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December 16, 2023. Here’s the BCS Christmas Quiz. Is it:

1) A Christmas Wreath?

2) A holiday centerpiece?

3) A great pizza?

4) All of the above.

If you answered “4”, you’re correct! And Martha Stewart’s got nuthin’ on you. Whip up this delicious, nutritious, seasonal pizza for your holiday party and wow yourself, your friends and your family. Take a picture and post it on your Facebook page. Spread the cheer.

Spread the toppings (a little bit of fresh mozzarella cheese, a few cherry tomatoes and two cups of kale) on a 34-cent homemade pizza crust. Into the oven. Yum.

Roll it
Pre-heat your oven and pizza stone to 550 or its highest possible temperature. Meanwhile, roll out your dough into a crust or two, just like in Pizza 101. If you’ve advanced to Pizza 102, toss it. Or use the Pizza Upgrade method for the dough and crust preparation. Then prepare your toppings.

The Christmas Wreath Pizza
Prepare the kale just like you do when you make kale chips. De-stem, tear, toss in a very little olive oil and sea salt. Slice the cherry tomatoes in halves.

Cut two or three very thin slices of fresh mozzarella. Then cut them into small, thin squares to spread around the pizza crust. There should be gaps between the pieces and none of the cheese should be closer than a half inch to the edge. The squares will melt and spread into each other. You don’t want any going over the edge, and you don’t want a thick, heavy layer of cheese. Optionally, finely grate a bit more to sprinkle on top of the baked pizza. You know, like a little dusting of snow.

Put the pizza crust and mozzarella in the oven for a minute or two – just long enough to start the cheese meltdown and brown the edges. Take it out and assemble your kale wreath around the perimeter. Decorate with cherry tomato halves.

Back into the oven for three or four minutes. When the edges of the kale begin to turn golden brown, you’re done. Make the grated mozzarella snow fall. Or not. Eat it while it’s hot! The cheese is bubbling. The kale is rich, dark and a little smoky. The tomatoes are sweet and soft. Everybody’s smiling.

Cost-Benefit Analysis
A killer pizza for $2.50. For the whole thing, not a slice. Doubles as a holiday sight gag. And a 10-second centerpiece. With a day’s worth of Vitamins A and C in each slice.

Cost Comparison
For $15.99, the Domino’s in my neighborhood will make one 12″ pie with shredded mozzarella, chopped tomatoes, spinach and mushrooms. Comes with sugar, partially hydrogenated soybean oil (transfat), the dreaded high fructose corn syrup, sugar and/or mono- and tri-glycerides. Better is Cheaper.

Let’s Do The Math
The calorie count for your homemade pizza crust: 450. The sugar added to most store-bought frozen pizza dough nearly doubles that number. Total calories for your Christmas Wreath Pizza: 525. Your half: 45 minutes of brisk walking. Domino’s pie? 920 calories. Your half: A brisk 1-hour 20-minute walk.

The Tools
Pizza Stone
Pizza Paddle
rolling pin
Bowl Scraper
Pastry Scraper & Cutter

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