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!

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

Coeur à la crème

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Coeur à la crème
We recently had the good fortune to welcome back Daniel Roth, organist at St. Sulpice in Paris, France for a repeat performance in our church. The event included a post-concert reception, with a delicious sampling of beautiful sweets and savories. Tucked in among the appetizers was a French classic: Coeur à la crème. Our rendition was a delightfully creamy cheese spread studded with fresh herbs and surrounded by freshly baked pita chips. Topped with calendula blossoms, this was a reception “show-stopper” with promised “repeat performances” in the future! Classically prepared with cream cheese and crème fraîche, our recipe uses fresh ricotta. Try it savory or as a dessert--it will not disappoint!
SERVINGS
10 - 12
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
10
PREP TIME
15
READY IN
6-8hours or overnight

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Place ricotta and fresh herbs into a blender or food processor and blend, slowly adding in lemon juice. Blend until completely smooth.
  2. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Place a fine metal mesh strainer over a bowl and line with a double layer of cheesecloth.
  4. Scrape the ricotta mixture from the food processor or blender into the cheesecloth.
  5. Put a small plate (salad plate or saucer size) over ricotta mixture. Place a can or a heavy object on top to help it drain and let stand 6-8 hours or overnight.
  6. In the morning, unmold the cheese from the strainer, removing the cheesecloth. Put on a plate and refrigerate until ready to serve.
  7. Garnish with fresh herbs, edible flowers (we recommend calendula or nasturtiums) and serve with crackers or pita crisps. Bon appétit!

More lemon juice may be added until desired taste and consistency is reached. Any fresh herbs can be substituted for those used in this recipe! Feel free to experiment with your favorites!