Add to my growing list of “favorite things” the wonderful compendium of parish and organization cookbooks with their bounty of insight on the faithfulness and creativity of cooks in the Diocese of Trenton.
More and more, I turn to these books, reading through them for insight, inspiration and just plain fun.
That’s the title of a new cookbook lovingly compiled by the members of the Rosary-Altar Society which has been a thriving partner at St. Joseph Parish, Toms River, for 86 of its 127 years.
The book, a fund raiser for various parish projects, has received glowing write-ups from area newspapers and according to published reports, it is selling very well. The group is hoping to raise $7,500 to $8,000 once all the books are sold.
The books are $25 including shipping and handling and can be ordered by calling: Eleanor Phelps at 732-288-1684; Ginny DiMaggio at 732-929-1315; Carol Mayer, 732-349-8296 and Olivia Carlisle at 732-270-6283. The cookbooks can also be ordered online at www.cookbooks.com using the item number 09812
Recipes run the gamut from traditional favorites such as vegetable lasagna and baked spaghetti to a tempting takes on Maryland crab cakes, beer bread and turkey muffins. Desserts include “St. Theresa Cookies” by Bertha Romanow of Lavallette and Sugar-Free Walnut Cake by Monty Lask.
The group “spiced” the cookbook with a collection of favorite prayers and “words of wisdom,” cooking hints & tips, ingredient substitutions (something I find very appealing in this day and age of complex cookery).
Interesting features include orginal artwork depicting the shore and a “recipe pocket” for saving favorite recipes and gluten free and low cal recipes as well.
Enjoy this recipe for Easy Vegetable Lasagna by parishioner Dottie O’Loughlin:
Ingredients: 12 uncooked lasagna noodles; 1/2 cup water; 3 cups Ricotta or less; 32 oz. of your favorite spaghetti sauce; 8 oz. mozzarella or more according to taste; 10 oz. frozen chopped spinach; 1 egg.
Directions: Microwave spinach 5 to 6 minutes and squeeze dry. Mix Ricotta, egg and spinach together. Mix sauce and water. Spread 1/4 of sauce mix on bottom of 13 X 9 pan. Cover with uncooked lasagna noodles. Spread 1/2 spinach mix. Spread 1/3 mozzarella cheese. Repeat layers ending with sauce on top. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes until hot and bubbly (covered). Uncover for 2 minutes until lightly brown. Let stand for 10 minutes before serving.