Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Beach and Butternut Squash Calzones

First of all, I'd like to state the obvious: I love calzones!

They're easy to make and so wonderfully customizable for whatever I've got hanging out in the fridge.  Er...maybe not ANYTHING, but at least the stuff that hasn't developed it's own ecosystem.

Secondly, before I tie that statement to anything relevant (like, say, a recipe) I want to talk about my week.  Not this one.  Last one.

Last week, The Huz took a week off from work so we could have our first real family vacation.  We took a trip to Albany to visit his grandfather (very enjoyable trip, though unfortunately he passed away this morning, BDE), took The Boo to the library for the first time (she had a blast in the baby room!), took a trip to the beach (deets and pics to follow), and spent the weekend out of town with some friends.

All in all, it was a wonderful, though exhausting, week.

Let me focus for a minute on that beach trip.


I've been craving the beach for a long, long, long time.  The last time I'd been to one was in Florida a year before I got married.  So that's 6 years.  6 years with no beach.  Do you get me?

I love the beach.  I love to sit by the water, letting the waves lap at my toes.  I love to stare out at the vast, endless ocean and get lost in my thoughts.  I love the breeze in my hair, the air in my lungs, the sand between my toes.  I love it all.

There's something downright magical about water.  I could take this moment to tie it to any number of Jewish mystical concepts, but that's not really my area of expertise.  All I know is that the beach feels right, and it's one of the only places I can really, completely relax.

So I went to the beach with The Huz, leaving The Boo with The 'Rents (like those nicknames?), and just sat on the sand.  I dug in my toes, pulled out a book, and let myself relax for the first time in a long while.  I would have stayed all day, but my husband is not as fond of beaches as I am, and he couldn't handle much more, so we went home.  But I went home feeling happy and refreshed.

The discovery of this particular beach so nearby, small as it is, is a game changer for me.  I now know exactly what I'll be doing every vacation day I can get.

On that fine note, let's change gears.  Back to the grind.  Last night I had to make dinner again.  Can you guess what I made?  That's right.  Calzones.

I want to note that I made some mistakes with this particular recipe.  I should have roasted the butternut squash prior to putting it in the calzone.  Duh.  But I was hungry and wanted to get this done fast, so I just sliced it very thin and prayed.  It was wrong of me, and i apologize to all who were hurt because of my actions.

Shockingly, even without precooking, the calzones came out yummy, just with firmer squash than I would have liked.

Butternut Squash Calzones

  • 1 pizza dough recipe (mine can be found here)
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and sliced or chunked
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and chopped
  • Ricotta or cottage cheese
  • shredded mozzarella
  • olive oil for sauteing
  1. If you want to be sure your butternut squash is cooked, unlike I did, places the slices (or chunks might be better) on a pan and roast until cooked through.
  2. saute the onions and garlic until cooked (about 5-10 minutes)
  3. Mix onions, butternut squash, and cheeses in a large bowl
  4. roll out your pizza dough.  For my recipe, I cut the dough ball in half and rolled each ball into a pizza shape.  Fill one side, and fold over the other, pinching the edges together until sealed all around.
  5. Place calzones on a pizza stone, pizza crisper pan, or a broiling pan (I think that's what I was using...)
  6. Bake at 425 for about 15 minutes or until the outside looks crisp and lightly browned.

A final note about the beach:  It was marvelous.  I loved it.  But can I just say I felt unbelievably creepy sitting there with my dSLR camera shooting pictures of strangers in bathing suits while I was fully dressed?  Also, thanks to MyShtub for the idea of shooting feet.  They really do add a great point of interest.  And no, I didn't know the little girl who's feet can be seen in the 4th beach picture, but they just trotted into my line of site when I was trying to get wave shots, so I went for it.

Cuteness note:  The little girl to whom the feet belonged was trying to dig a ditch to keep seaweed in, and she was singing a little song about it while she was digging and desperately trying to keep the waves from washing the seaweed away.

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