Easy and Delicious – Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies

There is no better time than the present to spread some JOY! Thanks to our friends at King Arthur Flour, I did some baking this weekend. In our Convent, Sr. Elizabeth loves to bake chocolate chip cookies, and if you’re lucky enough to be walking through the kitchen when she’s baking, she’ll always stop and give you the one “that didn’t come out quite perfect.”

With children home from school and spouses trying to work remotely, why not take some time to make a batch of these yummy cookies and enjoy the smiles they’ll bring. Another side benefit are the wonderful smells that come into your kitchen. In these uncertain times, warm cookies fresh from the oven warm hearts as well!

(Note: If you use a digital scale to measure the ingredients, they will come out perfectly!)

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Easy and Delicious - Chocolate Chip Oatmeal Cookies
SERVINGS
50cookies
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
cookies
COOK TIME
12-13minutes
PREP TIME
12minutes
READY IN
45minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line 4 cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.
  2. Beat together the butter and sugars until smooth.
  3. Beat in the egg, egg yolk, and vanilla.
  4. Whisk together the flour, oats, baking powder, baking soda and salt, and add to the butter mixture in the bowl.
  5. Mix until everything is incorporated (no need to over mix), scraping the bottom of the bowl.
  6. Stir in the chocolate chips
  7. Using a 1" cookie scoop or ice cream scoop, drop a dozen cookies on each sheet pan in rows of 3 - spreading evenly apart.
  8. Bake at 325° for 12 to 13 minutes or until golden brown on the edges. Remove from the oven, cool on the sheet pan for another couple of minutes (they will continue baking slightly)and then carefully slide the parchment with cookies to the counter to cool. This recipe will make 50 cookies.

Back to Basics — Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes

As Americans unite and pull together during this time of crisis, we find
ourselves going back to basics in lots of areas, including food! With so many
families housebound, both parents and children, “comfort food” can play a
part in helping relieve the stress and increase relaxation. Meatloaf and
mashed potatoes are a great way to go—hearty, simple and sure to be a hit.

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Back to Basics — Meatloaf and Mashed Potatoes
SERVINGS
4
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
55
PREP TIME
15
READY IN
1hour, 10 minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Set oven at 350 degrees
  2. In a large bowl, combine beef, panko or bread crumbs, onion, milk, egg, ketchup, Worcestershire sauce, herbs, salt and pepper.
  3. With a good sized spoon, mix gently until well combined, without over-handling it, which toughens the meat.
  4. Place the meat mixture in loaf pan.
  5. Combine ketchup, wine vinegar, brown sugar and spread over the top of meatloaf.
  6. Bake uncovered for about 55 minutes or until internal temp reaches 160 degrees.
  7. For those who like the ketchup topping to be a little browned and crispy, put under the broiler, turning it around every few seconds, for about 3-5 minutes
  8. Serve with a scoop of your favorite mashed potatoes!
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Springtime Borscht

Recently, another Sister and I shared our borscht recipes and memories! Like any well-loved food, memories play a part in its enjoyment. Our experiences of eating borscht are different but surprisingly parallel. Sr. Monica spent two months living at a Convent in Estonia when it was still part of the USSR. She has vivid memories of being there as the coup occurred when Gorbachev was still in power. I remember it too, because I was in Poland at the time, singing with our choir, Gloriae Dei Cantores. We had no way to communicate with our Sisters in Estonia since cell phones and e-mail were unavailable to us in 1991. We relied on prayer for their safety.  Often, a particular recipe is a vehicle for comfort, even solace. We have had difficult times in the past, but we know God’s love is available to us. We offer this heartwarming recipe to you, along with our prayers for a healthy spring.

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Springtime Borscht
SERVINGS
8
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
1hour
PREP TIME
4.5hours
READY IN
5.5hours

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Put the meat in a crockpot with 8 cups cold water, red pepper flakes, bay leaves and 1 Tbsp salt. Set on high for 4 hours. Cook until fork tender. Remove meat and strain and reserve the broth. Set aside
  2. While the Beef is cooking, wrap beets in foil and place in a 400 degree oven—roast for 1hr. until fork tender. Cool slightly, but while they are still warm, remove the top, bottom and skin with a pairing knife (skins should come off easily if properly cooked) and either grate or julienne the beets. Set aside.
  3. Heat a large stockpot and add 4 Tbsp olive oil and 2 Tbsp. butter and sauté onion for 2 min. Add diced potato and sauté another 5 min or until beginning to soften. Add the grated carrot, cabbage and garlic and 2 Tbsp vinegar and sauté for 5 minutes.
  4. Reduce heat to med/low and add the beets, 2 Tbsp sugar and 2 Tbsp tomato paste. Mix thoroughly and add the reserved strained broth and extra 2-3 cups beef broth. (I used' Better than Bouillon' Roasted Beef Base)
  5. Simmer and cover until vegetables are tender. Add the diced, cooked Beef and 1/4 cup chopped fresh dill. Remove from heat and leave covered until flavors meld. Add 1/4 tsp pepper (If desired), and salt to taste. Adjust flavors to taste (you may want to add a bit more vinegar or sugar)
  6. Serve warm or cold with a dollop of sour cream and a sprig of fresh dill.

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.

DELICIOUS AND GLUTEN-FREE—TAPIOCA ROLLS!

Our retreats, both group and personal, often include guests with specific dietary restrictions. We support them, trying our best to accommodate the needs of those concerned—and it broadens the scope of our menu planning and recipe research.  

We’re discovering all kinds of recipes—gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, vegetarian, and more. I’ve selected a gluten-free recipe, which is a proven winner with our Sisters that need gluten-free foods. We find these hot rolls fresh out of the oven are eagerly received by non-gluten-free Sisters as well! They’re easy to make and taste fantastic when hot and crispy, a little chewy inside, and with a generous dollop of butter!

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DELICIOUS AND GLUTEN-FREE—TAPIOCA ROLLS!
SERVINGS
242 inch puffs
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
2 inch puffs
COOK TIME
25minutes
PREP TIME
20minutes
READY IN
45minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Set oven at 450 degrees
  2. Combine milk, oil, and salt in a saucepan; bring to a gentle boil, stirring occasionally, and remove from heat as soon as you see big bubbles coming through the milk.
  3. Add the tapioca flour and stir with a wooden spoon until all the flour is blended; it will be sticky and gelatinous.
  4. Transfer the dough to a mixing bowl, and let cool for a few minutes. Then with the paddle attachment, beat for a few minutes.
  5. Beat the eggs in, one at a time, on medium speed
  6. Beat in the cheese until fully incorporated; dough will be sticky and stretchy.
  7. Scoop the dough with a medium-size ice-cream scoop, dipping it in warm water between scoops, spacing them about 2 inches apart on a cookie sheet lined with baking, parchment paper.
  8. Place in oven, and immediately turn the oven down to 350 degrees. Bake for 15 minutes until puffed, outsides are dry and crispy; rotate pan and bake another 10 minutes, and bottoms are golden brown, and the tops not too golden.

OATMEAL CARMELITAS

HANDS-DOWN, ONE OF OUR SISTERHOOD’S MOST FAVORITE TREATS!

This is a dessert / snack that I think is fair to say, always brings a smile and sparkle to the eye.  Whether served as a plated reception option, a surprise snack for a hard-working crew, a dessert tucked into a bag lunch, it always hits the mark—and is never refused!  And as a living testimony to this—today, I left the batch of fresh baked Carmelitas on the counter, only to find when I returned to do my blog “photo shoot”, that the Sister on duty saw them and couldn’t resist offering a few to some Brothers doing a spackling job; I’m still hearing how much they loved them!

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OATMEAL CARMELITAS!
SERVINGS
9-12
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
20
PREP TIME
30
READY IN
50

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a large bowl, combine all ingredients for crust; blend well to form a crumbly, moist crust.
  2. Press half of the crumbs into bottom of 9” pan and bake at 350 degrees, for 10 minutes.
  3. Remove from oven and sprinkle with chocolate chips and nuts. After blending flour with caramel topping, spread over chocolate and nut mixture.
  4. Sprinkle with remaining crumbs, and bake 15-20” until golden brown