Dreamy Summer Vacation Recipe :: Pizza Balls

Oh how I love when I stumble on a recipe that everyone in our family loves, and that the kids can help prepare without it being a whole lot of extra work for me. This recipe is kind of a summer vacation dream recipe. And, it was t - uh - asty! So tasty that I could not even snap a photo of the finished product before husband and kids started to devour it. It was like a scene from the movie "What About Bob" around here (you know the one - where Bob is making mmmmmmm mmmmmmm sounds about the "hand-shucked corn" and tasty fried chicken).

I'm thinking this could be a great appetizer for dinners with other families, or sports parties (superbowl, world cup, yada yada).

We had these for lunch along with cut up veggies.

1 package of whole-wheat pizza dough from Trader Joes (or dough of your choice).
2 tablespoons olive oil in a small bowl with a brush for "painting it on the dough balls)
grated parmesan cheese (we used the Trader's kind in a can for sprinkling on spaghetti, but freshly grated would be divine)
a couple handfuls of grated mozzarella (optional) - we did one side with the mozzarella and one side without. We liked the side without better, but both were tasty!
dried or fresh oregano
dried or fresh basil
salt & pepper
pasta sauce or pizza sauce

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees & lightly grease a 9 inch cake plan or bundt cake pan. We used a cake pan, but a bundt cake pan would turn out so much prettier.
2. Lightly flour a working surface and follow instructions for letting your dough rise. When ready, separate the dough into approximately 20 pieces that are about the same size.
3. Dip your hands (and your kids' hands) in the flour and roll the dough pieces into balls. Place the balls in the pan.
4. Once all the balls have been placed in the pan, brush olive oil over the dough.
5. Sprinkle parmesan, oregano, basil and salt and pepper to your liking over the balls.
6. Add mozzarella if you like.
7. Place in the oven and bake for about 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned on the top.

Serve with warm pasta or pizza sauce for dipping. The best compliment was my son shouting with parmesan crumbs on his chin, "Mama, we should make these TOMORROW!"

I also found this recipe for "pizza bites" over at Annie's Eats. She stuffs the pizza balls with mozzarella and other fixings. Sounds pretty darn good to me. I think we'll try it that way next time and see which we prefer.

Happy Summer Days, Mamas. Got any favorite pizza recipes?

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