by Laura Sussely-Pope
Few things scream "Halloween" like pumpkins. Few foods shout out "hoopla" like pizza. Put them together and you have a recipe for family fun.
Here's a simple dinner that the kids can make for themselves, if you'd let them. It's such fun that you'll probably want to join right in.
Grate the cheese, chop up the toppings and turn your creative side loose! Not only will you make a quick and easy meal, but you'll laugh and make memories.
Mini pumpkin-shaped pizza with pizzazz
Prep time: 10 minutes | Total time: 30 minutes | Yield: 6 to 8 servings
• Prepared pizza dough
• Pizza, marinara or spicy pumpkin sauce
• 8 ounces mozzarella or cheddar cheese, grated
• Olives, peppers, tomatoes, purple onions, carrots, pepperoni, or your other favorite pizza toppings
Preheat the oven to 475 F.
Cut the pepperoni into triangles and semi circles. Slice the other topping ingredients into a variety of shapes.
Divide the dough into 2-inch balls. Grease a large baking sheet or generously sprinkle it with corn meal. Pound or flatten each ball into a pumpkin shape and place it on the baking sheet.
Put a spoonful of sauce in the center of each mini pizza and spread it around with a spoon. Top the sauce with grated cheese.
Now it's time to add the pizzazz! Your pizza might look like a jack-o-lantern, a vampire or a bat. Bake until the cheese is bubbly and the crust is golden brown, about 8 to 12 minutes.
Get creative and add spook or spoof to your pizza:
• Mummy rounds: Top the sauce with long strips of mozzarella with two black olive eyes peering out.
• It's a spider! Cover the sauce with cheese. You can use both colors and create a web. Make the spider's body from a cherry tomato and its head from a half olive. Form the legs with pepper or onion strips.
• Jack-o-lantern: Build a pumpkin face on top of the cheddar cheese with pepperoni triangles or other toppings. Narrow green pepper strips or fresh basil leaves make the perfect stem.
• Scarecrow: Sprinkle cheese over the sauce. Using grated carrots for hair and other toppings for the features, build a face frightening enough to ward off the crows.
How would you like to decorate your pumpkin-shaped pizza?
Photo courtesy of iStockphoto.