The Bell Family

Random ponderings on God, life, and the humor all around us


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Pumpkin Roll

This is one of our favorite fall desserts.

1 c. sugar
3 beaten eggs
2/3 c. canned pumpkin
3/4 c. all-purpose flour
1 t sp. salt
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. baking soda
1 8-oz package cream cheese, softened
1 tsp. vanilla
2 T. margarine
1 c. sifted powdered sugar

1) Preheat oven to 375o.
2) Mix sugar, eggs, and pumpkin in a bowl.
3) Sift flour, salt, cinnamon, and baking soda in another bowl.  Combine with pumpkin mixture.
4) Spray rimmed baking sheet with Pam and line with greased wax paper extended over sides.
5) Pour batter in rectangular shape on wax paper.  Bake for 15 min.
6) Beat cream cheese, vanilla, margarine, and powdered sugar until smooth and creamy.
7) Sprinkle clean dishtowel with powdered sugar.  Flip cooked batter face down on towel.  Remove wax paper.
8 ) Roll loosely and let set until cooled.
9) Unroll cake and spread with filling.  Roll again without the dishtowel.
10) Wrap in foil and freeze.  Unwrap and slice while frozen.

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Recipe Organization

Since we will be moving at the end of September into our new home, I have been working extra hard to try to organize a few more things so the move will be a bit easier.  The recent project I have almost completed is my recipes.  Recipe books are great, but who only has recipes around that are in a nice binding?  It seems that half of our family approved recipes are cut-outs from magazines, prints from the computer, or sheets of paper or note cards from friends.  Many are even just scratched down on whatever scrap I could find at the time.

When it comes to menu planning, my lack of recipe organization was one of my biggest hindrances.  I would spend too much time looking for that recipe that I knew was around here somewhere.  So with the help of other resources, I came up with a better system.

My first rule is that the recipe books I use a lot get to stay as is.  Everything else goes.  I started by buying a set of 3×5 note cards, tabs that are the same size, and a small storage box made for the note cards.  I then began tackling the stray recipes.  I took time out to write each recipe that was tried and true with our family on one of the note cards and then filed them behind the tabs under such categories as appetizers, breads, main dishes, etc.  I made the categories according to what worked best for me to find the recipe quickly.  A lot of the transferring to note cards happened during dinner prep.

After finishing all the “we know we love this” recipes, I actually went through my cook books and wrote down recipes that I use a lot.  This isn’t really necessary, but it has helped to save time trying to remember which book each entree is in.  Recipes I don’t use as often stay in the book.

For all the other recipes, I purchased a few full-size file folders and found a box that they would fit in.  I wrote “Recipes To Be Tried” on the outside of the box in a black permanent marker and labeled the file folders with the same categories I used on the 3×5 tabs.  Then I simply stuck all the rest of the loose pieces of paper under the appropriate category in the folders.  The box is not on public display but is in a closet.  I almost always pull it out when I am planning the menu each week.


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French Dip Sandwiches

This is one of Bill’s favorites.  We actually made it for friends tonight, and it worked really well.  I just doubled the Au Jus sauce.  We served the sandwiches with ruffles chips, raw carrots, and ranch dip, and it was a very easy meal that allowed us to fellowship instead of cook the whole time.

3-lb beef boneless chuck roast
1 1/2 cups water
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 teaspoon dried rosemary leaves
1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
1 clove garlic, finely chopped (1 used 1/4 tsp. garlic powder)
1 dried bay leaf
3 or 4 peppercorns
2 loaves (1 lb each) French bread

1.  If beef roast comes in netting or is tied, do not remove.  In 3 1/2- to 4-quart slow cooker, place beef.  In small bowl, mix remaining ingredients except bread; pour over beef.

2.  Cover and cook on Low heat setting 7 to 8 hours.

3.  Skim fat from surface of juices in cooker; discard bay leaf and peppercorns.  Remove beef from cooker; place on cutting board.  Remove netting or strings from beef.  Cut beef into thin slices.  Cut each loaf of bread into 5 pieces, about 4 inches long; cut horizontally in half.  Fill bread with beef.  Serve with broth for dipping.


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Poppyseed Chicken

This is one of our favorites and a recipe that is often requested.

Poppyseed Chicken:

4 chicken breasts, cooked (I like to cook it in the crockpot so it’s tender)
8 oz. low fat sour cream
1 can cream of mushroom soup
1 tsp. galrlic salt
1 wrapper Ritz crackers
1 stick butter, melted
2 T. poppy seeds

1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2.  Combine chicken, sour cream, soup, and garlic salt and spread in 9 x 13″ baking dish.
3.  Crush crackers and mix with butter and poppy seeds.  Spread over chicken layer.
4.  Bake 45 minutes or until bubbly.  Serve over hot rice. 


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Butterscotch Brownies

Bill and I have been trying to lose weight, so we haven’t had any sweets for 6 weeks now.  This is one of our yummy desserts we miss.  I thought some of you I’m-already-thin-and-don’t-have-to-watch-calories folks might enjoy it.

Butterscotch Brownies: 

1/4 c. butter or margarine
1 c. packed brown sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 T. milk
1 large egg
1 c.  all-purpose flour
1/2 c. chopped nuts, if desired (Bill does, I don’t)
1 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt

1.  Heat oven to 350 degrees F.  Grease bottom and sides of 8-inch square pan with shortening.
2.  In 1 1/2-quart saucepan, melt butter over low heat; remove from heat.  Stir in brown sugar, vanilla, milk, and egg.  Stir in remaining ingredients.  Spread in pan. 
3.  Bake about 25 minutes or until golden brown.  Cool 5 minutes in pan on wire rack. 
4.  Drizzle with Chocolate Glaze (below) and cut into 4 rows while warm.

Chocolate Glaze:

1/2 c. semisweet chocolate chips
2 T. butter or margarine
2 T. corn syrup
1 to 2 tsp. hot water

1.  In 1-quart saucepan, heat chocolate chips, butter and corn syrup over low heat, stirring frequently, until chocolate chips are melted.  Cool about 10 minutes.
2.  Stir in hot water, 1 teaspoon at a time, until consistency of thick syrup.