Save like Nana did. I think I could make.... Homemade "takeaway" pizza and chips! (With Chloe.)


Hello lovely ladies!  Like Mum, we live some way from any local towns but there is a nearby fuel stop that does dine in and takeaway meals. Pizza and hot chips is a special treat we indulge in… the boys all enjoy it and it gives me a night off of cooking (and usually left over pizza for the next days lunch). Being the only option available it comes at a price and it certainly adds up quickly if we indulge often. 

I was determined to come up with a home made version that was equally yummy but far more affordable and hopefully a little better of us. 

From previous experience I knew store bought chips cooked in the oven were never very good. I’ve heard the talk of how great air fryers are so I began researching. It seemed that anything big enough to feed all the boys was far too big to accommodate in my kitchen and far too expensive to justify (plus the reviews were terribly mixed on each I looked at). 

Instead I made an inexpensive ($12 each) gamble on the Kmart air fry trays, which are simply an open wire basket that allows the air to move around while you cook in your regular fan forced oven. 

Whilst not perfect I can report that they work far better than any normal oven tray so that takes care of the chips!

For the pizzas I wanted to try sourdough and knew @farmhouseonboone had a reliable recipe but again it seems success is all about the tray…. Again more research and reviews and I settled on cast iron trays which I preheat in the oven and once they are piping hot I transfer the pizzas on and straight back into the oven. This way the base is cooking at the same time as the top. The trays were an investment but realistically each tray was only the cost of a nights takeaway so if they worked out I could pay them off in no time. 

Transferring a raw pizza onto a hot tray is an art form so I think I will invest in one of those pizza peels you see them use at restaurants to make it easier in future. 

We have been testing this out for a few weeks but I am pleased to say we have not felt the need to buy any take out since! 

So now on a Friday morning I take my sourdough started out of the fridge and feed it straight after breakfast. A couple hours later I come back and make up a batch of dough. Her recipe is simple and works every time (the only thing I’ll mention is that I seem to have far better dough when I put the dry ingredients into the bowl before I add any of the wet). I let the stand mixer beat the heck out of it with the dough hook for 10 minutes and then pop it in an oiled bowl covered in plastic wrap and sit it by the fire for the day (here we are in the middle of our winter). 

An hour before dinner I divide the dough into 4 balls, and sat them on a tray covered by a tea towel till I’m ready to shape them and do the toppings. 

Pizza toppings are the perfect opportunity to use up leftovers. I stash away in the freezer any spare bits of cooked meat during the week and I line up in the counter anything in the fridge that needs using up… cheese, condiments, random bits of veg, even sad looking tomatoes can still provide wonderful flavour to a pizza. I keep tins of pineapple pieces and diced bacon bits, shredded cheese and spaghetti sauce on hand and then just throw on whatever we have. The boys have been happy with every strange combination I’ve come up with so far!  

I have a big oven, it was something I bought years ago knowing I would need it once we had a family and now I can have two trays of chips going at the same time as four pizzas which is just perfect for us. 

Even though this doesn’t give me the night off of cooking I find knowing ahead of time that this is our Friday plan seems to make it easier so I’m chalking this up as another win! 

If you try out anything I’ve recommended then I hope it’s a fabulous success!

x Chloe 

Thank you Chloe!  This is such a help. 💖   I didn't find out about the oven chip basket until I read the post!  I already ordered one.   Who does't love a good chip!? 

Like Chloe I mostly make pizzas square or rectangle... because when you are packing lunch boxes these fit better.   You can also get more pizza in your oven at one time.

Pizza is also great for using up left over bacon,  random cheeses,  antipasto type ingredients,  various veggies...  like right now I have a lot of  ham (and also capsicums) so maybe I better make some dough! 

Have a good week!  See you on Friday! xxx


  1. Yum! We make our pizza every Thursday. Or I should say Thomas makes the pizzas for the boys for tea (I'm not a pizza fan). He uses my recipe for pizza bases and usually does enough for three weeks at a time, par bakes them, cools them and puts the spares in the freezer. We use pizza stones to cook them, and yes, we heat them while the oven is heating. Sprinkle with a little polenta sometimes but they never stick. They use whatever is in the fridge, although they do sometimes buy pepperoni to add to them. Three big pizzas for less than the cost of one delivered - with leftovers for next day's lunch. I par boil the chips and let them cool before I toss them in oil and smoked paprika and bake them on a hot oven tray - so much better than frozen or chip shop and cheaper too. Works for our budget.

  2. Dear Chloe, I got hungry while reading your post. It looks and sounds wonderful - can*t wait to try it. I also use up every bit of meat/ham/sausage/different cheese leftovers and veggies, tomatoes etc for pizzas, but my base it*s not the best - my husband does them better. I think I will request one pizza evening this week.
    Thank you for the recipe and have a nice winter, together with the boys. I like your practical and healthy approach toward food and eating. Please keep writing, you give me some very good ideas.
    Sending love from far away, Laura_s_world from Romania

  3. Chloe, your pizzas look delicious! I love that you top them with leftovers as a way to further stretch things. One of my goals this year is to learn to make and use sourdough, so this recipe is definitely something I will be trying. Thank you for sharing!

  4. Thanks for sharing, Chloe. Your pizzas sound delish! Saturday nite is our "Pizza Nite", and about 2/3 of the time, I make them, adding fridge leftovers, too. (Hubby still likes the occasional Dominos pizza that we have to drive into town to pick up :) ) I prefer to make our French fries (chips) using whole potatoes cut into wedges, oiled, seasoned, and baked in the oven, too. So much better than frozen.

  5. Chloe, You might try making your pizzas on parchment and then putting the parchment right on your pan. I do this with my stone and then I yank the parchment out after 5-6 minutes for better browning on the bottom. We raised five kiddos on homemade pizzas every Saturday night and I can't even imagine how much money it saved. We love our air fryer so much that we bought a second one! I was on the fence for two years about getting one but we use one or both daily. I did find a super deal on both of them and could not have paid full price. But, we are empty nesters and it would not have worked for our big family at all.

  6. I so enjoy your posts, Chloe. You are very creative and resourceful, just like your mom. Thank you for sharing.

  7. MMMMMMMM PIZZA!!!!! It's only lunchtime and you have me dreaming of pizza! Chloe I loved reading your post. My daughter has two little boys and she is also looking at was she can make 'Fake-Away' meals that will keep them all happy. Her experiments have been trying to get a chicken nugget that Spencer will eat. She, like you, is looking for ways to feed her boys with options that are both healthier and cheaper than the store bought.
    We have a rubbish old oven that will be changed out once the kitchen reno happens. Until then we use our air fryer, which looks like a bench top oven. We love the results we get with it. Our pizza is cooked in the air fryer on a circular tray with 5c piece size holes through it. The pizza base gets nice and crispy with this. It's enough to feed us but you would be cooking all day to feed your boys.
    Thank you for your post.

  8. Chloe, thank you so much for sharing. Our household loves pizzas and we too use it for a night off from I am definitely going to try baking my own. Annabelle, if I'm correct your capsicums are the same as bell peppers(?). If I'm right then I have a new recipe to use them fresh. Oh course, cut into strips, fill with cottage cheese and sprinkle with your choice of seasoning .... my favorite is 'everything but the bagel' . This is so delicious.

  9. Your pizzas look delicious! My husband loves to make homemade pizza. We ended up buying a pizza oven to use outside, but until then he always used either a pizza stone or a round cookie-sheet type pan. The trick for us was to prick the dough with a fork, heat the oven very hot and put the crust in first (no toppings) to let it get a little toasty for a few minutes, then put the toppings on and put it back in the oven at a lower temperature. That way the crust under the toppings didn't get soggy.
    We don't have a regular air fryer because I needed one big enough to make food for our whole hungry family...and didn't want to do it in batches. We ended up getting a new oven last summer and it has an air fryer option. But honestly I think it's just basically a convection oven with a fancy pan, things don't turn out that much differently (maybe a tad bit crispier). My mom has a small air fryer and loves it. I don't think my oven one works the same.

  10. Dear Annabel,
    Rick from Florida,
    Here I am wanting to apologize for writing a comment about your marvelous blogs and ending up talking about me! ( and Donna!) I don’t know how you do it! Is there nothing you cant turn your hand to?
    I would live to visit your Op shops and Swap stands! Some adventures!
    And yet you always have rime for family! My hat’s off to you!! This issue is so great! Homemade pizzas! My family is picky about crust and toppings: I have an answer: make your own qith your choice of crust and toppings!! I bet you or Chloe or someone could even tell me how to make “stuffed crust” pizzas!
    Bluebirds: You did it! Your prayers and well wishes for my M/L Donna in northern Indiana have taken root! She is so much better physically and mentally! She is sounding stronger, walking more, AND encouraging others to get up and get going - feed themselves, try harder, as she determined to do and is doing! She’s actually looking forward to her 97th birthday on August 4th! I hate to ask but if any Bluebirds out there would like ro Donna a card ( or even mention it in the comments) her address is:
    Mrs. Donna Moffett
    LifeCare of Lagrange
    770 N 075 E
    Lagrange, Indiana
    46761 USA
    Thanks and all our love to you, Annabel and Bluebirds everywhere

    1. Dear Donna, Happy 97th Birthday from Clare in Victoria, Australia. I hope you have a lovely day and feel all the love your family have for you. Your encouragement of your family and others is a wonderful legacy.

    2. Dear Chloe, Thankyou for this post. I love the detail and photos - I need those when it comes to these things. Gosh it makes me hungry. Your boys are very lucky to have you looking after your household. Love Clare

  11. Well done, Chloe! I make our pizza every Friday night. My kids have had pizza from the pizzaria, but prefer mine. I add a bit of whole wheat to my pizza dough. It is much more filling. It took me years to come up with a recipe they liked and was easy on the budget.
    Loved your air -fryer substitution.
    Blessings, Leslie

  12. Thank you for your post, Chloe. We love homemade pizza too. It's great for gatherings with families. If you put out small bowls of different toppings, kids can roll out smaller portions of dough and choose their own toppings. We find this to be a winner every time!
    All the best,
    Linda in NZ

  13. Chloe is busy I'm sure but she's an excellent writer and could easily begin her own blog!

    I made pizzas today. I had leftover fried chicken, a packet of worse for wear celery sticks and a container of blue cheese. I decided to rough chop the chicken, with fried skin on, mixed up hot sauce and butter to make a Buffalo sauce, then covered my pizza with the chicken, blue cheese, finely diced celery and some thin sliced onion. I put a little mozzarella over the top. It is so good! Takeaway pizza the same size here runs about $25 and also means a minimum of 30 miles round trip. With homemade dough and leftovers, even when I go fancy and use the blue cheese it's perhaps $5 (All prices US).
    I also took one of my homegrown tomatoes and basil and made a Margherita pizza. That was super yummy, all the better because it was all home generated minus the bit of Mozzarella.


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