An Advent Appetizer for Feast of Immaculate Conception


This simple appetizer with its combination of ingredients: goat cheese, pomegranates, thyme, and honey - holds symbolism for the Feast of the Immaculate Conception and the Advent season. It is a yummy flavor combination, too, with the tangy sweetness of the pomegranates contrasting to the tartness of the goat cheese. Just top your favorite cracker and enjoy.

The pomegranate is often depicted in paintings of the the Madonna and Child. It's availability during the months around Christmas also make it a great food for the Advent and Christmas season.  While suggested for today, it is actually a fitting appetizer for anytime during the Advent or Christmas season.
Madonna of the Pomegranate ~ Sandro Botticelli

The four ingredients all have a symbolism or connection to make them fitting for this feast:
Pomegranate – fruit that is a symbol of the hope of eternal life through Christ the Word made flesh White (goat cheese) - symbol of Our Lady’s purity/Immaculate Conception
Thyme – herb that is a symbol of Mary’s humility
Honey – a “locust and honey” nod to St. John (2nd Sunday of Advent)

Pomegranate & Thyme Goat Cheese Log

Ingredients:
4 oz. goat cheese log
~ 1/2 cup of pomegranate arils
fresh thyme sprigs
honey

Directions:
Allow the goat cheese to sit at room temperature for about 15 minutes to soften. Add pomegranate arils to top and sides - gently pressing in to hold. Strip the thyme leaves from the stem. Sprinkle thyme leaves over the cheese log. Drizzle with honey. Serve with crackers.


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St. Jerome and the Lion Cupcakes


At the end of each September, I love turning our leftover Michaelmas Cupcakes into the face of a lion for the kids to enjoy while we read the legend of St. Jerome and the Lion. You can find many options for today's feast listed in our September Book Basket over at Shower of Roses.

I shared this idea here in the archives many years ago but my children all agree that our newer lions look so much better. Here are some pictures from recent years!

Our 2015 Cupcakes • Original post at Shower of Roses

Our 2016 Cupcakes • Original Post at Shower of Roses

Our 2018 Cupcakes • Original post at Shower of Roses
Saint Jerome and the Lion from our out-of-print copy (The Neumann Press, 2000 Edition)
of Legends of Saints and Beasts by Ann Marie Jauss originally published in 1954.
+ + + 

"So valuable to heaven is the dignity of the human soul that every member of the human race has a guardian angel from the moment the person begins to be." - St. Jerome

The feast of the Holy Guardian Angels is coming up in a couple days! 

St. Jerome, Ora Pro Nobis!
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Our Annual Michaelmas Cupcakes


Our Annual Michaelmas Cupcakes 🗡 
#michaelmas #devilsfoodcupcake #stabitwithasword


Saint Michael the Archangel, Ora Pro Nobis!

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Saint Benedict Farmhouse Ale


Happy Feast of St. Benedict! 🍻 

"In the ordinary form of the Roman rite, the feast of St. Benedict of Nusia is today, the date on which his relics are believed to have been translated to Fleury Abbey in St. Benoît-sur-Loire in France. In the traditional or extraordinary form of the Roman rite, his feast day is March 21, the day of his heavenly birthday. We don't blame you for wanting to celebrate the founder of Western monasticism twice in one year. After all, given all the drinks the Benedictines developed, you'll need far more than one sitting to appreciate them." - Drinking with the Saints


While we were in Oregon this past weekend, for my little sister's wedding, we were able to stop back by Benedictine Brewery to purchase a couple more glasses and some more of their great beer. Unfortunately our options were pretty limited following the 4th of July rush!

SAINT BENEDICT
Farmhouse Ale

A session ale in the farmhouse tradition, this beer gets its name because it was first brewed on March 21 and first served on July 11, the two annual feasts of St. Benedict. Bears the fresh aroma of yeast. Complex flavor for a lighter beer, with a slightly tart and peppery finish. Stands well as a cold beverage on a summer day. ABV about 4.7%.

This will be perfect to go along with the Benedictine Pizza found in the archives!

You can browse through all the different beers they have available at Benedictine Brewery here.

Saint Benedict, Ora Pro Nobis!

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Cupcake Forest for the Feast of St. John Gualbert


ST. JOHN GUALBERT 
Patron of Foresters, Forest Workers, Park Rangers and Parks
Feast Day - July 12

St. John Gualbert was born at Florence, A. D. 999. Following the profession of arms at that troubled period, he became involved in a blood-feud with a near relative. One Good Friday, as he was riding into Florence accompanied by armed men, he encountered his enemy in a place where neither could avoid the other. John would have slain him; but his adversary, who was totally unprepared to fight, fell upon his knees with his arms stretched out in the form of a cross, and implored him, for the sake of Our Lord's holy Passion, to spare his life. St. John said to his enemy, "I cannot refuse what you ask in Christ's name. I grant you your life, and I give you my friendship. Pray that God may forgive me my sin." Grace triumphed. A humble and changed man, he entered the Church of St. Miniato, which was near; and whilst he prayed, the figure of our crucified Lord, before which he was kneeling, bowed its head toward him as if to ratify his pardon. Abandoning the world, he gave himself up to prayer and penance in the Benedictine Order. Later he was led to found the congregation called of Vallombrosa, from the shady valley a few miles from Florence, where he established his first monastery. Once the enemies of the Saint came to his convent of St. Salvi, plundered it, and set fire to it, and having treated the monks with ignominy, beat them and wounded them. St. John rejoiced. "Now," he said, "you are true monks. Would that I myself had had the honor of being with you when the soldiers came, that I might have had a share in the glory of your crowns! " He fought manfully against simony, and in many ways promoted the interest of the Faith in Italy. After a life of great austerity, he died whilst the angels were singing round his bed, July 11, 1073.

(Taken from Lives of the Saints, by Alban Butler)





(originally posted over at Shower of Roses, July 2018

These forest/tree cupcakes were so easy to decorate with some melted green and cocoa candy melts and a couple plastic bags with the corner cut off to squeeze the melted candy onto the wax paper. After the candy trees had hardened we simply placed them on the cupcakes.

Variations of my Deer in the Woods" Birthday Cake and Snowy Mountain Ski Resort Birthday Cake over at Shower of Roses would also be fun for this patron saint of foresters, forest workers, park rangers and parks!

“The just will flourish like the palm tree, and grow like a Lebanon cedar, planted in the house of the LORD, in the courts of the house of our God.”— Psalm 92:13-14

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St. Junípero Serra's Black Mission Figs

Fig Cookies and The Mission Bell (OOP) - The story of Father Junipero Serra's travels in the California wilderness, of his interest in the Indians and of his building of the missions.


July 1st is the feast day of St. Junípero Serra who was canonized a saint on September 23, 2015. You can find lots of other ideas in the Commemorating the Canonization of Junípero Serra post over at Shower of Roses. 

The Black Mission Fig was named after the mission fathers who planted the fruit as they made their way north along the California coast! Black Mission Figs or fig filled cookies (Trader Joe's Fig Bites, Fig Newtons, etc) would make an easy and simple treat for today.




Black Mission Figs from Trader Joe's



St. Junípero Serra, Ora Pro Nobis!

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Sacred Heart Strawberry Brownie Treat

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


I made this for the Solemnity of the Sacred Heart which has passed for this year but since June is the month dedicated to the Sacred Heart, I thought I would share it in the event that someone might want to make it before the month ends. I baked this in my Wilton heart shaped pan but there are instructions for turning 1 round and 1 square cake into a heart shape. (This recipe only makes one pan of brownies so if you wanted to use the instructions above, you'd need a double batch.)

One Bowl Brownies
1/2 C. butter
1 C. white sugar
2 eggs
1 tsp. vanilla
1/3 C. unsweetened cocoa powder
1/2 C. all purpose flour
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour your pan. I also line mine with parchment paper just on the bottom to make sure it turns out of the pan easily.
2. In a large saucepan, melt butter. Remove from heat and stir in eggs, sugar and vanilla.
3. Beat in cocoa powder, flour, salt and baking powder.
4. Spread into pan and bake for 25 - 30 mins. Do not overcook.
5. Remove from oven and run a sharp knife around the edge of the brownies to make sure they release from the sides of the pan. Allow to cool completely on cooling rack before turning out.

To decorate, I used chopped up strawberries mixed with a spoonful of sugar tossed in and spooned onto the brownie.  The crown of thorns was made with melted chocolate chips. I piped them with a plastic baggie onto some wax paper and then set them in the fridge to firm up. If you place it over the strawberries when it's firm but not completely set, you can gently press it to wrap around the strawberries. If you wait until it's too firm and try to bend it, it will crack, like mine did. :D

The flames were made out of clementine slices and extra strawberry slices with two mini-candy bars for the cross. You could also use pretzel rods or graham cracker pieces if you don't have any candy bars.

“Our Lord Jesus Christ desires that we should, for sanctifying ourselves, glorify His all-loving Heart; for it was His Heart that suffered the most in His Sacred Humanity.” ~ St. Margaret Mary Alacoque

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