed Crust Pizza

While visiting Michigan over the summer, walking through the grocery store, I noticed that sweet corn is just coming into season. Could I make a sweet corn pizza? I cut the kernels off the cobs, and then used the corn juices in my pizza crust. The results were a sweet corn flavor and pizza combined. I learned from Ethan at the end of the year that out of all the pizzas I've made, this one was his favorite!
36. Sweet Summer Corn Pizza

MOD pizza is one of Aubrey's favorite places to order from because they have so many different toppings and you can customize your pizza however you want it. We tried to recreate her order of fresh garlic, diced tomatoes, gorgonzola cheese, basil, and a balsamic glaze. I think we did a pretty fantastic job. This one was delicious!
37. Aubrey's favorite MOD Pizza

Ian has been wanting to do his own unique pizza creation since the year began. His idea was to make a soda pizza, where instead of water you use soda in the crust. With his input we came up with two different pizza ideas. A Sprite based pizza with pan-fried chicken, garlic, and alfredo, topped with lemon-lime zest and a Sprite syrup glaze. For the Coca-Cola pizza there's Coke marinated ham, Coke caramelized onions, and a Coca-Cola syrup glaze. They were yummy! The Sprite pizza was bright and refreshing.
39. Coca-Cola Inspired Pizza 

On July Fourth I wanted to do an all-American pizza. I came up with Chili Dogs and Apple Pie. Not on the same pizza. That would be weird. For my Chili Dog pizza instead of tomato sauce I used chili sauce. From there it was topped with sliced hot dogs, onions, and cheddar cheese. So good! My Apple Pie pizza was made from fresh apples that I cooked with spices into apple pie filling. I added a crumble topping too. It was a fantastic dessert pizza. 
41. Apple Pie Pizza

Life changed a bit after we hit the road and started traveling, living in an RV full-time. That doesn't mean we're going stop making pizza every week though! On the banks of the Arkansas River, near the Arkansas Hot Springs, I made a meat pizza with a few dashes of Hot Sauce. 
42. Pizza in the RV with Hot Sauce

Theresa and Alli have been enjoying dipping the crust of my pizza in honey so much I figured I'd make them a whole breadstick pizza. My brother suggested topping it with alfredo and mozzarella cheese. It was delicious!
43. Cheesy Breadstick Pizza

Once we got on the road and really started getting into the groove of things, a new idea for pizza inspiration popped into my head. What if I started theming the pizzas I made to the state we're visiting? 
In Missouri, where Theresa is from, she remembers picking wild blackberries. Our campground had blackberries growing of the bushes nearby, and after getting permission to pick them, I used them in a Wild Blackberry Pizza. 
44. Missouri Wild Blackberry Pizza

Kentucky was our next stop, and if there's one food that famously comes from Kentucky it's Kentucky Fried Chicken. I used the recipe for the Colonel's famous breading and fried up some nuggets. I used a brown gravy base, cheddar cheese, and mashed potatoes, then topped it with my fried chicken. The results were tasty, but most people would have rather had the ingredients separate and not combined on a pizza. 
45. Kentucky Fried Chicken Pizza 

Tennessee was our next stop, so I thought a Nashville Hot Chicken pizza would be appropriate. I made my own hot sauce, and even pickled my own onions. Theresa said I nailed the theme for this week, and it tasted really good too. Just needed a lot more chicken pieces on it. 
46. Nashville Hot Chicken Pizza

The next stop on our journey took us over to North Carolina. Carolina style BBQ, that is vinegar based instead of tomato sauce based, has been a staple in my parents' household. I made it from scratch and used it to top this week's pizza. It was delicious! So good I had to recreate it for my parents when I went back home for Thanksgiving. 
47. North Carolina BBQ Pizza

In Virginia I know that seafood is popular, but I don't like seafood. That's why my toppings for this state were Virginia Ham and Virginia Potatoes. The runny eggs add a tasty richness to the pizza too. 

In Pennsylvania I knew I'd have to make a Philly Cheesesteak Pizza. I cooked the diced sirloin with peppers and onions, then topped it with provolone cheese. It was wonderful. 
49. Philly Cheesesteak Pizza

Our next stop had us visiting Hershey Pennsylvania and the giant Hershey Chocolate store provided us plenty of chocolate. I think a S'mores pizza would be fantastic. I mixed a few graham crackers into my pizza dough, topped it with Hershey's chocolate, and added marshmallows at the end to get nice and toasty. Theresa said it was the best dessert pizza I've made so far! Better than the Cinnamon Roll, Apple Pie, and Cereal pizzas. 
50. Hershey Pennsylvania S'mores Pizza

New York is known as the Big Apple, but I've done a few apple pizzas already. How about instead of apples I make a New York Cheesecake! It was delicious, but not quite what I had pictured in my head. Next time I'll use a lot more cheesecake filling and make the pizza dough a lot flatter. The kids thought it was still good. 

In the Fall, we visited the North East to see all the leaves changing colors. While there, we visited the Couture's Maple Shop and got to tour their real maple syrup farm! From the tapping of the trees, to the sugar house where they boil the sap, and finally the kitchen where they make all their delicious maple flavored treats. The Couture's farm was one of our favorite stops on this trip. To pay tribute to their maple syrup, I made a maple pizza. I cooked thick bacon slices in maple syrup, added maple syrup to the pizza dough, and gave it a maple drizzle on top. Along with a caramelized onions and a Vermont Sharp Cheddar Cheese, this pizza was so delicious!
52. Vermont Maple Syrup Pizza with Couture Farms Maple Syrup

When we visited New Hampshire, we stopped at lots of dairy farms. The cows here make delicious milk, cheeses, and ice creams. For my pizza this week, I used homemade chocolate chip cookie dough and topped it with Vanilla Ice Cream from the Bart family, who have been providing New Hampshire residents ice cream and other treats since 1927. 
53. New Hampshire Dairy Farms Ice Cream Pizza

Our travels took us to Maine, and while Maine is known for lobster, I just don't like seafood. Maine Blueberries are also quite popular, so I made a Blueberry and Bacon pizza. 
54. Maine Blueberry Pizza

Our next big move took us to Massachusetts. There are so many things that come from here that I ended up featuring the state 3 different times! The first was a Boston Baked Bean Pizza. I didn't get the baked beans from a can either. I mixed up my own BBQ sauce, cooked some bacon and onions, added my beans, and then slow cooked the whole thing for a few hours. The RV smelled amazing! The pizza was good, but it was quite heavy. 
55. Massachusetts Boston Baked Bean Pizza

The Peanut Butter and Marshmallow sandwich, known as the Fluffernutter, was invented in Massachusetts back in the 1900s. I bet that would be delicious on a pizza too! I pre-baked my crust, then added my peanut butter and marshmallow on top. I put it back into the oven to get toasted, and the result was the messiest pizza I've ever tried to cut. It was delicious though. Theresa now has a new favorite dessert pizza. 
56. Fluffernutter Pizza from Massachusetts

Massachusetts is also know for the Nestle Toll House. Without Ruth Wakefield, who knows when the chocolate chip cookie would have been discovered. Using Nestle Cookie Dough and a few more Nestle Toll House Morsels, the kids helped me make a giant cookie pizza!
57. Toll House Massachusetts Cookie Pizza

In Michigan, while we were visiting family, I decided to make a pizza based on the tasty fruit that they are known for. Michigan Cherries! I added caramelized onions, gorgonzola, and prosciutto. The results were fantastic. 
Since I was making pizza for so many people, I looked around for other tasty toppings I could use. Tyler has been growing fresh German Johnson tomatoes and they looked fantastic. I added some fresh basil and garlic, along with mozzarella cheese and it was amazing. One of my favorite pizzas. So simple, but so delicious. 
59. Michigan Margherita Pizza

Vermont is known for maple, but they are also known for their cheeses. I shredded lots of sharp cheddar, mixed it with garlic, and made a thin crust Vermont Cheddar pizza. It was like a cheesy crunchy breadstick and it was amazing. 

It's been a fun year of traveling, but it's time to migrate south for the winter. We packed up our bags into the RV and made our way quickly to the warm weather of Florida. Along the way though, we stopped in Georgia on Sunday, which meant I needed to figure out a pizza featuring Georgia ingredients. As The Presidents of the United States of America tell us, "Peaches come from a can. They were put there by a man. In a factory downtown." That can must have come from Georgia. I used peaches, goat cheese, capocollo, and caramelized onions for toppings. It was sweet and salty and so good. 
61. Georgia Peach Pizza

Happy Halloween! The kids were excited to make a specialty pizza this year with me. I let them make pizzas with their halloween candy. There's a chocolate candy pizza with 17 different kinds of chocolate on it. And they also made a fruity candy pizza with 7 different candies. They were... interesting. The kids loved them. Theresa and I don't think we need to have them again. 

For the longest time Theresa has been asking me to make a pizza with a Caramelized Onion theme. They are so delicious and have such a strong and sweet flavor. And because it's her pizza, she gets to pick all the toppings. Her favorites include prosciutto, olives, and mushrooms. And of course there's no tomato sauce on this. The base is a thick layer of caramelized onions. 
64. Caramelized Onion Pizza

While visiting my family for Thanksgiving, I made thin crust pizzas. Twice! Over 2 Sundays I made 18 thin crust pizzas! It included a lot of our favorites from the past year, include Carolina BBQ, Philly Cheesesteak, Cheddar Garlic, Margherita, meat pizzas, and many more. 
65. Colorado Thin Crust Pizzas 

Back in our home state of Florida, I was trying to think of a good ingredient that represented the state and I came up with Oranges. Yes, oranges. Hindsight being 20/20 it wasn't the best decision. They are a good accompanying flavor, like Orange Chicken, but I went with them as the main ingredient with a bacon accompaniment. It tasted like a breakfast pizza, but in a weird sort of way. 
66. Florida Oranges Pizza

I was trying to make up for the Oranges pizza from last week and thought of another ingredient that would be unique to Florida. Alligator! I stopped by one of those roadside meat markets and purchased some alligator sausage. To go with it, I used fresh tomato slices and and grilled onions. I was hoping to like this more, but the spices in the sausage tasted a little odd to me. 
67. Florida Alligator Pizza

To finish the year out, I'm making a pizza with a controversial topping. I love pineapples and think they absolutely belong on a pizza. I made a pizza with pineapple 4 different ways, including a pineapple tomato sauce, fresh pineapple chunks, caramelized pineapple rings, and a pineapple drizzle. It was so good! 
68. Pineapple Four Ways Pizza

Whew! What a year it has been! This year has been wild with lots of stuff going on. After last year I was pretty amazed that I was able to keep making different pizzas for 6 months. I wasn't sure I could keep it going for another 12 months, but every week I had different inspiration and we always had something unique. 

It's been a fun year of pizza!



1 comment:

  1. That was a GREAT, comprehensive recap of 2021's pizzas!...so many varieties (dessert and main)...amazing to see the different inspirations transformed into real-life, and sometimes with incredible results! Wonder what new, imaginative pizzas will find its way into the Flowers' Pizza Sundays in 2022. Such wonderful, creative pizza making! EOM

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