Monday, August 31, 2009

Recipes for September ~ Month Dedicated to Our Lady of Sorrows

Since the 16th century Catholic piety has assigned entire months to special devotions. Due to her feast day on September 15, the month of September has traditionally been set aside to honor Our Lady of Sorrows. All the sorrows of Mary (the prophecy of Simeon, the three days' loss, etc.) are merged in the supreme suffering at the Passion. In the Passion, Mary suffered a martyrdom of the heart because of Our Lord's torments and the greatness of her love for Him. "She it was," says Pope Pius XII, "who immune from all sin, personal or inherited, and ever more closely united with her Son, offered Him on Golgotha to the Eternal Father together with the holocaust of her maternal rights and motherly love. As a new Eve, she made this offering for all the children of Adam contaminated through his unhappy fall. Thus she, who was the mother of our Head according to the flesh, became by a new title of sorrow and glory the spiritual mother of all His members." ~ Catholic Culture September 3, Feast of St. Gregory the Great (New.):

September 4, Feast of St. Rosalia and St. Rose of Viterbo (Trad.): (The following posts would work nicely!)
September 5, Feast of Blessed Mother Teresa of Calcutta : September 8, Feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (New, Trad.):
September 12, Feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary (New, Trad.):

September 13, Feast of St. John Chrysostom (New):
September 14, Feast of the Triumph of the Cross (New, Trad.):

Autumnal Ember Days ~ Wednesday, Friday and Saturday following the 3rd Sunday of September (after the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross) :
September 15, Feast of Our Lady of Sorrows (New) or The 7 Sorrows of Our Lady (Trad.):
September 19, Feast of St. Januarius (Gennaro) (New, Trad.): September 20, Feast of Sts. Andrew Kim Taegon, Pr., Paul Chong Hasang, Catechist & Companions (New):

September 23, Feast of St. Pio of Pietrelcina (Padre Pio) (New): September 28, Feast of St. Wenceslaus (New, Trad.): September 29, Feast of Sts. Michael, Gabriel & Raphael, Archangels (New) Michaelmas Day (Trad.):

September 30, Feast of St. Jerome (New, Trad.):
O most holy Virgin, Mother of our Lord Jesus Christ: by the overwhelming grief you experienced when you witnessed the martyrdom, the crucifixion, and the death of your divine Son, look upon me with eyes of compassion, and awaken in my heart a tender commiseration for those sufferings, as well as a sincere detestation of my sins, in order that, being disengaged from all undue affection for the passing joys of this earth, I may sigh after the eternal Jerusalem, and that henceforward all my thoughts and all my actions may be directed towards this one most desirable object. Honor, glory, and love to our divine Lord Jesus, and to the holy and immaculate Mother of God. Amen.
~ Saint Bonaventure
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Saturday, August 29, 2009

Honey Granola for St. John the Baptist

This post was written by past Catholic Cuisine contributor Amy.

Today we celebrate the Martyrdom of John the Baptist . The saint who was blessed to not only be related to our Lord Jesus but to be able to baptize Him as well! One of the things St. John the Baptist was famous for was his diet. While I do not recommend a diet of locusts and honey, I will offer you this family friendly breakfast you can have in his honor!

It is very simple to make and yummy! If you do not have agave nectar you can substitute 1/3 cup of brown sugar. Also, if you can, get really good honey. Blackberry honey is quite divine!

Amy Caroline’s Honey Granola

· 4 cups oatmeal (quick is usually best, but since I rarely buy that stuff you can use the other kind)

· 1 cup to 1 ½ cups chopped nuts (any you love – I use a mixture of walnuts, pecans, almonds and sunflower seeds)

· ¼ cup vegetable oil

· ¼ cup agave nectar

· approximately ¼ cup good honey

· 1 cup raisins

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix oats and chopped nuts in bowl. Pour oil over it and toss. Then add agave and mix. Then honey. I am not sure on this measurement. I usually just drizzle it all over until I think, “Oh yummy!” Mix in the honey. The honey will make clusters, which is very yummy, but you may wan to break them up a little with your hands. Smooth this out on a LARGE foil covered baking pan. This makes a lot of granola, so if you don’t have a big pan you can make two batches. Bake for 20 to 30 minutes until it start to turn golden brown, especially along the edges.

While this is baking pour raisins (you can definitely do more than 1 cup and you can add other dry fruit too) into the bottom of a LARGE bowl. When the oats are done pour them on top of the raisins. Mix nicely and let sit for just a few minutes. This will soften the raisins and make them oh so nice.

You can serve this warm or put in a big ol’ storage bag and serve the next day. Not sure how long it will last in storage. It has never lasted more than a day around here… if even a meal!

Hope you all like it!

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Friday, August 28, 2009

St Rose of Lima Cookies

I had left over cookie dough from our cooking for St Augustine and St Monica's double feast, so I wondered what I could create with such a small amount for St Rose's feast tomorrow. I naturally was thinking about St Rose's symbols of a crown of thorns and roses...

Here is a lovely image of St Rose wearing a crown of thorns, which was part of her penitent life...
Which were really mystical roses in the eyes of her Heavenly Bridegroom...

I knew that I had a cookie cross cutout to use, so I decided on cross cookies with a wreath of thorns and roses encircled within.

The cookie recipe I used was this one:
Heat the oven to 315F (160C)
Beat together 4 oz (125g) cubed butter and 1/2 cup (125g/4oz) caster sugar until creamy.
Add 1 egg and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence and beat well.
Sift 1 cup (125g/4oz) plain flour & 1 cup (125g/4oz) self-raising flour & fold to form a soft dough.
Roll out dough and cut out cookie.
Bake for 10/15mins until lightly golden. Cool on wire rake until firm.
I saved a bit of dough for each cross cookie and rolled out a very thin strip to use for making the crown of thorns, I wanted them to have a lovely three dimentional look.

Here is my cooked cookie, the crown of thorns turned out well.

Here is a close up above and below is the little iced roses I made with a small icing tube of red icing, any floral color would do.

All dished up on favourite my 'Peirre de Ronsard Roses' serving plate!

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"Catholic Cuisine" Apron Giveaway

I am so excited to be hosting our very first giveaway, sponsored by Catholic Embroidery, for a lovely "Catholic Cuisine" apron!, a special branch of Precision Embroidery LLC, was founded in 2007 as a family-owned and operated business in order to provide customers with high quality embroidery and monogramming. What started as a sewing hobby for the oldest daughters in our family has turned into an enterprise that, we hope, will continue to help provide for them as they work in a positive, Christ-centered fashion with a passion! Thank you for sharing in their endeavor.

One lucky visitor will win this beautiful Apron:

This navy blue apron is made of 100% cotton twill and features the Marian symbol of Our Lady topped with a cross. Durability is guaranteed and its heavy-duty construction with adjustable strap make it adaptable to any body type. Measures 26" by 26".

To enter this give-away:  Please leave a comment on this post before Midnight (PST) on Monday, September 7, 2009.   I will randomly draw a name and announce the winner on September 8th, the feast of the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary!

Be sure to visit Catholic Embroidery:  Mary Serafino, the founder of, in addition to sponsoring this awesome giveaway, has generously extended the following offer as well.
I would also like to offer your readers a coupon code, so everyone can walk away a "winner". If they use the coupon code: CATHOLICCUISINE I will give them FREE SHIPPING on any order. This coupon is valid until the feast of St. Michael, September 29th.

I've already placed an order for a few ribboned aprons which I am planning on giving my girls for Christmas. (As well as another one for myself!)   And they don't just carry aprons...  You can also purchase beautiful Bookmarks, Handkerchiefs, Totes, Mass bags, and so much more!

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Feasts of St Augustine & St Monica

Today is the feast of St Augustine ~ a wonderful saint, who was raised from great sinner to greater the prayerful tears of a mother....St Monica.

It is a tremendous tribute to the prayers of a mother and as St Ambrose the Bishop advising St Monica said, "A son of so many tears cannot be lost"

Those prayers didn't just save the soul of her son Augustine, no, she raised up a mighty bishop and Doctor of the Church!

So our feast day cake for the family is based on this beautiful reality..a mother's tears and prayers brought forth a saint and bishop!

This sweet involves some cookie and cake making..The lovely image you see above of St Augustine is what I used as the template for cutting out a big cookie, so if you click on the image it will enlarge, save it to your computer and print up ready for cooking.

Here is the cookie already cut out, the template is next to it. Here is my very simple recipe:

Heat the oven to 315F (160C)
Beat together 4 oz (125g) cubed butter and 1/2 cup (125g/4oz) caster sugar until creamy.
Add 1 egg and 1/4 teaspoon vanilla essence and beat well.
Sift 1 cup (125g/4oz) plain flour & 1 cup (125g/4oz) self-raising flour & fold to form a soft dough.
Roll out dough and cut out cookie.

Don't let the dough be too thick or you will end up with a stout St Thomas Aquinas instead!

Bake for 10/15mins until lightly golden. Cool on wire rake until firm.

I also cut out a strip of cookie dough to use as a support behind the St Augustine cookie when sitting on top of the cake.

*If cooking the cakes is enough, and all you can do, just print up the image above onto cardboard instead.

I then cooked up two round, white chocolate mud cakes, I used this recipe which gives me a yummy and moist cake every time. I cut out a template in paper, a tear shape in order to cut the round cakes into individual tear drops.

You can cook one cake only and just cake it in half horizontally, the only reason I cooked two cakes was due to having guests joining us to enjoy it as well.

Each cake is iced with icing made up using icing sugar, butter and water mixed together with blue food dye added to give a pale blue.

I one of the cakes I iced in these words, "A son of so many tears cannot be lost"...I suppose you have guessed by now that these two cakes represent St Monica's prayerful tears.

Here is the finished sweet, I have iced the St Augustine cookie, giving him lovely definition. St Augustine is propped on top of the tear drop that has no writing. The second tear drop is in front with the famous, comforting words of St Ambrose.

This was a very effective symbol for the children to discuss with their friends today. Whose tears are they? Why were they shed? Who said the quote and why? Why is St Augustine standing on top of one of the tears? Why is he in his bishop's vestments?

Placing St Augustine on top of the tears tells us that he was raised to the priesthood and to sainthood through the prayerful tears of his mother.

This was hughly successful, it was a VERY yummy catechetical instruction, to say the least!

It is also a wonderful way to combine these two saints together as they should be.

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Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sundried Tomato Pasta Salad

Since today is the feast of St. Helena, I thought I would share another recipe containing basil since tradition says that sweet basil grew all over the hillside where Saint Helena discovered the Holy cross on which our Lord died.  This salad could also be served on September 14th, the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross.

I made it a couple weeks ago for a family get together and it was SO delicious!

Sundried Tomato Pasta Salad

adapted from Pioneer Woman

  • 8 oz extra moist sundried tomatoes  (or 1 jar of sundried tomatoes, drained)
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

  • 2 - 16 ounces bags of pasta
  • 1 jar Kalamata or assorted olives
  • 1-2 pints ripe cherry tomatoes, halved  (I used 1)
  • 15-20 basil leaves, chopped
  • 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Prepare dressing by blending sundried tomatoes, garlic, salt, pepper, and vinegar until tomatoes are chopped. Blend while drizzling in olive oil; continue blending until mixed together.

Cook pasta according to package directions, drain, and rinse with cold water until no longer hot. Pour  dressing over the pasta, add olives, and toss together. Add remaining ingredients, tossing together and adding more dressing until the salad is coated to your liking. Serve on a big platter with an extra sprinkling of Parmesan cheese.

Note:  To make a smaller salad, use just one bag of pasta and pour the extra dressing over a block of cream cheese.  Serve with crackers. 


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Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Blueberry-Strawberry Cobbler in Honor of Our Lady

With the Solemnity Feast of the Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary coming up on August 15th, I thought I would share a delicious Blueberry-Strawberry Cobbler we recently made with some leftover berries.

Serving blueberries is an easy way to tie in any of Our Lady's feast days since the color blue is symbolic of her mantle.

The cobbler was very easy to make and turned out absolutely delicious.

Blueberry-Strawberry Cobbler 
  • 1/3 cup Butter
  • 1 1/2 cups Flour
  • 1 1/2 cups Granulated Sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups Milk
  • 2 teaspoons Baking Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon Salt
  • 4 cups of Blueberries
  • 2 cups of Strawberries, sliced
  • 1/2 cup Pecans, coarsely chopped
  • 1/3 cup Brown Sugar
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C). Place butter in a 9×13″ baking pan and melt in preheating oven, but remember to keep an eye on it. Remove from oven when butter is melted.

In the meantime, combine flour, granulated sugar, milk, baking powder, cinnamon and salt in a large mixing bowl.  Whisk together until a thin batter forms and all the lumps are gone.

Pour the batter into the pan, over the melted butter.  Do not stir.  (The butter will ooze up around the batter and may pool on the top, which is ok.) 
Sprinkle berries evenly over batter.

Sprinkle with pecans and brown sugar.

Bake for 45-60 minutes or until it tests done. The top will be a beautiful golden color.

Serve warm with vanilla ice cream or whipped cream (a big "cloud" for the Assumption) and Enjoy!

Be sure to check the archives for even more ideas for celebrating the Assumption.  I also posted a few other ideas here . 

Queen Assumed into Heaven,
 Pray for Us!

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Saturday, August 8, 2009

Raise a Glass to St. Dominic!

Last year when I shared Chicken with Sauteed Tomatoes for St. Dominic's day, Mary Liz left a comment explaining the connection of St. Dominic with oranges. As today is his feast day I'm not suggesting anything elaborate for his feast, except to eat an orange or raise a glass of orange juice, or a delightful Mimosa (1 part champagne or white sparkling wine to 1 part orange juice) to toast the founder of the Order of Preachers, known as the Dominicans (although there is a wonderful Orange Roll recipe for January 20.)

Why is the orange associated with St. Dominic? From this site we read:

The Orange Tree
The orange tree pictured is at Santa Sabina and is said to be a direct descendant of the one planted in Rome by Our holy Father Dominic in 1220. Apparently this was the first of its type to be planted in Italy. The Villa Sciarra in Rome has an orange grove grown in commemoration of the bringing of the plant to Italy by St. Dominic.
From the original posting of Sacred Destinations Rome: Santa Sabina:
The Legend of the Orange Tree
In the quadrangular enclosure at Santa Sabina on the Aventine Hill in Rome, there is an orange tree. According to a legend, St. Dominic planted the seed from which it grows. In the nineteenth century, when the tree sent off a new and healthy shoot, having many oranges, someone noted that it was when Pere Lacordaire was a novice. Some took that as a symbol of the new vigor of the Order which was soon restored in France and of its increase in other provinces. And so the legend grew that when the orange tree produced well, there would be a flowering of the Order.

More information and photos of the actual tree can be found on St. Dominic's Orange Tree.

So you'll understand now that images of St. Dominic he is pictured with an orange tree. So raise your orange juice glass to St. Dominic today!

Image of Orange Tree from and Image of Mimosa from
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Monday, August 3, 2009

St John Vianney's Feast Day

Here is our feast for the feastday of St John Vianney and the 150th anniversary of his death and entry into Eternal Life.

We kept the table setting austere, with no table cloth, in keeping with the simple and mortified life of the Cure.

The highlight of the meal was the cake which was quite simple, two cakes - a chocolate mud cake and a white chocolate mud cake, both cut in half hortizonally and then layered making sure the white, iced top was the last layer. Last night I had made the silhouette of The Cure as he was on the last leg of his journey to Ars for the first time. He ran into a local boy and he asked for the way...the famous and beautiful quote goes like this:

"Show me the way to Ars and I'll show you the way to Heaven."

That quote makes me teary, it's touching and profound, this was a priest that would be giving his whole being to saving souls, nothing would be held back.

The silhouette I traced from the photo below. If you click on the image to enlarge it and then save it to your computer, you can print it up to full size on paper, cut out and then trace onto heavier cardboard. I'll keep that silhouette image for next year. On the cake is the quote I mentioned above and further below you will see the quote I printed up and laminated to go on the top of the cake.

We had a lovely discussion time when getting ready to cut the cake as I talked about the image, the quote and then I asked the children why had I layered the cake, dark, light, dark, light? Discussion started. I told them how The Cure had grappled and fought with the devil throughout his priestly life, particularly on the evenings before a 'big fish' were to approach the town. {Big fish was the term The Cure used for describing the soon-to-be converted sinner.}

So the cake is a representation of that constant battle with the iced white cake on top, The Cure being victorious!! In fact the devil once said that if there had been four Cure's at that time in history his dominion on earth would have been conquered.

Click on this image to enlarge if you wish to cut and paste as a template.

Our main meal was symbolic as well. We served homemade Chicken Mustard & Vege Pasties, with a cross on top. Pasties being a French cuisine. Making the casserole filling was easy, I used 2 chicken marylands and diced them up, fried them with two small onions and garlic. Then I added finally diced brocoli and yellow squash {could be any vege} and threw in a bottle of Chicken Mustard sauce and thickened it slightly with arrowroot powder.

Then I made the dough by adding 4 cups of plain flour in a bowl, I rubbed 360 grams {12.7 ounces} of softened butter into the flour and added two egg yolks and 6 Tablespoons of lemon juice {I used lime juice as well when I ran out of lemons} I then kneaded it into a dough and separated it into 8 portions {to feed 8} and rolled them out individually, using a regular eating bowl as the template for cutting out my circles, placed a heaping of casserole in the center and folded the dough over and pressed with my thumb, the edges together and cooked them in a medium oven for a good 30 mins.

Then we had 'Devils on Horseback' with two spiced, port soaked prunes wrapped in bacon, this symbolized The Cure's war against the devil constantly. I fried the bacon and wrapped two prunes in each strip, {you can secure them with toothpicks if you like} I popped them in the oven for 10 mins or so.

Then we had a side serving of boiled potatoes, this being the staple and constant diet of The Cure who mortified himself greatly with denying himself pleasurable food. Beans were an added green to the dish and it was topped with some butter and dried herbs. The meal was delicious but looked simple as you would imagine it would have been like in rural France at The Cure's time.

As we enjoyed our meal we discussed these symbolic elements, the little children were particularly enthralled.

Here is a cross section of our yummy cake.

I've added below, Charlotte's lovely Cure of Ars cake, a beautiful job as always. Charlotte had this to say about her creation:

"One was a white chocolate cake and the other a devil's food mocha cake. The layers were stuck together with a chocolate ganache and the whole thing was glazed with a white chocolate ganache."

I thought that was great too, because the whole cake is covered in white - The Cure is victorious! When the cake is cut and served the life long 'battle' between The Saint and Satan can be seen. Lovely Charlotte!

Happy Feast Day!
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Saturday, August 1, 2009

Recipes for August ~ Month Dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

The month of August is dedicated to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. The Immaculate Heart is often venerated together with the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Just as the Sacred Heart represents Christ's love for mankind, the Immaculate Heart represents the Blessed Virgin's desire to lead all people to Christ.

August 4, Feast of St. John Vianney (New):

August 4, St. Dominic (Trad.):

August 8, St. Dominic (New): (See August 4)

August 8, St. John Vianney (Trad): (See August 4)

August 10, St. Lawrence (New, Trad.):

August 14, St. Maximilian Kolbe (New):

August 15, Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary into Heaven (New, Trad.):

August 18, St. Helena (Trad):

August 22, The Queenship of Mary (New):

August 23, St. Rose of Lima (New):
(The following three posts were not originally posted for St. Rose, but would adapt wonderfully!)

August 26, St. Monica (New)

August 27, St. Augustine (New, Trad.):

August 29, The Martyrdom of St. John the Baptist (New) and Beheading of St. John the Baptist (Trad):

August 30, St. Rose of Lima (Trad.): (See August 23rd)

The Daily Offering to the Immaculate Heart of Mary

O Jesus, through the Immaculate Heart of Mary, I offer you my prayers, works, joys, and suffering of this day in union with the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass throughout the world. I offer them for all the intentions of Your Sacred Heart: the salvation of souls, reparation for sins, the reunion of all Christians; I offer them for the intentions of our Bishops and of all Apostles of Prayer and in particular for those recommended by our Holy Father this month.

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