It’s almost unheard of to have nice enough weather to eat outside in October in Pennsylvania, so when the opportunity presented itself, my parents dove all in to throw a beautiful outdoor, rustic pizza party for my sister and I. Their outdoor patio is literally what dreams are made of, with the sound of a creek flowing below and picturesque mountainside views – you really don’t get much prettier! They also have an outdoor kitchen area, complete with a pizza oven, that simply makes the best pizza I’ve ever tasted. It’s SO good – crisp outside, warm moist inside. I don’t know how they do it, but it’s pizza I dream about until I come home next. Today I’m sharing some snaps from the pizza party, as well as five recipe ideas for your next fête!
If the above photo doesn’t make your mouth water then I’m not entirely sure what will. My mom doesn’t hold back when she entertains and this was no different! I believe there were 8 different pizzas in all. The crust is made with an almond flour base, so it’s totally gluten free and STILL FLUFFY! People, this is a gluten free pizza crust miracle. I’ve tried to emulate it so many times, but everything I try has fallen flat…literally!
I love the outdoor space…it just feels so cozy! I joke with my mom that in her next life she should style Pottery Barn catalogs and just use her own house, because she’s got just about one of everything and no matter the season or holiday – everything just looks the part. I love it so!
So funny story about this pizza oven, when my parents first got it, there was a little bit of a learning curve. It takes a little bit to heat up and there are some things to get used to that one would only learn by testing it out and trying different techniques. Anyhow, my parents fired it up and we waited for it to get hot and then shoved in a pizza crust. Well, it was more like a calzone that night. Using a pizza oven is not as easy as they make it look in pizza shops – I’ll tell ya that much! We still laugh about it whenever I’m home.
This beautiful fire table was made from an old wine barrel! My dad made it for my mom one year for their anniversary, or maybe her birthday – either way…I love it! It keeps you surprisingly warm when you sit around it as it throws a decent amount of heat. On one of our last nights we all sat around having some adult beverages and snacking, even though it was pretty crisp outside.
And what is a party without dessert? Not a good party – that’s what! My mom whipped up a homemade apple tart with vodka whipped cream. She uses a whipped cream dispenser where she just pours in all of the ingredients and VOILA! Homemade whipped cream. So good, right? It was SUCH a tasty treat!
All of the above photos were snapped on my iPhone, because I’m not the greatest when it comes to photographing in a low-light setting. Anyone else feel me on this one!? And I’ll be honest – it’s also a lot of work to bust out the big girl camera when I’m just trying to hang out with my family. All of that to say, in an earnest attempt to be a “real food blogger”, I did capture a few shots on my Nikon. I figured since I’m sharing some recipes you might want something a bit more upgraded than my phone 😉
My mom is always really good about having a vegetable option, in most cases a big salad. I love this, because she makes a garlic “white bread” pizza that this is DELICIOUS on top of. Have you ever had salad pizza before? A restaurant in my hometown used to make it and I would order it every time I went. Since, they’ve stopped serving it, but I’ve been recreating it for as long as I can remember. Crisp, chopped salad on top of crispy, garlicky bread. So yum!
Alright now let’s talk recipe ideas! Probably the real reason some of you are here 😉 My mom always has the best pizzas on deck, so I picked her brain about some of her go-tos. All of the following ideas use the same basic pizza crust as the base. They’re all finished off with my favorite pizza seasoning as well!
Let’s start with the pizza I didn’t get a good photo of – pineapple and prosciutto. You can see part of it in some photos, but I didn’t get a straight shot. Sorry! On top of your crust base, do a light layer of marinara sauce. Top with crispy prosciutto, thick slices of pepperoni, fresh pineapple chunks and a light layer of mozzarella cheese.
The pizza in focus below is a BBQ Chicken pizza done with BBQ sauce. This sauce is seriously THE BEST + hails from Dinosaur BBQ in upstate New York! Any NY-ers reading?! Back me up here! The base is BBQ sauce, and then rotisserie chicken that has been tossed in the BBQ sauce (see – we don’t mess around with the sauce, people!) and then red onion that have been cut super fine. The cheese topping is a mix of mozzarella and gouda chunks and then it all gets melted together.
The “White Pizza” (shown below) I talked about earlier is 6 cloves of roasted garlic, parmesan cheese and olive oil. Smash the roasted cloves around the pizza, add a handful of Parmesan cheese and drizzle with olive oil. Reheat in pizza oven (or regular oven!) until cheese has melted.
The spicy pizza (show below) is created using a spiced up red sauce and topped with olives, red peppers, green peppers, mozzarella and oregano. Once all your toppings are in place, warm it up until the cheese has melted. Top with pizza seasoning and enjoy!
One of the things my parents recently started doing was using mini pepperonis instead of big ones, because “you get more on your slices”. It makes perfect sense, because traditionally the pepperoni gets sliced into tinier pieces. Anyway! The below is just a standard pepperoni pizza with a mixed cheese blend.
And just as an added bonus – a sixth recipe! The bacon and fig arugula pizza (shown below) is not something I would normally gravitate toward. Okay, I’ll be honest – it sounded weird (at best) to me. It’s created by using bacon jam and fig jelly as the base and topping with fresh mozzarella and ricotta chunks. When it’s just barely warmed, remove it from the oven and top with fresh arugula.
Okay so now that I’m in a carb coma and simultaneously drooling – what is your go-to pizza recipe?