Healthier Spinach Calzones- ready in 30 minutes

 

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Cottage cheese in place of ricotta- cuts the filling calories in half and the fat content by 75%

Sometimes I miss the days of just cooking for myself.

Making meatless meals and loving every minute of it.

Well those days are long gone. But I still fit in a meatless recipe now and then.

And my husband does not even complain as long as I give him advance warning:)

I was inspired to make this meatless calzone after enjoying a yummy fat laden one from a local pizza place.

I was determined to come up with one that I could enjoy more often without the guilt of ALL THAT CHEESE and OLIVE OIL.

So I cut back on the fat by using cottage cheese rather than ricotta. Ricotta has twice the calories and 4 times as much fat as cottage cheese.

And I find that in most baked Italian dishes cottage cheese can be substituted for the ricotta.

And the great thing is I could not even taste the cottage cheese in the calzone. It combines perfectly with the mozzarella and spices for a great tasting filling.

The calzones come together really quickly making it a perfect weeknight recipe.

Healthier Spinach Calzones

makes two large calzones, serves 4 (or 2 really hungry people:)

  • 1 lb bread or pizza dough, if frozen defrost it the refrigerator 4-8 hours, or at room temperature for 2 hours (I prefer the Bridgford or Trader Joe’s brands)
  • flour or cornmeal
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 4 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 10 oz package frozen spinach
  • 1/2 cup fat free cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup marinara, plus extra for dipping
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven to 400°F.

On a floured(or cornmealed) surface, cut the dough into two equal sections. Using your hands carefully spread the dough into a rectangle shape, approx 10″x 6″. Transfer the dough to a greased (or silpat or parchment paper lined) cookie sheet. Allow dough to rest while you prepare the filling.

Filling:

Defrost the spinach in the microwave (approx 4-5 minutes). Drain excess water from the spinach. Set aside.

While the spinach defrosts: Over medium heat, in a non-stick skillet add the olive oil and and the sliced mushrooms. Saute for about 3-5 minutes. Add spices and drained spinach to the mushrooms. Heat the spinach through (and evaporate any remaining water) and then add the cottage cheese to the skillet. Combine thoroughly. Set aside.

Assemble:

Spoon 1/4 cup of marinara over 1/2 of each section of dough. Add half of the filling to each section of dough. Top with mozzarella cheese. Fold the dough over the filling and pinch the seams closed. Cut 3 small slits in the top of each calzone to let the steam escape during baking.

Bake at 400°F for 15-20 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes. Serve with marinara.

Enjoy!

 

 

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Monday Randomness: The State of the Front Porch and other things

Saturday we did a few things around the house, and I did more painting on the cabinet doors. I actually think I will finish them this week.

Which means, I will just need to paint two walls in the kitchen that the builder only primed and then Joe will need to hang the floating shelves.

We will finish up some caulking and replace the sink and faucet and then we will be DONE with the kitchen!

And the masons are finishing up our porch after several set backs that involved rain.

Poppi is super excited about this development because having to walk through the garage to get outside really cramps his style.

Our Sunday involved a lot of egg shaped sugar cookies, ham and deviled eggs.

We had a great time with family and even fit in a great afternoon nap on my mom’s couch.

Retail Therapy: Books Worth Buying

I used to read a lot.

Like all summer when I was in junior high and high school.

And then life happened, I went to college, then got a big-girl job and got really busy.

Well recently I have really missed the relaxation and brain stimulation that only reading brings.

(aka I think Real Housewives of Atlanta is killing my brain cells and I need to remedy that ASAP)

So I have been putting my brain to work with few new books.

Here is what I have been reading.

The Antelope in the Living Room: The Real Story of Two People Sharing One Life

This is the best book on marriage that I have ever read. And it’s not full of great theological musings (although Tim Keller’s book The Meaning of Marriage is great too). It’s just the real story of two people living under one roof, committed for life. You will laugh a lot and cry a little. Melanie Shankle is to me is what I think Erma Bombeck was to my mom.

I am considering gifting it to new brides from now on. Every woman needs to read it. It’s really that good.

(And if you want a real treat -listen to the audio version, I can’t get enough of the author’s Texas accent as she reads)

Seasons: A Real Story of an Amish Girl

My mom gave my sisters and I this book for Christmas.

I read the whole thing in one sitting. I love true stories. And I love reading about the Amish which made this book perfect for me.

It’s unique in that it’s not written about a successful Amish family with lots of land and crops, but its about a simple family struggling to survive during the Great Depression.

I thoroughly enjoyed it (as did my sister-in-law Holly). It would be a great book for the pool this summer.

Dorie: The Girl Nobody Loved

My mom also passed this book on to me a few weeks ago.

And while I was home sick from church with pink eye a few Sunday’s ago I read the whole thing.

There were two things I liked about it.

#1. It’s a missionary biography which I have always loved reading

#2.The trial and suffering this lady went through as a child and young adult is amazing. It’s very open and honest.

If you like biographies and need an inspirational book it’s for you!

____________________________________________________________________

All of these books are in the $10 range and most have Kindle versions for even more savings.

I hope you have a happy Good Friday and Easter Sunday.

We will be celebrating it at church and with family.

Have a great weekend!

Original Recipe: Hot Chocolate Monkey Bread

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My grandma Deuink made the first monkey bread I ever tried.

And today is her birthday.

So this recipe will be in honor of her.

It’s easy and tasty. Perfect for office parties and church get-togethers.

And I am sure it would be lovely for a Easter brunch.

Enjoy!

Hot Chocolate Monkey Bread

  • 1 package frozen dinner roll dough (I like the Bridgford brand)
  • 2 individual packages of hot chocolate mix
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup butter, melted
  • 1/4 cup pecans or almonds, chopped (optional)

Grease a bundt cake pan.  In bowl, combine the hot chocolate mixes, sugars and cinnamon. Add the nuts (optional) and 1/2 cup of the sugar and hot chocolate mixture to the bottom of the bundt pan.

Dip each piece of frozen (or thawed) dough in the melted butter and roll in sugar and hot chocolate mix. Layer the dough evenly in prepared bundt pan. Pour the remaining melted butter over the dough. Cover and let rise until double in size or until dough reaches just under the top rim of pan (my frozen dough took about 4 hours to rise).

Tip: If you want to make it the night before but bake it in the morning, prepare the recipe with frozen dough, cover the bundt pan and place in the refrigerator overnight. By morning the dough will have defrosted and risen enough to be perfect for baking.

Bake in a 350ºF preheated oven for 35-40 minutes. Turn out of pan immediately and serve warm or room temperature.

Monday Randomness: Celebrations Galore

We had a very busy weekend filled with wedding bliss.

And we have even more next weekend, and then three in May (two of which I am helping with). Tis the wedding season.

In other words I didn’t do much cooking or even much cabinet painting, but here are a few pics from our weekend.

A country wedding in Piedmont, SC

brother-in-laws chatting it up at the reception

Then I also attended another personal shower(aka lingerie shower) for a friend of mine getting married next weekend.

My sister hosted the event, and she did a great job.

And then apparently the finches in our neightborhood don’t know that when setting up house location, location, location is important because we discovered this in our garage Saturday morning.

Finch Real Estate

Happy Monday everyone!

I consider it a good day if…

Recently, I was listening to someone complain about how bad their day was.

And it struck me how natural it is for me to dwell on the negative and forget or ignore the little things that make the monotony of day-to-day life great.

Here are a few of the things I came up with this week.

phone


Junk Mailburritos covers

steel magnolias

What little things make your life great?

Happy Friday and have a great weekend!

Original Recipe: Sun-dried Tomato and Italian Sausage Baked Frittata

 I had an afternoon home from work this past week, and it was not because I was sick.

I was waiting on the pest control guy to treat our house for termites…and then charge us $900.

So to ward off thoughts of all the other things I would have rather done with that money I made an egg dish.

Because that’s what everyone does when they are waiting on the pest control guy.

At least in my weird world it’s normal.

Anyway this dish can be served for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

It’s totally kid-friendly as long as you use mild sausage.

It’s sorta like a quiche but more like a frittata.

Make sense?

Good.

Here is the recipe.

Sun-dried Tomato and Italian Sausage Baked Frittata

  • 8 oz frozen shredded potatoes (hash browns)
  • 1 lb Italian sausage
  • 7 eggs
  • 1/2 cup half and half (or milk or whipping cream)
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1 cup extra sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
  • 1/4 cup diced sun-dried tomatoes

1. Preheat oven to 375°. Grease a pie dish, and then press the frozen shredded potatoes into the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and then bake for 20 minutes. Then set aside. Reduce the oven temperature to 350°.

2. In a skillet over medium high heat brown the Italian sausage. Once cooked through place on a plate with paper towels to drain. Set aside.

3. In a liquid measuring cup, add 7 eggs, half and half, all the spices. Mix until thoroughly combined.

4. Top the baked hash browns with the cheese and all the sausage. Sprinkle the sun-dried tomatoes on top, and then pour the egg mixture over everything.

5. Bake in the oven for 25 minutes. Carefully remove from oven once baked and let rest for 10 minutes before slicing.

6. Keeps in the refrigerator for 1 week. To reheat, cover and microwave for 30 sec.

 

 

My Mom’s Birthday, My TV Series Addiction and a Cake Giveaway- Winner Announced

Jen B @ 366 and more blog is the winner of the Daisy Cake Giveaway.

Jen, I will be emailing you this week with details.

Thanks random.org for helping with this giveaway.

And thanks for all the entries, everyone!

———————————————————————————————

I have an addiction.

I have had it for several years.

I watch Shark Tank, a lot.

download (1)

If you have never watched the show, it is a reality series where individuals pitch their ideas, companies, patents etc to get an investment from the show’s business moguls.

I find it incredibly interesting, educational and just plain fun.

And I love being introduced to new product lines.

Well last season Daisy Cakes was featured on Shark Tank.

(click here to watch her presentation)

And while Kim has had some bumps along the way, I was totally impressed with her presentation and product, and she lives right down the road from me.

daisy cakes website

Well I tucked her information away for next time I needed a special cake.

Fast forward 6 months, today is my mom’s birthday.

And guess what she got? A coconut cake from Daisy Cakes (of course, from me, her favorite daughter with red hair).

My mom gave the cake two thumbs up.

Happy Birthday Mom

So in honor of her birthday, I am giving one away this week, a $68 value.

You can enter two ways.

#1. Comment below with your favorite cake flavor.

#2. Share the giveaway on facebook and/or twitter and then leave a comment below that you did.

Random.org will pick a winner on Monday morning, April 7th.

This giveaway is for the US only. Sorry, no international shipping options.

The winner can choose the cake flavor and the shipping date; this would be perfect for an Easter or Mother’s Day celebration.

I was not compensated for this giveaway and all opinions are my own. 

The giveaway is over.

 

Monday Randomness: Flourless Brownies, Chipotle Steak Salads, Cabinet Doors, etc

Black Bean Brownies – No Flour Required!

I thought I would do another round up of recipes I have tried over the past week.

The photo I took above is the latest recipe I tried.

They are the first black bean brownies that I have tested that actually taste really good.

I liked them even better the next day, and the greatest part?

I made them in my blender:)

I added chocolate chunks and chopped pecans to the top of the batter before I baked them.

Go over to Chocolate Covered Katie and get the recipe.

Chipotle Steak Salad

Then Wednesday night I made some chipotle steak salad from the The Pioneer Woman’s blog.

They were tasty and perfect for the 80 degree week we had.

I also made my easy corn muffins to go with the salad, go here for that recipe.

 

Trisha Yearwood’s Sour Cream Coffee Cake with pecan swirl

I also made three of these sour cream coffee cakes for a bridal shower last week.

They were SO GOOD, more like a pound cake than a coffee cake.

But hey I will eat pound cake for breakfast any day.

Go here for Trisha’s recipe.

Italian Sausage and Sun-dried Tomato Frittat

This frittata was a result of an afternoon at home Thursday.

It was tasty, and I will post my recipe this week.

Then in keeping with the randomness of Monday’s post….

Here is the hair cut I got last week.

Herb seedlings that are finally sprouting.

Our partially cleaned out garage that makes me so much happier.

And I have six cabinet doors painted, but have 11 more to go.

I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel with this project.

Happy Monday!

My Mom’s Birthday, My TV Series Addiction and a Cake Giveaway

I have an addiction.

I have had it for several years.

I watch Shark Tank, a lot.

download (1)

If you have never watched the show, it is a reality series where individuals pitch their ideas, companies, patents etc to get an investment from the show’s business moguls.

I find it incredibly interesting, educational and just plain fun.

And I love being introduced to new product lines.

Well last season Daisy Cakes was featured on Shark Tank.

(click here to watch her presentation)

And while Kim has had some bumps along the way, I was totally impressed with her presentation and product, and she lives right down the road from me.

daisy cakes website

Well I tucked her information away for next time I needed a special cake.

Fast forward 6 months, today is my mom’s birthday.

And guess what she got? A coconut cake from Daisy Cakes (of course, from me, her favorite daughter with red hair).

My mom gave the cake two thumbs up.

Happy Birthday Mom

So in honor of her birthday, I am giving one away this week, a $68 value.

You can enter two ways.

#1. Comment below with your favorite cake flavor.

#2. Share the giveaway on facebook and/or twitter and then leave a comment below that you did.

Random.org will pick a winner on Monday morning, April 7th.

This giveaway is for the US only. Sorry, no international shipping options.

The winner can choose the cake flavor and the shipping date; this would be perfect for an Easter or Mother’s Day celebration.

I was not compensated for this giveaway and all opinions are my own.