Monday, August 19, 2013

Sweet Italian Sausage Calzone

With Fall approaching and school starting back, I know that everyone wants easy weeknight recipes. This one was so yummy, easy and you can really customize it however you'd like. The husband ate two servings and said it was as good as any restaurant!

Sweet Italian Sausage Calzone
- 1 pkg pre-made pizza dough (I used Trader Joe's, but Pillsbury also has a yummy version in a can)
- 1/2 jar of your favorite pizza sauce
- 1 cup of shredded mozzarella
- 1 cup of sliced mushrooms
- 1/2 of a sweet onion chopped
- meat of choice (I used 2 links of Trader Joe's pre-cooked sweet Italian chicken sausage sliced and it was delish!)
- Seasoning of choice (salt, pepper, oregano, basil, garlic powder, etc.)

1. Pre-heat oven to 350 (or whatever temp is specified on your pkg of pizza dough).

2. Roll out your pizza dough according to directions on a floured (not greased) baking sheet or pizza stone.

3. Spoon a couple scoops of your favorite pizza sauce on half of the flattened dough and spread with the bottom of your spoon. Sprinkle with about a handful of cheese over the sauce.

4. Heat a splash of EVOO in a saute pan and add the mushrooms, onions and sausage. Cook for about 5-7 min or until just slightly carmelized.

5. Spoon the cooked sausage, mushroom, onion mixture onto side of the dough covered in sauce and cheese. Sprinkle with seasonings of your choice. I used crushed red pepper, garlic powder, oregano and dried basil.

5. Top the sausage, mushroom, onion mixture with a couple more spoonfuls of pizza sauce and another handful of cheese.

6. Fold over the other half of the dough and seal the edge by pressing down firmly. Cut a couple slits into the top so the steam can release. Brush some EVOO on top and sprinkle with any seasonings you'd like. I used, garlic powder, dried basil and oregano.

Bake at 350 (or whatever temp your dough requires) for 15-18 min. The top should be slightly brown and the inside will be bubbling. Serve with the remaining pizza sauce for dipping and any green veggie or side salad. This will make one large calzone that serves approximately 4-6. Enjoy!

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Thursday, August 15, 2013


If you follow me on Instagram, you've noticed a plethora of random house projects popping up recently. Reason being, I am finally getting to start on the nursery... but in order to do that, we had to complete several other check-list items. No, we don't have a baby yet- but the fact that it could happen any day is sending my nesting into overdrive. You can see for yourself..

Back in June, our master bedroom closet shelves collapsed and we've just now gotten around to fixing it thanks to my crazy busy summer. While I would've loved a California closet from the container store, this is probably the absolute last room in the house where I want to actually spend money. So the obvious solution?
 Yes, the husband braved Ikea with me on a Sunday and also got a much-deserved cinnamon roll. I mean a cart full of miscellaneous Swedish parts just screams easy right? Exactly. Well four days and two trips to Home Depot later, we got our closet. Somewhere in Sweden, I picture a room full of furniture designers laughing together over a bowl of meatballs at the fact that none of their products come with screws or any hardware whatsoever and that leaves Americans scratching their heads at the pamphlet full of numbered pictures they like to call instructions. Nonetheless, our closet is still standing almost two weeks later.

Next on the list was to convert our guest room closet into an office nook which we've affectionately named the Cloffice. This allowed us to move the desk out of our current third bedroom to make room for our baby and everything he or she will most certainly accumulate over the coming months. I'm pretty happy with the result. Are there way cuter options on Pinterest? Of course. Am I happy with the fact that I only spent about $25 on supplies? Absolutely.

Next in line was really something that I've been wanting for several years now and we figured we'd better do it now, because this would be the last thing we'd actually want to spend money on once baby joins the fam. New bedding for our bed. After doing lots of looking online, I've determined that I really just am a Pottery Barn girl at heart. Their style fits me perfectly and you really can't argue with the quality. So I drove down to my local PB (city girl perk) and headed straight to the sale area. Low and behold, I was able to snag this whole set (duvet cover, two standard shams and two euro shams for around $150). By PB standards that's a great deal. Actually it's still on sale on their website here.

Last but not least, our first nursery item came in the mail yesterday. A pouf ottoman from Walmart. Yes, you read that right. These bad boys that are all the rage on Pinterest these days can cost you a pretty penny from various retailers (I'm talking $500 or more), but Walmart has a decent selection ranging in price from $30-$100.  I'm sorry, but unless it's made by leprechauns and filled with gold, it's not worth spending that much for something to put your feet on while rocking a screaming baby. The one we got was $30 and it really is larger than I thought it'd be and seems to be pretty good quality. So here is your first peek into what will be baby O's room. We haven't painted the walls yet, but that is next on this list...

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Saturday, August 10, 2013

Bruschetta Chicken with Avocado

This summer has been so crazy busy that it's been a while since I cooked posted a recipe. This was one we had a while back that was so so yummy! I would definitely make this again when we have people over because it looks super fancy pants but was really pretty easy.

Bruschetta Chicken with Avocado (adapted from here)
1 cup balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper
1/2 cup pre-made bruschetta topping
1 avocado, sliced
4oz mozzarella cheese, sliced (or 1 cup shredded)
baby spinach or pasta, for serving

1. Pour balsamic vinegar into a small saucepan then bring to a boil. Turn heat down to medium then simmer and reduce until vinegar is thick enough to coat a spoon, about 20 minutes. (Vinegar will continue to thicken while cooling.) Set aside to cool.

2. Place oven rack in top position then preheat broiler.

3. Brush chicken breasts with extra virgin olive oil then season with salt and pepper on both sides.

4. Add EVOO to a large skillet (I also added some chopped garlic) and heat to medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts and cook for 4-5 minutes a side, or until no longer pink in the center.

3. Line a baking dish with foil and spray with non-stick spray and transfer chicken.

4. Top chicken with a scoop of bruschetta mixture, 3-4 slices avocado and 1 slice mozzarella each. Broil until cheese has melted and drizzle with the balsamic reduction.

I served it over spinach alongside some fresh avocado as more of a salad but this would also be amazing over pasta. Enjoy!

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