Kale Salad with Blueberries, Beets, Quinoa and Avocado

We are blessed with three very large vegetable gardens. This week, our task list was large for the “veggie volunteers”: tying up the cucumbers and tomatoes, doing our second planting of lettuce, picking and processing kale, beets, and swiss chard, and our other ongoing tasks such as weeding, mowing, string trimming, and watering. We’ve been in near-drought conditions here on the Cape, so we were grateful for our unexpected late Saturday afternoon rain shower.  
There is nothing more satisfying to me than harvesting the vegetables you have grown from seed and then being able to create something tasty and delicious. I always wonder if God might be smiling at the pleasure He gives us when we co-create with Him.
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Kale Salad with Blueberries, Beets, Quinoa and Avocado
SERVINGS
8
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
PREP TIME
1hour
READY IN
1hour

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Rinse the quinoa with cold water in a sieve. Place in a saucepan with 1 1/2 cups cold water and 1/2 tsp salt. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low and cover, cook for an additional 10 min. or until the water is absorbed. Remove from heat and let sit until cool.
  2. Make the vinaigrette by combining all the ingredients and whisk well. Adjust taste, adding a bit more honey if you want a sweeter version.
  3. Using a spiralizer, spiralize your beets on the "Angel Hair" or "Spaghetti" attachment. You can also buy them already spiralized if you want to skip this step, or you can grate or julienne them by hand. You do not need to cook the beets, they are eaten raw. Set aside.
  4. Place the chopped kale in a large bowl and add the dressing. Massage the dressing into the kale with your hands.
  5. Add the quinoa to the bowl along with the blueberries and feta cheese and toss gently.
  6. Put the salad on a platter or in a serving bowl and add your avocado chunks. Top with your spiralized beets. Sprinkle with toasted almonds or sunflower seeds, if desired.

The spiralizer is a kitchen utensil with fine blades that can slice raw vegetables and fruits into an assortment of shapes. If you don't have a spiralizer - simply grate the beets, or julienne them by hand.

Slow-cooker Feijoada (Brazilian Black Bean Stew)

We are blessed to have a vibrant Brazilian community in our area and benefit from the culinary richness that comes with it. From wonderful Portuguese bakeries to the mouth-watering meats that Brazil is known for, chances are you will most likely encounter what some consider to be the national dish of Brazil: feijoada.

I first encountered feijoada at a Brazilian cafe in town and instantly fell in love! To simply call it a black bean stew would be to overlook the beloved place it has in the kitchens–and hearts–in its country of origin. Warm, savory and cooked with love, this is fast becoming one of my favorite comfort foods. Traditionally served with toasted cassava flour (farofa), and kale I would highly recommend serving tapioca rolls (pao de queijo) alongside. Comer com gosto!

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Slow-cooker Feijoada (Brazilian Black Bean Stew)
SERVINGS
8
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
8hours 40 minutes
PREP TIME
40minutes
READY IN

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a skillet, cook bacon until crisp. Remove from pan and crumble. Add to slow-cooker.
  2. Sprinkle ribs with salt and pepper and brown in the same skillet used for bacon and add to slow cooker.
  3. Add drained beans, ham hock, sausages, onions, garlic, 2 cups chicken broth, salt, coriander, and lime juice to slow cooker, stirring to combine. Cover and cook on LOW 8 for hours or until meat is tender.
  4. Pull out ribs and ham hock bones. Remove any remaining meat from the bones and shred it with two forks. Discard bones. Return meat to slow cooker. Add more broth for a soup-like consistency.
  5. Serve with white rice and garnish with orange slices, fresh cilantro and green onion.

FRIED SHRIMP—Crunchy and Delicious

There’s such a wonderful versatility to shrimp, and I think that’s why so many cooks love to work with it.  It’s appropriate for luncheons, dinners, hors d’oeuvres. It’s great served on a hot summer day as a salad or in a Tuscan cheesy wine sauce with pasta on a chilly fall evening. It lends itself to being sautéed, broiled, stewed, roasted, boiled—and to me, the best of all: deep fried, having been dipped in egg, and then flour and panko crumbs. You’ll find it’s perfect for a special occasion!

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FRIED SHRIMP—Crunchy and Delicious
SERVINGS
3-4
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
5minutes
PREP TIME
30minutes
READY IN
40minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Rinse shrimp, dry with paper towel. “Butterfly” them by slicing down the back, leaving tails on.
  2. Heat cooking oil in a good sized pot, until shimmering, about 350 degrees
  3. Beat eggs and water together in a small dish
  4. Submerge each shrimp in egg mixture for a several seconds; then toss with flour, making sure it’s thoroughly coated
  5. Dip again in egg mixture, then in panko crumbs
  6. Try adding one shrimp to oil; it should be hot enough to bubble and sizzle, but not so hot as to smoke or burn
  7. Add the shrimp, a few at a time, frying for about 3 minutes, until golden
  8. Drain the fried shrimp on a rack, over paper towel
  9. Serve with lemon wedges and dipping sauce

Cape Cod Cranberry Scones with a Summery Lemon Glaze

Sunday breakfast is an opportunity to make something a bit more special in the Convent. With the start of summer and still in our quasi “stay at home” status, this Sunday was no different. These scones laced with Cape Cod flavor were the perfect accompaniment to fluffy scrambled eggs and a hot cup of coffee. You can even prepare them the night before and bake them fresh in the morning. We hope you enjoy them as much as we did.

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Cape Cod Cranberry Scones with a Summery Lemon Glaze
SERVINGS
8
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
15
PREP TIME
20
READY IN
35

Ingredients

Instructions

Scones
  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F
  2. Sift the flour, baking powder, sugar and salt into a large bowl, add zest of one orange. Cut in butter using a pastry blender until it resembles small peas. Stir in the craisins.
  3. Mix together 1/2 cup milk and sour cream in a measuring cup. Pour all at once into the dry ingredients, and stir gently until well blended. Do not overwork the dough or they will be tough.
  4. With floured hands, pat the dough into one large disk about 1" tall. Place the disk on a cookie sheet lined with parchment and with a sharp knife or bench knife, score into 8 triangles cutting almost all the way through the dough. (If not baking until the next day, cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate at this point.)
  5. Whisk together the egg and 1 tablespoon of milk or heavy cream. Brush the top of the scone with the egg wash and sprinkle with 1 Tbsp. sugar. Let them rest for about 10 minutes.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the tops are golden brown, but not deep brown and the scone is cooked through. Cool for about 10 min. while preparing the glaze.
Glaze
  1. Mix the lemon juice with the powdered sugar until dissolved in a microwave-safe bowl. Whisk in the butter and lemon zest. Microwave for 30 seconds and whisk until the glaze is smooth.
  2. Drizzle the glaze over the top of the scones. Let it set a minute before serving. Enjoy!
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Refreshing and Versatile Summer Shrubs

Shrub: a fruit, herb and/or spice-infused syrup preserved with vinegar, sometimes referred to as a “drinking vinegar.” Commonly used in drinks, salad dressings or other additions.

I was craving a fresh shrub soda the other day, and oh my goodness I love an icy shrub on a hot summer day! Mixed with club soda and infused with fresh herbs, I am instantly refreshed and ready to tackle (most) anything the day holds.

Interestingly, drinking vinegars date back to ancient times, and Colonial sailors employed its concentrated dose of Vitamin C and antibacterial properties to prevent sickness while onboard. Derived from the Arabic word sharab, shrub concoctions have stood the test of time–and with good reason!

Surprisingly versatile, most anything can be made into a shrub: cranberries, apples, basil,
turmeric, grapefruit, rhubarb–the possibilities are truly endless. Use shrubs in cold drinks, salad dressings or glazes this summer, and you might just find yourself creating new combinations of flavors with tasty health benefits on the side. Below are 3 shrub recipes to get you started…

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Refreshing and Versatile Summer Shrubs
(Cold process)
SERVINGS
3cups (serving size, 2 oz)
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
cups (serving size, 2 oz)
COOK TIME
PREP TIME
15minutes
READY IN
15 minutes + 2 days

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Prep ingredients: chop fruit, slice roots, roughly chop or muddle herbs
  2. Combine shrub ingredients in a non-reactive bowl such as glass or stainless steel.
  3. Add sugar and stir to thoroughly combine. Cover and chill 2 hours or overnight.
  4. Remove from refrigerator and leave at room temperature, stirring occasionally 2-7 days. The longer the ingredients are combined, the more concentrated the flavor will be.
  5. Strain remaining solids and add vinegar. Stir to combine.
  6. To serve: Pour 2 ounces of shrub into the bottom of a glass. Layer with ice and 6 ounces of club soda or unflavored seltzer water. Add fresh mint, basil or herb of your choice. Stir to combine and enjoy!

Doughnut Muffins

There are lots of aspects to chimney repair—including snack provision!

We are so fortunate to have creative, able-bodied Brothers who can handle challenging construction and repair projects!  The chimney in our Guest House has shown signs of disintegration—not surprising with years of winter and summer storms.  And with COVID-19 lockdown, with no guests or retreats—a very unusual time for us—what better time for chimney repair!  As we watched out the window, scaffolding going up, platforms, bins to receive old bricks, cement mixing, with dogs roaming around looking on, it was a given that we would supply snacks.  This Doughnut Muffin recipe was an experiment, and the idea of dipping the hot muffins in melted butter and then rolling in cinnamon sugar was very appealing to me, and by the looks of the empty plate, it was to everyone else as well!

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Doughnut Muffins
SERVINGS
12
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
30minutes
PREP TIME
30minutes
READY IN
1hour

Ingredients

Instructions

Instructions
  1. Set oven at 350 degrees
  2. In an electric mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar; blend in eggs, one at a time.
  3. Sift together flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt and nutmeg.
  4. Mix together alternately wet and dry ingredients until well combined, but without over mixing.
  5. Grease and flour standard size muffin tin.
  6. Scoop enough batter (about ½ cup or # 16 ice-cream scoop) to reach rim of cup
  7. Bake until firm, about 30”
To Finish
  1. Combine sugar and cinnamon
  2. When the muffins are cool enough to handle, dip them in melted butter and then roll them in cinnamon sugar

Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking - See the original recipe at finecooking.com