Misha Collins, star of the television show Supernatural, is a family man with good ideas. Active philanthropist? Check. Cookbook author with a focus on nutrition? Check again. The thespian father of two put his interests and creative talent to work in his design for a clever “Pi Hole” spatula, a mathematical pun on the classic American expression, for our “No Kid Hungry” campaign.
As Misha says of the campaign, “It’s everyone’s responsibility to open up their pie hole and encourage action so kids don’t have to face hunger or food insecurity.” We couldn’t agree more.
Misha also has some pretty darn good concepts when it comes to eating well. He co-authored the family-focused cookbook The Adventurous Eaters Club with his wife, the journalist and historian Vicki Collins. In their Inventors Pizza Party, they focus on another type of “pie”—this one full of fun suggestions on how to encourage kids’ creativity while making pizza. Note that they cleverly broke out the “kid’s job,” which might be working the dough or putting on an “inventor’s cap” for toppings. Great idea, guys!
Inventor’s Pizza Party
We eat one hundred acres of pizza every day in the United States. That’s three billion pizzas, or forty-six slices for every person, each year—topped with 251.7 million pounds of pepperoni. So it is no wonder most American kids are familiar with pizza. Learning to make it at home is one of the greatest kitchen adventures for budding chefs. Start with a classic margherita pizza and invite your young chefs to explore from there. … Let your kids get silly and choose ingredients that you’d normally veto. Encourage risky decisions. Being creative and having fun in the kitchen are what we’re after with this recipe.
- Flour for dusting
- 1 pound pizza dough
- ½ cup mild tomato sauce
- A few kid-size fistfuls of shredded mozzarella cheese (about ¾ cup)
- Shredded kale
- Sliced strawberries
- Scrambled eggs
- Mashed potatoes Bananas
- Green beans
- Mini pizzas on top of main pizza
- Takeout leftovers
- And anything else your children can think of!
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Pizza likes a really hot oven.
Kid’s job! Work the dough. Give each person a sheet of parchment paper as a work surface. Sprinkle some flour on top of the paper. Each person gets a ball of dough the size of a hamster. Work the ball into a flat disk about one-quarter inch thick. Pick up the dough ball with both hands, then pinch and pull around and around the edges over and over until you have something resembling the beginnings of a pizza crust. Lay the dough disks back down onto the parchment and work them into squares, hearts, whatever you wish.
Place your dough-topped pieces of parchment paper onto a cookie sheet. Top the dough with tomato sauce and shredded cheese. Bake for 10 to 15 minutes.
Kid’s job! Put on your inventor’s cap! While your pizzas are baking, daydream some toppings. For inspiration, check the canned foods in your pantry. Is there anything in there that might be tasty on pizza? Any fresh veggies that could really jazz it up? How about green bean pizza?
Set up your toppings station. Lay out a series of small bowls containing five different toppings you’ve never seen on pizza. We heartily recommend trying kale with strawberries.
Remove your pizzas from the oven. Now pile on the toppings. (If you suspect the toppings might be tastier warmed, throw the topped pizzas back in the oven for an additional minute or two.) Let the pizzas cool slightly, slice with a pizza cutter, and serve.
Excerpted from THE ADVENTUROUS EATERS CLUB by Misha Collins and Vicki Collins, reprinted with permission by HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollins Publishers. Copyright 2019.