I’m back after a very long hiatus! The boys and I have been in northern lower Michigan for the past month (Johnny joined us for the last two weeks). Every summer, my in-laws fly us up to their cottage. Johnny spent most of his childhood summers there, and it’s very special to us to have the boys spend part of each summer frolicking by the lake. I’m very blessed to have the opportunity to do this. We spent all month playing outside, swimming in Crystal Lake and Lake Michigan, catching up with good friends, and enjoying quality time with Nana and Papa. We also discovered that Jack has quite the powerful tennis stroke for a 5-year-old. Anyway, the whole time I was there, I cooked maybe three times. I was thoroughly spoiled, but I did miss the blog. Soon, with daily snacks and lunches to prepare for Jack, I’ll make up for my month away.
Today, to ease the sadness of vacation being over, I made some fruit pizza for the boys’ afternoon snack. While we were in Michigan, Johnny made up a silly bedtime story for them about two monkey brothers who decided to make a fruit pizza. During the story telling, Jack and Derek had a great time thinking of how to make the pizza. They told Johnny that strawberry jam could take the place of tomato sauce, mashed bananas could be the cheese, green grapes could replace green peppers, strawberry slices could pose as pepperoni, and, according to Jack, “tomatoes could still be tomatoes, because a tomato is a fruit.” (He’s been obsessed with this concept lately!) This morning, we picked up all the ingredients at the store: a pie crust (the kind that’s rolled up and sold near the refrigerated tube bisuits), cream cheese (I mixed jam with cream cheese for the sauce), and the fruit, then worked on the pizza together. It was a lot of fun, and the boys loved eating the finished product. Next time, I’ll make this when we have a playdate — it doesn’t keep very well, and I hate to waste food — but it was a good way to chase away the post-vacation blues. While we assembled the pizza, the boys talked about the things they would do in Michigan next summer, and by the time we got around to eating our snack, they were cheery again.
Makes one 9″ pizza, enough to serve at least 8 kids for a snack
- One 9″ refrigerated pie crust, unrolled
- Whipped cream cheese, or regular cream cheese that’s been softened to room temperature
- Strawberry jam (or other red jam of your choice)
- Assorted fruit (strawberries, grapes, kiwi, blueberries, etc.), sliced thinly if applicable
- One banana, diced or cut into thin slices
Place the unrolled pie crust on a baking sheet, then bake according to package instructions (I had to bake mine at 450 degrees for 11 minutes). Let the baked crust cool completely.
While the crust is cooling, rinse and slice your fruit. I used strawberries, grapes, tomatoes (YUCK! I love tomatoes, but blanched at the thought of eating them atop sweetened cream cheese. But Jack insisted that since they were a fruit, tomatoes belonged on our fruit pizza).
After the crust has cooled, spoon some cream cheese into a bowl, then mix it with a generous amount of jam. I didn’t measure anything, but here’s what I used:
Spread the cream cheese and jam “sauce” on top of the crust, leaving a ring that’s bare (so it looks more like a real pizza).
Then, put the bananas on top of the sauce. Jack advised that I mash the diced banana slightly with a fork to make it look more like melted cheese. I obliged.
Put the toppings on top of the “cheese.” The kids had so much fun with this!
Of course, one of the perks of cooking is sneaking in a few bites.
When the pizza is assembled, cut it into slices, then serve immediately.
p.s. You’ll want to serve this with a fork. Since the crust is pie crust, it’s going to be flaky and likely to break if you hold it like a real slice of pizza.