Saturday, March 31, 2012

Calzones to Remember

When I was a very picky young eater, my parents made me try something new at one of our favorite pizza places.  It was a pepperoni calzone and I was hooked!  When we go to pizza places now, we never order calzones and I'm not sure why.  My friend Amber made this awesome pizza dough a while back and since then I have been craving homemade dough.  I decided to venture out and make calzones with the dough instead of traditional pizza and we loved them.  Every once in a while I got a bite of pepperoni and cheese and it reminded me of our favorite pizza place we ate at when I was little!  You have got to try this dough, it is good for calzones or pizza.  Being my normal self, I combined two recipes (the one Amber made a while back and one my friend Kristen recommended)!  I believe this will be my go-to recipe now.
 Fresh and hot out of the oven.
 This is what the dough looked like when I pulled it out of the fridge.  When I got home from work (5 hours later), it was soft and ready to roll!
This is what it looks like rolled out (at this point you could do pizza or calzone).  I loaded this sucker with bacon, meatballs, pepperoni, bell pepper, artichoke hearts, basil and mozzarella.
 Fold the dough over and sprinkle cornmeal and Parmesan cheese!
 Bake at 400 for 25 minutes.
 Cut into it and you get this beauty
 Served with pizza sauce-I want more as I type.
 I will definitely be making this again.
 Remember those cookies I mentioned my co-worker was bringing-chocolate chip with a reese's in the middle....I will be making these in the near future they were amazing!

My Modified Dough
3 Tbsp. Olive Oil
1/2 tsp italian seasoning
3 cloves chopped garlic
4 cups flour
1 heaping tsp. salt
1 tsp. sugar
1 package instant yeast = 2 1/4 tsp
1/8 cup white wine (I used cooking wine)
1 1/2 cup water

Heat oil and Italian seasoning over medium heat.  When that is warm add garlic and stir for about 1 minute.  Add water and white wine and take it off the heat (water should be warm but not too hot: 110 degrees if you want to be exact).  In a large mixing bowl combine flour, salt, sugar and yeast.  With your mixer on add your liquid mixture and beat until combined.  Once combined knead for about 5 minutes (I ended up adding about 1/4 cup flour in the process) and place in a large, well greased bowl.  Place in fridge overnight.  This dough makes 2 pizzas or calzones.  Pull out the dough you need (I did half) and let is sit at room temp. for about 4 hours.  The other dough can stay in the fridge for later.  I would use it within 3 days and you will probably have to push it down a couple times.
Making your calzone:
Preheat oven to 400.  Lightly oil a large cookie sheet and press your dough out onto it.  Start spreading it out with your fingers until it is the thickness you want it (you can use a rolling pin if you want).  Mine was probably about 1/4 in thick and then put toppings on half and fold dough over.  Pinch dough around the sides and poke a few holes on the top.  Bake calzone for about 25.  Enjoy with a side of pizza sauce!
Making your pizza: 
Preheat oven to 450.  Lightly oil a large cookie sheet and press dough out.  Work with it until it is the thickness you want, mine was about 1/4 inch.  Put pizza sauce on top and then all your toppings.  Bake for about 12-16 minutes, time will vary depending on your oven and your preference!
***Just so you know, I think pizza dough is a pretty flexible thing...I modified two recipes and it still worked out.  You don't have to get all fancy if you left out the garlic or white wine I'm sure it would come out (but it sure did taste good like this)!  Hope you enjoy it as much as we did.
Modified recipes from Crumbly Cookie and Pioneer Woman
This is our Saturday morning breakfast!  Danielle gave a cinnamon rolls a while back so I toasted them up and made some scrambled eggs.
Mighty tasty!
Have a great Saturday everyone.  We are going to the park later and then having dinner with Ben and Danielle.  Oh, I made some banana pudding and I will post that as soon as I taste mouth is watering just thinking about it!

Friday, March 30, 2012

Happy Friday

I'm sure everyone is ready for the weekend, I know I am.  I am making calzones tonight with homemade dough!  Hope to have a great post for you soon.
 My granola pancake was so good this morning (had peanut butter, pears, and maple yogurt on top)!  I want another cup of coffee right now
I am about to head to my second shift of work and then we are planning to relax this weekend.  My friend from work said he is bringing Reese's chocolate chip cookies so yes I am looking forward to work.  Hope everyone has a great weekend.

But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,  made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
Ephesians 2:4-5

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Thursday Already

Today was the last day of the James study I am in.  I have learned so much and have a whole new outlook on the book of James.  Some of the verses I have memorized have come to me on so many occasions when I needed them.  If you have never memorized scripture, I recommend you try it-I have been so encouraged by it.  Thankfully we are starting another study over a book called The Confident Woman so I will still get to see the lovely ladies in our group.  After the study I went to Body Pump.  I have had some pretty hard workouts this week so I think I will take it easy over the weekend.  I came home and made some pizza dough which I will be using tomorrow.  I am really excited and will make sure to post details over the weekend.  This morning I was sick of all the fiber so I had a plain english muffin with peanut butter, cinnamon, and choc. chips and my next favorite smoothie.
 It was delicious!
This is what I had for dinner last night and I will probably have it again tonight!
Hope everybody is having a great Thursday.  This day is going by so fast.  I better get to work around this apartment! 

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Good Afternoon

I opened up my blog page to start a new post and then next thing you know I was in my living room making cards!  I guess I am easily distracted.  My hunger got me in the kitchen to make a smoothie and when I went to take a picture I realized that I had not even started my post today.  As I type I am eating a delicious, creamy smoothie.  I have posted my favorite smoothie before, but lately I have been making a different one so it's time to post that.  This one involves lots of fruit and no peanut butter (I think my stomach needed a break from the crazy amounts of peanut butter in my smoothies!). 
 I love it with granola on top-it is the perfect little snack and it is a great way to get fruit and dairy servings.
Light and Creamy Smoothie (my next favorite)
1/2 cup milk
1/2 cup flavored yogurt (you can use plain but it will be more tart-I mostly use flavored but it depends on my mood)
1/2 frozen banana
3-4 frozen pineapple chunks
4-5 frozen strawberries
3-4 ice cubes (optional-ha today I forgot them)

Place all ingredients into your blender and blend until smooth.  Enjoy

 For lunch I had a turkey, spinach, laughing cow cheese, tomato sandwich.  I had it on the oat nut bread from Ben and Danielle and it was amazing!
 My homemade oatmeal with blackberries, peanut butter, and granola!  This fueled me up for my intense body combat class (I have a new class to go to!)
Check out the new quilt I got yesterday at Kohl's.  We got a king bed recently and did not have anything but two old blankets to put on it so it was time to get a comforter.  I really like it and it is reversible.
know that anyone born of God does not continue to sin; the One who was born of God keeps them safe, and the evil one cannot harm them.
1 John 5:18

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Sausage and Beans

I am glad Monday is over!  It was not my favorite day yesterday-but some days are like that and it's ok.  On an up note, I made a delicious dinner.  I got the recipe out of my Taste of Homes magazine; it is very easy and I will definitely be making it again. 
 Hearty Sausage and Beans with wilted spinach
 I simmered the beans and sausage for about 30 minutes
 This cooks down a lot and only takes about 4 minutes total
I modified the recipe a little so here is mine.  Feel free to check out the link if you want the exact recipe.
Sausage and Beans
1/2 pound sausage (I used the kind that you would grill)
1/2 chopped onion
1 Tbsp. olive oil
1 clove crushed garlic
1 can pinto beans (15oz), drained and rinsed-next time I will use more
5oz water (half of the rotel can)
1 can rotel 
1 rounded tsp. ranch powder
1 cup uncooked rice (I used Uncle Bens boil-in-a-bag brown rice and loved it)

In a large skillet cook onion and sausage until onion is tender.  Add chopped garlic and stir for about 1 minute (careful it can scortch).  Add the beans, water, rotel, and ranch powder and bring to a simmer.  Let that simmer for about 30 minutes.  While that is simmering, cook your rice-depending on the kind you use, the time may vary.  When your rice is done, fluff it and add it to your sausage mixture.  Stir well and it is ready to serve.

Wilted Spinach
Sautee 2 cloves garlic in 1 Tbsp. olive oil for about 1 minute.  Add 1 Tbsp. white cooking wine and some salt and stir around for about 1 minute.  Add about 6 oz (almost a whole 9 oz bag) of fresh spinach and stir continuously for about 2 minutes until just wilted.  Serve immediately.
 This was my lunch.  Leftover grilled chicken on a salad with lots of veggies.
 My favorite part were the grilled potatoes that I re-warmed in the skillet!
 My Monday morning breakfast with my amazing cup of coffee
I kept my breakfast simple this morning because I went to an ab class (instead of cardio), and didn't want to barf lol!  I am about to go to lunch with my Aunt.
Keep this Book of the Law always on your lips; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 
Joshua 1:8 
I did not have a good day yesterday, but that is okay:)  God's word keeps me grounded and brings comfort no matter how I am feeling for the day.  Hope you find this as encouraging as I do!

Monday, March 26, 2012

Pump Up Sunday

You know how so many people dread Monday?  Well, Cliff and me may dread Monday from time to time and we will joke around about "being depressed," but today we said no more!  We are going to start calling Sunday "Pump Up Sunday."  So anytime we feel like whining about the upcoming week we will just stop and get pumped up instead.  Anyways, there is a lot of food to post about so get ready.  First of all, Friday night we had some snickers ice cream that was totally loaded

 I added reese's, pb, choc. chips, and had a peanut cluster (maybe 2) with it.
We did not have any real plans Saturday so we had a lazy morning and I made biscuits and gravy.  Cliff said you have to title this Our Vegetarian Breakfast because we did not have meat.  I pulled sausage out to thaw and forgot it on the counter so I just trashed it:(  Our breakfast was good without it though!
 Homemade gravy, biscuits, potatoes, and scrambled eggs.
 The gravy is really simple, I will post it at the end.
 My plate
 Cliff's plate-I will admit his looked a little better!
We had a fun day.  Did a few things around the house we have been meaning to do.  Then we ate lots of cinnamon whole wheat pretzels and rented Midnight in Paris. Then we went to the park to throw the frisbee and came home to make dinner and have game night.  We had a few people over to play Yahtzee and grill out.  I made these really good potatoes.  They were supposed to go on the grill but I thought they were going to fall apart so I put them on my panini grill. 
 First, I washed the potatoes and poked holes in them.  Microwave them for about 6 minutes, flipping halfway through.   Let them cool and then slice like so.
 Drizzle olive oil on them and season them to taste.
 Heat the panini grill to sear (the hottest heat).  Place potatoes on it and flip once they are starting to get seared as seen below (it took about 8 minutes on each side).
 Simple and delicious.
Okay, I have been on a major peanut cluster kick.  I am in the habit again-yikes.  I had 2 peanut clusters then we played Yahtzee which was a lot of fun:)  Oh, did I mention we grilled chicken and sausage.  I also made a salad to go with our potatoes.  I felt really full so when I woke up this morning I just wanted something simple and light.
 Ben and Danielle gave us some Oat Nut Bread so I had peanut butter toast with butter, choc. chips, butter, and cinn. sugar.  I also made a simple smoothie to go with it.

 Even though I had a "light" breakfast, I made Cliff and awesome breakfast quesadilla.
 Egg, potato, bacon and cheese...with gravy for dipping sauce.
 This is a completely awesome idea and Cliff loved it!  I hope to make it again soon because it looked mighty tasty:)
 We went with our small group to Chili's after church.  We had a lot of fun hangin with them:)
 I made home-made meatballs for the first time for dinner!  They are really easy and I don't know why I waited so long to make them myself (I usually buy frozen ones).
We had a very relaxing dinner!
I tend to eat really fast, but I made a conscious effort to eat slowly and enjoy time with Cliff-it was no nice.
Here we go again.  I had the last of the snickers ice cream with pb and a cluster!
Sorry this post is coming so late.  Hope everyone had a great weekend.  Also, here are the recipes for the gravy and meatballs:

Simple Gravy from Mom (serves 3)
2 Tbsp. oil or butter
2 Tbsp. flour
1 1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper to taste

Heat oil over med-low heat.  Stir in flour until it makes a smooth consistency (I usually stir it for about 1 minute so the flour can heat up).  Pour in milk while stirring constantly.  At this point I turn up the heat a little and stir often.  Bring to a boil and then simmer for about 1-2 minutes, stirring constantly.  It should start to thicken at this point and you can take it off the heat.  Season to taste and enjoy!  
I mostly eat this on biscuits but it is also very good on egg noodles for dinner.  That is something my Mom used to make me often and I love!  
*Note:  if your gravy is not thickening, take 1-2 Tbsp. of flour and mix it with about 1/4 cup cold water.  Pour it into your gravy and it should thicken after a few minutes.

Easy Meatballs
1 lb. ground beef or sausage (or you could do half a pound of each)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1/3 cup dry bread crumbs (I did half bread crumbs, half instant oatmeal)
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup milk
2 Tbsp. dry onion flakes
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1/2 tsp. garlic salt
pepper sprinkled in as well
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, combine the egg, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, milk, onion, and seasonings. Add meat to the bread crumb mixture and mix well. Shape into 24 meatballs.  Lightly grease a cake pan lined with foil.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes or until meatballs are cooked through. Serve with your favorite sauce and spaghetti.  
*slightly adapted from allrecipes 

Friday, March 23, 2012

Ready for the Weekend!

Once again I have had some pretty uneventful meals.  Have you ever heard of a kolache?  I had never heard of them until I moved to South Texas.  They are really popular here and there were a lot leftover after Women's Bible Study.  I had one for dinner last night with a salad.  It was good but my favorite kind of kolache is made with breakfast sausage and cheese!
 I put cranberries, tomato, cheese, apples and cashews on this salad!
 Basically a kolache is homemade bread wrapped around meat.
I picked up an extra shift at work so I actually worked all day today which is great:)  I made myself a blueberry granola pancake with pb, yogurt, and extra blueberries.
 It was tasty.
Oh man I really like melty peanut butter
I am making bean quesadillas for dinner tonight which will finish up our leftovers!  I am planning a delicious Saturday morning breakfast and dinner.  Hope you are ready for the weekend.  We are supposed to have great weather so I am pumped!  Good night

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Repeats and Leftovers

I don't really want to bore you with repeats and leftovers but I really like blogging so I guess I am going to have to:)  I started the week with leftover pasta, pizza and chicken taco stuff.  I am almost done with all of it.  I made loaded nachos last night so that was a nice change.
 I layered cheese and chicken and then microwaved it for about 45 seconds.
 Topped this with warm refried beans and then the rest!
 Lettuce, tomato, avocado, salsa-they were very filling by the way.
 Awesome leftover pizza and a smoothie (I have had a smoothie pretty much every day this week).
I will catch you up on some of my breakfasts!  I have basically been having oatmeal or Kodiak pancakes for breakfast every weekday since I found out about my high cholesterol.  Thankfully I am not sick of it yet.  One of my favorite ways to eat my homemade instant oatmeal is to put craisins, granola and peanut butter on top!
 The granola makes me feel full for a long time:)
 This is my typical granola pancake before I load it with peanut butter, chocolate and fruit!
 Okay, I also but butter on this...butter and peanut butter together with cinnamon sugar is so good-you have to try it.  Put the peanut butter on first, then a little butter on top of that...then chocolate and cinnamon sugar:)  I had women's Bible study today so I also snuck a little piece of cinnamon roll!   I came home and went for an awesome run because the weather is beautiful here:)
 Sorry for this ugly picture but I had an avocado, tomato and cheese sandwich-I think this is my favorite way to eat avocado!
  This was some leftover fruit from Bible Study!  It was very yummy with white chocolate strawberry yogurt.
I can't believe it is already Thursday.  This week has flown by and I am ready for the weekend.  I will be cooking some new stuff so get excited:)  Hope you are having a great day and see you soon.  P.S. I am craving chocolate like a mad woman so maybe I will get to make some awesome dessert this weekend!