Simple Cheesy Calzones

I was happy when I was in the dining room on Saturday night and not in the bar.  I make a lot of money in the bar, but having to work until close two nights in a row would have been rough.  But, as luck would have it, I had a 10 top sit down at 9:00 a.m., and they were the last table to leave – so I didn’t get home until 1:30 anyway.  But their tab was $700, so I was like “you can stay until dawn!”  They bought a $95 seafood tower appetizer.  It was five couples – five men on one side of the table and five women on the other.  Two completely different conversations going on which I thought was funny – the men talked about football and the women were talking about their kids.  I ended up walking out with $205 after tipping out – so I can’t really complain about making $500 bucks in two nights!   I put this picture up on Facebook and Instagram, this is one of our appetizers – I know Tony would love it – it’s calamari steak with a balsamic glaze.

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I thought for sure I’d sleep in yesterday, but I was wide awake at 9:30.  I did laundry, made a batch of chili (recipe coming tomorrow!) using the last of my sirloin roast, and didn’t really get hungry until after noon.  Doing a quick fridge/pantry glance, I realized I could make Tony and I calzones for lunch.

Cabot Cheese has invited me to be on their Cheese Board for 2014.  They sent me an assortment of cheeses to try out.


Yesterday, I used this cheese for our calzone filling:

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Dough for Two Calzones:

  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon yeast
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup water

I love this little scoop I found at Goodwill – I keep it in my flour container.

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The sauce was just 3/4 cup of tomato sauce, 1 tablespoon of tomato paste and some Italian seasoning – I just let that cook down for about 5 minutes.

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My filling:  sauce, sausage, pepperoni, baby spinach and the Cabot cheese.  Simply bring the back of the dough to the front, and pinch to close.  I deep fried ours – it only took about 2 minutes a side.

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These were really good – next time when I have more time I’ll try baking them.

So we were all set to have King Crab legs and Fried Chicken Gizzards – I was surprised to learn how many of you actually have fond memories of chicken gizzards.  I looked through several recipes, and ended up par-boiling the gizzards for 10 minutes, then soaking them in buttermilk that had a dash of salt, pepper and Tabasco.  They soaked overnight.  Then I just dipped them in seasoned flour and fried them up.

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Tony loved them.  He asked me to try one, and upon first bite it, the texture just grossed me out and I couldn’t even take a bit – I tried though!  We ended up having cheese and crackers, and a shrimp cracker dip.  We both had recollections growing up of our parents having tiny shrimp cocktail over cream cheese – and we both thought the shrimp and cocktail sauce came in a jar together, and you just poured that over cream cheese.  Does anyone else remember this??


Um, apparently they don’t sell this anymore, because no one at the store knew what I was talking about.  I ended up buying a jar of cocktail sauce, and a can of tiny shrimp and just mixed that all together with a few tablespoons of cream cheese.

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We ended up not being hungry for the crabs, so we’ll have the crab legs and Hooter’s shrimp for dinner tonight.  I didn’t do a full grocery shop this weekend because we have plenty of food in the house – this weeks menu will be interesting!

So my WI today?  I didn’t do my toes yet, so I put socks on for you – you’re welcome!  I am up .2 – but I drank hardly any water over the weekend – I need to fix that!

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I had no energy to go to the gym this morning, but I plan on working out at lunch and tonight I am going to give T-25 a try.   It’s all good!  Off to put my shit together – hope you had a great weekend and make it a great day!

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  • Jacky
    February 3, 2014 at 8:10 am

    That shrimp cocktail over cream cheese was how we did fancy growing up. The jars then became juice glasses. I have actually been looking for it, have a craving to try it again.

    • Biz319
      February 3, 2014 at 8:13 pm

      I forgot about the glasses becoming juice glasses Jacky! If you find them, let me know!

  • Erica
    February 3, 2014 at 8:11 am

    Wahooo for making lots of $$! Thats always exciting. Whenever we go to dinner with couples, the girls and guys always end up having 2 completely different conversations 😉 . I can’t believe you even gave them a try- good for you! I’m so bad about trying things I don’t think I will like. Have a good Monday

    • Biz319
      February 3, 2014 at 8:14 pm

      I used to be like that with most food Erica – but apparently I didn’t get adventurous with my eating until well into my 30’s! Great job on your half – that’s an awesome time!

  • maggie @ say yes to salad
    February 3, 2014 at 8:15 am

    I love cabot! Not a huge fan of the reduced fat one (it’s just not as flavorful as the regular). I love their spicy cheeses and I think you would too – habanero is great, and the horseradish one is also awesome. I was up in VT in the beginning of Nov and we went to this huge cabot store and got to sample everything. Mmm.

    • Biz319
      February 3, 2014 at 8:15 pm

      I got the horseradish one too – can’t wait to try that one out – I cannot believe you were actually at a Cabot store – swoon!

  • Kym
    February 3, 2014 at 8:31 am

    Fried Calzone???? I would never have thought of such a thing. I must not let my husband know that is possible. I love the cute little measure cup in the flour 🙂 I am all about finding different kitchen gadgets to use.

    • Biz319
      February 3, 2014 at 8:16 pm

      Growing up Italian beef stands had something called a pizza puff – Tony and I both have memories of maybe having one or two of those after a night of cocktails in our 20s – they would be so hot but you didn’t care. Crunchy outside, gooey on the inside. This is the closest thing I’ve made to that goodness.

      And I have WAY too many gadgets – I usually sneak them in the house without Tony knowing though 😀

  • Mia
    February 3, 2014 at 8:36 am

    How do you normally count the calories added when you fry food? And what kind of deep fryer do you have?

    • Mia
      February 3, 2014 at 8:38 am

      Whoops! Sorry Biz just saw you responded to my last post asking this!! Have a great morning!!

      • Biz319
        February 3, 2014 at 8:19 pm

        Hey Mia! We have the earlier version of this Waring Pro – ours was only in the $40 range at best – but when it gives up, I am going to get this one – it’s digital – right now I’ve washed ours so much you can barely see the temperature anymore!

        Basically if the fryer holds the temperature – the food instantly forms a barrier and the oil doesn’t get absorbed. Even Martha Steward did a test once making fried chicken in a cast iron skillet. She put in x amount of oil, fried the chicken – 12 pieces in all, and all but 1 tablespoon was still in the pan when she was done.

  • Aimee
    February 3, 2014 at 8:39 am

    My Mom and my aunt owned an Italian restaurant when I was young. They offered 4 calzones on the menu each named after their children. The Aimee was just pepperoni and cheese because I loved pepperoni and ate no vegetables. They were the size of a football and full of an obnoxious amount of cheese. It’s no wonder I have struggled with my weight since I was young!

    Nice tips this weekend! You certainly worked for them, but that makes it worth it. I don’t remember shrimp cocktail over cream cheese, but chicken gizzards remind me of my Noni. Just the name makes me say ewww!

    Happy Monday Biz!!

    • Biz319
      February 3, 2014 at 8:20 pm

      OMG, I can’t imagine how big I would be if my family had an Italian restaurant growing up! I can eat pasta every single day and never get sick of it!

      Yep – the word GIZZARD alone is a reason to stay far away from them!

  • A Life From Scratch
    February 3, 2014 at 8:40 am

    That’s so funny about the men on one side and the women on the other – of course, talking about their kids. that’s how it always seems to end up! Congrats on making a lot of money, that’s great!

    Stay warm today – another cold one! 🙁

    • Biz319
      February 3, 2014 at 8:21 pm

      You and your hubs should take a date night and see me one of these weekends! Well, after you get back from your kidless trip – they boys will be fine! 😀

  • Carrie @ Season It Already!
    February 3, 2014 at 10:11 am

    I wanna be on a cheese board! 😉

    • Biz319
      February 3, 2014 at 8:22 pm

      Yep, you and I are cheese whores for sure!

  • Shelley B
    February 3, 2014 at 10:19 am

    Cabot certainly couldn’t have chosen a better person to represent CHEESE! Love it, and I’m excited for you!

    • Biz319
      February 3, 2014 at 8:22 pm

      I know, um, how the hell did they know I loved cheese?! Loved seeing what was in your grocery cart Shelley!

  • Joanne
    February 3, 2014 at 10:32 am

    Calzones looked good – have never tried them. I thought they were too much (carbs) for a diabetic to eat. Also, I’ve never been a waitress/server – what do you mean by tipping out? You walked out with $205 after tipping out. Say if you left a tip of $20, doesn’t your server get the entire $20? Maybe I’ll learn something.

    • Biz319
      February 3, 2014 at 8:24 pm

      Well, being that I take insulin, I can regulate my blood sugar with insulin. If I was on oral medication, that would be a different story.

      Tipping out – most restaurants I’ve worked at the server tips out the bartender (who makes their drinks and therefore can’t get tips from customers) and the bus people. It’s only $5 to the bartender at the end of the night, and 3% of my gross sales for the bus people – so I usually tip out the bus guys about $30 on average a night. The rest is mine 😀

  • wendy
    February 3, 2014 at 10:59 am

    I’m really interested in T25. I got through about 75% of Insanity, but my knees gave out the last two weeks and I struggled with workouts over an hour. But I liked the first 30 days. Did you buy it? Free trial?

    • Biz319
      February 3, 2014 at 8:25 pm

      Yep Wendy, those hour ones were killer – I don’t blame you for struggling, I did too!

      I was lucky enough that a blog reader gave it to me – how nice is that??!! I’ll let you know how they are. 😀

  • Sherry Werth
    February 3, 2014 at 11:03 am

    Congrats on the tips this weekend! Nice!
    All the food looks great – as always! lol I need to try my hand at making the calzones. No, I don’t remember the shrimp cocktail cups growing up – or ever putting it over cream cheese. Now that’s a new one for me. lol But I grew up an hour away from the coast and we had fresh seafood markets everywhere so maybe that’s why I never had it. But I can shuck a raw oyster in no time! lol
    I can’t do the gizzards but I do love me some fried chicken livers! 😀
    Also congrats on being selected for the cheese board! 😀

    • Biz319
      February 3, 2014 at 8:26 pm

      My Mom and Tony’s parents LOVE liver and onions. Just . . . ew! And Sherry, it kills me that I shunned seafood as a child – my grandparents used to have crab boils and I would help pick out the meat, but never even tried it – such a waste!

  • Nicole@HeatOvenTo350
    February 3, 2014 at 11:11 am

    Those calzones look so good. Congrats on being on the Cabot Cheese board. Their cheese is so darn good!

    • Biz319
      February 3, 2014 at 8:27 pm

      Thanks Nicole! Glad to see that your comments are back up and running! 😀

  • Helen
    February 3, 2014 at 11:31 am

    Cabot is the best cheese IMO. I buy it over any other cheese. Of course I love that it’s a New England business too.

    I’m going to pretend I didn’t read that you blasphemed the calzone by frying it.

    • Biz319
      February 3, 2014 at 8:28 pm

      OMG Helen, your comment made me laugh out loud!!

  • Heather
    February 3, 2014 at 12:19 pm

    Those calzones look amazing!
    I couldn’t get up for the gym this morning either. I slept like a rock for the first time in days and just didn’t want to get out of bed!

    • Biz319
      February 3, 2014 at 8:28 pm

      We are like two peas in a pod Heather – I think sometimes we just have to listen to our body!

  • Louise
    February 3, 2014 at 12:23 pm

    Oh yes…I remember those “sau-see” shrimp in their own glasses, and I saved them for juice glasses too. They always phase out the good stuff, don’t they.

    Wow that was some good tips you made. Glad you are enjoying the job. I give you a lot of credit in all that you do. MMMM I love cheese, but have never tried Cadot, must look for it in the cheese section.

    As for gizzards….nope never had them. But I do remember my mom cooking up the heart, gizzards and neck of the turkey and adding to the gravey. I’ve tried it a couple of times…..usually just end up throwing it away. Not a gizzard kind of person I guess. Have a great day!!!

    • Biz319
      February 3, 2014 at 8:29 pm

      You will LOVE Cabot cheese – but I bet you have amazing Wisconsin cheese in your neck of the woods!

      Stay warm!

  • Bonnie
    February 3, 2014 at 1:18 pm

    Tony never had shrimp out of those glasses. I used horseradish cocktail sauce over shrimp that did come out of a can. Also used crab meat!

    I want that calamari appetizer. Could make a meal of that alone if I ever get that way again.

    • Biz319
      February 3, 2014 at 8:30 pm

      It must have been a phantom memory then Bonnie! You would love that calamari – everyone raves about it!

  • Roz@weightingfor50
    February 3, 2014 at 1:54 pm

    Gotta love a big payday!!! yay for being on the cheese board. Literally and figuratively!

    • Biz319
      February 3, 2014 at 8:31 pm

      Thanks Roz!

  • Kim
    February 3, 2014 at 2:28 pm

    I don’t remember the shrimp cocktail stuff growing up but my mom was more the casserole kind (even for company).
    Glad you let yourself sleep in a bit this morning – you are pushing pretty hard these days!

    • Biz319
      February 3, 2014 at 8:31 pm

      Yep, my body keeps saying “um, Biz….remember, you are 45 years old!” (well, almost 46 next month!)

  • M.J. Jacobsen
    February 3, 2014 at 2:30 pm

    Wow, a $95 appetizer! How long does it take the chef to put that together!?
    I love your little cup, I’m always looking for stuff like that at Goodwill! I remember those shrimp cocktails, they were for fancy dinners when I was growing up! Haven’t seen them for a long time. Your calzones look soooo good, Cabot couldn’t have picked a better person to taste test for them!!! Beautiful and sunny here in the land of the Super Bowl winners!!!!!! Have a great day!

    • Biz319
      February 3, 2014 at 8:32 pm

      I totally thought of you last night with the big win! The appetizer actually comes together in about 15 minutes since it’s a cold appetizer. Next time I’ll take a picture and post it.

      Biz+Cabot Cheese = Match Made In Heaven!

  • Amanda
    February 3, 2014 at 2:34 pm

    Sometimes I want a second job so I can make some extra money. $500 is great!!

    • Biz319
      February 3, 2014 at 8:33 pm

      It’s not so bad, especially since I am working on the weekends – hoping to build our savings up again. I average about $37 an hour at the restaurant – not too bad!

  • Courtney @ Don't Blink. Just Run.
    February 3, 2014 at 4:22 pm

    Nice job with the tips in two days – that’s amazing!! Not too shabby for part time. I can’t believe they bought an appetizer that cost that much! HAHA

    • Biz319
      February 3, 2014 at 8:34 pm

      And they didn’t even blink an eye at the price!

  • Jessica H.
    February 3, 2014 at 6:47 pm

    I was born in the early 80s and I definitely remember the glass jars with cocktail sauce mixed with little shrimp. My mom would let me buy one on Sunday after church when we went to the local grocery store. I ate it right out of the glass jar with a spoon! I think it was 99 cents for each one 🙂

    Also, I have memories of eating baked chicken gizzards that would come in a family pack of chicken. My mom would bread them and bake the whole pack, including the gizzards.

    • Biz319
      February 3, 2014 at 8:35 pm

      That is such a great memory! You didn’t mind that it wasn’t cold? Love it!

  • Erin
    February 3, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    I don’t remember that shrimp with cocktail sauce at all. My parents aren’t big seafood fans, so that’s probably why. I don’t think I ate shrimp cocktail until I was on a choir trip in high school; at least that’s the first time I remember eating it!

    I haven’t made calzones in FOREVER. I’ll have to do that soon – MAK’s favorite filling is light on the marinara, a variety of meats (crumbled Italian sausage, bacon, Canadian bacon), a crap ton of cheese and just a few veggies. I use an egg wash to make them glossy, and bake in a 375 degree oven for about 30 minutes, sometimes 35 depending on how golden I want the crust.

    • Biz319
      February 3, 2014 at 8:35 pm

      Maybe you can switch up MAK’s chicken and waffles with calzones! I will try baking them next time too – it was just simple because the fryer was on the counter! 😀

  • Fran
    February 4, 2014 at 6:34 am

    I can’t believe how much money you make in 2 nights. No way you get paid that kind of money here in hotel as a waitress. You have a fixed salary here and tips are divided over every employee. Besides in Holland you don’t have to tip if you don’t want too. I only do it when I’m satisfied with the meal/service. If you just have coffee in a bar or restaurant or a glass of wine, you don’t tip here.
    If I could make this kind of money I immediately took a second job too.

  • Debbi
    February 5, 2014 at 4:45 am

    Love that cute little yellow cup. I have to try find something like it. I wonder how my husband will react to fried Calzones? He is Italian so it could be interesting. Looks wonderful by the way.