Honey and Clementine Ricotta Cookies

I am happy to report that it is in the low 60s here today. I am loving this weather! We are excited for shorts, bicycle rides, and a decrease in chapped lips.

While it is cold, we tend to shut ourselves indoors and create tasty goodies. My two oldest daughters love to help me bake. Let’s face it, they are more interested in the finished product, but I love having them in the kitchen with me. There is something quite beautiful about spending time together. Family is the root of goodness, and we do our part in loving God by nurting the bond He blessed us with.

These cookies are delightfully sweet from the honey, bright from the citrus, and soft from the ricotta. Be warned- they are very easy to eat. I hope you love this recipe!

Honey and Clementine Ricotta Cookies

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You will need:

  • 2.5 cups AP flour
  • 15oz whole milk ricotta
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 cup honey
  • 1 stick (8 Tbsp) unsalted softened butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 6 clementines (or 2 oranges), zest and juice

To get started, preheat your oven to 375*F. Line 2 sheet pans with parchment paper or a non-stick silicone baking mat.

In a large bowl, add the sugar, honey, butter, ricotta, eggs, vanilla, zest, and juice. Stir until well combined.

Add in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Stir until just combined. Do not overstir or these will be little rocks instead of fluffy pillows of excellence!

Dollop 2 Tbsp sized scoops onto the sheet trays. They do not spread a whole lot, so you can put them about an inch apart. If you want them in neat circles, use a mini-ice cream scoop, or pipe them from a bag. Up to you!

Bake for 12 minutes until they are the slightest bit golden around the edges. Take them out, let them sit for about 5 minutes, and gently move them to a clean sheat of parchment paper or a clean surace to finish cooling. Repeat with the rest of the batter until they are all cooked. This recipe makes approximately 4 dozen cookies depending on how big you make them.

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I hope you love this recipe! It is one of our favorites, and so easy to put together. This is also a great cookie to have with tea, coffee, or just as a little afternoon snack that isn’t overly sweet.

Lots of love and many blessings,

Chelsea

Behold, now is a very acceptable time;
behold, now is the day of salvation.

2 Corinthians 6:2

 

Herb Roasted Garlic and Tomato Soup

It is the first Sunday of Lent. I am praying for your Lenten journey to be peaceful and full of personal growth. I decided to make another meatless dish this weekend with some extra produce I had on my kitchen counter. It turned out delicious! If you love garlic, this one is for you! I hope you love it.

Herb Roasted Garlic and Tomato Soup

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You wil need:

  • 4 large tomatoes, cut into eighths
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into eighths
  • 1 head of garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 lemon
  • 2.5 cups of chicken stock
  • 1/4 c heavy cream
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 3 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 10-12 sprigs of thyme

To begin, preheat your oven to 375*F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Put the tomatoes, onions, and garlic on the pan. Season with  2 tsp salt and 1 tsp pepper. Drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil and toss with your hands, making sure everything is coated. Spread 5-6 thyme sprigs on top. Put the pan in the oven and roast for 50 minutes until everything is browned.

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Once the veggies are done, discard the thyme sprigs.

Set a dutch oven over med-high heat and add in the butter. Transfer the roasted veggies over. Let those hang out together for a minute or two until everything is nice and sizzly. Add in the sugar and follow with the remaining salt and pepper.

Pour in the chicken stock and bring everything to a boil. Add the rest of the thyme sprigs (if you can, tie them together with kitchen twine or put them in some cheese cloth). Let everything boil together for 1-2 minutes. Lower the heat, cover, and simmer together for 30 minutes. Once it is done, remove the thyme sprigs and transfer everything to a blender. Give it a blend until it is all smooth. Transfer the soup back to the pot and give it a generous squeeze of lemon. Give it a stir and then finish with the heavy cream right before serving.

Serve this alongside bread and butter, a salad, or a melty grilled cheese sandwich. This soup is savory, aromatic, and velvety smooth. I hope you love it!

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Lots of love and many blessings,

Chelsea

Brothers and sisters:
What does Scripture say?
The word is near you,
in your mouth and in your heart

—that is, the word of faith that we preach—,
for, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord
and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead,
you will be saved.
For one believes with the heart and so is justified,
and one confesses with the mouth and so is saved.
For the Scripture says,
No one who believes in him will be put to shame.
For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek;
the same Lord is Lord of all,
enriching all who call upon him.
For “everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.”

Romands 10: 8-13

 

 

 

 

Buttermilk Pancakes

My husband loves to  wake up early on Saturday mornings and make elaborate breakfasts with our kids. It is incredibly special to all of them, and I get to enjoy coffee in bed while they take over the kitchen. It is a win-win for everyone.

Unfortunately, he is gone to California for training until June. We miss him like crazy! The breakfast torch has been passed on to me until he returns. While we usually opt for Kodiak Cakes mix, I find myself craving super fluffy buttermilk pancakes with lots of butter and warm maple syrup. These are easy, quick to put together, and ALWAYS loved. I hope you love this recipe!

Buttermilk Pancakes

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You will need:

  • 2 cups AP flour
  • 2.5 cups buttermilk (or just use  2 1/3 cups of any fat % dairy milk + 2-3 Tbsp white vinegar. Let it sit for a minute or two while you get everything else ready. This is honestly what I use most of the time because I rarely have buttermilk.)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tbsp melted butter
  • 3 tbsp sugar (don’t skimp- it’s just enough)
  • 1.5 tsp baking powder
  • 1.5 tsp baking soda
  • 1.5 tsp salt
  • canola oil for cooking
  • warm maple syrup and room temp butter for serving.

Go ahead and put a skillet on a burner and set it to med-low heat. Pre-heat your oven to 200*F.

Add the flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt into a large bowl. Whisk this around until it is all combined. Make a well in the middle.

Pour the buttermilk into the well, followed by the two eggs, and then the butter. Gently whisk the liquid mixture together making sure to slowly start working your way into the flour mixture. Mix this until it is just combined. You want the batter to be fluffy and lumpy. You will see a lot of bubbling, and this is exactly what you want!

Pour 1-2 Tbsp of canola oil into your skillet. Using a 1/3 or 1/2 cup measure, scoop the pancake mixture into the skillet and let it cook for 3-5 minutes. Flip it and let it cook for another 2-4 minutes. Repeat until the mixture is gone. This will yield 8-10 pancakes. You can serve them as they come out, or you can put them on a sheet pan in the oven to stay warm.

Serve these with room temperature butter, warm maple syrup, and fresh fruit. They are incredibly fluffy and flavorful!

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Have a blessed Lent! May God bless you and keep you always.

Lots of love and many blessings,

Chelsea

Jesus saw a tax collector named Levi sitting at the customs post.
He said to him, “Follow me.”
And leaving everything behind, he got up and followed him.
Then Levi gave a great banquet for him in his house,
and a large crowd of tax collectors
and others were at table with them.
The Pharisees and their scribes complained to his disciples, saying,
“Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”
Jesus said to them in reply,
“Those who are healthy do not need a physician, but the sick do.
I have not come to call the righteous to repentance but sinners.”
Luke 5:27-32

 

 

 

Beer Battered Avocado Tacos

Yep. You read that right… beer battered avocado tacos. Sounds strange, yet invigorating all at the same time. Lent begins soon, and I love a good meatless recipe that I can add to my liturgical cooking repertoire. These tacos are easy, delicious, and even come with a bonus recipe for homemade seasoned taco shells. Don’t do yourself a disservice and buy the store bought ones- give mine a try. I hope you love it!

Beer Battered Avocado Tacos

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You will need:

For the batter and avocados:

  • 2 medium to large avocados (you’re aiming for 8-10 slices)
  • 1 c ap flour
  • 1/2 c panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 c light beer of your choice, or club soda if you do not want to use beer
  • 2 limes, 1 juiced & 1 sliced into wedges for serving
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 c cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 c tomatoes, chopped
  • Mexican crema, sour cream, or Greek yogurt for topping or drizzling
  • canola oil for frying (you’re going to want 2-3 inches of oil in the pot you choose to fry in)

For the taco shells:

  • 8-10 white corn tortillas
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • spray olive oil or canola oil

To prep the avocados:

Peel and slice the avocados. You are trying to get 8-10 slices out of each one. Brush or squeeze lime juice over each avocado, and sprinkle each one with chili powder and salt. Roll them in panko, and put them on a sheet of parchment paper or a nonstick surface. Pop them in the freezer while you get everything else ready. This will help them to firm up and be able to hold on to the batter.

Set a dutch oven or frying pan of your choice over med-high heat, and start to bring your oil up to temperature. You want the oil to be at 325-350 before the avocados go in. Go ahead and start the taco shells now while the avocados firm up and your oil starts to come to temperature.

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For the taco shells:

Preheat your oven to 375. Wrap the tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds until steamed and pliable. Spray each tortilla with olive oil or canola oil, and sprinkle generously with salt and chili powder. Lay each tortilla directly on your oven rack over the bars (I put my tortilla over two of the bars. The sides will fold in as they cook- don’t worry if they look a little wide). Bake for 7-10 minutes, or until they are lightly browned and crispy. Keep an eye on them or they will burn. If they are a little more brown in some places, don’t worry- they will still taste delicious! You can also keep the tortillas flat and make flat shells. Either way- they are great! Once they are done cooking- remove them from the rack with a pair of tongs and set aside.

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For the beer batter:

In a bowl, add in 1 tsp chili powder, 1 tsp salt, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 c ap flour, and 1 c light beer of your choice (or club soda). Mix the batter around until it is about as thick as pancake batter. Take the avocados out of the freezer, and dip them one by one into the batter. Once they are thoroughly coated, gently drop them in the oil. They should puff up and start to cook immediately. Once they are golden brown (about 4-6 minutes), remove them and let them drain on a wire rack with paper towels under neath. Repeat this process until all slices are cooked.

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When you are ready to eat, load one or two slices of the avocado into a shell, top with cilantro, tomatoes, a generous squeeze of fresh lime, and crema (or topping of your choice). Eat, and enjoy!

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I hope you love this recipe. If you try it out, please let me know what you think.

Lots of love and many blessings,

Chelsea

Our Savior Jesus Christ has destroyed death
and brought life to light through the Gospel.

2 Timothy 1:10

 

 

 

 

 

Gâteau Au Yaourt: Yogurt Cake!

Just about every week, my friend Maxine and I get together to let our toddlers play. We usually make a small lunch and have some adult conversation (much needed when we are both surrounded by children all day). Our husbands are both active duty, so it is nice to have someone to relate to! We talk about all kinds of things. Our conversations go from God, to music, to food, to, “Don’t touch that!” and, “Quit putting your feet there!”

She recommended a book to me called Bringing up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman. I absolutely love it so far. It is quite funny, and it also has some interesting points when it comes to child rearing!

In this book, I learned that there’s a national snack time in France called goûter (gu-te), which means “to taste.” Sweets are typically served during this time, and gâteau au yaourt, aka yogurt cake, is a popular choice. What I have below is roughly translated from a recipe in the book, plus or minus a couple of ingredients. I cut down the sugar, added some citrus zest, and incorporated a glaze at the end. I hope you love it!

Yogurt Cake

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You will need:

For the cake:

  • 1 1/2 cups plain or vanilla yogurt
  • 1 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp canola or vegetable oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 3 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 tsp lemon zest

For the glaze:

  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla

To begin, preheat your oven to 375*F. Grease an 8 or 9 inch cake pan of your choice. Round, square, loaf, etc.

For the cake: Combine the yogurt, oil, eggs, vanilla, sugar, lemon zest, and lemon juice in one bowl. Stir until creamy and completely mixed together.

In a separate bowl, combine the flour, salt, and baking powder.

Incorporate the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients a third of the mixture at a time, ensuring everything is mixed together. Once you have added the last third, combine gently just until everything is mixed. Do not over mix this or it will come out very tough.

Pour the batter into the greased cake pan, smooth it out, and bake for 30-35 minutes until a knife or toothpick comes out clean. Let the cake cool completely (~30 minutes).

For the glaze: Combine the powdered sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla in a bowl until it forms a glaze. 2 Tbsp of liquid doesn’t seem like much, but just keep stirring until it combines. If you end up stirring for forever and it is still very dry, you can add in 1 or 2 tsp of lemon juice or milk to thin it out. Once the cake is cooled, pour the glaze over the middle and let it run over the sides. I won’t blame you if you lick your fingers! It is that good.

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This cake is bright from the lemon, perfectly sweet without being too sweet, and has an excellent texture. Slice the gâteau au yaourt and enjoy your very own goûter with tea, coffee, friends, and fellowship.

I hope you love it!

Lots of love and many blessings,

Chelsea

May the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ
enlighten the eyes of our hearts,
that we may know what is the hope
that belongs to his call.

Ephesians 1: 17-18

 

 

 

 

French Toast

Happy Sunday! My husband is in town for a visit over the long weekend. He is across the country doing some training, and we sure do miss him when he is gone. I decided to whip up one of my favorite breakfasts while he is here, french toast! I love to make this with brioche or challa bread. Either of these breads can be used for this recipe. This will make 8-10 1” thick slices, and this recipe is probably a bit different than your standard “dip and cook” method. I promise you, every step is worth it. Here we go!

French Toast

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You will need:

  • 1 loaf of Brioche or Challa bread
  • 6 large eggs
  • 1 c milk
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp cinnamon
  • 1 tbsp vanilla
  • 1 tsp orange zest (optional, but delicious!)
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 4-6 tbsp butter

In a blender or large bowl, add the eggs, milk, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla, and salt. Blend or beat with a mixer until it is thoroughly combined. You do not want to see any egg whites separate from the yolks. Pour this mixture into a 9×13 dish.

Slice your bread into 1” thick slices. Dip one side into the custard mixture and then flip it over and nestle it into the dish. Repeat with all of the bread slices. They are not going to fit all nice and pretty into the dish in a single layer. You will end up with some layered on top of each other, and that is totally okay. Cover the dish with plastic wrap and let it chill in the fridge overnight, or for at least 8 hours. This will ensure that the bread absorbs all of the custard mixture.

Once you are ready to cook, warm a skillet over low heat. Let it warm for 10 minutes, or until butter lightly sizzles on the surface. You do not want this to be too hot or the french toast will be very brown on the outside and uncooked on the inside. Melt 1-2 tbsp of butter in the skillet. Gently lay the french toast right on top of it. The soaked bread will feel like a dense sponge. This is exactly what you want!

The french toast needs to cook at a low heat for 5-7 minutes per side (if your stove knobs have numbers- put it at a 2 or a 2.5). To ensure a nice even cooking process, flip the french toast and rotate it around the pan every 2-3 minutes. Once the french toast feels firm and is golden brown on the outside, take it out and proceed to cook the other pieces. I can fit 3-4 pieces in my skillet at once. I would avoid adding anymore than that unless you have an awesome griddle pan that has a lot of space. If the french toast is getting too brown, reduce your heat. There shouldn’t be any dark brown spots on it at all if you are cooking it at the right temp.

You can keep these warm in a 200 degree oven, or you can serve them as they cook. I like to add fruit, maple syrup, and a light dusting of powdered sugar to ours. However, these are great without anything on them.

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I hope you love this recipe! It is a favorite in our house, and it’s quite convenient to make. You just prep it the night before and go straight to cooking when you are ready.

Lots of love and many blessings,

Chelsea

Rejoice and be glad;
your reward will be great in heaven.

Luke 6:23

 

 

Egg White Breakfast Cups

Happy Sunday, and Happy Feast day of St. Blaise! St. Blaise worked hard to improve the physical and spiritual health of his people. He is the patron saint of sore throats…something we have been battling here in my house for the last month it seems. Anyone else with big families deal with the month long viral attacks?!

Pertaining to the physical health aspect of St. Blaise’s life, I decided to whip up a healthy breakfast idea to help you with your health journey. I like to make these egg cups on Sundays and have them for the rest of the week. They are so easy to whip up, and they warm up perfectly. I hope you love the recipe!

Egg White Breakfast Cups

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You will need:

  • 16oz carton of egg whites
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 2 scallions (green onions), dark green ends chopped only.
  • 5-6 slices of honey ham, (or cooked bacon, turkey, or meat of your choice) chopped into small pieces
  • 1 medium vine ripened tomato, chopped. (I discard the seedy inside to reduce excess liquid.)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper

To get started, preheat your oven to 325*F. Spray a muffin pan with nonstick spray. I prefer to use a silicone muffin pan with this recipe as it guarantees nothing will stick. You can also make this recipe in an 8×8 casserole dish and cut into squares. Either way, grease your vessel with non-stick spray!

Add all of your ingredients into a mixing bowl. Give everything a gentle stir. Spoon into the muffin cups ensuring each cup has the same amount of solid ingredients. Spoon the remaining egg white liquid into each cup. If you are using a small casserole dish, you can pour everything into one dish and spread it out with a spoon to make sure each part of the dish is evenly layered. This recipe makes enough for 12 full muffin cups.

Bake at 325*F for 25-30 minutes. Let the cups rest for 15 minutes before removing them. You can eat them now, or you can let them finish cooling completely to be packed in a container for the fridge. These are easy to warm up. Just pop a couple on a plate or paper towel, microwave for 45 seconds or so, and eat! Enjoy them alongside some fruit, toast, or just by themselves. I usually eat 2 or 3 in a sitting. They are pretty delicious, so don’t be surprised if you end up reaching for more. Have a blessed week!

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Lots of love and many blessings,

Chelsea

Lift up, O gates, your lintels;
reach up, you ancient portals,
that the king of glory may come in!

Psalms 24:7