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

A Burst of Italian Flavor – Old World Eggplant Parmigiana

I never expect to see shiny, plump and beautiful eggplant in the grocery store until mid/late summer, but we’ve gotten lucky this year as a booming crop became readily available in our local market (unlike the empty paper towel and toilet paper shelves!) Since this is one of my favorite summer comfort foods, I thought I’d share and old world recipe with you. (If you want to skip a step and use purchased tomato sauce, that’s a great time saving option.)

You might ask why you need to soak your eggplant in salt water first.  This does two things: it draws out any of the bitter juices that can be found in older eggplant and tightens up the flesh, making the eggplant less likely to soak up too much oil when you are frying them. This recipe will make 2 – 9×13″ pans. Since it can be a bit time consuming to make, it enables you to put one pan away in the freezer for another time.

Andiamo a Mangiare!

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Old World Eggplant Parmigiana
SERVINGS
12
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
45minutes
PREP TIME
2hours
READY IN
3hours

Ingredients

Instructions

Prepare the Sauce and Eggplant
  1. Wash eggplant. Remove the top and bottom from the eggplant and slice across into 1/2" rounds (no need to peel) Submerge in a large bowl of cold water with 3 Tbsp Salt. Put a plate across the top of the bowl to keep the eggplant submerged. Let soak 30 min to 1 hr.
  2. Prepare the sauce: In a medium pot on top of the stove, heat the oil and add diced onion and a teaspoon of sugar. Cook over low heat until the onions are translucent and soft.
  3. Add the torn basil leaves, oregano and garlic. Continue cooking for another minute, watching that the garlic doesn't burn. Add the the salt and pepper and the tomatoes and the remaining sugar, if desired.
  4. Continue cooking over low heat until the flavors meld. Let simmer 30 min. Adjust seasonings to taste.
  5. Drain eggplant and dry on paper towels
  6. Mix together the Flour, salt and pepper on one plate. In a second large shallow bowl or pie plate, beat the eggs together.
  7. One at a time, dip the eggplant in the seasoned flour and then in the beaten eggs
  8. Heat oil in a large skillet or fry pan
  9. Fry the eggplants until golden on one side and then turn to continue frying on the other side. Remove to a paper lined sheet pan.
  10. When all the eggplant are fried, you are ready to assemble!
Assemble
  1. Spray two 9X13" pan with PAM spray
  2. Put a thin layer of tomato sauce on the bottom of each pan
  3. Lightly sprinkle with the grated pecorino romano cheese
  4. Layer the eggplant slices - touching but not overlapping
  5. Sprinkle grated mozzarella over
  6. Lightly sprinkle with grated pecorino romano cheese
  7. Continue layering in this order: Sauce Eggplant Pecorino Romano Mozzarella Sauce Eggplant Pecorino Romano Sprinkle Chopped Parsley Mozzarella End with Sauc
  8. Cover with foil and bake at 350 degrees F. for 45 min. Let rest 10-15 min.

The Beauty of Spring – Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies

What encouragement from God as we move through these challenging days! Hope coming up against fear; love and care for one another, binding us together. And often, this can take place in the simplest of ways. Sometimes a group of our Sisters prepares a surprise treat in the middle of a hard day. The sharing of time, generosity, and love in the form of delicious food reminds us of this essential truth: God is Victor over all—He is with us in all circumstances!

Here’s a delicious and fun treat for your family.

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The Beauty of Spring - Carrot Cake Whoopie Pies
SERVINGS
12whoopie pies
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
whoopie pies
COOK TIME
10minutes
PREP TIME
40minutes
READY IN
50minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

Pie Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper
  2. Whisk flour and dry ingredients together and set aside.
  3. In an electric mixer, with the paddle attachment, beat butter and sugars until light and fluffy. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Blend in vanilla.
  4. Gradually add dry ingredients until just combined; fold in grated carrots.
  5. Using a tablespoon, scoop out 12 generous “balls” onto a baking sheet. With dampened fingers dipped in brown sugar, gently flatten,
Frosting Instructions
  1. Beat together butter and cream cheese until smooth
  2. Add powdered sugar and beat until creamy and lump-free
  3. Add vanilla, coconut and coconut flavoring and salt
  4. When the cookies have cooled, match up sizes and fill with frosting!

The Very Best Veggie Burgers

This year, I’ve been doing some teaching where cooking is concerned, and along with that comes learning on my part. Testing new recipes, experimenting with foods of different cultures and also trying my hand at a healthier way of cooking and eating. As I was working with a friend, we decided we’d like to try to find a recipe for a really good veggie burger. First of all, I wasn’t sure those four words really went together… “really good” and “veggie burger”. But, once again, I was wrong. This vegetable and grain-based patty is delightful. It’s bursting with flavors – we commented to each other that you could truly taste each vegetable in it and the bonus is, it’s packed with protein. Even my most lovable meat craving Sister thought it was delicious. That was a real surprise.

So, as we head into Lent, I thought this might be a good time to share this recipe. I really don’t think you’ll be disappointed.

Blessed Lent to you!

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The Very Best Veggie Burgers
SERVINGS
8burgers
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
burgers
COOK TIME
35minutes
PREP TIME
25minutes, plus cooling time
READY IN
1 hour, plus cooling time

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Make the herb mayo: In a blender, combine all the herb mayo ingredients. Blend until smooth, then transfer to a bowl.
  2. Make the veggie burgers: In a 2-quart saucepan, bring the water and quinoa to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook, covered, until the quinoa is tender and all the water is absorbed, 15 to 18 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl and let cool. Or cook the quinoa in a rice cooker, following manufacturer directions (I used 2 cups quinoa/2 cups water). You will be using 3 cups of cooked quinoa in this recipe.
  3. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, broccoli, carrots, parsley and onion, and cook, stirring often, until the veggies are tender and lightly caramelized, 8 to 10 minutes. Then add the baby spinach to wilt along with the corn. Transfer to the bowl with the 3 cups of cooked quinoa - let cool and add the two beaten eggs.
  4. Once the vegetables-and-quinoa mixture has cooled, mix in the remaining veggie burger ingredients until incorporated. Form into 8 - ½ cup patties and shape. Lay out on a piece of wax paper.
  5. In a large nonstick skillet, heat the remaining 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium-high heat. Working in batches, cook the veggie burgers until golden brown and crisp, 3 minutes per side.
  6. To assemble: Top each veggie burger with some of the herbed mayo and top with tomato and avocado. Serve while the burger is still warm with a side of sweet potato fries.

Cranberry Orange Gingersnap Pie

I’ve had my eye on this recipe for quite a while now and decided to whip it up for Thanksgiving. I added a bit of orange zest to the original recipe because I love the combination of those flavors. The pie is like a little jewel, bursting with flavor and color. Sweet and tart at the same time. The curd on its own would be wonderful in many other ways as well. I hope you enjoy it this Holiday season. Blessed Advent!*

*Recipe adapted from The View from Great Island. See the original recipe at: https://theviewfromgreatisland.com/cranberry-pie-recipe

 

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Cranberry Orange Gingersnap Pie
SERVINGS
10
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
20
PREP TIME
20
READY IN
2hours, 40 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Set oven to 350 F
  2. Put the gingersnaps in a food processor and process until they are fine crumbs or place in a ziplock bag and crush with a meat hammer. (this should be a heaping cup) Add the pecans and sugar and process again until everything is finely ground (or finely chopped the pecans and add to the fine crumbs with the sugar.) Add the butter and combine.
  3. Pat the crust into a 9 inch pie plate, and up the sides. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  4. Put the cranberries, 1 cup of the sugar, and 1/4 cup water to a simmer in a saucepan. Lower the heat and simmer the cranberries, uncovered, for about 15 minutes until they've popped and the mixture is quite thick. Let cool slightly and then puree until completely smooth (I did this in a blender)
  5. Whisk the puree, the eggs, yolks, salt, lemon juice and 1/2 cup sugar together in a saucepan and set over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon, this will take about 10 minutes or so. It can burn easily, so keep a good eye on the mixture and don’t keep your heat too high.
  6. Push the curd through a mesh strainer, using the back of a spoon to get it all through.
  7. Let the curd cool for a few minutes and add the room temperature butter in, bit by bit, while you stir to melt it. Add the mandarin zest.
  8. Pour the curd into the pie crust and smooth out evenly. Chill the pie until it is firm, about 2 hours or so.
  9. Decorate with sugared cranberries if you like. To make sugared cranberries, roll damp cranberries in granulated sugar and let dry.

*recipe adapted from The View from Great Island. See the original recipe at: https://theviewfromgreatisland.com/cranberry-pie-recipe

MAMA’S FLUFFY MAPLE CAKE

It’s too easy to lose track of the origin of some of the many wonderful recipes that we all love–but have no idea where they came from!

One of our Sisters, known for her love for cooking and her creative culinary skills, has a great intro to one of her favorite recipes… that lives on to this day!

“My mother, who came to this country as a young girl, first obtained a job doing housework for a wealthy family on 5th Ave, N.Y.  The lady of the house had a special liking for a tall, moist, three-layered cake from a nearby bakery—with a creamy custard filling, generous swirls of maple-flavored frosting and lavishly sprinkled with finely chopped walnuts. My mother soon cultivated a taste for this culinary wonder also—and developed her own recipe for the cake by taste and instinct.”

And now, through the years, it’s been passed on to us, with modifications and adjustments, and continues to be the quintessential dessert for the right occasion.

 

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MAMA’S FLUFFY MAPLE CAKE
SERVINGS
8-10
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
1hour
PREP TIME
1hour
READY IN
2hours

Ingredients

Instructions

Cake
  1. Lightly grease and flour (3) 8 inch cake pans
  2. Combine flour, baking powder and salt
  3. Cream together butter and sugar; add vanilla
  4. Beat in egg yolks and add milk alternating with flour mixture; mix well
  5. Beat egg whites until stiff and fold into cake batter
  6. Bake at 350 for about 30 minutes, or until cakes tests done, using a toothpick
  7. Cool before filling and frosting
Filling
  1. Scald milk and let cool slightly
  2. Beat eggs and whisk into milk
  3. Place milk back on medium heat and whisk in sugar, flour, cornstarch mixture
  4. Slowly bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Remove from heat and add butter, vanilla and banana flavoring
  5. Allow to cool and thicken before filling cake
Fluffy Maple Frosting
  1. Melt brown sugar in the water and bring to a boil.
  2. Gently continue boiling for about 15”, until it reaches the soft ball stage, about 240 degrees.. The thickness should be similar to maple syrup.
  3. Beat egg white until stiff. While continuing to beat, slowly pour in brown sugar mixture. Add in maple flavoring to taste; continue beating until cool, and it appears to be of a spreading consistency.
  4. Fill and frost cake; cover with chopped walnuts
  5. The cake holds well in refrigerator.