Happy Halloween everyone! Are you a scary movie fan? ‘Tis the season for cuddling up indoors and watching movies or your favorite Netflix show. Are you watching Stranger Things? We are! If I’d had my act together, I would have planned a party or at least come up with a fun party plan to blog about prior to the Season Two premier. Since we are still savoring episodes rather than binge watching, I decided it’s not too late to put together a throwback dinner from our childhoods: Pizza! In this case, French bread pizza. We were 80s kids, afterall.
Childhood Junk Food Favorites
My husband (who was basically one of the kids from Stranger Things) recalls that marathon Dungeons and Dragons sessions were fueled with liters of Mountain Dew, and snacks like Doritos, Planter’s Cheese Balls, Totino’s Party Pizza, or other varietals of frozen pizza. I was more of a roller skate around the neighborhood/watch a lot of Little House on the Prairie kind of kid. I looked forward to an occasional grape soda (best if you could get it in a glass bottle) or Fruit Loops eaten from a single serve box. These treats that were primarily only consumed when traveling or camping. Pizza was always a treat, and my Mom occasionally made pizza on French bread, usually topped with ground beef.
Stranger Toppings: Veggies!
I decided to make two different kinds of French Bread Pizza: One with Canadian Bacon (my all-time favorite as a kid), and a vegetarian version with sautéed oyster mushrooms, zucchini, and peppers. This recipe can be easily customized to support your favorite toppings. The key is to prebake the French bread prior to topping. This will make the bread crispy and prevent sogginess.
- 1 loaf French bread
- 2 oz tomato paste
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon dried basil
- 5 oz grated mozzarella cheese
- 1 package Canadian bacon
- 1 small zucchini
- 1 red or yellow pepper
- 1 package oyster mushrooms
- Olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit
- Slice the bread in half lengthwise and brush with olive oil. Place on a baking sheet at the center of the oven and toast for five minutes.
- Remove from the oven and brush with tomato paste. Sprinkle with basil and oregano, and the grated cheese.
- Add your other toppings of choice. We used Canadian bacon on one side, and made a veggie version with thinly sliced pepper, zucchini and sautéed oyster mushrooms.
- Place on the center rack and bake for 8 to 10 minutes. If it's getting too brown, move to the upper rack.
- Slice and enjoy!
What were your favorite junk foods as a kid?