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From the Kitchen: Pizza worthy of America's favorite pastime

I gave a recipe for ball park pizza in an old column many moons ago. Or maybe it wasn’t that long ago when I offered my “Take Me Out to the Ballgame Pizza.” I know paper had been invented by the time I was doing my writing.

A recent visit to Appalachian Power Park for the All Stars game during June’s FestivALL brought back the memory.

The hot dogs at Power Park that we enjoyed on that outing at a pre-game party were “plump when they cooked ‘em” and juicy.

The chilled coleslaw had just the correct sweet-tart dressing that went a long way to zip up the flavor of the grilled burgers and dogs.

And speaking of parties at the Park, last summer our daughter Gina won the use of a suite in a radio contest and booked it for her daughter Laura’s birthday party.

The food, prepared by the catering staff at the park, was delicious and plentiful, even though the menu was kept to the minimalist nacho selection.

The tasty, seasoned beef, chicken and black beans were all that you look for in a Tex-Mex buffet and there were ample sides and toppings. A sweet ending to the party was provided by a platter of assorted cookies.

Anytime I’ve visited Power Park, a stroll through the concourse has led my nose to the food from the vendors. All the baseball activity seems to take second place.

Especially catching my eye and appetite in the past have been grilled sausages, mile-high nachos (or was it a towering taco salad?) and the smoky, seared-beef aroma coming from the grill where staff can be found flipping burgers.

I don’t think there is any way you can leave the ballfield still hungry. In case you aren’t headed to Power Park and want to make your own game-reminiscent dish at home, I’ve revived the ballgame pizza. However, there is one new trick in the recipe that I’ve adopted as a keeper. You may find it interesting and try it.

I was first alerted to the step of starting with a frozen pizza that you doctor up as if from-scratch by a recipe I found and made for a Mexican pizza. It began with a frozen Tombstone cheese pizza and went from there.

The frozen is a solution when you don’t have a homemade pizza crust of your own and even easier than frozen bread dough, the refrigerated can of poppin’ fresh dough, or the pizza base made with flatbread and naan.

It’s because the frozen pizza already has the sauce and cheese, which goes one better than having just a convenient crust.

The only rule is to be sure the frozen pizza is your favorite with the crust you consider to be perfect. If you do that, your worries are over.

There are so many options with frozen pizzas today with crusts of cauliflower and gluten concerns addressed. I’m still on a search for a more reduced-sodium offering.

Don’t forget you also have the option of purchasing a hot-from-the-oven pizza from your favorite pizzeria and making it your own.

I know of someone who always buys the cheesy breadsticks from their top pizza spot to serve when they have spaghetti and meatballs. Wish I had thought of that.

You could begin your pizza with a frozen or fresh-made cheese or go for pepperoni, sausage, spinach-artichoke, vegetable, Mexican, or any that catches your fancy. Place additional toppings on it and bake. It doesn’t have to be the hot dog pizza as below.

I recently made a very, very veggie pizza with a frozen Red Baron Classic Crust Four- Cheese Pizza, topping it with sautéed asparagus, squash and mushrooms, fresh corn cut from the cob, topping the already cheese pizza and vegetables with more cheese, chopped green onions and a liberal sprinkling of dried oregano then baked it as the pizza package directed. For a garnish, chopped fresh basil and fresh Italian parsley from our deck-garden finished the job.

Go a little off center field with ingredients if you want by selecting something unexpected in the way of enhancement for any of your pizzas. Do it your way. Your home team will love it.

Reach Judy Grigoraci at judy.g@suddenlink.net.

Funerals for Sunday, July 21, 2019

Bly, Betty - 4 p.m., We're Family Park, Exchange.

McBrayer, Doris - 1 p.m., Chapman Funeral Home, Teays Valley.

Morrison, Jo - 2 p.m., Elizabeth Memorial United Methodist Church, Charleston.

Morrison, Sheldon - 2 p.m., Casto Funeral Home, Evans.

Nichols, Anna - 2 p.m., New Hope Baptist Church, Morris.