Hello Friends!

I hope you are enjoying the SVdP food blog. If you ever have any questions or recipes you want or need help with, please let me know, I am always happy to help you.

It’s strawberry time in Florida, so we should be seeing them in our stores here in Georgia!  It’s always good to look for the foods that are in season because they should be a more reasonable price for us. Strawberries can be frozen too, which makes such a refreshing treat for us all year round and a big savings to you too.

It’s been a bit cold these past few days, and I was in the mood for soup again. So I got busy, hopefully, you are the beneficiary of this mood, besides my husband.  I checked my pantry, refrigerator and freezer to see what I had on hand and ALSO, what I would need to purchase. Then I made out my list. Great, all I really needed was two cans of Navy Beans and I found them at Publix for 57 cents a can. So this week’s menu may seem like a lot, but it was what I had on hand, plus only $1.14 more to make the meal complete.

Your Menu is:    

Homemade Minestrone, No Knead Yeast Bread, Fresh Fruit Salad, and Chocolate Chip Cookies. So nutritious, tastes great and you get a treat too! What’s better that that!!

Don’t worry, this is easy!!

Homemade Minestrone

2 Tablespoons olive oil or vegetable oil

1 cup chopped onion

1 cup diced celery

Place the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven, turn burner on medium heat, add onions and celery to oil. Cook for about 2-3 minutes. Then add the following;

2- 32 ounce containers of Beef Bone Broth or Beef Stock

1 bag (10-12 ounces) frozen corn

1 bag (10-12 ounces) frozen green beans

1 or 2 bags frozen mixed vegetables (broccoli, carrots, cauliflower)

2 (15 ounce cans navy) beans

2 (28 ounce cans) crushed tomatoes

1 (15 ounce can) diced tomatoes

Salt and Pepper to taste

Oregano, Basil and Garlic Salt or Powder to taste

1-1/2 cups uncooked macaroni

2 large handfuls fresh spinach

Cook everything together (except macaroni and spinach) for about 1 hour on medium-low heat, then add, the uncooked macaroni. Continue cooking until macaroni is al dente (cooked just long enough that it is not hard or soft, but is firm and slightly chewy) Now,  Add in about 2 big handfuls of fresh spinach and cook for about 10-15 minutes more.

While your soup is cooking for that hour, make your bread.

 No Knead Bread

*3-1/4 cups , plus 1 Tablespoon all-purpose flour

*1-1/2 cups, plus 3 Tablespoons lukewarm water/divided

*1 envelope of Rapid Rise Yeast

*1-1/2 teaspoons salt

*1 teaspoon honey

Instructions:

  1. In a small bowl add ¼ cup of lukewarm water and  1 teaspoon honey, mix these together then add the yeast. Let sit for 5 minutes, then mix to combine.
  2. In a large bowl, add the flour; make a well in the center of the flour and add the yeast mixture and remaining water  (1-1/4 cups plus 3 Tablespoons). Combine with a wooden spoon, then add the salt and combine well. Sprinkle the top of the dough with 1 Tablespoon of flour.
  3. Cover the bowl with a clean cloth, place in a warm, draft-free place and let rest for 2 hours.
  4. After about 1-3/4 hours (75 minutes) has passed, pre-heat the oven to 420 degrees F.  Lightly grease a large cookie sheet and sprinkle with flour or cornmeal.
  5. With the help of a spatula, transfer the dough (flour side up) to the cookie sheet.  Bake for about 30 -40 minutes. Bread is done when top is slightly golden and when tapped on top or bottom of bread, there is a hollow sound.

Fresh Fruit Salad:

I used blueberries (99 cents @ Aldi), strawberries and bananas. All fresh and no sugar added. Yummy!

Irresistible Chocolate Chip Cookies

½ cup old fashioned oats

2-1/4 cups all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup unsalted butter, melted (2 sticks)

¾ cup brown sugar

¾ cup granulated sugar

1 Tablespoon vanilla ( yes, that’s right)

½ teaspoon lemon juice

2 large eggs

3 cups chocolate chips ( your favorite kind)

Instructions:

  1. Place oats in a small food processor or blender and grind until they are powdery. Place them in a medium sized bowl and whisk in the flour, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. Set aside.
  2. Stir together melted butter, brown sugar, and granulated sugar until smooth.  (No Mixer needed, use a large spoon or rubber spatula). Stir in vanilla, lemon juice and eggs. Stir until smooth, then stir in the flour mixture. Mixture may be slightly lumpy because of the ground oats. Stir in chocolate chips.
  3. Line a cookie sheet with parchment paper, or spray with non-stick spray. Scoop  about ¼ cupful of dough into balls and place on cookie sheet to chill . Cover with plastic wrap and chill at least 4 hours or overnight before baking.
  4. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Space cookies about 1-2 inches apart on cookie sheet. Slightly depress each ball with the palm of your hand.
  5. Bake for 13-17 minutes. DO NOT overbake – these are best a little underdone, which really makes them a soft, melt-in-your-mouth cookie.

What a GREAT meal!! Enjoy!

Lonnie Sundermeyer

St. Vincent de Paul Society

St. Michael’s Catholic Church, St. Michael’s Conference, Gainesville, Ga.

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