Food, Link Ups

Friday Night Pizza (aka ‘Hello Donna’)

I have a theory that Friday evenings are Universal Pizza Nights. At least that’s been the case for me…even when I lived in Beijing. Instead of always ordering pizza (as I once did), Richard and I now include various homemade (or at least home assembled) versions.

Some of our favourite pizza ingredients

Richard doesn’t mind cooking (especially if it’s ‘Hello Fresh’), but he doesn’t like to mess around with sourcing or gathering ingredients. Enter ‘Hello Donna.’ With this plan, I collect and lay out potential ingredients, preheat the oven and advise on cooking times. Richard then selects from the items he wishes to use and creates his masterpiece. Win-win! (Or almost! This time, I forgot to put out the olive oil. I was given a demerit point for that). 😦

Richard hard at work
Fast forward to the final result

We like our pizza loaded with veggies — especially spinach, tomatoes and olives. A bit of extra cheese never hurts either! We quickly devoured a full pizza and saved the other one for lunches. Yum!

Pizza Night is one of my favourite nights. I love the anticipation of it from start to finish. Do you share in my Universal Pizza Night theory? What’s on your list of pizza ingredient ‘musts’ and pizza ingredient ‘no ways?’ As for me, I had long subscribed to the jingle “if it swims in the sea or grows on a tree, it doesn’t go on my pizza.” Then along came my love of olives, and that mantra was quickly dashed!

So, what’s been cooking in your kitchen lately?

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102 thoughts on “Friday Night Pizza (aka ‘Hello Donna’)”

  1. I’m cooking pizza as we speak although it’s only Wednesday night here, hope that’s allowed! I love your mantra and then how quickly you discarded it! Lovely to see you happy pizza filled faces :).
    I’ve linked up with Tea and Cake under the Trees for a birthday treat with friends and included a yummy, and easy, blueberry cake recipe. Thanks for having us!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love pizza nights! And it’s been too long since we last had one. I’m thinking we might just heat up the pizza oven over the weekend…

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  3. I will always be a chippie girl first and foremost, but pizza has gradually won me over. We often buy the store ones on special and then add extra to them to make them more “real” and less mass produced. Yours looks delicious.

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    1. Hi, Leanne – When I think of ‘chippies’, I think of you! 😀 I’m glad that pizza has also been winning you over. When we purchase grocery-store-pizzas, we add items like you do. I agree that this makes them tastier…and gives them an extra touch of freshness!

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  4. Hi Donna – that looks good … though I’ve never been a pizza fan, I used to have Calzone in South Africa, but love the Napolitana pizzas with anchovies. Olive oil … poor old you – bad mark eh?! Cheers Hilary

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    1. Hi, Hilary – I like calzones too but haven’t had one in a while. When I was younger, we often had anchovies on our pizza (my dad’s doing). I didn’t mind that then — but when I was in control of what went on the pizza those anchovies quickly disappeared! 😀 Hope all is well for you.

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  5. Hello Donna. I love your idea. When my guy decides to cook (re: Thanksgiving and Christmas, or grill in the summer) he says, “I’m in charge” and then wants me to be at his side, delivering the ingredients, finding the right pan, etc. Not sure it’s a win/win, although his meals come out great every time. 🙂 For years pizza night at our home was Thursday night, because I taught a 7 p.m. writing class, and it was easy for a family of four. I can’t teach that late anymore (! – bed time is 9! :-))so generally, Friday night is pizza night for us too. We love being part of the Universe that way. 🙂 Your pizza is similar to ours: spinach, roasted red peppers, mushrooms, and black olives. Yum!

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    1. Hi, Pam – I am delighted that we have this Friday night connection. Roasted red peppers and mushrooms can also be added to my pizza anytime. I smiled at your 9 pm bedtime. Last night I had the lights off well before then (shhhh, don’t tell)! 😀

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  6. My oh my, that pizza looks delicious! Friday used to be pizza night, but has since moved to Saturday, which is our treat day. But Friday or Saturday, definitely something to look forward to.

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  7. Hello Donna! We enjoyed Hello Fresh for awhile last year and I recreate some of our favorites from time to time. My husband LOVES to make pizza. He makes the dough in HIS bread machine. (I’ve never used it!)

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    1. HI, Anna – Thank you so much for dropping by. I have a bread machine that I dust off every once in a while. I never thought of making pizza dough in there. That’s a great idea! We are now at the end of our time with Hello Fresh at well. But we really did enjoy it — and there Customer Service has been fabulous. I am off to visit your site now. See you there!

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      1. Great. My blog is still rather rudimentary. I’m still learning the mysterious ways of WORDPRESS. Yours, however, is masterful. I found it through our friend Janis.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Hi, Anna – I just popped over to your site and loved it. I especially liked the unflinching honesty and your candid (re)-thinking of what works best for you now. I have already subscribed. BTW – Any friend of Janis H’s is definitely someone who I am delighted to know!

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      3. I used to make pizza dough all the time in a bread machine (when I owned one). I do think you need to dust yours off…hopefully when I am due to come over and sample the end result 😉

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  8. There’s a great pizza place in our little home town – Magic Pizza. I have been known to order the 2-for-1 so there was one for the freezer for later. There was a boxed pizza with Dr. in the brand name; used to love the spinach pizza on those nights when I didn’t feel like cooking. I can’t remember when I bought a pizza. I’ve progressed to making my own dough. When I’m too lazy to do that, I use store-bought naan bread. In addition to all your toppings, homemade pizza here often includes salami or pepperoni and caramelized onions. Love pizza. Like Rachel Ray would say, it’s a BLD food, good for bkft, lunch & dinner. Right now in the fridge, a sheet pan meal with brussels sprouts, lemon potatoes & salmon. Today in the kitchen – cookies. My neighbor offered to do snow removal in my yard. He’ll be paid with cookies. And I will make Valentine cookies to send to my granddaughters.

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    1. Hi, Mona – I am also a fan of Dr. Oetker’s pizza — especially the Spinach Pizza (to which I then add my own sliced veggies). The sheet pan dinner that is currently in your oven is making me hungry for salmon (and it is only 7:59 am here). And those homemade cookies!! I definitely want to get in line for those as well. Thank you so much for joining in!

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  9. We’ve had the same tradition – Friday pizza night – for many years. And, as you know, we also made the pizzas (including the crust) from scratch. Vegetarian was usually our way to go, apart from the times we made two for friends and then there was a chicken-pesto involved. 🙂 All that ended when we didn’t have an oven anymore in Zesty and now in Temp.

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    1. Hi, Liesbet – I still salivate at the thought of the pizzas that you and Mark generously prepared for Richard and me. I’ve tried that recipe myself as well. Although it was good — my final result did not reach the ‘Liesbet and Mark’ standard. 😀 I am sad that you don’t have a traveling oven now. That is a definite loss to pizzas everywhere!

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  10. Donna, we haven’t done Pizza night in a while, but when we did, we included everything but the kitchen sink and anchovies! We start with fresh dough balls from the market and everyone makes the size and shape they want, bake the crusts, and add toppings from whatever we have available. I like fruit pizzas best. My go-to is thinly sliced pears, a little ricotta cheese, a little parmesan, and dressed with chopped arugula when it comes from the oven. Drizzle with reduced balsamic vinegar. Yum!

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  11. Oh my Donna, you nailed that right! I call Friday night my “Fun” dinner night. It is often Pizza but could be Taco’s or even just a hamburger. If I don’t have pizza shells on hand, I have a good working relationship with Dr Oetker and he doesn’t mind when I add extra veggies and cheese. Also in a pinch I use Tortilla shells. One shell, add cheese, another sheet on top then finish with sauce, veggies, meat if you wish and cheese. It works!

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  12. If it swims in the sea or grows from a tree….never heard of a pizza mantra before, but OK. I couldn’t use it as I do love anchovies and olives on pizza. But for me the big question (I can’t believe we haven’t crossed this bridge in our friendship yet!) is where do you stand on the PINEAPPLE ON PIZZA debate? I believe they grow on the ground so I still don’t know your thoughts and await them with bated non-pineapple-y breath. 😉

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    1. OMG – I was afraid that this moment might happen (but I had deeply hoped that it wouldn’t). Deep breath – I am not usually a fan of pineapple on pizza. But…the good news is that I am a bit like Grouchy Marx on this one, “Those are my prinicples, and if you don’t like them…well, I have others!” 😀

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      1. Breathe easy, my friend! I do not like pineapple on pizza either. I almost typed “I loathe pineapple on pizza” but that is truly harsh language for such a minor food infraction even if IT IS TRUE 😉.

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  13. Donna,
    Yep, if it’s Friday, it’s pizza night in our home ( or fifth-wheel). We make from scratch at home, but usually go frozen plus on the road. We trend to Tombstone for frozen because we like the crispy flatbread crust. Love to add fresh tomatoes, spinach, and black olives. I always add pepperoni to my half. We smother everything with shredded cheese. Two days and counting! Enjoy! Joe

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  14. Team Pizza, every Friday night. Often with leftovers for breakfast on Saturday! My husband, Dale, makes it, including the dough. Our biggest improvement over the years is to use whole milk mozzarella. Buy in chunks and grate at home. My favorite starts with a creamy white parmesan sauce and is topped with smoked salmon, capers, mozzarella, smoked gouda, red onions and fresh tomatoes.

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  15. I pretty much subscribe to your pizza jingle too. I don’t like fishy or fruity on mine. I haven’t made a pizza in a long, long time. We have a great pizza place near our new home….maybe I’ll mention it in my next blog. Yum!

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  16. Fridays were always pizza and a treat night. This way I could guarantee all 3 would eat what I out in front if them. It worked well for over 20 years. The eldest came hone from college inviting a gluten-free diet, oiy!

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  17. Although we don’t have a regular pizza night (why the heck not? I’m asking myself right now) we do love it. In fact, we’ve seen an ad for an outdoor pizza oven that we are considering getting (one can’t have too many gadgets, can one?). Your pizza looks so yummy and healthy and your handsome husband looks great in the kitchen (and you can tell him I said that). 🙂

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  18. Awsome tradition—one I could get into. My wife would appreciate it, too, since she does the bulk of the cooking in our house. I do have a few talents, but cooking isn’t one of them.🤣

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    1. Hi, Peter – Richard is relatively new to cooking too. Turns out he quite likes it (as long as I don’t spring too much on him all at once). You never know, you might like it. I agree that Pizza is an excellent place to start! 😀

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  19. love the opening shot of your hubs preparing the pizza. It is a beautiful composition and has this nice vibe – with his down view and blue shirt – really like it
    and then the little ones of the two of you were just FUN and added to the post.

    also, I like the idea of you setting out the stuff and his making it from there – nice team effort.

    sadly, pizza is not a food I can enjoy freely. Tried some recently again because it is s good – my son and I bought two pizzas that you cook at home – he buttered the crust on one (it had meat and a thicker crust) and we added onions to the bacon and cheese pizza – it had a thin crust which I like
    anyhow, I felt heavy afterwards and think it ws the dough – because coconut flour dough – or cassava dough- doesn’t have that impact – and thankfully there are options for alternative bursts nowadays

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    1. Hi, Yvette – Thank you for dropping by. I really appreciate your positive feedback on my photo composition. Thank you for taking the time to do this.
      We usually use a gluten-free pizza dough. Like you, we are thankful for the multitude of options that are now available.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. We love making our own pizza. Vince is the expert, but we use pre-made crust and add our own pepperoni, extra sauce, basil, and tomatoes after the fact since he doesn’t like his cooked. It is delicious and we don’t wait until Friday nights necessarily. Your pizza looks unbelievably healthy. The other thing I’ve been making a lot and it is super simple is an angel hair pasta dish. I can’t remember its Italian name. Very simple cook pasta putting olive oil and salt in the water. saute tomatoes and fresh basil in olive oil. Combine with pasta and add parmesan cheese. To make it super yummy you can add a bit of butter maybe 1 tbs and a little heavy cream to make your own alfredo sauce. Season with salt, pepper, onion and garlic powder as it all cooks. It takes about ten to fifteen minutes to make.

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      1. You are welcome, Donna. I don’t really have a post that fits conveniently with What’s On Your Plate – Unless it fits with some of my WQW posts. This one coming up does. Do you have any great Valentines recipes or posts that I could share in a link?

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi, Ally – I totally agree that pizza any day of the week is a great idea. As another commenter said above — it is also a BLD (breakfast-lunch-dinner) food. With flexibiilty like that (along with great taste and pure fun) it’s a definite win-win-win!

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  21. Hi Donna, Mike makes the pizza in our house although not the base. He has mastered several versions and I never say ‘No’ when he offers to make one. Richard did a fabulous job. A slice of pizza and a glass of red, what could be better? Thanks so much for hosting the What’s On Your Plate Blog Challenge. I thought I wasn’t going to be able to contribute but came up with something at the last moment. Thank you for linking it up for me. See you next month! xx

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    1. Hi, Sue – Thank you so much of linking up despite your full-on schedule. ‘Lunch in the Rainforest at Mount Tamborine’ is a wonderful read. I have added this spot to my Bucket List for when I visit you! And when I visit, I definitely won’t say no to a pizza made by Mike. Actually, we could have Mike and Richard make the pizzas together! 😀

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  22. Hi Donna, Your pizza looks healthy and delicious. I have one pizza night per week. I like the simple margarita pizza or an ‘all inclusive’ pizza with veggies like tomatoes, spinach, sweet peppers… Have a wonderful week!

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    1. Hi, Ann – The pizza crusts shown in this post are from Thrifty’s Bakery Section, 2 per pack plus pizza sauce. I’m not sure of their name or cost, but they come in different types (thin crust, regular crust, gf) and they are always delicious. Due to my veggie, gf bent, I also like Cauliflower Pizza Crusts (frozen) by Caulipower (2 crusts per package are currently on sale at Thrifty’s for $8.99). And sadly, I receive no freebees from Thrifty’s for mentioning them twice in this one comment! 😀

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  23. I love how you work together to create the perfect team. And I’m 100% with you on Friday night being pizza night. However, I must say your pizza looks better than ours. I’m going to have to up my game!

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  24. Yum! And how timely because my husband is currently out picking up a pizza right now! Saturday has always been pizza night for us. I like to make our own too, though and we have salad too on those nights. I’m actually a plain pizza girl, although those veggie topings look delicious and I would definitely try a slice (since I already like veggies ;)) Hope you’re having a great weekend, Donna! So cold here today – is it cold up north today too?

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    1. Hi, Barb – I hope that your pizza was delicious. I’m good with plain pizza but I do prefer to pile on the veggies. 😀 Our current weather is 8C, which is 46.4 F. Typical island weather for this time of year – except that it is not raining – which is awesome!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. My dad usually ordered his pizza with extra cheese, mushrooms and bacon. These pizza ingredients always make me think of him.
      Hell Pizza – now there is a restaurant I would love to try from curiosity alone!
      Thank you so much for dropping by.

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  25. I certainly enjoy pizza but prefer ordering it from time to time rather than making it regularly. As for nothing that swims in the sea – I enjoy spinach, feta, spinach on thin crust. I’ll take it with just cheese or loaded with veggies as well.

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    1. Hi, Janet – Spinach and feta on a thin crust sounds delicious to me — although I would be tempted to throw tomato on as well (spinach + tomato is one of my favourite pizza combos). Thank you so much for stopping by!

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  26. I love pizza and we do it in many forms – home-made, frozen (yeah – when no one wants to cook), take-away, and eat-in (but it’s been a long time since we’ve done that). Tim (hubby) makes a wonderful mushroom white pizza – mushroom, onion, olive oil, garlic and cheese. One local place has an amazing shrimp scampi pizza – yes, your no swim in the sea, but you caved on olives! And lately, i’ve been liking another local place’s deep dish “Detroit style” which has a crispy crust. Hmm, we might need to do pizza for dinner this week!

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    1. Hi, Pat – Thank you so much for dropping by. I grew up along the Windsor-Detroit border, so ‘Detroit Pizza’ has me very curious! Is it a deep-dish pepperoni pizza or something different?
      BTW – You’r right that ‘Shrimp Scampi Pizza’ might cause me to break my pizza jingle rule one more time. It does sound delicious! 😀

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi, Detroit style is a deep dish style, but not the same as Chicago Deep Dish. Detroit crust is crispy (no idea how they do that) which Chicago is soft – more like (fruit) pie crust. Since hubby is usually the one ordering, the ones we can always have meat, but I think you can get it veggie too!

        Liked by 1 person

  27. I certainly love the idea of a Universal Pizza Night!
    We love to make our own pizzas (but haven’t in a while … we’ve been caught up with all sort of other things, but after reading this post, I think we will have one soon) for the simple reason that everyone can have their own personal pizza with their favourite toppings:

    Loving Husband has his loaded with all sort of meat (whatever we have on hand) with an egg cracked on top for the last few minutes of cooking. Older Child likes white sauce with pepperoni & ham. Younger Child has pepperoni with mushrooms. And I will have mine with whatever veggies are around (even a simple sliced tomato & cheese pizza does me fine.

    Yup, I definitely feel a pizza dinner coming around soon.

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  28. I like your concept, Donna. You make it so easy for Richard to make a pizza in no time. And that pizza looks terrific. At the end of last year I was making pizzas at home about once a week for dinner. I made my own pizza dough too – which isn’t too hard once you get the hang of kneading the dough and doing it right. I definitely love having heaps of cheese on my pizza, and ham, olives and prawns 🙂

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  29. Homemade pizzas are the best, Donna! Nice to see some of your favourite ingredients. Ha, ha…’hello Donna.’ A must for me is mushrooms. The girls big request is pineapple and no mushrooms. No pineapple for me. Therefore, separate pizzas. It is always fun to see your meal suggestions, Donna😀

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  30. You had us at “Friday is pizza night” 🙂 Tomorrow’s Friday, and guess what we’ll be having? Pizza! We love ours loaded up with vegetables, we’ll be adding onion, olives, mushrooms, spinach, and possibly roasted sweet potato (don’t knock it until you try it 🙂 )

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  31. Hi Donna – I’ve already commented here, but I wanted to tell you that I love your Gravatar picture! Here’s to more pizza – it’s getting to be lunch time and I’m thinking about food 🙂

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