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I don’t usually do book reviews on this website, not really my wheelhouse, but this book is different.
Every Night is Pizza Night is a kid’s book written by J. Kenji Lopez-Alt of Seriouseats.com. It’s a charming story about a girl named Pipo that loves pizza. It’s very cutely illustrated and pretty much spot-on in terms of story, length, and artwork for it’s intended audience of 3 to 9 year olds.
Pipo is convinced that Pizza is the best food in the world and wants to eat it every night, then goes around to her neighbors and tries other people’s favorite food. I won’t spoil the ending, but it’s a cute little short story. Since it’s written by a prodigious recipe author, the book also contains a recipe for “Pipo’s pizza”, an accessible and easy pizza recipe that kids can help with.
Naturally, we had to make the pizza.
The recipe gives you a basic dough recipe, or the option of just buying store bought dough, we decided to just make our own since we had everything on hand anyway. We measured and Ava dumped everything in a large mixing bowl.
Once everything was incorporated, we turned the dough out onto a floured countertop and let Ava do some of the kneading. Daisy finished it up to make it all nice and smooth, but Ava had a great time working on it.
We divided the dough into two balls, and lubed up two 9” cake pans with some olive oil. The dough gets a 2 hour rise in the (not yet on) oven while Ava and I play Mariokart.
Just as the dough was finishing it’s rise, I did a super simple pizza sauce. I sweated some garlic in olive oil, then added a can of crushed tomatoes, italian parsley, oregano, salt, and pepper. The book suggests just crushed tomatoes and salt but I had to get a little fancy.
Then the real fun begins, stretch the dough to fit the pans, and let your insane child start topping them. We went with the aforementioned sauce, shredded mozzarella, pepperoni, black olives, and some Romano cheese. Ava had a great time topping the pizzas.
The pizzas go into a blazing hot (550°F) oven for 12-15 minutes. In our oven, it was actually like 11 minutes, I would set a timer for 10 and then check them. Ava was VERY pleased with her handiwork.
After a couple of minutes to cool, you can turn the pizzas out onto a cutting board and slice them up.
This is pretty solid pizza. I don’t generally prefer thick crust pizza, but I totally understand why this recipe is in a kid’s book. About the only things you might not have in your kitchen already are rapid rise yeast and toppings. There’s really no such thing as bad pizza anyway. This will totally work, it’s strong enough to stand up overzealous topping, and most importantly it’s very easy to make, very kid friendly, and the real point of this recipe is to involve your kids in cooking.
The story, the recipe, everything works together really well to make this a special night for your little demon spawn. Ava kept repeatedly saying how proud she was of making pizza for us, and this recipe will probably come out on a pretty regular basis. It’s always a great thing to get your kids involved and interested in cooking at an early age, and this book is an excellent way to do that. I would say it knocks it out of the park.
Every Night is Pizza Night on Amazon