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Pizza Sauce

Posted by on Jan 29, 2011 in Come Together, Everyone Will Eat It, Our Favorites, Store-bought Remix | 0 comments

This recipe is adapted from (original here) and was sent to me by my friend Jen.

It is my go-to recipe for a quick and easy pizza sauce. It’s great for when you run out of the jarred kind or if you want to make more things from scratch. I use it on homemade pizza, as a dipping sauce for calzones, and in Crockpot Pizza.

In a sauce pan, heat oil on medium high. Add minced garlic and watch carefully until browned. Turn down heat to low, and add tomato sauce and seasonings. Simmer uncovered until warm or slightly thickened (which ever your taste prefers or patience will allow). Refrigerate or freeze leftovers.

Ingredient list:

  • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 (29 ounce) can tomato sauce
  • 1 Tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

Calzones at Home

Posted by on Jan 29, 2011 in Everyone Will Eat It, Our Favorites | 0 comments

Pepperoni Calzone

Tonight we enjoyed calzones at home.

Mr. J’s is pictured to the left (I apologize for my lack of photography skills). I make this quite often, and it is very easy to customize since our tastes differ. There are four basic components, and it is very similar to making pizza. You need crust, cheese, sauce, and your favorite fillings. Mr. J always has pepperoni as his filling. Always. I usually enjoy some variation of veggie or if I’m lacking in supplies, cheese is just as tasty by itself.

For the crust, I usually go the cheater route with the packaged kind that mixes with hot water. Start by heating the oven to the specified temp (mine calls for 475 degrees). In a mixing bowl, dump out the package contents and measure out the hot water (this is the difficult part, the water must be hot). Mix the water into the flour mixture with a fork. With clean hands, pour a little olive oil (approx. 1 Tablespoon) into your palm and coat the ball of dough. Cover with a towel and set aside in a warm place for at least 5 minutes to rise while you prep everything else.

Next, for my calzone filling, I need to get some veggies going. I usually turn to the freezer where I keep lots of mixed veggies on hand for stuff like this. Tonight, I used spring mix (brocoli, cauliflower, carrots, zucchini, and squash) with frozen diced green peppers and fresh diced onion. Before I began, I chopped all of the veggies into smaller pieces. I thaw and cook the veggies in a sauce pan with a little water (make sure to drain all of the excess water before adding to your calzone or your crust will come apart like mine did tonight. Why do you think there is no picture of it?).

For the cheese, I use two different kinds. The first one is easy. I use shredded Italian mix from Kroger when I can, but mozzarella works just fine. You’ll need about 1/4 cup per calzone (I don’t measure). The second cheese is low-fat ricotta. I season the ricotta before I construct the calzones to give it a little more oomph. I spoon out about a cup to use for both and add S&P, Italian seasoning, and three cloves of fresh minced garlic.

Last but not least is the sauce for dipping. Tonight, I used sauce I made last night for pasta, but other times I go one of two routes. I make a quick pizza sauce or I open a jar of spaghetti sauce and heat it up.

To build the calzones, spray a baking sheet with cooking spray. Coat your palms with oil like before so the dough won’t stick to your hands and divide the dough in half. Flatten one of the pieces of dough to about 8″ around on one half of the pan. I can’t fit both rounds on my baking sheet at the same time, but I don’t want to get my hands messy twice. So I fold the first piece in half so it’s out of the way while I get the second piece flattened out and ready to go. If there is a light coating of oil, the dough shouldn’t stick to itself while you prep the other one. Once the second crust is ready to go, wash the oil off of your hands with warm water. Put half of the seasoned ricotta, some shredded cheese, and a layer of pepperonis on top. Very carefully fold the dough over the toppings and roll the bottom up over it to seal (reference the picture). For the second one, unfold the dough, place the remaining ricotta and shredded cheese in the middle with the drained veggie mixture. Fold over as before. Make sure there are steam vents in the top of both by pinching with your fingers or use a fork. I have done egg washes before, but since it’s just the two of us, I usually just skip this step.

Ingredient list (Makes 2):

  • 1 package of pizza dough mix
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 cup of low-fat ricotta cheese
    • 1 teaspoon of Italian seasoning
    • S&P to taste
    • 3 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup of shredded mozzarella or Italian mix cheese
  • 10 pepperoni slices
  • 1/2 cup frozen mixed veggies, chopped and cooked
  • Pizza or spaghetti sauce for dipping (Pizza sauce recipe)

Taste Profile

Posted by on Jan 29, 2011 in Uncategorized | 0 comments

To give you a glimpse into what you can expect to read here, here’s a little more information.

I live near Nashville, Tennessee. I’ve lived in Tennessee my entire life (birth through high school graduation in the north west, college in the south west, and post-college til now in the middle). My skills aren’t extensive, but I still manage to impress my friends every now and then. I work in marketing, and I know that there is a niche out there like me. I’m not writing for gourmet chefs. I hope to stay true to my audience.

My tastes have a decent amount of variation. I try to be adventurous, but sometimes I play it safe.

On meat, I have a set of guidelines. I don’t like things that look like they did when they were alive, meaning with bones, fat, sinew, heads, etc. Bacon, deli turkey, and burgers keep me from being a full-time pescetarian.

My token ingredient (much like EVOO to Rachel and butta to Paula) is freshly minced garlic. I don’t believe in garlic breath. Vampires beware. I also love an element of “dirty.” “Dirty” defined is a guilty-pleasure ingredient to take something ordinary over the edge, like adding cream cheese to spaghetti. My favorite flavor combination is tomato and cream.

My goals include trying and cooking new foods, experimenting with spices, and making things from scratch that are usually store bought.

I love

  • Vegetables
  • Pasta
  • International cuisine (probably the more Americanized ones though), specifically Mexican, Italian, Chinese, Japanese, and Thai
  • Experimenting with tofu
  • Mayonnaise
  • Chopping!!! I could do it all day long.
  • Chocolate
  • Baking

Also, my husband is, self-admittedly, a VERY picky eater. If you are a picky eater or living with one, I hope that you can find a few things here to add to your repertoire.


Posted by on Jan 29, 2011 in Around Chez Ary | 0 comments

That’s Me! Photo credit: Laura Moseley

Who is Betty Becca?

My name is Becca, but I’ve been called Betty Crocker more than once.

You may be surprised to learn that before I got married, my boyfriend (now husband) of seven years did all the cooking. I’d never done even the basics like making spaghetti and browning ground beef. I knew enough to feed myself: boxed pasta and rice meals and cookies. However, when it came to putting a meal together (and multi-tasking…gasp), I had no idea what I was doing. I’ll admit; I was scared.

Well, flashback to that fateful time as a newly married woman with no domestic skills, I had to conquer my fear and get going. You should know that I had recently graduated from college and moved to a new city. My freshly minted degree was in marketing, and it was the beginning of the lovely recession. Naturally, that meant I didn’t have a job. I knew that I had to bite the bullet and take care of our household, and that meant learning to prepare meals. I think a lot of folks in my generation are in my situation. We rely on restaurants and processed food because of our lack of skills and experience (and bravery) in the kitchen.

My mantra became “no excuses.” If I come across a recipe that interests me, I give it a try. I’ve learned a lot through trial, and I really haven’t had that many nightmare experiences. I’m here to give you my notes from the lessons I’ve picked up along the way, in the kitchen and around the house. I hope you learn something new and gain a little confidence along the way.

In the years I’ve been blogging, some things have changed. It’s kinda neat how your ways in the kitchen evolve as you grow from a single person just out on your own to a newlywed to a family. Now that I have a toddler running around, I have a whole new frontier to cover. There’s a little more planning involved, and I’m still loving finding our way in the world of food. Here’s my taste profile and my inspiration (a blogroll).


Work with me:

Let’s talk: BettyBecca [at] Gmail [dot] com

  • Recipe development
  • Prop sourcing and styling
  • Food styling
  • Events (planning, floral, decorating, etc.)
  • Brand collaboration
  • Blog collaboration

Disclaimer: From time to time, I will mention products specifically in a post to serve as a reference for the products we have chosen to use in our household. If a relationship exists with a brand, I will expressly note it within the post. Views and opinions expressed here are mine alone and do not imply the same of my family, friends, or employer.