cooking through a cookbook front to back in a year

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I enjoy weird long words. I smile and laugh at their funny pronunciation and count them a tiny bright spot in a day. I also love seeing my plants grow, bloom, sprout and germinate, and dicotyledonous is a flowering plant whose seed typically has two embryonic leaves.

I’ve been working on starting various plants to set out in my garden once our Southern finicky weather cooperates. A few days ago they were predicting snow in the area, and today I was outside in shorts and a t-shirt enjoying the 75 degree weather.

Thanks to Pinterest, I’ve had several different inspirations for containers to start my seeds in. Out of the various assortment of ideas I’ve tried so far, I have been the most successful with thrift stores finds. The most labor intensive was my newspaper planters. Somewhere between the tearing, shredding, soaking, mashing, and setting I decided that was TOO much work! They have however, been a great conversation starter. 🙂




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Pumpkin Cake Roll

Some of my extended family will be in town tomorrow, and so I offered to help mum out with the meal. Since I LOVE to bake, it was quickly decided I would take dessert. I was in a bit of a funk all day, and so decided that some proper baking was in order to fix that! 🙂

I ended up selecting three different cake rolls to make, two for tomorrow’s dinner and one to take into work. Good thing too…. as only two turned out and one, well it’s a flop. A completely yummmmy flop of marshmellow puff and red velvet cake. But not really a pretty flop. lol! i did learn something out of this sweet sticky mess…. a boxed cake mix does NOT work for making a cake roulade. Next project will be to find or create a fool proof lemon cake recipe made for rolling, it apparently has to be a bit “tougher” of a cake.

The pumpkin was a success though, and I’m quite happy to be able to share!


Pumpkin Cake Roll

Adapted from Blog is the New Black

Serves 10-12



  • 3/4 cup flour
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp ginger
  • 1/4 tsp cloves
  • 3 eggs
  • 1 Cup sugar
  • 1 cup pumpkin


  • 1 8 oz. package of cream cheese, at room temp
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 C powdered sugar (plus additional for dusting)
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract


  1. Preheat oven to 350.  Line a jelly roll pan with parchment paper, using cooking spray or butter to get the paper to stick.  (I recommend 15 x 10 x1 size.)
  2. In a bowl, combine flour, baking soda and cinnamon.  Set aside. 
  3. In a bowl, beat the eggs, gradually adding sugar and pumpkin until well combined.  Slowly add flour mixture. 
  4. Spread the batter into the prepared jelly roll pan and sprinkle with chopped walnuts.
  5. Bake for about 12 minutes, or until cake is puffed and a toothpick comes out clean.   
  6. While still warm, place a clean kitchen towel on top, and invert the cake.  Remove the pan and parchment paper. 
  7. Starting from the long side, gently roll the cake up with the towel inside.
  8. Allow to completely cool in the fridge for at least an hour, faster if in the freezer.
  9. Meanwhile, beat cream cheese and butter until combined. Add in powdered sugar and vanilla until light and fluffy.
  10. When ready to assemble, unroll the cake, leaving it on the towel.  Spread the cake with cream cheese filling and reroll into a log.  Sprinkle with more powdered sugar, if desired. 
  11. Transfer to a serving platter and slice. 
  12. Can be stored in the freezer and served at a later time.




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Growing Basil

I’m rather sad that I somehow forgot to move my basil inside when the first frost hit. Within days it had completely shriveled up and turned a ghastly brown and just ruining my great green thumb streak. I went hunting through several different store’s garden section for fresh basil, but the beginning of January “is not herb season, mah deah!” proclaimed more than one salesperson.

So I broke down and was about to buy a small box of basil seeds and a planter… but when it rang up for $6, I decided I could do better than that! I collected a few twenty-five cent ceramic planters for my favorite thrift store, a bag of potting soil for $1.60 and a packet of basil seeds for seventy nine cents. 😀 I’m hoping to follow some of the tips found here.

I’m been thoroughly enjoying watching them grow… can’t wait until it is large enough to start picking!

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Blueberry Pancakes

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Let’s just start this off with a confession. These are not in the cookbook. They are however, tried and true. Which makes an excellent choice when making breakfast for someone who you actually care if your food turns out. 😀



Fluffy Buttermilk Pancakes

  • 2 cup Flour
  • 1 teaspoons soda
  • 3 teaspoons baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar

Mix the above in a medium sized bowl thoroughly.

  • 2 eggs
  • 4 Tablespoons oil
  • 2 1/2 cup buttermilk
  • 1 cup Blueberries

Beat the eggs until frothy, add the oil and buttermilk and mix until combined. Then pour over dry ingredients, add the cup of blueberries to batter and GENTLY stir until just combined. Do NOT stir out all the lumps…. as with all quick rise breads that contain soda or baking powder, the key to getting fluffy pancakes is to not stir too much! 😀

Use a small scoop or ladel to pour onto pan and which as been greased and heated at a medium heat. Flip when bubbles start to rise to the top and they are a golden brown. Enjoy!!


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Baked Tortilla Chips

This week has been a rather interesting one, and rather stressful (aren’t all interesting weeks equally stressful?) In fact, today I’m down with a cold and actually have some down time at home. After sitting around drinking the eleventy-fifth cup of tea, I decided perhaps some spice would help the clear the stuffy head so my thoughts aren’t so scrambled. It actually did manage to help the general stuffiness, but I’m no further in deciding if I should take the new job, if I’m ok with no longer being single, or if I should have planted thyme instead of rosemary. 😀

These Baked Tortilla Chips are both low fat and delicious…. especially warm right out of the oven. Be forewarned, these are not only incredibly easy to make, but also rather addictive! There are quite a few variations floating about, but I stuck pretty much to the easy recipe.


Purple Power Shakes


I’ll admit it…. I’ve been way too busy to even think about cooking! And suddenly I realized I was at the end of my first week in this challenge and had cooked, well, nothing from my cookbook. I’ve been so thrilled with the vacuum seal method I found on pinterest recently that I’ve been eating out of a jar for most of my meals! This is quite easy, and will be a staple in my fridge from now on. But, back to the recipe of the day. With forgetting this project already and having very few ingredients on hand I’ve opted for something sweet and easy. 🙂

Cuppuccino Cream Parfaits seem to fit the bill and are deceptively fancy despite their EASY prep. While I’m cooking my way through a Betty Crocker Cookbook, this exact recipe can be found here. It looks scrum-delicious! And I had out everything ready to mix and taste, BUT ALAS, that will have to wait as I do not have whip topping. 😦

So it’s time for a tried and true recipe I created this fall. I make several variations of this particular smoothie for breakfast , but it usually contains blueberries.

Purple Power Smoothie


1/2 cup nonfat plain yogurt

1/2 cup orange juice

1/3 cup frozen blueberries

3 frozen strawberries

a few frozen raspberries (optional)

handful of fresh baby spinach (optional)

1 scoop vanilla protein powder (optional)

Add the yogurt, frozen berries and orange juice to blender and mix thoroughly. Add the spinach and after pulsing, add the optional vanilla protein powder. Enjoy!

Note- it’s important to use frozen berries, it give the smoothie the cold frozen consistency without needing to add ice and watering it down. Also, don’t have blue-berries? Substitute any frozen fruit!


Hope you all had a very happy holidays and are into the swing of the New Year. Instead of resolutions, I made life changes starting on the first. Any resolutions or changes you are making? Leave a comment below!

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The Beginning

Beginning2end365 is a blog about my journey of cooking through a cookbook, beginning to end in a year. It’s going to be interesting, I’m not going to skip any of the strange sounding and weirder tasting recipes. I’ve had the hardest time choosing a cookbook to use, namely because I wanted a healthy cookbook for this adventure and most iconic cook books are well…. not so healthy. I settled on a Betty Crocker cookbook and am quite excited to see what the new year brings. So, starting January the adventure begins!