This is a guest post by my friend, Kasie Robinson. Please check out her Artfire shop HERE. She kindly wrote a guest post for me during a busy week. I appreciate her input, and Kasie is quite a talented and funny writer.
Here is her guest post and story. As she jokingly called it the title is: Why I Can't Have Nice Things? Enjoy!
I was asked by Michelle about writing a guest post and my first, immediate thought was nope, don’t know nothin’ ‘bout ‘nothing, got nothin’ to say, leave me be. But then I thought of a recipe I could share. Of course, in order to share the recipe, I have to tell a long, convoluted story about the drama surrounding that recipe in the last week. People that know me know that all my stories are long and convoluted. Unfortunately for them, they can’t skip ahead when I’m talking. But you can. Feel free to skip ahead.
A long, long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away….early 1980s in rural northwestern Kansas, I took classes and belonged to a school club called DECA. Distributive Education Clubs of America. I didn’t know if those still existed but I found a website today and they appear to be going strong. Go DECA! Each year we got a sales kit full of little items to demonstrate and sell. I don’t remember what all they had. I remember a little imitation wood picture frame, a candle holder, an address book, a notepad. Just stuff. One of the items was a little cookbook to write recipes in. My mother got each of us (me and two brothers) a little cookbook and wrote various favorite recipes in them to take when we left home. I admit there are some recipes in that book I never used and a few I have used over and over and over and over and over and over in the 30 years I’ve had it.
Until last month when I “lost” it. I say “lost” because while I can’t find it anywhere, I am still hoping against hope it is in this house somewhere. It’s not where it’s supposed to be. It’s not anywhere I can think to look. It’s gone and my heart is broken. I’m almost afraid I might have set it down somewhere wrong and a furry beast knocked it into a trash can. That may sound like a long-shot, but stranger things have happened.
I can’t recommend enough that parents make up something like this cookbook for their kids. Yeah, you can get recipes anywhere. But there is something about “Mom’s” cooking that can’t be beat. It’s a little slice of love and home that you can take anywhere with you. Unless you’re an ungrateful wretch who loses it 30 years later.
I can probably find most all of the recipes in that book somewhere else. But they won’t be the same as “my” recipes. And they won’t be in my mommy’s handwriting. I have asked my mom to put together another little cookbook for me. She has agreed although she doesn’t remember what all is in it either. I can name off half a dozen recipes off the top of my head. A few of them are VERY, VERY important. My husband says, nonchalantly “oh it’s here somewhere.” What he doesn’t realize is: that cookbook contains the summer sausage recipe. I can’t make it without it and it’s almost summer sausage time. He’ll be getting a little more uptight here in a few weeks.
The other thing about this book is: Basically, I don’t cook. Oh, I have a shelf of cookbooks. I love to read recipes. But I don’t cook. There are a few things I can make and make well, and almost all of them are in that book and I have been making them since I was a kid. Which is why they are in the book in the first place.
The reason I noticed it missing now is because it was time to think of what I wanted for my birthday dinner and that recipe, the recipe I am sharing today, was in the cookbook. It’s a fairly simple recipe but it makes more than just the two of us can eat, so we usually only make it when there are several of us around. It’s a “special occasion” recipe for us but it doesn’t have to be for anybody else. I don’t know where my mom got it, and last time I asked her, she said she didn’t remember either. Although I’m sure it’s a common recipe, I haven’t seen it anywhere else.
It’s probably not a cheap recipe and it’s not a healthy recipe (fried bread!), although I’m sure someone who knows what they are doing could make it more cheaply and more healthier. But this is the way I know to make it and it’s yummy.
IF YOU SKIPPED AHEAD, this is where you start now. Enjoy!
Calzones (Meat Pies)
1 pkg Pillsbury hot roll mix (uses oil, water and 1 egg to mix)
1/2 lb hamburger meat (we use 1 pound)
1 garlic clove, crushed OR 1 tsp garlic powder
1/4 tsp crushed oregano
1 cup ricotta cheese OR cottage cheese
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
3/4 tsp salt
8 oz shredded mozzarella cheese (will use only half, maybe)
(Note: If you have a good bread recipe, you can probably make that in place of using the roll mix. Because we use double the hamburger meat the recipe calls for and the roll mix has shrunk over the years, we always end up with more meat mixture than roll mix. I also sometimes bulk up, but not double, the other ingredients for a little more flavor.)
Prepare roll mix and directed and let rise 45 minutes until doubled. While that is rising, cook hamburger, garlic and oregano until brown. Spoon off fat. Stir in ricotta cheese and parmesan cheese, salt and egg; set aside.
Turn dough onto lightly floured surface; cover with bowl and let rise 5 minutes. Cut dough into pieces and roll into 4 inch circles. Spread with a few teaspoons of meat mixture and top with mozzarella. Moisten edges with water and seal.
Place pies on cookie sheet and cover with plastic wrap. Let rise 5 minutes.
In heavy skillet over medium heat, heat 1 inch of vegetable oil to 370 degrees. Fry pies until golden. These are best served piping hot, in my opinion.
I can’t tell you how many this yields because we cut them out into any old shape and size we like. We probably usually get about a dozen out of each batch, with leftover meat mixture my husband puts in sandwiches later.