What are your Fourth of July family traditions? Do you have a barbecue, spend the day at the pool, or go see fireworks by a lake? When I was a child, my whole family brought a picnic and blankets to the park by Lake Michigan to watch the fireworks. Unfortunately, I found the whole experience so loud and overwhelming that I usually wound up crying under one of the blankets! Living near Washington, D.C., I’ve gotten over that fear, and sometimes we make our way among the hoards down to the National Mall to catch the display.
During the day, our community pool has a can’t-miss potluck where we get to show off our cooking skills and get new inspiration from our neighbors. Since it’s so hot this time of year, we spend a lot of the time cooling off and chatting in the pool before and after lunch, but we always make time to eat too much. This year we are bringing this Berry Sweetza Pizza, designed to look like the American flag, to the patriotic potluck.
My daughter Celia loves to bake and has mastered this recipe, which is easy and fun. Let your little bakers use a plastic knife to slice the strawberries, and if they want to make the flag design, let them try to recreate it on their own from a picture. They can count the blueberries and strawberries to try to make the rows even (and practice those summertime counting and pattern skills).
Here are a few more ideas for fabulous dishes to bring to your 4th of July potluck or picnic:
Mumbai Meatballs with Chutney Yogurt Dip on Kitchen Explorers:
Recipe: Fourth of July Berry Sweetza Pizza
Make this sweet pizza part of your family's July 4 tradition.
- 16 oz. sugar cookie dough (such as Pillsbury refrigerated or your favorite recipe)
- 4 cups berries (sliced strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries)
- 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/2 cup powdered/confectioners sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- Spray a cookie sheet with nonstick spray. Roll or press the cookie dough out to about ¼ inch thickness and place it on the cookie sheet (if you are pressing rather than rolling, do that right on the cookie sheet). Bake it at 350 degrees for 12-15 minutes until it is light golden brown throughout. Allow it to cool.
- Meanwhile, blend the cream cheese, sugar, and vanilla and spread it over the cooled crust. Arrange the berries over the frosting in a flag pattern, if desired. Chill for at least 30 minutes and cut it into wedges for serving.