Fourth Sunday of Advent

The time has come to light the fourth candle in the Advent Wreath. As far as the wreath is concerned, the wait is over. The next candle to be lit will be on Christmas Morning. This is the final Sunday of Advent, dedicated to God’s unconditional love.

Love is patient, love is kind. As a parent, we know just how patient and kind love must be. God, the Father, is forever patient with us. Look at how we sometimes behave toward one another, like little children in the backseat screaming “he’s touching me!” We are so often squabbling siblings, turning a deaf ear toward God’s whispered guidance. Yet He is continually patient.

Sadly, Christians sometimes act superior and sit in judgment of others. We are so busy feeling special in our Christian Righteousness that we forget the greatest commandment of all; to love God and to love one another. He commands us to love one another as He loves us. It is an unconditional, unselfish love. The reason for the season is love. It is with this focus that the final candle of the Advent Wreath is lit, as a beacon of light in the darkness. Let us be that light in what we say, in what we do and how we treat one another. For there is no greater gift than love.

Opening Prayer: Lord God, Lamb of God
Let Yours blessings come upon us
As we light the candles of this Advent wreath.
May the wreath and its light be a symbol
Of Christ’s promise of eternal salvation.

Response: Let us go rejoicing to the house of the Lord.

As the first (purple) candle is lit
Prayer: Blessed are you, Lord, God of all creation.
In the darkness and in the light, Holy is Your Name.
We place our hope in you, Oh Lord,
As we prepare our hearts to celebrate the coming of the Lord

Response: Now and forever. Amen.

As the second (purple) candle is lit
Prayer: Blessed are you, Lord; God of all creation.
Let your light shine on those who dwell in darkness.
Let the earth receive her King
And fill our hearts with Your everlasting peace

Response: Now and forever. Amen.

As the third (pink) candle is lit
Prayer: Blessed are you, Lord; God of all creation.
Let our heats be glad as we wait in joyful hope
For the coming of our Lord
Give us a heart, O Lord, that seeks You always

Response: O Come, O Come, Emmanuel

As the forth (purple) candle is lit
Prayer: Rejoice, for God so loved the world
That He gave us His only Begotten Son
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Now and forever.

Response: Rejoice, Rejoice, Emmanuel

Advent (4)

Fourth Sunday of Advent Supper
Provence Mixed Green Salad with Walnuts


Ricotta Stuffed Salmon in a Lemon-Butter Sauce with Asparagus Pesto
Parmesan Garlic Risotto

Fruity Christmas Trifle

Christmas Trifle

Provence Mixed Greens Salad
8 oz Mesclun (4 large handfuls mixed greens)
2 oz Chervil
2 Garlic Cloves, pressed
1/2 Red Onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon Balsamic Vinegar
1 tablespoon Olive Oil
1 tablespoon Truffle Oil
Sea Salt to taste
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
2 tablespoons Walnuts, chopped
Feta Cheese, if desired

Note: If you absolutely cannot find chervil, use a blend of parsley and tarragon – the parsley will give you the look and texture of Chervil, while the tarragon will impart that hint of licorice.

Wash the greens and spin dry. Press garlic over the greens and mix with your hands, gently “rubbing” the garlic onto the tender leaves. Sprinkle greens with chopped Chervil. Peel and slice half a red onion into thin rings. Break rings apart and add to greens. Toss gently to mix everything together. Set greens aside.

In a glass measuring cup, whisk vinegar, olive oil and truffle oil together. Season to taste with a little seal salt and fresh ground pepper. Pour oil mixture into the bottom of a serving bow. A chilled metal bowl works well.

Set the greens on top of oil mixture and refrigerate.

Mix at the table when ready to serve. Pass the Feta cheese and walnuts table-side for those who want a little something extra. Serves 4 generously.

Ricotta Stuffed Salmon in a Lemon-Butter Sauce with Asparagus Pesto
Stuffed Salmon

4 (5 oz) Salmon Fillets, skins removed
Kosher salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
12 oz Whole Milk Ricotta
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
2 tablespoons fresh Basil, chopped
2 teaspoons Lemon Zest
1/2 pound Asparagus, trimmed

Heat oven to 425 degrees. Line a large rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly spray with cooking spray. Set aside.

Season the salmon fillets with salt and pepper to taste, set aside.

In a mixing bowl, stir together the Ricotta and Parmesan Cheeses. Finely mince basil, add to the cheese mixture. Zest the lemon and add to the cheese. Set aside.

Rinse and trim the asparagus of the woody ends. Pat dry with paper towels.

Divide the cheese mixture down the center of each salmon filet. Top with several spears of asparagus. Carefully roll up the salmon to encase the asparagus-cheese. Placing on the baking sheet with the seam side down, tucking the ends as needed.

Bake in the heated oven until the salmon is just cooked, about 15-20 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the Lemon-Butter Sauce and the Asparagus Pesto.

Lemon-Butter Sauce
1 tablespoon Butter
1/2 cup Chicken Stock
2 tablespoons Lemon Juice
2 teaspoons Cornstarch

Melt the butter in a small sauce pan over medium heat. While the butter melts, mix together the chicken stock, lemon juice and cornstarch. Add the mixture to the butter and heat until it thickens, about 3-5 minutes.

Asparagus Pesto
1 cup Asparagus
1/2 cup Basil
2 tablespoons Pine Nuts, toasted
4 tablespoons Parmesan Cheese, grated
2 Garlic Cloves
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
1/2 lemon, zest and juice only
Kosher Salt to taste
White Pepper to taste

Trim and discard woody ends of the asparagus, cut remaining asparagus into 1-inch pieces.

Bring a saucepan of water to a rolling boil. Drop asparagus into the water and blanch for about a minute or two. Drain, pat dry. Place asparagus into the bowl of a food processor fitted with a blade.

Tear the basil into small pieces, add to the food processor along with the pine nuts and Parmesan Cheese. Peel the garlic cloves, toss whole into the processor.

Cut the lemon in half. Zest half of the lemon directly into the food processor. Squeeze the juices from the zested lemon over the ingredients in the food processor. Pulse a few times to begin, then, with the blade running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until the mixture is smooth but not liquid. Taste the pesto, adjust with salt and pepper to taste. Set aside until ready to use.

Once the salmon has baked, drizzle the butter sauce over each filet, then top with the asparagus pesto just before serving.

Parmesan Garlic Risotto
8 cups Chicken Broth
1/2 White Onion
2 Garlic Cloves
1/4 cup Olive Oil
3 cups Arborio Rice
1 cup dry White Wine
Kosher Salt to taste
Black Pepper to taste
1/2 cup Parmesan Cheese
3 tablespoons Parsley for garnish

In a large saucepan, heat broth and keep warm. Cut an onion in half tip to root. Peel half of the onion, finely mince and set aside. Peel and finely mince the garlic, set aside.

In a Dutch oven, sauté the minced onion in oil over medium-high heat until tender. Add rice and garlic; cook, stir with a wooden spoon for 2 to 3 minutes to lightly toast the rice.

Reduce heat; stir in wine. Cook, stirring constantly, until all of the liquid is absorbed.

Add the heated broth, about half-a-cup at a time, while stirring constantly. Allow the broth to be absorbed between additions. Continue to cook, adding broth, until the risotto is creamy and rice is almost tender, about 20 minutes.

Remove from heat. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the Parmesan Cheese, cover and let the cheese melt into the rice.

Transfer to a serving bowl. Finely mince parsley and garnish the Risotto just before serving.

Christmas Trifle
2 Packages French Vanilla Pudding Mix (small boxes)
4 Cups Eggnog, well chilled
1 can (8 oz) Crushed Pineapple
3 medium Bananas, sliced
1 prepared Angel Food Cake (8 to 10 ounces)
1 Jar Red Maraschino Cherries
1 Jar Green Maraschino Cherries
1 1/2 Tubs Cool Whip
1/4 Cup Chopped Walnuts

Note: Use the cherries in a jar, not the candied ones in the bakery section for fruit cakes. Candied cherries are very sticky. Although in a pinch, those would do.

Empty contents of Vanilla pudding and eggnog into a mixing bowl. Whip for about 2 minutes. Place in refrigerator to chill well until ready to use.

Place a fine-mesh strainer over a small bowl. Drain pineapple, pushing down to remove as much of the juice as possible, reserving juice.

Dip bananas in the pineapple juice; and place on a paper towel to soak up excess juice. (The juice will slow the browning of the bananas).

Cut angel food cake into 1 inch pieces. Line the bottom of a 4-quart trifle dish with some cake.

Place half of the eggnog pudding over the cake. Place a layer of bananas and cherries over the pudding. Sprinkle half of the pineapples over the fruit, then spread 1/2 of the cool whip on top.

Layer again with cake, eggnog pudding, bananas, cherries and pineapple. Top with remaining cool whip.

Garnish with sliced bananas, cherries and walnuts as desired.

Chill well before serving.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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