Summer is upon us which means its a great time to get together and enjoy the warm weather with good friends and good eats. A delicious and social activity to consider this season is pizza making. You don’t need your very own pizza oven to make it happen. Just a regular oven will do, along with the proper ingredients and a few easy to find tools from your local cooking store.

In order to make the perfect pizza in your home oven, it’s pretty essential to get your hands on a pizza stone. These round discs are what you’ll put your dough on so that the heat is distributed evenly while cooking and you can insure that your creation has a sturdy bed in which to sit as it rises to full glory. A pizza cutter also comes in handy, yet is not necessary.

In terms of ingredients, you’ll need a bevy of tasty cheeses–go for goat cheese and pecorino if you want to get beyond traditional–and whole bunch of white flour, tomato sauce, whatever toppings you fancy, and of course the dough. Making your own dough is a fun process but it takes a few days. If you’re looking to cook ASAP, just hit up a nearby pizzeria and purchase some dough, which they’ll usually part with for very cheap. On my most recent outing, I was able to procure enough dough to make about 8 pies, all for around $10.

Once you have the necessary equipment and ingredients, the real fun can begin: creating your masterpieces. There are just so many different arrangements you can put on a pizza, the possibilities are seemingly endless. You might as well be imaginative and think of uncommon topping combinations that might not be traditional, but will suit your particular tastes. Make sure to get your oven as hot as it goes and to use TONS of flour on the dough and on the cooking surface to insure that your pizza doesn’t stick to any surfaces along the way.

For memorial day, a group of our friends put together a bunch of pies throughout the holiday. These were some of our personal favorites:

Broccoli Rabe and Sausage

White Clam Pie

Goat Cheese and Pesto

Salami and Jalapeno

Veggie Pie w/ Red, Yellow and Orange Peppers

What would you make? The pies the limit.