Archive for the ‘Breads, Doughs, and Crusts’ Category



It’s almost time to ring in a new year. I don’t know about you, but we’ve all had our fill of the traditional dishes like turkey and dressing, ham, rolls, heavy casseroles, and numerous desserts that now hang on our hips and thighs. We will be hosting a New Year’s Eve party at our home for our oldest son and his friends this year. This week, I will be sharing some recipes for our New Year’s Eve menu. Today, I give you the Stromboli.

This is so quick and easy and yet it’s one of those dishes your guests will think you spent a lot of time preparing. The first time I had this dish was at our church life group meeting. I still refer to it as Gina’s Stromboli, since this was her treat for our group to enjoy.

What you will need:

  • 1 tube Pillsbury French Loaf dough
  • 2 cups of shredded Italian or Mozzarella cheese
  • ¼ pound thin sliced deli pepperoni or salami
  • ½ pound thin sliced deli smoked turkey
  • ½ pound thin sliced deli ham
  • 1-2 Tablespoons Italian Seasoning
  • Fresh grated Parmesan Cheese for garnish

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

Lightly grease a cookie sheet or baking pan.

Open tube and remove dough, handling carefully. Find seam in dough and gently unroll the loaf of French dough on the greased pan. The dough should cover about a 12×8 area once it is unrolled.

Take slices of turkey and cover the entire surface of the dough. Repeat with the ham slices. Place pepperoni mainly in the middle area of the rectangle. If you really love pepperoni cover the entire rectangle.

Cover meats with the shredded Italian cheese.

Sprinkle 1-2 Tablespoons of Italian Seasoning (Oregano/Basil blend)

Starting on the long edge of dough, carefully begin rolling the dough toward opposite long edge. Pinch ends of dough together. Cut 3-4 slits on top of the Stromboli roll with a sharp knife.  (In the photo below, I formed a circle with the rolled up Stromboli to resemble a wreath for Christmas).

Place Stromboli in preheated oven. Cook until crust is golden brown, but not over done. This takes about 20 minutes in my oven, but ovens do vary a bit.stromboli

When Stromboli is brown, remove from oven and garnish top with fresh grated parmesan cheese. Let cool slightly. Transfer to your favorite serving platter. Cut into 1” slices to serve.


Use other combinations of meats and cheese. My sons like double ham with cheddar cheese. We’ve also used Boar’s Head Salsalita Chicken with Montery Jack cheese and a dash of chili powder. This could easily become a vegetarian dish made with cheeses and veggies like spinach, mushrooms, onions, red and green peppers, black olives, or even zucchini


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If you don’t have time to make Better Cinnamon Rolls, this recipe is the next best thing to serve on Christmas morning.  I got this recipe a long time ago from my dear friend Betsy.  Hi Betsy!  Although there are no pictures to post yet, I wanted to give the recipe so you could get all the ingredients when you make that last grocery store run.  Sometimes the Cook N Serve Butterscotch Jello Pudding is hard to find close to Christmas. 

1 pkg. frozen dough balls (15 count)sticky-buns-before-cooking
1 pkg, butterscotch pudding, NOT instant
1 stick real butter
¾ cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped pecans
On Christmas Eve:
Butter a bundt pan
Layer One: Sprinkle cinnamon in bottom of pan
Layer Two: Add chopped pecans
Layer Three: Add Dough Balls
Layer Four: Sprinkle dry pudding mix over dough
Layer Five: Melt butter and sugar. Pour over top.
Let prepared dough set out all night uncovered. Christmas morning bake 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees. Remove from oven, placing a plate or round serving platter on top of bundt pan.  Flip pan to release sticky buns. Caution – it’s hot and sticky.  Serve while warm.  Faint and repeat.

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Fall and winter bring a change of menu at our house.  As the chilly wind blows in from the north, a pot of soup is often simmering on the stove – its aroma promising to warm us from the inside out. 


Ann’s Taco Soup 

  • 2 lbs ground beef
  • 1 chopped onion 
  • 2 cans mild Rotel tomatoes
  • 3 cans drained kidney beans
  • 1 can drained shoe peg corn
  • 1 15 oz can tomato sauce
  • 1 can beef broth or 2 NO BEEF bullion cubes added with 3 cups water 

In a large skillet, brown beef with the chopped onion. 

Transfer beef to large pot.

Add Rotel, kidney beans, shoe peg corn, tomato sauce, and beef broth. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to simmer.  Simmer at least 30 minutes, or longer. 


This soup could be simmered in a crock pot on low for 4-6 hours.

To avoid MSG, I buy NO BEEF bullion cubes and add extra water to the soup in place of canned beef broth.  If using canned beef broth, you may desire to add 2-3 cups of extra water, depending upon how long you simmer the soup.

This soup is hearty, but not heavy and is a good alternative to chili.



MeMa’s Sour Cream Corn Bread

This is absolutely the best cornbread to serve with so many different soups.  It can be whipped up in no time, while the soup is simmering.  It could also be a meal by itself.  My taste buds would have never known about this bread, if it weren’t for my mother-in-law.  It’s another one of her recipes I could never do without.

Preheat oven to 425 degrees

Place 1 stick of real butter in 10” iron skillet.  Let butter melt as oven preheats and while you are preparing the batter.

In large mixing bowl add:

  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 cup Martha White self-rising meal
  • ½ medium chopped onion (or use 1 Tablespoon onion powder if you’re in a hurry)
  • 1 cup cream style corn (I defrost a package of my fresh frozen garden corn)

Mix until mostly blended.  Batter will be lumpy.  Add half the melted butter to the batter, leaving the remaining half in the iron skillet.  Blend melted butter into batter.  Pour batter into the buttery iron skillet.  Cook for approximately 20-30 minutes until cornbread turns golden brown on top.  Serve warm.

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Organic Pumpkin Bread (Wheat and Gluten Free)

Don’t be afraid to vary the kind of flour used in some recipes. This is my mother’s original pumpkin bread recipe, which I traditionally make around Thanksgiving and Christmas. Since I am trying to reduce inflammation in my body – I am eliminating wheat from my diet. The original recipe called for 3 cups of plain white flour. I substituted half oat and half spelt flour. I was amazed at the taste of the pumpkin bread – and I do not miss the wheat! I was able to find all organic ingredients too. However you can easily use plain white flour and regular ingredients if you cannot find the organic ones.

This recipe will fill 2 regular loaf pans. However, I like to make the mini loaves and give as gifts. The recipe will make around 8 mini loaves, depending on the size of the little pans.

Sift together in large bowl these dry ingredients:

  • 1 ¾ cup organic oat flour
  • 1 ¾ cup organic spelt flour
  • 2 teaspoons baking soda
  • 2 Tablespoons cinnamon
  • 1 ½ teaspoons nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon cloves

In another bowl mix these ingredients:pumpkin-bread-slice

  • 3 cups organic sugar
  • 1 cup olive oil
  • 4 organic eggs (slightly beaten)
  • 1 can organic pumpkin (or 2 cups frozen puree)

Add to liquid mixture:

  • 2/3 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 cup chopped pecans or walnuts
  • 1 cup chopped dates

Now add liquid ingredients to the dry ingredients. Stir until well blended.

Bake at 350 degrees. The large loaves will take 50-60 minutes. The mini loaves will need at around 25-30 minutes. Bread is done when a clean toothpick insert in the middle comes out without batter on it.

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