Friday, December 24, 2010

Bûche de Noël (Yule Log)

3/4 cup cake flour
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/8 tsp salt
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup milk, at room temperature
3-4 tbsp confectioners' sugar
2 cups nondairy whipped topping

8 ounces tub cream cheese
1 cup confectioners' sugar
1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 ounces semisweet chocolate, melted and cooled slightly

1. Preheat the oven to 375. Spray a 15 x 10 x 1 inch jelly-roll pan with nonstick spray. Line the bottom with parchment paper; spray again with nonstick spray, then lightly flour.

2. To prepare the cake, in a medium bowl, combine the flour, cocoa powder, baking powder, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt; mix well. In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the eggs, sugar, and vanilla and beat on high speed until light and fluffy, 4-5 minutes. With the mixer on low, gradually beat in the flour mixture and milk in 2 alternating additions each until just combined. Pour the batter into the prepared pan.

3. Bake the cake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, 8-10 minutes. Spread a kitchen towel on a work surface and cover with a piece of wax paper. Sprinkle the wax paper with the confectioners' sugar. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the cake and invert the pan and warm cake onto the wax paper. Remove the parchment paper. Starting at the long side closest to you, using the towel to help, carefully roll up the cake jelly-roll style. Allow to cool completely, about 45 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, to prepare the frosting, in the bowl of the electric mixer, place the cream cheese, sugar, cocoa powder, and vanilla. Beat on low speed until just combined, then increase speed to high and beat until smooth. With the mixer on low, add the melted chocolate; increase the speed to high and beat until smooth, 2-3 minutes.

5. Unroll the cooled cake and remove the wax paper. Spread the whipped topping over the cake and again roll up jelly-roll style. Place the cake seam side down on a serving platter. From one end of the cake, with a knife on a sharp angle, cut a wedge. Spread the cut side of the wedge with 3 tablespoons of frosting and attach it, frosted side, near one end of the top of the cake, to make a "knothole". Spread the cake with the remaining frosting to cover. Using the tines of a fork, etch circles on the ends of the cake and on the top of the attached wedge. Run the tines along the length of the cake to make bark lines. Cover and chill 3 hours or overnight, then cut into 18 slices.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Weight Watchers Coconut Creme Caramel

1 cup sugar, divided
cooking spray
3 large eggs, beaten
2 large egg whites, beaten
1 cup light coconut milk
1 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
1/8 tsp salt
1/4 tsp coconut extract
toasted coconut (optional)

1. Preheat oven to 325.
2. Heat 1/2 cup sugar in a small heavy saucepan; cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly with a wooden spoon until sugar melts and turns light brown. Quickly pour hot caramel into 6 (6 ounce) custard cups or ramekins coated with cooking spray. Carefully tilt each cup to coat bottom evenly. Place cups in a 13x9 inch baking pan; set aside.
3. Combine remaining sugar, eggs, egg whites, and next 4 ingredients in a large bowl. Pour mixture evenly over caramel into prepared cups. Add hot water to pan to a depth of 1 inch. Bake at 325 for 50 minutes or until a knife inserted near center comes out clean.
4. Remove cups from pan; cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and chill at least 8 hours. Loosen edges of custard with a sharp knife, and invert onto serving plates, letting melted caramel drizzle over top. Garnish with toasted coconut, if desired. YIELD: 6 servings (serving size: 1 custard).

Nutrition Info: 5 points, 216 calories, 5.3g fat, 0g fiber

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Neely's Sauteed Onions

While I am far from the first person who has ever sauteed onions, I put my name before this recipe because I have never looked up a recipe for sauteing anything. In fact, in response to my new diet and my craving for roasted veggies, I experimented with this tonight. It turned out wonderfully! It always amuses me that I can cook and bake the most intricate things, but the simple stuff is what I never do. It's time to do something about that!

1 large onion
2 tbsp olive oil
salt (I prefer coarse kosher salt for this)

Place 1 tbsp olive oil in saucepan and warm on medium heat. Add salt to oil. Chop onion into sections, the size of which is your choice. Place them in pan. Drizzle other tbsp olive oil on top of onions. Add more salt. Saute in pan, flipping occasionally, until onions get soft and turn a light brown. Enjoy!

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Weight Watchers Pizza Casserole

1 pound ground round
1 (15oz) can chunky Italian style tomato sauce
cooking spray
1 (10oz) can refrigerated pizza crust dough
1 1/2 cups (6oz) preshredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

1. Preheat oven to 425.
2. Cook meat in a nonstick skillet over medium-high heat until browned, stirring until it crumbles. Drain, if necessary, and return to skillet. Add tomato sauce, and cook until heated.
3. While meat cooks, coat a 13x9 inch baking dish with cooking spray. Unroll pizza crust dough, and press into bottom and halfway up sides of baking dish. Top bottom of pizza crust with meat mixture.
4. Bake, uncovered, at 425 for 12 minutes. Top with cheese, and bake 5 minutes or until crust is browned and cheese melts. Cool 5 minutes before serving.

Nutrition Info: 277 calories, 7.7g fat, 1.6g fiber. 6 points per serving. Makes 6 servings.

Weight Watchers Easy Cheese Lasagna

1 jar (28oz) spaghetti sauce
6 uncooked lasagna noodles
1 container (15oz) fat free ricotta cheese
1-2 cups sliced or chopped raw vegetables, such as mushrooms, broccoli, and bell pepper
Note: The recipe suggests bell pepper, but it's very overpowering. I made it with fresh mushrooms and spinach and it was delicious!
1 package (8oz) shredded low fat mozzarella

1. Preheat oven to 375. Spray 11x7 inch baking dish with nonstick cooking spray. Spread 1/2 of the sauce on bottom of dish; arrange 3 noodles in a single layer over sauce. Top with another 1/2 of the sauce, all of the ricotta cheese and vegetables, and 1/2 of the mozzarella cheese, then remaining noodles in a single layer. Spread evenly with remaining sauce.

2. Cover dish with foil; bake until noodles are tender and mixture is piping hot, about 1 hour. Sprinkle with remaining mozzarella cheese; bake uncovered for 5 minutes longer. Let stand 5 minutes before cutting.

Nutrition Info: 301 calories, 7.2g fat, 4.6g fiber. 6 points per serving. Makes 6 servings.

I've Been Distant

It dawned on me that I've only added three recipes to this site since I started it, and I haven't updated in months. I will remedy that very soon! Look for more recipes in the near future.