Pizza on Saturday night is a thing for me. It’s a tradition that started way back in the early 1980s when my kids were really little. After the four of them were bathed and shampooed, we sat together in the living room around the coffee table munching on hot homemade pizza and watching “Star Search.” It was truly the highlight of the week.

These days, homemade pizza still happens at my house, whether I make a small and simple Margarita-style pie just for me, or put up a family pizza party that includes homemade dough, a dozen different toppings, and our favorite chocolate cake.

I believe the cake recipe is called “wacky” because it doesn’t require any eggs or milk. Written down for me by my former mother-in-law, this cake recipe has been in my life since I was a newlywed. I know it by heart. It’s ultra-easy to put together, keeps really well for a few days without drying out, and even freezes nicely.

If you want to kick up the flavor even more, try substituting cold coffee for some of the water in the recipe. This cake also bakes up beautifully into two 9-inch round cake pans for a stunning layer cake that holds together really well.

And please don’t judge me, but this cake makes a great breakfast food! I’m a firm believer that every day can be simply stellar when you start it with chocolate.

I usually frost the cake generously with vanilla buttercream frosting, but it’s also perfection covered with a good thick layer of peanut butter frosting. Coffee-flavored frosting is lovely, too. Just add 3 tablespoons of strong coffee to the buttercream frosting recipe.

If you’re having any guilt whatsoever for consuming pizza and cake for dinner (and you shouldn’t), you can always throw in a few spoonfuls of kale salad to ease your mind.

I learned a long time ago that, like people, kale responds well to a nice little massage so wash your hands well and give your kale some extra lovin’ before serving yourself an ample portion.

Then reward yourself with an extra big piece of cake.

Saturday Night Pizza
Crust:
1 tbsp. active dry yeast
1 1/2 cup warm water
3 tbsps. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
2 1/2 cups white flour
2 cups whole wheat flour

To make the crust, dissolve the yeast in the warm water. Add oil and salt. Combine flour and stir into liquid with a wooden spoon. Knead for 5 minutes. Allow to rise in a greased bowl for 45 minutes. Preheat oven to 450 degrees and oil a large baking sheet or pizza pans. Divide dough into 2 balls. Roll out on floured board and spread in pans. Bake crusts for 3 minutes. Remove from oven and add toppings.

Topping:
2 cups homemade or store-bought pesto
4 tomatoes, thinly sliced and dried on paper towels
1 pound fresh mozzarella, grated or thinly sliced
Sea salt flakes

Spread pesto over dough. Add mozzarella and tomato slices. Return to oven for approximately 7-10 more minutes. Remove from oven and sprinkle with sea salt and Parmesan. Allow to cool so you don’t burn your mouth with the cheese! Yield: 2 12-inch pizzas

Wacky Chocolate Cake
3 cups flour
2 cups sugar
2/3 cup cocoa
2 tsp. baking soda
2 tsp. white vinegar
2 tsp. vanilla
1 cup oil
2 cups water

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine dry ingredients together in a large mixing bowl. Add all wet ingredients and beat with an electric mixer until smooth. Pour batter into a greased 9-by-13-inch pan and bake for 30-40 minutes. Cool and frost. Yield: 16 servings

Buttercream Frosting
1 stick butter, at room temperature
1 1/2 cup confectioner’s sugar, sifted
Pinch of salt
1-2 tbsp. cream
1 tsp. vanilla

Beat butter until light and fluffy with an electric mixer. Beat in sugar and salt. Add cream and vanilla and beat until combined. This is a guide. More sugar and cream can be added to have the spreading consistency of your choice and the amount needed.

Peanut Butter Frosting
1 stick butter
1 cup peanut butter
2 cups confectioner’s sugar
3 tbsp. cream
1 tsp. vanilla

Follow instructions for buttercream frosting, beating peanut butter in with butter.

Kale Salad
1 bunch kale
1-2 tsp. olive oil
Pinch of sea salt
1-2 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 tsp. maple syrup, honey, or raw sugar
1/2 cup raisin, and/or diced apple, or pomegranate seeds
1/4 cup sunflower seeds or chopped nuts

Wash, dry, and de-stem kale; tearing into small pieces. Place in bowl and add olive oil and salt. With clean hands, scrunch and rub kale. Bunch it up; squeeze and knead it between your palms. Be gentle and let the warmth of your hands, along with the salt and oil, wilt the leaves. They should look shiny and feel soft and tender when you’re finished.

Combine vinegar and sweetener. Toss into the kale along with fruit. Refrigerate. Add nuts or seeds just before serving. Yield: 4 servings