One of my 25 in 25 goals was to host a party this year. My hubby and I were able to put together a grown-up pizza party in November for the young marrieds at church (our friends provided the house, we did the rest). It turned out to be such a fun event! If you’re looking to gather some friends together and have some fun (and great pizza), this is the party for you.
My concept was simple: everyone would design and make their own personal-sized pizza, and then we would have a judge or group of judges vote on the best. That way we could incorporate a little competition with some good food and, of course, wine.
And then, I had to do some research. A few Google searches led me to the blog Hollywood Housewife. She had a great post on having a grown-up pizza party, including great tips for how to set up, which I jumped on.
I decided homemade dough was the way to go. After searching through lots of recipes, I found the best one from Eating the Beats – they too had a whole post on pizza parties – click on the link to see their recipe (comes with pictures) – it came out AH-MAZ-ING.
So, the night before, I made three batches like the recipe suggested, which made enough for 15 personal-sized pizzas (about 8-10 inches). I sent out directions to everyone on what to bring – one couple brought three types of cheese, one brought three types of meats, one brought five types of veggies, and we brought four types of sauces. A few couples brought wine and non-alcoholic drinks. Couples could also bring their own secret ingredients if desired.
Here’s how it was set up. I almost exactly copied Hollywood Housewife’s plan, except instead of butcher paper, parchment paper worked just fine.
We held the party at someone else’s house, and they took care of the decorating. They bought pizzeria-style tablecloths and added tea lights in stemless wine glasses and a vase of fake flowers.
Disclaimer: if you don’t like spending a lot of time in the kitchen, you may not want to do this party. I spent most of the night at the stove, but I enjoyed directing everyone and baking the pizzas. Here’s how the process of making the pizzas went:
1. Two couples at a time were allowed in the kitchen (there were snacks and icebreakers for everyone else to enjoy at the same time). They washed their hands before working with the food.
2. I had six cookie sheets/pizza pans available to use in rotation. The couple put foil over a cookie sheet, chose their pre-made square of dough, and patted or rolled it flat. *Have flour available for help with this.*
3. The couples went through and chose their own toppings, starting with sauce. They could use any they wanted, plus secret ingredients if they brought those.
4. When finished, I put both pizzas in to bake at the same time. They cook for 10 minutes at 500 degrees.
5. While the pizzas were baking, I sent the couples back out to play games and eat snacks while two more couples came in to decorate – this way we kept a flow going. I gave each pizza a number and only told that couple which number theirs was.
6. As the pizzas were finished, my hubby sliced them into small pieces and put the whole piece of foil with the pizza on it straight on the table, next to its number. People would file in and try pizzas, and then rate them 1-5 on flavor, creativity, and overall greatness : ) This way everyone got to vote.
7. We collected all the ballots and counted up the scores for the winners. Cleanup was a snap, since the pizzas had been on foil and the ingredients had been on the butcher paper.
The only thing I would have done differently is put the ingredients directly on the paper, or else use disposable bowls for even easier cleanup. We ended up washing most of the bowls by hand.