Thursday, October 29, 2009

Pizza Monkey Ring

So I'm teaching a cooking class at the local JCC. It's called "What's Cookin' Good Lookin'" and is geared towards PreK aged kids and their grown-ups. Initially I was daunted by the extreme youth of the kids, as well as the grown up element of the parents. But now I really like it, even if the grown ups think I'm sorta loopy. I play good music and we begin the class by washing our hands with soap (instilling good kitchen habits) and being a little silly. Then we gather around the kiddie tables and prepare a semi-healthy snack.
Week One: Hoppin' Popcorn 2 Ways- Apples & Honey, and Spicy Cheese
Week Two: Dino Chips and Grrrrreat Dips (tortilla's cut with dino shaped cutters and baked 'til crispy)- Guacamole and Ranch
Week Three: Bananachocolata Muffins with a side of Hot Cocoa
Week Four (yesterday): Pizza Monkey Ring (Recipe below)

The actual cooking takes maybe 20 minutes because let's be realistic they're 4- so while the stuff is in the oven, I give them an arts 'n craft project to do. Yesterday I brought in molding clay and rollers and cookie cutters and they made pretend pizzas as the aroma of melting cheese and garlic tumbled and rolled through the kitchen. By the time we're finished art-ing and craft-ing, the food is ready for enjoying. A nice way to spend an hour. The parents enjoy the snack as much as the littlelies do.
Yesterday's pizza ring recipe was adapted from a Susie Fishbein Kids Cookbook, and there was not so much as a crumb letfover.

Pizza Monkey Ring (like a pizza flavored monkeybread):
Preheat oven to 350F. With a pizza cutter cut 2 lbs. pizza dough into little 2" pieces. Set aside. Cut a ball of mozzarella cheese into 1" cubes and set aside. In a small bowl combine 3/4 c.-1 c. of olive oil with 2 tbsp. of pizza herb and spice mix or 1 tsp. oregano, 1 1/2 tbsp. garlic powder, 1/2 tsp. chili flakes mix well. Take dough pieces and with your fingers flatten them , then place cube of cheese in center. Roll cheese into dough ball and then dip in olive oil concoction and place in a ring or bundt pan. Repeat process until all dough is rolled up, and tossed evenly in the pan. Sprinkle top with parmesan cheese. Place in oven until golden and bubbling. Serve with pizza sauce on side and dip pizza monkey into sauce for pizzalicious results. YUM!

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