Honey Sweetened Grasshopper Bars

The Birthday of Saint John the Baptist from Saints: A Year in Faith and Art
There is a great recipe for Grasshopper Parfaits in the archives here at Catholic Cuisine. After making them for the rest of my family, I decided to try and find something that I could enjoy as well for our celebration on the Solemnity of the Birth of Saint John the Baptist since I've been on a strict Autoimmune Protocol (AIP) diet for the past four months.  These Honey Sweetened Grasshopper Bars were perfect and tasted amazing! Cocoa Powder is not on the AIP list of approved foods and it had been a while (113 days to be exact) since I had eaten any chocolate, but so far I haven't noticed any adverse reactions and am hoping that it can remain in my diet as an occasional treat.  This recipe is dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, refined sugar-free, seed-free, nut-free and makes a delicious option for those looking for a healthy dessert!


Honey Sweetened Grasshopper Bars
adapted from Raia's Recipes

Ingredients:

Mint Layer

  • 1 large avocado
  • 1/4 cup organic raw honey 
  • 6 Tbsp coconut oil, melted
  • 1 1/2 c. shredded unsweetened coconut
  • 1/2 tsp peppermint extract (or a few drops of peppermint oil for AIP)
  • dash of salt (I used Real Salt.)


Chocolate Layer




Directions:

Mint Layer
1. Line a 9×9 inch baking dish with foil.
2. Place all ingredients in high powered blender (I used my Vitamix) or a food processor. Blend until smooth.
3. Smooth mixture into prepared dish and stick in the freezer while you prepare the chocolate layer.


Chocolate Layer
1. In small saucepan, melt coconut oil and honey over low heat.
2. Remove from heat and stir in remaining ingredients.
3. Pour over chilled bottom layer and return to the freezer for about 15 minutes, or until the chocolate layer is hardened.
4. Remove from foil and cut into bars.
5. Store covered in the freezer.

Makes approximately 8 servings


Note: These would also make a healthy green treat for St. Patrick's day in March! 


Saint John the Baptist, pray for us! 

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A Dragon Scone for Good St. George

This post was written by Catholic Cuisine contributor, Charlotte from Waltzing Matilda.

The Feast of St. George is coming up tomorrow. We have spent many years slaying a cake dragon in honor of this noble and holy saint. Last year, however, we made a Dragon Scone for the feast of St. George. If you are looking for an alternative to the Dragon Cake and would prefer something not slathered in frosting, maybe give this one a try. I used a basic scone recipe (which I will include below) to make a serpentine shape. It took a little longer to bake than normal scones but otherwise, everything else was the same.


Last year, I used a left over slice of cake to make the head. This year, I think I'm just going to use another scone. That will probably mean I'll make a double or a 1.5 batch of of the recipe below.


I covered the body in homemade whipped cream and used sliced strawberries for the scales and feet. The pastry wing was also leftover from Easter brunch. I'm not sure our dragon will have wings this year. Two M&M's make the eyes. You can serve it for breakfast or as an after dinner treat.


Let us know below… are you doing anything special for St. George's Day?

Basic Scones 
(single batch: yields 12 scones or 1 dragon body)

1 1/2 C. all purpose flour
1/4 C. sugar
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 C. cold butter
1/4 C. sour cream (can substitute plain greek yogurt)
1/4 C. milk

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In medium bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder and salt. Using pastry blender, cut in butter until mixture resembles course crumbs (you can use a food processor just pulse it to get the coarse crumbs). Stir in sour cream (greek yogurt) and milk. Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; roll out to 1/4 inch thickness. Cut out desired shapes, place on parchment paper covered cookie sheet. (For the dragon scone, I just shaped the dough into the shape I wanted on the cookie sheet. Sprinkle with sugar, if desired. Bake 12-15 minutes or until lightly browned.

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Viking Shield Cookies for the Feast of St. Magnus


The feast of St. Magnus, Earl of Orkney, is celebrated on April 16th. To celebrate his feast this year I made some quick and easy Viking Shield Cookies with a few ingredients I happened to have in my cupboard. You can find additional photos, prayers, and book suggestions over at Shower of Roses


Ingredients:
  • Fudge Stripes, Dark Chocolate 
  • White Candy Melts, melted
  • Hershey Kisses

Directions:


Unwrap the Hershey Kisses and place one over the center of each Fudge Stripes cookie. 


Place the melted candy (or melted white chocolate chips) into a baggie and clip off the corner with a pair of scissors leaving a small hole. Squeeze some melted candy onto the bottom of each Hershey kiss to attach them to the cookie.


Add additional dots of melted candy around the outside of the shield. Let dry. 


Happy Feast of St. Magnus! 

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Divine Mercy Cake

The following recipe was submitted by Susan, from Sole Searching Mama, for the feast of Divine Mercy. Thank you, Susan!


Divine Mercy Cake

Ingredients:
  • 1 white cake mix
  • 1 small package Jell-O, any flavor (I used strawberry)
  • 1 package dream whip (in the pudding/Jell-O section)
  • 1 package vanilla instant pudding
  • 1 ½ cup very cold milk
  • 1 tsp. vanilla

Preheat oven to 350. Dissolve jello in ¾ cup boiling water. Add ½ cup of very cold water to the jello, set aside until it reaches room temperature. Bake the cake in a 9” x 13” pan as directed (I added 1 tsp. clear vanilla to the cake to give it more flavor.). Cool the cake for about 30 minutes. With the cake still warm, poke holes in the cake about ½ inch apart. I used a chop stick and wiggled the stick a bit to create an open hole for the jello to flow into. Slowly pour the jello into the holes. Place the cake in the fridge to chill. In a bowl, blend together dream whip, pudding, cold milk and vanilla until stiff and fluffy, about 4-6 minutes. Frost the cake and garnish as desired.

The following combinations make a lovely cake:
Strawberry Jell-O with strawberry garnish
Peach Jell-O with mint leaf garnish
Orange Jell-O with a mandarin orange garnish
Raspberry Jell-O with raspberry garnish



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A Dinner for the Feast of St. Gemma Galgani

The following post was submitted by Sarah Rose, from Rose's Supposes, for the feast of St. Agnes which is celebrated on April 11th. Thank you Sarah Rose!

While still knowing very little about St. Gemma Galgani, our family asked for her intercession to help with my husband's back pain. When I saw that her feast day was coming up I did a little more research and found that she has an incredible story. She was devoted to Christ's passion, and had an intimate relationship with Jesus which included ecstasies and bearing the stigmata. She greatly desired to be a nun, but was unable to due to her poor health. Even so, because of her devotion she was buried in the Passionist habit. You can learn more about St. Gemma at www.stgemmagalgani.com. This website even has a great little comic about St. Gemma for kids, which I've linked to directly here.

I also found that she would be a great intercessor for my husband in more ways than one. Not only is she patron of people with back pain and people with frequent migraines, both of which my husband struggles with, but she is also the patron of pharmacy and my husband is almost complete with his pharmacy tech certification! What a wonderful discovery for our family!

To help celebrate this wonderful saint we had Italian for dinner, because she was from Italy, and a chocolate cake depicting the symbol on the Passionist habit. I wanted to use a heart shaped pan, but we're in a transitional stage right now and all my special pans are in box somewhere. I've included the recipe for my spinach alfredo lasagna, and a picture of the cake. To make the cake I simply used a boxed cake mix and store bought frosting. Hey, its a weeknight!

Spinach Alfredo Lasagna 
(with chicken and roasted red bell peppers)

whole wheat lasagna noodles
1 lb ground turkey or chicken
1 jar alfredo sauce
1 15 oz container ricotta cheese
1 box frozen chopped spinach - thawed
1 jar roasted red bell peppers - drained and chopped
shredded mozzarella cheese
grated parmesan cheese

1. Boil the lasagna noodles. While they cook brown the meat, and mix the spinach and peppers with the ricotta cheese. Drain the noodles.

2. Spread a little alfredo sauce on the bottom of a baking dish. This helps prevent sticking. Reserve some alfredo for the top layer. Mix the rest of the alfredo sauce with the meat. Put down a layer of noodles, a layer of meat, a layer of mozzarella, and then a layer of the ricotta mixture, repeat. (the order really isn't terribly important, so don't worry about it too much!) Finish with a top layer of noodles covered with alfredo, mozzarella, and some parmesan cheese

3. Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes to an hour. Enjoy!

 

ST. GEMMA GALGANI'S PRAYER

O my crucified God, behold me at Your feet; do not cast me out, now that I appear before You as a sinner. I have offended You exceedingly in the past, my Jesus, but it shall be so no longer.

Before You, O Lord, I place all my sins; I have now considered Your own sufferings and see how great is the worth of that Precious Blood that flows from Your veins.

O my God, at this hour close Your eyes to my want of merit, and since You have been pleased to die for my sins, grant me forgiveness for them all, that I may no longer feel the burden of my sins, for this burden, Dear Jesus, oppresses me beyond measure.

Assist me, my Jesus, for I desire to become good whatsoever it may cost; take away, destroy, utterly root out all that You find in me contrary to Your holy will. At the same time, I pray You, Lord Jesus, to enlighten me that I may be able to walk in Your holy light. Amen.


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Dairy Free Blueberry Annunciation Smoothies

This recipe was submitted by past Catholic Cuisine contributor Amy. You can find additional pictures of her cute children enjoying their Annunciation Smoothies over at her blog, Knit Together.


I thought I would share this with you super quick.  It is an easy way to whip together something special for the Feast of the Annunciation today.  I did a dairy free version, but you can replace the canned coconut milk with yogurt and the almond mil with regular cow's milk if you prefer.

You will need:
  • 2-3 cups Frozen Blueberries
  • 1-2 cups Frozen Peaches (or other fruit)
  • 1 Can Coconut Milk
  • Almond Milk
  • approx. 1/4 cup Sweetener of your choice, I used Maple Syrup

Put the frozen fruit in blender.  I use peaches too because blueberries can be a really strong flavor and some people, especially kids, might not like it.  Next, add the canned coconut milk (this will make it thick and creamy) and sweetener.  At this point you want to pour in the almond milk.  I do this by eye.  Depending on how thick you want your smoothie, you will want to fill the blender halfway or up to covering the frozen fruit.


Blend it thoroughly!


If you need more almond milk, fruit, or sweetener feel free!  Make it to your taste.


Additional recipes for the Solemnity of the Annunciation can be found in the archives

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Cathedral Cake for St. Joseph

"He was chosen by the eternal Father as the trustworthy guardian and protector of his greatest treasures, namely, his divine Son and Mary, Joseph’s wife. He carried out this vocation with complete fidelity until at last God called him, saying: “Good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord." - St. Bernardine of Siena


Bake a cake in a cathedral shaped pan in honor of St. Joseph, patron of the Universal Church. Some pan options include this Cathedral Bundt Pan, this Vaulted Cathedral Pan, and this Stained Glass Bundt Pan.  Be sure to take a moment to offer a prayer for all priests!

Prayer for Priests to St. Joseph

O illustrious patriarch St. Joseph, who carried the Infant Jesus in thy blessed arms and who, during the space of thirty years, lived in the most intimate familiarity with Him, take under thy powerful protection those whom He has clothed with His authority and honored with with the dignity of His priesthood, whom He has charged to continue His mission, to preach His Gospel, and to dispense everywhere His graces and blessings. Sustain them in their fatigues and labors; console them in their pains; fortify them in their combats; but above all, keep far from them all the evils of sin.

Obtain for them the humility of St. John the Baptist, the faith of St. Peter, the zeal and charity of St. Paul, the purity of St. John and the spirit of prayer and recollection of which thou, my dear Saint, art the model, so that, after having been on earth, the faithful dispensers of the Mysteries of thy foster Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, they may in Heaven receive the recompense promised to pastors according to the Heart of God. Amen.

St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, Pray for Us!

Additional recipes for the Solemnity of St. Joseph can be found in the archives

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