Wednesday, August 12, 2009


All who dwell within this house love calzones!
It's rule #1 of being in this family. Must Love Calzones.
What an easy rule to obey!
This recipe is a really fun one. It's easy, it's interesting and it's flexible.
You can change it on a whim and it always comes out beautifully!
You can dress this down with plain sauce, cheese and pepperoni.
Or dress it up with pesto and chicken. Try barbecue sauce, pineapple and Canadian bacon.
I'm thinking I'd like to try Alfredo sauce with something.
Just about anything you've got in your fridge will taste yummy in a calzone.
Mushrooms, meatballs, sausage, olives, onions....
There's no limit to what you can create!
First I make the pizza dough. I use a bread maker recipe from The Bread Bible.
I'd be happy to give the recipe to anyone who wants it.
Bug likes to feel the bread machine vibrate on her chin while it kneads the dough.
It is pretty mesmerizing. This is what the dough looks like straight out of the maker. A nice round airy lump of dough.
Bug felt compelled to jab her fingers in the top.
She's slumping her shoulders because I just scolded her for it.
With a little bit of flour, I roll out the dough.
If it's snapping back to much, I let it rest for a few minutes
(a little tip from my cousin L that saved me from having to yell
at my pizza dough to stay put. It's never good to yell at dough.
Especially in front of young children.)
Isn't my Bug beautiful? She takes my breath away.
I let her help me roll out the dough as
long as she promises to stop jabbing at the poor thing.
I made a 1 lb loaf of dough, so that should be enough to make an 11 x 17 pizza.
I'm going to roll the dough into an 11 x 17 inch rectangle to assemble the calzone.
Then I prepare the baking sheet by spraying it with Pam.
Sometimes I sprinkle cornmeal on the cookie sheet.
That makes it seem very authentic.
Then I get to thinking I'm authentic.
So I start saying things like "atsa matta for you".
No one thinks it's funny.
I call Bug over.
"I'm going to show you a very important baking technique.
Pay close attention honey, and watch your mother, the master.
I'm going to roll this dough onto the rolling pin..."
"Just like this. Are you paying attention? This is a complicated
maneuver, but once you master it, you'll be an expert, just like mommy."
"Ah yes. Here we go.
Now we just transfer it nicely to the baking sheet just like so..."
"And then we HEY! NO! ARRRGH!"
Bug is eyeing me suspiciously and wondering with trepidation
if someday she will, in fact, be "just like mommy".
Soooooo, I was supposed to masterfully unroll the dough onto
the Pam'd baking sheet. It's not really a complicated maneuver.
I just wanted to feel special.
Anywho, the dough got to where it needed to be.
In a round about way.
Just not any way that would be photographed.
Let us never speak of this again.
How about some sauce?
Bug spreads on the pizza sauce...
...lengthwise down the middle 1/3 of the dough.
3/4 cup total.
I'm finding her so cute, I can't stop photographing this part.
"Mom? Do you want to put down the camera and
get this show on the road? Or should we just keep
taking pictures til the cows come home?"
Then Bug layers on the pepperoni. As much as she likes.
This is where it gets fun because you can create your
own masterpiece with any filling you crave.
Look at this diligent little Bug.
What would compel a little girl to make such straight pepperoni lines?
Ah, thatta girl! Pose it with flair, Sweets.
We thought some yellow bell pepper might be fun.
What's happening here? Is she giving you a closer look,
like the good cooking show hostess that she is?
No, it's just a yellow pepper airplane, flying down to land on the
pepperoni landing strip. Ah, yes. Ever Grandpa's girl.
Good thing Bug's at the helm because I have to clean up after the twins.
This entails opening the slider to let in my dog-vac.
Hannah's even got a feline helper today. Hello Harrison.
Ooo! A little tiff ensues over a clump of oatmeal!
Stand down Harrison! Stand down!
( I don't even know what's happening with the corners of that photo above).
Don't underestimate Harrison due to his small stature.
Just look at this wicked cat in action.
Mrs. Belle's ears never regained full upright form after that day.
We had some spinach lying around and thought that might be interesting to try.
Here Bug helpfully explains our rationale for trying spinach: Then cheese. Lots of cheese.
Several kinds of cheese if you wish.
Which we did wish.
Mark my words, this girl's 2 seconds away from her own cooking show on the Food Network. Here she's describing
the nature of the cheese to you, so you can feel like
you are in the kitchen with us....
Once we've piled on all our fillings of choice,
I cut the edges of the dough on an angle.
If this seems really unnecessary, you can just fold the
two sides of the dough up around the filling.
But this makes it so pretty. And it's not hard. Cut the strips oh, maybe an inch thick.
Keep doing it all the way down one side.
Then repeat on the other side. I don't even bother to count or
try to keep it even with the other side. It's not really going to matter.
When I finish, it looks like this:
Then I start at one end and overlap the strips up over the filling,
going in the same direction as the angle I cut.
That last sentence doesn't make sense even to me, and
I made the thing, so here's a picture that shows what I mean to say: And another for good measure.
I keep a little dish of water nearby and periodically dip my fingers in it...
...and then sprinkle the water on to the dough to help seal some of the seams.
But it's not too big of a deal if the seams are left unsealed.
Then I brush the top liberally with butter.
This will brown it very nicely.
I bake it at 350 degrees for 40-45 minutes.
Bug has brought in some vegetation. What is she doing?
I tried to photograph some evidence of her activity,
but she said it was to be a surprise.
Ooooo, it's done!
Look how crusty and chewy and melty
and chewy and cheesy!!
See what unsealed seams will do????
Facilitate gooey crustiness! YAY!
Why do I always do this to this poor child?
She's just so patient though. It's very sweet.
Now I can show you the surprise she was working on earlier:
Making a centerpiece fit for a woodland nymph.
Oh good gracious. Somebody help me.
This is gonna be gooooood.


Dandy said...

Did I ever tell you that I love "Babblers Babbled"? I do.

And I can't watch the video right now because I'm at work.

That calzone looks amazing! And so fancy. And how ever to you get Bug to eat all those vegetables?

Oh and we get a pizza from around here with alfredo, sausage and caramlized onion and cheese of course... and maybe basil and maybe spinach, I can't remember.

Flat Creek Farm said...

That looks delicious! And I was entertained by the entire process, as always. Bug is a little beauty - looks so much like her mom! I tried calzone or something similar before and it did not turn out nearly as beautiful as yours. Maybe I'll give it another try... looks great! Thank ya! -Tammy

curegirl0421 said...

Yum, I'm gonna have to give that one a try!

And your Bug is adorable.

Jana said...

bug is a breathtaking girl, thats for sure, I love that she adds her little top chef comments. the calzone looks amazing...and if a recipe needs to be entertaining I know who to call!! dont you just love a good bread machine! How DO you get Bug to eat all the veggies?

Marisa @ Getting Back To Basics said...

Bug is her Mom. I know what I'm having for supper tomorrow. I just picked some spinach to throw in, and I've got some basil that needs picking. Thanks for all the recipes. I love cooking real food too!

Yelena R. said...

This is the most entertaining post I've read all day :) I love calzones, and that definitely looks delicious! oh, and I just love the first few pictures with the bread maker...hilarious!

Jackie said...

Bug is beautiful and the calzone looks great. My kids would love one of those...I'm going to try it. I sure love my bread machine too.

Thanks for the great recipes.


Sarsa said...

Thank you, thank you, thank you for posting such a delicious recipe. Would you mind emailing me the pizza dough recipe? Oh, and tell bug I say hello!

Meghan said...

That looks deeeeeeelicious! We love calzones too, we just might have to try this recipe! :) Little bug is too cute for words. She is just adorable.

Heart2Heart said...


Cooking with Bug is so cute and adorable! She is such an amazing helper. I know I can convince my bugs to begin to help too once I show them this blog post!

Love to sample that, so can you cut a piece for me? The cheese just looks so delicious!

Love and Hugs ~ Kat

Dana said...

Watch out Rachel Ray! What a cute "on air" assistant you have for your "show"! Calzone looks delish!

Unknown said...

That looks so yummy and easy enough for me! Could I please have your dough recipe, pretty please? And does it come with your super cute assistant too, pretty please? : )

CottageGirl said...

It is such a good thing that you let your beautiful Bug help out!!! She is learning so much when she is with you cooking ... and not just about cooking!

Your recipe for the dough looks absolutely wonderful. If you get a chance, would you please send it to me? I would love to have it!

By the by -- what bread machine is that? I've never had one ... But I am intrigued by yours!

Last but not least ... that picture of you and Bug is adorable!!!!!! Two very beautiful girls!

Momma Chae said...

OH YUM. I am definitelt going to have to make that!!

Lani said...

whoaaaaaa. that looks. delicious. And yes, your little bug is seriously gorgeous:)

SouthernDogwoods said...

YUM!!! It looks delicious! I must try! Spinach was a great addition! Thanks for a great recipe!

McVal said...

Looks wonderful! Please email me the recipe for the calzone bread machine recipe. I've got some bbq beef in the crock pot today and that would be awesome with lots of other little veggies inside of one of those tonight for dinner!

Unknown said...

I'm totally convinced that you and Bug need to come out to visit and bring along a calazone or two or three!

I loved cooking with my daughters. They cook very well now because they were in the kitchen early, just like Bug. She's adorable.

Unknown said...

Oh man, I REALLY need a bread machine...if for nothing else than to make calzones. Yum, yum, yum. Bug looks so adorable in the pics and I LOVE seeing all the pets.

cherie said...


Sarah said...

Such a blessing to find this site! My boys are going to love the ideas and getting their hands even more messy with cooking with me.

Babbling with you all the way from Costa Rica,
Sarah Dawn

Dreamgirl said...

Oh, that just looks too good! I feel very hungry right now!

Now your Bug looks adorable. I love the pic where she is hugging the Bread Baking Machine... how cute!

I'll be back for more great ideas!

Jana said...

hey muffin! I have some recipe ideas and tips for you...but I don't know what in the world I did with your email...Im pretty sure I had it right...paint fumes have killed many brain cells today...

Yolanda said...


What a fun post to come and catch. Sweet memories that you are building for that beautiful little gal as well as yourself after she is gone making her own life. I cherish those times with my step-son from long ago and my grandchildren today.


WhiteStone said...

I've used my breadmaker to make lots of bread, but never calzones. Will try this for sure! Thanks! Bug is a great helper.

Relyn Lawson said...

What gorgeous children you have. That first picture is completely perfect. An exact capture of the giddy delights a child can feel in something we very often take for granted.

InWeighOverMyHead said...

Holy yuminess! That Bug of yours is too cute!

debra@dustjacket said...

I alwasy think of Seinfield when I hear calzone. We don't really hear it over here.

It looks totally yummy, and Miss Gorgeous is just the best!