Shakshouka!

On a recent pilgrimage to Israel, I encountered the cultural phenomenon that is the traditional Israeli breakfast: Fresh vegetable salads, an abundance of fruit, creamy bowls of hummus, smoky eggplant baba ghanouj, borekas, and pastries of every description. The pièce de résistance, however, was the warm and savory shakshouka. Featuring delicately poached eggs, spices and vibrant herbs, I knew I needed to make this when I returned home.

Fun to say (shak-SHOO-kah) and even more fun to prepare, this delicious souvenir from the Holy Land warms me from the inside out!

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Shakshouka!
SERVINGS
6
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
20minutes
PREP TIME
15minutes
READY IN
35minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Warm the oil in an oven-safe skillet (I used cast iron) over medium heat. Once oil shimmers, add onion, bell pepper, and salt. Cook until the onions are translucent.
  2. Add garlic, tomato paste, cumin, and paprika. Cook, stirring constantly until fragrant, about 2 minutes.
  3. Add crushed tomatoes with their juices and cilantro. Stir, and simmer for about 5 minutes.
  4. Off the heat. Add salt and pepper to taste. Make a well near the edge of the pan with the back of a spoon and crack the egg into it. Spoon a bit of the tomato mixture over the whites to contain the egg. Repeat with remaining eggs, and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Put the skillet to the oven and bake for 8–12 minutes, checking often after 8 minutes. Cook until the egg whites are an opaque white and the yolks have risen a little but are still soft.
  6. Take the hot skillet out and place on a heat-safe surface. Garnish with fresh cilantro or a crumble of feta and enjoy!

Now that’s a delicious Quiche!

I’m always intrigued as to what makes a quiche top notch—which in general, mine are not.  But after playing around with a number of recipes, I came up with one that hit the mark; and I think the secret really is the number of eggs—more than I’ve generally used. The rich, creamy cheese custard with a crunchy crust is a winner.  With a nice Caesar salad and crusty bread, it makes for a delicious lunch, especially during these nippy days of Fall!

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Now that’s a delicious Quiche!
SERVINGS
6-8
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
35
PREP TIME
25
READY IN
60

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, salt, pepper and herbs
  3. On medium heat sauté mushrooms in butter until golden
  4. Sprinkle ham, 1 cup of the cheese, mushrooms, spinach, green onions into uncooked pie crust shell and pour egg mixture over the top.
  5. Slice tomato into as many slices as portions as you plan on serving, and place on top
  6. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top, followed by the grated parmesan cheese
  7. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until the center is completely set.

Lime-Macaroon Bars

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Lime-Macaroon Bars
Is it possible that summer could have come and gone so fast? In thinking back at the blessings we witnessed, large and small, I’m amazed at just how much the Holy Spirit loves to come alongside in every circumstance. Summertime at the Community of Jesus is an event filled season, which generally goes hand in hand with receptions! One especially stands out, looking back from a cook’s point of view: an organ concert, attended by an exceptionally large number of people. It’s always a blessing/challenge to come up with new ideas of what to serve at such an occasion—something fresh, original, visually attractive—and something really tasty. The kitchen team definitely “approved” of lime-macaroon bars, and so did our guests!
SERVINGS
24
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
40minutes
PREP TIME
20minutes
READY IN
1hour

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Set oven to 350. Using a 9x13 baking pan, spray lightly with baking spray; you may also prefer to line pan with foil, spraying it lightly.
  2. Zest and juice the limes; set aside
  3. For crust, with an electric mixer, beat butter for a few seconds, then add sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add eggs, vanilla, lime juice, and zest, mixing until combined.
  4. Blend in flour, baking powder, and salt. Spread batter evenly in the prepared pan. Bake about 15 minutes or until set and dry. Remove from oven.
  5. Meanwhile, in a large bowl combine the egg white, coconut, and condensed milk. Spoon coconut mixture evenly over hot crust. Bake about 20 minutes more or until topping is golden brown. Cool on a wire rack and cut into bars!

Savory Green Tomato Fritters

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Savory Green Tomato Fritters
Green tomatoes. What to do with these beautiful yet green garden tomatoes? A few things sprang to mind when I saw a flat of green tomatoes tucked in amongst other garden produce given to us from a local farm this week: fried green tomatoes (a classic!), green tomato salsa verde, green tomato muffins… Then a recipe caught my eye for a green tomato fritter–just the thing! With a few “tweaks” to the original recipe–omitting the cinnamon and sugar in favor of a savory version–this late summer treat is a reminder not just the generosity of the giver, but an invitation to explore the possibilities of an otherwise puzzling and often overlooked gift from the garden–perfectly unripe.
SERVINGS
8
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
20minutes
PREP TIME
15minutes
READY IN
35minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. In a deep, heavy pan, heat 3 inches of oil to 365° F, or use a crockpot with a fry basket.
  2. Combine flour, baking powder, salt, and soda. Stir in the green tomatoes, corn and seasonings.
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk the eggs with the milk and butter. Stir into the first mixture until just blended. Batter should hold its shape when dropped into hot oil–add more flour if needed to thicken the batter.
  4. Working in batches, drop the batter by tablespoons into the hot oil, cooking until fritters are a deep golden brown, turning about halfway through.
  5. Remove to paper towels to drain and enjoy!

Summertime Blueberry Nectarine Crumble Pie

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Summertime Blueberry Nectarine Crumble Pie
This past weekend, I had the wonderful opportunity to pick blueberries from a local farm with a good friend of mine. We arrived shortly after sunrise on a glorious Sunday morning. We talked little and just enjoyed circling the bushes from different angles to find the plump berries. Her husband had fashioned coffee cans into containers that dangled from our necks to collect the berries. We both used this time to pray and be thankful. It's amazing how close to God we both felt in nature. So much beauty and peace surrounded us. I hope you will taste God's goodness in this tasty summertime treat.
SERVINGS
1 pie(8 servings)
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
(8 servings)
COOK TIME
1 hour, 30 minutes
PREP TIME
20 - 30minutes
READY IN
2hours

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line the pie crust with parchment and add pie weights or dried beans. Place on a parchment or foil lined baking sheet and bake the crust for about 20 min. Remove parchment and weights and return to the oven for 10 min. until slightly golden. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
  2. Prepare the filling: Whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, salt and lemon zest. Put the blueberries in a mixing bowl and add the sliced nectarines, lemon juice, vanilla and the sugar/cornstarch mixture. Gently toss and let sit as the berries start releasing their juices.
  3. Meanwhile, prepare the crumble: In a food processor, combine the flour, brown sugar, butter and white sugar. Pulse until combined (this can also be done by hand). With your hands, press topping together to form clumps and refrigerate until ready to use.
  4. Assemble the pie: Pour the blueberry/nectarine mixture into your blind baked crust. Top with the crumble mixture - covering the top and spreading evenly.
  5. Bake until the filling bubbles and the pie is golden brown, about one hour. Allow to cool slightly and serve with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream.
  6. Enjoy!

Hidden Blessing

I love the way God slips blessings into our lives—sometimes in the most unexpected, unusual, personal ways. Perhaps it would mean nothing to someone else, but somehow you know He did that, and He did it just for you! Decades ago, I was walking the beach after a hurricane, checking out the damage, and as I looked down I spotted what looked like a 3×5 recipe card—roughed up a bit and written in a scrawl, it read Simple Apple cake. Being not much of a cook in those days, the work “simple” jumped out and decades later I’m still using it—simple, delicious, quintessential comfort food!

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Hidden Blessing
SERVINGS
6-8servings
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
servings
COOK TIME
30mins
PREP TIME
12mins
READY IN
45mins

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Mix all together in a bowl.
  2. Bake in a greased and floured 9” pan for 30 minutes at 350.
  3. Serve warm with a generous dollop of whipped cream!