If you want Dad to know that he is special, give him something you made. These types of gifts are so much more meaningful than anything you could buy at a store.

That is always the way that I have felt about gift giving. I still have cards that my children made for me when they were small. The spelling might not be exactly right, but the meaning is there.

Now my grandchildren and great-grandchildren are making me special treats. I keep all of them that are not edible, and that way the memories live forever.

Now, back to a gift for dad on Father’s Day. How about a pizza? Not just your traditional one, but a Three Cheese Loaded Potato Pizza. This is one of the best pizzas I have enjoyed in a long time.

Even the youngest chef can make this unusual pizza, because you can buy a crust if preferred. Then all you have to do is load on the toppings.

Keep in mind that fresh mozzarella is much better than the shredded packaged kind. The flavor is better and the cheese is really "stringy," which I like and I think Dad will, too.

I first tasted this pizza in Arkansas, when I was visiting family. I knew from that first bite that, as soon as I got home, I would try to make my own version of this flavorful treat.

Of course, Dad will need a little something sweet to make this meal complete. Why not make him some Brownie Bites? These, too, are so simple that younger children can make them with little help. If desired, you can spread a little white icing between two cookies. I am sure Dad won't mind if the little ones use a canned frosting.

THREE CHEESE LOADED POTATO PIZZA

  • 12- or 14-inch uncooked pizza crust
  • 8-ounce tub onion and chives cream cheese spread
  • 2 tablespoons bottled ranch dressing
  • 1 ½ to 2 cups cooked, sliced Yukon Gold petite potatoes
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • ½ cup finely shredded cheddar cheese
  • 2 tablespoons finely chopped red bell pepper
  • ⅓ cup crisp bacon pieces
  • 1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese (or thin slices of fresh mozzarella)
  • Sour cream to drizzle over top

Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Prick the crust generously with a fork. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Mix together the cream cheese spread and ranch dressing. Spread evenly over crust. Place potato slices on cream cheese/ranch layer and sprinkle lightly with salt and black pepper. Sprinkle with cheddar, red bell pepper and bacon pieces. Top with mozzarella and bake for about 6 to 8 minutes or until cheese is bubbly and crust is lightly browned. Cool slightly. Just before serving, drizzle sour cream from a squeeze bottle or decorator bag over top.

BROWNIE BITES

  • 1 (11 ounce) box pie crust mix
  • 1 small box (about 3 ounces) instant devil's food pudding mix
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ⅔ cup sugar
  • 1 large egg
  • ⅓ cup sour cream

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line cookie sheet with parchment paper. Combine mixes, baking soda and sugar. Stir to mix. Add egg and sour cream. Beat until mixture clings together. Batter will be thick. Roll into small balls and place 1 inch apart on baking sheet. Bake for ONLY 10 minutes. Remove to rack.

Contact Prudence Hilburn at prudencehilburn@aol.com.

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