Just a Light Lunch Today, Please!

So requested a lady on Personal Retreat in our guesthouse. To be honest, I actually was planning something a little more elaborate such as zucchini lasagna, Caesar salad, and herb-buttered Italian bread. But I replied, “Of course!” and conceived a plan. As I picked fresh lettuce from our kitchen’s “Chef's Garden”, ideas came– what about fried eggplant and deviled eggs to add a special little touch! Some avocado slices, sliced ham or chicken, olives, cherry tomatoes.

Once again, the Holy Spirit came alongside and brought ideas fresh and new. Our retreatant was very blessed…as was I!

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Just a Light Lunch Today, Please!
SERVINGS
1serving
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
serving
COOK TIME
10mins
PREP TIME
15mins
READY IN
30mins

Ingredients

Instructions

Eggplant
  1. Lay a slice of eggplant on paper towel and sprinkle with salt on both sides. After a few minutes, press with the paper towel to extract any excess moisture
  2. Beat the egg with a fork and a little water, thoroughly immerse the eggplant slice
  3. Dredge the slice in bread/panko crumbs while heating butter and oil in frying pan
  4. When butter mixture is hot, add eggplant and fry until soft and golden brown; lower heat if necessary so as not to get too brown too fast – about 10 minutes. Drain on a paper towel
Deviled Egg
  1. Place 2 eggs in boiling water, boiling for 10 minutes
  2. Cool under cold water and peel
  3. Gently slice in half, and carefully remove yolks, placing in a bowl and crush with a fork; the extra egg is good to have for more yolk filling
  4. Add mayonnaise and mustard, more if needed, mix until creamy and smooth

Spring Shrimp Salad

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Spring Shrimp Salad
The message came to our Guest House cooks: Luncheon for two on Friday—and they would prefer to have no meat. With Spring on the way, the first thing that came to me was a Shrimp Salad plate—quick, easy, delicious!
SERVINGS
2
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
8mins
PREP TIME
20mins
READY IN

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. If frozen, thaw shrimp, rinse and remove any shells or veins
  2. Place in simmering, salted water and cook about 8 minutes or until pink—and firm to the taste but not overcooked or tough
  3. Drain and cool in refrigerator for a few minutes; then remove and chop coarsely.
  4. Gently toss with mayonnaise, fresh lemon juice, salt, pepper, all to taste. Add chopped chives and celery if desired.

Serve however you’d like—it goes well with a cup of soup, some sliced veggies and perhaps a warm roll!

Garden-Fresh Basil Buttermilk Dressing

Summer may officially be over, but some of our garden vegetables happily are refusing to acknowledge it as they continue to provide us with a daily abundance of fresh produce. Among our favorites are beautiful multi-colored tomatoes, not only gorgeous to behold but luscious to enjoy.

Likewise our herb gardens continue to thrive producing sturdy plants of vibrant green flavorful offerings to enhance our food. Basil a favorite of so many has become the ingredient of choice along with a few other seasonings to combine with fresh buttermilk as a special dressing for lovely sliced tomatoes.

A winner with many of our sisters and special guests, why not give it a try?

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Garden-Fresh Basil Buttermilk Dressing
SERVINGS
1cup (4-6 servings)
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
cup (4-6 servings)
COOK TIME
10mins
PREP TIME
5mins
READY IN
15mins

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Whisk buttermilk and mayonnaise in a bowl
  2. Transfer to a blender and add garlic, onion salt, and scallions. Blend until the scallions resemble finely minced pieces
  3. Add chopped basil and blend a few seconds more to combine
  4. Transfer back to the bowl and refrigerate (covered) overnight to allow flavors to develop
  5. Serve drizzled over freshly sliced tomatoes and enjoy!

Crab-filled Avocados

Looking for a gift for someone who has everything? Something a bit out of the ordinary that doesn’t come out of a catalog or off of the internet?  A gift that will express care and best wishes for the person in a way they may appreciate more than a costly, beautifully wrapped package?
Here’s a suggestion: How about a lovely personalized tea?  “Just for two” — or for whatever number of others you know they’d enjoy having it with! Either indoors or outdoors, fancy and elegant, or simple and casual.  You’d be surprised at the response you’re apt to get. because it’s a gift for all ages! Young and old and in between… My 12-year-old godchild looks forward to her annual birthday tea every year as much as she did the first time one was given to her at age 7.  I know several 80-year-olds who no longer feel up to participating in many activities they used to enjoy, yet, at the mention of a tea, immediately brighten up summoning energy and enthusiasm from some unknown source.
Perhaps this recipe may inspire you with your own ideas for something similar. Just the planning and preparation of such a gift can turn out to be a gift to yourself as you find unexpected enjoyment in creating and preparing it for someone else!
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Crab-filled Avocados
SERVINGS
4people
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
people
COOK TIME
PREP TIME
20mins
READY IN
20mins

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. For each avocado half: mix together 1/4 cup of crumbled crabmeat, a tablespoon of mayonnaise, a pinch of onion salt, and fresh lemon juice (to taste).
  2. Adjust ingredients to desired taste, and add a sprinkle of lemon zest and chopped parsley for garnish. Spoon into avocado half and serve!

Festive Christmas Cauliflower

Last week one of our convent dinners included a whole head of cauliflower covered with a flavorful cheesy topping that was most enjoyable. Eating this prompted me to begin speculating about a possible Christmas cauliflower creation that might enhance a holiday dinner table. I envisioned something a little more dressed up with a stylish bit of sparkle and festive flare.

Here is what resulted from my culinary day dreaming: One saucy Head of cauliflower steamed whole, then covered with a combination of mayonnaise, etc., adorned with a skirt of rich dark green kale that has been slightly braised in oil and stylishly fluffed out around it. This basic beginning would then be tastefully embellished with bright red jewel like roasted cherry tomatoes. Thus attired my plain head of cauliflower would be stylishly prepared to make her special appearance at a very special meal.

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Festive Christmas Cauliflower
SERVINGS
6people
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
people
COOK TIME
45minutes
PREP TIME
10minutes
READY IN
50minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Steam or boil cauliflower until soft but still firm about 20-25 minutes.
  2. Combine cheese, onion, pimento, and mayonnaise. Spread over cauliflower completely and place in a baking dish or pan.
  3. Put in a high oven (400 degrees) for a long as it takes to gain a nice golden glaze.
  4. Let rest a while.
  5. Toss the tomatoes with a little olive oil and lay out in a single layer on a sheet pan.
  6. Season with kosher salt and pepper.
  7. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes at 400 degrees, until tomatoes are soft.
  8. Chop kale and sauté in oil and garlic.
  9. Place cauliflower on a bed of kale. Scatter or place tomatoes around it as desired.

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couliflour

Swiss Omelet Roll with Mustard Sauce

Here at the Convent we love to give attention to birthdays, be they big or little. Last week I had a very BIG one (85!) and it was celebrated in a very big way, especially featuring an abundance of beautiful spring flowers and fabulous food — two of my main passions.

The day was launched with an outstanding brunch including many of the old favorites I’d used over the years for guests, retreats and special events. This Swiss Omelet Roll was a specialty that brought back many memories, and made for much meaningful conversation as we re-lived the occasions when it was served.

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Rating: 5
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Swiss Omelet Roll with Mustard Sauce
SERVINGS
6-8
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
45minutes
PREP TIME
20minutes
READY IN
65minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

Omelet:
  1. Combine mayonnaise and flour.
  2. Gradually add milk and beaten egg yolks; cook, stirring constantly over low heat until thickened.
  3. Remove from heat; cool 15 minutes.
  4. Fold mayonnaise mixture and seasonings into stiffly beaten egg whites.
  5. Pour into 15 ½" x 10 ½" jelly roll pan lined with wax paper, brushed with mayonnaise.
  6. Bake at 425 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.
  7. Invert pan on towel; carefully remove wax paper.
  8. Cover with combined ham, cheese, and green onion.
  9. Roll from narrow end, lifting with towel while rolling.
Sauce:
  1. Combine sauce ingredients; mix well.
  2. Serve omelet seam down; top with mustard sauce.
  3. Garnish with watercress (or parsley) and tomato slices.