Monday, January 30, 2012

Give Us This Day...

         "Happiness is secured through virtue; it is a good attained by man's own will."                                                          
                                           St. Thomas Aquinas

Saturday, January 28th, was the feast day of Saint Thomas Aquinas. This was an exciting day in the Keatley household as St. Thomas is one of Mary's patron saints (Saint Joan of Arc being the other). I wanted to do something special to celebrate, but it being the end of the month, we didn't have a lot in the house to cook up. I did, however,have some basic baking items that I knew might work for some special breads. The base for my creations was Grandpa Aziz's bread dough which worked terrific for all four items~ bacon filled baguettes (or snakes as David called them), rolls, pizza patate & berry jam-filled kolaches. I also made some homemade Italian Family due bacche (two berry) jam and some hummus. I realize it sounds like an odd combination, which it was, but sometimes one must work with what one has (especially when one must still satisfy the appetites not only of her normally hungry family but do it dairy-free)! 

For the bacon filled baguettes, I simply rolled out the dough into rectangles about 8" x 3" then placed the cooked bacon on top. I then rolled up the dough and placed it on a cookie sheet. They were baked for 16 minutes at 400 degrees. One of us who can still enjoy cheese added sliced brie to hers after they were baked~ delicious! Of course, with the bacon inside, they were great even without anything added.

The hummus was based on a recipe from Saint Sharbel's Maronite Church in Portland. I changed it a bit & it was so good to snack on as well as mixed with a little cold veggies (carrots and onions).

  • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained, liquid reserved
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tablespoon tahini (sesame seed paste)
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (it called for lemon juice, but I didn't have any)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon zaatar- a middle eastern spice mix (from Penzey's or make your own)
Mix everything except reserved liquid from beans & zaatar in food processor. Add liquid a bit at a time until smooth paste. Scoop into bowl; sprinkle with zaatar. Store in refrigerator for up to 1 week (if it lasts that long). Easy recipe to double.

The pizza patate was from a recipe I had in my box for quite a while & just hadn't tried yet. It was from the final Gourmet magazine before it went out of publication. According to the intro, this is very popular in Italy. After having it for dinner, along with roasted carrots & green beans, we could see why. The kids did say it would be even better with meat, such as proscuitto or sausage, but again, I could only use what I had. Give it a try~ it's molto buono! I was going to print it all out for you, but you can find the recipe  here & you can find some great bread baking tips too!

The last couple of things I made that day were the jam and the kolaches. I had tried the jam before & it turned out okay but not great. This batch is so much better~ I am pretty convinced it is because of two reasons, 1) the berries (found in the freezer) were from Fordyce Farms, picked last summer
and the Lodge enamel-coated cast iron dutch oven that was a Christmas gift a few years back from my folks. 
The smell wafting from the stove was amazing as the berries & sugar mingled together (with the juice from the 1/2 of lemon I had found) cooking down to a beautiful ruby red. I used some of the jam to fill small fist-size dough rounds, making the Keatley-version of kolaches.  Once filled with a couple tablespoons of jam, I baked them at 375 degrees for 20 minutes.


The Italian Family Jam recipe can be found on the first blog I started following: Orangette. Written by Molly Wizenberg, this was one of my inspriations when I started blogging. The jam recipe can be made with fresh or frozen berries (or stone fruit), so try some when you feel like homemade goodness from a jar.


  1. I am glad our berries made your jam lovely! I have never tried making jelly from frozen berries- do you add pectin, or just boil down the fruit with water and sugar? It looks delicious!

  2. It was great with the frozen berries! This recipe has no pectin & yes, you make it simply by letting the fruit & sugar macerate together for quite a while with a bit of lemon juice. You then cook it down 'til it's thick and lovely then process it in jars. I've tried it before with doing the whole "jar boiling thing" & just popping it freezer containers~ that works okay, but not as good as this batch. YUM!

  3. I am going to have to try making some. Stuart has been plowing his way through about a jar of jelly a day, so my stash is running low!