Sausage and Pepperoni Calzones

Have you ever had a calzone? They’re delicious! Think pizza folded in half. Only instead of your typical pizza toppings, calzones doesn’t have a sauce, and are filled with a cheesy, pizza topping mixture. The crust gets nice and crusty on the outside, and the cheese turns delightfully molten on the inside (don’t burn yourself!). Dip it in a marinara sauce, and you might even consider swearing off “normal” pizza for good.

First, make up your dough and let it rise.

While it’s rising, make your filling. Brown the sausage, dice the pepperoni, shred the cheese, mix it all together.

After the dough is done, punch it down and divide it into two. On a floured surface, roll out each half. Cover one half of the dough with half of the filling, leaving a border around the edge.

Fold the other side over the top, and brush with egg wash (a beaten egg+a Tbs. water).

Bake at 375 degrees for 30 minutes. Serve with a hearty side of marinara sauce.

This recipe is a winner and is a fun twist on traditional pizza. Give it a try!

Ricotta and Mozzarella Calzones

Ricotta and Mozzarella Calzones


    For the dough:
  • 2 1/4 tsp. yeast
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 1 cup warm water (105-110 degrees F)
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 3 cups flour, divided
  • For the filling:
  • 1/2 cup ricotta cheese
  • 8 oz. mozzarella cheese, shredded
  • 1/2 cup pepperoni, diced
  • 1/2 lb. ground sausage, cooked and drained
  • 1/2 cup mushrooms, sliced (about 6 small)
  • 1/2 onion, diced finely
  • 1 Tbs. dried basil
  • 1 Tbs. dried oregano
  • 1 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1 egg, beaten and mixed with 1 Tbs. water


    To make the dough:
  1. Mix yeast and sugar in water. Note: Make sure your water is the right temperature! Allow mixture to sit and proof for 5 minutes.
  2. In a bowl, mix water and yeast with olive oil, 1 cup of flour, and salt. Once smooth, add 1 1/2 cups of flour, reserving the remaining 1/2 cup for kneading. Dump the dough onto the counter, and start kneading. Add flour as needed. The goal is an elastic dough that isn't sticky. Kneading should take about 5 minutes.
  3. Put the dough into a clean bowl with 1 tsp. olive oil. Turn dough to coat. Cover the bowl with saran wrap, and allow to rise for an hour.
  4. To make the calzones:
  5. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  6. While the dough is rising, cook and drain the 1/2 lb. of sausage. Add it to a bowl, and mix in the cheeses, pepperoni, mushrooms, onion, basil, oregano, and garlic powder.
  7. When the dough is doubled in size, or nearly so, punch it down and divide in half.
  8. Roll out one half into a circle, and put half of the cheese mixture on half of the dough. Fold and press to seal. Repeat with the second half of the dough and the second half of cheese mixture.
  9. Beat one egg with 1 Tbs. of water. Use a basting brush to coat the tops in egg wash.
  10. Bake for 30 minutes at 375 degrees, or until the top is golden brown and the crust is cooked through. Serve with marinara sauce on the side for dipping.

Recipe adapted fromĀ

Happy calzone making!

If you’re interested…homemade pizza and our trip to Florence.

Saturday Small Talk

Happy Saturday! It’s a big one for me.

1. It’s my birthday, and I love, love, love, love my birthday. I embrace this. Celebrate anything and everything, I say.

2. I’m doing a triathlon this morning! When I realized my birthday was the same date as Winona Lake‘s annual triathlon, I knew I had to do it. It’s the perfect first (maybe only?) race of the year!

What are you up to today? Any fun plans for the weekend?

In case you missed it…. sausage, onion, and green pepper egg cups and making your own photo yearbook.

What it means to live a portfolio life. I love the concept!

Do or don’t: signing your emails xoxo.

This article resonated with me. “I’ll probably always be really happy and a little sad all the time from now on.”

Would you prioritize a workout over your job?

How to retire early and not be broke.

Try something new this weekend and break out of your comfort zone.

What standard would you like to be measured against?

Honestly WTF is totally worth checking out.

Enjoy your day!

How to Make a Photo Yearbook in 4 Easy Steps (and a freebie for you!)

In the age of digital photography, it’s easy to take We have smartphones, our family members have smart phones, and we have big cameras. With everyone snapping photos, we end up with hundreds at the end of every week, month, year. To wade through them all is a task not for the faint of heart. And so, we let our photos pile up on our phones, SD cards, or hard drives, and never make prints.

And I think that’s a shame. Enter, the photo yearbook. Each year, I create a book that’s a fun reflection of the highlights of that year–trips, projects, accomplishments, and activities.


1. Find a deal. Scour the internet for a bargain on a hardcover book in the size you want (I usually look for 8×11). Discounts are readily available via Living Social, Groupon, or by checking your favorite printing source. You have plenty of options, and many of the big-name ones have great online software allowing you to drag and drop photos and design elements.

2. Get organized. Make a list of all of the year’s events you want to include and the approximate amount of pages you can dedicate. This small amount of foresight will keep you from getting 75% of the way through the book but only 10% through your photos.

3. Pick the best. Upload the year’s best photos into the software. This is the hardest part–wading through a nearly endless amount of phone pictures and camera pictures to find the ones I want to include. Do yourself a favor and upload only the finalists–the favorites of the favorites. It will make designing so much easier!

4. Design! Drag and drop your photos into different templates, add backgrounds, design elements, and text (or don’t). I try not to get too perfectionist during this step. The point is the photos you’re printing–not that you slaved over a layout for 3 hours.

In order to document things that aren’t photograph-able, I put a text page in the front. I include some fun info about our lives (what our families/close friends are up to, what we do for employment, our favorite TV show, etc.) and the state of the world (big current events, average price of gas, cost for a gallon of milk, etc). Even though we’re only a few years in, it’s fun to flip back and read!

Are you convinced yet? I hope so! If a full year of photos is too overwhelming, create books by occasion. I have a separate book for our wedding, and I’m working on a book of our trip to Italy. You’ll get there, and it will be worth it. Promise!

Without further ado, your freebie! Shutterfly is offering a FREE 8×8 hardcover photobook. These books are normally $29.99, but for the next 5 days, they’re free+shipping ($8). This is a great opportunity to try your hand at photobook making without a big investment.

To get the deal, head over to and start your book. When you get to the checkout, enter the code SUNNYBOOK. Code expires 6/30/2015.

EDIT: you missed the deal, but Shutterfly is still offering 50 free prints for new customers. Click here to get yours today!

If you’re interested…taking better photos and making a vision board.