Three Meat Pizza Casserole

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This one has been pinned for a while, and I just never got around to it. Tonight is the night!
My girlfriend Jenna was over today with her son Oliver. We were fine tuning some ideas for our vacation next summer. The original thought was pizza, but then I thought, casserole!
You start by making some pasta. The recipe calls for bowtie, but I had penne rigate, so that’s what I used.
Then, in a separate pan, fry up a diced onion, 2 tbsp of chopped garlic and 1 tsp dried oregano with some Italian sausage. You will have to squeeze the sausage out of the skin-like tube. It’s kind of fun, if a little gross looking!
Then you start layering the ingredients in your casserole dish. In retrospect, I should’ve used my deeper Longaberger one, mine overflowed a bit.
You start by putting a layer of sauce on the bottom of your dish. We used Hunt’s traditional pasta sauce. Then a layer of pasta, your onion and sausage mixture, some Parmesan cheese and more sauce. Layer some mozzarella cheese over that. Then you put another layer of pasta, layer on some cubed ham, more sauce and Parmesan cheese. Last of the pasta next, followed by sauce, cheese and top it off with a layer of pepperoni.
Put this delightful mix into the oven at 375* for 40 minutes. Let it cool for about five minutes then dish it out.
If your layers don’t come out perfect, or if you want to add or leave something out. Feel free! Like any pizza dish, I feel it’s dealer’s choice!
Jenna and Alan’s opinion, definitely going in the basket! Most likely a vacation choice too!
Original recipe can be found at http://cullyskitchen.com/3-meat-pizza-casserole-recipe/

Vesta Pizzaria

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This was a last summer trip, but I was browsing some pins on Pinterest and I found this one. I thought to myself, I’ve been there! So it’s time for my first restaurant review! Hooray!
I need to start this pin by saying I am an enormous Nora Roberts fan. If its written by her, either under her name or J.D.Robb, I’ve read it, most likely, multiple times. It drives Tony nuts that I own books of hers that I have read 5-6 times. For those of you who are already Nora fans, you know she wrote an entire trilogy about Inn BoonsBoro. From their we fan out to Turn The Page bookstore and right along the line to Vesta Pizzaria. Of course in the books, she changed names, made up characters and so on.
In reality, her husband owns Turn The Page, she herself owns the Inn BoonsBoro and her son owns Vesta.
Last summer Tony’s cousin got married in Maryland. One of my first thoughts was that BoonsBoro, MD is only a half hour out of the way. Oh we are so going!
Tony agreed after my 30 second statement. I immediately launched into planning mode! I knew I wanted to see it all! Of course we went to the bookstore! I didn’t want to go into the inn because we weren’t staying, I wish I had now! We also had lunch at Vesta.
It’s a very small town vibe. In no way is it a big corporate chain. Relaxed and super family friendly environment. Don’t let the basic environment fool you!
The food was amazing!! Tony was just indulging me, but after his first bite, his first words were ‘Ok, good idea!’
I immediately felt smug because I love being right!
You have the front room where you can either place your order or sit and be social. Then there is a short hallway, leading to the back room, where there is more seating and some arcade games.
I feel the biggest pull for this place is the food! We just ordered a large and loaded pizza. It was so great! We forced ourselves to stop eating, mainly so we would have leftovers for the drive.
The scenery is beautiful, the roads are windy, it is a perfect place to go to relax and enjoy a slower pace. I give this restaurant 2 super yummy thumbs up. That sounds a little cannibalistic, so never mind! It’s still really good! Go eat!
Original pin and restaurant website is at http://www.vestapizza.com

Calzones

Calzones

We are big pizza fans in this house. I married an Italian man, 4th generation off the boat so we do it from scratch, you know, the way it was meant! We usually eat it once a week, and it’s always fantastic, but I thought it might be time to shake things up and try these Pinterest pizza things.
I figured I’d start with the calzones since they are basically pizza wraps. The website did have a dough recipe, but we’ve been using the family recipe since we got married. I was very relaxed with following the exact directions. I’m not going to lie, all I did was take my pizza routine and wrap them up the way the website told me to.
I made my dough this morning so it would have plenty of time to rise. I started putting the calzones together early though. I wasn’t sure how long it would take to wrap them up. Instead of one huge calzone, I made 4 smaller calzones and we had enough dough leftover for the kids to make little pizza wraps of their own.
I rolled out my dough, and sliced the strips in the side with my kitchen scissors. Make sure you have a large enough solid piece in the middle to layer your pizza toppings. I started with the sauce, moved on to the pepperoni, mushrooms, onions, then I topped it off with cheese.
Then you take the strips you’ve already cut and flap them over your toppings, alternating the sides so you get a cute, almost braided look. After it’s all wrapped, brush some melted butter over the top and sprinkle with garlic salt for a little extra kick.
Once again, I blew off the directions on the website and used my normal cooktime and temperature, adding a few minutes to ensure done-ness.
The only concern from myself and voiced by Tony was that the dough was a little thick. It’s a carry-over from when we’re making pizza. We like thicker crust on our pizza so I just need to remember to pound it a little flatter when we do calzones again. It was a huge hit with the kids too.
This strikes me as a great travel meal, car trips, zoo trips or whatever, it’s something easy to pack up and eat with your hands. As opposed to pizza, you won’t lose your toppings in a baggy either!
The link below has the original recipe, but I feel obliged to provide my recipe so you have the option in case the website recipe is less than stellar.
3 cups flour, 1 egg, 1 tbsp. yeast, 1/4 tsp of salt and pepper each. Let rise for a few hours, then once you are ready to bake, preheat to 500* and bake for 15 minutes, or until your wrap is golden brown. Let cool for a few minutes and enjoy!
Original pin is at http://www.squidoo.com/homemade-calzone