At Christmas time I love to make a Bûche de Noël otherwise known as a Yule log. This last Christmas, I had a great time making Tiramisu flavored Bûche de Noël . Somehow those same flavors seem a bit heavy during the summer. Especially when so much fresh fruit is readily available. I decided to modify my recipe to slim it down for summer. This cake is light, flavorful and visually gorgeous. Splurging on this dessert is easy on the diet and on the budget! I hope you try it. You will love it!
Light and Lemony Cake Roll
4 egg yolks
4 egg whites
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup cake flour, sifted
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1 tbsp vanilla
8 oz neufchatel cheese (1/3 less fat) or you can use regular cream cheese, softened to room temperature
8 oz light frozen whipped topping, thawed
1 cup plum or strawberry jam
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup powdered sugar (for the outside of the cake)
Preheat oven to 375° F. Separate the egg yolks from the egg whites. In a small bowl beat egg whites with 1/4 cup sugar until stiff but not dry. Set aside. In another bowl beat the yolks with 1/2 cup sugar until it’s a light yellow color. Add in vanilla to the yolk mixture. Sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Add the sifted flour mixture to the egg yolk mixture. Gently fold in the egg white. Be careful not to over mix. Batter should be light and fluffy. Line a jelly roll pan or a half sheet pan with parchment or waxed paper. Pour cake batter onto the pan and spread evenly. Bake for 10-15 minutes until golden brown but not dry. Loosen edge of cake while it’s still warm. Dust cake with powdered sugar. Place dish towel on top of the cake and invert the whole pan onto the towel. Gently peel off the parchment paper. Beginning with the narrow side roll the cake and towel together into a roll. Let it sit on a cooling rack, seam side down for about 10-15 minutes. In the meantime assemble the filling by combining the Neufchatel cheese with the lemon zest, 1 1/2 tbsp of lemon juice and 1/4 cup sugar. Mix well and then fold in the thawed whipped topping until well blended. Take the jam and microwave it for 30 – 40 seconds until it’s a liquid. Gently unroll the cake and brush the jam all over the cake. Spread the lemony mixture on top of the jam layer, leaving 1/2 inch clearance from the edges. Gently re-roll the cake, using the towel to help roll. Dust with additional powdered sugar if needed and place seam side down on a serving platter. Slice into 1″ thick slices and serve with fresh strawberries or other fruit.
It’s a long name, I know. But It’s a great salad!! I had a bunch of corn on the cob left over from a recent meal and I wanted to re-use them in something fresh. I roasted up the corn over the burners, (that’s the wonderful thing about having a gas stove) and added in some lentils for protein and Mangos for sweetness and it was delightful. Roasting the corn adds a slightly smokey flavor and the English cucumbers are crispy, crunchy and fresh….hmmmmm, it’s very tasty! I’m glad it turned out so good. With the weather getting warmer and summer just around the corner, I know I’ll be making this salad a LOT!!
Here’s the recipe:
Roasted Corn, Mango and Lentil Salad with Red Chili & Ginger Honey Lime dressing
6 half ears or 3 whole ears of corn, roasted and taken off the ear
1/3 red onion, finely chopped
2 Mangoes, chopped
1 small English Cucumber
small bunch Cilantro (Coriander leaves)
1/2 cup dried lentils
1 1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp fresh ground pepper
Red chili, seeded and minced
1 inch piece of ginger
1 tablespoon honey
In a medium size pan place the lentils with 1 1/2 tsp of salt and 2 1/2 cups of water and bring to boil, turn it down to a simmer and cover until they are tender (should take about 20-25 minutes). In the meantime, roast the corn over a burner by holding it with a pair of metal tongs. When roasted, cut the corn off the cob and place in a large bowl. Cut both Mangoes into small cubes and add to the roasted corn. Add the English cucumber and the red onion to the other vegetables as well. Drain Lentils and rinse with cold water before adding it to the vegetables. Sprinkle with chopped Cilantro and get the dressing ready.
Preparing the dressing:
Zest the lime in a small bowl using a microplane, also using the microplane grate the ginger to yield about 1 tsp. Juice the lime and add seeded and minced chili, salt, pepper and honey and start whisking as you add the olive oil in a drizzle, this will turn the mixture into a nice and almost creamy emulsion.
Pour the dressing over the salad and toss thoroughly. Serves 4. Great with Seared Yellowfin Tuna or by itself.
Couscous is a semolina pasta made out of durum wheat. It is a staple food in pretty much most of North Africa (Morocco, Tunisia, Algeria, Libya). It’s cooked plain or in a wonderful salad type dish and usually eaten with meat stews that are slow cooked. This dish goes wonderfully with the Tajine style Moroccan Chicken or just by itself as a refreshing salad or side dish.
Start by boiling
2 cups chicken stock (because it gives it such a depth of flavor but if you’re trying to make it a completely vegetarian dish then use vegetable stock or plain water) and ½ tsp kosher salt together.
Add 1 1/4 cup of couscous and take off the heat. Cover and let sit for 5-6 minutes. Fluff with fork.
In a large skillet heat ¼ cup olive oil and add 1 small chopped onion and 2 cloves of garlic minced into small pieces.
Saute for 3-4 minutes or until the onions are translucent and the garlic is very fragrant then add the couscous and toast for 8 minutes or so, couscous should get slightly brown.
Take it off the heat and pour into a large bowl and while still warm:
Add to couscous:
½ cup feta cheese
Chopped bell peppers
½ cup flat leafed parsley
¼ cup oil
1 large lemon, zested
¼ tsp salt
Pepper (fresh cracked if you can)
Juice from lemon
Whisk to make dressing. It will become a delicious opaque golden colored dressing. Pour over couscous and toss together. Enjoy right away as a side dish or with any Moroccan style stew!