Baking with Bella (Ballerina)

One of my passions is food.

I love reading cookbooks and trying new recipes. I love shopping for said recipes and teaching my children the art of procuring good foods. I love setting a nice table and creating warmth in my dining room. I love fashioning my monthly meal plan and figuring out how to stretch leftovers to make scrumptious suppers.

I love anything to do with food really. Even organizing my refrigerator and pantry fill me with peace.

I guess when you study health and nutrition in college it stays in your blood.

One of the things I haven’t done much over the past few year is cook. We have been so blessed by friends and family and have had months upon months of meals provided for us. My mom and I have frozen casseroles that I can just pull out of the freezer when I didn’t have the energy to cook. My chemo brain turned meal planning into a struggle rather than a joy.

Now, it’s coming back. I’m making my own meals regularly now and rarely calling Bri to pick up something on the way home from work. I’m meal planning again, and while it takes more time than it used to, my brain doesn’t feel quite so foggy.

There’s only one difference.

When this all began, Bella was 14 months old. Now she’s 4. And she spends most of her evenings in the kitchen with me.


Yes, she is dressed like a ballerina. Apparently, you must be dressed up in order to cook. I had no idea. (Apparently, you should wear an apron, too, but I haven’t found the perfect one yet… I’m very particular.)

And y’all, I loved cooking before, but this brings it to another whole level of joy!


Broccoli & Cheese Calzones

prepared pizza dough
1 large head fresh broccoli, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp. olive oil
3/4 cup provolone cheese, shredded
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
3/4 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
1 tbsp. olive oil
pizza sauce

(I make my own pizza dough and sauce, but you can use prepared dough and sauce if you like.)

In a large skillet saute the broccoli and garlic with the olive oil. Stir in the cheeses until melted.

Roll dough into six 8-inch circles (I stretch mine to eight circles). Spread filling on one half of the circle leaving a border around it for closing. Close the calzone by folding the unfilled side on top of the filled side. Crimp the edges closed with your fingers or a fork. Place on a lightly greased baking pan. Let rise in a draft-free area for 30 minutes.

Brush tops lightly with olive oil. Bake in a preheated 400° F oven for 20 to 30 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with pizza sauce.

4 responses to “Baking with Bella (Ballerina)”

  1. I’d cook more if I had a beautiful ballerina helping me in the kitchen. What a joy to share those moments with her.


  2. The recipe looks delicious. I’ll give it to Jess right away. 🙂


  3. I’m glad you’re getting to enjoy something you haven’t been able to for so long (and this time with a helper:)


  4. Those sound great!!! And even better when you have such a lovely helper.

    I’m so glad you’re getting it back. That is the best thing I’ve read all day. (Not that I’ve been reading a lot, but you know what I mean. :))


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