Springtime Borscht

Recently, another Sister and I shared our borscht recipes and memories! Like any well-loved food, memories play a part in its enjoyment. Our experiences of eating borscht are different but surprisingly parallel. Sr. Monica spent two months living at a Convent in Estonia when it was still part of the USSR. She has vivid memories of being there as the coup occurred when Gorbachev was still in power. I remember it too, because I was in Poland at the time, singing with our choir, Gloriae Dei Cantores. We had no way to communicate with our Sisters in Estonia since cell phones and e-mail were unavailable to us in 1991. We relied on prayer for their safety.  Often, a particular recipe is a vehicle for comfort, even solace. We have had difficult times in the past, but we know God’s love is available to us. We offer this heartwarming recipe to you, along with our prayers for a healthy spring.

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Springtime Borscht
SERVINGS
8
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
1hour
PREP TIME
4.5hours
READY IN
5.5hours

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Put the meat in a crockpot with 8 cups cold water, red pepper flakes, bay leaves and 1 Tbsp salt. Set on high for 4 hours. Cook until fork tender. Remove meat and strain and reserve the broth. Set aside
  2. While the Beef is cooking, wrap beets in foil and place in a 400 degree oven—roast for 1hr. until fork tender. Cool slightly, but while they are still warm, remove the top, bottom and skin with a pairing knife (skins should come off easily if properly cooked) and either grate or julienne the beets. Set aside.
  3. Heat a large stockpot and add 4 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp. butter and sauté onion for 2 min. Add diced potato and sauté another 5 min or until beginning to soften. Add the grated carrot, cabbage and garlic and 2 Tbsp vinegar and sauté for 5 minutes.
  4. Reduce heat to med/low and add the beets, 2 Tbsp sugar and 2 Tbsp tomato paste. Mix thoroughly and add the reserved strained broth and extra 2-3 cups beef broth. (I used' Better than Bouillon' Roasted Beef Base)
  5. Simmer and cover until vegetables are tender. Add the diced, cooked Beef and 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill. Remove from heat and leave covered until flavors meld. Add 1/4 tsp pepper (If desired), and salt to taste. Adjust flavors to taste (you may want to add a bit more vinegar or sugar)
  6. Serve warm or cold with a dollop of sour cream and a sprig of fresh dill.

Orange Mirepoix Pork Loin

Over the years, both for guest cooking and for meals at the convent and friary, our cooks are always on the lookout for delicious recipes with a unique twist that are easy to prepare. This special orange pork recipe is one of these! While pork loin can be roasted in the oven — a pan-fried preparation is equally as tasty.

We very much enjoyed this lovely meat course and hope that you will too! Juicy and flavorful, this is a keeper! 

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Orange Mirepoix Pork Loin
SERVINGS
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
15minutes , plus 1 hour stove time
PREP TIME
15minutes
READY IN
1hour, 15 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a large saucepan, melt butter on stovetop until it bubbles and becomes frothy.
  2. Add onion, carrot and celery. Sautee until tender.
  3. While vegetables are cooking, season pork loin with salt and pepper.
  4. Push aside vegetables in saucepan, leaving a space in the middle. Place pork loin in middle of pan and sear until brown on all sides, rotating as needed.
  5. Once loin has a good crust on all sides, combine with rest of vegetables. Add orange juice and white wine to pan, cover and cook 1 hour on medium-low heat. Deglaze with water as needed.
  6. Once loin is cooked thoroughly, remove from pan. Add vegetables and juices to blender and combine until smooth.
  7. Rest pork and cut into chops. Return sauce to pan on stove to keep warm.
  8. Serve pork warm with sauce over top and garnish with orange slices if desired.

A Lovely Meal for Lent – Deliciously Simple

Crumb cod has been a favorite of ours for decades—for guests, retreatants, and our own Sisterhood. It’s a wonderful addition to your Lenten menu. This is a great recipe for anyone looking for something meatless, delicious, and easy to prepare. You don’t have to live on the Cape to enjoy this flavorsome dish – try it and you’ll be glad you did, in and out of the Lenten season.

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A Lovely Meal for Lent - Deliciously Simple
SERVINGS
2
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
20
PREP TIME
20
READY IN
40

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Set oven at 375 degrees
  2. Rinse cod fillets and dry with paper towel.
  3. Brush Pyrex pie plate or baking dish with melted butter.
  4. Brush fillets lightly with melted butter; then sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  5. Crush crackers with rolling pin and mix with melted butter and 1Tbsp of lemon juice. Add chopped parsley and toss together lightly.
  6. Gently press crumbs onto fillets. (It’s fine if any excess falls into baking dish!)
  7. Pour wine and remaining Tbsp. of lemon juice around fish in the baking dish.
  8. Bake for about 15-20 minutes until crumbs are golden and crunchy. Internal temperature should read between 135 -140 degrees. You can carefully check by gently inserting a fork, to see if the fish is opaque and flakey.

Carrot Ginger Soup

This year, I am teaching a home school culinary class. It’s a great joy for me to pass on to the younger generation all the tips and skills that I learned. We loved making this Carrot Ginger soup together. When making soup, I always start by sautéing the vegetables. Sautéing caramelizes them and brings out the very best flavor of the vegetable – never start by boiling them in liquid, or you’ll produce a very tasteless soup! Carrot Ginger freezes well, so make a big pot of it, cool and freeze flat in zip lock bags. Once they are frozen, the bags can then stand upright in your freezer or be stacked. This soup can be made completely dairy-free, just substitute olive oil or coconut oil for the butter. Enjoy!

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Carrot Ginger Soup
SERVINGS
8
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
45
PREP TIME
20
READY IN
1hour, 10 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a 6-quart pan, over medium-high heat, add butter and olive oil. Sauté onions and carrots and cook until the vegetables begin to caramelize and become golden and tender.
  2. Add the ginger and 6 cups of the broth, cover and simmer. Reduce heat and cook until carrots are tender when pierced with a fork. Add the coconut milk.
  3. Remove from heat and transfer to a blender (don’t fill the blender more than halfway). Pulse the blender to start and then purée until smooth.
  4. Return to the pan and add more broth or coconut milk to reach desired consistency. Reheat over medium heat, adding salt and pepper to taste. Enjoy!

OATMEAL CARMELITAS

HANDS-DOWN, ONE OF OUR SISTERHOOD’S MOST FAVORITE TREATS!

This is a dessert / snack that I think is fair to say, always brings a smile and sparkle to the eye.  Whether served as a plated reception option, a surprise snack for a hard-working crew, a dessert tucked into a bag lunch, it always hits the mark—and is never refused!  And as a living testimony to this—today, I left the batch of fresh baked Carmelitas on the counter, only to find when I returned to do my blog “photo shoot”, that the Sister on duty saw them and couldn’t resist offering a few to some Brothers doing a spackling job; I’m still hearing how much they loved them!

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OATMEAL CARMELITAS!
SERVINGS
9-12
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
20
PREP TIME
30
READY IN
50

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for crust; blend well to form a crumbly, moist crust.
  2. Press half of the crumbs into bottom of 9” pan and bake at 350 degrees, for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips and nuts. After blending flour with caramel topping, spread over chocolate and nut mixture.
  4. Sprinkle with remaining crumbs, and bake 15-20” until golden brown

Magi Sugar Cookies

“O Star of wonderStar of night, Star with royal beauty bright…Guide us to thy perfect light.”  How wondrous the Star that leads the Magi to the Infant Christ!  And as we continue to celebrate this season so filled with awe and beauty, it lends itself to more creativity as we prepare treats for the many Yuletide events—(or for any festive occasion!)

 

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Magi Sugar Cookies
SERVINGS
24-36cookies
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
cookies
COOK TIME
15minutes
PREP TIME
2 hours 15minutes
READY IN
2 hours 30 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Beat the butter and sugar in mixer bowl until light and fluffy; add egg and flavorings and beat until smooth.
  2. Reduce mixer speed to low, and after sifting flour, baking powder and salt together, add slowly until just blended.
  3. Divide dough in half, forming 2 disks, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least an hour, until firm, or longer if need be. It will need to be pliable to be able to roll out.
  4. Using a sprinkling of flour, roll out dough to about an 1/8’ thickness. Cut out your desired shapes; place on baking sheet and bake for about 15” or until slightly golden. Let cool for a few minutes before glazing them.
  5. In a medium size bowl, mix by hand, the sifted confectioners’ sugar, milk, corn syrup, salt, and flavorings until smooth and well blended. Depending upon the colors you’re using, divide glaze into separate dishes, adding colors
  6. Holding the cookie, gently lay it on top of the glaze, so that surface is covered. Set aside for a few minutes and then decorate with colored sprinkles of your choice, before glaze sets too firmly.