Quick Pizzas For You and Your Little Ones This Summer
Summer is in high gear, so what better way to continue the sizzling celebrations than by getting the children actively involved in the kitchen? And why not start with pizzas? They are perfect- not only because they are fun, but because with a little creativity, they can be made in a flash.
Food recently visited Latoya Panton's Delicious Occasions to learn how to make a great meat lovers Pita bread pizza, step by step.
Panton hosted a Young Chefs summer camp where she taught children the basics of cooking - like knife skills, simple breakfast, simple dinners and cake and pastry making. For the more advanced young ones, they learned jointing and deboning chicken, stock making and international cuisine - there are also baking and 'gourmet' classes.
Ably assisting Panton were some of her young students- Isabelle Ashman, Kris-Sarai Waugh and Bruce Hamilton-Smith. They demonstrated that you are never too young to get cooking.
Getting your children active in the kitchen
If you will be making this dish with a child under the age of 10, be sure to purchase children safe utensils, and ensure all cutting or dicing and operation of the stove is properly supervised.
Exposing children to these areas of cooking early, will ensure they know their way around the kitchen later on, and can be trusted to make their own meals safely. Teaching children to cook also helps mould them into adults with better eating habits who are less likely to rely on unhealthy junk food.
With children, simplicity is best - they don't need to be gourmet to be great. The key to making quick but delicious pizza is using ingredients that are 'ready to go' but not short on flavour. Focusing on ready to eat meats like ham and precooked sausages. Other time saving tips for pizza making include: switching out tricky home-made pizza dough for pita bread, and buying pre-shredded mozzarella cheese.
Panton is a big fan of Caribbean Passion's line of ready to eat meats because they are great to use when in a hurry, and perfect for young children or teens. "Whether you're looking for a family activity, or stocking up the fridge for older children home for the summer - ready to eat meats like hams or sausages are perfect," says Panton. Ready to eat meats save time, require minimal work or clean up, and doctors advocate that they offer better nutrition than fast food, junk snacks or processed and canned goods. And the best part for parents? These meats are an easy sell - kids love sausages and ham.
Meat Lovers Pita Bread Pizza
2 large Pita breads
1/2 cup pasta/ pizza sauce
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 cup diced Caribbean Passion fully cooked ham
1 cup sliced Caribbean Passion Sausages
1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit (May also be microwaved)
2. Place the pita breads on a baking tray that has been lined with foil.
3. Spread a 1/4 cup each of the pasta/ pizza sauce over each pita bread
4. Sprinkle on the shredded mozzarella cheese
5. Top with the diced Caribbean Passion Ham and the sliced Caribbean Passions Sausages.
6. Bake the pizzas for 15 minutes or until the tops are nice and golden to your liking. You may also place in the microwave and heat just until the cheese is melted.
7. Remove from the oven and slice each pizza into four.
8. Serve with a nice fresh salad and your favourite homemade dressing
Lining your baking tray with foil will eliminate having to scrub your baking tray. Burnt cheese is no fun to clean.
This is a fun and easy recipe to make with your children during the Summer holidays. It takes only minutes to assemble, and may also be done in the microwave.
For a crispier crust in the microwave, toast the pita bread before you start placing on the toppings. Add some of your favourite vegetables to your toppings.