Thursday, December 5, 2013

DIY Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer Bulb Ornament

What is the Christmas Holiday without Rudolph, next to baby Jesus of course?  Well Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer if you were wondering!  I can't go a year without watching Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer and now that I have kids, it's become their must see every Christmas Season!  I guess they had no choice since I have an obsession with Rudolph.  

Rudolph for me is the Reindeer I think many of us can relate to.  Finding our way through life with expectations hanging over us.  Who am I to put a damper on the story?  Guess it's my deep thinking getting the best of me.

Well really Rudolph gives me this warm fuzzy feeling inside during the Christmas Season.  I'd be lying if I said I don't watch it all year round!  I think it's natural to just feel so nostalgic when watching Rudolph even though it was created way before I was born.  About 2 years after my parents got married when they were still in Italy.  I think I can remember seeing it when I was little, in the 80's next to our very 80's Christmas Tree.  Ya know, with the annoying Tinsel draped over and my mom's creative take on putting snow on the tree by using cotton balls and stretching them out and laying it on tree branches.  Thinking about it now, what a design disaster!  I think that every tree decorated in the 80's might of been a decorating disaster.  Not like now where you can pretty much have your Christmas Tree be a reflection of you!  So here it is, sitting watching Rudolph with the warm glow of our 80's tree and just thinking about how much fun it would be at the North Pole with Rudolph.  The obsession began....

My obsession began with just watching Rudolph.  Now we are lucky to have figurines, toys, stuffed animals, ornaments, everything Rudolph.  Now you can make the idea of Rudolph yourself in just about any way!  Here I show you how to make a Rudolph Ornament!  I saw one made at a local craft store, Pat Catan's Craft Center while buying a glue gun for a Girl Scout project.  I think that a glow was surrounding it with Angels singing a harmonic "ahhhhhh" in the background!  I had finally found my first choice Christmas Craft!  It was easy to figure out what to get to make him.  I've made ornaments before.  But lucky for you, instead of me dragging out my explanation, Darice Craft Supplies was great to create a turtorial sheet on it and I grabbed it!  So I'll use their step by step process explanation.  If anything was changed, I changed it maybe to explain it in more common layman's terms.  So here goes!  If you do make my beloved Rudolph or have a memory or love of Rudolph, (The most famous reindeer of all), please comment below and share it with me!  I'd love to hear it and of course post your pic of your ornament if you made a Rudolph one either like mine or your own way, I'd love to see it!  Put it on my Facebook Page!  Art By ASM on Facebook  Don't forget to like my page!

Okay here are the materials you will need!

100 mm Lightbulb Ornament #2610-64
Brown Enamel Paint, I used Americana's Enamel Paint in Dark Chocolate
Brown Chenille Stems (Pipe Cleaners)
1/2 inch Red Tinsel Pom Poms #1153-30
Wiggle Eyes (Googly Eyes) #ME12-PP
Holly Berry Picks of Choice
Ribbon of Choice for Hanging (I used 1/8 inch Red Polyester Ribbon)

Hot Glue Gun
Wire Cutters or Heavy Duty Scissors (Don't use your Fabric Scissors Naughty!)
Small Dixie Cups or Wire Rack for paint to drain 
(I got creative and used my empty Snapple Bottle for Paint Draining, lol)

1.  Remove Cap from Ornament and pour a small amount of brown enamel paint into the bulb.  Swirl, Shake or Tap to get it evenly and completely coated!  Turn ornament upside down on a wire rack or dixie cup or Snapple bottle, lol for excess paint to dry out.  Let dry completely and then replace the cap.

2  Using the Hot Glue Gun, glue on the wiggle eyes and a red tinsel pom pom nose.

3.  Cut a chenille stem (pipe cleaner) into fourths to make antlers.  Twist one stem around another about halfway down the stem.  Twist the one end of the stem around the ornament hangar.  Repeat with the other 2 chenille stem sections.

4.  Glue a section of holly and berries to the cap of the ornament.

5.  Cut your ribbon to have as a hanger making sure to place it so when hung, the ornament will face outwards.

So Ta Daaaa!  You have a Rudolph Ornament!  Isn't he adorably cute????!!!!  I think so!  This was super easy to make and might I add super cheap to make!  What also sold me on making this ornament is that the bulb itself is PLASTIC!  So no dog or child of mine will break it!  The only last touch I would do is put your name and date on the back of the ornament so you can remember when or who made it!  Might I add this makes an excellent gift?  I love homemade gifts!  I think they help spread the Christmas/Holiday Cheer!

My kids just went Gaga (Not Lady Gaga) but crazy gaga over this!  This is a great ornament to do with the kids!  Most of all have fun and enjoy your time to relax and craft by yourself or spend some quality time with family!

If you have any questions, please feel free to ask!

Wishing you a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, Happy Festivus....Happy Holidays!  ;-)

Much Love, Peace, Blessings & Hugs!

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Old World Eating at Sokolowski's University Inn

*Photo via Internet of Sokolowski's University Inn.

I've eaten at Sokolowski's a few times and could probably eat there a lot more.  It's your perfect old world cooking that is made like mamma or grandma made.  There's nothing fancy about it but it's awesome Polish comfort food in big portions and flavor.  I'm actually making myself hungry for more now at about 2am.  I wish!

Sokolowski's is a hidden gem, in the old backstreets of Cleveland, right on the edge of the Artsy area of Tremont which in itself is a gem of food and arts.  It's the old city parts, transforming into more upscale apartments and homes with high class restaurants.  Nothing has really changed though about Sokolowski's and that's a great thing!  We don't want it to change!  It's perfect just the way it is.

Going on what Sokolowski's is mostly about and it's family, family that is proud of it's legacy and food.  I honestly didn't know it existed, I've been living in Cleveland most of my life.  I learned about it late one night while watching The Food Network or Travel Channel, not sure.  Anthony Bourdain, No Reservations visited this Sokolowski's with Cleveland writer's.  Suggested for some of the best food.  Although Anthony tends to eat the more crazy foods like head cheese (pig's brain) that were being served at Sokolowski's but also eating their other specialties and I saw stuffed cabbage, pierogis and potato pancakes, I was drooling!  I had to go there!

Video of Bourdain's visit:

I planned it and said we're going.  When we finally decided to go, we got there pretty easy off the highway about 10 minutes and then through Tremont, basically to the edge.  Can't go any further because over the guardrail is a far drop into industrial factories off the drop of a bridge on your left as well, looking straight onto Downtown Cleveland's landscape.

When you first go through you're like what do I do?  You walk by the bar and to what looks like a cafeteria line in school.  Huh?  Yeah weird but then you're like whatever!  You grab your dessert first, Oh my gosh, it's all good!  Coconut Cream Cake being my favorite!  You can choose pies and cakes, then you move onto beverage choosing, beer, soda, imported and domestic sodas, etc....  You slide your tray down and they ask you what you want....This is the hard part because you want it all!  As I lick my lips I'm stuttering because I can't choose!  It's like Sofie's choice!  Well not really but it's hard damn it!  I want Pork Chops, no wait Stuffed Cabbage, no wait, Chicken Paprikash, no wait, I want Meatloaf, damn it!!  Okay 1 of everything!  lol.  Seriously though, I've had a dinner which is a main dish and 2 sides you also get the salad bar.  I've had Chicken Paprikash with dumplings, Stuffed Cabbage and Meatloaf added as my sides were usually carbs galore like Mashed Potatoes, Potato Pancakes and of course Perogis!  Yes they have veggies but this is not a moment I care to eat any veggie medley or fresh crisp green beans!  No, I'm looking to not move after I eat after Sokolowski's.

Oh my gosh, It has to by far be the best Meatloaf I've ever eaten, what a great beefy hunk of meat with a charred sweet ketchup glaze.  Yum!  Fresh made perogis, so good slathered in onions with a side of sour cream, mashed potatoes with yummy gravy.  That was my latest meal.  The Stuffed Cabbage, enormous and made the real authentic way!  Potato Pancakes perfectly done and flavorful with how I like them with sour cream on top.  (I didn't say I eat healthy when I go, lol).  I have yet to try the breaded pork chops, oh but I will!  Sausages are good and they have alot to choose from.  You don't gp home hungry and you seriously want to take some ala carte home and we usually do!  I like leftover meatloaf made into sandwiches the next day, yummy!  My kids love Sokolowski's, and my daughter who's not a big meat eater is in Heaven because they have sausage and a salad bar!  My Johnny will pretty much eat anything!  He of course loves Chicken, Mashed Potatoes and any type of noodle or dumpling.  So he ate Chicken Paprikash and Dumplings with a side of Mashed Potatoes.  He was set!  Scott and I usually end up with the same thing and will split an ala carte item, but I usually don't get that far.

Now that food is out of the way, let's talk about Atmosphere....Well, it's old world, wood interior, Family and Patron memorabilia, Polish scenery and it's dark but nicely lit.  I had the privilege to meet Mary, one of the owners.  She was so sweet and I met her while we were eating dinner and she complimented me on my purse.  She asked us our names and she continued to talk to me and she gave me a beautiful prayer card and asked me what my maiden name was.  I told her and she asked me if I knew someone named Gina?  Here she knew my Aunt, who lives in Italy.  When my grandparents came from Italy, my Aunt Gina was still young and a minor.  Mary attended school with my Aunt!  I told her how she lives in Italy and she asked me to tell her hello.  How weird right?  Well, if you know me, you know I can't go anywhere without knowing someone or have some 6 degrees of separation experience!  Also she lives in the same city I grew up in and I went to school with some of her family members by marriage!  How can you beat coincidence and she knows my Aunt who lives in Italy.  My grandparents moved back to Italy taking the younger kids back.  My family came after my grandparents came here.  We stayed after they left.  

Interior, *Photo from the Internet

So I have to say all in all, I love love love Sokolowski's!  Love the family, love the customers because they love Sokolowski's too!  The employees are great and they help you take your food to your table, so you don't have to.  It can get up in price the more you add but really the quality and quantity of the food really is all worth it and perfectly balanced in price.  This is home cooked food!  No cutting corners.There is so much to do after, like grab some ice cream if you got room or go check out a gallery that's open late or even hit a pub for drinks.  I usually want to take a nap!

If I had a rating scale, I'd give it 5 stars!  I wish my camera didn't die, I had to take the photos with my phone.  Just please, if you're in the Cleveland area, visit this awesome place!  You will not be disappointed!  I like to thank the whole family and employees at Sokolowski's for their hard work, service and quality they give to their customers and myself and my family!  We love you!

Sincerely Hungry,

Sokolowski's University Inn
1201 University Road
Cleveland, Ohio 44113
Phone:  (216) 771-9236
Offering:  Lunch & Dinner, Catering, Parties and Full Bar
Hours:  Lunch:  Monday - Friday, 11-3
             Dinner:  Fridays: 5-9
                         Saturdays: 4-9

Sokolowski's University Inn on Urbanspoon

Friday, March 29, 2013

Colorful Beauty Haul in BH Cosmetics

I have to tell you when I first discovered this makeup I was unsure about what to think because of it's crazy deals and crazy steals.  Though, being an artist, a girl and a lover of makeup I was so gravitated.  I looked up on You Tube for some makeup tutorials, one of my favorite channels being Nitraab!  She is just so pretty and amazing and I've really taken a lot of her makeup advice.  There are many but she's probably one of my favorites.  I'll provide her link at the end of this blog.  

So I gave in.  I looked BH Cosmetics on Facebook, Scoured the Internet for reviews, checked them out on Instagram, Twitter and finally their website.  What caught me besides the amazing crazy amount of colors is the crazy deals and appreciation they have for their customers.  When they hit a certain amount of followers on Facebook they provided everyone with a deal as a thank you!  This was my chance to try them out.  I couldn't wait to get my hands on these palettes.  It doesn't end there because they just keep coming out with amazing deals, it's hard to not give in.  They didn't have to twist my arm.

I got my first shipment, I slowly opened up the package.  So darn excited.  Like a little kid in a candy shop.  Perfectly packaged, I pulled out my beautiful palettes.  I managed to pick up a few other things like makeup remover towelettes, lip gloss and some pencil liners.  My daughter being in the same room I think was just as excited. I opened them up and I was just in awe!  All the colors.  When, where and how will I use these colors and as I look at my daughter it dawned on me.  Halloween, Gymnastics Shows, Holidays and Girl Time.

Above is their 4th and 5th Edition Palettes and Lip Gloss Palettes.  240 Eyeshadows and 66 Lip Glosses, Really????  Yes Really?  Excessive????  No not at all!  Possiblities????  Yes, Endless!!!!

This was my second order where they had another great deal offering BH Party Girl Colors and Cosmetic Brushes.

Well I waited to try them out and write this review.  I was bad with this whole order but I didn't spend more than $50.00.  Which may I add shipping was free and I never make an online purchase I hit Retail Me Not.  Adding extra coupon codes in the order I got a little extra off.  Thank You Retail Me Not!  They have coupon codes for just about every retailer to do your online shopping with great discounts.

BH Cosmetics Palettes feature tons of colors, brushes, primers in an assortment of editions and in every category.  From Face to Eyes to Lips.  As well as accessories.  

If you think about it, we go into a drugstore, grocery store etc.... to buy makeup and we spend an arm and a leg on these makeups not knowing if they're good or not and we are at home feeling & ripped off. First of all I have to tell you before buying, look on the internet.  Get other makeup lovers opinions.  Professional and Freelance Makeupaholics.  They are a great source of info.

Here is what I learned.  Take advantage of their deals.  Head over to Retail Me Not and grab some coupon codes.

I love BH Cosmetics Eyeshadows and Lip Glosses.  The colors are highly pigmented and go on great.  You can get very creative with the colors.  Don't be afraid to use them.

I suggest buying an eye primer to put on before you use eyeshadow, it helps it stay on and pop.  BH Cosmetics offers an eye primer that also acts as a lip stick primer.  That works great as well and I recommend it.

I did it relatively light and I didn't have my camera to do a close up of my eye makeup.  Not happy with the eyeliner as it was Waterproof and dried before I could do it the way I wanted it to, also it made my lashes hard coated.  So if you plan on crying, waterproof eyeliner from Maybelline is the way to go.  I have watery eyes at times so I use waterproof eyeliner but honestly I think I will stick with regular to make it a better winged look.  I think I tried to apply eyeliner like 3 times.  This all took longer than expected.  The lipstick is one of the reds in the BH Cosmetics lip glosses applied with a lip brush and a sparkly glitter which you can't see in the photo but provided some fun.  I also added some Wet n Wild's MEGA LAST® LIQUID LIP COLOR in Red My Mind.  It lasts a long time but if you remove it off your lips it comes off not so lovely.  Here are a few photos using BH Cosmetics.  I will be adding more looks using BH Cosmetics as I use them and experiment.  Foundation Face Makeup (MAC Studio Fix) and Eyebrow Makeup provided by MAC Cosmetics.

For Saint Patrick's Day my daughter wanted to be festive so I did a flag influenced colors on her eyelids using a BH Palette in Orange, Yellow and Green to show her Irish Pride.

Another look Influenced by her Monster High Doll Frankiestein.  Yes that's blue lipstick!

Funny thing about the above picture my friend had asked me to do it in Black & White and said it looked like Morticia from Addams Family.  So I turned into Black and White and this is what she came up.  This is Angelica Huston as Morticia.  I think that I may just be her for Halloween.  Need to make my makeup just a little more dramatic.  Morticia Addams photo from Internet and side by side created by my friend.  What do you think?

I don't think I'll be buying eyeshadows at the grocery store anymore.  For what I can get for 4 colors at the store, I can get 120 colors through BH Cosmetics.  Well worth it.  I see myself buying these as gifts for friends and clients!

These are perfect for Costume Makeup and for Performance Shows like Gymnastics, Wedding and Bridal Makeup too!

My Favorite Freelance Makeup Artist Tutorial Videos:

Please checkout my review on my favorite foundation makeup in my next post.

Have a great weekend & Holiday!
xo, Annamaria

Sunday, November 18, 2012

2 Ingredient La La Lemon Angel Cake Bars

1 Box Angel Food Cake Mix
15 oz. Can Lemon Pie Filling

Preheat oven to 350'F.

Mix together Angel Food Cake Mix with Lemon Pie Filling gently with a spoon or form until just incorporated.  It will start to fluff up and seem foamy.  Make sure not to over mix, DO NOT USE A MIXER.

Spread out into a 9x13 nonstick or parchment paper lined pan.  Do not grease pan.  Spread evenly.

Bake until golden brown on top 25-35 minutes, depending on your oven.  Let cake cool.  Cake may seem puffy but will fall.  This is supposed to happen.  Sprinkle with powdered sugar while still warm.  Cool completely, then cut into bars.  This cake is like a chewy, fluffy, lemony and marshmallowy dense angel food cake texture.

That's it, it's that easy!

Have a great weekend,

Monday, November 12, 2012

Rainbow Babies & Children's Miracle Network Hospitals & Bruegger's Bagels and Bakery Free Coffee Day

(Photo courtesy of UH Hospitals, Rainbow Babies & Children's Hospital)

When I got an opportunity to promote this donation/fundraising event with Bruegger's Bagels and Bakery and Rainbow Babies & Children's Miracle Network Hospital, it came easy to me.  I have a personal connection to these hospitals and many of my friends do to.

See Bruegger's is presenting a Free Coffee Day on November 14th. from the time they open to 2pm.  You can get any beverage for Free.  You have the opportunity to donate money to these hospital that do tremendous work and care for our nation's children and beyond or you can buy their Bottomless Mug and get any beverage for as many times as you like for FREE for 1 year!

This is an amazing this that Bruegger's has partnered up with.  It's a great cause and a great way to thank you for your patronage.

I have a personal story to share with you.  I don't talk about it much because it's hard to explain and it's so personal to our whole family.  Once our family was blessed with a presence of an angel.  He wasn't here long but he brought many smiles and tears of joy along the journey of his life and that was my nephew T.J.

I can't say exactly what kind of condition my nephew had but it was one that started in the womb and it's so very rare.  My dearest nephew, the first grandchild of the family was brought in this world barely having a chance.  He always amazed me.  How he fought.  He fought through every obstacle, every seizure every disability.  Though all the problems he faced, he was loved so dearly.

My dear nephew might of had many disabilities but because of the care given by these network of hospitals, he got great quality care and was cared for like any child and treated with love and understanding.  He was an amazing little guy.  When you thought he was about to give up he surprised you with another miracle.  He surpassed what they said he would live to and when God took him we knew he was finally at peace.

Not everyone is lucky enough to have a happy healthy baby all the time.  But when there is that special little angel that graces us with their presence we are lucky to have this special team of people in these organizations that are there for us when we need the help for our children.  My nephew's name is T.J. for short.  He has a healthy big brother by who is 11 now.  My nephew Christian was also a special baby too even though he's not a baby anymore!  Christian too needed help when he was a baby and came into this world.  He was luckier than his older brother and with the studies and treatments that are partnered with hospitals, they were able to help my nephew Christian live and be a strong a boy!  He's quite the talented boy!  He never forgets his older brother and keeps his memory dear to him.  We all do.  We have little special memories that are near and dear to us of T.J. and makes us grateful the happy healthy children we do have and Thank God everyday for their happy healthy lives.

My Nephew Christian with my Brother Tony who is an Iraq War Veteran as well....
He was born the exact day after my car accident, we were in the hospital at the same time!

So I ask you for your support to stop by your local Bruegger's Bagels and Bakery for this special day event. On November 14, 2012 until 2pm.  Show your support and know that you can make a difference.  You can donate and you can buy their featured Bottomless Mug for $160.00 which gives you free coffee for a year!  That comes out to $0.43 (43 cents) per day for a cup of coffee!!!!  I know I've spent more than that in a year for coffee and it doesn't help anything except break my wallet!  So why not at least do it all at once and be guaranteed as much coffee as you'd like for one year, part of the proceeds will go to helping kids like my nephews.  To help them have better chances for life and the kind of life they have for the time they are here.  These donations have gone to support research and training, purchase equipment, and pay for uncompensated care, all in support of the mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible.

Here is a copy of the promotional article:
(BURLINGTON, Vt.) Oct. 24, 2012 – Bruegger’s Bagels kicks off its annual fundraising for Children's Miracle Network Hospitals today with a coffee-flavored campaign that benefits children’s hospitals across the U.S. The bagel chain, known for its authentic, award-winning New York style bagels, will donate a portion of proceeds from sales of its popular Bottomless Mugs through the end of the year.

Bruegger’s Bottomless Mug Club started more than 10 years ago, and has been helping out local children’s hospitals since 2010. Guests who purchase the Bottomless Mug receive free coffee, tea and soda for the remainder of 2012 and throughout 2013, saving an average of $300 per year. Sales begin today at nearly all of 300+ Bruegger’s locations nationwide.

“Through the Bottomless Mug campaign, Bruegger’s staff and loyal guests can work miracles together for their local children’s hospital,” said Bruegger’s Bagels President David Austin. “Our customers love the benefits of the Bottomless Mug, but more importantly, enjoy the opportunity to help kids in need.”

The highlight of the national campaign comes on Wednesday, Nov.14, when Bruegger’s hosts its popular annual Free Coffee Day until 2 p.m. Guests can enjoy their first cup on Bruegger’s while donating their spare change (or more) to Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals at canisters located by the register. In 2011, guests contributed more than $30,000 on Free Coffee Day.

"Bruegger’s Bagels is such a valued partner, raising both awareness and funds for our local hospitals,” said Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals Chief Corporate Partnerships Officer Clark Sweat. "Through sales of its coffee mugs and the support of its guests, Bruegger’s helps us do more good for millions of children and families across the U.S.”

Last year, Bruegger’s donated nearly $100,000 to benefit kids and families in need through Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals. In addition to the Bottomless Mug campaign, Bruegger’s neighborhood bakeries host fundraisers and events for local children’s hospitals throughout the year.

About Bruegger's Enterprises, Inc. Bruegger's Enterprises, Inc. (BEI), a leader in the fast casual restaurant segment, operates more than 300 Bruegger’s bakeries in North America. Renowned for its award-winning bagels, Bruegger's offers a wide variety of freshly prepared breakfast and lunch options made with high-quality, simple ingredients served with its unique brand of hospitality. Bruegger's is dedicated to the communities it serves and supports charitable causes locally and nationally. BEI’s parent company, Groupe Le Duff, SA, is the world’s second largest company in the bakery-cafĂ© sector. Founded in 1983, BEI is headquartered in Burlington, Vt. For more information, please visit or become a fan on Facebook at

About Children’s Miracle Network HospitalsChildren’s Miracle Network Hospitals® raises funds for 170 nonprofit children’s hospitals across North America, which, in turn, use the money where it’s needed the most. When a donation is given it stays in the community, ensuring that every dollar is helping local kids. Since 1983, Children’s Miracle Network Hospitals has raised more than $4 billion, most of it $1 at a time. These donations have gone to support research and training, purchase equipment, and pay for uncompensated care, all in support of the mission to save and improve the lives of as many children as possible. Learn more at

You can visit Bruegger's Bagels & Bakery on the internet and look for a location by you.

Visit Children's Miracle Network Hospitals website to learn more about them!

This is my nephew's grave and on his plaque he has a special poem...

Do not stand at my grave and weep I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry; I am not there. I did not die.
 ~Mary Elizabeth Frye

This is the original poem by Mary Elizabeth Frye:

Do not stand at my grave and weep I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glints on snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn rain.
When you awaken in the morning's hush I am the swift uplifting rush Of quiet birds in circled flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night. Do not stand at my grave and cry;
I am not there. I did not die.
~Mary Elizabeth Frye

Although sometimes it's really hard to not cry because it is was a sad time but he did brings us so much joy.  Although he could not talk, walk, see or eat on his own.  He knew our touch, he knew when we were there. I'll never forget when I had to hold him and he squeezed me tight.  That is a feeling I'll never forget.  So please, help these organizations, these hospitals who have helped so many children in their lives.  I know that so many families and children would appreciate it.  Lets not forget our little ones who depend on us to help them make a better day tomorrow.

Remember November 14th!  Only until 2pm!  I'll be there and I am getting my yummy coffee in memory of my nephew and give to help.  Don't forget to enjoy some amazing bakery and goodies that Bruegger's has to offer!  Thank you everyone!

Thank You & God Bless,

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Quotations: Alice of Alice in Wonderland

"But it's no use going back to yesterday, because I was a different person then." 
-Alice of Alice In Wonderland 

Written By English author Charles Lutwidge Dodgson under the pseudonym Lewis Carroll in 1865

Be true to you,

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Honey Ham & Baby Swiss Crescent Calzone

Were you ever so hungry but you just didn't know what to make?  Nothing could be easier than this crescent calzone.  I mean, it felt like it took me literally 5 minutes to make.  Took me longer to take the pictures than the actually assembly of it.  What I ended up having was this AMAZING, WARM, FLAVORFUL, GOOEY, CHEESY and YUMMY dinner.  Now I was satisfied with just this but if you were to turn it into a meal for like 4 people, I'd double the recipe and make a salad or some potatoes like French Fries, Roasted Potatoes, Mashed Potatoes or whatever, even a veggie too.  I went solo on this one.

So basically it was just taking my lunch meat, cheese slices and rolled it up in a non-perforated recipe ready crescent roll sheet.  I've done step by step photos with instructions.  I have to mention, I used Baby Swiss in this recipe, My favorite is Guggisberg Baby Swiss.  I love it because it melts perfectly, it's creamy and the perfect taste.  It's not a harsh hard Swiss that many people are used to.  So if you kinda have a love & hate relationship with Swiss, I would try this Guggisberg Baby Swiss.  You will not be disappointed, at least I wasn't.  If you don't like Swiss AT ALL, you can certainly use another cheese and if you don't like Honey Ham, you certainly can swap it out for any other lunch meat, or cooked steak or chicken sliced thin.

THIS RECIPE MAKES ONE Calzone enough for 2 people

Honey Ham & Baby Swiss Crescent Calzone
1 Refrigerated Pillsbury Recipe Creations Crescent Dough or Crescent Roll Dough with Perforations Sealed
1/2 Pound Honey Ham or Any Lunch Meat or Thinly Sliced Cooked Meat (Steak, Chicken or Pork)
1/2 Pound Sliced Baby Swiss Cheese or Your Favorite Sliced Cheese, you can also used Shredded Cheese.
Any Spread like Ranch Dressing, Mustard, Honey Mustard, Thousand Island Dressing, Italian Dressing
(I wouldn't use mayo inside, while baking it could get icky, I would slop it on while you eat it or in a dipping cup.  You can also skip this step completely)
You can certainly add some veggies too if you'd like, like Sauteed Mushroom, Peppers, Roasted Red Peppers, Pepperoncini or Onions, etc....  (If adding veggies do so on top of the cheese).

Preheat Oven to 350'F.

Line a Baking/Cookie Sheet with Parchment Paper.

First Step is to unroll your crescent dough and stretch it out a little but do not tear it.  Just to get it out of it's tight form from being in the can.

Lay your lunch meat down or your cheese down first, (I think this worked better the second time around, helps not to make the dough soggy).

Add your sliced or shredded cheese on top of the lunch meat.  Leave about a half inch space so that you can pinch close.

Start at the long end and begin rolling to the end.  Pinch all opening together.  Snip with a scissors or poke top with a fork to do some venting.  Cook until a Golden Brown, it varies depending on temperature but I checked it about 15-20 minutes in.  You may see some cheese oozing.  That's completely fine!  Means it's hot and cheesy!  =)

Important step is to let it set up before cutting because if you don't it will just smash and fall apart.  You want some stability while eating this.

I hope you enjoy, we sure did.  I think I just thought up my most versatile recipe yet.  It might of been made before by others but hey for me, I thought of it!  ;)

Stay tuned for my sweet dessert version using this method....Can you guess what I might use?  Here are some photos....

Before laying the lunch meat down or cheese down, this is when you add your spread lightly and gently over your crescent dough.
This is when I put down the cheese first over the stretched crescent dough.

Secondly, place your lunch meat or cheese down, whichever way you do it.
This is when you can add your veggies.

Start at the end and start rolling....

Finished rollings, do small snips, just a couple on the stop or poke with a fork to vent.

Bake in a 350'F oven for about 15-20 minutes until golden brown.  

Enjoy and I hope you make it.  Let me know how it turns out.  Don't forget to add some sides to complete the meal!  YUMMY YUMMY!

Happy November (EEK! Already!),

 White Lights on Wednesdays