Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Celebrating Bl. Junipero Serra with California Mission Foods

The Spanish influence on California and other areas of the Southwest, is still very evident in the culture including the food. The Spanish missionaries who founded the chain of missions in California brought with them their culture and traditions and also adapted them to the products of the new world. In the United States we recognize the July 1 optional memorial of Bl. Junipero Serra, the Spanish Franciscan, who is the Father of the California missions.

In Bess Anderson's California Mission Recipes cookbook, she acquaints readers with the various foods that would have been traditionally prepared and eaten in the missions. The ingredients used were mainly those harvested at the mission or occasionally those brought by ship. The preparations of the food in the missions most often was under the direction of a padre, with the preparation carried out by Indian women of the mission. Anderson indicates that from various records we know the missions had both lean and rich years. There were times, for example, when the daily ration of Father Serra consisted solely of 3 tortilla cakes and wine.

Anderson's book as well as the various mission preservation organizations are sources of traditional mission-style recipes. Enjoy a recipe from the California mission tradition on the feast of Bl. Junipero Serra.

1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
2 T. vegetable oil or lard
1/2 t. black pepper
1/2 t. ground cumin
1/2 t. cloves
1/2 t.cayenne
1-1/2 lbs. pork shoulder, cooked and cut into 1-inch cubes
2 cups canned white or yellow hominy (drained and rinsed)
3-5 cups pork broth, degreased and strained
1 cup canned green chiles (chopped)
2 whole Jalapenos, canned or fresh
salt to taste

Sauté onion and garlic in oil. Add spices, stirring to blend. Add pork, drained and rinsed hominy, pork broth, green chiles and jalapenos. Cook at a simmer, covered, for 45 to 60 minutes or until the meat and hominy are tender. Add more water or broth as needed to keep pork covered in the final minutes of stewing. Remove posole from heat and cool slightly. Degrease the stew. Check to see if salt is needed. Reheat before serving.

4 eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup shortening
3 cups sifted flour
1 T sugar
1 t salt
fat or oil for deep frying
sugar cinnamon, ground

Beat eggs until light in color and thickened, add milk and melted shortening. Combine the flour, sugar and salt. Sift into egg mixture slowly and blend well, making a soft dough that doesn't stick to hands. Shape into walnut-sized balls and roll on a lightly-floured board into a round-shaped cakes similar to a tortilla. Fry in deep hot fat until golden brown in color - about 3 minutes on each side. Drain well. Sprinkle with cinnamon sugar. Make s 30 bunelos.

3-4 pounds pork loin
2 T butter
2 onions, sliced
2 medium tomatoes
2 carrots, diced
2 springs parsley 1/2 cup dry white wine
salt and pepper

Brown the pork on all sides in the butter. When brown add the vegetables, wine, and season with salt and pepper. Simmer for 2-3 hours or until the meat is tender. Serve on a heated plate. Strain the liquid in the pan over the meat.

1 cup pumpkin mash
1 cup corn meal
1/4 fat.

Gradually add meal to the pumpkin mash, stirring constantly. Then add butter a little at at time. Mix thoroughly, stirring very hard to form a stiff dough. Shape into round flat cakes and bake over a high heat on a well=greased hot griddle for 5 minutes on each side. Serves 4

2 cups warm water
2 cups milk
1/4 cup masa harina (or 1/3 cup nixtamal)
1 disk Mexican chocolate, chopped
piloncillo cones, small, (one ounce each) chopped
1 pinch of anise seed, ground (optional)

In a large pot, whisk masa harina into the warm water until thoroughly combined. Add milk, chocolate, piloncillo and anise. Bring to a simmer and whisk with a molinillo (a special tool to whip the drink) until chocolate is melted and sugar is dissolved.

2 cups milk, scalded
4 T ground coffee
1 cinnamon stick
4 squares unsweetened cocoa
1/2 cup boiling water
1/2 cup sugar
4 cups cold milk
2 t vanilla

Add coffee and cinnamon to the scalded milk. Cover, let stand 5 minutes and strain. Heat chocolate over water, add boiling water, and sugar and cook until smooth and thick. Add the coffee-cinnamon liquid. When ready to serve, blend in the cold milk and vanilla. Serve in tall glasses with crushed ice. Serves 6-8.

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Friday, June 19, 2009

Sacred Heart Cheesecake

During these hot summer months, I am loath to turn on my oven for any long periods of time and everyone prefers to eat whatever is cool and fresh from the fridge. This is a creamy lemon cheesecake that I always make in a heart shape because that is the way my mother-in-law first served it to me. We decorated it to look like the sacred heart using mini chocolate chips, orange and yellow sugar and junior mints for the cross. Miniature candy bars might have worked better but this was all I had. The recipe is below:

Creamy Lemon Cheesecake

1 pkg. Duncan Hines Deluxe Lemon cake mix
2pkg. 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
8 oz. sour cream
1/2 c. sugar
1/3 C. oil
3 eggs

Measure 1C. dry cake mix; set aside. Combine remaining mix with 1 egg and oil. Press into bottom of greased pan(s). Bake @ 350 for 10 minutes. Meanwhile, combine reserved mix, 2 eggs and remaining ingredients. Beat at low speed for 2 minutes. Spread over crust. Bake at 350 about 35 mintues longer. Cool and chill. Top with whipped cream.

This made one heart shaped cake and one 8 inch round cake which we shared with our neighbors. It can also be made in a 9x13 inch pan. Pin It

Minestrone Soup

June 21st is the feast of St. Aloysius Gonzaga. Catholic Culture suggests "instead of cooking a special treat for this day, perhaps try a light dinner or lunch, maybe a simple soup and bread to imitate this fasting saint. We have highlighted a vegetable soup, or minestrone from Italy, but pick your favorite to serve." Minestrone soup is also a great dish to serve for the feast on St. Joseph!

My Favorite Minestrone
Modified from a recipe from my dear friend Kristin

1 ½ pounds Ground Beef – pre-cooked
1 can Kidney Beans
1 can Black Beans
1 can Garbanzo Beans
1 can Pinto Beans
1 can Diced Tomatoes
1 can Stewed Tomatoes
¼ cup Dry Lentils
2 cloves Pressed Garlic
1 Onion, diced
2 Tablespoons Italian seasoning
8 cups Vegetable or Beef Broth
¾ cup Barley
1 cup celery diced
1 cup carrots, diced
8 oz small pasta shells

Combine everything but pasta. Simmer on stove for 1 hour. Add Pasta and continue simmering till cooked. Top with grated cheese and croûtons.

The last time I made it (shown in pictures) I served it with rolls since I was out of croûtons. However, for the feast of St. Joseph, you could top the Minestrone with crushed croûtons. The croûtons (breadcrumbs) symbolize the sawdust that would have covered St. Joseph's floor.

Serves 10+ (This soup makes ALOT. It was enough for 2 meals for my family, and I have big eaters--2 bowls each easily. Since it makes so much, it's great for company as well!)

Enjoy! Pin It

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Sacred Heart Cookies

The month of June is dedicated to the Sacred Heart of Jesus. In addition, the Solemnity of the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus is celebrated on the Friday following the Second Sunday after Pentecost, which will be June 19th this year.

A fun way to celebrate at home would be to bake a heart shaped cake or cookies in honor of the Sacred Heart of Jesus. These cookies were served at this week's Summer with the Saints and quickly disappeared. The kids loved them!

All you need:
  • Heart Shaped Sugar Cookies (Here are a couple great recipes from the archives!)
  • White, Red, and Yellow Frosting
  • Chocolate Sprinkles

Frost cookies with white frosting. Add heart to center of cookie with the red frosting. Arrange chocolate sprinkles around center of the heart to represent the thorns. Add yellow frosting "flames" coming from the top of the red heart. Enjoy!

Most Sacred Heart of Jesus,
have mercy on us!
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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Cappuccino Mousse Trifle

As Charlotte pointed out last year when she posted a delicious Cappuccino Mousse Recipe for the feast of St. Pio of Pietrelcina, "according to the Oxford English Dictionary and the American Heritage Dictionary, the drink was named cappuccino because its color resembles the brown color of the robes worn by the Capuchin order of Franciscan friars. Others say it is because of the cappuccio or hood of the friar's robes."

Since June 16th marks the anniversary of St. Pio's canonization, as well as the memorial of the Capuchin Martyrs of the Concentration Camps (who were beatified in June of 1999 when the Pope visited Poland), I thought I would post one of my favorite cappuccino recipes in their honor.

Cappuccino Mousse Trifle

My husband and I love Tiramisu. However, it is so time consuming to make that I rarely make it. So when I found this recipe, in one of my Pampered Chef cookbooks, which is very similar to Tiramisu, and OH SO MUCH easier, it was an instant hit! Enjoy!

  • 1 (16 ounces) frozen prepared pound cake
  • 2 1/2 cups cold milk
  • 1/3 cup instant coffee granules
  • 2 packages (3.4 ounces each) vanilla instant pudding and pie filling
  • 2 containers (8 ounces each) frozen whipped topping, thawed
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 square (1 ounce) semi-sweet chocolate for baking


1. Cut pound cake into 1-inch cubes; set aside.

2. In a bowl, whisk milk and instant coffee granules. Let stand 5 minutes or until dissolved.

3. Pour 1 cup of the milk mixture a measuring cup; set aside. Add pudding mix to remaining milk mixture in bowl; whisk until mixture begins to thicken. Gently fold in one container of whipped topping.

4. To assemble trifle, place 1/3 of the cake cubes into bottom of a bowl. Pour 1/3 of the reserved milk mixture evenly over cake cubes. Top with 1/3 of the pudding mixture, pressing lightly. Grate 1/4 of the chocolate over pudding mixture. Repeat layers 2 more times, reserving the remaining grated chocolate for garnish.

5. Fill a decorator with 1 cup of the remaining whipped topping; set aside. Spread remaining whipped topping over entire top of trifle, creating a smooth surface. Decorate by piping rosettes around edge of bowl. Grate remaining chocolate in center; sprinkle with cinnamon.

Yield: 10 servings

This recipe could be made to celebrate any of the Capuchin Saints. Pin It

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Catholic New Media Awards ~ Sneak Peak Weekend!

Catholic New Media Awards"Exclusive for this weekend only, everyone can see the TOP 5 results for each category.
Click here to see them.

See the results before they're gone on Monday morning."

Catholic Cuisine has been nominated, and is currently listed in the Top 5, for Best Group Blog. Thank you to those of you who nominated us for this award!

If you haven't had the opportunity yet, please consider clicking over and voting for us!
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St. Anthony's Italian Dinner Rolls

St. Anthony's Italian Dinner Rolls; Yield: 16

3 cups flour, divided
2 packages active dry yeast
1 Tsp. dried Italian seasoning
1 Tsp. dried parsley flakes
1 1/4 cups milk
1/4 cup water
2 Tblsp. butter or margarine
2 Tblsp. sugar
1 Tsp. garlic salt
1 egg
3/4 cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
2 Tblsp. butter or margarine, melted

In a large mixing bowl, combine 1 1/2 cups of flour, yeast, Italian seasoning, and parsley flakes. In a saucepan, heat and stir the milk, water, butter, sugar, and garlic salt just until warm (120 130º) and butter almost melts. Add milk mixture to flour mixture. Add egg and beat with electric mixer on low or medium speed for 30 seconds, scraping the bowl constantly. Beat on high speed for 3 minutes. Using a wooden spoon, stir in 1/2 cup of the parmesan cheese and as much of the remaining flour as you can.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface. Knead in enough of the remaining flour to make a moderately soft dough that is smooth (3-5 minutes total). Shape the dough into a ball. Place it in a lightly greased bowl, turning once to grease the top and bottom surfaces. Cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled in size (about 45 minutes).

Grease baking sheets or a 13” x 9” x 2” baking pan. Punch dough down and turn out onto a lightly floured surface. Divide dough into 16 portions, shaping each into a round mini-loaf. Place mini-loaves on sheet or pan. Brush tops with 2 tablespoons butter and sprinkle with remaining parmesan cheese. Cover and let rise in a warm place (about 15 minutes).

Bake in a 375º oven for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown.
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Thursday, June 11, 2009

St. Anthony and the Fish

It is said that St. Anthony was a amazing preacher and as mentioned in the earlier St. Anthony post one legend indicates that even the fish rose from the water to hear his sermon.

No sooner had he spoken a few words when suddenly so great a multitude of fish, both small and great, approached the bank on which he stood. All the fish kept their heads out of the water, and seemed to be looking attentively on St Anthony's face; all were ranged in perfect order and most peacefully, the smaller ones in front near the bank, after them came those a little bigger, and last of all, were the water was deeper, the largest.

As he continued speaking, the fish began to open their mouths and bow their heads, endeavoring as much as was in their power to express their reverence. The people of the city, hearing of the miracle, made haste to go and witness it.

This weekend we will celebrate his feast day, June 13. He is called St. Anthony of Padua, as he is known for his service in Italy, but he was born in Portugal and a proud Portuguese people celebrate his feast ever year in great style. The feast there is known as Festos dos Santos Populares in Lisbon.

Having been a people who depended heavily on the sea for food and commerce, the Portuguese have a fondness for fish in their popular festivities. A major staple of the festos (feast day) is grilled sardines. All over Lisbon people grill and consume them. It is said that sardines represented those miraculous fish and were an important part of the festivities. The opening of sardine season coincides with the Feast of St. Anthony.

Sardines are a group of several types of small, fish related to herrings, and were named after the Mediterranean island of Sardinia, where they were once in abundance. The term is not precise, and varies by region; for instance, to many people a sardine is a young European pilchard. Generally if the fish is under 4″ long (10 cm) it is classed as a sardine, and if larger than 4″ it is classed as a pilchard. There are 21 species that may be classed as sardines. (Wikipedia)

Until traveling to Spain with my mother, my experience with sardines was limited to the canned variety. Fresh sardines are nothing like the canned ones - I found them to be quite a treat. But it can be a challenge to find fresh sardines, especially if you are land locked like I am. You may have to settle for frozen ones but still preferable to canned.

Grilled Sardines – Portuguese Style

sardines, fresh, cleaned, heads and tails left on
salt, coarse (kosher or sea)
olive oil, extra-virgin
pepper (optional)
lemon wedges

Rinse sardines under cold water, drain, and blot dry. Sprinkle some salt in the bottom of a baking dish. Arrange half the sardines on top and sprinkle with salt. Add another layer of sardines and sprinkle with salt. Cover and let cure in the salt, in the refrigerator, for about an hour.

When ready to grill, rinse salt off the sardines and blot. Brush the sardines with oil and season with pepper (optional). Oil the grill grate and arrange the fish on it. Grill the sardines until skins are lightly charred and the flesh is cooked to flakiness, 3 to 6 minutes per side. Serve hot. Remove the head and tail, and bones, before eating. Serve with lemon wedges for squeezing. Pin It

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

St. Anthony and the Lost Bread

I think St. Anthony is probably one of the most popular saints among moms! :)
"Dear Saint Anthony, please come round -
Something is lost and must be found."

A Franciscan, he was known for his great humility as well as his eloquence in defending the faith. His sermons are described as so delightful that even the fish listened to him. Many times he is pictured holding the Christ child because of a vision he had of the Divine Child.

His feast is this Saturday, June 13. In cruising some of my liturgical year books and looking for something simple to do as a way of remembering this great and gentle saint, I came across an idea that absolutely appealed to me - Pain Perdu. Literally translated - Lost Bread, but most are more familiar with the name, "French Toast."

This idea instantly jumped out at me. My mom's family is French (Cajun French) and Pain Perdue was a staple of our diet growing up.
"For his feast day we suggest a dish with a name we are sure would delight his heart, for no doubt a saint who finds lost things for people must be one saint how hates waste of any kind. We refer to Pain Perdu, which is made of stale rolls."Feast Day Cookbook by Katherine Burton

My recipe is slightly different than the one listed in Feast Day Cookbook....

Pain Perdue or Lost Bread

**NOTE** You can expect that for every 2 eggs you put in the mix, you will get about 3 slices of Pain Perdue. I've never counted exactly, but for my family of 6 I usually follow the following proportions:

:: 8 eggs
:: 1/2 cup of pet milk (evaporated milk)
:: 2 tablespoons of sugar
:: 1 loaf of stale bread (french bread is great, but any bread will do...I will say that Pepperidge Farm Hearty White bread fresh off the shelf at the market makes an excellent Pain Perdue and doesn't require the soaking in the batter as a stale bread would...just sayin') :)

Whisk together thoroughly in a shallow baking dish. Distribute the stale bread in the shallow baking dish with the egg/milk mix. Allow them to soak for a few minutes. Let your fork be your guide...after about 5 minutes, fork a slice of bread to determine if it has soaked up enough batter - as it soaks up the batter it will become more fork tender. Flip it to ensure both sides are covered in the mix. The more stale your bread is, the longer this soaking will take. (If you're cheating and using a fresh white or french loaf of bread, simply take one slice at a time and dip it in the mix, flip it to cover both sides and go straight to the hot skillet.)

While your bread is soaking, heat a skillet on medium heat. If you're not using a non-stick skillet, you might consider oiling the pan with some palm oil (I like using my cast iron skillets for this). When the pan is good and hot add slices of bread to the pan and fry to a golden brown, flipping once so that both sides brown nicely.

Serve nice and warm with plenty of butter and a topping of confectioners sugar or fresh jam or preserves.

And don't forget that gentle and humble St. Anthony is a powerful heavenly intercessor for more than your lost keys - unfailing prayer to St. Anthony. Pin It

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Trinity Cake and Ice Cream

The mystery of the Holy Trinity is not one that we will ever "solve." But just because it's not a solvable mystery doesn't mean we shouldn't continually explore it. Like the other moms who contribute here, I frequently explore our Church's liturgical year with food -- I think food provides a most teachable and memorable moment, especially for children -- even when it's a simple chocolate cake.

To illustrate the three equal, but different natures of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, for the Solemnity of the Holy Trinity today, I decorated the top of a simple box-mix chocolate cake. While there is no one official symbol for the Holy Trinity, there are many possible symbolic designs to use. I used three circles together -- the Borromean rings -- to illustrate the Holy Trinity on our dessert cake. In each circle, I placed a letter, P for Pater, F for Fillius, an S for Spiritus.

I also made a batch of vanilla ice cream and folded in some chopped Kit Kats after it finished churning. I found a bag of mini Kit Kats at the store and thought they made a perfect teaching tool for the kids. I know they're only Kit Kats, and I apologize if my method offends your sense of reverence for the Trinity, but really, it worked. The mini Kit Kats were white, dark and milk chocolate. Just like the Father is not the Son, and the Son is not the Spirit, and the Spirit is not the Father, the white is not milk, and the milk is not dark, and the dark is not white. And just as the Father is God, and the Son is God, and the Spirit is God, the white is a Kit Kat, and the milk is a Kit Kat and the dark is a Kit Kat. Maybe too simple for your taste, but it was very tasty! Pin It

Trinity Sunday

The mystery of the Most Holy Trinity is probably my favorite religious lesson to teach to the children. There are just so many excellent examples to help us understand this article of our Faith. St. Patrick used a shamrock. Others have used the example of the family. St. Anselm of Canterbury compared the Trinity to a spring, a stream and a lake and St. Bonaventure applied St. Augustine's three powers of the soul to the processions of the Holy Trinity.

Today, we used some cookies to demonstrate in a very small and imperfect way the mystery of this doctrine to our children.
I divided some sugar cookie dough into three parts and colored them red for God the Holy Spirit, gold for God the Son, and blue for God the Father who made heaven and earth. (You could also use green, purple and gold.) The children shaped them into small balls and placed them on the cookie sheet.
We flattened them with a sugared glass bottom so that they would cook evenly. Judging from the squishing noises being made, I think this was their favorite part!

Another simple dessert for today would be a Rainbow Sherbet Cake. I once had a theology professor use Rainbow Sherbet as an analogy for the Triune God and while it might have been an imperfect analogy, it certainly made us sit up and listen.
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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

St. Charles Lwanga & Companians

Today is the feast day of Charles Lwanga and Companions, 19th century martyrs from Uganda, Africa. They are the first martyrs of Sub-Saharan Africa. Saints such as Charles Lwanga are examples of the true universality of the Church and it's zealous followers.

It is fun and educational to incorporate cultural foods of the saints into our feast day remembrances, especially ones that might not be familiar to us. There are a variety or recipes I found online that are representative of the Ugandan culture. Here is one that seems fairly simple and would make a nice tea-time snack.

Amandazi (Fritters)
3/4 cup cornmeal
1/4 cup wheat flour
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 Egg
1/2 cup Milk
Oil for frying

In a bowl, mix flour and sugar. Add the egg and milk and stir to form a viscous dough. Heat the oil in pan. Add the dough one spoon at a time and fry until golden. Place on paper towels to remove excess oil and serve hot.

Enjoy your amandazi with a cup of sweetened chai tea - a common beverage in the East African countries.

Martyrs of Uganda, pray for the faith where it is danger and for Christians who must suffer because of their faith. Give them the same courage, zeal, and joy you showed. And help those of us who live in places where Christianity is accepted to remain aware of the persecution in other parts of the world. ~Amen Pin It

Monday, June 1, 2009

Summer or Whit Embertide

We've talked before about Ember Days with some interesting recipes and history. Summer or Whit Embertide is upon us. This year, the Summer Embertide is observed on June 3, 5, and 6.

Summer or Whit Embertide (follows Whitsunday, or the Feast of the Pentecost):
The Summer Embertide is observed in June or July depending on when Pentecost falls that year.
"Gratitude, not penance, is the dominant Ember spirit of the Summer Embertide. Even fasting can be an act of thanksgiving!"Pius Parsch, Year of Grace, Volume 3, Ember Wednesday

Seasonal significance: It is a time of thanksgiving for the grain harvest since this was typically the end of the wheat harvest in Mediterranean countries.
Liturgical significance: Summer or Whit Embertide falls within the Octave of Pentecost. It is fitting then that this Embertide, though still a mini-Lenten time of fasting, is characterized by its spirit of thanksgiving and joy at the descent of the Holy Spirit.

Ember Wednesday is a day of partial abstinence (only one meal of meat should be offered on this day). The day is dedicated to Mary, Our Blessed Mother and is a day of interior recollection.
Ember Friday is a day of complete abstinence (no meat is offered today). The day is dedicated to penance.
"For the Lord looks with pleasure upon those who humble themselves, even as He regarded the lowliness of His handmaid."Pius Parsch, Year of Grace, Volume 3, Ember Friday

Ember Saturday
is another day of partial abstinence. The day is one of great thanksgiving - thanksgiving for the seasonal harvest of wheat, thanksgiving for the spiritual harvest after the abundant graces given throughout the Easter season, and thanksgiving for the harvest of vocations and those men preparing for ordination in the service of Holy Mother Church.

Menu ideas for the Summer Ember Days could reflect the seasonal offerings for your area for the summer months. I was inspired by Mary's Confirmation Party Foods post, so I'm adding my offerings for the Summer Ember Days to include some seasonal produce that continue to focus on Pentecost as we find the Summer Ember Days nestled in the Octave of Pentecost.

Pentecost Parfait
Layer granola, vanilla yogurt and sliced strawberries in a dish. The red slices of strawberries can be arranged in the parfait to resemble the tongues of fire/descent of the Holy Spirit. This cool and light dish makes a wonderful breakfast or afternoon snack. I thought it would be symbolic to arrange thirteen strawberry tongues of fire - one for each of the apostles, as well as one for Our Lady, also present at Pentecost.

Gifts of the Holy Spirit Pasta Salad
Choose a favorite pasta. We prefer Rotini because the spiral shape is great for holding the dressing. You could also choose a whole wheat pasta to reflect the thanksgiving of this Ember season for the harvest of wheat. Cook your pasta to desired done-ness. Rinse the pasta with cold water to cool it and then allow it to drain for a couple of minutes - a drier pasta will hold the dressing better.

Add in 7 items to round out your pasta salad (7 to represent the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit). If you're having trouble finding seven things on this list that your family likes, you could certainly count the pasta, the olives in the olive oil dressing as well as the grape forming the basis of the red wine vinegar (also in the dressing) - so that leaves you with four things to add to your pasta salad. Some of our favorite additions are:

:: black beans
:: frozen sweet green peas
:: sweet corn kernels (frozen or sliced off a fresh ear)
:: broccoli florets
:: sweet green bell peppers
:: sweet red bell peppers
:: onions
:: garlic
:: cherry tomatoes
:: basil

Make a simple dressing using a packet of dry Italian dressing seasoning mix, 1/4 cup of a good red wine vinegar, and 3/4 of a cup of extra virgin olive oil. Pour these over the top of the pasta salad, mix thoroughly, refrigerate for a couple of hours and enjoy. By no means are you limited by the suggestions above! Brainstorm some favorite seasonal produce and add them in. This dish is a wonderful summer meal, and the addition of black beans gives it a heartiness with a bit of protein!

Fresh Summer Tomato Sandwich
Use a very good bread for this - again, a whole grain bread would be most appropriate for the seasonal focus. Layer the following together to form a sandwich:

:: 2 slices of hearty whole wheat bread
:: Tomato slices
:: Fresh mozzarella (it's so worth it to buy a good mozzarella for this sandwich)
:: Fresh greens - basil leaves, arugula, salad greens or alfalfa sprouts all make excellent sandwiches or you could use sliced avocado
:: Mayonnaise or plain yogurt to spread on the slices of bread.
:: Salt and Pepper to taste

God bless you during the Summer Embertide!
"We are temples of the Spirit of Christ! Week in, week out it will be a mutual task for the Holy Ghost and ourselves to adorn this temple more perfectly. Deeply grateful we say farewell to the Easter season - many indeed were the blessings we received."Pius Parsch, Year of Grace, Volume 3, Ember Saturday
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