Thursday, October 8, 2009

If it's Monday, it must be meatloaf...

Today, we'll get to the meat of the Pizza Principle. The point? That pizza can pull you off a ledge.

The problem used to be boring routine at dinnertime. Then it was lack of time. With Mom and Dad working late, and kids trying to squeeze in friends and homework around soccer, marching band, cheerleading, drama club, and that part-time job at the video store, dinner has a tendency to get lost in the shuffle. When we do have time to sit down together, it seems like a special occasion, and celebrating with processed packaged macaroni and some hamburgers just doesn’t cut it.

Using pizza crust as a platform is an easy way to bring some fun to the Tuesday night supper table, jazz up your stable of potluck staples, or surprise guests with the unexpected. Anything you can marry to bread (and a few things you’d never think to) can turn into a great pizza, and a great reason to eat with your family.

Football season is the perfect time for pizza. In my house, a good Nittany Lion play is cause for celebration, and more than one carpet has been ruined by potato salad and barbecue gone flying into the air. Pizza is easier to keep in hand. And when you’re watching Penn State score, you aren’t eating sloppy joes, you’re eating sloppy JoePas, in honor of the best coach to ever bully a 300-pound linebacker on the sidelines. (Note: In no way does this imply that the always dapper Coach Paterno is ever any less than impeccably groomed.)

Sloppy JoePa Pizza

1 pizza crust

1 pound ground beef

1 diced onion

1 chopped green pepper

½ can tomato soup

1 T. ketchup

1 t. mustard

2 T. brown sugar

2 t. apple cider vinegar

½ t. garlic powder

Cayenne, just a dash

Salt and pepper

2 c. shredded cheddar and mozzarella blend

Green onions and banana peppers, optional

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place pizza crust on baking sheet.

In a large skillet, sauté ground beef with onions and peppers. Drain. Add tomato soup, ketchup, mustard, brown sugar and vinegar. Cover and cook 10 minutes. Season with garlic powder, cayenne and salt and pepper to taste. Spread meat mixture over crust. If there is more meat than you want on your pie, save it for a sandwich later. Top with cheese.

Bake 15 minutes, or until cheese is bubbling and crust is golden. Garnish with green onions and banana peppers if desired.

Extra Extra!!!

Tailgate Time – At Penn State, football is serious business, and home games turn tiny State College, Pa., into the third largest city in the state, outstripped only by Philadelphia to the east and Pittsburgh to the west. That’s not surprising when you consider that Beaver Stadium holds 107,282 enthusiastic fans, currently the largest crowd in the NCAA. Outside, even more fans fill the parking lots, watching the games on portable sets while they chow down on favorites like burgers and dogs, barbecue, nachos, and yes, pizza.


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