Archive for the ‘New York City’ Category

If New York City was a person, I would imagine them to be calm, cool, sophisticated, a little bit snotty.  Obviously very highly opinionated and vain, self-absorbed, definitely unflappable, and above all, tough.  Until, that is, a little frozen condensation gets in the picture.

Unless you’ve been under a rock (or perhaps on a glorious vacation in a far off land sans internet connection?), you know that NYC was hit with a pretty bad (for NYC standards) snowstorm over the weekend.  And despite its permanent placement in the Northeast, despite it’s tough-guy attitude, despite it’s bragging that NYC is the “best city on the planet,”  this place is absolutely freaking out.

Now, it’s not like we have 8 feet of snow.  We have two feet, maybe. And it’s not even the biggest snow-storm to hit the Big Apple. It’s like, the sixth biggest.  So in the large scheme of things, it’s not really a big deal.

But you’d never know that from the way everyone is acting.

Luckily H and I managed to get back into the city via the always delightful (sarcasm) Metro-North Railroad on Sunday evening, before everything really went to hell.  But upon waking up on Monday morning we discovered that not only was our subway line completely suspended (not too surprising as they are elevated tracks out in the wilds of Astoria, Queens) but the Metro-North, the LIRR, every airport in the area, the New Jersey Transit, and pretty much every other subway line and bus route was also, amazingly, not functioning.  Cabs and cars?  Don’t even ask.  You would have had better luck cross-country skiing down 5th Ave.  Which, actually, I think people did.

I’m not sure you non city-dwellers will comprehend just how ridiculous this is, but try to imagine it.  An entire city of millions of people, most of whom depend entirely (like myself) on getting around via public transit, placed into a state of suspended animation. It was, excuse my french, a complete and utter shit show.  It was like with the first few flakes people’s brains turned from regular, logical function into OHMYGODFROZENWATERFALLINGFROMTHESKYWHATDOWEDOPANIC!

Don’t believe me?  Exhibit A:

Creepy, isn't it? (image from Gizmodo.com)

Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together… mass hysteria! I mean people just abandoned their cars, their MTA buses, whatever, because holy moly it’s SNOW.

Still, you might be saying, whatevs, a morning of transit delays and stuck cars, no big deal.  But you honestly have no idea.

People were trapped on subways.  Trapped! Which is terrifying in and of itself, but combined with blizzard conditions?  Woof.  Not even for a couple of hours, but for 7 hours, or 8 hours, or hey, even 15 hours. 311 (sort of like 911 for complaining here in NYC) and real 911 were shut down, paramedics and other emergency people couldn’t get to anyone who needed help, and there were power-outages galore.

And where were the MTA workers and Sanitation workers and all those other people who get paid to clean up after storms like this?

Well frankly, I have no idea.  But I do know where they weren’t: cleaning off the tracks of subways (as of today, Thursday, there are still subway lines that aren’t functioning), spreading ice on train platforms so we don’t all slip and plunge to our death, or plowing 90% of streets in the outer boroughs.

In the aftermath of this storm, people aren’t exactly calming down.  Everyone is all ragey because Mayor Bloomberg pooh-poohed the storm and suggested people “go to a Broadway show” or something like that, instead of mobilizing resources to help citizens dig out.  It also did not help ole Mikey’s cause when pictures surfaced of his block plowed down to the black top bright and early Monday morning, while the rest of us (AKA Queens and Brooklyn) languished under the drifts.

Like I said: freaking. out.

So what did I do during Snowpocalypse 2010?  Duh, what any good NYC office drone did: “worked from home” and watched 18 episodes of “My Fair Wedding with David Tutera” on TV.

The snow sure did look pretty from my balcony, though.


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You guys!  It’s DECEMBER.  How did that happen?  Wasn’t yesterday like, August?  Labor Day?  Where did Autumn go?

It is suddenly the Christmas season, and I’m not exactly prepared for it.  Maybe it’s because it snuck up on me so fast, maybe because we don’t have a Christmas tree yet, or maybe I’m just being a total Scrooge, but I am having a very hard time getting into the holiday spirit.

This is a problem.  Because  I love Christmas.  I love everything about it.  I love sparkling lights and snow storms and family togetherness and eating until you are too full and buying  presents for people you love and listening to Bing Crosby crooning carols on repeat.  The list could go on and on.  There isn’t anything about Christmas that I don’t like.

Except, in the past few years, since I started working, basically, Christmas has lost a little bit of its magic.  In my first year at my job, I was positively aghast that we didn’t automatically get Christmas Eve off.  I was even more disappointed that I didn’t have enough days to just take it off.  I was stuck going to work on Christmas Eve–a travesty if I ever heard one.  I had to take the stupid Metro-North home on Christmas Eve, and it pretty much made me want to cry.

When I was a kid, obviously, Christmas was chock full of spirit and cheer.  My parents were awesome about keeping the Santa pretense alive, supplying the best presents, and creating lasting traditions.  Even in college, the fact that I was home loafing around for 4 weeks meant that I could lay underneath the tree to stare at the blinking lights and inhale Christmas-Tree Smell to my heart’s content.  Now, though, I am an adult.  And adults, apparently, have to work extra hard to get in the holiday spirit.  Or at least, this one does.

It’s not only the job factor, though.  I automatically associate Christmas with my family being together, alternately irritating one another and making each other laugh, watching favorite Christmas movies (what up, Muppet Christmas Carol), and just hanging out. But in recent years, as it is wont to happen, my family is slowing growing up and apart.  Siblings are scattered to what seems like the 4 corners of the earth (really, just Boston, North Carolina, and Alabama), and the lead-in to Christmas, which I think is pretty key in enforcing the Christmas Spirit, has been drastically shortened.  To like, 1 day.

So now, we don’t decorate the Christmas tree together.  We don’t watch Dad throw a hissy fit when he A. can’t find the outdoor lights, B. can’t find the ladder to hang the outdoor lights, and C. can’t make the G-D outdoor lights stay up on the G-D roof.  We exchange names for Secret Santa via email and text message instead of picking them out of a hat, and the days of searching for Reindeer tracks on the roof on Christmas morning are long gone.

I’m not saying that we get together for two days and then abruptly peace out, but it’s different from how it used to be.  And if there is one thing that I am not the hugest fan of, it’s change.  Especially when it comes to my favorite time of year.

This is not to say that I mope listlessly around until the moment I am able to escape to my childhood home and start celebrating.  I do make all efforts to bring the Christmas to my current home.  This very evening, actually, I am forcing H to buy me a Christmas tree and drag it home (while I watch) in the sub-zero temperatures we are experiencing here in NYC.  And then I’ll put on my own Bing Crosby Carol mix and decorate the tree myself.  Sure, it won’t be weighed down with ornaments lovingly and painstakingly collected over the last 25 years, but still.  It’s something, at least.

And it does help, somewhat, to be in New York City during Christmas.  Because even if this  place is dirty and stinky and gross every other time of the year, something special happens to it during Christmas.  You might have to look beyond the glaring HOLIDAY SALE signs and the tourists clogging the sidewalks (just elbow them out of the way), and it sounds pretty cliché, but New York at Christmas really is just the best. Even if our snow turns gray 5 minutes after it’s fallen.  It’s just so sparkly here.

So with festive New York City, and my very own tree, and maybe an emergency viewing of It’s a Wonderful Life, I think I might start slowly inching away from Scrooge-dom.  Even though we aren’t chasing the dog around the house with a Santa hat, even though there aren’t 8 million boxes of ornaments to hang on my tree, even though I probably won’t get to sit on Santa’s lap this year, I think I will somehow, some way, make it.  I am starting to realize that like too many other things in life, being cheerful at Christmas isn’t automatic: you have to make an effort for it. So as soon as I stop waiting for Christmas to come over me, as soon as I go out there and insist upon it, my problems will be solved. 

To kick-start things for myself (and hopefully, for you guys too) I give you two clips that I dare you to try to watch without feeling at least the teeniest bit Christmasy.  Double-doggie-dare you, actually.

PS: Try to tell me that the Ghost of Christmas Present doesn’t remind you of a certain oafy character in my life (aka, H).  IMPOSSIBLE, CAUSE HE’S BASICALLY H IN MUPPET FORM.

PPS: I am teary-eyed at work.  Wood. Family. Classic.

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Hell on Heels

I consider myself a grown-up, for the most part.  I pay bills and dutifully save money and buy healthy food even though what I really want to eat is Sausage, Egg, and Cheese on an onion bagel all day, every day.

There is one thing, though, that I have a hard time accepting.  And that is the notion that sophisticated grown-up city gals wear high heels.  And not just for special occasions.  All. The freaking. Time.

Just your typical everday footwear

Sex and the City was not lying when it depicted NYC as the land of the platform stiletto monster heel.  Women here march around in the most ridiculous shoes I have ever seen.  And I’m not sure it’s a case of “look at my heels, I’m so fashionable,” or just because they truly enjoy mangling their feet.  Who knows.  This place is full of weirdo masochists.

I just can’t wrap my head around it.  You would think in this city, where walking is generally the standard for getting around, people would wear shoes which facilitate actual walking. But no.  Instead they (and by ‘they’ I mean women) teeter around in shoes that defy all reason, logic, and physics.

Alexander McQueen heels...the pinacle of insanity.

Don’t get me wrong: I admire these ladies.  I am downright jealous of them.  Because I am physically incapable of wearing high heels.  Wait, correction.  I am physically incapable of functioning in high heels.  Putting them on my feet: fine.  Attempting to then move around and live life after they have been put on: not so fine.  I struggle with high heels.  To say the least.

It’s not because I’m one of those silly girls who ‘can’t walk in heels.’  I know how to walk in heels.  I know you have to revise the way you move and work it.  Which, let’s be honest, is kind of awesome and fun and all I am woman hear me roar, biatch.  The problem is my feet.   H calls them my ‘clubbies.’  As in they are club-shaped.  Small and squared-off and really really inappropriate for any sort of shoe other than maybe a ballet flat, which is what I live in.  I put on heels, admire how nice they make my legs look and how adorable they are, and the minute I start walking around my feet and toes begin to protest.  Hang on a minute girlfriend.  You really think we’re going to stand being shoved in this shoe and forced into a different shape?  Hells to the no.  We’re going to blister and bleed and ache until you come to your senses and realize this is NOT working.  It’s science.

Thanks, oddly shaped feet and toes…Thanks a ton for working with me here.  Really making my life easier.

However, regardless of this genetic predisposition, I still try.  You know how there’s that saying that goes: the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results?

That is my relationship with heels, in a nut shell.

It still hasn’t occurred to me that I should probably stop buying heels.  My closet is a virtual graveyard of shoes I loved in the store, bought, wore for a night, and then swore off because it took two weeks for my feet to heal afterwards. That’s probably part of the problem: I get so incensed at the pain these stupid shoes put me though that I swear I will banish them forever after a single wear.  Thus effectively stopping the ever important ‘breaking-in’ process cold.  Really, before it even began.

I am a huge baby.  Have I mentioned that?  High heels have made me cry.  Sure, it might have been after a martini or 4, but still.  Tears.

I do try to make them comfortable.  I try to buy higher-end heels with the notion that if they are better made they will hurt less (they don’t).  I buy tons of little accessories to try to protect my precious tootsies: heel pads and gel inserts and moleskin…you name it, I’ve bought it.  But nothing, and I mean nothing, saves me from feet covered in band aids, begging to be put out of their misery.  It probably goes without saying that I am also that girl who will give up on wearing heels at the end of the night and wanders barefoot through questionable terrain just to be free of those damn shoes.  How I do not have tetanus or rabies is beyond me.

If I was smart I would carry around a secondary pair of non-heels for the days when I brave the stiletto.  Of course I don’t do that.  Because it defeats the whole purpose of wearing a high heel. And anyway, I am stubborn.

I will continue to gape at purdy heels in store windows.  I will continue to spend pointless dollars on them.  I will continue to force H to carry me around at the end of evenings when my be-heeled feet have had too much.  I will continue this all, damn it, until my feet get the memo and submit.  So help me god.

A girl can dream, right?

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I don’t know if you guys stay up on the local NYC news at all, but let me just tell you what the latest thing has been: A BEDBUG EPIDEMIC.

That’s right.  Those revolting little creepy crawly things that infest your bed/apartment/life and mercilessly bite you and feed on your life blood.  Are all the eff over my current place of residence, apparently.

I was going to insert some explanatory pictures in this post, but I just google-imaged ‘bedbugs’ and LET ME  TELL YOU.  I am now itchy all over and have thrown up in my mouth a little bit.  DO NOT. DO IT.

If there is one thing I simply cannot tolerate it is bugs of any kind.  I am that girl.  You know the type.  The girl who spots any kind of insect (okay MAYBE I can handle lady-bugs.  Only if I don’t look at them too closely) and proceeds to run screeching out of the room/general vicinity and freak out until someone else steps in and kills it.

Note.  I do not do the killing.  As much as I want to, I can’t bring myself to squish those evil little beings.  It also is completely unacceptable to chase away said bug.  I must witness the squishing. Having it run away just leaves me wondering when/if it is going to reappear, crawl into my ear canal, and lay eggs as revenge for all the yelling.  Effectively killing me.  Probably.

What prompted this post today is a recent rash (pun intended!) of bedbug outbreaks in NYC.  First there was word that the gigantic Hollister store mere blocks from my office had found bedbugs in the clothing and was forced to shut down.  Yes.  Let me reiterate.  They found bedbugs in the clothes they sell to people.

Now, I have never been inside that store (because I am 1. not a tween 2. not from the Midwest and 3. don’t want to die from cologne over-exposure).  But the fact that I’ve walked by it a few times on my way up Broadway was quite enough to inspire much anxiety over bedbugs.  Suffice it to say that I have not been into any retail stores in that general vicinity since this story broke.  Because…ew.

Obviously Hollister closed the store for a weekend-ish and addressed the issue.  Then store was promptly reopened and I was horrified to see Tourists of every shape and size streaming in and out not long after.  What is WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE?!  Do they not have bedbugs in Iowa?!

From there, this whole bedbug thing seemed to explode.  After Hollister it was the Abercrombie & Fitch in the South Street Seaport (an area where I used to get my hair cut…never again).  Then Victoria’s Secret. Then it was a variety of corporate offices.  Then it was a District Attorney’s office in Brooklyn.  And today we get word that the AMC movie theater in Times Square has been shut down.  Betcha can’t guess why!

Before this bedbug blitz they were generally considered something that you got if you picked up old furniture from the curb, or brought home from a disgusting hotel.  But now it seems there is no place safe.  Which is terrifying.

Apparently Mayor Bloomberg  has “declared war” on bedbugs.  There is now a ‘Bedbug Council” and he wants to appoint a “Bedbug Czar” (awesome job title to put on the ole resume).  But the real problem is that the very thing that absolutely wipes out bedbugs without a trace, DDT, is still illegal.

I feel like America has this problem.  We are too good at figuring out how to protect ourselves from bad stuff.  What we don’t realize is that Mother Nature is way better at out-smarting us.  Oh, you invented Anti-Bacterial soap, humans?  Here are some super-strong hyper-mutant bacteria that are resistant to all kinds of soap.  Now they will kill you. Great job!

Same with DDT and Bedbugs.  We synthesize DDT, use it a bunch, then decide–oops!–it’s bad.  So we stop using it.  AND all those sneaky bedbugs come out of hiding, now immune to pretty much everything (other than DDT, obvs).  Can we just legalize that again?  I don’t care if I grow a 3rd arm or if all the Bald Eagles die. I’m sorry.  At least I’ll be freaking bedbug free.

Alternately, I’ll buy myself a beagle.  Just like Bergdorf’s.  They are expert bedbug sniffer-outers, you see.  And (bonus!) they’re cute!

Found 'em, guys!

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Confession time: I worry a lot.  About everything.

That’s probably an understatement.  I worry a TON.  It’s my favorite activity, other than sleeping, or eating.  It’s exhausting and I can’t help it and I don’t even notice I do it, most of the time.

I went to Boston this weekend and since I don’t have a car (hint hint, mom & dad…25th b-day present!) I took a bus.  That’s right.  A BUS.  It was my first bus ride EVER, which is pretty impressive since apparently the Northeast Corridor is primo bus-traveling territory.

It wasn’t the dreaded Chinatown bus that I took, but rather the very nice and clean and harmless Megabus.  Nevertheless, my worry over getting myself on said bus kicked in approximately 6 days before I even had to leave.  Example phone conversation with H, on Monday (bus departure time: Friday, 4:50pm).

Me: But I don’t know where it departs.

H: so look at the website.  It will tell you.

Me: BUT I don’t know what time I should leave my office or how early I have to get there or what I have to do once I get there or if I have to print my ticket or an electronic ticket is okay.

H: …


H: (can’t even get a word in edgewise)


I won’t go on, cause I think you get the point.  I didn’t even get any comfort from my stupid boyfriend.  All I got was an “are you serious right now?” and a prompt adios.  He’s experienced my worrying before…he knows there’s nothing he can do to stop it, and it probably doesn’t matter what he says anyway.  I’ll still worry.

So Friday rolled around, and by this point my worry had climbed up to about an 11 on a scale of 1-10.  It didn’t help that a quick last-minute internet search brought up frightening reviews and horror stories having to do with no A/C, an incompetent driver, a broken-down bus, and pee smells.  It was official: my worry had turned into anxiety.

Anxiety is a fun word that I’ve started to throw around with abandon lately.  Don’t know what to make for my office summer picnic? ANXIETY.  Sad that H travels and I am left home alone? ANXIETY.  Hear a scary noise in the middle of the night? ANXIETY.  ANXIETY.  ANXIETY.

It’s awesome.  H, I think, especially enjoys that I’ve gained a new interest in psychiatric self-diagnosis (thank you, WebMD!).

Anyway: the bus.  I arrive with plenty of time to spare.  Time enough, in fact, to make a last-minute Starbucks trip (why I thought caffeine would help my mindset at that point I have no idea.  Hello, jittery!).  Momentarily distracted by my iced chai-tea latte, I start wandering around the vicinity of Penn Station.  And suddenly I realize that the departure point, which I so meticulously noted on a post-it, is sitting not in my bag, but back on my desk, 35 minutes downtown.


Disclaimer: Penn station is where every single bus on the face of the planet departs.  It is a bus orgy.  There are buses on every corner.

As my anxiety-hives start to appear and my heart stats to pound I arbitrarily pick a corner and a bus that looks promising.  I linger near it, trying to look casual.  It is now 4:35.  I see no sign for Megabus, no lines, no nothing.  I am terrified.

Suddenly by God’s grace I spy a woman reading a piece of paper that has the Megabus logo emblazoned on the top.  It takes all my willpower not to hug her.  Instead, I surreptitiously run-walk after her and follow this stranger approximately 3 blocks away to where I am actually supposed to be.  Joy!  The giant two-decker mega bus is sitting waiting for me….

And 100,000 other people.

Here’s the thing.  Megabus departs not IN Penn Station, but on a random sidewalk adjacent to Penn Station.  There are buses going to not only Boston, but to Philly, to DC, to Baltimore…pretty much every city on the East Coast.  There is no organization to speak of.  A destination is announced and there is a mad rush towards the bus door.  Luggage flying.  Sweat-droplets dropping.  Children crying.  Oh, and it was 800 degrees out.

Needless to say my anxiety didn’t dissipate, but instead grew.  After checking with some conveniently non-English speaking fellow passengers I found myself at the very tail end of an extremely ridiculously long line for the bus to Boston (maybe.  I wasn’t positive.  It was an educated guess).  My thought process went something like this as I made my way down to the end:


I am not exaggerating.  Thoughts of this nature actually go through my head.  And apparently, it’s not normal.  Who knew.

Anyway to cut this story short (because who wants to read about my psychotic bus worries) I made it on the bus, it didn’t crash, and I didn’t get brutally murdered by a fellow passenger.  It also didn’t smell like pee.  I made it Boston and had a great weekend with my dear sister.  The end.

…until July 4th rolls around.  And I brave the bus again.

Now who wants to write me a prescription for some Prozac?

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You know that weird skinny-person theory that goes on and on about food being fuel ONLY, and how you should “eat to live”?  Well.  I don’t exactly eat to live.  Actually, I live to eat.  Yup, I am obsessed with food.

I’m not sure how this happened exactly.  It’s kind of weird because for as long as I can remember I’ve been an extremely picky eater.  So it was hard to be obsessed with food if I disliked 99% of it.  The pickiness is not completely gone these days, but it’s certainly much better than it was.  And it certainly hasn’t hampered this growing fixation.

A few other things that happened lately probably also contribute: A. I finally have my own kitchen and can stock my own cabinets and fridge B. I suddenly discovered I didn’t actually suck as a cook. C. Said kitchen was located in what is arguably the culinary capital of the USA, if not the WORLD.  Even the universe maybe.

So the food hurricane is blowing like crazy.  And last weekend was basically the eye of the storm.  Because of two little words: BBQ.  FESTIVAL.

That’s right.  Hello, Madison Square Park.  Hello, 18 of the top “pitmasters” generously bringing their specialties for me to munch on.  Hello, delicious delicious BBQ goodness.

People who know me will be shocked that I am raving about BBQ because I was that girl pretty much flat out refused to eat red meat until a couple of years ago.  I had never eaten a fast food hamburger until I was maybe 22 years old.  Not kidding.  Thankfully I’ve grown and matured and can now enjoy things like pulled pork sandwiches, brisket, and ribs.  Hallelujah.

my tum is grumbling already

We got there pretty early because if there is one thing I am NOT obsessed with it is standing in stupidly long lines.  So by the time 1:30pm rolled around, as the crowds of BBQ deprived NYC-ers flooded in, H and I were already slowing sinking into a wonderful meat coma.


But I haven’t gotten to the best part yet.  Oh no.  As you can imagine, events like this draw a unique crowd of people.  Fun loving, hungry, a little bit wacky.  The food was good and stuff but what really put the icing on the cake was this:

Look Closely

No, not the guy’s heinous choice of pseudo-Hawaiian shirt (perfect for a BBQ on a Saturday, though.  Bet you thought about that one for a while, buddy).  Look beyond the ugly shirt (if you can).  Look to the left of the ugly shirt.  What do you see?

If your answer is “I see a woman pole dancing on a pole mounted on the back of a adult-sized tricycle, Mary” DING DING!  You are correct!  Because what would any BBQ Festival be without a mobile stripper showcasing her talent?

I chased this dynamic duo down the street, obviously.  Here’s another one:

Stripper Trike!

I mean, to the stripper’s credit, she was talented.  Pole dancing is not easy, you guys.

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It is suddenly excruciatingly hot here in NYC.  I’m usually a fan of summer purely because I am always ALWAYS cold (it’s a medical disorder, okay?), and summer allows me to be less cold than usual.  But NYC in the summer is just disgusting.  It’s humid and there is no air-flow and it absolutely stinks like rotting garbage.  You walk down the street and get dripped on by what one hopes is air-conditioning liquid.  Waiting for a train becomes an impromptu trip to a sauna.  Ever try sitting next to a very sweaty person on public transportation? It’s as bad as you imagine.  Really, really bad.

So of course I decided this week that I wanted to make calzones.  Which involves an oven, and standing over a hot stove.  Because I am a genius.

Was it hot?  Yup.  Was I sweating profusely as I not only cooked, but then tried to eat my delicious concoction?  Yup.  Was it worth it?  YUP.

From now until August it’s salads and sandwiches.  But as my last cooking hurrah, I give you:

Broccoli & Sausage Calzones

You’ll Need:

1 container of pre-made pizza dough

2 cups shredded mozzarella

1 package of sweet (or hot, if that’s your thing) italian sausages

1 medium-sized bunch of broccoli

1 small container of ricotta cheese

1/2 an onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

Marinara sauce, for dipping

A few dashes of Italian seasoning, or equal parts garlic powder, oregano, salt, pepper

A very small dash of nutmeg

Parmesan cheese

To Do:

  • Pre heat oven to 425 degrees (I’m sweating just thinking about this)
  • Saute onion and garlic in a pan w/a drizzle of EVOO until browned
  • Remove outer casing from sausage and add to pan, tearing the meat into small pieces
  • While sausage is cooking, steam broccoli, then chop into bite-sized pieces
  • When sausage is done, remove from pan w/slotted spoon (to drain fat)
  • Combine broccoli, sausage crumbles, 1/2 the container of ricotta, spices and mozzarella into a bowl, stirring well.
  • Stretch pizza dough onto a non-stick pan.  Divide evenly (I divided it into 2 big pieces, but I think next time I’d divide it into 4 smaller sections as I had leftover filling)
  • Pile filling into the center of the dough and cover, making sure to seal the edges
  • Cut 2 or 3 small openings in top of calzone to allow ventage
  • brush tops with oil, Parmesan cheese, and a sprinkle of garlic powder
  • Bake for approx. 20 minutes
  • Heat marinara sauce and enjoy!

I was so preoccupied with being a hot sweaty mess that I didn’t take pictures.  Whoops!  Suffice it to say that the outside was crusty and golden, and the inside, because I pre-mixed the filling, was yummy and melty and awesome.  Try to use your imagination.  If you aren’t too hot to do so.

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