Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Pumpkin Roll

This is what I signed up to make for Thanksgiving this year. :) I love it even more than pumpkin pie!

Libby's Pumpkin Roll
Printable version here

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cloves
1/4 tsp. salt
3 large eggs
1 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup canned pumpkin

1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sifted powdered sugar
6 tbsp. butter or margarine, softened
1 tsp. vanilla extract
Powdered sugar

For cake: Preheat oven to 375º. Grease 15 x 10-inch jelly roll pan (such as Pampered Chef Large Bar Pan); line with wax paper. Grease and flour paper (or use parchment paper). Set aside. Sprinkle a thin, cotton kitchen towel with powdered sugar.

Combine flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, cloves and salt in small bowl. (I use 1 tsp. PC Cinnamon Plus Spice Blend in place of the cinnamon & cloves) Beat eggs and sugar in large mixer bowl until thick. Beat in pumpkin. Stir in flour mixture. Spread evenly into prepared pan (layer will be thin).

Bake for 13-15 minutes or until top of cake springs back when touched (in my baking stone, it took about 16-17 minutes). Immediately loosen and turn onto prepared towel. Carefully peel off paper. Roll up cake and towel together, starting with narrow end. Cool on wire rack.

For filling: beat cream cheese, powdered sugar, butter and vanilla extract in small mixer bowl until smooth. Carefully unroll cake; remove towel. Spread cream cheese mixture over cake. Reroll cake. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least hour. Sprinkle with powdered sugar before serving, if desired.

Why I love it? It's fun to make (because it's a little challenging, and it's so exciting when it turns out right!), the filling is rich & tasty, it looks awesome, and it tastes great! It also can be made beforehand and kept in the fridge until the time you need it.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Chicken with Creamy Chive Sauce

I've made this recipe several times now.  Like all good crockpot recipes, it's easy to make and the chicken comes out tender, but the reason I keep coming back to this recipe is the sauce! The ingredients are so flavorful!

Chicken with Creamy Chive SaucePrintable version here
1 to 2 lbs. chicken breasts
2 tbsp. butter or margarine
1 (0.7 oz.) pkg. dry Italian dressing mix
1 can golden mushroom soup
1/2 cup water
4 oz. chive & onion cream cheese

Combine sauce ingredients in a small saucepan; stir until melted. Cut chicken into large pieces (about 3 pieces per chicken breast), place in a crockpot. Cook on low for 5-6 hours, depending on the amount of chicken you use. Serving suggestion: Serve over rice.

Why I love it? As I wrote above, my favorite part is the sauce.  It is creamy & flavorful, but not too rich. I like to save the leftover sauce, and have it the next day either with toast or leftover rice. Yummy!

Wednesday, November 17, 2010


This is the chili recipe I've used for years. After I tried it, there was no turning back to canned chili. ;) Sometimes I use a little less meat, and sometimes I use less chili powder, depending on how spicy I feel like making it.  My favorite thing to serve this with is, of course, corn bread!

Printable version here

1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup chopped onion
Diced red bell pepper (optional)
1 clove garlic, chopped
1 (15 oz.) can diced tomatoes, undrained
8 oz. can tomato sauce
1 tbsp. chili powder
3/4 tsp. cumin
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. pepper
1 can beans (chili or pinto beans)

Cook beef, onion, red pepper & garlic in 3-quart saucepan until beef is brown; drain. Stir in remaining ingredients except beans. Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Cover and simmer 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Stir in beans (rinse and drain the beans first, unless they're chili beans). Heat to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer uncovered about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until desired thickness. Serves 4.

Why I love it? It's easy to make, inexpensive, and filling (lots of protein & fiber). Plus, my whole family will eat it! It tastes so much better to me than canned chili, mainly because of the texture. It's not mushy! :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

After Thanksgiving Turkey Soup

I made this for dinner tonight, and will definitely make it again in two weeks- when it's actually the day after thanksgiving. :) The picture hardly does it justice. I've made it many times now, and every time it turns out fantastic! I found it on, and made just a few changes to it. The main thing I did was cut the recipe in third, because the original one serves a ton. As written here, it serves about 4 people. It's plenty for the 2 adults, 2 kids, and 1 baby in my family.

After Thanksgiving Turkey Soup
Printable version here

1 quart turkey broth*
Cooked turkey, chopped (about 2 cups)
1/2 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 rib celery, diced
4 tbsp (1/4 cup) butter or margarine
1/4 cup flour
2/3 cup whole milk or half & half
1/3 cup long grain white rice
1/2 tsp. salt
1 chicken bouillon cube
1/4 tsp. pepper

*To make turkey broth, place leftover turkey carcass in a large pot, cover turkey with water, cover pot & simmer for one hour. Remove turkey, pick off any remaining meat, and strain broth. Measure 4 cups of it for use with the soup.

In a large pot, saute the onions, carrots, and celery in butter until tender. Reduce heat; stir in flour until blended. Gradually add 1 1/3 cups of broth. Bring to a boil; cook & stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Add milk, rice, salt, bouillon, pepper, remaining 2 2/3 cups of broth, and turkey. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Turn off heat; leave covered 10 more minutes. Serves 4.

-I was out of chicken bouillon, so I subbed a little extra salt and about 1/4 tsp. chicken seasoning. It worked well.
- This soup may be frozen. To do this, add all the ingredients for the soup except for the rice. Set aside any soup that you want to freeze, and then finish cooking the soup with the rice. To serve later, thaw the soup, gently heat to boiling, add the rice, and cook until rice is soft.
- You can also make this with chicken broth and cooked chicken. Either way, it’s delicious!

Why I love it? According to Dave, "Cause it's just really good! It's creamy, and it's filling." Daniel says "Well, I like it because of the rice & chicken." We all like it, and it uses ingredients I almost always have on-hand. It has turned into my annual day after Thanksgiving meal!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Dinner Rolls

 This recipe is from my Betty Crocker cookbook. They are melt-in-your-mouth delicious!

Dinner Rolls
Printable version here

3 1/2 to 3 3/4 cup all-purpose or bread flour
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter or stick margarine, softened
1 tsp. salt
1 pkg. regular or quick active dry yeast (2 1/4 tsp.)
1/2 cup very warm water (120º-130º)
1/2 cup very warm milk (120º-130º)
1 large egg
Butter or margarine, melted, if desired

1. Mix 2 cups of the flour, the sugar, 1/4 cup butter, salt and yeast in large bowl. Add warm water, warm milk, and egg. Beat on low speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Beat on medium speed 1 minute, scraping bowl frequently. Stir in enough remaining flour to make dough easy to handle.

2. Place dough on lightly floured surface. Knead about 5 minutes or until dough is smooth and springy. (Or, knead 5 minutes in stand mixer with dough hook) Place dough in large bowl greased with shortening, turning dough to grease all sides. Cover bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place about 1 hour or until double. Dough is ready if indentation remains when touched. (Hint- to make a warm place for the dough to rise, turn on oven for a few minutes while you are mixing the dough. Turn it off once it's slightly warm.)

3. Grease rectangular 9x13 pan with shortening.

4. Gently push fist into dough to deflate. Diving dough into 15 equal pieces. Shape each piece into a ball; place in pan. Brush with butter (optional). Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise in warm place about 30 minutes or until double. (I remove it from the oven a few minutes before it's done rising, so I can preheat the oven for baking)

5. Heat oven to 375º.

6. Bake 12-15 minutes or until golden brown (mine take around 15). Serve warm or cool.

You can click here for more options, including how to make these using a bread machine.

**Pictures of making them:

Here's the dough after step 2, when it's done with the first rise

Step 4, I placed the dough on my pastry mat and pushed gently to deflate

I cut the dough (with my pastry cutter) into 15 pieces, then you pinch the ends together on the piece of dough, so you have one flat, smooth side (the top) and one side with the pinched ends (the bottom).

The rolls after the 2nd rise, just about to bake

Why I love them? They're inexpensive, they make a good amount (enough for my bread-loving family, with some left over), I find them fun to make, and they're just flat out delicious!

Monday, November 1, 2010


I found this recipe years ago in my Betty Crocker cookbook. Our whole family loves meatballs, and I much prefer making these to buying them in the store.  They can easily be made ahead of time, too.


1 lb. ground beef
1/2 cup bread crumbs (plain or seasoned)
1/4 cup milk
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
1 large egg
Other seasonings if you'd like, such as garlic powder, Italian seasoning, etc.

Heat oven to 400º. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl. Shape into meatballs*, place in ungreased pan or baking sheet. Bake uncovered until meatballs reach an internal temperature of 160º, or until no longer pink in center and juice is clear.

*Meatball options- you can make these small or medium, depending on your preference.
- Small: uses a small (1 tbsp.) cookie scoop, makes 45 meatballs, bakes for 17-18 minutes (these are what's in the pictures)
- Medium: uses a medium (2 tbsp.) cookie scoop, makes 24 meatballs, bakes for 20-25 minutes

*Tips on how I make them: I always use a pair of disposable gloves, because I don't like getting my hands so grimy. After I mix the meat, I scoop all the meatballs, and just drop them on the baking sheet. At that point it looks like this:

After they're all on there, I roll each one between my hands to make it nice & round, then I line them up (that's where the perfectionist in me comes out!). Them, bake 'em. Ta da, perfect meatballs! :)

Why I love them? They're easy; if I buy ground beef I normally have all the other ingredients in my kitchen already; they're versatile; they taste great; they're freezable (I cool them after baking, then stick a dinner's worth of them in a freezer bag)... and I just like them so much better than the kind you get at a store. The beef ones at a store are so high in fat, and the turkey ones are better, but not as tasty (and a little mushy). I like that I know exactly what ingredients are in these. That's it! :)

What I do with these meatballs- I can think of 3 different things:

- Serve them with spaghetti & sauce
- Dave LOVES meatballs with mashed potatoes, so I'll make it that way. I serve it with either a brown gravy or country gravy.
- What I did this week was make it sort of like Swedish meatballs. I put the meatballs over cooked egg noodles, and made a sauce by heating a jar of beef gravy, and mixed in a spoonful of sour cream at the end. It made a nice, creamy sauce.