Saturday, January 29, 2011


I haven't made Calzones for a long time.  Last time I made them I vaguely remember the kids not really liking them and  saying something along the lines of "this is yucky", probably before actually trying it.  You know how it is introducing new foods no matter how similar they are to favorites like pizza. I don't recall how long ago it was that I made them last but long enough that none of the kids remembered me making them before.

This time, however, everyone loved them and sang praises to me.  I don't know what I did different or maybe this time everyone was hungry enough to actually try them before stating their opinions.    I have fond memories of calzones.  Who doesn't?  I remember learning to make them in college using frozen bread dough.  I remember my favorite place to eat them, the mom and pop Italian restaurant 1 block north of where I used to work. In High School, my friends and I used to always get them at the Mall.  I remember my brother, not too long home from Sicily, deep frying them for dinner.  Maybe they are called something different when you deep fry them but they are basically the same.    So I was delighted that my kids finally liked them.

This time I used a Wolfgang puck Pizza dough recipe and filled them simply with Sausage, Ricotta cheese and Mozzarella cheese.  I then had a red sauce and pesto for dipping or putting on top.  You can put the sauce inside but I think this was one of the reasons the kids didn't like it before. That may be more like Stromboli. Other ingredients you can use to stuff the Calzone might be Spinach, Pepperoni, Parmesan, Pesto, other vegetables or cheeses etc.  Lots of choice. This time I also made them smaller so they could be picked up and dipped.  I think everyone liked them that way better. We enjoyed them so much, I forgot to take a picture till they were almost gone. 

Roll out rounds of pizza dough to the size you would like. 
Put ricotta cheese, mozzarella and other ingredients of your choice in the middle.
Fold over and pinch edges together. 
Bake until golden brown. 
Top or dip in marinara or pesto or sauce of your choice. 

Whatever you choose to use for dough and ingredients, Enjoy!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Chocolate Chip Cake

This is the first time I have tried this recipe. I made it for my husbands birthday. It looks impressive, if you can see past my bad photography, tastes very rich and is simpler than it looks.  I believe I had two or three requests to "Make this for my next birthday."

Notes: The batter is more like cookie dough when done and subsequently the cake is more cookie-like. This makes it easier to assemble. Make sure your chocolate is completely melted or you get little choc bits like I did. I did not have a 15x10 pan that I trusted to bake in anymore (I don't know why I keep it around still) so I used a regular larger cookie sheet. this resulted in 5 layers for me. I cut 4 across the pan then cut some off each end to make a 5th layer. Probably for this reason I needed more frosting than the recipe made. Slice it thin, it is very rich or sweet.  Even age14, aka. the bottomless pit, said "I'm full."   Do not leave out on counter where you will be tempted to have a piece every time you pass it.

1 cup Butter, softened
1 cup Brown sugar, firmly packed
2/3 cup Sugar
4 Eggs
2 teaspoons Vanilla
1/2 teaspoon Salt
2 cups Flour, all-purpose
1 12 oz. package Little Bits Semi-sweet Chocolate chips, divided

1 cup Little bits semi-sweet chocolate chips
3/4 cup Butter, softened
1 1/2 cups Sifted confectioners' sugar
2 teaspoons Vanilla

Cake: Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease 15 1/2 x 10 1/2 x 1" baking pan. Line with parchment or waxed paper. In bowl, cream butter, brown sugar, sugar.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla and salt. Mix well.  Gradually add flour. Stir in 1 cup chocolate bits. Spread in prepared pan. bake 350º for 20-25 minutes. Cool completely.

Frosting: Melt over hot (not boiling) water, 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate bits, stir until smooth. Set aside. In bowl, combine butter and confectioners' sugar; beat until creamy. Add melted chocolate and vanilla; blend until smooth.

Loosen sides of cake. Invert and peel of paper. Trim edges if necessary. Cut cake crosswise into 4 sections. Spread frosting on one layer. Top with second cake layer. Repeat layers. Frost entire cake with remaining frosting.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Pumpkin Fudge

Finally, here is what I used part of my baked pumpkin on.  Pumpkin Fudge.  Its a holiday tradition at our house and one of the few I hung onto as I tried to slim down the stress this past Christmas.  And we really did cut out a lot of stuff.  I hope next year is not so busy so we can do more.  Dh didn't even get to make his Toads.  Speaking of Christmas, while I did take down all decorations, I'm still waiting on my husband to dismantle and take the tree down to the basement (and a few odds and ends).

This is one of those recipes I'm reluctant to give out.   I have only shared it once and I'm pretty sure that is how my husband got his promotion at work.   See, if I give this out then everyone will be getting promotions and my husband will be out of a job by next Christmas.

I recommend using non-white chocolate in this recipe.  The difference being in order to be called White Chocolate it has to have cocoa butter in it.  When I have made it with the cocoa butter kind it tends to separate a little more.   I make half without the nuts since some of my kids don't like the nuts in it.  I have also used a mixture of nuts instead of just almonds.  Also, depending on the moisture in your pumpkin and altitude and all the other candy factors this can take a long time to reach soft ball stage.  I'm always a scardy-cat and don't turn my heat up very high so it can take me up to an hour.

Pumpkin Fudge

1 cup almonds
3 cups sugar
1 cup butter
5 oz evaporated milk
1/2 cup pumpkin
1 teas. pumpkin pie spice
2 cups white choc chips
1 7oz jar marshmallow cream
1 teas. vanilla

Spread nuts on baking sheet and toast in 300º oven until toasted to your liking.  (Sorry I don't have a time.)  Combine sugar, butter, milk, pumpkin and spice in pot and cook on medium - medium low until candy reaches soft ball stage about 234º on a candy thermometer.  Remove from heat and stir in chips, then marshmallow cream and then nuts and vanilla.  Pour into pan either buttered or I prefer lined with non-stick Reynolds-wrap.  Cool and cut into pieces.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011


Boy did I let the blog go this last month.    Well I will make up for it right here with these Ginger Snaps.   These are so good.  I can't resist them straight from the oven, hot and a little gooey.  mmm.   

I made 7 dozen of these.  And I bet I could have eaten almost all of them, I might have gotten sick but I would have given it a try  if I hadn't of known that they were for a greater good and not for me.  My poor family got to look at them all and I only allowed them one each.  Seriously sad.  

The best way to do gingersnaps in my opinion is to leave them a little gooey so that when they cool they stay a bit chewy.  I know the title any everything says 'snap' but I really don't care for hard gingersnaps.    I cook them just until the cracks form good and the bottom is slightly browned.  This is the same recipe I have used for 30 years, probably longer but I don't really remember much cooking before that.  It has been hard for me to beat.  Also, I always double this recipe. 


1 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup shortening
1/4 cup molasses
1 egg
2 teas. baking soda
1 teas. cinnamon (maybe a pinch more)
1 teas. ginger
1/2 teas cloves
1/4 teas. salt
2 1/4 cup flour
granulated sugar

Preheat Oven to 375 deg.  combine sugar, shortening and molasses until well blended.  Add egg and mix in.   Add all spices and soda, mix.  Stir in flour.  Refrigerate for 1 hr.  Form 1in. balls, dip half  in sugar and place on baking sheet sugar up.  Bake 10 - 12 min.  
Related Posts with Thumbnails