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Sunday, November 27, 2011

Foodbuzz 24 X 24: A Very MARRY Pizza Party

Two days ago was a VERY exciting day. No, I did not step on the scale to find that the multiple servings of Thanksgiving pie had mysteriously decided NOT to land on my hips. No, I did not score the Black Friday deal of the century. Better.
My sister Julia accepted her boyfriend’s proposal. After keeping this proposal secret for more than a month, I am positively THRILLED that we can now shout the news from the rooftops. My parents, my husband Ryan, and I have been busting at the seams for weeks, feverishly working behind the scenes with Nate, our future brother-in-law, to craft an engagement that would completely surprise Julia.
(re-enactement...Ryan did not actually creep on them like this :))
Now that the secret is out, the question has been popped, and the newly engaged couple is soaking up all of the congratulations, it’s time to CELEBRATE! Thanks to Foodbuzz, we did just that last night! I was selected to participate in this month’s 24 x 24 (remember my Cheesecake Extravaganza?! Same idea, but a different proposal. 24 bloggers are selected to execute their ideas all within a 24-hour time period). This time, there wasn’t a cheesecake in sight. Instead, we had a “very MARRY pizza party”, all in the name of Julia and Nate.
Friends from near and far joined us, where we celebrated the happy couple over one of their favorite meals: pizza. Since they’ve been together, they spend a lot of time cooking for and with one another. There are a few foods that are off-limits (potatoes for her, fruit for him…yes, we’re working on them!), but one that they can always agree on: pizza! Thus, it made perfect sense to serve up a variety of pizzas for this celebration.
With the help of Trader Joe's pizza dough and a few very talented group of sous chefs (shout out to Colleen!), we ended up with quite the spread:
-Pepperoni Pizza Monkey Bread (as big of a hit as the last time I made it!)
-Mushrooms, caramelized onions, squash, and fire-roasted red peppers with goat cheese
-Hawaiian (pineapple and Canadian bacon)
-Fig jam with blue cheese, caramelized onions, and pears (the crowd favorite)
-Meat Lovers: chicken sausage, ground beef, and pepperoni
To round out the pizzas, I pulled two of my favorite salads from the archives: Curried Cashew, Apple, and Grape Salad and the Autumn Chopped Salad.
The festivities continued with dessert--a congratulatory cookie pizza (based on this recipe), scotcheroos, and a carrot cake brought by a friend. 
Nate and Julia retold their engagement story time after time (thankfully they're not sick of telling it yet...and I'm definitely not sick of hearing it!) and kicked off this new season of their lives. I could not be happier for them; there is no greater joy than participating in the joy of those you love most!
Thank you Foodbuzz for making last night possible--a night none of us will soon forget!