Our community looks forward to autumn for many reasons, but chief among them is harvesting fruit from our orchards: apples, pears, stone fruit, and grapes from the vines. The abundance is truly something to be grateful for as we compare the delicate spring blossoms to the bountiful fall harvest that we enjoy into the first frosts of winter…an annual miracle!
Recently, we tried this simple recipe for our supper as a twist on the classic avocado toast–this time with sun-ripened pears and fresh ricotta with milk from our cows. Drizzled with honey, this may well become another reason to look forward to autumn.
Oops! We apologize to our readers who received this new recipe via email with the subject line: Tortellini Salad.
Nothing delights the Sisters more than warm, gooey sticky buns straight out of the oven on a Sunday morning. This year, we had the wonderful opportunity to offer baked goods to our community for Easter morning. We spent a good part of the weekend preparing over 50 pans of sticky buns. This year, I came up with a new recipe that we all decided was probably the very best sticky buns we have ever eaten. The comments back to us confirmed this was true. Even though I’d like to keep this recipe a secret, I thought we’d share it with you.
You won’t regret surprising your loved ones with these wonderfully fluffy and sinfully delicious breakfast treats! They are wonderful to eat year ’round!
Dissolve yeast in very warm water and let sit for 5 mins
Add ingredients in order listed above.
Add flour (dough will be slightly sticky, but should pull away from side of bowl).
Mix together the yeast dough, cover and let rise, until doubled in size in a warm, draft free place (approx.1 - 1 1/2 hrs) or overnight, covered, in the refrigerator)
For the filling: Mix together melted butter, brown sugar, honey and cinnamon. Divide in half, setting aside half the caramel for the filling.
Using three 9-inch cake pans that have been sprayed with Pam, equally divide the rest of the caramel topping over the bottom of the pans. Scatter the pecans or walnuts over the caramel mixture and set aside.
Dust your work surface with flour. Divide the dough in thirds. Roll out the dough to a ⅛ -inch thick rectangle (around 20 inches long). As you roll out the dough, make sure there is enough flour to prevent it from sticking to the work surface
Divide the remaining caramel mixture into thirds and evenly spread it over the rolled out dough leaving 1 inch around the edge of the dough without the filling.
Starting with the long side, roll the dough into a log. Roll it over until the seam is underneath. Pinch the seam together with your fingers
Using a sharp knife, cut the log into 1 ½ -2 inch rolls.. Arrange the rolls over the nuts in the prepared pan, so that the swirled cut edge is facing upward.
Repeat with the rest of the dough and filling.
Cover the tin with plastic wrap and allow to rest for 1 hour. During this time they will rise up to meet the tin and becoming bubbly.
Once proofed, place the rolls on a baking sheet covered with parchment, in case the caramel bubbles over.
Preheat the oven to 350 F and bake for roughly 35- 40 minutes, or until golden brown and firm in the center.
While still hot, run a thin spatula around the outer edge of the pan to release the caramel rolls, and invert immediately onto a serving dish. Enjoy warm!
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The crispness of fall is all around us. This past Monday, the Sisters rose early to put our gardens to bed for the winter. It’s always bittersweet for me, as working in the earth, getting my hands dirty and seeing the fruits of our labor and God’s creative act are moments that I treasure. We decided not to put our “chef garden” to bed, as the tomatoes, chard, beets and kale are still growing, and a late crop of peas is sprouting their heads above the earth. So, as a tribute to summer, I wanted to share this wonderful recipe with you. You can use any vegetables for grilling, so don’t feel limited by the ingredients here. If you’re anything like me, your grill stays outside until it snows! Take advantage of the beautiful fall weather and enjoy.
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Honey Balsamic Grilled Chicken with Grilled Vegetables
Marinate chicken with pesto, garlic, red pepper flakes, lime juice and 1/2 teaspoon salt at least 1 hour, or overnight for best results.
Mix oil, balsamic vinegar, honey and 1/4 tsp salt in a small bowl.
Heat a grill over medium-high, be sure grates are clean and well oiled to prevent sticking.
Brush oil on each side of the vegetables and sprinkle with salt and pepper
Put vegetables on 1 large grill tray or directly on grill, and cook, turning constantly until the vegetables are cooked and golden, about 6 to 10 minutes. Set aside on a dish.
Put the chicken on the grill and cook about 4 to 5 minutes on each side until grill marks appear and the chicken is cooked through. If you prefer to finish them off in the oven, I suggest a grill pan or cast iron skillet - cook until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.
Transfer the chicken to a platter with the vegetables and pour the balsamic dressing over everything and serve.
Over the last week, we’ve been enjoying plucking the nectarines and peaches off of our trees and enjoying them in a variety of ways. One of our Sisters used to own a peach orchard and enjoys turning the bruised and moldy drops into the most delicious jam. As the peachy smell wafts through the Convent, I pop down to the kitchen to dip my spoon into the bubbly pot. “Sister, this is SO delicious!” I purr, wishing I could bottle up this moment for eternity. Summer is wonderful, because the simple beauty and naturalness of fruit and vegetables can stand alone without being covered up in heavy sauces just to be palatable.
Over this past weekend, I had fun grilling nectarines to accompany an herb rubbed grilled pork tenderloin for our Dinner Theater. Follow these simple steps and add a little nectar to your next savory dish — it’s a beautiful thing!
We continue to enjoy the harvest from our gardens over these summer months. This week we had an abundance of beautiful lettuce, so we expanded our repertoire and tried out some new combinations for our guests at Bethany. The crisp, salty, creaminess of the fried goat cheese paired with the sweet and pungent combination of the blackberry balsamic vinaigrette is the key here. Summer is a wonderful time to experiment with all sorts of combinations in a salad. “The colors of a fresh garden salad are so extraordinary, no painter’s pallet can duplicate nature’s artistry.” Have fun creating, eating, sharing, and enjoying nature’s storehouse!
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Blackberry Balsamic Salad with Crispy Fried Goat Cheese and Grilled Chicken
Mix everything well in the blender until smooth. Adjust seasonings to taste.
Fried Goat Cheese
Dredge the goat cheese slices/balls in the flour
Dip in the beaten egg
Dip in panko
Fry in oil over medium heat until lightly golden brown before setting aside on paper towels to drain.
Marinate the chicken in half of the vinaigrette for 30 minutes to over night before grilling over medium-high heat until golden and cooked through, about 2-5 minutes per side. Set aside to cool and slice.
Assemble the salad and enjoy!
Note: Best enjoyed while the fried goat cheese is still warm from frying!
We have quite a number of Sisters in the Convent who have celiac-sprue or gluten allergies. Buying gluten free bread can be extremely expensive and well, frankly, you might as well be eating cardboard! We have wanted to find a recipe for quite a while that is healthy, inexpensive to make and tastes like real homemade bread. This recipe fits the bill. It’s high in fiber from the oat content, easy to make and tastes wonderful! It’s especially lovely toasted with butter and jam. Most oats are gluten free — check the label to be sure. The only reason they wouldn’t be is if they are manufactured in a factory where they also make products with gluten. We are so fortunate to have a company that supplies us with oats, so this bread costs literally nothing to make. You can find xanthum gum in the health food aisle of the supermarket — don’t leave it out — it’s an “all natural” emulsifier and you need it as a binding agent when baking without gluten.
Sprinkle the yeast over the hot tap water in the bowl of a standing mixer and let sit for a few minutes, until the yeast is active and bubbles start to form on the surface.
If you're using whole oats, blend them in a food processor or blender until they're pretty fine (as fine as you can get them) to make the oat flour.
Once the yeast is active, add the oil, honey, corn starch, white rice flour, xanthan gum, and oat flour to the mixer and beat until combined.
Add the salt and eggs and beat for a few minutes until fluffy.
Pour into two well greased 9 inch loaf pans and allow to rise for about 45 minutes until doubled (only fill the loaf pans about 2/3 - 3/4 full - any excess can fill up a smaller loaf pan). Sprinkle the top of the loaves with some oats.
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Once the loaves have risen, cut a few slits in the top with a serrated knife.
Bake for about 45 minutes. Allow to cool before slicing.