When I first announced that I wanted to plan out my menus for an entire year many thought me totally NUTS! My thought was you plan a menu every week, so why not collect all 52 menus and end up with your menus planned for the next year. The benefits of having a meal plan are numerous. These posts are about the menus I planned and how I did them.

Sunday, October 21, 2012


When I was growing up crescent rolls meant it was either a holiday or company was coming.  This was in the days before the familiar long tubes of crescent roll dough were in every Mom and Pop grocery.  Homemade crescent rolls were a way for a homemaker to prove she truly was Donna Reed. 

Now crescent rolls come in cans from the refrigerator section and can be purchased either already perforated for making a quick easy eight triangles to roll up into the infamous crescent shape or to be unrolled into a long flat sheet to use as the basis to make everything free sweet rolls to taco cups and Jalapeno bread sticks.

Whether you make the homemade version or get the dough from the dairy case at your local grocery they are a valuable asset to have on hand for quick and delicious meals. 

I have to admit until I started getting daily emails from http://www.pillsbury.com/  I had never considered all the possibilities for crescent rolls.  Oh I had made WienerWraps for years, but now we are having crescents as part of at least one meal a week because they are quick and easy to use. 

I either purchase the crescent rolls on sale with a coupon and stock up when I can or I make up a batch of the homemade version using the Hot Roll Master Mix and just pull the amount of dough I need for that day’s creations from the freezer.  It couldn’t be simpler.

I also make many of the Pillsbury recipes, as I have wrote previously, my own by tweaking  them to be new family favorites.

A great example would be their Sticky Chewy ChocolatePecan Rolls .

Right off the bat I did not have milk chocolate chips on hand, but I did have semi sweet.  Oh those were some RICH Pecan Rolls, definitely needed a glass of milk with them.  They were also delicious!

A week or so later I was looking at all the different baking chips the stores now have out for holiday baking.  On a wild urge (I should never get near the baking aisle when I’m craving sweets) I purchased numerous bags of various flavors, including the Kraft Caramel bits—I bet you can see where this is going.

So this morning I decided we needed sweet rolls for breakfast.  Because of good prices and coupons I was able to grab a couple of convenient tubes from the fridge and make breakfast quickly.

One 8 count can got made with the brown sugar pecan topping of the original recipe, but then I simply buttered the dough and sprinkled it with a good dose of cinnamon sugar.  At this point I considered adding either raisins or other dried fruit and/or chopped nuts.  But since I knew the others would be so rich I went with just the cinnamon sugar.

The second can was made per the original recipe right up until the chocolate chips.  That can I dotted the dough with the Kraft Caramel bits instead of chocolate chips.  While both sweet roll creations were wonderful the Caramel Rolls won hands down in the favorites department! 

In the not to distant future I will try the recipe with butterscotch chips, pie fillings,  Nutella or peanut butter.  The possibilities are endless, jelly rolls anyone?
A FOOD STORAGE NOTE here.  Right now most grocery stores are running baking supplies on sale.  It is a wonderful opportunity to stock up for many months to come.  Four, baking powders, baking chips and much more can be vacuum sealed and properly stored to last until this time next year.

Right after the holidays, or even just before the stores will start marking the baking chips down to the lowest prices of the year.  If these are kept in a a cool dark place in an air tight (or vacuum sealed) container they will keep an extremely long time.  Also look for the candies to go on sale after the holidays.  Many of those can be crushed and used for baking later on in the year as well.

Now back to the crescent rolls. Another breakfast treat would to make homemade toaster pastries by using the dough in rectangles that you filled with jellies, jams, marmalades, curds, Nutella, pudding, pie fillings, or any number of fillings.  You would simply need to put the filling on one half the rectangle, fold the other half over and use a fork to seal the edges then bake.  These could even be made ahead of time and nuked to re-heat. 

Wiener Wraps easily get an update by using all types of sausages instead of just wieners.  Don’t forget to add cheeses or maybe other goodies, such as a small bit of well drained kraut as you wrap.

The dinner options are tremendous too.  In my Muffin Tins, Not Just for Muffins Any More post I mentioned using muffin tins for all sorts of meals.  Crescent rolls are great as holders for all sorts of foods like taco filler, quiche, pizza toppings, mini “pot pies” and just about anything you can think of.

Simply spray the muffin tin with non-stick cooking spray and use one crescent roll per cup.  I notice the Wal-Mart brand crescent roll even comes in a jumbo size that would be ideal for doing this in larger muffin tins.  Instead of rolling the roll up you use it flat to line the muffin tin cup.  Then fill the cup with your food of choice.  Bake at the designated crescent roll temperature until golden brown.

Speaking of Pot Pies, how about using the crescent rolls for the crust on your regular sized pot pies?

I just read a recipe on the Pillsbury website that suggests using two cans of crescent rolls.  You roll the first one out flat, seal the perforations and then butter lightly.  On top of this you add shredded pepper jack cheese.  The second can you roll out flat, seal the perforations and then lay it on top of the cheese.  You then cut through all the layers in narrow strips and twist up for bread sticks and bake at the time and temperature on the can.  They suggest serving them as a dipper for salsa.  Me I’m thinking they’d be good with any number of meals as the bread for the dinner.

Why stop with just pepper jack?  How about Italian cheese blend or plain mozzarella to serve with spaghetti—maybe use garlic butter instead of just plain butter.  Or smoked gouda and serve with a salad for lunch.  The possibilities go on and on.  Make the recipe your own.

Now that I’ve started your mind working what wonderful uses can you come up for crescent roll dough?

Be prepared, I just “liked” Pepperidge Farm’s puff pastry group on facebook and have already seen so many possibilities I’m looking for a good recipe for homemade puff pastry—in the meantime I’ll be watching for coupons too.

Jan who is quickly becoming a fan of this old time favorite for more than just bread with dinner in OK

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