Beef and Cheese Calzone and the fair

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Everyone loves a good state fair. Well here in little old Byron, Georgia, we are just 20 minutes away from the Georgia National Fair. And it’s a huge event around here. And it’s a real National Fair, not just the rides and games and concessions, but the animals and the exhibits, the bake offs. Pretty much, if you can make it or grow it, they have a competition and judging for it.

We go every year, we plan for it, especially the fair food. I think some of us (me) even dream about the fair food as it gets closer to fair time.


(Cassie negotiated with the vendor for just the meat at the Gyro place, I think she got more meat that hubby and son did in the full Gyro!)

Turkey legs,

Cotton candy,

Make your own slushies, apple dumplings,

Corn dogs, roasted corn, the list is endless.

Ever since I was a kid, my favorite has always been the funnel cake.
This year I made it first on my list to eat.

So many choices out there…

But what I like best at the fair (besides the food) are the animals.

Barn, after barn, after barn of cows, llamas, bunnies, goats, pigs…

The cows are always my favorite. They bring back memories. Both sets of grandparents had farms. My Dad’s side was a working dairy farm. I know it’s strange but the smell of fresh manure…Well you get the idea.

Oh and

The Dairy Council gives out pencils and free ice cold chocolate milk! Who can resist? And we’re supposed to have four servings a day (They let me have two, I was in heaven!)

And the other great part about the cow barn?

The recipes!

The Beef Council puts all these wonderful brochures full of delicious recipes right there, for you to pick up!

I send the kids to pick me up one of everything!

Who would know better than the Beef Council how to cook up some good beef!

So this recipe came from one of their brochures, I adapted it to suit our family. I also doubled the recipe so we’d have something leftover for another meal.

Beef and Cheese Calzone

1 pound lean ground beef
1/2 cup chopped green pepper
1/2 cup chopped onion
1 can tomato sauce (14 ounces)
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano leaves, crushed
1 cup Italian Cheese blend
1 tablespoon cornmeal
1 package refrigerated pizza dough

Heat oven to 400 degrees. Brown ground beef in a large skillet over medium heat 8-10 minutes or until beef is no longer pink. I add salt and pepper while browning my meat.

If you didn’t get the super lean beef, drain grease off using a colander is easiest.

While beef is cooking, chop up peeper and onion,

While beef is draining, saute peppers and onion in your pan

Add beef back to pan and add your tomato sauce

Combine everything

and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Taste test and add more salt and pepper to taste.

We love this stuff.

After you’ve got your taste perfect, it gets better.

Sprinkle cornmeal evenly over rimmed baking sheet. Unroll pizza dough length wise on baking sheet. Spoon beef filling over long half of dough, leaving about a 1 inch border on three sides.

Now sprinkle your cheese over the meat

Gently pull top half of dough over filling to enclose, pinch dough edges to seal.

Bake for 15-20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool 5 minutes before slicing.

This was gone in a flash, my hubby and son negotiated who would get the last piece, in the end, they shared it.

And the extra filling we made? We served it over mashed potatoes a few days later.

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About Joan Hayes

Mom to 3 teens, sweets and travel are her passions. Joan really does love her chocolate. She has a secret stash she hides from the kids and she has at least one bite of something chocolatey every day. She creates easy recipes any skill level can achieve to satisfy the sweet tooth in everyone!


  1. OMG…my mouth is watering!!! gonna make this bad boy this weekend. YUM

  2. Its been ages since I last been to a fair…everything look so fun! especially the food part:D Your beef and cheese calzone looks so scrumptious! wish I could have some too!

  3. Debz, this recipe really is a keeper, we loved it!

  4. Jeannie, we just love the fair, we plan for it just like a vacation!

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