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Sherrie Norris Lovin’ Spoonful Cooking Column: Honoring the Red, White and Blue

By Sherrie Norris

If there was ever a time that we, as Americans, need to honor our country, it is now. Never in my lifetime would I have ever imagined the lack of respect for our great nation as we are now experiencing.

As I look out over my front porch at the beautiful American flag blowing in the breeze, my heart and mind are filled with a wide range of emotions — from pride and gratitude to sadness and anger. How our forefathers would grieve over current events in our country today and the total lack of respect for the sacrifices they made and the visions they had for us as a nation.

It grieves my heart to think that our grandchildren will grow up without the freedoms we’ve held dear — with little proof of their heritage and history that made America what it has been up until now.

I stand on the fact — whether some people like it or not — that we’re still “one nation under God,” despite the efforts being made to destroy it for evil.

The American Dream is slipping away from us, little by little, but it has been an honor to have acknowledged these United States as the land of the free and the home of the brave.

My prayer is that it can be restored before it’s too late.

And, my hope is, in the coming days, that each of us will reflect upon our good fortune to be called an American.

It has long been our custom to celebrate Independence Day with parades, fireworks, barbecues, picnics and family gatherings. Things will look a little different in many places this year, but hopefully, you will still pay tribute to America and think about what that grand old flag represents: Red stands for courage, white for truth and blue for justice. Let’s not forget it and do our part to bring it back.


Patriotic Wraps

½ cup sugar

2 tsp. cinnamon

24 (flour or wheat) tortillas

6 cups low-fat cottage cheese

12 cups strawberries, stemmed and quartered

Blueberries for garnish

Mix together sugar and cinnamon.

On griddle or in sauté pan, heat 1 tortilla at a time and set aside.

Place ¼ cup cottage in center of tortilla, top with ½ cup strawberries. Sprinkle with 1 tsp. sugar and cinnamon mixture.

Fold up bottom third of tortilla, then fold in both sides, leaving top open. Sprinkle a few blueberries on top. Repeat with remaining ingredients to make 24 wraps.


Pretzel Sparklers

Long rod pretzels

White chocolate, melted

Sprinkles (red, white and blue)

Melt the white chocolate. Dip pretzel rod halfway into the melted chocolate then lightly cover with sprinkles. Place on waxed paper to dry.


Patriotic Jell-O Salad

2 pkg. (3 oz.) red Jell-O of choice

3 c. hot water

1 envelope Knox gelatin

1 c. sugar

1 c. milk

1 tsp. vanilla

1 (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened

½ cup cold water

½ cup pecans, chopped

6 oz. can blueberries (with juice)

First layer: Dissolve 1 pkg. Jell-O in 2 cups hot water in 9 x 13 inch pan (or a large Jell-o mold). Refrigerate until set.

Second layer: Heat 1 cup milk and 2 cups sugar. Don’t boil it. Soften plain gelatin in ½ cup cold water. Add to heated milk.

Stir in vanilla, cream cheese and nuts. Let cool and pour over first layer. NOTE: Make sure to allow second layer to cool completely, or it will melt the first layer. Repeat for third layer, as well.

Put in refrigerator until set.

Third layer: Dissolve remaining pkg. Jell-O in 1 cup hot water; add blueberries with juice. Let cool and pour on second layer.

Put in refrigerator until set.


Simple Red, White and Blue Fruit Salad

1 pint of fresh blueberries

1 pound of fresh red seedless grapes, strawberries or raspberries

1 (8 oz.) container of fat free sour cream

Sugar or other sweetener to taste.

Wash fruit and pat dry. Mix together. Fold in sour cream and add sweetener to taste. Chill and serve


Celebration Cookie

1 pkg. refrigerated sugar cookie dough

1 container vanilla frosting

Blue food coloring

50 vanilla morsels

3 cherry or strawberry-flavored chewy snack roll-ups, divided

2 pretzel rods

Preheat oven to 350. Spray 9 x 13 baking pan with nonstick cooking spray. Place dough in pan, pressing evenly onto bottom of pan. Bake 15-18 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool, then remove cookie to large flat platter or cake board if desired, or just leave it in the pan.

Mix about 1/2 cup frosting with food coloring; spread in upper left hand corner of cookie for background of stars. Frost remaining cookie with remaining vanilla frosting. Arrange vanilla morsels on blue area for stars. For red stripes, cut fruit rolls into strips and place on cookie. Wrap pretzel rods with remaining fruit lengths, place on cookie’s left side for flag pole.