Oh, hi. Here I am, grimacing in my somewhat cramped, (well, large for an apartment at least!) messy, humid kitchen. Today was a stupid day to make pizza pockets from scratch (like 85 degrees and humid, ugh) but it was on the menu and it sounded good, so I did it anyway. I fortified myself with a good afternoon snack (HA) and set to work making my pizza dough using this recipe.
Last time I made pizza, I made of spur of the moment decision to make a calzone, and it came out pretty darn delicious. This time I decided to make little hand-sized pizza pockets, mostly for fun, but also because this pizza dough recipe always makes way more than we need, so I knew I'd have enough to make extras to freeze for another day.
Making pizza pockets is pretty straightforward, but it kind of takes a long time, so I recommend two things: get your stuff prepped as far in advance as possible, and try doing it on a day that you don't mind having your oven cranked up to 500ºf- we're still recovering. Like, the middle of July might not be the right day for making pizza pockets. OR MAYBE IT IS, WHO CARES IF YOU GET SWEATY?
I made the dough according to the recipe, and then rolled it into a rope which I divided into 8 portions. I rolled out each little ball into a nice oval, like so:
and filled it halfway with the stuffing, which was a mixture of finely chopped cooked chicken, roasted broccoli, and roasted red peppers, stirred together with pizza sauce and some chunks of fresh mozzarella (grated probably would have worked better, though). I chopped everything pretty finely because I didn't want to run into the problem of taking a nice bite only to get a huge chunk of some searingly hot chicken or pepper or something that is too huge to fit in your mouth and then it just plops down in front of you and you're going FUHFUHFUHFUH trying to cool off your mouth- god, that sucks. If everything gets chopped up, you can take reasonable bites without hurting yourself. (They do get really hot, though.)
So, I made 8, split 6 of them between the 3 members of my family and popped 2 (uncooked) into the freezer for a day that I'm feeling too lazy to make lunch. Win-win situation, in my opinion. I baked them in a 500 degree oven on a cast-iron skillet (dusted with cornmeal!) for about 5-7 minutes, then I flipped them so the tops would get a little brown and let them cook for another minute or two. Next time I might use some sausage or ground beef, because let's face it- what I'm really trying to do here is replicate those ridiculously terrible/delicious pizza pockets that you get in your middle school cafeteria for like 50 cents. I lived off of those things in the 8th grade, even when I was "vegetarian" and i'd just bite off a corner of the pocket, squeeze all the sausage out, and then eat the cheesy, saucy bread. That stuff is the bomb! And I love the idea of basically having homemade hot pockets in my freezer, because I'd never BUY something like that (ew ew ew) but I secretly love to eat stuff like that. (because I'm still mentally like 10 years old.)
OH, and today, a good friend of our family and longtime graphic designer (he is the friend who helped me design my book of photographs), Hank Schmidt, sent out a preview of some cupcake wrappers he designed with a friend. I loved the idea and told him I wanted to design one, and he sent me the template! If you're familiar with my drawing blog, you'll know that I do freelance illustration, so I'm totally bubbling over with ideas for something to slap on a cupcake wrapper. Feel free to leave a comment with something you'd like to see wrapped around your cupcakes! You can see some of his existing designs here. (although I'm trying to convince him to open an etsy shop for these, I think it'd sell in a heartbeat.)