Kids in the Kitchen: White Pizza with Tomato and Basil

Kids Making PizzaI’m a big believer in kids being able to cook. In my world that means more than toast. Last year during end of the year exams, Scout Son suggested that he and Snarky Daughter should have eggs for breakfast.

I burst out laughing.

It’s not that I don’t agree, it’s that I wake up at the last possible second to get everything done, and at the time, that second was at 5:45. AM. So, get up even earlier to make breakfast? Not happening.

I pointed to Snarky Daughter, who is like me except that she wakes up about 10 minutes after the last possible second, and said, “Right. You getting up early to make breakfast?”

We all choked on dinner. Then Scout Son offered to make it for them.

OK then.

Being my kids, they know how to make scrambled eggs of a sort. Imagine an omelet that you scrambled because the idea of trying to get it out of the pan without it falling apart was too much to handle and you’ve got eggs at our house.

“Hey, you’re the only one who has time to make them. If you want to, go for it. Just don’t miss the bus.”

So, the next morning, I’m drying my hair, when I start smelling heaven: eggs with Tabasco, oregano, basil, and cheese cooking. Yum! I got to have a Luna Bar for breakfast. Hey, I didn’t have time to eat, and I didn’t have exams.

Scout Son rocks.

So my goal is for both of my kids to go off into their lives being able to read a recipe and make anything. I’m not sure if they share this goal or not. Hence, Kids in the Kitchen, a.k.a. I Don’t Feel Like Cooking Today; Your Turn!

Scout Son and Snarky Daughter dollop cheese onto the pizza
Scout Son and Snarky Daughter dollop cheese onto the pizza

Sometimes the kids get to choose the recipes. Sometimes it’s up to me, and sometimes it’s up to the miscellaneous ingredients in the pantry. This week I grabbed a recipe that had been kicking around the house for a year waiting to be tried: White Pizza with Tomato and Basil from the March 2011 issue of Cooking Light.

This is an awesome recipe for the kids because they could easily make it if I was running late, primarily because you make it on a Boboli crust. We ran into a few problems while we were shopping. 1) It’s early April; no fresh basil. 2) For no reason I can understand (except there was no fresh basil), the grocery store was also out of prepared pesto. Undaunted, we pressed on, forgoing the fresh basil and making our own pesto using olive oil, garlic and chopped basil from a tube. Do not start with me. I seem to want basil this week.

The kids did a great job! I’d cut down on the amount of ricotta a little, maybe 1/3 cup instead of 1/2. Of course, if you had the fresh basil and the premade pesto, the basil flavors would probably balance things out a bit better. The recipe also calls for putting the tomatoes on the pizza after it comes out of the oven. We chose to put them on before we cooked the pizza so they’d be warm and tasty.

The Finished Product
The Finished Product

The kids took the news that they were making dinner really well. Translation: Snarky Daughter only gave me one heartfelt sigh before giving in. Scout Son is usually all about the baking, but I’m adamant that I send him to his future wife with skills. To that end, he can make homemade cookies but can’t make Kraft Mac and Cheese without it becoming a starchy, gloppy mess. I don’t understand, but whatever.


The kids loved this pizza, even without a red sauce base. Snarky Daughter took some to school for lunch the next day. Best part? It took about ten minutes to pull it together (Scout Son does not like dolloping cheese with his finger) and another five under the broiler. The tomatoes were gorgeous and the mozzarella golden brown and gooey.

I think I may give up cooking more often!


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