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Thursday, November 20, 2014

Want to impress people???

Make a pizza braid.  It is seriously one of the easiest things to make, it never fails to impress, and it always disappears super quickly!
Tonight was Ethan’s Cross Country banquet.  He had a really successful year.  He lettered, he got a certificate for running the entire way from the middle school to the high school (13 miles!!!) on homecoming night, and he got to bring home his “beads” where they put a bead on a string for every mile they ran.  From mid-August to mid-October, the kid ran 153 miles!  I’m impressed, aren’t you???  He also earned his second “100 mile club” t-shirt, for running a hundred miles in one season.  Way to go ETHAN (Oh, and HAPPY 16th birthday, yesterday!  Seriously…16????  Wasn’t this just yesterday??? (no, really it was 2005!))

THIS was yesterday…

(he’s enjoying Chicken nachos from Rudy’s Tacos in Waterloo, IA.  YUMMY place for a birthday dinner!)
Anyway, for the Cross Country awards banquet, the families of the runners have a potluck.  (just fyi, this was our 9th or 10th year in a row to attend this banquet!)  Tonight, I made a couple of pizza braids.  Several years ago, I made ONE pizza braid for the potluck.  It was gone after the first 6 people went through the line.  So this year I made 2.  I still didn’t get any (and it smelled REALLY good in the car on the way there!)  Next time I might make FOUR!

This is SO easy!  You start out by rolling out a thawed loaf of frozen bread dough. (Yes, I have made the bread dough from scratch before, and I have used from scratch pizza dough, too.  Just about any kind of dough will work) I roll it out really thin, so that it almost covers my Pampered Chef rectangle stone. (mine are really seasoned well…they look nasty…don’t judge!)

Spoon pizza sauce down the center of the dough.  Then (optional) add slices of pepperoni (this is really good with just cheese, too!).  Top with shredded mozzarella.

Next, cut slices, about 1 inch apart, along the sides. 

Criss-cross the sliced dough, alternating sides, and overlapping just a bit, so that it looks like a braid.  I didn’t take a picture of this step, so I hope you can “picture” what I mean.
Tuck the ends in to make it look nice, if you wish.  I don’t have good luck with this part.

Bake in a 375 oven for about 20-25 minutes, or until it is golden brown.  While it is baking, melt some butter in a pan, and add minced garlic.  For 2 braids, 1/2 of a stick of butter and a huge tablespoon of jarred minced garlic was just about right.
As soon as it comes out of the oven, brush the melted garlic butter on top.  Keep brushing.  LOTS of garlic butter makes this OVER the TOP yummy!
One of the high school kids asked me “where did you GET those?”  I said (with mock huffiness) “I MADE those!”  His eyes widened and he said, “All by YOURSELF?????”
Made my day. 
You can make someone’s day, too, if you make them a pizza braid!

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