Calzone, Cupcakes, and Conquering HTML

This week I did something I never thought I could do. I conquered HTML.

Ok that might be a slight exaggeration, but I did totally kick HTML butt.

For those of you who know me, well you know how little I know about the topic. Yes, I understand how to use a computer and yes, I am familiar with the basic workings of the internet. Yet attempting to understand straight code would leave me speechless, blankly staring at the computer.

I may not be a pro, but I actually (somewhat) understand what this means! Incredible, right?? Yea, I thought so too.

I can happily say that I fixed about 10 issues I was having with the sites I am working on (Buried Truths and Time for Renewal). This was a huge accomplishment for me, so I figured I should reward myself with some yummy treats.

You all know how much I love my carbs and a calzone sounded absolutely perfect on a night when I didn’t want to make anything complicated. Plus, I seriously had to get rid of that pizza dough that has been looming in my freezer… Of course, I wanted to feel like I did something different with the calzone. I didn’t want to go too outside of the box with flavors (sometimes you just want something you know will taste good, right?), so I decided on changing up the design.

Wrapped Calzone (from Squidoo

Roll pizza dough into a rectangle the length of your baking sheet. It can be wider than the sheet because you will be folding the sides in. Place the dough on the baking sheet and let the sides hang off.

Put sauce on the center half of the dough. Add your toppings (we did red peppers, garlic, and cheese – tons of cheese :) ). Then add cheese.

Cut the dough on the sides at about 3/4 inch intervals. Using kitchen scissors for this task is highly recommended. Don’t cut all the way to the filling.
Then wrap it up! Start at the bottom and alternating sides, overlap the strips of dough onto the filling in a lattice pattern. You can stretch the pieces to fit all the way over the filling. Brush an egg wash on top to get the crust nice and golden brown.
Bake your calzone at 375° F (190° C) for about 25-30 minutes.

Pretty cool huh? Plus when you get to the end, you kind of have to tuck the final pieces under leaving you with a huge yummy bready piece at the end… (the main reason why I cut into it before taking a picture of the full finished product) This with a side of marinara sauce was AMAZING.

Just the calzone makes it seem like I didn’t have a very gastronomical adventurous this week, doesn’t it? Think again…

Now I don’t mean to brag, but to put it simply, I rock. Seriously. This week I made the BEST. CUPCAKES. EVER. I don’t really know what else to say except, wow, I am a damn good baker.

These fabulous little clouds of awesomeness stemmed from the task of making dessert for a picnic. Obviously cupcakes are the best choice for a picnic. Handheld, no silverware needed, it’s a no-brainer.

I had it narrowed down to two recipes from a couple of my favorite sites (Just a Taste and How Sweet It Is). As I debated, genius struck (with a little help from my hubby of course)….

What if I combined the two?? *gasp*

What followed was… magical. Angel Food Cupcakes with a Raspberry Filling and Vanilla Whipped Cream Vodka Whipped Cream… I’ll give you a moment to pick your jaw up off the floor.

I will admit making these was kind of a pain. It took a while to get all the components together and I was slightly hindered with the loss of my stand mixer… poor thing is at the repair shop now… Despite the work I put into them, it was WORTH IT. I would make these again in a heartbeat.

Angel Food Cupcakes (How Sweet It Is

makes 36 cupcakes (yes, you will eat them all…)

12 large egg whites (1 1/2 cups)

1 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

1 3/4 cups sifted powdered sugar (sift before measuring)

1 1/8 cups sifted cake flour (sift before measuring)

1/4 teaspoon salt

Let egg whites sit at room temperature for about one hour before beginning. While eggs are resting, measure out powdered sugar and flour, then sift powdered sugar, flour and salt together. Set aside. Line a cupcake tin (or two) with cupcake liners.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F and place rack in the bottom third of oven.

Using an electric mixer, beat egg whites until frothy. Once frothy, add in cream of tartar, then beat at medium speed until soft peaks form. This took me about 5-6 minutes. Gradually add granulated sugar with the mixer still on medium speed, continuing to beat until egg whites thicken a bit more with opaque, soft, droopy peaks. Once there, beat in vanilla extract.

Remove the bowl from the mixer and sprinkle 1/4 of the dry ingredients over the egg whites. Fold gently with a spatula until combined completely. Continue with the rest of the dry ingredients – I did this in three increments.

Once batter is smooth, use a 1/4 cup measure to pour heaping scoops of batter into each liner. Bake for 18-19 minutes, or until tops are golden brown. Let cool completely.
While the cupcakes are baking….

Red Raspberry Sauce (from Just A Taste

1 cup fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons sugar
Combine the raspberries, water, and sugar in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Let mixture come to a boil, then reduce heat to medium and let simmer for 15-20 minutes until thickened. Stir frequently to break apart raspberries.
Set aside to cool. Once both the cupcakes and raspberry sauce are cool, use a cupcake corer (or a paring knife) to cut a hole into the center of the cupcake (I stopped about halfway into the cupcake). Fill each hole with raspberry sauce. Then frost as desired. I used the following frosting and it was fantastic.
Vanilla Whipped Cream Vodka Whipped Cream (slightly adapted from How Sweet It Is)

1 pint whipping cream
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoons Whipped Cream Vodka
Beat whipping cream until soft peak form. Mix in sugar, vanilla, and vodka. Frost your cupcakes!

Oh yea, I rock.

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