For lunches with my little man, we usually keep it pretty simple. My son usually requests a peanut butter sandwich (absolutely NO jam, or we'll have some drama), or I heat up a few dinosaur chicken nuggets in the microwave to serve with some veggie straws and fruit slices. Really, we are super low-key around here.
But sometimes it's fun to take a little extra time to make something extra special. After preschool one day, I had all the fixings out and ready for us to make these little heart pizzas. My son doesn't realize that it's Valentine's Day soon, so this was a fun way to get the "heart" theme flowing, and start talking about the cute holiday festivities that come along with Valentine's Day! Plus, I mean, pizza is super-easy, so he was able to help almost every step along the way. Let's jump right into these little lovers, eh?
First off, making your homemade pizza dough is always recommended. It tastes a million times better, and bakes up just perfectly. However, when the kid gets home from preschool, he wants to eat N.O.W, and I didn't have any dough started about a half hour before he came home. So we used the refrigerator dough, and it worked out just fine for what we were going for here. Don't hate me, haha.
I rolled out the dough, and used a knife to make the dough into four large hearts. I then had my little man spread on the pizza sauce (we love Classico - this isn't sponsored, I just LOVE that stuff and swear my life by it).
I had my son grate the mozzarella cheese while I made the heart pepperoni. I made sure to use clean & sharp kitchen scissors, and cut little hearts. It would have been a million times easier to use a heart-cutter, but we didn't have one, so we worked with what we already had. :) We sprinkled the cheese, and topped the pizzas with the hearts, and it all came together pretty quickly!
As you may have noticed, I am a huge fan of having my son (and son to be children) in the kitchen. I think it's so good for kids to learn how to cook, and good for us as parents, as well. They may not be able to slice things with a sharp knife, or stir boiling mixtures over the stove, but I'm always surprised at how much even my three-year old can help with. He loves it, and never refuses me asking him the simple question "do you want to help me cook something?" Some of my most favorite memories in the kitchen with my Mom was when I was cooking with her, or talking to her while she was mixing up a salad or assembling one of her amazing casseroles. I learned so much from her, and hope to pass on that love of cooking to my children, as well.
So for Valentine's Day next week, why not take the time to cook something with our little ones? It'll be a beautiful way to "share the love" with them, and I promise a tasty treat won't be the only reward. :) xoxo
Valentine's Day Heart Pizzas
makes 4 small pizzas
2 C mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 C large, whole pepperoni
1 small jar pizza sauce (we love Classico)
1 package of refrigerated pizza dough, or small batch of homemade
1. Prepare a cookie sheet or pizza pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Set aside.
2. With clean kitchen scissors, cut hearts into the whole pepperonis.
3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roll out dough into a large rectangle on a lightly floured surface, about 1/4 inch thick. With a sharp knife or very large heart cookie cutter, slice 4 giant hearts into the dough (about 7-8 inches long). Spread pizza sauce, sprinkle with cheese, and top with heart pepperonis.
4. Bake heart pizzas for about 10 minutes until the bottoms are golden and crispy, and the cheese is melted and bubbly. Serve hot with a side salad and fresh fruit!
recipe source: Baking with Blondie