Last Updated: December 21, 2017, 3:54 pm

Dine and Jam: Remembering youth, pizza rolls


Nothing beats the days when you would come home after school and throw some Totino’s Pizza Rolls in the oven.

Then you and your friends (or just you – I don’t judge) would devour them all immediately despite the molten lava effect of the insides of the roll on the inside of your esophagus.

For some of us, those days are not far behind us. For others, we are still currently in that point of our lives. However, as I am just a few months away from my quarter-century birthday, I decided I’d like to relive those days but with more of an adult version.

My pizza rolls may look different than the pouch of hot deliciousness one might be used to, but they are just as tasty, if not more so. To aid this theme of adolescent nostalgia, I paired the rolls with a playlist after my own 15-year-old heart. Several of the songs on the 10-track playlist were songs I actually did listen to as a teenager but a few I’ve acquired over the last 10 years or so. Something about the feel-good, alternative beats of Field Mouse’s “You Guys Are Gonna Wake Up My Mom” mixed with the build up of Lorde’s “Ribs” reminds me of my crazy days of youth.

The pairing of these adult pizza rolls with the reminders of longing for the past via some sweet tunes will make a night catching up with new or old friends on the weekend feel just as awesome as they did back in the day.

The pizza rolls of your youth may have been easier than these ones, but probably not nearly as tasty. I went pretty traditional, with a twist: pepperoni, mushroom and sauteed onions. I just used a basic tomato sauce mixed with some garlic for an extra kick of flavor.

I made my pizza dough from a mix – Bob’s Red Mill gluten free – and it was fantastic. If you’re intolerant, allergic or just not eating gluten this week, I’d go for that crust, but any you prefer will do. Lay it out flat on a super clean counter or cutting board into a squarish shape. Keep in mind you’re going to roll it up basically how you would a cinnamon roll. Slather on the sauce of your choice, add the cheese (I stuck with basic shredded mozzarella), and then add the toppings. Roll it up lengthwise and cut into about 1 to 2-inch pieces. Follow the directions for the kind of crust you use for baking time and temperatures.

The greatest thing about this meal is how inexpensive it is. I spent just over $12, and the rolls fed four people, and it only took about 40 minutes to prep and bake. There’s a bit more commitment to this version than Totino’s, but it’s worth it, I promise. The only thing that could make these things better is the great music to go with them and the company you share them with. But again, no pressure to share.

As you listen to the songs, give them a chance to sink in and create the comfortable mood around you that I was aiming for with this dish. Unless you have a roommate like mine – who says her favorite moods for music are limited to country, Usher and Miley Cyrus – even playing this mix as background noise can tie together the chill atmosphere that goes so well with the ultimate best friend and start of the night: pizza.

This music is the partial soundtrack to several major turning points of my life, and it’s filled to the brim with reminiscence and sentiment. My hope is a fraction of our adolescence that we may have put to rest during our transition to being big kids will awaken with these sounds. That might be a bit too deep for a pizza night, but this is the adult version, after all. 

Keshara’s Playlist:

“New Light” by Wild Party

“Kissing The Lipless” by The Shins

“It Just Is” by Rilo Kiley

“You Guys Are Gonna Wake Up My Mom” by Field Mouse

“Little Talks” by Julia Sheer and Jon D

“Fifth Ave” by Panda Bear

“Ribs” by Lorde

“Giants” by Now, Now

“My Slumbering Heart” by Rilo Kiley