Putting a New Twist on Pizza


Experience has taught me that the key to hosting a successful party – whether it’s for adults or children – is having large quantities of good food. And our daughter’s 9th birthday party was no exception.Zebracupcakes

Last Friday, my daughter requested to take cupcakes to school for her birthday treats. Since her party theme was Zany Zebras, I tried my best to make her treats fit the theme. My artwork leaves a little to be desired, but these cupcakes were a hit in the classroom. Kids were pleasantly surprised to bite into the mini Oreo® center.

That night we hosted six girls for an overnight, and those little girls had big appetites! For supper, I put a new twist on pizza by serving a casserole. Some of our guests had second – and even third – helpings!  Best of all, it’s easy to make and costs less than ordering take-out. Add baby carrots and apples slices to complete the hassle-free, well balanced meal.

Breakfast the next morning was a snap, too. Monkey Bread is not only delicious, but it’s an easy recipe for kids to help make. From the time my kids were in preschool, they’ve been able to help cut up the biscuits and shake them in cinnamon/sugar. Food always tastes better (in their minds) when they had a hand at making it! I just sliced a few strawberries and bananas, fried a little bacon, and poured glasses of cold milk to round out the meal on Saturday morning.

Hopefully, your “little monkeys” will enjoy these recipes, too. I always enjoy swapping ideas with other moms, so feel free to share with me your kids’ favorites.




  1. Heat oven to 350°F. Prepare cake batter as directed on package.  Spoon evenly into 24 paper- or foil-lined muffin cups, filling each cup about 1/2 full.
  2. Beat cream cheese, egg and sugar until well blended.  Place about 1-1/2 teaspoons of the cream cheese mixture over cake batter and add 1 cookie. Cover with remaining cake batter.
  3. Bake 19 to 22 minute or until toothpick inserted in centers comes out clean. Cool 5 minutes before moving cupcakes from pans to wire racks. Cool completely. (There may be an indentation in top of each cupcake after baking.).
  4. Frost cupcakes with Cool Whip®. Garnish with remaining cookies.

Monkey Bread

  • ¾ c. sugar
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 4 tubes of biscuits (cut into ¼’s)

Place sugar in cinnamon in a plastic bag; shake biscuit pieces.  Arrange coated pieces in Bundt pan.


  • 1 c. brown sugar
  • ¾ c. melted butter
  • 1 ½ tsp. cinnamon

Mix well.  Pour over biscuits in Bundt pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.  Turn out on cookie sheet to cool.

Pizza Casserole



  • 2 c. twisted macaroni, cooked according to package directions
  • 1 ½ lb. hamburger, browned with onion, salt & pepper
  • 2 c. shredded mozzarella
  • 1, 15-oz. can pizza sauce
  • 1, 8-oz. can tomato sauce
  • ½ tsp. sugar
  • Dash of onion salt, garlic salt and oregano



  1. Mix hamburger and macaroni.
  2. In a separate pan, mix: tomato sauce and tomato paste, sugar, onion salt, garlic salt and oregano.
  3. Then add the sauce mix to the hamburger and macaroni.
  4. Put ½ of this mixture in a 2-qt. casserole dish and top with half the mozzarella.
  5. Then add the remaining mixture and top with another layer of cheese.
  6. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes.
  7. NOTE:  I like to add Hormel’s mini pepperonis to this casserole, too.


Photo from AllRecipes.com