Sausage & Cheese Calzones

I called the groomer Wednesday to make an appointment for Lola.  As the day wore on and I didn’t receive a callback, I thought to myself…”I wonder if I left that message with the groomer”.  The thing is, the message wasn’t like a business greeting – just “you have reached 508-xxx-xxxx” (beeeeep).  I thought that was a little strange, being a business and all but still, I left my name and number with the message to please call me back about ‘doing’ Lola, the Bernese Mountain Dog.  So, yesterday I called back and sure enough got a professional message “hello, you’ve reached FurrEssentials.  If we’re not answering, it’s because we’re with the dogs, please leave your name and number and we’ll get back to you”.

Oh boy…I’m sitting here wondering who has my name and number and is waiting for a crazy lady to show up on their doorstep with a Bernese Mountain dog.  In any case I guess they’re not interested since I haven’t heard back from them.  But I wonder, am I becoming that befuddled elderly lady who calls me at 7:30am asking for Helen?  And, every time that I tell her that she has the wrong number, she calls back and asked for Helen again.  Sometimes we go through that routine a few times with me asking her what Helen’s number is and explaining that she misdialed the area code until I guess she either gets through to Helen or forgets what it was she wanted to talk to Helen about in the first place.

I’m usually pretty good with the home phone and have gotten used to the violence of calling someone by  “punching” of numbers vs. the more genteel “dialing” although sometimes after punching in a bunch of numbers and sitting waiting for my call to go through I realize that I haven’t “hit” send.

How many of you remember rotary phones?  Now here’s where some of you will give your age away – how many of you remember party lines?  I think if I were to tell a young person that our first phone was a party line that they’d think my family was a fun but weird family.  It’s just recently that I’ve felt comfortable being able to have a long conversation with my daughter without having to worry about toll charges per minute or Mrs. Smith from next door click, clicking to let me know that she wanted to make a phone call herself.  And these long string of numbers to remember, except that you don’t have to remember them anymore because you can store them.  We did store them in the ‘olden days’ but it was in a little address/telephone book kept by the phone.  If you wanted to call someone in your town, you only needed to dial the last 4 digits; out of town you had to add the exchange.  So I guess it’s a good thing to be able to store phone numbers on your cell phone.  Except that you have to make sure that you’re communicating with the right person.

There are plenty of hilarious stories out there about auto correct which can be frustrating when you just have a simple question.  I was out shopping and saw the cutest baby socks.  I wanted to buy them for a couple about to have their first and texted my daughter asking her if it was a boy or girl…
Me:  “Nik, do you know what Matt & Colleen are having- boy or girl
Niki:  Boy
Me:  Ok, saw the cutest things & they’re Izods
Autocorrect:  Uzis
Me:  NO!  Izods
Autocorrect:  IPods
Me:  Damnit!  i-z-o-d-s!
Niki:  LOL.  it’s ok Mom I figured it out
Me:  Just didn’t want u to think I was buying weapons

And then there’s this problem with sending texts to the wrong people.  Usually I text my daughter and I guess I just assume that when I go into the list that hers will be the first one up or default.

Me to Niki:  What time are you coming by to pick up the air conditioner?
My friend Nancy:  ? Diane – thanks but I have central air

Me to Niki:  Are you at Wegman’s? If u r could you buy me those almond croissants? And what is the brand name of the mattress we bought you
Niki’s friend:   No response from her, but a text from her to my daughter:  why does your mom want to know if I’m at Wegmans & why is she asking about my mattress?  (This girl is such a sweetheart though that I’m sure if I really wanted those croissants that she’d go get some for me)

But my best was when my husband and I were out shopping and went separate ways in Macy’s…
Me:  Meet me in the sheets
My friend Richie:  ?Huh?

Now here’s a visual before I give you the recipe for these amazing calzones.  This is a normal brain:

This is my brain:

I need to explain all of that because if you read my last post, you may recall (I think I do) that I took a camera class.  In the class the instructor said to not delete photo’s individually from your camera – either delete all after downloading them from your computer or after downloading, reformatting  the memory stick.  If you delete individual photos, you end up with a badly fragmented memory stick. So thinking of all the practice photos in my class of fellow classmates, I reformatted my camera’s stick forgetting that I had a whole bunch of great shots of these calzones in various stages – beautifully colored mixture, dough rolled and lined up, heaped with filling, and even a shot of a freshly cut calzone which actually showed the steam drifting out.  They’re all gone and alas, but I had to show you something and all I can show you is this half calzone straight from the freezer and hard as a rock.  Trust me though, these calzones have a tasty meat mixture and ooze with melted cheese.



For the dough:
1 1/2 Cups warm water
1 Package dry yeast
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 Teaspoon salt
4 Cups all purpose flour

– Sprinkle yeast over the warm water in a large bowl & let sit for a few minutes. Stir to blend.
– Add olive oil & salt
– Add flour in 1/2 cups, blending after each addition up about 3 1/2 cups. Knead on floured surface adding last 1/2 cup only until dough isn’t sticky
– Smack ball of dough into an oiled bowl, turn & smack it to the other side to coat. Let dough rise until about doubled in size.

For the Mixture:
2 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Small red bell pepper
1 Large sweet onion
4 Large sausage with casing removed – sweet or spicy to your liking
12 Oz About 3 cups coarsely grated mozzarella cheese
12 Oz 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
4 Teaspoons oregano

– Heat oil in heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and bell pepper until softened, set aside
– Cook sausage meat, adding a little oil if necessary, breaking meat up with a fork until cooked
– Mix mozzarella & ricotta cheeses in bowl with oregano

Preheat oven to 400 °.  Punch down dough, cut into 8 equal portions for a generously sized calzone.  Roll each out into a circle and drop equal amounts of meat filling, then cheese mixture into the center of each.  Fold each in half and pinch the edges firmly.  Sprinkle corn meal on 2 cookie sheets and divide calzones onto.  Pierce the tops with either a fork or knife to let steam escape.

Position 1 oven rack on top level and 1 rack on bottom.  Place one cookie sheet on each level for 15 minutes.  Reverse cookie sheets and cookie for another 15 minutes. until golden brown.

34 thoughts on “Sausage & Cheese Calzones

  1. First, I remember rotary dial phones. We had those back when most households had a single phone that was usually located in a main living area. Our home (now) still had a rotary phone mounted and working in the garage when we bought the house more than 10 years ago. I just recently took that thing off the wall to give to a friend and had forgotten how heavy they were. — As for party lines, they were a little before my time. When we used to call my older brother (who lived near Hot Springs, Arkansas at the time) we’d get the ol’ party line.

    About formatting cards vs. deleting photos one-at-a-time… Formatting is easier and quicker, but a fragmented SD card isn’t exactly like a fragmented 386 PC (showing my age now). It might take 1-2 seconds longer for your computer to find a photo on a severely fragmented card, but I’ve honestly never noticed. I occasionally format, but the card I’m using right now in my camera is screwed up and won’t allow a format. It’ll still hold images, etc. though, so I still use it. Sometimes I delete a handful of photos at a time. Other times I highlight the whole lot and hit ‘delete.’

    By the way, was that you who called my house the other day? Because someone with a wicked Boston accent left a barely discernible message about a dog. We weren’t sure exactly what you wanted, so we decided not to return the call. Sorry. 😉


    • Helen? Is that you? So it’s ok if I drop Lola off? Just use the oatmeal shampoo & rinse but really try to get that undercoat raked out if you don’t mind.

      When we sold my mother’s house about 10 years ago, we had to get these big wire cutters to cut the big black cable – no clip in on that phone. I was trying to figure what she’d paid in the rental for over 50 years because you couldn’t own your phone – “The Phone Company” owned it.

      You think you’re dating yourself w/the 386 PC? How about pre-PC when we used to bring the transmittal forms down to Betty in keypunch?


  2. My person says she remembers having a party line when she was a kid. I don’t know anything about those phones. I just bark my message to the neighbor dogs.


  3. Hi Diane Looks like Adam is your dog grooming man!! 🙂 I have a question for you. What is your all purpose flour like? I gather it is a flour you can use for everything but is it made from a soft wheat or a hard wheat or a combo or a wheat which is neither soft nor hard? Is it like a ‘lowest common denominator’ type flour? Do you get better cakes if you make them out of a soft wheat flour and do you get better bread if you make it out of a hard wheat flour? It is all very interesting. We have ‘plain’ flour which is used for cakes which is made out of a soft wheat and bread or bakers flour which is made out of a hard wheat. It is my understanding that hard wheat flour has more gluten in it which is what you want when you are making bread.


    • I’m buying a train ticket for Lola to get down to Texas for her spa day – I’m sure Adam won’t mind at all.
      As for the flour, my mother used Gold Medal All Purpose Flour as far back as I remember & I guess I just never thought to use anything else. The one I usually get is an enriched bleached flour that I think is a combination of hard & soft wheat so that it can be used for white breads & cake baking. You’re right about the hard wheat being best for bread & the soft wheat better for cakes but this all purpose seems to be right in the middle & covers both. I usually make French bread which the all purpose works fine for. Gold Medal makes all different types of flours that are a little more specialized & they do have one specifically for bread. Now that you’ve got me thinking about it, I’m going to give it a try and see what difference I notice. Time for kitchen experiments.


    • CC, that calzone did make me very happy! I was a little surprised at how many it made which turned out great to have some for the freezer…you know those nights when you say “huh, what am I going to make tonight?”


  4. My husband always talks about party lines. Think I just missed them. I am equally as “technologically” challenged Diane so don’t feel alone. Fabulous calzones.
    Have a beautiful weekend.
    🙂 Mandy xo


    • You know Mandy, lately there’s been so much controversy here about the government tapping phone lines & spying on the internet. I think it’s kind of funny because if you go back to the 50’s when we had party lines, I’m sure Mrs. Smith was getting quite an earful – especially once my sisters & I had boyfriends 🙂
      I guess we’ve come full circle, it’s just someone else listening in.


  5. Well, did you ever get Lola groomed. Let me tell you about funny and crazy texts I send my girls. They certainly are entertained. Crazy moms. Calzones looked creamy good. Good to know about the camera.. I always delete my photos one at a time. Oh, we should talk about your class. Maybe I’l learn something.


    • I at least got an appointment for Lola although it’s a couple weeks away so we’ll be knee deep in fur by then.
      You know they make those buttons so tiny that it’s hard to get any message that’s coherent. We should have a photo shoot with our cameras – oh, I’ll copy the notes she gave us which has some really good information on it. At least I’m finally off using that green “auto” setting for everything.


  6. I would’ve texted you to express my enthusiasm about this post, but I’m even less skilled at texting than you claim to be. Let’s just relax and have a nice calzone, shall we? 😉


    • Yeah, best we don’t add any more names on my text list – who knows what I’ll be asking you…but if you go by Wegman’s and you’re in the area could you grab me a few of those nice almond croissants? We can have them after the calzones.


  7. I remember both rotary phones and party lines, Diane. I also remember clicking those 2 buttons on the phone’s cradle to get the operator. And I can remember the phone number of my childhood home, yet I’ve no idea of any of the current phone numbers of my friends or family. My texts are so badly spelled that even auto-correct has given up. I blame it on my thumbs. One of your calzones would make it all better, though. Love that you’ve included ricotta with the mozzarella. Calzones should come with a warning: guaranteed to burn the roof of your mouth. It gets me every time.


    • Whew, thank you John…I was beginning to think that I might be the only/oldest one out there. And I also remember my childhood number but I can’t even tell you what my cell number is.
      I think you’re right about a warning for calzones – it’s hard to wait though isn’t it?


  8. Growing up on my parents ranch in Texas, all our phones were rotary. We only had to dial 5 numbers for the longest time. My mother just moved a couple of years ago and took her phones with her. I don’t make mistakes with texting because I don’t do it. 😀 From looking at your frozen calzone, I can just imagine how good it is when it is steaming hot.


    • Thank you! Another one who remembers rotary phones. When we sold my mothers house we had to cut the phone cord with big clippers because they were hard wired back then – no clip in’s.
      Yes, the calzone was a little better steaming hot & wouldn’t want to chomp into that one on the plate for sure!


  9. Yum recipe! Since I always seem to have tortillas I think this will make a great quesadilla! Will buy ingredients this week and make. I remember rotary phones. Ours used to be avocado green. As for party lines that sounds like a toll number advertised on late late late night infomercials that I would never dare to even think of dialing.


  10. Dearest Diane, I have to come out and admit it as I remember using the old rotary phones and it was a real drag if you had a lot of “9”‘s in your phone number. We had a party line and when you wanted to talk to your friends in private we had a long telephone cord that could reach from the kitchen to the hallway. Those were the good ole days. Now as far as I can see in HK everyone is glued to their phones and multimedia. People do not talk so much to each other anymore so they can no longer read body language but instead we send e-mails. I love technology, but It also has it’s negatives, I am just glad I have my teenagers to help me learn all the new in’s and outs of social media. I just love this calzone and I know my boys would too. Wishing you a super week!


    • You know now that you mention it – you’re right about the phone numbers that had the 8’s & 9’s in them! I’d forgotten how loooong it took to make those calls. The length of the cord was a bummer for teenagers. Our one phone was in my parents bedroom & I remember trying to drag it as far as it could go & then stretch out the curly receiver line into the bathroom. But then we only had one bathroom so that got to be a problem too. Kids don’t know how easy it is nowadays do they?


  11. Oh wow, I need to remember to read your posts whenever I’m feeling at all gloomy; you always make me chuckle! I definitely remember rotary phones; it was a big deal when we got our first push-button phone. Much later, when I finally submitted and got a cheap flip cell phone, my faraway older sister had had her cell for a long time. I didn’t know how to save numbers in my phone yet, but I realized that my cell phone would text, so I wrote a quick note to my sis, “I love you!” That’s all. And sent it to a stranger.
    I love calzones, and even your frozen sausage one looks delicious, especially after seeing the recipe.


    • I’m so happy to brighten your day and I’m glad that I’m not the only one who remembered rotary phones and that I’m not the only one texting strangers. But don’t you wonder who got your message? Every now & then I still get that lady looking for Helen and we go through the same thing about how the area codes got changed. We’re right on the dividing line of area codes so if I call to the east of us it’s a different area code.
      I was so mad about deleting all those calzone photos because some were really great! The frozen one, well it was hard to make that look appetizing but what can you do?


  12. Ah well, I can only imagine how good the calzones were if the half-frozen one looked appealing enough to eat! 🙂 Yes, I remember rotary phones, and days when we had to wait for photos to be developed, and when French cheese came in tins, and I USED to remember how to drive a manual, and part of my brain must still know, because I occasionally find myself pumping my left foot up and down on the foot brake when I want to change gear. Aarrgh! 🙂


    • Celia, you are just the nicest person ever, thank you. I think though that the brick of calzone was something even my dog passed up.
      Yes! I’m so glad that I’m not the only one who remembers rotary phones although I don’t remember French cheese in tins (that was probably beyond our budget). But I drive a little stick shift car & when I do drive an automatic, I’m doing the same thing with the left foot.


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