Sunday, March 14, 2010

On the Menu

Last week, alas, I did not have a menu. Normally this would through me into a tailspin, but Dr. H. was on spring break and did the grocery shopping and some of the cooking, so we managed. And he cooked three times, which was exquisite.

Saturday night Dr. H. made this fantastic meal that we'd had once at his brother's house: Vicki’s Favorite Chicken with Grapes, Couscous and Roasted Asparagus. It was very yummy, although it definitely didn't compare to his chicken piccata.

But this week we're back to me cooking, slaving away in the kitchen day after day while Dr. H. plays games on Facebook while ostensibly "working." Whatever. When do I get a spring break, anyway?

So this week we'll be having a first for me: corned beef and cabbage. My mother used to make it every St. Patrick's Day, although she used canned corned beef. I thought I'd give it a whirl this year for my sweet Irish Dad. Bought my first corned beef brisket ever. My day is kind of crazy on Tuesday when I'm making this, so I might use this crock pot recipe instead. We'll see how the day goes. Other menu items are Greek Shrimp with Everything Orzo and Grilled Chicken with Cornell Sauce.

Oh, and I really do have spring break coming up this week. Dr. H. and I are going away for our anniversary. Yep, just the two of us in a little cabin in the woods with a hot tub, an 8-mile hike, and Steak with Burgundy Mushroom Sauce. Bliss, purely.

But wait! I have a recipe for you. Tonight I made a family favorite, calzones. This takes preparation, so plan these for a day when you remember to make the dough ahead of time. The great thing about calzones is that each person can choose his/her own ingredients, and no one has to eat cereal.


Step 1: The Dough
(This makes enough for 3 medium and 2 small calzones)
2 packages active dry yeast
1 cup warm water
2 1/2 cups flour
2 tsp. olive oil
1 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. sugar.

Dissolve yeast in warm water in large bowl. Add oil, salt and sugar and stir with fork. Add half of the flour, and then add in enough of the remaining flour to make dough easy to handle. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface. Knead about 5 minutes, adding more flour when dough gets sticky, until dough is smooth and elastic. Put a spoonful of olive oil into a new bowl, add the dough and turned over so that greased side is up. Cover and let rise in warm place about 30 minutes. For this I put the dough into an oven that's been heated and then turned off. If you aren't making this within a couple of hours, you'll probably need to punch the dough down once or twice.

Step 2: Assembly
You just need whatever you like to go inside a pizza. Tonight we went with the basics: pizza sauce, pepperoni, mozzarella, Italian seasoning, and mushrooms. But even more delicious is to add things like artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, and fresh basil. If you happen to have such things around.

First, divide the dough into separate blobs according to how many you need and how big your people are. I make smaller ones for the younger two kids. Press out the first blob into a sort of circle.

Now layer your ingredients according to each person's preferences, starting with sauce and ending with lots of cheese. Keep sauce well away from the edges.

Fold each one over as you finish, press edges with a fork, and put a few slices on top so that the steam can escape. It's always a good idea to put each person's initials in his/her calzone. We wouldn't want the children to accidentally get a mushroom, would we?

Bake at 425 for about 10-12 minutes or until golden.

Serve with extra pizza sauce for dipping. As always, side dishes are optional. Better yet, just consider extra pizza sauce as your sidedish.

Looking for more food ideas? Check out Menu Plan Monday at Organizing Junkie and Tasty Tuesday at Balancing Beauty and Bedlam.


  1. Enjoy your spring break and cabin in the woods! I'm off to the beach for mine next week. Come join me for Crock Pot Wednesday when you get back.

  2. Thanks for your comment! It is a small world, isn't it?!! :-) My sister lived in Waterloo for a time and I grew up in a small town called Walworth. Anyway, I've been to Geneva many times...the outlets and I miss Wegmans!

    Enjoy your anniversary trip. It sounds wonderful and relaxing!

  3. YUM! I'm definitely going home tonight to make these. :)

  4. Thank you so much for this recipe, I shared the link to your blog on my facebook. I am planning on making these tonight with my family, a nice change from ordering pizza and finally everyone can have exactly what they want! ; )

  5. Have a wonderful trip and Happy Anniversary.

    our menu plan sounds delicious.

    I really enjoy MPM because I’m able to get loads of recipe ideas.

    Just another reason for loving blogging.

    Well, I’ve got to get back to some window shopping on QVC. They selling some outdoor washable rugs right now.


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