I remember back in the day when Kamalu and I first moved to Houston – we had no furniture (our blow up mattress was home), no silverware or plates, and we were living off fast food for what felt like FOREVER (I still have the weight gain to prove it). We were 2 kids fresh from college trying to figure out the adult world & the NFL world at the same time. So after another night of a not so elegant fast food dinner, I knew that I immediately needed to plan something super quick in order to avoid another fast food flop. So I was thinking of a meal that was easy to make, few ingredients, inexpensive, but still a semi romantic meal that we can enjoy together at home.
First thing that popped into my head – PIZZA. Pizza is one of those magical foods that is perfect for any occasion. Feeling sad? – Pizza. Having a bad day? – Pizza. Fighting with your significant other or best friend? – Pizza. Just won the lottery? – Pizza is perfect for that occasion. Getting married? – Pizza is the perfect food to serve at the wedding. Pizza doesn’t judge. Pizza doesn’t boast or brag. Pizza is ALWAYS there for you. OKAY, that was a bit dramatic, but pizza was perfect for this occasion because it was something easy we could make together, and it wasn’t something that required a lot of effort and money.
All of the items used for this easy date night was either purchased at Walmart or Dollar Tree. My love for Walmart comes from it being right down the street (easy commute!). & Dollar Tree is a hidden gem that doesn’t get the credit it should. They actually sell pretty quality wine glasses, glass dinner plates, and dinner napkins all for $1 (which is my second favorite price, nothing beats FREE STUFF lol).
Of course, time passed and we became settled (for now) in Houston with groceries and furniture – shout out to the blow up bed, you were a REAL one – and more put together date nights; but every now and then, we still love to crack out those same Dollar Tree wine glasses (as seen in the picture), open up a bottle of our favorite cheap wine, and just enjoy spending time together while making our favorite semi-homemade pizza. If I’m feeling boujee, we’ll dress up a little & I’ll set it up on the balcony with some lights as seen in the picture. We’ll leave all our electronics inside and just enjoy the outside weather and each other, BUT let’s be real most of our in home dinners aren’t as pretty as this picture. We may be at home in our PJs, I’ll be in my head scarf, he’ll be in his favorite stay-home pants with a hole in them (he refuses to give them up), and we’ll eat dinner in front of the couch watching Family Guy while our dogs secretly try to steal a slice of pizza from the table. Either way, it’s YOUR night spent the way you want it to be.
If using Italian sausage as a topping, take one Italian sausage link and cook in frying pan with about 1 cup of water, cook on medium for 10 minutes, then pour out water and brown outside sausage in the dry pan for about 1 minute (need to constantly rotate sausage to evenly brown the outside.
If you have pizza toppings that need to be diced (green peppers, onions, sausage), dice those beforehand
- Preheat oven to 400°F
- Put a thin coat of butter on whatever pan you‘re using (if you’re using olive oil, pour a little on a paper towel or napkin and use that to wipe your pan down with the oil)
- Unroll pizza dough and place on pan – one of the great things I love about the Pillsberry crust is that it already comes pre-shaped as a rectangle (as seen in the pictures), but you are more than welcome to knead the dough, and reshape it into any shape you want.
- Use as little or as much pizza sauce as you want (it’s YOUR date night)
- Use as little or as much cheese as you want
- Use whatever toppings you want for your pizza.
- (optional) if you have red pepper flakes & shredded parmesan cheese, I like to put it on my pizza before I bake, but feel free to put it on after you bake if you prefer.
- If you decided to leave a crust on the outside of your pizza, I like to chop ½ clove of garlic (or a dash of garlic powder), put it in a bowl, add 1 tablespoon of butter and a dash of salt for flavor, then microwave it for about 15-20 seconds to melt. Use the melted butter and brush it all over your crust.
- Bake in oven at 400 degrees for about 15-20 minutes or until crust is golden brown.