People Like Me

In beginning this post I was a little torn in which way to take it.  What I started wanting to write about is this great roasted vegetable pizza that I have been making lately.  However, after this Sunday I also kind of wanted to write about how to throw a fairly stress free party.  

The two items are not mutually exclusive, seeing as I made said pizza for a party I threw on Sunday.  My birthday party in fact.  It was such a great day, that I wanted to share it.
I am one of those creatures who finds the prospect of cooking for 15 or so people relaxing instead of stressful.  The planning, the preparation, the execution, even now if I could do it again I would.  Not that I didn’t have help from my friends and boy I am ever grateful for it.
I kept the food simple fare that I could pretty much make in advance and then just keep warm throughout the party, making “stations” so people could serve themselves.
The first was a chili station with the veggie chili I blogged about a few posts ago kept warm in my slow cooker.  The second was the roasted veggie pizza I am talking about today.  
That is right, I made all vegetarian food.  No meat in sight.  Why would someone who loves cured meat as much as I do such a thing?   Well, number one, I had a few vegetarians coming and I wanted them to be able to eat and two, meat is hard to keep at a consistent texture for 8 hours unless you are a trained chef with catering equipment (and even then it is dicey).
My friends helped by bringing snacks and booze of their choosing, and while there was some overlap for the most part it all got eaten and kept everyone with a relatively full belly.
I used disposables so clean up was easy. However, if I really did have to do it all over again, I would have pre-ordered biodegradable disposables from Green Shift instead of the evil evil Styrofoam I used instead.
But let’s not dwell on the negative and instead get to the recipe.
I’ll give you 2 guesses as to who I adapted this recipe from?
….
Rachael Ray!
Roasted Veggie Pizza
Adapted from Everyday with Rachael Ray November 2007
*This version is the meat and brussels sprout one I usually make, however, for the party I substituted the brussels sprouts with 8 oz sliced mushrooms (because the brussels sprouts were HUGE and would never have cooked) and omitted the meat.  That being said Don’t Fear the Sprout! I hate hate hate brussels sprouts and I Love this Recipe.
4 slices Canadian bacon sliced thinly
1 Pillsbury Pizza Crust Tube
Canola Oil Spray
1 1/2 cups fontina cheese (I have tried others but fontina really works the best)
1 cup of brussels sprouts halved or quartered depending on size
3/4 head cauliflower, broken into small pieces (about 3 cups)
1/3 cup julienned sun-dried tomatoes packed in olive oil and drained
3 cloves of garlic minced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
Pepper
1.  Position a rack in the bottom third of the oven and preheat to 500.  In a skillet cook the bacon, as per package directions.
2.  Grease a baking sheet with canola oil spray, place the pizza dough on top and press and stretch the dough as close to the pan edges as possible.  Sprinkle half the cheese over the dough and bake for 5 minutes.
3.  In a pot of boiling salted water, cook the brussels sprouts and cauliflower for 1 minute.  Drain in a colander and rinse with cold water until cool.  Transfer to a large bowl and add the sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, salt and a TON of pepper;  toss well.  Spoon the veggie mixture evenly over the dough, top with bacon and remaining cheese.
4.  Bake the pizza until the crust is golden-brown and the cheese is bubbly, 10 to 12 minutes.  Let cool slightly before serving.
If you use the mushrooms instead of the sprouts, there is no need to boil them (obviously, but in the interest of full disclosure) just place on top of the cauliflower and bacon etc.
I pilfered photos from my friend Avery, with the exception of the pizza.  Love!
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