feature friday – brownies for dinner

More often then not,  I think I should have followed my affinity for sweets and went to pastry school many years ago. I’ve always been fascinated with the aesthetic side of baking and to be fair, the taste of it.

I’m the first one to suggest dessert when I go out to dinner and always happy to whip up something tasty when there are guest over. Often, if you see me in a dazed and confused state, I’m thinking one of two things but usually its food.

One of my favorite things to do is find baking recipes and alter it to my taste. Even though baking is more of an exact science, I love to play around with recipes and seeing what happens.

When I stumbled upon Brownies for Dinner I knew it was a match made in heaven. Since I’ve been known to forgo a regular dinner for a big bowl of ice cream, the title alone was enough to make me dig further.

Brownies for Dinner is filled with delicious and inspiring recipes that will satisfy your sweet tooth without bursting your belt buckle. Patricia, the author, loves her sweets but wants to find balance and fit into her jeans as well. Here, she offers up just the right mix of decadent treats with lower cal favorites.

But I think I’d still like my brownie for dinner please!

gluten-free calzone

David and I love pizza. And when I say love, I mean we’d eat it regularly if it were a little healthier for us. The other problem is, I eat gluten-free. David, the angel he is, has been very accommodating to my weird dietary needs and also very willing to explore alternatives to traditional pizza crust. This past weekend we decided to have a ‘lazy’ day watching movies (The Lord of the Ring since I’d never seen it) and make pizza.

We’ve done this before using Bob’s Red Mill GF Pizza Crust Mix. I know, I know. I’m a country girl now. I should be making the crust from scratch. Well, here’s the thing. Why making something from scratch if it’s just as good coming out of a bag? Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE the idea of making everything from scratch but this pizza crust happens to be extremely good and plus, it was our ‘lazy’ day. If there was a pizza joint in Newberg, OR that served GF pizza, we’d probably would have just ordered it.

As we began to prepare the dough I suggested making calzones instead. I love calzones almost as much as I love pizza. It’s like a little pocket full of surprise whenever you bit into it. So calzones it was…

The problem today was David and I wanted slightly different toppings, or insides if you will. David wanted it to be pretty simple. Pepperoni, salame, olives, mozz cheese, and his homemade tomato sauce. Me on the other hand, I wanted the whole shebang. Pepperoni, salame, olives, mozz cheese, pepporchinis, and jalapenoes and David’s magical sauce.

Okay, this should be easy. We’ll just make TWO! And that is exactly what we did.

We began by following the directions on the back of the bag. When the dough was ready, David made his homemade special sauce. It’s a secret. I could tell you but then you all know what that means…

David making his homemade special sauce

Okay, I’ll tell you…

Can of tomatoes, few cloves of garlic, olive oil, fresh basil, salt and pepper

David rolled out the dough because I was having difficulties doing it myself (I’m still learning how to be a true country girl after all) and began putting on the fixings.

We baked the calzones until the tops were golden brown. About 25 minutes or so. When finished, they needed to cool for about 10 minutes before we could devour them.

About to go in the oven

Just out of the oven

And then...we ate