Wednesday, June 9, 2021

Refreshing Glass of Milk to Toast St. Columba

A very simple way to remember St. Columba (aka St. Colmcille) on his feast day today (June 9) is by having a glass of milk. Readily available and easy to serve - no prep or fuss. One of the pious legends of St. Columba's life involved him casting a demon out of a pail of milk. So toast to the grand Irish saint with a frosty glass of milk today. 

St. Columba, Pray for us.

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Saturday, May 22, 2021

Snickerdoodles for the Humorous Saint, Philip Neri

St. Philip Neri (feast day May 26), is known by many names including the “laughing saint,” the “humorous saint,” and the “patron saint of joy.” This Italian priest and founder of the Congregation of the Oratory was a practical joker, as exemplified by him showing up to an event with his beard half shaved off. He inserted humor into his homilies, was known to keep a joke book, and also hung a sign on his door that said, “The House of Christian Mirth.” In all things St. Philip maintained a light-hearted view of the world, using humor to keep him from being too prideful or vain. 

For St. Philip's feast day don't take yourself to seriously...and enjoy some snickerdoodles, the cookies with the funny name that sounds like they are laughing. 


1 cup butter or margarine, softened 
1 ½ cups sugar 
2 eggs 
2 ¾ cup flour 
2 t. cream of tarter 
1 t. baking soda 
¼ t. salt 
Cinnamon-Sugar Mixture: 
1/4 cup Sugar 
1 1/2 tbsp. cinnamon 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Thoroughly cream butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the eggs and cream together. Stir in flour, cream of tartar, baking soda, and salt, just until combined. In a small bowl, stir together sugar and cinnamon. Roll dough into small balls until round and smooth. Drop into the cinnamon-sugar mixture and roll to coat well. Place on ungreased sheet or parchment lined cookie sheet. Bake 8-10 minutes or until set. 

 “A heart filled with joy is more easily made perfect than one that is sad.” 

 St. Philip Neri, patron of joy, Pray for us 

Additional Note: There are other saints who saw the value and importance of humor - St. Francis of Assisi, St. Teresa, St. Ignatius, and St. John Vianney to name a few. Check out this Catholic Exchange article for some insight into other saints whose feast days would be also be opportunities to partake of some snickerdoodles.

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Thursday, October 1, 2020

Homemade Eclairs for St. Therese

Eclairs are known to be the favorite treat of St. Therese of Lisieux, so after binge watching some early episodes of that British baking show, I decided to try a recipe that I had been admiring for a while but was too afraid to try: Homemade Eclairs with Peanut Butter Mousse from Sally's Baking Addiction. I don't think St. Therese ever had Peanut Butter Mousse eclairs, but I think she would have loved them!

1/2 cup (115g; 8 Tbsp) unsalted butter, cut into 8 pieces
1/2 cup (120ml) water
1/2 cup (120ml) 2% or whole milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 cup (125g) all-purpose flour

4 large eggs, beaten
egg wash: 1 egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon milk or water

Combine the butter, water, milk, salt, and granulated sugar together in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Stir until the butter has melted. Bring mixture to a simmer. Once simmering, reduce heat to low and add the flour all at once. Stir until the flour is completely incorporated and a thick dough clumps into a ball. Mash the dough ball against the bottom and sides of the pan for 1 minute, which gently cooks the flour. Remove from heat and transfer to the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Allow to cool down for a few minutes before adding the eggs in the next step.

Read this step in full before starting: With the mixer running on low speed, slowly add the eggs in 3-4 separate additions mixing for 30 seconds between each. The mixture might look curdled at first, but will come together as the mixer runs. Pour in the final addition of beaten eggs very slowly. Stop adding when the choux pastry has reached the desired texture: shiny, thick, and smooth with a pipe-able consistency. Any leftover egg can be used for egg wash. I ended up using all of mine. Dough can be used immediately or refrigerated up to 3 days. 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Line two baking sheets with parchment paper. Mist or brush parchment paper with water. You want a nice moist environment for the choux to puff up. Transfer dough to a piping bag and pipe 4 inch long shells 2-3 inches apart. Bake for 20 minutes. DO NOT OPEN THE OVEN! After 20 minutes, turn oven down to 350 degrees and back for 10 - 15 more minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and transfer to a cooling rack. Cool completely.

1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
8 ounces (224g) full-fat brick style cream cheese, softened to room temperature
1 cup (120g) confectioners’ sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 cup (130g) creamy peanut butter*
salt, to taste

Make the peanut butter mousse: Using a mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat heavy cream on medium-high speed until soft peaks form, about 3 minutes. Transfer to another mixing bowl. Using the same whisk attachment again (you don't need to clean in between), beat the cream cheese on medium-high speed until creamy and smooth. Add the confectioners’ sugar, vanilla extract, and peanut butter then beat on medium-high speed until combined and creamy. Using a rubber spatula, fold in the whipped cream until combined. Taste. Stir in a pinch of salt, if desired. Transfer mousse to a piping bag fitted with a small round or open star piping tip. Set aside as you make the ganache.

1 cup (240ml) heavy cream
8 ounces semi-sweet chocolate chips

Make the chocolate ganache: Place chocolate in a bowl. Heat the cream in a small saucepan until it just starts steaming, not boiling.  Pour over chocolate and let it sit for 2-3 minutes to gently soften the chocolate. Slowly stir until completely combined and chocolate has melted.


Let the ganache cool on the counter while you fill the shells with the mousse. I piped them on both ends to make sure they were nice and full. Dip the tops in ganache and leave to firm up. Ganache will set up in about an hour at room temp or about 30 minutes in the fridge. Enjoy! 

FYI... all three components (pastry shells, mousse, and ganache) can be made ahead of time. To assemble, just warm the ganache in the microwave for 10 seconds at a time to soften. 

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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

Angel Food Cake for the Archangels' Feast

Heavenly King,You have given us archangels
to assist us during our pilgrimage on earth.
Saint Michael is our protector;
I ask him to come to my aid,
fight for all my loved ones,
and protect us from danger.
Saint Gabriel is a messenger of the Good News;
I ask him to help me
clearly hear Your voice
and to teach me the truth.
Saint Raphael is the healing angel;
I ask him to take my need for healing
and that of everyone I know,
lift it up to Your throne of grace
and deliver back to us the gift of recovery.
Help us, O Lord,
to realize more fully the reality of the archangels
and their desire to serve us.

Holy angels,
pray for us.


Every baker should have a good angel food cake in her (or his) repertoire for the angels' feast days (the feast of the Archangels, the Guardian Angels, Our Lady of Angels, etc.). This is one of those baked goods that seems daunting, but is really very easy to  make, and rather budget friendly. It stands alone with a dollop of whipped cream, or can be dressed up simple with berries, a drizzle of chocolate glaze, or really kicked up a notch with creme anglaise. 

One true key to a successful angel food cake is to make sure there are no traces of oil in the batter, so  make sure your pan is completely clean and that you don't get any yolk in your egg whites.

Angel Food Cake

1 cup cake flour
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
12 large egg whites
1 1/2 t. vanilla
1 1/2 t. cream of tartar
1/2 t. salt

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Be sure that your 10 inch tube pan is clean and dry. Sift together the flour, and 3/4 cup of the sugar, set aside.

In a large bowl (the egg whites will whip up to completely fill a Kitchen Aid mixer bowl), whip the egg whites along with the vanilla, cream of tartar and salt, to medium stiff peaks. Gradually add the remaining sugar while continuing to whip to stiff peaks. When the egg white mixture has reached its maximum volume, fold in the sifted ingredients gradually, one third at a time. Do not overmix. Put the batter into the tube pan.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes in the preheated oven, until the cake springs back when touched. Balance the tube pan upside down on the top of a bottle, to prevent decompression while cooling. When cool, run a knife around the edge of the pan and invert onto a plate.

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Thursday, August 20, 2020

Mary's Crown - Queenship Salad

Bachelor's Button, or Cornflower, is an annual flowering plant in the aster family, with florets that are edible and may be used fresh in salads.  Its jagged frilly petals remind one of an ornate crown and because of that it also has a Marian connection – often called Mary's Crown. Traditionally blue, they also come in many different color variants. The blue ones especially are a Marian color.  

Because of these connections, the flowers make a beautiful and symbolic addition as a garnish to a Marian summer salad.  Its name as Mary's Crown is particular fitting for a salad on the Feast of the Queenship of Mary (August 22).

Use any available salad greens and fresh summer vegetables. Garnish with freshly picked Mary's Crown flower heads. Serve with a light vinaigrette dressing. Regina Red Wine Vinegar, in addition to being a common vinegar, easy to find - has a name that means queen, so perfect for this Queenship of Mary summer salad. 

If you don't have access to fresh Bachelor Button flowers, make sure to plant some for next year. These hardy and easy to grow flowers, make a great addition to a liturgical year and Marian garden.  And other edible late summer Marian flowers or flower petals (daisy, lavender, rose, calendula, nasturtium, chive, marigold) could be substituted though they don't have the same crown significance. 

Our Lady, Queen of Heaven, Pray for us. 

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Friday, May 29, 2020

Flower Fruit Sandwiches for Our Lady

O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today!
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.

Earlier this month I ran across a photo of some lovely flower covered sandwiches and was inspired to try something similar with my children in honor of Our Lady during her month of May. Due to the pandemic and stay-at-home order I used what I happened to have on hand, so some of our fruit was frozen instead of fresh, but they still turned out lovely! 

To make the sandwiches we simply trimmed the crusts off of some white bread, spread some homemade whipped cream over the bread, and then decorated each tea sandwich with flowers made from slices of fruit. 

We used fresh cuties and kiwis along with frozen blueberries, strawberries and a little mango. 

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Wednesday, April 22, 2020

Saint George and the Dragon Cake

Catholic Cuisine contributor Charlotte, from Waltzing Matilda, has been amazing and inspiring us with her Dragon Cakes for the feast of St. George for well over a decade now! Here are a few of her past creations. 

You can find her dragon cake direction, as well as her directions for a Dragon Cupcake Cake and Dragon Scone for Good Saint George, in the archives. If you end up making one we would love for you to share a picture on our Facebook page or tag us over at Instagram!

St. George, ora pro nobis! 
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