It’s Christmas time, the most magical time of the year. Or it should be, but sometimes, all that holiday shopping, planning, and organizing have you stressed out. The holidays are a time for friends and family to spend time together and shouldn’t leave a hostess frazzled.
Even the best hostess gets overwhelmed at the holidays and makes mistakes, and sometimes holiday meals don’t go as planned.
Maybe you forgot to defrost the turkey, or had a few too many hot toddies and burned the Christmas Eve casserole, or had some unexpected last-minute guests, and everyone is hungry. Well, what is a hostess to do? Make last-minute homemade pizza, of course.
Homemade pizza is the friend that’s always there for you and can fix any dinner dilemma. Here are three ways last-minute homemade pizza can help the hostess pull off a great meal and keep the Christmas spirit.
Having pizza dough in the freezer is a lifesaver when you have to make dinner on the fly. Freezer pizza dough can save the day, whether you make your own dough or buy it from your local pizzeria.
Three Ways to Use Frozen Dough
The fastest way to defrost pizza dough is to give it a bath a warm water bath. Keep the dough in a sealed freezer bag or plastic container. Then, take a large bowl and fill it with warm water, not boiling, but warmer than lukewarm. Let it sit for a while. You can change the water after a bit and add more warm water to speed up the process.
Another great way to defrost dough is to use the good old microwave. Make sure you take it out of the plastic container or bag, place it on a microwave-safe dish and use defrost. Every microwave is different, so start with a few minutes and keep adding more time as needed until it has fully defrosted.
And of course, if you have a heads up about needing a change of dinner plans the night before, leave the dough to thaw in the fridge. Freezer pizza dough is fine in the refrigerator for up to eight hours.
Now how to use the freezer dough:
- Pizza, obviously pizza. Roll it out and slasher with sauce, cheese, and your favorite toppings. We keep shredded mozzarella and premade homemade sauce packets in the freezer, so when a kitchen disaster happens, and we all know they do sometimes, you can have a pizza in a pinch.
- Calzones are folded over pizzas filled with veggies, meats, and cheese. They are fancier than a pizza but just as easy to make. So if you need to make something nice for guests that your partner forgot to tell you were coming, you can make a batch of calzones. We like to make smaller ones as snacks with an impromptu cocktail hour.
- Breadsticks are another great way to use frozen pizza dough and make a delicious appetizer that everyone will love. Just cut off pieces of dough, use the palms of your hands to roll them out. Make as many as you like, brush them with olive oil, and give them a sprinkle of Italian seasonings—Bake at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for about 10 minutes. Check them every few minutes because they will cook even faster if they are rolled too thin.
You can also make one big square of dough, brush them with melted butter and herbs. Then, cut them after cooking. This usually makes thicker breadsticks.
- Garlic Knots make a fancy appetizer to feed hungry guests. Impress your friends and family with your braiding technique and make some garlic knots. Not only are they delicious, but garlic is an antiviral and can help protect you and your loved ones during the winter cold and flu season.
Pre-made Crusts for Last-Minute Homemade Pizza
Premade crusts can help you get dinner on the table quickly. Whether you burned the chicken or overspiced the soup, having premade pizza crusts on hand can help you quickly make last-minute homemade pizza and get the meal back on track.
There are a few different brands of homemade crusts. You can find thin, thick, seasoned, gluten-free, and even cauliflower crust. Premade crusts freeze well and have a decent shelf life. So keeping a few on hand can help when a kitchen kerfuffle happens.
Keeping favorite toppings like jarred olives, canned pineapple, and deli ham in the fridge makes making a last-minute homemade pizza an easy rescue.
Frozen Pizza for the Win
If you have the freezer space to store frozen pizza, you always have a quick and easy go-to when things don’t go as planned in the kitchen. Frozen pizza is easy, and you can even do a few things to make it taste better. Add other toppings like fresh-cut peppers, artichokes, or sliced mushrooms. Frozen pizzas can always use some extra cheese. Again, freezer mozzarella is your friend. Get creative too, add some blue cheese, fontina, or even feta to take your frozen pizza to another level.
The holidays shouldn’t be stressful. Having friends over and sharing a meal and the holiday spirit is what’s truly important. So what if the turkey is still frozen, or the casserole is burnt to a crisp, or you dropped the bubbling lasagna (remember that Christmas movie). It’s all ok because pizza can always save the day from disaster.
And, I mean, even if you did have a kitchen mishap, you can always feel better knowing you didn’t leave your eight-year-old child home by himself during the holidays to fight off home intruders while you went to France.
So relax, put on a Christmas movie, and enjoy a piping hot slice of pizza this holiday season. You’re doing great.