Pumpkin Roll: A Different Holiday Dessert You Must Try

by Lauren Richardson

Thanksgiving is just around the corner, and the holidays are notorious for copious amounts of food. But the same old treats year after year can get a bit boring. To spice up this year’s Thanksgiving dessert, try making a pumpkin roll. It’s one of my family’s holiday favorites. It may take a while, but trust me; the end product will be more than worth it!

Photo by Lauren Richardson

Photo by Lauren Richardson 

Ingredients:

  • 3 eggs
  • 3/4 cup sifted flour
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 2/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 cup chopped walnuts
  • 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Cream Cheese Filling:

  • 1 cup sifted confectioner’s sugar
  • 6 tablespoons softened butter
  • 1 8-ounce package cream cheese
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla

Instructions:

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Grease a standard jellyroll pan, and line it with parchment paper. Grease and flour the parchment paper thoroughly. Sift together the dry ingredients, and set them aside.

2. In another bowl, beat all three eggs together, adding sugar gradually until the mixture is thick and fluffy. Beat the pumpkin in, and then stir in the dry ingredients. Pour the mixture of wet and dry ingredients into the jellyroll pan, and spread it evenly. Sprinkle the top with walnuts. Bake for 15 minutes.

Photo by Lauren Richardson

3. While the roll is in the oven, beat together the confectioner’s sugar, softened butter, cream cheese and vanilla until smooth.

4. Once it’s out of the oven, loosen it from the pan. While it’s still hot, invert it on a clean dishtowel dusted with powdered sugar and peel off the parchment paper gently. Roll the cake up in the towel immediately. If you wait until it’s cool, it will break apart.

Photo by Lauren Richardson

5. Let it cool in the towel for at least an hour. Once it’s cool, unroll it. Spread the cream cheese filling on with a spatula then roll it up again without the towel.

Photo by Lauren Richardson

Photo by Lauren Richardson

6. When you’re finished, wrap it in plastic wrap. Chill it for several hours in the refrigerator. When you’re ready to serve it, cut it into slices and enjoy!

Photo by Lauren Richardson

Photo by Lauren Richardson

How to Cook a Wholesome Meal, Even For the Most Inexperienced Chefs

Photos and story by Nicole Germany

It isn’t a secret some of us are guilty of living off pizza, Chipotle or PB&Js. Fortunately for you, these two Pinterest-inspired recipes don’t require a pro in the kitchen, and I guarantee they will impress everyone who thought you couldn’t cook to save your life.

If you’re anything like me, you often contemplate your fourth trip of the week to Taco Bell. But after multiple bean burritos, my body screams for something wholesome and healthy.

This easy-to-make Mediterranean salad is a great way to get your daily dose of veggies and makes a colorful Instagram post for all the foodies out there.

Mediterranean Salad (serves 2 to 3)

Preparation time: 30 to 35 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 16 ounces of garbanzo beans
  • 16 ounces of black beans
  • 1 cucumber
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 container of cherry tomatoes
  • Crumbled feta cheese
  • ½ cup diced white onions
  • Dash of Italian seasoning
  • 10 ounces of Ro-Tel diced tomatoes and green chilies
  • Small can of sliced black olives

Directions:

  1. Empty diced tomatoes and green chilies, garbanzo beans, black beans and sliced black olives into a large bowl.
  2. Slice cherry tomatoes into halves.
  3. Dice cucumber and white onions.
  4. Place cherry tomatoes, feta cheese and diced cucumber and onions in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients.
  5. Add extra virgin olive oil to bowl.
  6. Sprinkle Italian seasoning, and thoroughly mix contents.
  7. Enjoy cold or heated.
salad

Photo by Nicole Germany

Thanksgiving will be here before we know it, and these cheesy stuffed mushrooms make the perfect hors d’oeuvres. This quick appetizer requires few ingredients and short preparation time. Plus, you can add your own ingredients like crab meat, sausage or shrimp to give the recipe your own original twist.

Cheesy Stuffed Mushrooms (serves 3 to 4)

Preparation time: 25 to 30 minutes

Ingredients:

  • (2) 8 ounces of whole baby bella mushrooms
  • 1 6.5 ounces of Alouette Garlic and Herb Cheese Spread
  • ½ cup shredded cheddar cheese

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Use a wet cloth to rinse off any dirt from mushrooms (if you rinse them, they will get slimy).
  3. Remove the stems from all of the whole mushrooms.
  4. Use a butter knife to fill the middle of the mushrooms with cheese spread.
  5. Place on a pan.
  6. Cook mushrooms for about 15 to 20 minutes or until tender.
  7. Remove pan, and sprinkle mushroom tops with cheddar cheese.
Photo by Nicole Germany

Photo by Nicole Germany

Pair the two recipes together, adding toasted bread and butter, and you’ve got yourself a home-cooked meal!

mix

Photo by Nicole Germany

What Your Favorite Color Says About You

By Cara Chiaramonte

Think of your favorite color — the first color that comes to your mind. Don’t second-guess it. This color can actually help you learn quite a bit about yourself. Whether you’re pedantic purple or mature maroon, your favorite color can give you insight into why you act the way you do or how others perceive you. See if your favorite color matches with your traits and personal views.

Colors

Red: People who choose red as their favorite color usually have a “zest for life.” This strong color signifies someone persevering, even impetuous. He or she is ready to live free and easy but can sometimes become irritable.

Black: If you admire this hue, you relate to an outwardly peculiar group of people with creative minds. They sometimes prefer to keep their opinions or achievements to themselves.

Purple: This is my favorite color. Although we can sometimes seem unapproachable or arrogant, us purples are a creatively open-minded bunch. We’re not afraid to take risks, and we constantly search for ways to set ourselves apart.

Orange: These people are social butterflies. Although they sometimes have a knack for theatrics, people who love orange tend to be friendly, active and courageous.

Green: People who love green the most are devoted and considerate. They’re great friends. However, their reserved nature can put them in awkward situations where others take advantage.

Yellow: Those who prefer yellow are “mentally adventurous.” These high-minded people find happiness in sharing their humor and opinions with others.

Maroon: This color indicates maturation. Maroon lovers are often altruistic and may have been involved in some of life’s greatest hardships. His or her personality usually coincides with someone who likes red.

Blue: These people are dependable. They always think about others before acting, which can sometimes lead to worrying too much, but they’re usually some of the most trustworthy and responsible people around.

(Sources: Psychology Today, “The Healing Power of Color” by Betty Wood via Care2.com)