My favorite nights are always the ones that happen to include pizza and movies. I mean, what could possibly be better than lounging in comfy clothes, stuffing your face and zoning out to a movie? Obviously, pretty much nothing. Unless of course you take said movie night and move it outdoors. Warm summer nights? Grilled pizza? Backyard lounging? Yes, yes, and yes! Read on for all my tips on hosting an outdoor pizza and movie night in this month's Dress & Dine, and, in the comments, I would love to know what your favorite pizza toppings are as well as your favorite movie!
Dress// I don't know about you but when I think pizza and a movie, I think comfy, comfy, comfy. If I'm staying in, you better believe I'll be in sweats and an over-size tee with my hair in the messiest of buns. If I'm going out the sweats get replaced by leggings, and if I'm going with someone other than my husband the leggings get replaced by boyfriend jeans (sometimes). Regardless of the bottom half, the bun and oversized tee remain constants. For this outdoor pizza extravaganza, I updated the jeans and tee look to something more appropriate for summer entertaining. Regular jeans were replaced by white ripped jeans, I went with a t-shirt that wasn't oversized (and was nice and bright for warm weather), and my messy bun became a neater, tighter bun (at least until the humidity hit it). Of course, some fun earrings were needed to tie the look together and make it party appropriate.
Dine// Having a "make-your-own pizza bar" is one of the easiest entertaining ideas you'll ever do. Set-up a variety of toppings (the options are endless so have as many or as few as you want) and pizza dough balls (you can pre-make these ahead of time, just roll them in flour so that they don't stick to each other) and you're good to go. Since this pizza party was an outdoor affair, I kept the toppings more summer-appropriate. Mr. RC stuck to grilled veggies and mozzarella on his pizza, while I did proscuitto, arugula, peaches, sautéed onions, sage, truffle cheese, parmesan cheese, and balsamic drizzle on mine. Here's a complete list of all the toppings we had:
- Grilled zucchini, yellow squash, and asparagus
- Artichoke hearts
- Sautéed mushrooms, onions and peppers
- Peaches, sliced
- Fresh herbs (basil, rosemary, sage)
- Cheese (mozzarella, parmesan, truffle cheese)
- Olive oil and balsamic vinegar glaze
Of course, you can't forget about dessert! We decided to do s'mores pizzas as they are super easy and probably taste better than an actual s'more (although the verdict is still out on this one). Here's what you need for your s'mores pizzas:
- Graham crackers
- Marshmallows (mini or regular size work)
- Dark chocolate chunks (can also use chocolate chips)
- Peanut butter chips (butterscotch would also be a great flavor to have)
For the pizza dough, there are many affordable and healthy pre-made dough options. Orrrrr, you could just make my 5 minute pizza dough recipe that requires no kneading, no waiting time, and no rising. Yes, you read that right. Yes, this is basically the best thing since sliced bread, or sliced pizza. Either way, it's the best. My Mom started making this recipe years ago and then passed it on to me. It's the only pizza dough recipe I've ever used and, since it's the best pizza crust I've ever had, I'm going to say it's the only pizza dough recipe I'm ever going to use. A bold statement I know, but trust me. And if you don't, just make this dough so you can see taste for yourself.
5 MINUTEPIZZA DOUGH
- 2 teaspoons of yeast
- 2 tablespoons of sugar
- 1 cup warm water
- 2 tablespoons oil (I use vegetable or olive oil)
- 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- 2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- In a large bowl, mix together the water, yeast and sugar. Add in the salt, then the oil and finally the flour. You can then proceed to use the dough immediately or let it rest for up to 30 minutes. I've also covered the dough with plastic wrap and kept it in the fridge for 24 hours before using it.
- To use the dough, preheat your oven to 425 degrees. Prepare your baking pan (or cast iron skillet or pizza stone). I spray mine with oil then sprinkle it with a dusting of fine cornmeal. Spread your dough onto the pan then top with your favorite toppings. For a baking sheet, bake the pizza for about 20 minutes. For a cast iron skillet, start with the pan on a medium heat burner for 5 minutes, then bake for 15 minutes. For a pizza stone, bake 15-20 minutes. For the grill, preheat your pizza stone for about 20 minutes. Cook the pizza on the stone for about 5-6 minutes or until the edges are golden-brown.
- This makes enough dough for for one 10"x13" baking sheet, 2 12" skillets, 1 pizza stone or about 7-8 mini pizzas.
- Use extra flour or cornmeal on the dough and your fingers when you are pressing the dough into the pan. It will keep it from sticking to your fingers and will help the dough to spread out more easily.