Pumpkin and Thanksgiving go hand in hand.

This week I would like to share a recipe for pumpkin roll - a sweet, spicy, pumpkin-flavored cake that is spread with a silky-rich cream cheese filling and rolled up like a pinwheel.

A rolled cake sounds rather difficult to prepare, but this is an easy and tasty dessert that is sure to impress your guests. Just remember to use canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie mix.

Lisa's Pumpkin Cake Roll

Serving size: 15

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

2/3 cup canned pumpkin

1 teaspoon lemon juice

3/4 cup flour

1 teaspoon baking powder

2 teaspoons cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

1/2 teaspoon salt


1 cup crushed walnuts or pecans

4 teaspoons butter, softened

1 cup powdered sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

8 ounces cream cheese, softened

Beat eggs on high. Gradually add sugar and continue beating on high. Add pumpkin and lemon juice, mixing until blended. In a separate bowl combine dry ingredients. Add to pumpkin mixture, mixing well. Spread batter into a well-greased and floured 10-by-15-inch jellyroll pan. Sprinkle with 1 cup finely crushed walnuts or pecans. Bake at 375 degrees for 15 minutes. Cool in pan for 15 minutes. Loosen edges and turn out on towel that has been covered with powdered sugar. (Nut side down). Cool 6 more minutes. From 10-inch side, roll cake up in towel. Set aside. Prepare filling: Beat 4 tablespoons butter into cream cheese, stir in sugar and vanilla, blending until smooth. Unroll cooled cake and evenly spread filling over the top. Roll up cake, place seam side down on plastic wrap and cover. Chill at least 2 hours before slicing. Sprinkle with a little powdered sugar before serving.

Vegetable Cheese Soup

2 large potatoes, peeled and cubed into small pieces

2 medium onions, chopped

1/2 cup carrots, finely chopped

1/2 cup celery, finely chopped

2 12-ounce cans beer or 3 cups water

4 teaspoons instant chicken bouillon granules

2 cups cheddar or American cheese, shredded

1 cup half and half

6 drops red pepper sauce

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 cup snipped parsley, opt.

Heat vegetables, beer or water and instant bouillon to boil in a 3-quart saucepan; reduce heat. Cover and simmer until vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in remaining ingredients except parsley; heat through. Sprinkle with parsley. Add leftover turkey cut into bite size pieces, if desired.

Holiday Cheese Ball

Serving size: 10

8 ounces cream cheese

4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese

2 ounces crumbled blue cheese

2 tablespoons grated onion

1 clove garlic, minced

4 dashes Worcestershire sauce

1 2.25-ounce can green olives

1/2 cup chopped pecans

In a food processor, mix the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, blue cheese, onion, garlic and Worcestershire sauce. Process until well blended. Add olives, and pulse into small chunks. Chill in the refrigerator until slightly firm. Shape the mixture into a ball and roll in the chopped pecans to coat. Wrap in plastic and chill at least 4 hours in the refrigerator. Serve with your favorite crackers.

FOOD FOR THOUGHT: Signed copies of my first edition cookbook will be available at my book signing from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday at Cut Above on Washington Street, across from the water tower.