Saint Germaine and the Sheep


Last week I baked a batch of twenty-four yellow cupcakes. I decorated the first eight for the feast of St. Columba, eight more for the feast of St. Anthony, and this afternoon I decided to decorate the last remaining eight as sheep to go along with the story Saint Germaine and the Sheep for today's feast of St. Germaine Cousin who was a shepherdess nearly from infancy. You can read more about St. Germaine here

Originally I thought I would use miniature marshmallows, similar to our Good Shepherd Cupcakes, but we're out and I didn't want to make a trip to the store so I improvised with the last of the frosting and a round decorating tip. They turned out so cute! 

Saint Germaine's Flock of Sheep Cupcakes

Supplies: 
Yellow Cupcakes
Fluffy White Whipped Frosting
Large Marshmallows


Unwrap each cupcake and frost top with Fluffy White Whipped Frosting. 


Cut the marshmallows to create face and ears for on top of each cupcakes. 

For the face: Cup marshmallow in half across the middle. Use one half for each cupcake. 

For the ears: Cut marshmallow diagonally from corner to corner. Cut one half of the marshmallow again, down the middle, to create two ears for each cupcake. 


Place the marshmallow face and ears on top of the frosted cupcake, sticky side up. 


Add two eyes and a heart shaped nose to each cupcake. 


Using a round decorating tip, pipe dots of frosting around the face and ears, covering the top of the cupcake to create a fluffy sheep. 


You can find additional ideas for celebrating the feast of St. Germaine, including the link to a lovely coloring page, over at Shower of Roses


Saint Germaine, pray for us! 

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Sacred Heart Quesadillas

The month of June is dedicated to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. The following recipe for Sacred Heart Quesadillas was submitted by Tatiana. Thank you, Tatiana! 


Inspired by the Holy Spirit, I made these homemade organic flour tortillas, cut with a cookie cutter, and decorated with what I had on hand...tomatoes. It is much easier to cut pre-made tortillas if in a hurry.

Homemade Flour Tortillas

Directions: 
  1. Mix 5 tablespoons of soft coconut oil or butter into to 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour until evenly distributed.  
  2. Dissolve 3/4 teaspoon salt into 3/4 cup of warm water. 
  3. Add water gradually flour until a dough ball is formed. Use your hands to knead. Add more flour or water as needed. 
  4. Separate dough into 12 balls. Allow to rest for 30 minutes. 
  5. Roll out as thin as possible. Use flour if needed. 
  6. Cook on medium until it starts to bubble. Flip over and add cheese, cover with another tortilla that has one side already cooked, then flip over again as cheese starts to melt. 
  7. Garnish with tomatoes in honor to recall the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus. 

Heart of Jesus, burning furnace of charity, have mercy on us!

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St. Anthony "Little Tongues" Linguini


In a recent post for St. Mark's feast day I suggested a penne pasta dish for the pasta shape symbolism of quills. As shared then, there are hundreds of kinds of Italian pastas, and each one has its own special name and the names are usually symbolic to the shapes. I am finding it fun to make a connections for creative dish or celebrations for saints and their symbols.

Linguini is a long flat pasta, (thinner and more narrow than fettucine). Linguine means “little tongues” in Italian due to this shape. It is a versatile pasta and often used with a savory seafood sauces.

 In thinking of the significance of the tongue shape for any saints, I thought of several with a tongue association. St. Anthony of Padua, whose feast is June 13 was known as a gifted preacher. When his crypt was opened, they found that the saint’s body had been reduced to dust and bones, but his tongue was intact and life-like. This was taken a sign from God confirming the ardent gifts of preaching and teaching that Saint Anthony had enjoyed on earth. There are also a couple saints who are referred to as "honey-tongued" doctors - St. Ambrose and St. Bernard of Clairvaux.

Pasta is a great option because it is quick to prepare and can be paired with a prepared sauce or simple seasoning and make an easy feast day meal or side. I decided to pair some linguine with pesto for a light side dish. In addition to being delicious pesto contains basil as a main ingredient. There is a custom in Italy of giving pots of basil away on St. Anthony's feast day and so I have come to associate basil with St. Anthony. Including a basil component to the linguine increased that symbolism, but any Italian sauce or flavoring would be appropriate for this beloved saint, who died in Italy. Thinking ahead to the other possible tongue symbol saints, a honey based pasta sauce seems fitting.

So I hope you consider an easy side for St. Anthony's feast day - "little tongue" linguine in remembrance of his eloquent preaching.

St. Anthony of Padua, Pray for us!


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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


GAROFALO
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.

Mudrica


Ingredients:
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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