Saturday, July 7, 2012

Patriotic Pizza

A few weeks ago Mike suggested we do a special pizza for Independence Day.  I racked my brain to think of red, white and blue toppings that could be used on a traditional-type pizza.  Red and white wouldn't have been too difficult, (tomatoes, mozzarella, red bell peppers, feta cheese, etc.) but I could think of absolutely nothing that was blue!  The only blue I could think of were blueberries, and so we created a dessert pizza with blueberries and strawberries that was absolutely yummo. (Okay, maybe I have been watching a little too much of Rachel Ray!)
I started by checking out my cookbooks and the internet for recipes for fruit pizza, a treat which most of us have probably had before.  Many of the recipes called for using sugar cookie mix as the base, and since I had a package of Betty Crocker Sugar  Cookie mix (17.5 oz.) in the cupboard, I decided to use that.  I followed the directions on the package for the rolled cookies and then baked it on the pizza stone for about 12 minutes.  I found the recipe for the frosting in one of my Healthy Cooking recipe books.

1 pkg. (8 oz.) reduced-fat cream cheese
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
1/4 teaspoon almond extract
1 cup reduced-fat whipped topping
 In a small bowl, beat the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, and extract until smooth; fold in the whipped topping.  Spread over cooled crust.
We really liked this frosting;  it was light and fresh and a perfect complement to the freshness of the blueberries and strawberries I arranged on top.  Without any intentional planning on our part, the movie we watched while we indulged in this treat (perhaps a bit too much indulgence!) was the HBO mini-series, John Adams, based on the best-selling book by David McCollough.  I absolutely love the book and have read it through at least twice.  The book is in a large part letters that John and his wife, Abigail, wrote to each other during their long separations.  As I read the letters, I am struck by how much our current American English pales in comparison with the way they were able to use the language to express their every thought.  It touches my heart to read of the great affection they had for each other and the bitter longing and distress they suffered at each parting.  They sacrificed much for the sake of this new nation, and I can't help but wonder what they would think if they saw what our nation has become. Would they be pleased if they could see us now, or would they feel their efforts had been fruitless?  Often movies based on books are disappointing if the book has been read first, but we thought HBO did a wonderful job bringing the book alive to the small screen.  We thought the actors chosen, the storyline, and the dialogue stayed true to David McCollough's intention, and we would encourage every American to make themselves better educated about our nation's history by reading the book and seeing the movie!

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