Feeding a crowd on a budget

My daughter, as you know, is off at college. She called me on Monday and was gitty and said “I have finished my first year of college!!!. She was so excited. She followed that up with a bunch of us want to come to the house and celebrate on Wednesday evening with food and a movie night. We live about 30 minutes away from the college and it is easy for the college students to come over when they need that touch of home.

Immediately I was excited to host them but my mind also started turn…… what can I fix that is great and fun but still in our budget? Then I remembered one of our families favorite meals and it is fun to make. Homemade Pizza. In our family, when it is homemade pizza night, each person gets to make their own pizza. I have pie pans for each person and several options for toppings.

Sweet sausage, hamburger meat and pepperoni. Several different kinds of veggies are also set out. I buy a couple of blocks of cheese and grate them my self to save the money.

I make the dough ahead of time and then set it out for each to pinch off the right amount that they would like their crust to be. From that point they take care of building their own pizzas and even cooking them.

I wanted to share the pizza dough recipe with you that we love. This was given to me by my dear friend April. Up to this point, I was just using a mix for the dough but after trying this, I will never go back to the mix. This is awesome and EASY.

Quick Pizza Crust
1 cup plus 2 Tbs Warm Water
2 ½ tsp yeast
2 Tbs Olive Oil
3 1/2 cups flour (again you can use sub in some whole wheat)
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
In your mixing bowl add the warm water (not hot!) and yeast. Let sit until bubbly. Add in the remaining ingredients. Mix on low until incorporated. Once incorporated mix on speed #2 for about 2 minutes. Your dough should spring back when touched. Sometimes the dough is still a bit sticky, so I have to add additional flour.
Once mixed up, let sit for about 2 minutes.

The great thing about this dough is, if you make too much, it freezes great. Just put it in a freezer bag and throw it in the freezer. The day before you want to use it, take it out and place it in the frig to unthaw. It is awesome.
When we make this pizza it averages out to be about $2 per person for all the toppings and dough. We use a lot of cheese so that makes it cost a little more.
I will try to post pics of the pizza and movie night and show you their works of art with pizza making.

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