Big Pizza Love - My ability to stretch the circumference of my heart depends on my continual acceptance of the love of Christ for me.

Big Pizza Love and the Recipe that Makes it Happen

“It’s pizza night!”

Any Friday.

Even every Friday.

My boys never tire of those words.

A bowl of popcorn, a favorite movie, and a few square feet of mozzarella magic, and it’s going to be a great evening.

No question about it.

In a family of four boys, food is currency, and pizza is the gold standard. As the long bones lengthen and the voices grow deeper, the double batch makes way for the quadruple batch, and leftovers in the fridge are like money in the bank.

Of course, eventually, someone gets his license, or a girlfriend (or both), and suddenly an evening at home no longer registers on the social Dow Jones. But pizza night goes on for whoever happens to be home or whoever is visiting, and the leftovers pay dividends forward — with cold pizza after a basketball practice and a heart-to-heart talk about unfair coaches; cold pizza after a shift at McDonalds and a late-night discussion about where to buy the diamond; re-heated pizza for a carload of friends who “aren’t hungry” until they realize how very welcome they are.

Inexhaustible Love

Food can become a metaphor for abundance. Yes, your friend can stay for dinner, because we have enough — enough food, enough space in our lives, enough love to go around.

God is also in the business of letting His children know that He is enough, and His love is inexhaustible.

That’s why the apostle Paul strains His heavenly thesaurus in Ephesians 3:18,19 (NKJV) to communicate the expanse of Christ’s love for us:

How wide!
How long!
How deep!
How high!

God’s love for us passes knowledge; it is vast and complete, and yet He urges us to lean into its impossible dimensions and to rest there.

When I wonder if I can absorb another change or welcome another whirling planet into the solar system of my life, these words remind me that my ability to keep on stretching the circumference of my heart depends on my continual acceptance of the love of Christ for me. If I set my boundaries small and safe, I’m leaving room only for my own love — narrow and choosy, shallow and tentative.

Slowly, slowly I am learning that the only way to really “know the love of Christ” is to leave my heart ajar to the expanse of a bigger love.

It was standing room only the last time we all got together for a pizza night — daughter-in-love, grandboy, girlfriend, and all, but somehow in the midst of all the laughter and chaos, the pizza disappeared as usual. Slicing through the last pepperoni-and-black-olive, I smiled, because pizza night is teaching me that love comes — and it fills all the space we make for it.

The Recipe for Big Pizza Love

As regular readers know, most of my pizza-eaters have flown the nest, but I’m still making pizza, and I continue to receive requests for my pizza recipe, so I’m sharing it here. Giving credit where credit is due, if you happen to own a Moosewood Cookbook (mine is the 1992 edition), you’ll find that I’ve borrowed the recipe for calzone crust (160-161) and adapted it for pizza.


The Crust:

1 cup wrist-temperature water
1½ tsp. active dry yeast
1 Tbs. honey or sugar
1½ tsp. salt
2½ to 3 cups flour
oil for bowl and pans

  1. Place the water in a bowl. Sprinkle yeast, and stir in honey/sugar and salt until everything dissolves.
  2. Stir in flour, kneading when it gets too thick for a spoon.
  3. Oil the bowl and cover dough with a cloth. Let rise until doubled in bulk. This is a good time to begin making the sauce and preparing toppings.


1 quart of canned tomatoes
1 small can of tomato paste
Garlic and basil to taste (sorry, I’ve never measured it!)


You don’t really need my help here, but I will share that pepperoni and black olives top the list of favorites here. The patient husband and I like to put leftover ratatouille on pizza. When we have a crowd in, I usually make at least one with just veggies, and I always make one with just cheese.


Punch down the risen dough and spread with greased fingers in a well-oiled pan. Be sure to go all the way to the edges and then create a tiny edge around the circumference. Top with sauce, toppings, and an abundance of mozzarella. Bake at 450° until crust is browned and cheese is bubbly–about 15-20 minutes.

Depending on the size of your pans, this recipe will accommodate one large, deep dish pizza or two smaller pizzas of the thin crust persuasion. Experiment and let me know how it goes!

May you know and share the width and length and depth and height of God’s great love,

michele signature rose[1]

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This post appeared first at (in)courage, the blogging ministry of Dayspring, the Christian subsidiary of Hallmark Cards, Inc.

Photo by Carissa Gan on Unsplash

80 thoughts on “Big Pizza Love and the Recipe that Makes it Happen”

  1. WOW! Michele, this quote captured my heart, “When I wonder if I can absorb another change or welcome another whirling planet into the solar system of my life, these words remind me that my ability to keep on stretching the circumference of my heart depends on my continual acceptance of the love of Christ for me.” Amen, continual acceptance of the love of Christ for me…the never ending, overwhelming, reckless love of Christ…resting in Him this morning. Thank you ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Oh Michele, yes I remember similar nights but all of ours are up and living away from home now so it is not a regular thing anymore but oh the joys when even one of them is back for a while.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. As the mother of 3 boys (and now an empty nester), I remember pizza nights very well. I love how you link sharing the pizza to the concept of abundance. I often miss those evenings of sharing food, laughter, and love with my boys and their friends. One thing I don’t miss – the huge grocery bills! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I love pizza night! Though my recipe is a tad different my family enjoys it as well. We never had a specific day for it. One of my son in laws loves calzones, no sauce but hot sauce!
    You’re words of hospitality are encouraging and your writing… It’s exceptional!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I don’t wait for Fridays any more. If I have time to set the dough rising before an evening when we’re all going to be home, any night can be pizza night.
      And thanks, Diane, for your kind words. It’s always good to hear from you.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Love this post, Michele. We love homemade pizza in my home too. I ordered stainless steel pizza pans from Pampered Chef that have vents on the bottom for crispier crust. They work great in the oven or the grill. Sharing this post on Pinterest and Twitter, friend.

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Your words are such a blessing to me this morning:
    “…yes… because we have enough…”
    ” …He is enough… ”
    “…How deep!…”
    “…my continual acceptance of the love of Christ for me… ”

    Thank you for nourishing words that
    feed and fill and heal.
    Thank you for your gift for combining recipes for
    heart and home
    spirit and body
    life and table

    He daily sets our place at His table… loads us with benefits…
    and today, thanks to His servant girl Michelle, we find our plates overflowing with mercies and mozzarella… love and olives… peace and pizza!

    Olive your ministry,

    Liked by 1 person

    1. And Olive this creative and encouraging comment, Lori! I think an awful lot of good for the kingdom of God is accomplished around simple dining room tables and from the hands of plain old mums who love Jesus.
      Blessings to you!


  7. What fun memories around pizza night! Love this story of your family’s sweet times together and the recipe is a real bonus. Our children are grown and gone hundreds of miles from us, but for the past two weekends we have had adult grands or a child and their family here and we had all their favorites in the house for Ohio summer suppers…corn on the cob, fresh tomatoes unlike their store variety, BBQ ribs, and fresh peach pie. (We also had plenty of blueberries, watermelon, and other assorted favorites.) I used to laugh that my mother spelled love “FOOD” and when any of them come home and hint they hope all their favorites will be here, I end up fitting that description.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Stories of your travels to faithful visit kids and grandkids keep me from taking my own kids’ comparative proximity for granted. And YES, it is so satisfying to be able to “spoil” them by preparing their favorites. I agree 100%!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. This was such a heartwarming post, Michele. I can only imagine the love and warmth that floods your home with you as the hostess. Those kids must love coming there, and the memories you make with them will never leave them. God bless all of you! Your pizza sounds beyond yummy, too. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I sure love having them come! And we do have some fun (and crazy) memories. I love it when we get together, and it was such a happy thing to be able to revisit this post, because life changes VERY FAST!


  9. We get take0out or delivery pizza once it twice a moth. A handful of times, we’ve made it from scratch, (or at least with ready-made pizza dough), and that’s fun because we can sprinkle everyone’s favorite toppings on a different section.

    It’s so wonderful to know we’ll never exhaust God’s love – and that He can fill us with it to share with others.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I’m glad you made that point, Barbara. We can share His love.
      And I also wanted to let you know that I FINALLY made it to the post office today. I had a tiny back injury late last week that changed my agenda for a few days.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. I searched for quite a while for a crust recipe that we all liked. And it’s such a gift to live in abundance, to have sufficient resources so that we can share, and then to turn that into an object lesson about abundant living on every level.


  10. My trusty pizza crust recipe might have to take a break one night to try this one! Thanks for sharing the recipe and this wonderful post. Praise the Lord for His inexhaustible love!

    Liked by 1 person

  11. Oh I so associate with the joy of a full nest and pizza night. Always something to look forward to and always a joyous family occasion. You’ve reminded me to re-instigate a pizza night with our adult children. Thanks for the recipe too.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s a blessing to have adult children nearby. We’ll be hosting the crew this weekend, but I think it’s going to be something cool and summery on the menu instead of pizza in this August heat!


  12. I love the weekly glimpses into your heart, Michele, but today was a fun treat as we got a glimpse into your kitchen as well! 😉 Saving this for the kids!

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Michele, we love pizza here too! My husband is the pizza maker in our family. And his dad was before him. It’s funny how something so simple to make brings everyone around.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Fun how the gene is coming through on the Y Chromosome in your family! I’ve got no pizza history or red sauce in my veins, but this generation definitely spells love P-I-Z-Z-A!


  14. Thank you for sharing this pizza recipe. Homemade pizza is a family favorite. Our original family of five, us and our three daughters, will soon be a family of 15 with the birth of our newest granddaughter this winter. That’s a lot of pizza and a whole lot of God’s undeserved blessing!

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Once you start the trek with God/Christ, he does certainly stretch the heart and open the mind. Yes, when kids were home and even now when they visit, the mention of Pizza makes smiles. 🙂

    Peabea from Peabea Scribbles

    Liked by 1 person

  16. There’s something about pizza that has made it a universal favourite. I find it terribly unhealthy but oh so sinfully tasty that my once a month pizza binge is worth the twinges of conscience ….. thanks for sharing this recipe. I too make pizza from scratch but haven’t made the base at home for quite a while…. ( we get fabulous whole wheat crusts available so I can top it up with the sauce and toppings of my choice)

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Michele, this is just the best. You are a master of metaphor, and this post really touched me. Wish I’d learned to make homemade pizza when my boys were still at home!

    The love of God is my favorite subject to contemplate. World-shaking, paradigm-shifting, life-changing truth. Yes. Thank you for sharing it.

    Thanks so much for joining the Grace at Home party at Imparting Grace. I’m featuring you this week!

    Liked by 1 person

  18. […] Facebook:  Instagram: Twitter:     Michele Morin is a teacher, reader, writer, and gardener who does life with her family on a country hill in Maine. She has been married to an unreasonably patient husband for 30 years, and together they have four sons, two daughters-in-love, and three adorable grandchildren. Michele is active in educational ministries with her local church and delights in sitting at a table surrounded by women with open Bibles. Recently, she’s become a regular blog contributor for The Joyful Life Magazine on the topic of raising boys!     Two recipes from Michele:   She writes: The last time I had last-minute guests, I whipped up some soft pretzels and lemonade, so here’s the recipe I use for the pretzels.    1 pkg. active dry yeast 1/8 cup warm water Dissolve yeast in the water in a large bowl. Stir in: 1 1/3 cups warm water 1/3 cup brown sugar 5 cups flour Beat until combined and then knead until smooth. Heat oven to 475 degrees.   Meanwhile, in a large saucepan, dissolve 5 T baking soda into 3-4 quarts of water and bring to a boil.  Twist pretzels, then place in boiling water for 10 seconds (they will float to the top). Remove with slotted spoon and place (not touching each other) on a well-greased baking pan. Salt top of pretzels with coarse salt.  Place in oven and bake for 8 minutes until golden brown. We always serve them with lemonade.   And it occurs to me that our conversation may turn to the topic of pizza (since it usually does), so here’s the link to my pizza recipe: […]


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