Mermaid Cupcake Aprons…Whaaa?

This is what happens when you let your children pick their own fabric. You get mermaids mixed with cupcakes & polka dots. Somehow though, in some weird way, it kind of works, no?IMG_0416

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I’m such a sucker for my girls & I putting on our aprons to cook together. It’s so sappy sweet I could almost gag but I love it, I just love it.

We’ve been doing homemade pizza mondays for the last month & even though the clean-up is a bit more labor intensive than I’d prefer seeing the girls get so excited to participate in cooking week after week is just heart warming. Makes me feel like a good mommy. Especially when there are other times in the week when they watch way too much TV or eat a drive-thru happy meal…twice.

Here’s a question for you, I need some pizza making advice. How do I keep the pizza from sticking to the pizza stone & also how do I transfer the kids’ pizzas they assemble onto the stones?

I’ve tried flouring the stones & also have learned to pre-heat them but still, so many spots in the finished pizzas are completely glued on & break apart when I try to slide a spatula underneath the cut slices to serve them. Crazy frustrating! Then for the second part of my query…I can not figure out how to get their perfect little creations onto the stones! This past Monday, as you can see in the pictures above, I tried having them assemble on parchment paper thinking the pizzas would easily slide off onto the stones but nope, they fell apart & I had to do my best to quickly de-wonkify them without the girls noticing. I dunno. Any tips would be so much appreciated! This is a tradition I hope to keep up until they’re surly little teenagers & just want to hide out in their rooms wearing flannel & listening to Alanis Morisette. Geez, did I just age myself or what?

*Oh my gosh, I almost forgot to tell you that cupcake fabric is what I used to make Samster’s 1st birthday dress. Sighhh, I just can’t believe that was 4 years ago. Where did it go? The link is here if you want a little throw-back. Remember how she spent it in the ER? Ugh!

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  1. Bren

    To keep it from sticking I throw down some coarse corn meal and a dash of olive oil. We assemble the pizzas on the stone/pan so we don’t have to move them. I’m all for keeping it simple!

  2. Jennifer

    I use regular parchment/baking sheet but not on stone, I use regular aluminum baking sheets. We do our own pizza Friday nights :)

  3. Jen

    I always spray the heck out of my pizza stone with Pam and never have a problem with anything sticking. As to the dough sticking to the counter, maybe the dough is a bit too wet? You can add a little flour to it while mixing if that is the problem. If it’s not too wet, you can try rubbing some olive oil on your hands and then rolling the dough into balls before you give it to the girls.

      • Dagny

        You leave your dough on the parchment paper and slide the paper right onto your pizza stone. The edges of the paper will crisp up but it will be fine. After your pizza is baked slide the paper (with the pizza still on it) onto a wooden cutting board or something like that. Once the pizza is baked it will no longer stick to the paper.

        • Elissa

          I was just going to say this – it’s what we do and works perfectly every time – no sticking, and you still get a nice crispy crust :)

  4. Sarah

    Their aprons are adorable! I love the fabrics! When I make homemade pizza, I assemble the pizzas on a piece of parchment paper that I have generously sprinkled cornmeal on. Then I slide the paper onto a cutting board then slide onto my pizza stone in the oven. It will not stick at all with this method!

  5. georgine

    Flour would probably burn. Roll your pizza dough on the parchment then transfer the whole thing to your preheated stone using a cutting board like Sarah suggested or a pizza peel. We have used cornmeal on the peel as well, but the parchment is less mess. Good luck and your aprons and the whole pizza night are great!

  6. Ali

    You can purchase a pizza peel, its just one big wooden spatula that makes transferring the pizza from the table to the stone and back so much easier! Also, while the pizza is cooking on the stone, use the peel to rotate it every few minutes, that will prevent sticking! Good luck!

    • ^^ I agree with Crystal. I put cornmeal down onto a pizza peel / paddle, assemble my pizza there while the pizza stone is in the oven heating up. Then i just kind of tilt the paddle and the pizza falls off onto the stone.

      • Hey Natasha! I just found your blog. I second Michelle and crystal. Cornmeal on a pizza peal is the way to go. I make pizzas all the time this way and it’s easy and full-proof!! I love your tradition – enjoy!! :)

  7. Lisa

    Corn meal to keep from sticking. Sprinkle some on the parchment paper too before you form your crust and it should slide right off!

  8. Kathryn

    Pizza trick! Par-bake your crusts in a hot skillet first, then add the toppings and bake on your stone. We buy the Trader Joe’s pizza crust, or you can make your own. Take a 4 oz ball and roll it out to about an 8-10″ round. Two minutes in the skillet on one side, flip, and one minute on the other. Put them on your pizza peel, have the girls go crazy with the toppings, then slide them onto your hot stone for about 5 minutes at 450-degrees. Each ball of Trader Joe’s crust makes four pizzas, so we’ll whip up 12 or so crusts at a time, wrap them individually, and freeze. Pull a few out when you’re ready and wah-lah!. Easy pizza night! Good luck! :)

  9. Michelle

    You could try having the girls make theirs on aluminum foil with cooking spray and putting it on a plain cookie sheet, then have yours on the stone. We make Chef Boyardee’ s pizza kit fairly often and I’ve never had a problem transferring the pizzas!

  10. I used to have the pizza transfer problem all the time!

    Pizza peel + parchment = perfection :)

    Build the pizza on parchment. Slide the peel under the parchment. Slide the parchment with pizza on top onto the stone. When it’s done, slide the parchment back onto the peel.

    The bonus is no messy stone!

  11. Ashley

    Cook JUST the dough first (alone)! Let them roll out the dough, get it in the shape they want it and then throw just the pizza dough in the oven (I initially cook the dough on aluminum foil atop a cookie sheet) until it is very light brown color. Pull the partially cooked dough out of the oven. Let it cool for a bit, top with your toppings, and then put on the stone to finish cooking. It will be the perfect crisp and will not stick at all!

  12. Jacinta

    That is one absolutely stunning little girl you have there! That first pic should go on your wall!
    I agree with Ashley pre cook your bases first. Saturday night is homemade pizza night here! Except Daddy does it not me! Perfect night off ;)

  13. Ashley

    It also sounds like maybe your pizza stone isn’t seasoned enough yet. I bought mine from Pampered Chef and the lady told me stoneware has to be seasoned. I personally seasoned mine by baking lots of chocolate chip cookies on it. Nothing sticks to mine anymore since I’ve made a bajillion batches of buttery cookies on it. Did it say anything about being seasoned when you bought it?

  14. Sarah

    1- are you preheating your pizza stone? Having a hot hot stone to put the crust on will help. 2- Also what many others have said- cornmeal. I used to work in a pizza place in high school and we always dusted with cornmeal before we put the pizzas in the oven. 3- If you’re having issues with transfer, creating your pizzas on parchment and then put the pizzas on the parchment directly on the stone. They’ll still be crisp but much easier to get into the oven :)

    • Natasha

      Ok, so Cornmeal and put the parchment in the oven, will do! And yes, I did preheat my stone but I think it could probably go for a bit longer…

  15. mom

    you need a pizza slide or paddle. you can buy one on amazon. i have a large wooden one. make sure paddle has lots of flour so it will slide off the paddle and onto the stone. As far as sticking on the stone, the more “treated’ your stone is the more non stick it becomes. oil it with shortening and leave it in the over whenever you bake anything and it becomes seasoned and lesss sticky. i also pre cook my dough pizza for 4 minutes before i add toppings.

  16. Amanda

    I agree with everyone that says cornmeal. I have one of those cookie sheets with no edges (which I’ve never figured out what else to use it for except a makeshift pizza board) and I sprinkle cornmeal on it, put the rolled out crust on top, add the toppings and then it slides right off the sheet onto the hot stone in the oven. It adds crunch and comes right off of the stone. You have to do it with every pizza you make though and it’s a little messy, but it never sticks! I LOVE the aprons too! I’m about to go out and make myself a mermaid cupcake apron! :)

  17. Marta

    Corn meal! Just put some on the parchment before they roll them out and you will be able to slide them onto the stone! Let us know how it works. Maybe it should be Thursday Pizza night??

  18. BBB

    Cooking on stone? All you people are so fancy! I just put the pizza on a cookie sheet and it’s delicious nevertheless, no sticking problems.

    Wow, look at Samantha, so beautiful! That’s one perfect picture.

  19. Wendy

    Would you please open an Etsy shop, for the love of all things holy??!? I am not crafty and I covet your creations and seriously, just do it. Please.

    • Natasha

      LOL, the problem is you’d pay for it and then would get it in the mail and see all of my wonky seams & then I’d have to give you a refund and really what was the point of it all? (;

      • Christina

        Hahahahaha!!!! I tell my friends the same thing when they ask me why I don’t sell my creations online. PLEASE don’t look at my seams too closely!! Plus, it seems like when you HAVE to make something, it just isn’t as fum. :/

      • Wendy

        Fine, then can we become bff’s, so you can give me your creations as gifts? Or a barter system? I’m a therapist; free therapy for cute aprons? ;)

        • Natasha

          Every single person in my house, including the pets, are in dire need of therapy. You got yourself a deal missy! You’d better be prepared to put in some overtime!

          • Wendy

            Sounds like a deal! Sign me up. I have never had a pet, but I have watched the Dog Whisperer, so obvs I am qualified. ;)

  20. First of all, NEVER wash your pizza stone. Only scrape it off (best to do while still warm.) Sounds like you need to build up the non-stick on it. So lightly spray it with Pam & rub it in, then stick it in a warm oven at 200F and leave it in there for an hour then turn it off. Then, for the next couple of times you make pizza, lightly spray it before popping the dough on. When you remove your pizza, scrape it clean, then lightly spray, rub it in (carefully because it’s hot!) and stick it back in the oven (with it turned off.) Another thing you can do is cook the canned refrigerator biscuits on it – the amount of fat that are in them coats the stone pretty good. After baking them, just remove the biscuits and take a paper towel and rub in the grease left over.

    You can use cornmeal but that’s more for the crunch than anything. I’d just build up on the stone itself. Not quite sure why your dough is sticking to your parchment paper though, you could just give it a light spray with Pam or something similar.

    One last thing – I always pre-bake my pizza crust for about 3-5 minutes before adding the toppings on. Keeps the crust from getting soggy. :)

  21. Heather

    We always give the girls (and their friends if we are doing a pizza party) their own disposable pie aluminum pan…then they think they are at Pizza Hut getting the pizza their way! Easy clean up too! The dollar tree usually has them super cheap like a dollar for three!

  22. Nicole

    My dad makes pizza from scratch all the time. He uses parchment paper and assembles the pizza on the paper. Then he uses one of those pizza spatula things (the really big ones) to transfer it to the oven, still keeping it on the paper. After it’s been in the oven for about half the cook time, he opens the oven and pulls the paper out from under it, and the pizza doesn’t stick to the stone.

  23. Lisa

    I do not make my own pizza, but I use parchment paper. Be careful of the oven temp limit for the parchment paper. BTW: love the aprons, but they are not nearly as adorable as your girls.

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