Last weekend I had a few friends over to eat pizza and make Christmas wreaths.
It was a fun way to kick off the holiday season – and you know I’m all over any excuse to have a party.
I made a fabric wreath last Christmas after finding an easy tutorial on Pinterest, and I thought it would be fun to make another one with friends. What I forgot is How Much Cutting was involved in this project. I remembered that it was not complicated and that it didn’t require sewing and that it looked super cute when it was finished. But when I decided to go ahead and buy several yards of fabric instead of the bundles of scraps I used last year . . . well, I didn’t think about the cutting of it all.
So for the first hour they were there, my friends sat at my dining room table with scissors, turning yards of fabric into piles of strips. Do I know how to party or what?!?
As we listened to the Christmas mix tape [CD] I’d made for everyone as a little party favor, we talked and laughed about how our fabric strips really mirrored our personalities. Some of us quickly accumulated tall, neat stacks of uniform strips. Others of us ended up with big piles of crooked pieces of holiday fabric.
It didn’t really matter. The fabric wasn’t the point. The hanging out with friends was.
Though I’ve mastered most the other skills taught in kindergarten, using scissors is not my biggest strength. Luckily, I was on dinner duty and passed on half my fabric to a super-fast-cutting friend. As I made flatbread pizzas and then as we devoured flatbread pizzas, my friends tied the strips of fabric around a wire hanger. Maybe it’s because I didn’t actually cut that much fabric, but I think the end result is totally worth an hour with scissors!
Though the wreaths were fun and gave us all a fun, homemade decoration for our house, the real reason for the party was the pizza.
I received a huge box of Flatout Flatbreads, and I couldn’t wait to try out a few pizza recipes. I’ve eaten flatbread pizza at restaurants and see recipes all the time, but I’d never tried to make one. [Maybe because my husband would never eat a flatbread pizza, as it’s neither a meat nor a potato . . .] A party for crafting and snacking with girlfriends was the perfect time to try it out!
I had three types of flatbread (Rustic White, Spicy Italian and Heritage Wheat), and about 10 different recipes that looked delicious. The combinations and possibilities were endless! And . . . overwhelming. After much debate and hemming and hawing in general, I narrowed it down to five types of pizza.
Note: All the recipes I found called for different types of cheese. To save time and money, I went with an Italian mix of shredded cheese for all of the pizzas except the margherita.
BBQ Chicken: bbq sauce, grilled chicken, red onion, bacon and Italian cheese
White Chicken: alfredo sauce, grilled chicken, red pepper, basil and Italian cheese
Pepperoni: red sauce, pepperoni and Italian cheese
Veggie: red sauce, red pepper, red onion, basil and Italian cheese
Margherita: olive oil, roma tomatoes, mozzarella, basil
The big winners (the ones my friends requested more of, which meant another round in the kitchen – only fair since I shirked my scissors duty) were the chicken pizzas and the margherita pizza. Even though it was fun to buy “real” mozzarella and I did love the fresh basil (something else I’d never bought before), the margherita wasn’t my favorite at all.
But the chicken pizzas? I LOVED THEM.
I combined the pizza ingredients and the flatbreads in a few different ways, but the consensus was that the Spicy Italian was 1) very spicy and 2) our favorite for the chicken pizzas. I will definitely be making these again!
The best part about the Flatout Flatbread pizzas – aside from the fact that they were delicious – is how easy they were to make. Chopping up all the ingredients took longer than anything else, but if you were just making one kind of pizza, even that wouldn’t take long. To make the pizza, you bake the flatbread for about five minutes, add the ingredients, then bake for about another five minutes. Just like that – a healthy dinner is ready!
Or, if you’re throwing a party, you can cut each pizza into several pieces and serve them as appetizers. (Or, if you invite friends over for a pizza-tasting party, you can cut each one into several pieces and make everyone try a little bit of everything.)
Between the wreaths and the pizzas, I felt really crafty and clever. And did I mention the CDs with Christmas songs I made for everyone?! But what’s way more important than being crafty (which, considering my challenges with basic cutting skills, is debatable anyway) is having a great time hanging out with friends. It’s something that doesn’t happen nearly often enough – and especially during the busyness of the holidays!
Are you getting together with friends this holiday season? What will you do together?