Apple Brown Betty

“No matter what their age from the youngest to the oldest” everyone
in the Community of Jesus gathers together for Saturday morning beehive,
a time to busily work on everything that needs doing in the community that week.
Each is assigned a job he or she is capable of doing.

Last Saturday  while I was in the convent yard I heard excited shouts and
squeals of fun and laughter coming from the apple orchard.  Although we
still have not reached peak apple season we have an abundance of
drops each day and we never waste any of them. That day the nursery school
kids were having a contest to see who could gather the most.
The two sisters responsible for child care had cleverly come up with a way
for them to be useful while at the same time learn a lesson in good stewardship
of God’s gifts to us.

Their mission accomplished, the little wagon full of drops were drawn to
the convent kitchen where they were magically transformed into a
favorite old fashioned  dessert that everyone without exception enjoyed
at the coffee hour break…..that is EVERYONE  no matter what their age
from the youngest to the oldest!

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Apple Brown Betty
SERVINGS
4-6
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
45minutes
PREP TIME
20minutes
READY IN
65minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Butter a shallow 8” x 8” baking dish.
  2. Place half the bread cubes in the prepared baking dish. Mix the remaining cubes with 2 tablespoons of melted butter and set aside.
  3. Stir together the apples, sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, water, orange juice, orange rind and the remaining 5 tablespoons of butter. Mix until sugar is dissolved. Pour over the bread cubes in the dish and then top with the reserved bread cubes.
  4. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 45 minutes covered with foil at 400 degrees Fahrenheit then uncovered 10 minutes or so until golden brown. Serve warm or cold.

Brother Lawrence’s Stuffed Turkey Cutlets

After a dramatic religious conversion, young soldier Nicholas Herman decided to devote his life to following God and learning more about Christ. He joined a monastery and took the name Brother Lawrence of the Resurrection. There, he spent the rest of his life working in the kitchen and repairing his brothers’ sandals. But during his decades of doing seemingly menial jobs, Brother Lawrence discovered a profound truth about having a relationship with God: Experiencing His presence can—and shouldhappen everywhere.  He spent his life serving others.  His letters were later compiled into the now classic book The Practice of the Presence of God.

“He does not ask much of us, merely a thought of Him from time to time, a little act of adoration, sometimes to ask for His grace, sometimes to offer Him your sufferings, at other times to thank Him for the graces, past and present, He has bestowed on you, in the midst of your troubles to take solace in Him as often as you can. Lift up your heart to Him during your meals and in company; the least little remembrance will always be the most pleasing to Him. One need not cry out very loudly; He is nearer to us than we think.”  ― Brother Lawrence, The Practice of the Presence of God

 

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Brother Lawrence's Stuffed Turkey Cutlets
SERVINGS
4
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
15 mins
PREP TIME
10mins
READY IN
30 mins

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. ​Between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, pound your turkey cutlets with a meat hammer until thin. Melt 2 Tbsp. each of butter and olive oil in a stove to oven safe skillet such as Calphalon or cast iron. Add your sliced onion and saute until lightly golden and soft. Add baby spinach, sun dried tomatoes, herbs and cook over low heat until soft and fragrant. Add the garlic (if desired) and wine. Cook over low heat until the flavors absorb into the tomatoes and onions.
  2. ​Lay your turkey cutlets on a cutting board. Zest the lemon over each one. Lay your mozzarella cheese on one end. Spoon the onion mixture over your cheese, and then top with a generous grating of fresh Parmesan. Starting w/ the cheese end, roll up each cutlet tightly. Sprinkle some bread crumbs into a shallow bowl, and roll each cutlet in to coat.
  3. ​Add the remaining 2 Tbsp of butter and olive oil back to your pan, melt over medium heat and add the cutlets. Sautée each side of the cutlets until golden and then place the skillet in a 300 degree oven for about 12​-15​ min. to cook through.
  4. Take the remaining spinach,and microwave for about one minute until just limp. Sprinkle with onion salt and lay on a platter. Place the cutlets on top of the spinach to serve. Pour the juices along the sides of the cutlets just before serving.

cuetlet2

Scandinavian Almond Cake

Advent is a very special time in our Community.  To me, it symbolizes not only waiting, but also preparation– preparing our hearts and our homes to receive the Christ-Child. We welcome ​Advent with a festive weekend open to the public.  ​One of the highlights is our candlelit service of Advent Lessons and Carols – a service steeped in English tradition. Throughout the weekend, we serve an elegant afternoon tea at Bethany Guest House situated in scenic Rock Harbor, Orleans. This tradition was started by one of our founders, Mother Cay.  She took great pride in entertaining and hospitality, and her sharp and loving eye for beauty and detail has been passed down to all of us.  Bethany becomes a magical place at Christmastime.  Throughout the weekend, our gift shop, Priory Books and Gifts is bustling with activity.  We stock our shop with home baked goods From a Monastery Kitchen – our famous Kentucky Bourbon Cakes, Fresh Baked Cinnamon Rolls, Cranberry Pear Chutney and English Toffee are just a few of the items sold throughout December in our shop.

For years now, it has been my ​responsibility​ to get the Monastic Bakeshop “ready” for Advent.  We start preparing in the summer – sampling recipes, making lists of ingredients and then going to companies to see if they would be able to “gift” items to us. In turn, we offer our prayers on their behalf, as well as a tin of freshly baked chocolate chip cookies.  It has been such a blessing to see the response.  Year after year, we have faithful donors that have given of themselves to support our outreach – sugar, flour, oats, chocolate chips, nuts, raisins and yes, even Jim Beam Bourbon, have been generously given to us – enabling a profit of the sales to help support our community.

A few years ago, I became friends with a woman who frequented our bakeshop.  She told me of a wonderful almond cake that I really should try sometime – and perhaps even sell in our shop.  She came back a couple days later with a gift for us – the special Scandinavian Almond Cake pan and recipe.  What a touching gift that was!  This has become one of our favorite cakes to make at Christmas time – or anytime.  We now share it with you.

A blessed Advent to you and yours,

The Gourmet Nuns

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Scandinavian Almond Cake
SERVINGS
8-10people
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
people
COOK TIME
40-50min
PREP TIME
10min
READY IN
1hr

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Generously grease a Scandinavian almond cake pan or rectangular tart pan with removable bottom.​​
  3. ​In a large mixing bowl, beat together sugar, egg, almond extract and milk
  4. Add flour and baking powder and mix​ at low speed to blend.​
  5. Add melted butter​ and mix well.​
  6. Pour batter into ​prepared ​pan and bake from ​30-45​ min. or until edges are golden and cake springs back to the touch.
  7. Cool​ cake​​ completely​ in pan before removing​.
  8. Say a prayer and turn the cake out of the pan.​
  9. Sprinkle with ​powdered​​ sugar before serving​​

**Variation – before pouring batter into pan, sprinkle sliced almonds on the bottom (or top of cake)