Movie night is a pretty regular thing around here… but usually it is nothing special. We might be sitting around trying to think of something to do on a wild Friday night and decide we don’t want to fight the crowds at a local restaurant or as of late, get out in the cold, so movie night it is.
Or maybe on Sunday evening, as we are trying to unwind from a busy weekend and prepare for an even busier week ahead, we pop in a movie and plop down on the couch, just to take a minute to catch our breath.
But most movie watching days, are just this, an after thought.
However, lately I have been on a mission to be more connected. I realize as I type this, watching a movie probably doesn’t sound like much of a way for families to truly connect with one another, but I beg to differ!
Family movie night is a fantastic way to bond with those you love! With a little thought and preparation, those plain, boring movie nights can really become something special!
Instead of watching a movie you have seen before, let picking out a new movie become an adventure. I love heading to the store each week and checking out all the newly released books, CD’s and especially movies! Picking out a new movie and some special movie snacks are fun, but if you have read this blog for any length of time you know I love creating entire themed dinners inspired by a movie or book…. something, sadly I have not done in awhile.
To make movie night more fun and exciting, and to get back to doing what I love, this past week when I saw that the new Disney movie, Big Hero 6, was being released I decided it was time for a special dinner n’ a movie! I headed to Target to grab the movie and everything else I needed for our family night.
Since I think movie night isn’t complete without pizza, a Four Cheese “Baymax” Pizza, inspired by the movie’s leading robot, was just the thing to take our movie night from ordinary to extraordinary!
And while you could make one large pizza, to feed the whole family, why not set up the kitchen table so that everyone can come together and create their own “Baymax” Pizza creation! Then after dinner, snuggle up in the living room and watch this touching and adorable movie together!
1 batch basic pizza dough (recipe below)
3 tablespoons olive oil
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
½ teaspoon black pepper
½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
½ cup grated mozzarella cheese
½ cup grated provolone cheese
½ cup grated white cheddar cheese
Large pepperoni or large black olives, optional
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease two baking sheets or pizza pans with ½ tablespoon olive oil. Set aside.
Divide prepared pizza dough into 4 equal portions. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll dough into approximately ½ inch thick oval pizzas. Place crusts on prepared baking sheets. Set aside.
In a small bowl, stir together remaining olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper flakes, Italian seasoning and black pepper. Using a pastry brush, brush 1-2 teaspoons olive oil mixture evenly over prepared pizza crusts.
Place all the cheese in a medium sized bowl and toss to combine. Sprinkle each pizza crust with approximately ¼ cup of the cheese mixture.
To make Baymax face, slice 2-3 pepperoni into strips and and top each pizza with 2-3 strips of pepperoni and two whole pepperoni to form eyes (note, black olives can also be used).
Bake in preheated 400 degree F oven for 12-18 minutes or until crust is golden brown and cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve immediately.
Note: For a traditional large four cheese pizza, roll dough into a ½-inch thick, 10-inch round pizza. Top pizza dough as directed above and bake in preheated 400 degree F oven for 15-20 minutes.
Basic Pizza Crust
by Heather H. of Kitchen Concoctions: www.kitchen-concoctions.com
Prep Time: 10 minutes Wait Time: 20 minutes Yields: 1 large pizza or 4 small personal sized pizzas
1 package active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons honey or brown sugar
3 cups unbleached all-purpose flour (plus more for dusting)
½ teaspoon salt
Dissolve yeast in warm water. Stir in olive oil and honey and set aside for 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, stir together 2 ½ cups flour and salt.
After resting, pour yeast water over flour mixture and stir to combine. Gradually add in remaining ½ cup flour, kneading by hand for 2-3 minutes until the flour is mixed in and dough is smooth and elastic.
Cover dough in bowl with a damp paper towel. Allow dough to rise covered in a warm, draft free place for 20 minutes.
After 20 minutes, use a lightly floured rolling pin and roll dough into approximately ½ inch thick, 10-inch round pizza pizza.
Top with desired toppings and bake in 400 degree F oven for 15-20 minutes (depending on size and thickness), or until cheese is melted and crust is golden brown.