Holy Spirit Cupcakes for Pentecost

Decorate cupcakes with red sprinkles and white chocolate doves for a simple and symbolic Pentecost dessert! I packed along these cupcakes to share at our Homeschool Family Camp last year.

Candy molds are easy to use and can be purchased inexpensively online. Other options include these Pentecost Cupcakes made with dove cupcake picks from the wedding section of the craft store and these beautiful Flaming Cupcakes for Pentecost

You can find additional recipes for Pentecost in the archives. Our family favorite has always been a Symbolic Birthday Cake for our beloved Church. I hope you all have a blessed Pentecost Sunday!

One loving spirit sets another on fire. 
~ St. Augustine

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Ascension Cake

Our diocese is one that has moved the Solemnity of the Ascension to Sunday -- today, so today we celebrated Ascension Sunday and Mother's Day. 

My mother happens to love my deep dark chocolate cake frosted with whipped cream rather than buttercream frosting, and whipped cream just makes such heavenly looking clouds of yum, that I was reminded of the Ascension of Jesus. 

"When they had gathered together they asked him, 'Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel? ' He answered them, 'It is not for you to know the times or seasons that the Father has established by his own authority.But you will receive power when the holy Spirit comes upon you, and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, throughout Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth.' When he had said this, as they were looking on, he was lifted up, and a cloud took him from their sight." Acts 1:6-9

Ascension of Christ

I created some edible Sacred Hearts of Jesus with strawberries, some melted chocolate chips in an icing bag (or ziploc bag) and some whipped cream tinted orange for some flames. It didn't turn out quite exactly what I had in mind, but the ratio of result to work was pretty high (ie very little work) and the taste was delicious, so I'll not complain. Believe me, if you've never decorated a cake, you can handle this one.

You could technically hide any cake under the whipped cream, but my mom loves the contrast of the dark chocolate cake with the whipped cream, and it was Mother's Day, so dark chocolate it was. This cake is from scratch, but don't let that fool you -- it couldn't be easier. And frosting with whipped cream is so foolproof, you can have this cake finished in no time. 

Deep Dark Chocolate Cake
2 cups sugar
1 ¾ cups flour
¾ cup cocoa
1 ½ t. baking soda
1 ½ t. baking powder
1 t. salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
½ cups oil
2 t. vanilla
1 cup boiling water

Heat oven to 350 degrees.
Grease and flour two round 9” pans.
In a large mixing bowl combine dry ingredients.
Add eggs, milk, oil, and vanilla.
Beat on medium speed for two minutes.
Stir in boiling water (by hand). (Batter will be thin.)
Pour into prepared pans.
Bake for 30-35 minutes
(inserted toothpick will have moist crumbs, but nothing "wet").
Cool 10 minutes before removing from pans.
Cool completely before frosting.

Whipped Cream Frosting

3 c. whipping cream
4 T. instant vanilla pudding mix
4 T. powdered sugar

In a large mixing bowl, begin whipping cream on medium.
Add pudding mix and powdered sugar and turn up to high.
Whip until cream is very fluffy and holds its peaks
(just don't go to far and make butter).
After cake is completely cool, frost in between layers, sides and top of cake.
Decorate if desired.

For Sacred Heart strawberries:
Wash and pat dry two large strawberries (cut them so that you get 
two heart-shaped halves from each).
Cut the leaves out by cutting out the hull and creating a heart shape at the cut end. 
Place 1/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips in an icing bag. Microwave for 30-60 seconds until melted. Cut tip off bag and pipe chocolate onto the strawberry in the shape of a crown of thorns (it might help to refer to an image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus). Let chocolate set and then place them in the center of the cake (if you have smaller strawberries than I did, you might need to use three -- for six halves). Tint a little bit of whipped cream yellow or orange and place in icing (or ziploc bag). Pipe flames coming from the tops of the "hearts".

Refrigerate cake before serving and refrigerate leftovers.

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Penne Pasta "Quills" for the Evangelists

There are hundreds of kinds of Italian pastas, and each one has its own, special name.  Each pasta name actually means something which can be really fun and symbolic for making a connection for a creative dish or celebration.

Penne pasta is a tubular shaped pasta with slanted ends. The name means “quills” or “feathers” and is so named because of this shape. We associate quills with feather pens and writing. Many saints who were writers, doctors, evangelists are depicted holding a quill.

Because of its shape, penne complement virtually every sauce and are exceptional when paired with a chunky sauce. Penne pairs nicely with chunky meat, chunky vegetable, cream, or oil based sauces. It is also a good shape to use for baked dishes.

Red is the vestment color used liturgically for the feast of martyrs and also for the evangelists. St. Mark, whose feast is today was both. Making a dish using the "quill" shaped pasta in a creamy sauce with sun-dried tomatoes will include the symbols both of him as a writer of the Gospel represented by the quill shape and as a martyr/evangelist with the red.   While I chose a sun-dried tomato and cream basse option, any of the marinara sauces would be equally fitting for an evangelist. 
Evangelist Feast Days
St. Mark - April 25
St. Luke - October 18
St. Matthew - September 21
St. John - December 27

Creamy Sun-dried Tomato Penne

2 C. dried penne or mini penne pasta
1 T. olive oil
1/2 C. sun-dried tomatoes (chopped)
1/2 C. cream
1/4 C. freshly grated parmesan
1/2 t. garlic powder

Boil pasta. While waiting for pasta to cook, saute sun-dried tomatoes in olive oil for a few minutes. Add cream and mix. Add parmesan and garlic powder. Mix. Drain pasta and pour sauce over warm pasta. Serves 4.

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Mudrica - St. Joseph's Sawdust

On St. Joseph's feast day in Italy, many pay tribute to the carpenter saint by sprinkling "sawdust" over pasta. There are different variations on the "sawdust" ingredients. This recipe for Mudrica (St. Joseph's Sawdust) is adapted from John Besh's My New Orleans: The Cookbook. You can read more about Mudrica in the archived St. Joseph Altar foods post by Jenn Miller.


1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2 T. olive oil
3 tbsp. grated parmesan
2 tbsp. toasted pine nuts
2 tbsp. dried currants
1/2 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
pinch fresh chopped oregano leaves
pinch of salt

Directions: Put all the ingredients in food processor and pulse 4 or 5 times or until the mixture is well combined. Sprinkle over buttered pasta of choice.

St. Joseph, Most Courageous, Pray for us!

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Pesto Tortellini Shamrocks for St. Patrick's Day

Looking for an easy and cute lunch idea for St. Patrick's Day. Using frozen tortellini, jarred pesto, and a broccoli stem you can make these fun edible shamrocks.  I had a tri-color package so used both the green and white ones.  You can use a variety of veggies for the stem - broccoli, green bean, celery.

St. Patrick, Pray for us!

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Celtic Knot Graham Cookies

This graham flour cookie is a festive treat for St. Patrick's Day or any other Irish saint feast day tea party. 

Celtic Knot Graham Cookies


2 cups all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cups graham flour
3 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup molasses
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract


Sift flours, baking soda and salt into large bowl.  Beat butter in another large bowl at medium speed until smooth and creamy, about 2 minutes.  Add brown sugar and beat together. Add molasses and beat until fluffy.  Add egg and beat until well blended.  Reduce speed to low and add vanilla.  Add flour mixture and graham cracker crumbs and beat on low speed just to blend.

Wrap ball of dough in plastic wrap.  Chill until firm, at least 4 hours and preferably overnight.
Sprinkle work surface with flour and roll out 1/2 of dough. Refrigerate unused portion.

Roll lengths of dough into ropes and, working on a parchment-lined baking sheet, twist them into knots as shown.  I printed out a 3 inch celtic knot clipart to use as a template and place under the parchment paper. 

Bake in pre-heated oven (350° F) for 8-12 minutes.  Let cool on pan until firm enough to transfer to wire racks. Sprinkle with powdered sugar. Cool completely.  Makes about 2 dozen, 3-inch knot cookies.

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Meatless Meals :: Chunky Tuna Salad Wraps

I just finished sharing this recipe for one of my new favorite meatless meals over at Shower of Roses and decided I'd share it here at Catholic Cuisine as well! I hope you are all having a blessed Lent!

 Chunky Tuna Salad Wraps
adapted from The Healing Kitchen

Directions and Ingredients:
  • 2 - 5oz cans Wild Planet Albacore Tuna (I buy it at Costco.) 
  • 2/3 cup red grapes, quartered
  • 2/3 cup celery, diced
  • 1/2 cup dried apricots, diced
  • 1/4 cup green onions, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons shallots, diced
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

Mix all ingredients together until well combined.

Make Avocado Mayo:  (Note: I halve the cookbook's recipe and use the following.)
  • 1 large ripe avocado, peeled and pitted
  • 1/8 cup plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 3/4 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

Place avocado in blender. With the blender running, slowly drizzle in the olive oil until combined. Add the remaining ingredients and puree until smooth.

Add 1/2 cup Avocado Mayo to Chunky Tuna Salad. Mix until combined.
  • Baby Spinach or Mixed Greens
  • Paleo Wraps - Original or Tumeric (I've had my eye on these ever since I started my AIP diet last March... My husband convinced me to splurge on them during one of our recent grocery shopping date nights. I love them and it's so nice to be able to eat a wrap made with something more than just lettuce again!) 

Place a bed of baby spinach or mixed greens and a scoop or two of chunky tuna on top of a Paleo Wrap and roll up.

Serve with Inka Plantain Chips.

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