Pumpkin Bundt Cake with Maple Frosting




  • 1 package yellow cake mix (regular size)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) solid-pack pumpkin
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup canola oil
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves


  • 2 cups confectioners’ sugar
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons 2% milk
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple flavoring
  • 1/2 cup chopped pecans, toasted


  • Preheat oven to 350°. Place first 10 ingredients in a large bowl; beat on low speed 30 seconds. Beat on medium 2 minutes. Pour into a greased and floured 10-in. fluted tube pan.
  • Bake 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted near the center comes out clean. Cool 10 minutes before removing from pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
  • Whisk confectioners’ sugar, milk, syrup and maple flavoring until smooth. Drizzle over cake and sprinkle with pecans.


Posted in Cakes and Breads | Leave a comment

Creamy Tortellini and Sausage Soup



  • 1.25 pounds ground Italian sausage
  • 1 small white onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and diced
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 cup white-whole wheat flour (or all-purpose flour)
  • 6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 (10-ounce) package refrigerated cheese tortellini
  • 5 ounces greens of your choice (I used a mixture of spinach, collards and baby kale)
  • 2 cups lowfat milk
  • salt and pepper


  • Cook Italian sausage in a large stockpot over medium-high heat until browned, crumbling it as it cooks.  Using a slotted spoon, transfer the cooked sausage to a separate plate and set aside.  Reserve two tablespoons of grease in the pan, discarding the rest.
  • Stir in onions and carrots, and saute for 4-5 minutes or until the onions are soft and translucent, stirring occasionally.  Add in the garlic and saute for an additional 1-2 minutes, or until fragrant, stirring occasionally.  Stir in the flour until it’s evenly coating the veggies, and cook for an additional 1 minute, stirring occasionally.
  • Gradually add in the chicken stock, and stir to combine.  Continue cooking until the mixture reaches a simmer.  Then reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Stir in the tortellini, spinach, and milk, and continue simmering for 4-5 minutes, or until the tortellini is al dente.
  • Taste, and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Serve immediately.  Or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 3 days.


Posted in Soups and Stews | Leave a comment

Ina Garten’s Skillet-Roasted Lemon Chicken




  • 2 teaspoons fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 teaspoon whole fennel seeds
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/3 cup good olive oil
  • 1 lemon, halved and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 1 yellow onion, halved and sliced ¼ inch thick
  • 2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 (4-pound) chicken, backbone removed and butterflied
  • ½ cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
  • Juice of 1 lemon


  • Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.
  • Place the thyme, fennel seeds, 1 tablespoon salt, and 1 teaspoon pepper in a mini food processor and process until ground. Pour the olive oil into a small glass measuring cup, stir in the herb mixture, and set aside.
  • Distribute the lemon slices in a 12-inch cast-iron skillet and distribute the onion and garlic on top. Place the chicken, skin side down, on top of the onion and brush with about half the oil and herb mixture. Turn the chicken skin side up, pat it dry with paper towels (very important!), and brush it all over with the rest of the oil and herb mixture.
  • Roast the chicken for 30 minutes. Pour the wine into the pan (not on the chicken!) and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes, until a meat thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the breast registers 155 to 160 degrees.
  • Remove the chicken from the oven, sprinkle it with the lemon juice, cover the skillet tightly with aluminum foil, and allow to rest for 10 to 15 minutes. Cut the chicken into quarters or eighths, sprinkle with salt, and serve hot with the pan juices, cooked lemon, and onion.


Posted in Meats | Leave a comment

Cheeseburger Soup



  • 1/2 pound ground beef
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 3/4 cup chopped onion
  • 3/4 cup shredded carrots
  • 3/4 cup diced celery
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley flakes
  • 1-3/4 pounds (about 4 cups) cubed peeled potatoes
  • 3 cups chicken broth
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 package (16 ounces) Velveeta process cheese, cubed
  • 1-1/2 cups milk
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/4 cup sour cream


  • In a large saucepan over medium heat, cook and crumble beef until no longer pink; drain and set aside. In same saucepan, melt 1 tablespoon butter over medium heat. Saute onion, carrots, celery, basil and parsley until tender, about 10 minutes.
  • Add potatoes, beef and broth; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until potatoes are tender, 10-12 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, in a small skillet, melt remaining butter. Add flour; cook and stir until bubbly, 3-5 minutes. Add to soup; bring to a boil. Cook and stir 2 minutes. Reduce heat to low.
  • Stir in cheese, milk, salt and pepper; cook until cheese melts. Remove from heat; blend in sour cream. Yield: 8 servings (2-1/4 quarts).

*Taste of Home, October 2016

Posted in Meats, Soups and Stews | Leave a comment