Monday, March 31, 2008

Lamb Cupcakes

When I saw these cupcakes over at Martha Stewart, I just knew I had to make them... They were just too cute. So, when the feast of the Annunciation was moved to the last day of March this year, I decided that would be the perfect day! You know the old sane that says March "goes out like a lamb." Well this year it went out with a lamb, the Lamb of God that is!

These would be fun to make anytime, and they were so easy. All my kids had a blast helping decorate.

Here's what we used:
  • 1 box white cake mix + ingredients listed on box
  • 1 can fluffy white or buttercream frosting
  • 48 mini m&m's
  • 1 piece of bubblegum cut in half lengthwise and then into triangles
  • 12 large marshmallows cut into half lengthwise and then again diagonally
  • 1/2 bag miniature marshmallow cut into half

Bake cupcakes according to directions on package, cool and then frost.

Then, I just let my kids go at it with the toppings, or you could do as Martha says and " Arrange the halved mini marshmallows around the perimeter of each plain-buttercream cupcake, in two concentric circles. Leave room for ears on the edges, and an empty circle in the center for the face. Place halved full-sized marshmallows in reserved spots for the ears. Place two mini chocolate candies in upper half of each empty circle to make the eyes, and a bubble gum triangle for the nose." Pin It

Lily Sandwiches

Lily Sandwiches for Our Lady

( from Catholic Traditions

  • 8 oz. cream cheese
  • 2-3 TBSP milk
  • 20 slices fresh white bread
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/8 tsp paprika
  • green pepper
  • carrot
Combine and work into a paste the cheese, cream, salt, and paprika.

Remove crusts from bread. Roll into cornucopia shape by bringing two straight edges together and letting them overlap slightly. Hold the edges together with a little bit of the cheese mixture, pressing gently. Roll and chill the bread "lilies" before filling.

After sandwiches are filled with the cream cheese mixture, insert a thin strip of carrot for a stamen. Cut bell pepper into leaf shapes and attach a leaf to each sandwich with additional cheese.

Chill sandwiches until time to serve.

Yield: 20 finger Sandwiches

The lily of the valley is a symbol for the Blessed Virgin Mary because of its pure white flowers, sweet smell and humble appearance. It symbolized Mary’s Immaculate Conception and represents the purity of both body and soul by which Mary found favor with God.

We made these sandwiches for our afternoon snack on the Feast of the Annunciation. Other than the peppers, they were a hit with my children.
I thought they were pretty yummy too! I posted the rest of what we did to celebrate on my other blog, Shower of Roses.

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Friday, March 21, 2008

Easter Story Cookies ~ Resurrection Cookies

I always love finding fun things to do with my kids in the kitchen. Especially when it can turn into a “hands-on” lesson that the kids can relate to. This cookie recipe is full of symbolism, and is such a fun way to reinforce the true meaning of Easter. Our family will be making these cookies later this afternoon, and we have made them each Holy Saturday for the last few years! The kids just love it! Have a very Blessed Holy Saturday!

Resurrection Cookies

1 cup whole pecans
1 tsp vinegar, plus some for your children to taste
3 egg whites
pinch salt, plus some for your children to taste
1 cup sugar, plus some for your children to taste

Tools: rolling pin or wooden spoon, plastic baggie with a zipper-lock, scotch tape, Douay-Rheims Bible

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. (this in important - don't wait until you are halfway done with the recipe!) Place pecans in the plastic baggie and let children beat them with a rolling pin or wooden spoon to break into small pieces. Explain that after Jesus was arrested He was beaten by the Roman soldiers. Read John 19:1-3: "And they came to him, and said: Hail, king of the Jews; and they gave him blows."

Let each child smell and taste some vinegar. Put vinegar into mixing bowl. Explain that when Jesus was thirsty on the cross He was given vinegar to drink. Read John 19:28-30. "Afterwards, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, said: I thirst. Now there was a vessel set there full of vinegar. And they, putting a sponge full of vinegar and hyssop, put it to his mouth. Jesus therefore, when he had taken the vinegar, said: It is consummated. And bowing his head, he gave up the ghost."

Add egg whites to vinegar. Eggs represent life. Explain that Jesus gave His life to give us life. Read John 10:10-11 "The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I am come that they may have life, and may have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd giveth his life for his sheep."

Sprinkle a little salt into each child's hand. Let them taste it as you put the tsp. salt into the bowl and explain that this represents the salty tears shed by Jesus' followers, and the bitterness of our own sin. Read Luke 23:27 "And there followed him a great multitude of people, and of women, who bewailed and lamented him."

So far the ingredients are not very appetizing. Add the sugar to the egg whites, and give some for your children to taste. Explain that the sweetest part of the story is that Jesus died because He loves us He wants us to know and belong to Him. Read Psalm 33:9 (34:8 in Bibles with Masoretic numbering) and John 3:16. "O taste, and see that the Lord is sweet: blessed is the man that hopeth in him... ...For God so loved the world, as to give his only begotten Son; that whosoever believeth in him, may not perish, but may have life everlasting."

Beat with a mixer on high speed for 12 to 15 minutes until stiff peaks are formed. Explain that the color white represents the purity in God's eyes of those whose sins have been cleansed by Jesus. Read Isaiah 1:18, " And then come, and accuse me, saith the Lord: if your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made as white as snow: and if they be red as crimson, they shall be white as wool."

Then read John 3:1-3, "And there was a man of the Pharisees, named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night, and said to him: Rabbi, we know that thou art come a teacher from God; for no man can do these signs which thou dost, unless God be with him." Fold in broken nuts. Drop by teaspoons onto wax paper covered cookie sheet (do not use a baking stone!). Explain that each mound represents the rocky tomb where Jesus' body was laid.

Read Mathew 27:57-60 "And when it was evening, there came a certain rich man of Arimathea, named Joseph, who also himself was a disciple of Jesus. He went to Pilate, and asked the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded that the body should be delivered. And Joseph taking the body, wrapped it up in a clean linen cloth. And laid it in his own new monument, which he had hewed out in a rock. And he rolled a great stone to the door of the monument, and went his way."

Put the cookie sheet in the oven, close the door and turn the oven OFF. Give each child a piece of tape and seal the oven door.Explain that Jesus' tomb was sealed.
Read Matthew 27:65-66 "Pilate saith to them: You have a guard; go, guard it as you know. And they departing, made the sepulchre sure, sealing the stone, and setting guards."

GO TO BED! Explain that they may feel sad to leave the cookies in the oven overnight. Jesus' followers were in despair when the tomb was sealed.

Read John 16:20-22 "Amen, amen I say to you, that you shall lament and weep, but the world shall rejoice; and you shall be made sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy. A woman, when she is in labour, hath sorrow, because her hour is come; but when she hath brought forth the child, she remembereth no more the anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world. So also you now indeed have sorrow; but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice; and your joy no man shall take from you."

On Easter morning, open the oven and give everyone a cookie. Notice the cracked surface and take a bite. The cookies are hollow! On the first Easter Jesus' followers were amazed to find the tomb open and empty.
Read Matthew 28:1-9 "And in the end of the sabbath, when it began to dawn towards the first day of the week, came Mary Magdalen and the other Mary, to see the sepulchre. And behold there was a great earthquake. For an angel of the Lord descended from heaven, and coming, rolled back the stone, and sat upon it. And his countenance was as lightning, and his raiment as snow. And for fear of him, the guards were struck with terror, and became as dead men. And the angel answering, said to the women: Fear not you; for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he is risen, as he said. Come, and see the place where the Lord was laid. And going quickly, tell ye his disciples that he is risen: and behold he will go before you into Galilee; there you shall see him. Lo, I have foretold it to you. And they went out quickly from the sepulchre with fear and great joy, running to tell his disciples. And behold Jesus met them, saying: All hail. But they came up and took hold of his feet, and adored him."

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Thursday, March 20, 2008

Candy Cane Coffee Cake

"According to legend there was a candy maker who wanted to invent a candy that was a witness to Christ.

First of all, he used a hard candy because Christ is the rock of ages. This hard candy was shaped so that it would resemble a “J” for Jesus or, turned upside down, a shepherd’s staff. He made it white to represent the purity of Christ.
Finally a red stripe was added to represent the blood Christ shed for the sins of the world, and three thinner red stripes for the stripes He received on our behalf when the Roman soldiers whipped Him. Sometimes a green stripe is added as a reminder that Jesus is a gift from God.

The flavor of the cane is peppermint, which is similar to hyssop. Hyssop is in the mint family and was used in the Old Testament for purification and sacrifice. Jesus is the pure Lamb of God, come to be a sacrifice for the sins of the world.

So, every time you see a candy cane, remember the message of the candy maker: Jesus is the Christ!"

Candy Cane Coffee Cake

Coffee Cake
  • 1 16-ounce package of hot roll mix
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 3/4 cup very warm milk
  • 1/4 cup butter or margarine, softened
  • 1/2 cup pecans, chopped
  • 3/4 cup dried cranberries or cherries
  • 1/2 cup cherry preserves
  • 1 tablespoon water

  • 3/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2-3 teaspoons milk

Preheat oven to 375°F. For coffee cake, combine hot roll mix, yeast packet and granulated sugar in a bowl. Separate 1 egg white from yolk; reserve white. Add milk, butter, whole egg and egg yolk to a bowl. Stir until mixture forms a ball.

Turn dough out onto well-floured surface. With floured hands, knead dough 5 minutes. Sprinkle additional flour over surface as needed to reduce stickiness. Cover; let dough rest 5 minutes.

Chop pecans; combine with the dried fruit in a bowl. Place dough in center of lightly floured rectangle stone; roll into 12 x 15-inch. Spread preserves in 6-inch strip lengthwise down center of dough to within 1/4 inch of each end; sprinkle fruit mixture evenly over preserves.

Cut 1-inch-wide strips on each side of fruit filling to within 1/2 inch of filling. Lift strips of dough across filling to meet in center, twisting each strip one turn; pinch together in center to seal. Tuck ends up to seal. Lift and stretch one end of shaped dough using spatula; curve to form cane. Cover; let rise in warm place 30 minutes.

Lightly beat reserved egg white with 1 tablespoon water; brush over dough using a Pastry Brush. Bake 20-23 minutes or until deep golden brown.

For glaze, mix powdered sugar and milk until smooth; drizzle over warm coffee cake. Cool 15 minutes. Cut into 1-inch slices.

Yield: 15 servings (This is a modified Pampered Chef Recipe) Pin It

Brown Rice Vegetable Casserole

This delicious recipe comes from my cousin Margaret. Any recipe that is packed with veggies, and my kids hug me when I make it the second time is a keeper!

Brown Rice Vegetable Casserole

  • 3 c. chicken broth (Substitute vegetable broth for Lent)
  • 1 1/2 c. raw brown rice
  • 2 c. chopped onion, divided
  • 3 T. soy sauce
  • 2 T. butter, melted
  • Basil, to taste
  • 4 c. cauliflower florets
  • 4 c. broccoli florets
  • 4 c. med. sweet red peppers, medium slices
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 T. olive oil
  • 1 c. salted cashews
  • 2 c. grated cheese

Combine broth, rice, 1 cup of onion, soy sauce, butter, and basil.

Cover and bake at 350 degrees for 65-70 minutes (or till rice is done).

Meanwhile in large skillet, saute cauliflower, broccoli, peppers, garlic and remaining onion in oil till crisp tender. Spoon over rice mixture.

Sprinkles with cashews and cheese.

Bake uncovered for 5 minutes longer.

Serves 10. Pin It