My great-grandparents were known by their nicknames–Hard Times and Poor Boy. Those phrases certainly describe today’s economy and making ends meet while keeping your family fed–it’s hard when you’re poor! When it comes to making meals, as a single mom I have learned that you make do the best you can, and sometimes you have to pull out your creativity. Here’s a recipe I came up without of necessity and I call them “Hard Times Calzones” because sometimes hard times call for creative thinking.
The need for this recipe came about one night when I planned to whip up some homemade calzones and my kids were salivating, waiting for me to finish. When I went to grab the mozzarella cheese out of the fridge to add to the dough, lo and behold, there was none! I was sure I had everything needed to make calzones and I had already made the dough (Tip: Before starting a dish, make sure you have all ingredients–don’t assume you have everything).
All was not lost as I managed to throw together a meal of what I dubbed “Hard Times Calzones,” using ingredients I actually did have on hand. The verdict from my hungry kids? “These are pretty good Mom!”
So how did I make these easy calzones from what I had available?
What you’ll need:
1 package pizza crust mix
1 can tomato sauce (or ready made pizza/pasta sauce)
spices (to make sauce–garlic powder, oregano, basil, black pepper)
To make the calzones, add 3 tablespoons of parmesan cheese and 1 tablespoon of oil to the pizza crust mix then mix according to directions (the parmesan can be worked into the dough if you already made the dough). Form the dough into 4-5 small dough balls, press flat and place on greased pan. Bake at 400 degrees for about 10-12 minutes until slightly browned.
To make the sauce add 1 tablespoon oil, 1 teaspoon parmesan cheese, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/4 teaspoon each of oregano and basil, and a dash of black pepper. Mix well then warm up in microwave for about one minute. Drizzle sauce over the calzones then sprinkle with parmesan cheese.
These hard times calzones were tasty, even though they didn’t have any type of filling. While my crew prefers calzones that have yummy cheese inside, this recipe is good enough that they were satisfied and the dough I had already made didn’t have to go to waste. Grandma Hard Times would be proud!