Saint Lucia Bread

Our Monastic Bake Shop opens for Advent, just in time for people to select delicious home-baked goods for their Christmas table.  One of the favorite sweet breads that people return for is the lovely St. Lucia Bread.  A rich, dense dough filled with citron, saffron and almonds, and decorated like a wreath, has been a long-standing tradition for our Bakeshop, started by one of our own Sisters, Sr. Lucia.

Traditionally, when we make our first profession as Sisters, we also take on a new name – symbolizing our new life wedded to Christ.  Sr. Lucia became a novice in early December.  When she was preparing to take her vows, she prayed about what her new name should be.  One of the Sisters told her that she had an idea of a name for her. The Sister next to her said, “Now don’t overwhelm our new novice with another big decision!” But she couldn’t bear the suspense, and she told her the name: Lucia.  A bit later, a different Sister mentioned that she had received a name for her, and it was the same one!  She decided to learn more about who St Lucia was, only to discover that her feast day was celebrated on December 13th — the exact day that the name had been suggested to her!  She couldn’t deny that God was speaking.  It turns out that her middle name had been Lucille after her maternal grandmother, and years later it was discovered that her actual given name had been Lucia!

Print Recipe
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Saint Lucia Bread
SERVINGS
2loaves
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
loaves
COOK TIME
20-25mins
PREP TIME
30mins
READY IN
2-3hrs

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a large mixer, soften the yeast in the warm water
  2. Heat the milk until warm. Add the oil and sugar and stir to dissolve.
  3. Add this mixture to the yeast mixture in the mixer
  4. Add salt and saffron
  5. Add the 3 slightly beaten eggs and mix with dough hook.
  6. Add the lemon zest, citron and almonds and continue mixing
  7. One cup at a time, add the flour and mix well after each addition. Stop adding the flour when the dough starts pulling away from the side of the bowl. Adding more flour if necessary.
  8. Turn the dough out onto a floured board and knead for 5 min, or until dough becomes smooth and elastic; adding flour as necessary.
  9. Place the dough in a greased bowl, cover, and let rise in a warm place until almost doubled in size, about 1 hr. (At this point, you can refrigerate the dough, if you want to work with it later).
  10. Divide the dough into six equal balls and roll into large ropes and then braid three together, making two braids.
  11. Pinch the two ends together and tuck under, forming two circular loaves.
  12. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line two sheet pans with baking paper, or grease, and put a braided loaf on each pan.
  13. Cover and let rise in a warm place, until doubled.
  14. Combine the remaining egg with a tablespoon of water to make an egg wash, and brush on the braids.
  15. Bake for about 20-25 min or until the loaf feels firm to the touch. If you would like to use a thermometer, the internal temperature should read about 190 degrees.
  16. While the bread is baking, prepare your frosting, mixing all ingredients until smooth and on the thicker side. Cut your cherries in half.
  17. Remove bread from the oven and cool slightly, then decorate, using the green cherries as leaves, and the red as berries.

A blessed Advent to all!

Apple Cranberry Bread

Today I am looking out on a winter wonderland! We are in the midst of a blizzard that has dumped an amazing amount of snow as far as the eye can see. One of those days to sit by the fire with a hot cup of tea and a slice of warm Apple cranberry bread.

We still have apples in the refrigerator from our fall harvest which are in surprisingly good shape – the one I munched on while making this bread wasn’t fresh from the tree, but still crisp and sweet. We also were given a large quantity of cranberries from a local bog, so it seemed like a good use of the two to put them together in a quick bread. We are always looking for different morning snack ideas to serve at our community work time break.  I tried a couple of different recipes and actually left the peels on the Apple’s to give the breads a little more texture. Here is one variety that I thought the most flavorful and moist.

 

Print Recipe
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Apple Cranberry Bread
SERVINGS
1loaf
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
loaf
COOK TIME
45-55minutes
PREP TIME
READY IN
10minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Heat oven to 350 degree F. Grease bottom only of an 8 x 4 inch loaf pan
  2. In large bowl, mix 3/4 cup sugar, the oil and egg.
  3. Stir in apple, flour, baking soda, baking powder and salt. Stir in cranberries.
  4. Spoon batter into pan.
  5. In small bowl, mix 1 Tablespoon sugar and the cinnamon; sprinkle over batter.
  6. Bake 45 to 55 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.
  7. Cool 10 minutes. Remove from pan and cool completely on wire rack before slicing.
Optional Glaze
  1. For glaze, combine confectioners sugar and half and half or milk, drizzle over bread.

My Mom’s Potato Salad

Memorial Day is supposed to be the kick off for summer, but it was a little questionable with the cold temperatures and constant rain. The vegetables in the garden seemed happy enough  — potatoes, beans, leeks all were thriving with the extra moisture they were getting. I was a little concerned that steaks on the grill weren’t going to do all that well in the pouring rain. Monday dawned clear and warmer, and we were able to have our picnic as planned. It was delightful and almost sparkling in the sunshine. I made my favorite potato salad. My sister has always made it this way, and I recently realized that this is also the way my mother always made it. The secret is in the salad dressing going on the potatoes while they are still warm  and making it a day ahead so the flavors have a chance to develop.

Print Recipe
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
My Mom’s Potato Salad
SERVINGS
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
PREP TIME
READY IN

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Cook potatoes in a pot of boiling salted water until tender.
  2. Drain and transfer to a bowl. Pour on the vinaigrette.
  3. Let sit for a few minutes.
  4. Then combine the remaining ingredients. Cover and refrigerate overnight or until cold.

Mushroom Beef Barley Soup

The kitchen was really busy last night. Eight of us were buzzing around cooking for an upcoming party. Really great energy. As much as I think I am a person who prefers to be alone, I love the energy of being in the kitchen with a crowd of people. Don’t get me wrong — there is something  to cooking alone — being there in the quiet, creating something delicious for someone else to enjoy. It ministers to my spirit, and I sometimes get great ideas and thoughts about other projects. But a group that is working well together, chaotic as it might be, also ministers to the whole group in a way that can’t be duplicated. In the middle of this I was putting together my favorite Beef Mushroom Barley soup for guests and a retreat group the next day. What could be better on a cold rainy day! My brother in law just came through and tasted the soup. He said it needed some red wine, so I added a splash. He was so right!

Print Recipe
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Mushroom Beef Barley Soup
SERVINGS
6servings
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
servings
COOK TIME
8-10mins.
PREP TIME
READY IN

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Pour boiling water over dried mushrooms to cover, set aside.
  2. In a large soup pot, saute beef in 1 Tablespoon oil until browned, 5 to 7 minutes, remove from pan.
  3. In the same pot, with the other Tablespoon of oil, cook your carrots, onions, leeks, celery and baby bella mushrooms until just browned, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  4. Stir in barley and thyme and cook for another minute.
  5. Add the beef broth.
  6. Drain dried mushrooms in a sieve, and add that liquid also to the pot.
  7. Chop the mushrooms until fine, and add those.
  8. Toss in the bay leaves.
  9. Simmer until meat is tender and barley cooked (about an hour for the beef tenders, and longer for the stew meat).
  10. A little while before serving pour in the wine, and heat again.
  11. Add kosher salt and ground pepper to taste. This can be made 2 or 3 days in advance — it will taste even better if made ahead.

Apple Carrot Chutney

This is a busy time of year for us in Paraclete House Kitchen. We are in the process of making baked goods and preserves for the holiday season, some of which will also be for sale in Priory Gifts. Most Saturdays there are about fourteen people of all ages in the kitchen — from 5 years to 80+ years — making jams, chutneys, baking loaves of bread, cookies, pies, and cakes, as well as putting together mid-morning snack for the 200 other people out working on various projects around the community. We have of course been making a lot of things with our plentiful apple harvest; caramel apple pies, apple harvest jam, and my favorite, apple carrot chutney. This is a delicious accompaniment to roast pork, ham, or chicken, and is also wonderful for ham and cheese sandwiches. It’s especially good with cheese on a cracker or mixed into a spread.

Apple Carrot Chutney

Print Recipe
Votes: 0
Rating: 0
You:
Rate this recipe!
Apple Carrot Chutney
SERVINGS
5cups
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
cups
COOK TIME
3 - 5mins.
PREP TIME
READY IN

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a heavy pot, sauté carrots in canola oil until almost tender, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add in all the other ingredients, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about one hour until slightly thick, stirring frequently.
  3. Ladle into hot, sterilized jars and seal, or transfer into a container and store in the refrigerator.

Apple Carrot Chutney

This is a busy time of year for us in Paraclete House Kitchen. We are in the process of making baked goods and preserves for the holiday season, some of which will also be for sale in Priory Gifts. Most Saturdays there are about fourteen people of all ages in the kitchen — from 5 years to 80+ years — making jams, chutneys, baking loaves of bread, cookies, pies, and cakes, as well as putting together mid-morning snack for the 200 other people out working on various projects around the community. We have of course been making a lot of things with our plentiful apple harvest; caramel apple pies, apple harvest jam, and my favorite, apple carrot chutney. This is a delicious accompaniment to roast pork, ham, or chicken, and is also wonderful for ham and cheese sandwiches. It’s especially good with cheese on a cracker or mixed into a spread.

Apple Carrot Chutney

Print Recipe
Votes: 12
Rating: 2.25
You:
Rate this recipe!
Apple Carrot Chutney
SERVINGS
5cups
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
cups
COOK TIME
3-5mins.
PREP TIME
READY IN

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a heavy pot, sauté carrots in canola oil until almost tender, about 3 to 5 minutes.
  2. Add in all the other ingredients, bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about one hour until slightly thick, stirring frequently.
  3. Ladle into hot, sterilized jars and seal, or transfer into a container and store in the refrigerator.