Saturday, April 17, 2010


Using a simple pizza dough and some simple ingredients for the stuffing, I made two very large calzones for dinner.

Last night, I made a pasta topping consisting of sauteed onions, peppers, and italian sausage meatballs. (To make the meatballs, remove italian sausage from casing, wet hands so the mixture does not stick, then roll into balls and fry.) I made enough to have extra for tonight's calzone dinner.

Nick and I mulched the garden today. We had 5 cubic yards of mulch delivered at 7:45 AM. By noon, the mulch was spread. So we felt we 'deserved' a good dinner. You know what I mean?

Back in 1986, Cosmopolitan magazine gave this recipe for pizza crust. (I know - wierd that COSMO would talk about Pizza crust. but this was the 80s.) Here is the recipe, which I used tonight for calzone dough.
3 cups flour (Cosmo said regular flour - I say bread flour)
1 cup water (COSMO said 1 cup, I say 1 1/3 cups)
1 Tablespoon yeast1 Tablespoon salt
3 Tablespoons olive oil
Mix it all together. Knead, let rest.
I used half of this recipe for the calzones. The rest I refrigerated, to use tomorrow, for dinner (an italian type loaf.)

I put the "Step 1 " ingredients in rolled out dough (two 12 inch circles, which was half the recipe above) then I added 1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained, and 1 cup shredded mozzarella. I divided the ingredients among the two calzones.

Then, I flipped the dough over so that the ingredients are inside the calzones. I pinched the edges together, then slipped the calzones into a 400 degree F oven. I use a stone in my oven, but you can simply put them in on a cookie sheet.

BAKE (around 25 or 30 minutes) and ...EAT (the best part).

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Simple but Yummy Easter Breakfast

I always like to make a little something special for Easter breakfast at our house, even though it was just Nick and me this morning.

On the menu - homemade cinnamon rolls, dyed hard-boiled eggs, orange juice, and coffee.

Hard Boiled Eggs
How simple it is to boil an egg, yet I want to share with you a great way to do this homely task, because I think it works really well, and until recently, I didn't know how great a result this would bring.
Start with cold water. Put it on heat, and put the eggs in while still cold. This prevents the eggs from cracking. Bring the water to a boil, actively simmer for about 1 minute, then turn the heat off. Let the eggs sit in the water for about 10 minutes. Drain, cool, and that's it! No green 'ring around the yolk' if you do it this way. My brother-in-law Ken gets credit for teaching me this method.

It being Easter, I dyed the eggs. Using the concept of 'resist' (familiar to all of us who grew up in the 60s and 70s in the form of 'tye dye'), I cut shapes of electrical tape, applied the tape onto the eggs, and then put them in the dye bath. The dye I used was very simple. McCormick food coloring, water, and vinegar. The food coloring at our house I bought back in 1986, and I have just run out of the red. I still have green, blue, and yellow, as part of the original box. A little food coloring goes a long way!

Cinnamon BunsThis is a long-standing recipe, which I make on New Years Day, Christmas, and Easter. I use the bread machine, on the delayed timer. This involves putting a raw, cracked egg into the machine, and letting sit overnight, and there are warnings against this (health caution), but I've never had a problem. Maybe it's because I use ice cold water, into which I put the egg. Water, egg, and the rest of the ingredients sit all night in the bread machine, which is set on the dough setting. When I wake up, I roll out the dough, put nuts, sugar, cinnamon and butter onto the dough, then roll it up in a cylinder. Cut the cylinder into bun-sized pieces, and put into a buttered pie plate to rise. Bake at 350 degrees, for about 30 minutes, let cool 10 minutes, and get ready for some serious noshing!

Here's what I put into the bread machine:
1 broken egg (no shell, of course)
a little less than 3/4 cup ice cold water
2 1/2 cups high gluten flour (bread flour)
2 tablespoons butter
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons sugar
1/2 tablespoon yeast

Here's what I put on the rolled out dough before I roll it up:
1/2 cup walnuts
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon cinnamon
1/2 cup butter, softened

I also happened to have some leftover crumb topping for muffins, which consisted of oatmeal, sugar, and cinnamon. I threw that in there too.

These are "more or less" measurements. It's not important to be exact. In my case, I had some butter that Nick had attempted to soften by sitting it on top of the radiator a few days ago, and it quickly had puddled into liquid. I used that in the cinnamon rolls, because it was no longer viable to use as regular butter, and I didn't want to waste it!

Whatever holiday(s) you celebrate this spring, happy celebrating!