Saturday, November 3, 2012

Stromboli or Calzone??

So what's the difference between a calzone and a stromboli? It seems that they are used interchangeably. Maybe the only difference is that calzones are folded in half where strombolis are rolled.

Well... according to Man vs. Food the difference is calzones are filled with cheese. I can't find any confirmation on what really makes them different. I always thought that calzones had sauce inside, but I am finding that some stromboli recipes do too.

Well...I've always called my recipe here it is...meat, cheese and toppings rolled in pizza dough. Yum!

Take a look at the bottom of this post for freezing directions too! It's a great meal that you pop out of your freezer.

Here are the ingredients! Yummy!

Rachie's Stromboli
-pizza dough (2 crust recipe or  2-16 oz. refrigerated packages)
-1/4 lb. deli salami, thinly sliced
-1/4 lb. deli sandwich pepperoni, thinly sliced
-1/4 lb. deli Virginia ham, thinly sliced
-Parmesan cheese
-Mozzarella cheese, shredded (fresh has the best flavor)
-1 small onion, minced
-1 green pepper, minced
-1 package fresh mushrooms, diced or sliced
-pizza seasoning (my recipe below)

Roll out the dough onto a a floured surface or a plastic pie sheet. Cut into two equal rectangles.

Put an overlapping layer of salami down the middle. Follow up with an overlapping of the sandwich pepperoni.
(Sandwich pepperoni is so much easier to work with and so yummy. You can substitute little slices if that's all you have to work with.)
 Cover the pepperoni with a little layer of mozzarella. Be careful not to add too much or it will come spilling out while it's cooking!

Sprinkle some pizza seasoning on top.

This is where you put in your toppings. You can use really any pizza toppings you like. I love mushrooms, onions and green peppers with mine. You can even skip the toppings altogether if you aren't a veggie fan.

Next, top with some Parmesan cheese. Mmm!

Now comes the secret! Add the deli ham on top of everything. This will secure your cheeses and toppings inside your stromboli.

Now gather your long sides together. I kind of roll and pinch them together. Then, roll in the small ends. I normally find some extra dough at the end and I pull it up towards each other to cover any holes in the dough.
Right now you are looking at what is called the steam side. It is the part where your steam can escape. This side will be face down on your ungreased cookie sheet or stone. I prefer a stone for my pizzas and strombolis.

Top each stromboli with a spray of cooking spray or a light coat of melted butter for a great golden crust.

Here are two ready for the oven. Notice that I have not cut any holes in the dough. Some recipes I have read suggest cutting slits for the steam to escape. This has just left lots of oozing cheeses, so I don't bother.

I normally bake them at 425' for 20-25 min., but you can follow your pizza crust directions to make sure. You will know they are done when they are golden brown.

Serve the stromboli in thinly cut pieces and dip in your favorite sauce or dip. We love this Cheesy Pizza Fondue or dipping it in some melted butter with garlic butter.

Pizza Seasoning
2 1/2 T paprika
2 T salt
2 T garlic powder
1 T black pepper
1 T onion powder
1 T oregano*
1 T thyme*
1/2-1 T cayenne pepper or crushed red pepper

-Combine thoroughly. Store in airtight container.

*can substitute the oregano and thyme with 2 T Italian Seasoning

Each recipe makes about 4 strombolis depending on your pizza dough recipe, which would serve 4-6 people.

This recipe is a perfect freezer recipe. Follow the directions until they are all rolled up. Wrap in plastic wrap. Then, wrap in foil. Place in a freezer bag. Write cooking directions on the bag (temp, time and adding the butter or cooking spray). When you are ready to use them, pull what you need out and put right into the pre-heated oven. Add about 10 min. more cooking time than the original recipe.

Hope you enjoy this fast, easy and yummy recipe! It's a staple around here!!

Friday, November 2, 2012

My Journey to 80: Answered Prayer

This is Part 3 of my series "My Journey to 80".
Read Part 1: The Beginning.
Read Part 2: After Pregnancy.


I hope you haven't been too overwhelmed or feel a sense of hopelessness from reading parts 1 & 2 of my story. This is definitely where God shows His power and provision in my I headed to the ER.

I wish I could recall ALL of the ways God provided answers to prayers during 10 months of pregnancy, 7 months of leg pain and then almost 3 weeks of pain after the delivery of my baby girl...but time has deleted some of them from my memory. I do, however, remember several that really stick out to me.

I praise God for my next door neighbor. Thanks Norma! She had walked a similar road of back pain. She helped me walk to the car to get my spinal injection and held my hand as fear and faith battled through the pain. She was there to bring dinner and watch my little one when we needed to go to tons of appointments before and after surgery.

I praise God for my nurse friend who worked at the ER, brought dinner, had her husband mow the lawn for my husband, held my hand as I screamed, talked about my pain meds with me, prayed with me, met the ambulance, came with me to the hospital and handpicked my ER doctor for me. Thank you Sylvia!

I praise God that my best friend was in town. She rocked and fed my baby girl. She was Mom for that entire week of pain. She also sacrificed sleep to pray with me and gave me massages to relieve any pain that she could. She read me scripture and sang worship songs to me too! I will never forget crying out to God with her.  Thanks Abby! You're the best!
Abby and my teeny baby girl
Life could not have gone on without my Mom and my Mother-in-law. They kept my family going. They made tons of meals, cleaned, changed diapers, were another set of Moms for my baby when I couldn't even hold her, and they supported my husband when he needed sooo much help! They are the greatest women in my life! Thank you God for both of them!

I praise God that I had a teeny baby girl. Those early days were so difficult to not hold my baby girl and take care of her. God planned her size according to my ability. We can always trust His plans!

I praise God that He arranged the right doctor to be in the ER. Dr. Yeager called two neurosurgeons until one would admit me and get me into surgery. The first one he called wanted to send me home! Not to mention that I knew his family because his daughter was in the other first grade class. It was such a blessing to see a familiar face who wanted to help me!

I praise God that after making my trip to the ER, within 30 min. I finally had relief from my pain. Dilated, I never knew your name before, but thank you that you exist! Thank you Lord that the neurosurgeon had an opening for surgery Monday evening. Within 3 hours I met a nurse practitioner from his practice was giving me surgery options! I had a severe herniation in my L5-S1 and a smaller one in L4. Some people wait months to years for back surgery! I was getting a microdiscectomy the next day!

Lastly, I praise God for my husband. He protected, provided, supported, encouraged, and calmed me down. He took care of all the details. I remember him waiting in person for my written scripts and facing the nurse so I could get them as soon as possible. He worked from home so I had him near me if I needed him. He took care of our newborn at all hours of the night. He took me to every doctors appointment. He held my hand every moment I needed him. He was my everything when everything meant sooo much.
my amazing man and my sweet baby girl

I know I am missing many who helped me and kept us going when life was hard. I am thankful for how God used you all during the darkest hours of my life. The hours may have been painful, but the Light of the World was working it out and shining through all of you.

"You are the light of the world--like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden." Matthew 5:14 (NLT)

God could not be hidden. Those who walked the path with me could see and feel God at work. Surgery came, but God wasn't done working!