Cook Once for a Bunch!

Sticking with this month’s “pumpkin theme” for our recipes, today I’d like to share with you the amazing Pumpkin Cake Roll that Kaitlyn Bartling made when we got together a few weeks ago.  I love this recipe because it’s delicious, looks gourmet but is actually quite easy to make.

Confession time: I have to admit that I never would’ve tried making a Pumpkin Cake Roll without Kaitlyn there to walk me through the steps.  Now I’m looking forward to making it again soon, along with her wonderful Cheesy Chicken & Rice Casserole.

Cheesy Chicken & Rice is just one of the five new recipes I collected last month when I invited a group of ladies into my kitchen to “Cook Once for a Bunch.”  I believe Kaitlyn actually coined this phrase to describe what happens when you get a group of friends together and prepare meals for the freezer.

Each participant brought copies of her recipe, along with enough ingredients to make that recipe six times.  Then we set up an assembly line and put together meals in a matter of minutes.  It helped that each person took the time to either pre-cook and cube chicken or brown hamburger ahead of time.  In less than five hours, I had six different meals prepped for the freezer plus my friends had done all of my dishes and put them away.  (How great is that?  Kitchen cleanup is on my list of “things I really don’t enjoy.”)  Some ladies chose to put the casseroles into two, 8×8 pans, which allowed them to have 12 freezer-ready meals.

Whether you’re a working wife, a farmer’s wife or stay-at-home mom, freezer-ready meals make dinner a snap.  Kaitlyn, for example, enjoyed getting together before harvest began.  This way she can heat up a good meal for her family without spending a lot of time in the kitchen during the busy harvest season.

What’s your favorite freezer-ready meal?

P.S.  We featured Kaitlyn’s family and her recipe for Stuffed Pork Chops last October during our National Pork Month celebration.  It’s a recipe worth repeating. 🙂

Wild & Cheesy Chicken


  • 1, 6-oz. box of long grain & wild rice with herbs, spices & seasoning packet
  • 2 T. butter
  • ½ c. celery, diced
  • ½ c. onion, chopped
  • 4 oz. fresh mushrooms, chopped
  • 2/3 c. milk
  • 1, 10.5-oz. can Cream of Mushroom Soup
  • 2 c. cooked chicken
  • 1 c. shredded cheddar


  1. Cook rice according to package.
  2. Melt butter and sauté celery, onion & mushrooms until tender.
  3. Mix everything together and pour into buttered casserole or 9×13 pan.
  4. Bake 30 minutes at 425° if unfrozen.
  5. Bake at 350° for 90 minutes to 2 hours and leave almonds off until last 30 minutes.

Great casserole to serve for company!

Pumpkin Cake Roll



  • 3 eggs
  • 1 c. sugar
  • 2/3 c. pumpkin puree
  • 1 tsp. lemon
  • ¾ c. flour
  • 1 tsp. baking powder
  • 2 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. ginger
  • ½ tsp. nutmeg
  • ½ tsp. salt


  1. Preheat oven to 375°.
  2. Beat eggs on high for 5 minutes, gradually beating in sugar.
  3. Stir in pumpkin and lemon.
  4. Combine flour with remaining dry ingredients.
  5. Then fold into pumpkin mixture.
  6. Spread into well greased jelly roll pan, lined with wax or parchment paper.
  7. Bake for 10-15 minutes.
  8. Loosen edges and then turn out on flour sack towel.
  9. Sprinkle with powdered sugar, roll and let cool.
  10. Unroll and then fill.
  11. Reroll and wrap in plastic wrap.
  12. Keep chilled.


Filling Ingredients:

  • 1 c. powdered sugar
  • 6 oz. cream cheese
  • 4 T. butter
  • ½ tsp. vanilla

Filling Directions:

  1. Beat all ingredients together until fluffy.

Cook's Note:

I serve one roll for Thanksgiving dinner and then take the second roll out for our family to enjoy on Christmas Eve.


Photo from Taste of Home
Note: This recipe also freezes well.