When the weather warms up just a little bit our family and friends take advantage of the patio as often as possible. There is the patio in the backyard with a fire pit on cooler evenings and the patio off the house for every dinner or small dinner parties and cocktail hours with friends. I partnered with Wayfair to tell you about our new favourite kind of patio party. Pizza parties on the patio can be spontaneous with takeout pizza or the real deal with outdoor pizza ovens and cocktails and mocktails of course.
Set the Stage
The size or location of your patio does not matter. You can even have a party on your front stoop and cook in the kitchen or side alley. First, set the tone for the space.
- sweep and wipe down surfaces
- add some lighting: string lights, a lantern and candle (faux or not)
- hang or set plants around the space; I love fragrant flowers like jasmine and lavender, fresh herbs, or colourful flowers.
- make sure there is plenty of seating from throw pillows to outdoor couches to folding chairs
I love trays for patio parties not only because they provide flat, clean spaces, but they also help shuttle everything to and from the patio. Trays also turn any surface into a miniature table. Add a tray to a stool as a little bistro table. Place a few trays on a bench to make a coffee table.
There is something exciting about cooking outside the kitchen and it isn’t just because it is nice to keep the kitchen cool. I recommend making your own pizza dough. You can prep it an hour or so before the party and it only takes a few minutes to do.
One of the best things about a pizza patio party is that if you do all the prep in advance, you get to enjoy the party with your guests. Here is what you need
- pizza dough
- tomato sauce: I like to cook down some crushed tomatoes with garlic, salt and pepper.
- grated mozzarella or vegan cheese
- toppings: olives, pepperoni, onion, peppers, ricotta, goat cheese, slivered garlic, pesto, artichoke hearts, anything you like
- finishing touches: Parmesan, hot pepper flakes, oregano, olive oil, chili oil
- cook directly in your gas or charcoal grill
- electric countertop pizza ovens
- free standing pizza ovens
- delivery (its cheating a little but no one is judging!)
You need plenty to drink for guests of all ages. Red wine is my favourite with pizza. For the kids we make homemade lemonade or Shirley Temples. As for grown up cocktails, a margarita is always welcome on a hot day, a glass of sangria would be fun too.
Pizza dough recipe
1 teaspoons yeast
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup lukewarm water
1 teaspoon salt
2-3 cups of flour
- Mix yeast, water and honey and let sit a few minutes.
- Add salt and flour to the yeast mixture make a soft dough.
- Add 2 cups then 1/4 cup at a time until dough comes together
- Knead for 10 minutes until dough is smooth and elastic.
- Place dough in an oiled bowl and let rise until doubled (about 1 hour).