What’s Cooking with YOUR Kids: Calzones with Hanna

Thank you Jackie for this awesome post.  It is always so much fun for me when people send these in!  Plus, I am nosy and love to see where you cook with your kids.  (If you can believe it, I often end up cooking with kids on patios, decks, family rooms, on desks and sometimes in the middle of farms!)

Jackie Lee is a full time work at home mom who, in between cooking with a preschooler, raising chickens, and her own groceries, is all about Keeping It Simple and helping moms learn how to make some extra money from home.

My daughter and I love to cook together. She always wants to help, no matter what we’re making. It’s gotten so much more fun the older she gets for us to cook together.

Hanna in action

Hanna in action

Here’s a couple things I’ve realized when it comes to cooking with kids.

1. Let go of perfection.

Whether it’s the food looking perfect, the kitchen staying perfectly clean. Let go of it all. The more you’re trying to make things perfect the less fun you and your kids are going to have. Just cont on the fact the kitchen will be a little messier, and the food might not look exactly how you would have done it. It will still taste great, and the kitchen can be cleaned.

2. Let kids DO!

The more you can let the kids help the better. When they’re younger let them pour the measured ingredients in the bowl.When they get a little older let them measure the ingredients. (it’s a great way to start talking about math, and fractions). Let them use the rolling pin to roll dough. Let them do the scooper to scoop cookies. So what if they aren’t all the exact same size… let them do. It’s how they learn and what makes cooking fun. It’s no fun to just watch.

With those two things in mind we recently tackled





1 cup water
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 tsp salt
1 cup whole wheat flour
2 cups white flour
1 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp Italian seasoning
1 Tbsp sugar
1 package yeast


1 cup spaghetti or pizza sauce
1 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
About 40 pepperonis
1 Tbsp olive oil
Couple shakes of garlic powder

What you do:

  1. Combine all the dough ingredients in the bread maker and set it on the dough setting.
  2. If you’re more adventurous you can do this part by hand as well. (I wasn’t)
  3. Once the dough is ready you want to place it on a clean floured surface and knead it into a ball.
  4. Cut the dough ball in half. Then cut it in half again, then cut it in half again. You will end up with 8 small balls. If you have little ones you might cut one of those balls even smaller for little mini calzones for the kids.
  5. Once you’ve got your small dough balls add a little flour to the counter and you’re going to roll them out. (Remember the rule… Let kids do. Hanna loved rolling!) You’re looking to create an oval/rectangle shape with your dough. It will be about ¼ inch thick when it’s done.
  6. Once you’ve got it rolled out slide it onto a greased cookie sheet, or pan.
  7. Once on the pan you want to add your filling. While this recipe calls for pepperoni, any filling you and your family like will work as well.
  8. Add a few pepperonis, then top with a spoonful of sauce, a pinch of cheese, and top with a couple more pepperoni to one side of the dough.
  9. Note: if you love cheese as much as I do, do NOT get carried away with the cheese. Too much cheese will make it hard to close the Calzones,and much easier for it to leak out the sides.
  10. When you’re done adding the filling you’re going to fold the half that doesn’t have toppings over so the edges meet.
  11. Crimp the edges and then use a fork to seal them together. This will help keep the sauce and cheese inside. (Hanna loved this part)
  12. Brush the top with a little olive oil.
  13. Sprinkle on a little garlic powder.
  14. Put them in the oven at 350 degress to bake for 10 to 15 minutes or until they are golden brown on the top.

We served this with a side salad and everyone loved it.


** These are great for freezing for snacks or lunches later. Freeze after baking.

Do you cook with your kids?  I’d love for YOU to do a guest post.  The timing is perfect, too – This blog will be featured in Scholastic’s Parent & Child Magazine in August/September!

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3 Responses to What’s Cooking with YOUR Kids: Calzones with Hanna

  1. What a great recipe to share with a child!
    It sounds (and looks… love that pic) like such fun!

    I have to say I also love your two prerequisites… don’t worry about perfection and let the kids do it!!!

    Brilliant advice. Thanks Jackie!

  2. Yummy! I love the photo of Hannah in action.

  3. Aw, this was an extremely good post. Taking the time and actual effort to generate a great

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