Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Homemade Pumpkin Roll

Growing up, my grandma always made the best pumpkin roll... It was always around for thanksgiving and Christmas, and was always just as much a tradition as trimming the tree and letters to Santa.  I remember making a mess of my hands while deconstructing my slice so I could lick off the cream cheese filling before scarfing down the moist pumpkin cake.  Two years ago, I had my dad email me grandma's recipe.  It's become somewhat of a new tradition to make it in my house and take to work and family gatherings here in Ohio.  I know I will carry on this tradition and pass it on to my future family...

The Holidays are upon us once again!  Of course, the star of any holiday meal is the turkey or ham, but the winner for supporting role will always be dessert!  This recipe has been a much coveted one, as it is by FAR the **BEST** pumpkin roll ever!

The best thing about this recipe? Once you make it the first time, you'll be able to recreate it over and over again.  This is why I make 3 or 4 at a time.  The downside?  You have to make it batch by batch, so you can't just make one big bowl of batter; otherwise you'll end up with one cake too thick and one cake that's mostly filling... (Not that that's a bad thing...) Anyway, the batter is the first part.  get it smooth, and get the pumpkin mixed well with the egg.


The most important tool in this recipe is definitely your tea towels.  Sometimes you can find them under the name "flour sack towels".   Luckily, the Landoll family threw Darren and I a wedding shower last month so we have a wealth of them around the house!  Make sure they are LINEN towels, not terrycloth (there's nothing worse than a lint-filled cake!)...

This recipe has a very short cooking time, which makes up for the amount of steps involved.  Grease the pan, lay the wax paper, grease the wax paper, yadda yadda... In the short 15 minute baking time, you won't have time to mix the filling until the cake is rolled!!  Although the steps seem silly, it makes perfect sense when you're trying to get the cake out of the jelly roll pan!

Cooling time in the towels will give you ample opportunity to make the filling.  **Beware of one thing: DO NOT OVERWORK THE FILLING!  This will make it soupy!!**  The rolling in the towel is very important; have you ever tried to roll a cool cake?  Not pretty. Once it's cool, unroll it, fill it, and roll it back up! (without the towel, of course!)

Grandma's Homemade Pumpkin Roll 
3 eggs
1c sugar
2/3c canned pumpkin (solid pack)
3/4c flour
1 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon

8 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tbsp margarine, softened
3/4 tsp vanilla
1c powdered sugar

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  Grease a jelly roll pan, line with wax paper, and grease again.  Mix cake ingredients.  Pour and spread evenly in pan.  Bake for 15 minutes, until browned.  Remove from oven, turn over onto LINEN tea towel.  Remove wax paper, roll up in towel.  Allow to cool for 45-60 minutes.  
(Keep filling refrigerated until ready to use) Mix filling well, taking care not to over work it.  Unroll cake and spread on filling.  Re-roll cake and chill or freeze to allow the filling to set.  Keep refrigerated until ready to eat.

& Betty Abbott

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Family Recipe Mac 'n' Cheese

Mom's Famous Mac 'n' Cheese

Eating this pasta makes me think of home.  It makes me think of growing up and having it with fish sticks or hot dogs carved out to look like little puppies with mustard eyes and macaroni ears.  Food is something I feel needs to be shared, to be passed on throughout the generations.  Share this recipe with your family, just like my great grandmother taught her daughter, who taught her daughter, who taught me...

Mom came to town to visit this week and decided she would make my brother's favorite dish of hers (and one of mine as well), macaroni and cheese.  I know, sounds simple, right?  But there's just something that says home about melted cheese over starchy pasta with just a bit of crusty crunch on top.  (Mmmmm... drool...)  She revealed to me that this recipe was taught to her mother by my namesake, my great grandma Lura. Also, apparently, the only thing my grandma could cook properly!!  Of course, I just HAD to put it into the blog.  

So overall, this is a pretty easy dish to make.  Cook some pasta *I like rotini, mom likes the old fashioned stuff* Put some cheese in, pour milk, garnish, and bake until it's done. or in my case, until the top burns just a little... mmmmmm, brown pasta....

Two Cheese Macaroni And Cheese Bake

1 1/2 lbs Pasta, cooked
1 c Colby Cheese, cut into 1" cubes
1 c Velveeta Cheese, cut into 1" cubes
2 c Milk, heated
Salt and Pepper, to taste
8 tbsp Butter or Margarine

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.  In a large casserole dish, spray nonstick cooking spray.  Cook pasta and drain well.  Pour pasta into prepared dish.  Take the cheese cubes and push them slightly into the pasta, so they're not just sitting on top.  Heat the milk in the microwave, and pour into the bottom of the casserole dish.  Season the top with salt and pepper.  Using the flour, create a heavy dusting on top of the pasta.  Dollop the butter on, about a tablespoon at a time.  (This makes the top crunchy!)  Bake for 45-55 minutes, until the top is golden brown and crispy and the cheese is melted and bubbling.  


Lura A.,
Paula D.,
Grace W., and
Lura P.