Spruced up pepperoni rolls to bait your older kids home
I'm in the business of throwing food around quickly, as you might've guessed.
But lately -- even more so since it's summer and well, there's lots of family and not-so-little babies around -- I've been invited to many outdoor functions, so many in fact, that I haven't had to do a complete meal for a week of Sundays because they're the kind that you're only requirement to attend is to bring a covered dish.
It's been fun, but this summer I've also been plagued with doing more and more kid friendly menus that will not only capture the attention of the wee ones, but also allure the adults and make their bellies smile as well.
I love when my boys are around, but now that they're all graduated and moving on with their lives, I wear a different hat. It's total manipulation on my part and it goes a little something like this in the form of a text: "Yo! I made your favorite dessert, get over here." or "Pepperoni rolls for days...made with my own special marinara sauce."
I should feel guilty using my culinary whiles to lure them to my presence but I don't. A mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do. If the text alone doesn't work I have one more trick in my back pocket and that's a luscious picture to send them. It works every time. They stay long enough to tell me their day's business and sometimes they'll even confide in me about their fun they've had all week or the troubles at work they're facing.
It's a win-win situation. We eat. We smile. We share. And that's what food is all about. It's a bridge that connects our souls as we feast on a life lived and wrapped in love.
These are killer pepperoni rolls that are spruced up a bit with fresh basil and two different kinds of cheese. Be prepared when you serve them that no one will talk for at least five minutes -- the time it takes for the brain to register there's plenty to eat and no one is going to steal them, so it's safe to breathe and possibly say a few words before grabbing another.
1 package frozen pizza dough (thawed, so take it out before work in the morning)
1 package pepperoni
1 package fresh basil
1 block of parmesan cheese
2 cups mozzarella cheese
1 small can tomato sauce
1 tsp. oregano dried
1 clove garlic
1 small onion chopped
1 T. butter
2 T. chopped parsley
2 T. chopped basil
Preheat an oven to 375 degrees.
Pull apart a small golf ball size of the bread dough. Flatten it out to form a disc. Place 2 pieces of pepperoni, a small rock of parmesan cheese you can break off and a handful of mozzarella cheese on the flattened disc of dough. Add a leaf of basil and then pull one side of the disc up and over the mound of cheese and pepperoni and pinch together all sides.
In a sprayed cupcake tin, place the ball of dough filled with the cheese and pepperoni. Repeat until each cupcake hole is filled with a roll. Allow to rise for about 20 minutes. Now place this in a hot oven and bake for 12 minutes.
On the stove while this is baking, in a small saute pan over medium heat place the butter, garlic and onion. Saute for 2 minutes then add the spices. Saute for 1 minute then add the tomato sauce. Allow to warm through until ready to serve with the pepperoni rolls.
Janet McCormick is the author of "10-Minute Meals" and owner of Let's Eat in Huntington. She lives in Lawrence County, Ohio. She can be reached at 304-654-2003 or www.10-minutemeals.com.