Monday, July 20, 2009

Cordially Uninvited (aka Calzones & Ice Cream Day!)

Once a year or so, I have one of those days where I just stay in. And I don’t mean “stay in” as in forego drinks on Saturday night. I mean “stay in” as in “Honeys, I’ll see y'all in 24 hours, ok?”

It’s really a lot of fun and a necessary annual event for me. I turn off the cell phone, unplug the computer, remain in my house in my favorite soft shirt and fuzzy pink socks, and really just decompress. Relax. Chill. Just once a year or so. We all have some sort of list of day-to-day, taxing nonsense we experience and we all have a need to get away from it every so often.

Here is my list:
the grind,
living in a large city,
over-stimulation,
honking horns,
noise,
electronics,
people,
vibrations,
commerce,
ads,
and as Sting sang, “too much information, running through my brain.”

Don't get me wrong, mine is a stimulating life that I love and have chosen. But once in a blue moon, I just love to say, “Thank you for coming, World, I had a fabulous time with you. Now please leave, and don’t let the door hit you’re a$s on the way out. See you tomorrow.”

And you know what? It's a great feeling to totally do it and give yourself permission. Just once! Allow the kids a sleepover night at their friends' house, schedule one personal day off from work, or have your partner go run the errands and do the laundry this once. Hang out in your fuzzy socks.

That’s just what I did last Saturday. After I sighed, I smiled. It was a glorious day of well-deserved quiet, lounging, staring at the clouds, spacing out…Oh and I baked some calzones and made homemade ice cream…and had a little indoor pizza party with my fiancĂ©. We ate dessert first. :) I recommend this.
While we all know how amazing it can feel to vacation far, far, away, I must fully and wholly sing the praises of the random vacation that’s close, close, inside...


SPINACH & CHEESE CALZONES

Dough:
1 1/2 teaspoons yeast
1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
1 cup lukewarm (wrist temp) water
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
2 1/2-3 cups whole wheat flour (or combo of flours totalling this amount)
Olive oil

Filling:
2 Tbs. olive oil
1 sprig of thyme leaves
2 minced cloves of garlic
1 small sliced onion
1 lb. fresh spinach (or kale, or collards, or chard), washed and chopped
¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 tbs. dried sweet basil
2 cups grated mozzerella
½ cup grated parmesan
Sea salt & fresh-cracked pepper
½ jar of your favorite tomato sauce

MAKE DOUGH:
Soften together yeast, water and honey.

Add salt and flour to make a soft dough. With floured hands and floured board, knead 10 minutes, or till smooth and elastic, adding flour if necessary to keep from being too sticky.

Place the dough ball into an oiled bowl, cover with plastic or a tea towl, and let rise till doubled (about 1 hour).

While dough is rising, prepare the filling (see below for directions)

Punch down. Divide into six sections and roll out in rounds 1/4 inch thick.

Fill with 1/2-3/4 cup the greens/cheese filling, placing the filling on one half of the circle, leaving a 1/2 inch rim. Add a tablespoonful of tomato sauce on top of filling.

Moisten the rim with a little water, fold the empty side over, and crimp the edges.

Prick here and there with a fork to allow steam to escape.

Bake on a parchment-lined cookie sheet lined with cornmeal (or an oiled tray, or a baking stone) in a preheated 450 oven for 15-20 minutes or till crisp and lightly browned.

Serve hot, with a little extra tomato sauce on the side for dipping.

MAKE FILLING:
1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add garlic, thyme and onions. Stir and cook 10 minutes or so, until onions are slightly caramelized. Stir often.

2. Add greens and red pepper flakes and stir, cooking until greens are wilted. Remove from heat.

3. In a medium-sized bowl, combine the ricotta, parmesan, mozzarella, basil and salt & pepper. Stir in the warm greens mixture, and taste. Adjust seasonings if necessary.

EASY VANILLA CHOCOLATE CHIP ICE CREAM

Ingredients:

* 1 cup heavy cream
* 1 cup light cream* (half and half)
* 1/2 cup sugar
* 3/4 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
* 1 pinch salt
* 1/4 cup mini chocolate chips (or chocolate shavings)

Whisk all ingredients (except chocolate chips) in a large mixing bowl. Stir until sugar dissolves. Add to ice cream maker and freeze according to machine's directions. Stir in chips 5 minutes before ice cream maker time is up.

Makes 1 quart (that should cover a campy 60s double feature for two on cable TV)

*1/2 cream and 1/2 milk may be substituted for light cream

4 comments:

Jessica Martiele said...

Are you KIDDING ME? That ice cream wouldn't last through ONE campy 60's movie...for JUST ME. I've been wanting an excuse to buy my husband the ice cream maker of his dreams (ours died a handful of years ago), and I think the time has come. Thank you, Flapper Girl. From the bottom of my gullet.

flappergirl said...

Hahahaha!!! Jessica, I think I was being generous in the writing, but I'm totally with you. That ice cream was gone before the credits rolled on flick #1!! LOL

Joanne Fanelli said...

From one bella to another, family dinners were a big part of our lives. We always had calzones on Sunday in Philadelphia. So, here's to you, big city sis! Those hot pockets were tasty.

flappergirl said...

hi Joanne!
I wish I could go back in time and have one of the calzones you grew up with. I bet they were awesome :)

 
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