Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Rose Cupcakes

I recently ran across the directions for making these adorable rose cupcakes at Family Fun and decided to add them to our celebration of St. Therese's feast day this year. Even though they were simple to make, they did take a bit of time. Nevertheless, it was totally worth it and they turned out so cute!

Since this recipe only makes 12 mini cupcakes, and therefore uses very little cake batter, I ended up baking the rest in two round 8" pans for our Rose Petal Coconut Cake.

Here's what you need:
  • 12 mini cupcakes
  • White icing
  • Scissors
  • 6 rolls of Fruit by the Foot fruit leather in Cherry Rage or strawberry flavor
  • 1 roll of Fruit by the Foot fruit leather in Color by the Foot flavor


Frost 12 mini cupcakes with white icing.

To make a rose, unroll a piece of the cherry or strawberry fruit leather and divide it in half along the wavy perforated middle line. (Note: If their isn't a wavy perforated middle line, cut your own with either a pizza cutter or scissors.)

Take one of the halves and roll up about 5 inches to form the flower's center.

Set the rolled strip wavy side up in the middle of a cupcake.

Continue to loosely wrap the remaining fruit leather around the center at a slight angle until the flower is completed.

Repeat this process for the remaining flowers. (You should be able to get 2 mini roses out of each roll of fruit leather.)

Cut leaf shapes from the wavy edge of the Color by the Foot strip, then tuck the leaves under the roses.

I hope you all have a very blessed feast of St. Therese!

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Easy Beef Burgundy for Feast of Saint Thérèse

This post was written by past Catholic Cuisine contributor Amy.

My mother used to make this for me on my birthday by special request. It is a simple and more American than French version of beef bourguignon. Also a lot easier!!

With the feast day of St. Thérèse fast upon us, I had thought about trying to make Julia Child’s beef bourguignon again (had to promise the kids that next year I would go through the all day process!!!), but knew that time would not be on my side that day, so instead I am making the easier and quite yummy beef burgundy! I gave you the recipe as I make it (for a small army) but this is easily halved.

Amy Caroline’s Beef Burgundy
(actually it is her mom’s recipe)

  • 1 lb lean stew meat
  • 2 cans Golden Mushroom soup
  • 2 cans mushrooms (drained)
  • Burgundy wine
  • Extra Wide Egg noodles


In an ovenproof casserole add stew meat, soup (keep cans), and mushrooms. Fill the two empty soup cans with the Burgundy wine and add to casserole dish. Mix well, cover and stick in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Cook for two to three hours. Check the meat on occasion to make sure that it is cooked through and is still tender. This is usually at about two hours.

Take out of the oven and let rest while you make the noodles to package directions.

Drain noodles and add to the beef Burgundy.

Serve with a fresh garden salad and French bread. Voila! French cooking made the American way... easy!

Bon Appétit and have a blessed Feast of Saint Thérèse!

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Monday, September 28, 2009

Recipes for October ~ Month Dedicated to the Most Holy Rosary

"The month of October each year is dedicated to the Most Holy Rosary. This is primarily due to the fact that the liturgical feast of Our Lady of the Rosary is celebrated annually on October 7th. It was instituted to honor the Blessed Virgin Mary in gratitude for the protection that she gives the Church in answer to the praying of the Rosary by the faithful."

A great way to celebrate the month is to make a commitment to pray the rosary daily, but here are a few more ideas for celebrating the feast days in October, from the archives!

October 1, Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux (New):
October 2, Feast of the Holy Guardian Angels (New, Trad.):

October 3, Feast of St. Therese of Lisieux (Trad.):
(See October 1st)

October 4, Feast of St. Francis of Assisi (New, Trad.):
October 5, Feast of St. Faustina Kowalska (New/some places):

October 7, Feast of Our Lady of the Rosary (New, Trad.):

October 7, Feast of St. Mark (Trad.):

October 11, Feast of Blessed Pope John XXIII (New):

October 12, Feast of Our Lady of the Pillar:

October 13, The Miracle of the Sun in Fatima:

October 15, Feast of St. Teresa of Avila (New, Trad.):

October 16, Feast of St. Margaret Mary Alacoque (New):

October 24, Feast of St. Raphael the Archangel (Trad.):

Last Sunday of October, Feast of Christ the King (Trad.):

Queen of the Most Holy Rosary,
Pray for us!

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Friday, September 25, 2009

St. Francis and the Wolf ~ Wolf Paw Cookies

The feast of St. Francis of Assisi is celebrated on October 4th.

Since one of the famous stories of St. Francis tells how he tamed the wolf that was terrorizing the people of Gubbio, I wanted to share a recipe for the Wolf Paw Cookies we made this past Easter Season as one of our Garden of the Good Shepherd activities. These cookies were a hit with my children (Especially my boys!), and they were sooooo easy to make.

All you need is:
  • 1 package Voortman's Iced Almonette Cookies
  • Chocolate Almond Bark or Chocolate Chips, melted for dipping
  • White Chocolate Chips (or white frosting) to use for claws

Dip one side of each cookie into melted chocolate. Add 4 or 5 white chocolate chips for the claws. (Wolfs have 4 claws on the back paws and 5 on the front.) Let cool.

(You may want to place the cookies onto wax or parchment paper to cool, so they don't stick to your serving platter.)

Before eating the cookies, we read either Saint Francis and the Wolf by Richard Egielski, or the story about St. Francis and the Wolf found in Legends of Saints and Beasts by Ann Marie Jauss. (You can read another version online here.)

* If you are unable to find the Almonette Cookies, you can substitute with another kind. Charlotte used Pepperridge Farm Tahiti Cookies and they turned out darling too!

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

St. Michael's Waffles

The feast of St. Michael the Archangel, also known as Michaelmas, is celebrated on September 29th.

In her book Cooking for Christ, Florence Berger shares the tradition of making waffles baked in a Gaufrette Iron for Michaelmas Day. She says, "Our family has not yet invested in a true French Gaufrier, but we use a waffle iron to make an American version of St. Michael's Gaufres. The recipe is like that of waffles." I think I will follow her lead and do the same!

(St. Michael's Waffles)
from Cooking for Christ

2 eggs
1 egg yolk
2/3 cup sugar
1 1/3 cups flour
3/4-1 cup milk
4 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Blend eggs and sugar. Add flour and milk alternately. Beat hard. Add butter and vanilla. The mixture is thin and should spread evenly on the preheated iron. If Gaufres tend to stick, butter both sides of the iron. Serve hot or cold.

We will be topping our breakfast "Gaufres" with Blackberry Syrup. Doesn't that sound yummy? In A Book of Feasts & Seasons, the author, Joanna Bogle, says that "It is a tradition that blackberries are no good to eat after September 29th because 'the Devil spat on them when he was cast out of Heaven into Hell on Michaelmas'! So the days just before Michaelmas are your last chance for bottling blackberries and making blackberry jam."

Perhaps this year I will be able to take my children blackberry picking, in preparation for the feast day.  If not, we will pick some up at our local Grower's Market, like last year.  

*This post is an excerpt from our Plans for Michaelmas Pin It

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Instant Gnocchi for Michaelmas

On Michaelmas, or the feast of St. Michael, which is celebrated on September 29, many Italians serve Gnocchi, or potato dumplings.

The following recipe was submitted by a Catholic Cuisine reader, Fred Hass:

The following recipe for Instant Gnocchi is terrific. It was formulated by a dear friend, Florence Machetta. It takes all the work out of making gnocchi!

The history of gnocchi is very interesting and may be traced to the time of the Roman legions. The word "gnocco" in Italian means a stupid person. How the word gnocchi derived is not clear. Various regions in Italy have their own distinctive variations one of which from Trentino-Alto Adige/Sudtirol is spinach gnocchi, called strangolapreti. This translates to "choke the priest." The use of potato is a relatively recent innovation, occurring after the introduction of the potato to Europe in the 16th century.

Hope you like this recipe.

Instant Gnocchi
from Florence Machetta, “my own formula”


Potato flakes 2C
Flour ½ C
Powdered milk ¼ C
Salt 1 t
Garlic powder ½ t
Egg 1
Water 10 oz
(Can use 10 oz milk instead of dry)


Put dry ingredients in bowl.
Beat egg in water.
Add wet to dry and mix well and knead on floured board until dough is elastic. Form one inch ropes of dough and cut into 2 inch pieces.
Roll each piece over a grater or end of dinner fork to form the gnocchi. Bring pot of water to a boil and add the gnocchi. Reduce heat and simmer until gnocchi float to top then remove with slotted spoon.
Serve with sauce of your choice.

Mangia bene!

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Monday, September 14, 2009

Triumph of the Cross Cookie Hunt

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

Today we celebrate the feast of the Exaltation of the Cross. From the Women for Faith and Family website...

On the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross (or Triumph of the Cross) we honor the Holy Cross by which Christ redeemed the world. The public veneration of the Cross of Christ originated in the fourth century, according to early accounts, beginning with the miraculous discovery of the cross on September 14, 326, by Saint Helen, mother of Constantine, while she was on a pilgrimage to Jerusalem -- the same day that two churches built at the site of Calvary by Constantine were dedicated.

A friend of mine put this idea in my head many, many moons ago and I always think of it when this feast day rolls around, especially when it rolls around on a water soaked day like today!

Make some simple cutout sugar cookies in the shape of a cross. Any cut-out cookie recipe will do although, it might be fun to try a chocolate version to simulate the wood of the cross. Frost all of the cookies white except for one. Frost that cookie red. Now, go hide the cookies all over the house during rest time or while the children are distracted. The red cross represents the True Cross that everyone should be hunting for and at the end of the hunt you should have a plate of cookies to enjoy together.

Now, if the idea of cookie crumbs all over your house just sends your spine a tremblin', never fear... you can wrap the cookies in cellophane or use paper crosses instead, maybe even craft stick crosses! Surprise your little hunters with a plate of cookies after they have hunted for and found the True Cross like St. Helena.

Also... this is a coloring page I made for St. Helena's feast day, but it could also be used for today. This link will take you to a short YouTube video on the church of Santa Croce and the story of St. Helena and the True Cross. And for more ideas for celebrating today, click here and stroll through the lovely posts from last year's blog fair.

*I think the wet weather outside kept my frosting from setting up and drying, so we ended up hunting for craft stick crosses!

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Saturday, September 12, 2009

Our Lady of Sorrows

September 15 is the feast of Our Lady of Sorrows. I have a great dedication to this devotion of Our Blessed Mother. We can learn so many virtues by knowing Our Lady of Sorrows and her great sufferings: her compassion, her fortitude, her faith, hope, and temperance. What can we not learn from Our Mother in heaven?

For this feast day I make a heart-shaped caked and insert seven "swords" as the heart of Our Lady of Sorrows is depicted. No special recipe here -- make any recipe for cake you like -- a box cake is just fine. Bake the cake in one round pan and one square pan. Use this method to arrange the cakes in the shape of a heart. Frost with your favorite frosting -- you can use pink or red -- or whatever flavor you like. Then take cocktail toothpick "swords" or even just long stick pretzels, as I did, and place the swords in the heart -- four on the right and three on the left.

You can certainly take the time to decorate this cake intricately, but it definitely isn't necessary. Your children will remember this dessert without any fuss at all. Pin It

Thursday, September 10, 2009

The Year of the Priest ~ Thanking Your Parish Priest

This post was written by past Catholic Cuisine contributor Amy.

As many of you know this is the year of the priest. Many times these men give up their days off to tend to the ill, they wake at all hours to help us in any situation. I have been made very aware, over the last years especially, how much my parish priest means to me. He has been there for my family so many times I couldn’t even count them!

As many of you also know, most priests are very self-sacrificing. It is part of the job description. Any monetary gift you give a priest is very often put right back into the church.

It occurred to me a few years ago that one way to show appreciation for our priest was to make him something special. Not having a lot of resources, there was one thing I thought of immediately.


These are men who often live alone or in a community of other men. How often do they get warm homemade cookies? Unless they make them for themselves?

So the tradition began.

Every so often our priest will simply look at one of my kids and say "chocolate chips." They will giggle and run and ask me if we can make cookies for our priest.

Yesterday, after a wonderful meeting with our priest, I told him I had to stop at the store now and get some chocolate chips. His eyes lit up… he knew what was coming.

Amy Caroline’s Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 sticks of butter, room temperature
¾ cup white sugar
¾ cup DARK BROWN sugar (that is important!)
Cream together
1 Tablespoon vanilla
2 eggs
Mix well.
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
¼ teaspoon kosher salt
Mix well.
1 bag of chocolate chips
1 cup finely crushed walnuts or pecans (optional -- this is important too. Crush them very fine so that there are only small chunks and a lot of powder. It gives the flavor of the nut but doesn’t not overwhelm the flavor of the cookie overall)

Bake in a preheated oven at 375 degrees for about 12 minutes. It should still appear gooey in the middle, otherwise it will overcook and get tasteless. Depending on what kind of brown sugar you use the cookie might be lighter in color, so do not worry if it is not overly brown.

My advice? When you bring these to your priest offer them warm and with a card from you and your family thanking them for all they do, not just for you but for your whole parish and the kingdom of God.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Feast of the Holy Name of Mary

On September 12th, we celebrate the naming of the Blessed Virgin as Mary. I want to do something easy and yummy for the kids to celebrate the name of Mary. I decided blue Jello letters spelling out her name would be an easy, inexpensive way to celebrate that is also fun. The directions are simple. Follow the below instructions for maing Jello Jigglers, letting it set in a large casserole dish or deep cookie sheet. Using letter cookie cutters, cut out the letters "MARY," and carefully with a thin spatula transfer them to your serving platter. I wish I had some sort of rose shaped cookie cutter, but any flower shape will do as a little floral decoration with her name. Place a statue of Mary next to the platter and say a Hail Mary or sing "Ave Maria" before enjoying the treat.

~ Directions ~ 

2-1/2 cups boiling water (Do not add cold water.)
2 pkg. (8-serving size each) JELL-O Gelatin

STIR boiling water into dry gelatin mix in large bowl at least 3 min. until completely dissolved. Pour into 13x9-inch pan.

REFRIGERATE at least 3 hours or until firm.

DIP bottom of pan in warm water 15 sec. Cut into 24 decorative shapes using 2-inch cookie cutters, being careful to cut all the way through gelatin to bottom of pan. Lift JIGGLERS® from pan. Reserve scraps for snacking. Store in tightly covered container in refrigerator.

This post was written by Robina, at Motherly Loving, and submitted for publication here at Catholic Cuisine.  Thank you Robina!

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A Blueberry "Waffle Cake" for Mary's Birthday!

So as I imagined, I did not have time to make a cake for Mary's birthday today.  So I opted for my alternate plan of a "waffle cake" for dinner. This was embarrassingly easy, as I didn't even make the waffles, but just used frozen toaster waffles. The kids were having such a fun time at the park, that I decided to let them play longer instead leaving early to get home in time to make the waffles from scratch. To make the "cake," I layered the waffles with whipped cream, finishing with a layer of whipped cream on top. I poured blueberries (defrosted from my large and perfectly frozen collection) all over the top of the cake and then drizzled the entire cake with maple syrup. I had to work fast so the whipped cream didn't melt, but I placed a statue of Mary next to the cake and lit a blue candle on top and we sung "Happy Birthday" to Mary. It was a very sweet dinner, but a dinner and dessert in one. The kids loved it.

Happy Birthday Mary!

This post was written by Robina, at Motherly Loving, and submitted for publication here at Catholic Cuisine.  Thank you Robina!
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A Birthday Cake for Our Lady!

Each year, on the Feast of the Nativity of Our Lady, our family makes a cake to celebrate. Last year we made a Blueberry Cheesecake and this year we opted for a Lemon Blueberry Cake.   Although the type of cake varies from year to year, I usually make sure the cake itself is white, symbolizing Mary's purity, and then we add blueberries to symbolize her blue mantle.

We top the cake with a small statue of Mary and surrounded it with a circle of 10 candles, representing one decade of the rosary.  The children then take turns lighting the candles as the whole family prays a "Hail Mary" for each candle.  Afterwards we sing Happy Birthday and let the children blow out the candles!!!  My children look forward to this tradition every year!

Lemon Blueberry Cake
adapted from the Food Network

  • 2 (8-inch) round white cakes (I made mine using a boxed white cake mix)
  • 1/3 cup frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
  • 2 teaspoons lemon extract, divided
  • 2 (12-ounce) cans cream cheese frosting
  • Fresh blueberries (I used frozen since I had some in the freezer.)
  • Fresh mint sprigs and Lemon slices, quartered (optional)


Use a knife to slice cake layers in half horizontally. Use a pastry brush to brush each layer with lemonade concentrate; set aside.

Stir 1 teaspoon of lemon extract into each can of frosting; set aside.

To assemble cake: frost and stack the cake layers on top of each other.

Decorate the cake with blueberries.  You can then add the optional clusters of mint sprigs and quartered lemon slices for further decoration if you'd like.

Happy Birthday Dear Blessed Mother!

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The Winner of the Catholic Cuisine Apron is...

Comment #120 , left by Bridget (janebabes):

Congratulations Bridget!

Please email me at catholiccuisine[at]gmail[dot]com with your shipping information, by Saturday, Sept. 12th, and I will forward it on to Catholic Embroidery. If I don't hear from you by Saturday, we will need to draw another name, so contact me soon! I hope you enjoy your beautiful new apron!

Thank you all for your participation, as well as for all the kind words you left about Catholic Cuisine!  It was great to hear from you all!! Oh and remember that Mary Serafino, the founder of Catholic Embroidery, 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.

Well, I am off to finish our cake, in honor of Our Lady's Birthday, for our teatime this afternoon!   I hope you all have a lovely feast day today.  God bless!
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Tuesday, September 1, 2009

St. Gregory's Cherries (Crisp)

Legend has it that on St. Mark's Feast Day, St. Gregory the Great, when he was the pope, suddenly had a great craving for cherries. The servants and gardeners were puzzled at what to do, since the cherry trees, which were plentiful, were just in bloom. As the legend goes, one gardener, in search of cherries, was visited by St. Mark in a cloud of fire, and asked why he was in such a state. When St. Mark heard the story about Pope Gregory, he gave a blessing upon one cherry tree, and it was suddenly covered with ripe, red cherries. In gratitude, it is said that the pope "wolfed down a bellyful."

And still today St. Gregory the Great is associated with cherries, and what better way to pass on the legend than to enjoy a dish of cherries? This dessert recipe is just about as easy a recipe as you will find. It calls for Bisquick and a can of pie filling, so I call it a "cheater" recipe, but it's very good, nevertheless. Top it with a scoop of vanilla ice cream, or even just a few tablespoons of half & half, and you have a dessert worthy of the legend. You can make this recipe with any flavor pie filling, but of course we will use cherries on St. Gregory's Feast.

This would be a good dessert to enjoy on St. Mark's Feast Day, as well, as even today the pope will enjoy a cherry dessert on his feast day to remember St. Gregory's craving.

Cherry Crisp
serves 6

1 can cherry pie filling (or any other fruit)
1 ¼ cup Bisquick
½ cup sugar
½ t. cinnamon
1 egg
¼ cup melted butter

Heat oven to 400 degrees F. Pour fruit in 8 x 8 pan. Mix Bisquick, sugar and cinnamon. Beat egg and pour over Bisquick mixture and mix until crumbly. Sprinkle over fruit. Pour melted butter over dry mix. Bake 25 minutes. Serve warm or room temperature with ice cream or cream.

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