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posted: 3/21/2013 6:00 AM

Pockets of deliciousness easy to prepare

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  • Pizza Pockets are a cinch to make at home and the fillings can be customized to please picky eaters.

    Pizza Pockets are a cinch to make at home and the fillings can be customized to please picky eaters.
    Mark Welsh

By Jerome Gabriel

I like pizza Hot Pockets. They're easy to make -- just pull them out of the freezer and put them in the microwave for two minutes. But I don't like how they get really hot in the microwave.

And I know it's not good to always eat prepared food, so I thought it would be smarter to make them from scratch because it just seems better.

My favorite type of pizza is pepperoni, so that's what I chose to fill mine with: pepperoni and cheese. I used crescent roll dough because it's easier to bite into than thick pizza dough.

I like these for dinner because you can make lots of them at a time. We can make just cheese ones for my brother and put giardiniera in ones for my pop. Even though it's not my favorite, you could put spinach in it.

With this recipe you still have to wait for it to cook ... but it seems to cool off quicker.

A word from Mom: My uncle used to work in new product development for Hot Pockets so it's a product we like and one that has been a staple in our house for a long time. I like the convenience that comes with knowing I can give Jerome a quick bite to eat before water polo practice. So when I came across a similar recipe on the Pillsbury website I knew it would be a hit.

We tweaked the rolling technique a bit and started with recipe-ready refrigerated crescent roll dough; that means it's two big sheets of dough instead of eight individual pieces and you don't have to worry about pinching together the seams to make the triangles into rectangles. Of course if you have crescent rolls on hand, go ahead and use them.

Don't be limited to traditional pizza fillings. Homemade hot pockets can be with customized with cooked shredded chicken, browned ground turkey, any variety of shredded cheeses and vegetable. Make a couple batches at a time; enjoy some for dinner tonight and reheat the others later in the week when the schedule gets hectic, because you know it will get hectic.

• Jerome Gabriel, a seventh-grader, has been helping in the kitchen since he could hold a spoon. His mother, Deborah Pankey, is the Daily Herald Food Editor.

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