Phil Collins and Calzones

Calzones are a guilty pleasure of mine. My absolute favorite is from a hole in wall joint on the outskirts of Rural Hall- about as far from Italy as you can get but so good. They’re kinda all things that are bad for you – but they don’t have to be so terrible. My version uses a whole wheat crust and low fat cheeses. Don’t eat them everyday but don’t hate yourself for a little indulgence.

OF NOTE: This recipe comes to you mid Phil Collins binge. I love the man. I highly recommend you make this tasty Italian nosh while playing air drums to “In the Air Tonight”.  I’ve even hyperlinked it for your listening ease. You are welcome.


Spinach and Ricotta Calzones: makes 2 big calzones, serves 4 or a very hangry 2


  • 1 ball uncooked whole wheat pizza dough (store bought or homemade)
  • ¾ cup shredded part skim mozzarella
  • ¾ cup low fat ricotta
  • 2 cups raw baby spinach
  • ½ cup grated parasean cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter melted
  • ½ teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • turkey pepperoni (optional)
  • Marinara sauce for dipping!

Preheat the oven to 425 degree!

Half your pizza dough and flatten each hunk into a rough square/rectangle about ¼ inch thick. I use my fingers like claws and punch it out- pretty sure I saw that on TV once.

On one half of each crust lay out the spinach and cheeses, spreading them across but leaving a good 2 border. Top the filling with a dash of Italian seasoning. Fold the other half of the crust over the top and crimp the edges closed using a fork or your fingers. Brush the top of each calzone with melted butter then sprinkle with Italian seasoning and a bit for grated parmesan. Cut the top to vent and pop them in the oven!

Bake for about 15-18 minutes until golden. I recommend flipping them over halfway through cooking to get both sides crisp!

I die. It was so yummy.




My go to.

Southwestern Goulash 

This might be my favorite dish. It’s so easy but you can still develop complex flavors quickly. It’s even yummier on day 3 and blends my love of tacos with my love of german stews. It’s even hearty enough that the men in your life will love it – it’s Daddy, big brother and boyfriend approved.

Southwestern Goulash


  • 1 lb ground beef (or turkey!)
  • 1 16oz jar salsa
  • 1 packet taco seasoning
  • 2 cups dried pasta (wagon wheel is cute)
  • 1 can black beans drained and rinsed
  • 1 can corn drained and rinsed
  • ½ cup sour cream

In a large dutch oven brown off the meat. Drain any excess fat and add the meat back to the pot. Add the taco seasoning, jar of salsa and pasta to the meat and stir. Fill the salsa jar with water, give it a shake and add it to the pot as well. Simmer uncovered until the pasta is al dente, about 20 minutes. (Add more water if needed!)

Once the pasta is tender add in corn & beans; stir to warm them through. Remove from the heat and fold in the sour cream. Boom you’re done! Top with cheese, sour cream, avocado, and jalapeños.

You can go wild with this one. Use different salsas to change it up, try chipotle smoky flavors or add some cocoa and cinnamon for a mole twist. Holy mole it’s good (I just went there).




I don’t do drugs.  But my obsession with this treat is pretty much cause for an intervention. I’m not sure what it’s actually called but in my apartment it’s just known as Crack. And it’s amazing.



  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 cup brown sugar
  • 1 cup chocolate chips
  • saltine crackers

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a sheet pan with foil and spritz it with cooking spray. (Dont forget the spray. You’ll thank me later). Line the whole tray with saltines! You may have to break some for the edges and that’s fine! I try to do salted side down because I’m weird.

In a small saucepan melt the butter and brown sugar over medium-high heat.  You’ll want to be stirring pretty regularly. Bring it to a bubbly boil and continue to cook for about 2 minutes. Your caramel will turn a light brown color. Carefully pour this mixture over the crackers and spread evenly with the back of your spoon.

Pop the tray into the hot oven for 5 minutes! Pull it out when the whole tray is bubbly.  Add your chocolate chips right on top and give them a second to melt. Spread the melted chocolate over you caramel cracker base.

I then like to top off the crack while it’s still melted. You can do nuts, flor de sal, crushed peppermint- players choice! The melty goodness of the chocolate will hold your toppings in place. Allow the crack to cool completely – 30 minutes in the freezer or an hour in the fridge.

Break into bites and be come addicted! Don’t say I didn’t warn you…



P.S. Store your crack in the fridge so you don’t have a melty mess!