March Meeting 2023 - Pizza Party

Our meeting theme for March 2023: Pizza Party!

Last year, while discussing various meeting themes, a pizza party came up. Excellent! We decided to put that idea into action.

Oh my! Over the course of four hours plus, we feasted upon ten different pizzas ranging from frozen, Take & Bake, homemade Make & Bake with pre-baked crusts, and a homemade crust from a mix. So. Many. Options.

Actually, we had eleven, but we were too stuffed to bake up the eleventh. Thanks Donna for bringing the Bellatoria Pepperoni pizza!

Eleven different gluten-free pizza options? Yep, and there are even more out there to try. My, how times have changed. If I wanted a pizza in 2003, I had to make it from scratch…as we did with most “specialty foods” back then. Looking back, I think that was a good thing for several reasons.

If pizza wasn’t enough, we had spinach salad, fruit salsa and chips, brownies, cookies from Happy Bellies! Oh, and some beer from Alt Brew, and Glutenberg. Gotta have beer with pizza.

A BIG round of thanks to
everyone for their contributions to make this event a huge success. Dare I say it, I think this pizza party ranks up there with our annual picnic. Special thanks to event photographers Luann & Peggy. Y’all are the best!

Bernatello’s Foods - Bellatoria Gluten-Free Cauliflower Parmesan Crust - Roasted Vegetable with Red Pepper Alfredo Sauce (GFCO Certified) - Frozen

Bellatoria offers five different gluten-free pizzas: Cauliflower Parmesan Crust Chicken Alfredo, Cauliflower Crust Roasted Vegetable with Red Pepper Alfredo Sauce, Sweet Potato Crust Thai Chili Chicken, Traditional Crust Cheese, and Traditional Crust Pepperoni.

Fun fact: Bernatello’s is very active in the community and supports many non-profit organizations. They partnered with myTeamTriumph - WI Chapter to supply pizzas for EnduraFest - a 12hr cycling & running event held at Road America. Looking forward to this year’s event on August 11-14th, 2023. They have a dedicated GF pizza oven. Nothing better than pulling into the pits at 1:30AM to refuel with a GF pizza (I pass on the beer during the race. Maybe when I finish at 7:00AM? What…never heard of a breakfast beer? :-) ). I have to be careful not to eat too much before heading back out on the track.


Schar Crusts - Shannon & Chris’s Margherita & Pepperoni and Black Olive Pizzas - Make & Bake

Schar, a long-time trusted name in the gluten-free community, dishes up a two-pack of ready-to-top crusts. Shannon whipped up a gorgeous Margherita Pizza with sliced tomatoes, mozzarella balls, basil leaves (sorry, no photos - only a few slices of cherry tomatoes that got left behind - it went so fast!), and Pepperoni & Sausage pizza with homemade sauce.

Thank you for reminding me just how good these crusts are…


Milton’s Roasted Veggie Cauliflower Crust Pizza (GFCO Certified) - Frozen

Kimberly shared this favorite of hers, adorned with extra yellow pepper and cheese, of course! Costco is famous for their 2-packs. It’s hard not to make both of them, in hopes of having some leftovers.


Eaton’s Fresh Pizza - 14” Cauliflower Crust with sausage and mushrooms - Take & Bake

Sue, Dennis, & Kyle brought this monster sized pie to feast upon. WOW! This is the biggest GF pizza I’ve ever seen. Eaton’s Pizza has a dedicated prep area complete with gluten-free pizza toppings. Sue reports watching them build this masterpiece before her very eyes!


Cornflower Cafe & Ann’s Gluten-Free Bakery - Onion, black olives, artichokes, sweet peppers, and mushroom pizza, and a Sausage ‘za - Take & Bake.

Cornflower is a dedicated gluten-free environment. They do have a small dine-in area. Friday’s are pizza day at Cornflower Cafe. You call ((920) 939-2027) to place your order and they’ll have it ready for you, or if you call one hour ahead, you can dine in! If you are looking for more info on Cornflower Cafe, their Facebook Page is the best resource.

Shown here are the dwindling remnants of both pizzas. Both were gone shortly after this photo was taken.


Aldi’s Veggie Cauliflower Crust Pizza - Take & Bake

Luann and Tony shared a three cheese, veggie pizza jazzed up with some additional home-seasoned sausage and fresh grated mozzarella cheese. Sorry, no pictures were obtained of this is pizza before it disappeared.

Aldi's pizza

Against The Grain Three Cheese Pizza. Frozen

When Peggy was picking up the Cornflower pizzas in Appleton, she stopped at Woodman’s to see what she could find. When she told me of this one, I asked her to snag it. Always wanted to try it - this was a perfect opportunity! Against the Grain pizzas have been around for a long time and always garnered good reviews. I believe GIG of ECW members rated this highly as well. True to their name, no grains were used - tapioca starch, water, eggs, olive oil, and lots of dairy (cheese and milk).

Against the grainagainst the grain 2

Simple Mills Almond Flour Pizza Dough Baking Mix (GFCO Certified) - Make & Bake

We couldn’t have a pizza party with all the different types of pizzas without one made from a mix. This has become my Go To mix for homemade pizza. I’ve tried several mixes over the years [
Bob’s Red Mill, Chebe, and GF Jules], but I think this one has become a favorite. Due to the almond flour, the crust tends to be soft, so I’ve been tinkering with it to increase the crunchiness a bit. I’m still working on that… I think a pizza oven is called for.

In the background, you can see my favorite
Dei Fratelli’s pizza sauce. It has the right amount of spice/bite I look for in a pizza sauce.

Also in the background, you can see the remainder of my sautéd veggie toppings - mushrooms, green pepper, and onion. I sauté the veggies to remove moisture to minimize crust sogginess. Not pictured:
Johnsonville Mild Italian sausage, the Crystal Farm’s shredded Mozzarella cheese, or the Penzey’s Frozen Pizza Seasoning (hint - it’s not just for frozen pizzas. I added a dash to the sautéd veggies, the dough, and another dash before it went back into the oven the second time to bake the toppings), Penzey’s Granulated Garlic and Onion Powder.


BFree Pita Bread Pizza Pockets (GFCO Certified) - Make and Bake

Back in the day, I’d make “Lazy Pizzas” using corn tortillas and top them with my favorite sauce, seasonings, and toppings. Make up a bunch of them and toss ‘em in the toaster oven. It was easy to scarf down four or five of them.

Group member Kimberly is a huge Costco fan and purchased one too many packages of these and ask if we’d be interested in trying them. SURE! We had some with soup - they were hearty and delicious! I thought they’d make great pizza pockets…and they did!

I will no longer eat Lazy Pizzas like an animal. I have evolved. Hahahaha

It’s best to warm them up in the microwave so they’re more pliable before slicing and stuffing them.

I used the same fixings as the Simple Mills pizza.

Hint #1: The (unbaked) pita breads freeze well, if you can’t eat the entire package right away.
Hint #2: These make great Breakfast Pockets too! Stuff ‘em with scrambled eggs, ham, veggies…and brown in a pan (or oven if you wish).


Luann & Tony’s Splendiferous Spinach with Vinaigrette Dressing - Make, Drizzle and Eat

Their green house was over flowing with this leafy goodness, so it was a “Sharin’ of the Greens”

It was nice to have a salad between trips to the pizza bar.


Alt Brew (GFCO Certified) and Glutenberg Beers - Crack and Sip

What’s a pizza party, without beer, right? Award winning Alt Brew is a craft nano-brewery and taproom located on Madison’s East-side. Madison (and surrounding area) is a very celiac-friendly town. Stop by their tap room for a flight and taste the goodness. It’s worth the trip!

Glutenberg, another award winning microbrewery, located in the Great White North town of Quebec. The Glutenberg IPA is a bit lighter than Alt Brew’s Hollywood Nights, Hiking Boots, and Ripped Jeans and Wolf Shirts Hazy IPA.

We also had water, and soda.


Fruit Salsa with Mission’s Baked White Corn Tortilla (GFCO Certified) and Gluten-Free Soft Tortilla Wraps (GFCO Certified) sprinkled with sugar and cinnamon - Scoop and Eat

Peggy want to recreate this dish she had at a retirement party a few weeks back - using gluten-free chips, of course. The salsa consisted of strawberries, kiwi, apples, raspberries, and a fruit preserve spread for the “sauce”. The white corn tortillas thicker and crunchier than the thinner, crisp tortilla wraps. The best option for this dish are the tortilla wraps.


“Quality Control”


Happy Bellies’ Sugar Cookies (Dedicated GF Bakery) and Pillsbury Gluten-Free Chocolate Fudge Premium Brownies (GFCO Certified) - Take and Eat & Bake and Eat

Goodies from Happy Bellies are always welcomed. Sheri made sure we had a well-rounded pizza party with these sweet treats to finish off the meal!



Paul and Jeff navigating their way through the 15 foot all-you-can-eat pizza buffet.

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I didn’t expect to have much of an audience while making the Simple Mills pizza, but, as they say in the movies “Build it and they will come.”


After mixing the dry and wet ingredients into formable ball, we are ready to press out the dough on parchment paper.

Tearing off a pizza-sized piece, I ball it up before flatten it out. Everyone asked, “What are you doing?”

If you watch enough cooking shows, you pickup a few tricks, like, how to stop parchment paper from rolling up. BRILLIANT!


Pressing out the dough on my neatly crumpled, lightly oiled parchment paper, while Jane checks out the box.


The crust has been par-baked, it’s time to top it and pop it into the oven for the final bake.

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Ready for the oven! “Is it done yet? We’re hungry!”


Shannon and Chris workin’ the pizza oven.

Jane and Jeff volunteered the services of their personal pizza oven. THANK YOU! This was a great addition.

If you’ve not had a GF pizza baked in a GF pizza oven, you’re missing out on a great pizza. Even frozen ones taste better. These ovens make such a crispy crust - something I’ve not been able to achieve in a traditional oven (without burning it and setting off the smoke alarm…).

Really need to find a place to store one of these bad boys.


Gluten-Free Knights of the Square Table… <3