52cookbooksIf you know Z at all you know the joy the word runza inspires.  Digging deep I can figure out what inspires me if I let myself.  Lately I’ve been inspired by some of these things:  ice – television – words – creative thinking – chocolate – tulips – positivity.  That isn’t an exhaustive list but it isn’t bad either.   Kind of shameful it would seem – to be inspired by tv but not really either.  I have been watching a new series on Food Network called Heartland Table.  The tv presenter is Amy Thielen, a one time NYC chef returned to her Midwestern roots and how they inspire her life and cookery.   She loves butter, good meat, produce, and regional producers. I got her cookbook for Christmas.  ‘The New Midwestern Table’ – Now, I’m not sure whose table this really is but I recently read that it won a James Beard award and it is lovely reading.  She makes real food – rustic and refined all at the same time.  It isn’t fast food by any mean and each recipe is fairly complex in terms of flavor but not ingredients.  It’s homey but not the home I grew up in.  So, my first recipe out of the gates, Runza.  There was a Runza place in the mall where I lived in high school.  runza

I can’t remember ever eating there so I don’t have anything to judge my Runza’s on except our happy tastebuds.  This was another recipe where I took a shortcut.  I’m finding I do that more often than I realize.  I need to make things quickly and with as much ease as I can or I will never get dinner on the table.  I bought pizza dough.  After carefully reading her headnotes to the recipe I’m sure that the flavor was not the right one but they tasted pretty good to us.  Basically, calzones filled with ground beef and onion and a bit of thyme.  Z thought maybe they needed cheese but I like the plainess of them.  They were easy flavors and thanks to my store bought dough, a fairly easy dinner.  Would I make dough from scratch?  Sure.  Maybe.

*fun sidenote I noticed as I downloaded the photos.  I made a spicy sweet heirloom tomato ketchup last summer from a friends summer tomatoes.  I think she gave me a pound or so and I cooked up just two tiny jars.  I remembered it was in the pantry and we enjoyed this not too hot and sweet sauce alongside the Runza’s.  They totally made the meal.  Thanks April!

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