Wow! Look what I made! Okay, so I need to work on my rolling technique a little, but still!

To be honest, I don’t think it would have mattered at all how it looked. It tasted soooo yummy!

This is an old Pampered Chef recipe.

If you have ever seen on of their cookbooks, they tell you exactly what pan, cutting board, and scraper to use. They are, after all, trying to sell you their stuff. I said all that to say this, there are a couple of specialty items you will need for this recipe. Do they have to be Pampered Chef? No.

Luscious Lemon Angel Roll

Ingredients:

1 package (16 ounce) angel food cake mix

3/4 cup powdered sugar, divided

1 jar (11.75 ounces) strawberry ice cream topping, divided

1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened

1 lemon

7 drops yellow food coloring (optional)

1 container (8 ounces) frozen whipped topping, thawed, divided

Powdered Sugar

whole strawberries and lemon slices for garnish

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350˚F.

Cut an 18-inch long piece of PARCHMENT PAPER. Do not leave this part out! It is important!

Press into bottom and sides of a Stoneware Bar Pan. In non-Pampered-Chef-speak this means a jelly roll pan, approximately 10×15.

2. Prepare cake mix according to the package directions.

Pour batter over prepared parchment, spreading evenly.

Bake 30-35 minutes or until top springs back when touched with fingertip. Or do that toothpick thing.

Remove from oven to a cooling rack.

3. Sprinkle  1/2 cup powdered sugar over the cake.

Place ANOTHER sheet of parchment paper over the cake. Place ANOTHER cooling rack upside down over the parchment. Carefully turn the cake out at once.

Remove pan and parchment from the bottom of the cake. Sorry, no pictures of me flipping the cake! That would have been quite a trick!

4. Starting at one short side, roll up cake IN THE PARCHMENT. Cool completely.

You are going to cool it in the roll.

5. After cooling completely, unroll the cake on a cutting board. Throw away the parchment paper. Spread the cake with 1/4 cup of the ice cream topping.

6. In a bowl combine cream cheese and remaining 1/4 cup powdered sugar.

7. Zest the lemon. I know what you are thinking, “I’m not going to zest a lemon! That is just fancy stuff!” USE THE ZEST! It really does make a big difference.

Squeeze the lemon to get about 1 tablespoon of juice. Add the zest and the juice to the cream cheese mixture. Whisk it all together. Add the food coloring if you want.

8. Fold in 1 cup of the whipped topping.

9. Spread over the ice cream topping to within1 inch of the edge; re-roll the cake.

10. I was not going to be serving my cake until that evening, so I stuck it in the fridge.

11. Sprinkle the top with more powdered sugar. Add your fancy garnish.

Sorry I didn’t get a cross-section picture. That would have been cool. But people had arrived and I didn’t want them to have to wait while I took yet another picture!

12. Serve with extra strawberries and whipped topping. I had extra strawberry syrup available too, just in case.

Everyone loved it!

Critics’ Corner

Chip: The cake has a great firm texture that goes great with the smooth lemon filling. Nice and cool. As Guy Fieri would say, “This is out of bounds!”

Megan: Glad my braces don’t prevent me from having this!

Katie: The lemon was a bit too much for my taste. But other than that, I loved it! Not to mention that strawberry on the side! : )

Sometimes it is the little things that mean the most.

About nine years ago, we were living in Indiana at the time, my hubby and I made plans to go out for Valentine’s Day. Well, on February 13th our sitter called to cancel. I had to punt. I went to the store and bought some steaks, baked potatoes, ingredients for a cheesecake, and salad fixin’s. I had these cute little springform pans I used to make the cheesecake. (I saw on the Wilton website that these are discontinued, sorry.)

I used the skins from the tomatoes to make fancy tomato roses.

When it was time for dinner, the family showed up in their jeans and sweats. I sent them all away. I told them they had to dress nice to come to Chéz Mommé! (Ok, any French-speaking people, please don’t criticize. I was shootin’ from the hip and wanted our Valentine dinner to sound all fancy. I don’t know ANY French, but Chef Mommy just didn’t cut it.)

We all quickly put on something fancy to come have dinner at the kitchen table. Fortunately, the girls’ Christmas dresses had been red with a little heart on the front.

As soon as we lit the candles and sat down to eat, the power went out! That was the year a huge blizzard hit the Indianapolis area. So, there we sat–in the candlelight–having our steak dinner. Memories!

Little did I know what an impact our “romantic” evening had on the kids.

The next year, as Valentine’s Day approached, they started asking about Chéz Mommé. We were back in the South by this time, so no fear of another blizzard anyway!

We put on our fancy duds and had Chéz Mommé once again. We had steak, potato, salad, and a different fancy dessert of some sort. I realize you can’t see the front of them, but I made place cards out of heart shaped doilies. Of course we had candles and tomato roses, too!

Chéz Mommé has become an annual tradition. We don’t always have it on February 14th now that schedules are what they are.

Some years, the kids have come to the table just out of the shower with wet hair, wet hair and a fancy dress.

We try to make it a little different each year. However, with the exception of dessert, the menu stays pretty much the same.

One year we had dancing. One year we had fancy music coming from a DirecTV channel. One year we had floating candles.

I try not to go overboard on the spending. I often will pick up clearance items when I find them. Once, I made heart confetti out of construction paper using a paper punch. We often use the same table cloth or placemats.

I think it was two years ago that we had chocolate fondue for our dessert. That required a plastic table cloth, for obvious reasons.

Last year I made meringue cups and filled them with raspberry sorbet and homemade hot fudge!

One day there when the kids are grown and gone, I’ll have plenty of Valentine dates, I’m sure.

As you can see by the photos, that day is coming sooner than I’d like!

I’ve already bought my steaks for Chéz Mommé this year, in the mark-down bin! I still have to figure out what we will have for dessert. One thing I do know, our dinner plate will have a tomato rose on it!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

How to make a tomato rose:

Or, if you are a more visual person, here is a link, only she makes hers with paper, not tomatoes.