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Pie Crust Pepperoni Calzone

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You guys don't know the struggle I had making this calzone.  Ugh!  I know I can be dramatic, but really though...

This particular day, I preheated the oven in preparation for baking.  I then got to work with my pie crust, which thought I had defrosted enough to use for this calzone.  However, it still wasn't pliable enough for me to fold over or even move around without breaking.  And break it did...  I tried for what feels like forever to make this work.  Guess what?  It wasn't working.  I only generated a pile of broken pie crust pieces.  Womp womp.

Never fear!  Living in Hoboken means I have a grocery store three blocks away, so I ran there to buy more pie crust (with a pit stop to get iced coffee, obviously!) and was back 15 minutes later.  As I walked back into my kitchen, I instantly realized that I had left the oven on.  I thought I had turned it off because I had pressed a button and the oven beeped at me.  That means it's off, right?  No!

Once I got over my annoyance at myself, I realized the pie crust which had offended me 15 minutes earlier was now at a perfect temperature to roll out and use for my calzone!  Soooo, I ended up using the original pie crust instead of the one that I had left my apartment to purchase.  Isn't cooking fun?  This is fun.  So. much. fun.

I had toyed with the idea of using regular pizza crust for this calzone and I'm really happy I stuck with the pie crust.  The calzone was flaky and completely delicious.  The only potential drawback is that you will need to use a knife and fork to eat this.  The pie crust just isn't substantial enough to hold the filling.  This is so delicious that I couldn't really care less!  Just make it yourself and see!

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Corn Salad

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Here I go again, losing my dang mind over fresh summer corn.  It happens every year and there's really nothing I can do about it.  I'm just so in love with that fresh sweet/tart corn!

This year, I found a new recipe with which to inhale my summer corn: Corn Salad.  Why have I never done anything like this before?  OK, I've made kinda, sorta, similar recipes, but they are definitely not the same.  Which means that basically I needed to make this one.  Plus! It's got feta cheese and basil in it so I need need neeeed this in my life...Is this how adults throw temper tantrums?  I feel like this is how it all starts.

Anyhow, I am basically head over heels in LOVE with this dish.  I couldn't stop standing at my kitchen counter "taste-testing".   This may also be known as "eating the corn salad out of the serving bowl".  I see you judgy mc-judgersons.  Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do.

Final thought before chowing down on some more of this salad: Can someone please create a super easy way to cut corn kernels off the cob?  There got to be another way!  I use the bundt pan method (link in recipe below), which is so far the easiest method I've tried.  However, the kernels still tend to pop all over the place.  Stay still, darnit!  Your only job is to fall into the bundt pan!  OK, so, if you have any other tips/recommendations for removing kernels from corn, lemme know!

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Overnight Cinnamon Raisin French Toast

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Well, I finally did it.  I broke down and purchased an air conditioner.  I had resolved that I wouldn't do it. I could stick it out and make it through the summer.  Yesss, you got this girl.

Two days into a massive heat wave (but it was really just two days in the high 80's/low 90's), I decided that maybe I couldn't do this.  No, you don't got this.  Get a grip on reality so you can stop taking 4 showers a day because of how much you're sweating.

I trekked over to Home Depot over the weekend and picked up a window air conditioning unit.  I got someone to help me bring it upstairs, and then I got someone to install it.  Ahhhh instant cold air goodness!  You know what this means, right?  Time to turn on the oven and bake all the things!

So that's pretty much what had to happen.

For this month's Secret Recipe Club, I was assigned to Wendy's blog, A Day in the Life on the Farm.  Something I love about the SRC is that I get to peruse so many different blogs.  Everyone has such an interesting story to tell!  Wendy and her husband are both retired cops who decided to move to a small town and purchase several acres of property.  Pretty soon there were fruit trees, chickens and other livestock being raised there.  They had somehow turned their space into a farm, hence the name of the blog!

I was sorely tempted to make Wendy's Waffles recipe, as Ive been looking for a decent waffle recipe for a while.   Could this be the holy grail recipe I'm looking for?  I also really wanted to make the Stollen Bread Pudding (I'm on a carb-up diet, in case you couldn't tell) but this Overnight Cinnamon Raisin French Toast swooped in and held me hostage!

Not only am I a fan of cinnamon and raisin, but I'm also obsessed with baking my French Toast.   Additionally, this overnight version required only a few minutes of prep the night before so the next morning all i had to do was put it in the oven.  This is so ridiculously easy and tasty!!

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Lemon Hummus

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The heat has arrived!  The heat has arrived!

Guess what, as I suspected, I love/hate it.  I love that it's so nice and warm.  BUT.  I didn't realize that my cute little 4th floor walk up with the skylight in the ceiling absolutely traps heat like none other.  So that's splendid.  I'm really trying to survive without A/C this summer.  I can make it, right?  Someone please say "yes".

So far, I've only broken down and gone to the neighborhood coffeeshop to bask in the air conditioning once.  OK, maybe twice.  I just really suck at making iced coffee and the two times I drank hot coffee in my apartment over the past week have left me dripping in sweat.  Not cute.  And how can I resist an iced Nutella latte.  Iced. Nutella. Latte.  It was fabulous.

This lemon hummus is almost as fabulous.  I really can't compare hummus to chocolate.  Chocolate will always win.  However, if you're really trying to be on top of your health game, then this lemon hummus is the shizzz.  Generously dip vegetables and/or pita and/or crackers into this fountain of citrus-y goodness (do you like that description?) and proceed to eat without caution.

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Turkish Borek

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You're probably wondering how this works.

Basically, you invite friends over for brunch, even though you don't really have brunch food.  But you do have bacon, so OK, you're doing something well...Then you turn on the Spotify Hip Hop radio station while you decide you want to make something completely new (Turkish Borek!) and test it out on your unsuspecting friends.  Then you start to panic when you realize that brushing layers of phyllo dough while assembling the aforementioned recipe is taking about 3000 extra hours than you originally planned.  As your friends arrive, you continue to assemble the recipe which you thought would already be in the oven by now.  Your hand cramps up from brushing all those layers and you take a pause in order to slice up guavas that happen to be sitting on your kitchen counter (don't we all have guavas on our kitchen counters?).  You also reach into your junk food cabinet and pull out a container of Cadbury Creme Egg cookies that you got on clearance right after Easter and have been dying to try but had no good reason to open up an entire package of cookies that you know you would eat in one sitting.  Proceed to arrange these cookies on a tray and serve up.  Promptly eat 3 of the 6 cookies.  Oh, and you do have one and a half bottles of wine and two bottles of stout beer to offer as well.  Don't forget about those.  Classy.

As Tupac and Biggie harmonize in the background, you quickly finish assembling the Turkish Borek, pop it in the oven, and guzzle down a glass or two of wine.  Finally, you remove the Borek, pop in a baking sheet filled with bacon because you don't make bacon in a frying pan any longer, and then finally after another 200 years, you're ready to serve up a well-balanced meal of Turkish Borek and bacon.

Ghetto 90's Hip Hop brunch is served!

PS - This borek was delicious!  It reminds me of a Jamaican meat patty, which I grew up eating in the Bahamas.  Yesss!!!

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Summer Pumpkin Pizza

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I'm convinced if you add basil and arugula to a thing, it can become a "summer" thing.  So even though I totally took a fall/winter vegetable such as pumpkin and added it to my pizza, once I topped everything with greens...voila...instant summer food!  Heck, even if I'm outvoted, you can't deny that this is basically a "salad".

I'm a big proponent of eating what I want when I want it.  In this case, I couldn't get the idea of a pumpkin pizza out of my mind.  This pairing was prompted by a find of both pumpkin puree and pizza dough in my freezer.  Once I saw both of them, I immediately knew what I had to do.  I wasn't sure this would be seasonally appropriate meal, but in addition to adding greens to this pizza, I also threw on some corn and sweet peppers.  Come on.  You can't deny it now.  Get on board this summer pizza/salad train as fast as you can!

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Spiced Pear Quick Bread

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Another month, another Secret Recipe Club post!  It's May!  How did we get here already?  I'm not a fan of this "time travel" thing we seem to be doing.  Something I AM looking forward to, however, is the warmer months.  Let's move it along Winter.  Let's allow Spring to have a few weeks so we can smoothly usher in Summer.  I need to come out of hibernation soon!

 

As I'm trying to move this process along, I figured I'd see if making a summer-y quick bread would help Mother Nature out.  Makes sense, right?  Please say yes.  Yes.

I was paired up with Renee from Renee's Kitchen Adventures this month.  Renee and I both love cooking and baking, though she has been doing it since she was a teenager and I've been doing it for only the past 8 years or so.  Renee has been on a quest to serve healthy and delicious dishes to her family.  Over the past few years I've come to feel the same way.  However, this blog DID start out as a cupcakes blog, so let's just say that I come from "humble beginnings".  And you will definitely find desserts scattered among my recipes because I am in a long-term relationship with sugar.

Several of Renee's recipes stood out to me: Crockpot Chicken Chili (I don't care if it's not crockpot weather!), Fresh Apple Cinnamon Quick Bread (I love quick breads and cannot get enough), Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (chocolate and pumpkin - I want!), Peanut Butter & Banana Streusel Muffins (have I mentioned how much I love muffins?).  The Spiced Pear Quick Bread eventually won out above all the other choices mostly because I wanted to incorporate a summer fruit into the mix.  Mother Nature needs a gently nudge!  Thanks so much for the recipe Renee!

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Spicy Chocolate Crinkle Cookies

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I just got back from a trip to the Bahamas this week!  I loved being back home in Nassau, but now I'm back in the cold and rainy Northeast.  You can't have it all.  To cope, Ive been inhaling those Chili Nut M&M's.  Remember when I talked about them a few weeks ago?  Well, it's still a thing that is happening.

Since I've been obsessively purchasing bags of these candies for the past few weeks, I was reminded of the chocolate cayenne cupcakes that I made EONS ago (how has it been almost 6 years!).  I loved those, but I had totally forgotten about them.  I try not to make the same recipe twice, so I decided to make a cookie variation using the same flavor concept.  Since I also hadn't made cookies in a while, this actually worked out perfectly!

I have to admit that I ended up "taste-testing" quite a few of these cookies.  They were so delicious!  In spite of their crinkly appearance, the cookies were soft and chewy.  And of course there was the spicy kick at the end that I really enjoy.  I definitely recommend you make these and take them everywhere with you.  You can make a ton of friends in one day by sharing.  Or you could sit at home and eat them all.  I won't tell.

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