Friday, January 7, 2011

Jersey Shore Calzones

In honor of our favorite guidos and guidettes, we made calzones for dinner last night before the season premier of Jersey Shore. Chris' brother, Brian, bought him a calzone mold for Christmas, so we were excited to try it out. We've made calzones and strombolis many time, just folding the dough on our own, but the mold was nice because it makes it perfectly shaped and crimps the edges. It's made my Williams Sonoma, very easy to use and clean- available online and in the stores for $12.

Ingredients for Dough (we made our own, but you can soooo skip this step and use dough from the pizza parlor or supermarket)
2 tsp active dry yeast
1 tsp sugar
1 cup warm water (110 degrees)
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp salt
4 Tbs olive oil

Ingredients for Filling
1 15 oz container of ricotta (part-skim works great!)
1 cup of mozzerella
1 egg
parsely, oregano, salt, pepper, garlic powder, basil- whatever floats your boat!

*We kept it basic this can add ANYTHING- pepperoni, cooked chicken, sausage, veggies*

Mix yeast, sugar and water together in a bowl. Let sit for 5 minutes.

In a food processor, mix the yeast mixture with flour and salt. Pour 1 Tbs of olive oil into processor. Process for about 3 minutes unti the dough becomes a ball and is moist but not too sticky. WARNING: We have a large Cuisnart food processor that is pretty hardy, but after a minute or so, I could smell burning...I think the motor was getting overheated. I stopped it after about 2 minutes, so beware!

Put the dough into a ball and place it in a bowl (I rubbed the sides of the bowl with a little olive oil) and cover it with plastic wrap. Let rise for 1 hour. While dough is rising, mix all of the filling ingredients together in a small bowl. Chill until you're ready to use.

ONE HOUR LATER: Preheat oven to 500 degrees.

Punch down the center of the ball of dough (should've risen to about 2 times its size). Divide the dough into 6 equal pieces with a knife or pizza cutter. **I divided it into 4 pieces to make slightly larger calzones.

Roll a ball of dough out into an 8 inch round. Place in the calzone mold, or just lay flat on counter. Place about 1/3 cup of filling on one half of the dough, and fold the dough in half or close the mold. Make sure the edges are sealed.

Repeat for remaining balls of dough. Place finished calzones on hot pizza stone or on cookie sheet. Brush each one with olive oil and sprinkle with parmesean cheese.

Bake for 10-12 minutes, until golden and hot! Let rest for 5 minutes before serving. EAT!

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Irish Soda Bread Muffins |

Like my family's beloved Italian coil cookies that we only make at Christmas time, the end of February marks the beginning of Irish Soda bread season in my house. I have no idea why we limit ourselves to only having these favorite foods at certain times of the year, but I guess the allure and tastiness would wear off if they were available, say in June!
Although we have not a teeny-weeny ounce of Irish blood in us, my mom always made Irish Soda bread during this time of the year (and my dad always requests the dreaded corn beef and cabbage on St. Patty's day too- ICK!).

Last year, I stumbled upon this recipe while on a baking spree while home on maternity leave. It is by far, the best ISB recipe I have tried- I think the trick is making Irish Soda muffins- they don't come too dry- they are DELICIOUS, and super easy too! Bella and I just whipped up a batch- the first of many until March 17th!


2 cups all-purpose flour
3 Tbs granulated sugar
1½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
½ tsp salt
¼ cup butter
1 cup buttermilk (I used nonfat and it was great!)
1 large egg, beaten
¾ cup raisins

1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Grease small muffin tins or large muffin tins.
2. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt. With pastry cutter or two knives used scissors fashion, cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. In a small bowl, stir together buttermilk and egg until blended. Add buttermilk mixture to dry ingredients and stir to combine. Stir in currants and caraway seeds (if using).
3. Spoon batter into prepared muffin cups. Bake 20 to 25 minutes (longer for the larger muffins), or until cake tester inserted in center of one muffin comes out clean.
4. Remove muffin tin or tins to wire rack. Cool 5 minutes before removing muffins from cups; finish cooling on rack. Serve warm or cool completely and store muffins in an airtight container at room temperature.
Yield: 9 regular- sized muffins or 5 large
Recipe Source: Mostly Muffins"

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Recipe numero dos

I was excited about tonight's dinner, because it was something different and out of my comfort zone, and frankly, whenever I see this dish on a menu at a restaurant, I think "Ew"- SOOO it was an odd choice to add to my weekly menu, but after seeing the recipe in a cookbook, it intrigued me and it turned out to be a hit! Well, a hit amongst Chris and I... Miss B took one look at the dinner table, turned her nose up and pronounced the whole meal, including the rice "disgusting." We stopped trusting her culinary opinion many moons ago, when she denounced sauce on her pizza and decided to go on a cheese, pasta and m&m diet).
Anyway, tonight's dinner was Fish Tacos (and I still kinda hate how that sounds!)- but they were easy and totally delicious. I'm not a big fish person, but we are trying our best to eat more of it, since it's healthier than the big piece of rare red meat we both rather eat instead.

Here's the deal:

Buy frozen, skinless salmon fillets (or you can use another type of fish- we are going to try flounder next time). Defrost and rub the fillets with a mixture of 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp sugar and 1/4 tsp salt. Grill the fish on a gas grill for about 6 minutes, or until flaky and cooked throughout. Due to the subzero temps, I wasn't about to use the bbq tonight, so I used the George Foreman grill and it turned out just fine.

While the fish is cooking, chop up 2 potatoes and boil them in salted water for about 15 minutes. Drain and cool.

Next, mix 1 cup chopped green onions (scallions), 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, 1 avocado chopped, 3 Tbs lime juice, 1 cup green salsa (I used the Goya tomatillo salsa- spicy and delish). You can add anything else that might strike your fancy- diced tomatoes, black beans, peppers, etc. Now add the cooked fish (cut up) and the potatoes and mix all together.

Serve in corn tortillas with some low-fat sour cream and shredded cheddar and VOILA- dinner is served! We also had spanish rice as a side dish (and the 1/2 bag of Tostitos that I ate while cooking too).

If you try this one, let me know how it turns out- can't wait to try a variation on it next time.

Thanks for reading! :)

Saturday, January 30, 2010


Noah Cyrus Launches Children's Lingerie Line

While doing my daily research, I found that Perez Hilton was reporting today that Noah Cyrus, aka Miley's 9 year old sister, and her best friend are launching a line of LINGERIE for children!!! Their lingerie (I feel so wrong using this word when talking about little girls) will come in sizes 4-14. Seriously, this is just another nail in the coffin of our kindergarteners need thigh-high stockings? Do third-graders need push-up bras? Should I be worried about Bella wanting a thong when she is 6?
I'm so confused. Where are Noah Cyrus's parents? Too busy counting the money that big sister is rolling in? AND she's 9!!!! Since when do 9 year olds launch anything?? 9 year olds should be studying for spelling tests and watching iCarly, not designing lace undies. UGH!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Recipe #1

...and let's hope it's not the ONLY one I post :)
I'm not going to pretend like I made this one up...I generally don't think up new and exciting things to cook- I have a surmounting pile of cookbooks, and about 3 years worth of Martha Stewart's FOOD magazine, but I usually default to finding recipes online. This one however, is from the Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book- you know, the classic red/white gingham printed one. Mine however is pink and white, since it's the breast cancer edition. My mom bought it for me for Mother's Day, and I have to say, it has some fabulously easy and delicious concoctions in there!

We stumbled upon this one, and it's in regular rotation in our house- great one for when you are having people over- it goes a faaaaar way, esp if you double it. It's super easy bc you use the rotisesserie chickens from the supermarker or deli- no cooking required.
ENJOY! I seemingly can't copy and paste it...Blogger doesn't allow pasting?? Hmmm...not good for me! I found the recipe on the Better Homes website, so I apologize, but you have to click on the link.

Friday, January 15, 2010

I have a what?

I've been thinking about starting a blog for a long time...well, for the past 3 days, since I was inspired by some insightful, entertaining and pretty blogs (if a blog can be pretty?) I stumbled upon while wasting time online.

This is definitely going to be a work in progress, since I'm new to the blogging world. I don't live a super exciting life that is full of travels to exotic locales, attending art shows and wining and dining at the newest hot spot. My life tends to consist more of traveling to the playground and supermarket, watching the latest episodes of Dora and Diego, and dining (and downing a glass of wine before someone knocks it over while reaching for their crayons) at the local restaurant, unlucky enough to have us terrorize their fine establishment for the evening. But truth be told, my life is perfect. Perfect for me, my partner in crime and our babies- both the 2-legged and crazy 4-legged ones. I wake up everyday, although usually bleary-eyed from a night partying with children who have yet to learn the true meaning of 'sleeping through the night', staggering towards the Keurig to start the caffeine infusion, truly feeling like the luckiest gal in the world to have my perfect little circus.

So my hope for this blog is that it's a place to share the daily tidbits that make me laugh- photos, stories- and hopefully make you smile too. I also have this dream that I will incorporate recipes into this little project- being a working mom, planning the week's menu is one of my biggest annoyances...I love to eat- but the whole planning what we are going to eat? Not so much fun. I think it would be great to post, share and trade recipes and meal ideas and hopefully make everyone's life a tad bit easier- at dinnertime at least!

Thanks for reading and following- I know how precious time is, and I appreciate you dedicating some to me. Please share and invite others to follow- the more, the merrier!

p.s.- the hardest part of starting a blog was coming up with a name. My 3 year old daughter has invented this whole make-believe world where she is a cat, Fluffy, and has bestowed "kitty cat" names on everyone in our family (nevermind the fact that besides being allergic to cats, most felines don't like me and the feeling is mutual). My kitty cat name is "Puss in Boots", which often sounds like Puss in Boobs, which is super fun when we are in A&P and she is shouting "PUSS IN BOOBS!!!" while waiting on line at the seafood counter. Shout-outs to the rest of the kitty cat clan- Shorty, Foxy, Whiskers, Felix, Spikey, Jumbo and Heathcliff. Meow.