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Adventures in Drool:  Stromboli Sundays

By Rachel Swick Mavity | Oct 01, 2012
Source: images Enjoy a healthy and delicious Spinach-Ricotta Stromboli this week. Make sure to have some sauce for dipping.

Happy Monday droolers!

I hope everyone had an amazing weekend. I certainly did. This cooler weather is keeping my family outside longer - as long as we are well-armed with mosquito repellent. Any recommendations on a spray that works and is safe for kids?

Droolface passed the hours Sunday with lots of adventures. He is transitioning from two naps to one nap, but that one nap took up a good portion of the afternoon.

When he finally awoke from his beauty rest, lunch was served, and the rest of the day was set aside for playing outside.

He enjoyed his first bike ride. We strapped him into a child seat on the back of my bicycle and did some spins around the neighborhood. He seemed to enjoy it, but I will have to build up my leg muscles to increase our distance!

The best time of the afternoon was playing with his friend, Keily. The two of them are peas in a pod. Born four days apart, Keily and Droolface are developing differently in some ways, but the same in others.

Do you find this with your children and their friends? Or even when comparing two of your own children?

While Droolface is advanced in running and throwing, Keily does better with communication and organization. She can figure out how to get something she wants better than Droolface. Of course, once she gets it, Droolface is right there to take it from her.

Developmentally, both of the kids are doing well, even though they aren't necessarily meeting the milestones.

Just a reminder to you parents out there - kids develop on their own schedule. Try to be supportive by giving opportunities for your kids to excel, but pushing them to meet so-called developmental deadlines will only lead to frustration - both for the kids and for you!

Have a great week!

 

Stromboli in a flash

I created this recipe on the fly Sunday night to appease both the women and men in my household. The men wanted meat; the women wanted greens. And so, a Spinach Ricotta Stromboli was born. If the men in your house insist on meat, replace the spinach mixture with cooked ham, sliced Italian salami, tomato sauce and mozzarella.

You will need:

• Any brand instant pizza dough mix. I found it near the prepared foods in my grocery store. It's a mix that you add water to and let sit for about 10 minutes - easily the fastest pizza dough I've ever used. Prepare according to package directions - for each stromboli, I used two packets of the mix.

 

Spinach-Ricotta mixture

Mix the following together in a medium bowl:

• 1 box chopped frozen spinach, thawed and drained well

• 1 small container part-skim ricotta cheese

• 1/2 to 3/4 cup of part-skim mozzarella, shredded

• Grated Parmesan cheese

• Pinches of garlic powder, salt and pepper, chili flakes and Italian seasoning, if desired.

• Just a drizzle of olive oil to keep it all moist

 

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. If you have a pizza stone, place it on the middle shelf of the oven.

After the dough is ready, sprinkle some floor on your work surface. I used a pizza board because it makes the transfer from work area to oven easier. You could also use an upside-down baking sheet. You will want it well floured so you can slide the finished stromboli off it and onto the pizza stone in the oven. If you don't want to deal with that, simply create your stromboli on the upside-down baking sheet and place the whole thing in the oven when you are ready.

On your floured surface, roll out the dough to form a rectangle. Keep sprinkling flour so the dough isn't sticking to your fingers or to the board. I used a pizza roller, but a rolling pin works great as well.

Once you have your rectangle, drizzle a bit of olive oil over the dough, then dump the entire spinach mixture on top and spread it out evenly over one side of the dough. Keep in mind, you will need to fold half of the dough over top, so don't take up too much room with the filling.

After the mixture is evenly distributed over half of the dough, drizzle a bit more olive oil and fold the empty side of the dough over top.

Use a fork to seal the open edge of the stromboli. Make sure it is tightly sealed so the filling doesn't leak out.

Use a sharp knife to make about three slits on the top of the stromboli to allow the steam to escape.

Now you are ready to bake. If you have the pizza stone, gently slide the stromboli onto it in the oven. It is easiest if you have removed all the other racks in the oven.

Bake for about 20 minutes or until crust is browned and filling is hot.

I served the stromboli on the pizza stone in the center of the table. Make sure to have a sharp knife to cut through, as well as a spatula to help keep it all together when serving.

Keep kid fingers away from the stone because it will remain hot for most of dinner.

Enjoy!

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