Sunday, January 31, 2010

St. Blaise's Cookies

We have a couple of family feast days coming up at the beginning of February, so for the sake of my sanity I knew we wouldn't be celebrating the feast of Candlemas with any foodie fun. (We will be going to Mass and having some candles blessed, but that's about it.) 

But, like Jessica, I saw these adorable candle cookies over at Family Fun and really wanted to try them. Well, since St. Blase's Day is one of our family feast days, and Pepperidge Farm Pirouettes are easy enough to find I decided to pass on hunting down the cookies used for the base and decided instead to use a simplified version to represent the candles used for the blessing of the throats, which is traditionally done on St. Blase's day.

St. Blase's feast day isn't until February 3rd, but I went ahead and made this little tutorial for the visual people, like me, who might need to see it in pictures to better understand my alterations.

I used:
Pepperidge Farm Vanilla Pirouette cookies
white chocolate chips
mini marshmallows
white sugar
a few drops each of red and yellow food coloring

First, I made my own orange colored sugar by mixing a few drops of red and yellow food coloring with plain white sugar. Tossing it around in a zippered baggie works great plus the kids get a kick out of watching the color change. Not having any powdered sugar on hand to make the glaze frosting they recommended, I melted some white chocolate chips and snipped off the corner of another zippered bag. When my family made gingerbread houses this past year, I learned that melted white chocolate makes an excellent construction substance. It's easy to pipe on and firms up in a jiffy.

Next, cut the mini marshmallows in half on the diagonal and dip the cut end into the orange sugar to create the flame effect.

Use a drop of melted white chocolate to attach the marshmallow to the cookie and dribble some down the top to create the look of melted wax. I used another little drop to attach the two together in an X shape for this picture, but for the feast day, I plan to pick up some red licorice laces to tie them together, just like the candles that will be used to bless our throats on the day.

It is also a tradition in some countries to have some bread blessed on St. Blase's Day to keep on hand for treating sore throats. Long, thin bread sticks might also be a fun way to remember this Holy Helper and are easy enough to add to almost any meal!

Also, if you are looking for a coloring page for St. Blase, you can find one here on my personal blog.

Through the intercession of Saint Blaise, bishop and martyr, may God deliver you from ailments of the throat and from every other evil. In the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen. - blessing of Saint Blaise
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Saturday, January 30, 2010

A Light Dessert for Candlemas

I recently ran across this super cute recipe at Family Fun, which is very similar to the Edible Candles that Mary posted last year.   Aren't they great!?!  I am hoping to make them (or a similar variation, since I don't have the exact cookies needed for the base) with my children this coming week, for the feast of Candlemas.


Confectioners' sugar
Flower cookie with a center hole (we used Murray shortbread cookies)
Larger cookie (we used Anna's Ginger Thins)
Rolled wafer cookie (we used Pepperidge Farm Pirouettes)
Mini marshmallow
Orange decorating sugar
Red decorating gel


Make a simple icing by stirring together 1 teaspoon water and 5 tablespoons confectioners' sugar.

Use dots of icing to attach a small flower cookie with a center hole to a larger cookie.

Dab icing on one end of a rolled wafer cookie and press it into the center of the flower cookie.

For the flame, halve a mini marshmallow diagonally, dip the sticky side of one half in orange decorating sugar, and attach the half with icing. Spoon a few wax drips of icing down the candle's sides and use red decorating gel to embellish the base.

If any one ends up making these, or perhaps Anne's amazing Candle Cake, we'd love to see pictures!  You can either leave a link to your post in the comments, or email a picture to catholiccuisine[at]gmail[dot]com and I'll add them to the bottom of this post!

Update:  Here is a picture of one of our Candlemas Cookies, which we included in our Candlemas Tea.

Hope you all have a happy and holy 
feast of Candlemas! 

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St. Brigid's Bread

February 1st is the day on which St. Brigid is honored, especially among the Irish.

I noticed the other day, when I was posting Recipes for February, that we didn't have anything in the archives specifically for her feast, and was very excited when I received the following recipe from Kathleen at AMDG Academy.  Thank you Kathleen!

Kathleen's family enjoys making this "tried and true recipe" for breakfast, which she says is "simple and a real winner."  It sounds delicious!

I think I'll try baking it to enjoy with my favorite Irish Breakfast Tea while I read Brigid's Cloak: An Ancient Irish Story to my children as suggested in Catholic Mosaic: Living the Liturgical Year With Children!

St. Brigid's Bread

2/3 cup butter
1/3 cup sour milk
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
1 pkg. yeast
1 egg
1 cup oats
1 cup Bisquick
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. allspice
1/2 tsp. ginger

Heat butter and milk to melt butter in microwave (or melt butter and scald milk.) Add sugar. Allow to cool slightly and add yeast, stirring to mix. Let mixture rest for 10 minutes. Add slightly beaten egg. Mix all dry ingredients and stir into yeast mix. Lightly grease a Pyrex pie plate. Pour batter and bake at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. When done, allow to cool slightly and serve warm with butter.

*The Irish Beef and Guinness Stew and Irish Soda Bread would be great recipes to serve on the feast of St. Brigid as well!

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Thursday, January 28, 2010

Recipes for February ~ Month Dedicated to Holy Family

The Month of February is dedicated to the Holy Family.

"Nothing truly can be more salutary or efficacious for Christian families to meditate upon than the example of this Holy Family, which embraces the perfection and completeness of all domestic virtues." ~ Pope Leo XIII

February 1st, St. Brigid (Hist.):

February 2nd, Presentation of Our Lord (New and Trad) also known as the Purification of the Blessed Virgin Mary and Candlemas Day (Trad):

February 3rd, St. Blaise (New, Trad.):

February 5th, St. Agatha (New, Trad.):

February 11th, Our Lady of Lourdes (New, Trad.)

February 14th, St. Valentine (Trad.)

February 16th, St. Paul Shipwrecked (Malta):

February 18th, St. Bernadette Soubirous (New, Trad.):

February 20th Bls. Francisco Marto & Jacinta Marto (New):

February 27th, St. Gabriel of Our Lady of Sorrows (Trad.):

*If I missed anything from the archives, please let me know and I will update this post.  Hopefully we will have some new recipes to share with you all soon, including a compilation of our archived recipes for Lent...  

Lord Jesus Christ, who, being made subject to Mary and Joseph, didst consecrate domestic life by Thine ineffable virtues; grant that we, with the assistance of both, may be taught by the example of Thy holy Family and may attain to its everlasting fellowship. Who livest and reignest, world without end. Amen.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Our Lady of Altagracia Orange Smoothies

January 21st is the feast of Our Lady of Altagracia! Since we are still adjusting to having a new little baby in our home once again, I've had to keep our feast day cooking extremely simple.Our plans for tomorrow are to read and discuss the lovely book A Gift of Gracias: The Legend of Altagracia, and then make Orange Smoothies.  We recently made them during "O" Week, as my daughters learn Along the Alphabet Path, and they were so delicious!

Here is our recipe:

Our Lady of Altagracia Orange Smoothies

6 oz. frozen orange juice concentrate
1 cup milk
1 cup water
1/2 cup powdered sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
8-9 ice cubes

Combine all ingredients except ice cubes in blender.
Blend for about 1-2 minutes, adding ice cubes one at a time.
Pour into glasses and serve.

O Sweetest Mother of Altagracia, Admirable Mother, who in your little house of Nazareth, served as a model for Christian mothers and wives. We ask you to bless our homes so that the sanctity and holiness of marriage will flourish in them.

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Sunday, January 10, 2010

Potato and Pork Chop Casserole

Last year's Catholic Cuisine post refers to a legend of how the devil often tempted St. Anthony in the form of a pig.  Saint Anthony was always able to resist those evil temptations.

So, for supper, we'll make Granny's Potato and Pork Chop Casserole  (It's so yummy and sooo easy!) and we'll talk about how God is stronger than the evil one and his temptations.

Potato and Pork Chop Casserole

1.  Grease the bottom of a cookie sheet that has sides.

2.  Wash, peal, and slice potatoes and place a single layer on the sheet. (I usually do about 1 per person.)

3.  Season pork chops and place on potatoes. ( I use creole seasoning.)

4.  2 cans cream of mushroom soup and about a can of milk. Mix this in a small bowl and pour over pork chops.

5.  8 oz Shredded cheddar cheese over top.

6.  Cover with foil and bake 45min to 1 hour. (It's ready when your potatoes are done.)

7.  Uncover and let cheese brown 10-15 min.

This recipe was submitted by Lori, from Busy with Blessings, for the feast of St. Anthony Abbot on January 17th.  Thank you Lori!
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Friday, January 1, 2010

King Cake for Epiphany

After seeing Jessica's compilation of Epiphany recipes, I was distressed to realize there was no New Orleans style King Cake included on Catholic Cuisine for Epiphany. Having roots from southern Louisiana, King Cake is a necessity not an option for Epiphany.

"King Cake" is the Louisiana term for the sweet bread served on Epiphany. This is the day that opens up Carnival or Mardi Gras. Most people think that Mardi Gras is only around the beginning of Lent, but it actually begins on 12th Night and ENDS on Tuesday at midnight before Ash Wednesday. Here's an interesting explanation of the King Cake origins.

This excerpt from The Original Picayune Creole Cook Book, fifth edition from 1922:
This is a Creole cake whose history is the history of the famous New Orleans Carnivals celebrated in song and stories. The "King's Cake," or Gateau de Roi, is inseparably connected with the origin of our now world-famed Carnival balls. In fact, they owe their origin to the old Creole custom of choosing a king and queen on King's Day, or Twelfth Night. In old Creole New Orleans, after the inauguration of the Spanish domination and the amalgamation of the French settlers and the Spanish into that peculiarly chivalrous and romantic race, the Louisiana Creole, the French prettily adopted many of the customs of their Spanish relatives, and vice versa. Among these was the traditional Spanish celebration of King's Day, Le Jour des Rois, as the Creoles always term the day. King's Day falls on January 6, or the twelfth day after Christmas, and commemorates the visit of the three Wise Men of the East to the lowly Bethlehem manger. This day Is still even in our time still the Spanish Christmas, when gifts are presented in commemoration of the Kings’ gifts. With the Creoles it became Le Petit Noël, or Little Christmas, and adopting the Spanish custom, there were always grand balls on Twelfth Night; a king and a queen were chosen, and there were constant rounds of festivities, night after night, till the dawn of Ash Wednesday. From January 6, or King's Day, and Mardi Gras Day became the accepted Carnival season. Each week a new king and queen were chosen and no royal rulers ever reigned more happily than did these kings and queens of a week.
It seems almost every country has their own version of an Epiphany cake or bread. I couldn't find all the names or types for all the countries, but here are some highlights, keeping in mind that different regions and families do things a bit differently, so it's hard to make sweeping summaries.

Hispanic Countries: Rosca de los Reyes (Cake of the Kings). This is a fruit and nut filled ring or crown topped with icing and decorations, and bean or tiny doll inserted.

Spain: Roscón de Reyes is a roll that is ring shaped and sometimes filled with chocolate or jelly.

Germany and Switzerland: In both countries the Three Kings Cake is called Dreikönigskuchen and usually a gold crown is placed on top of the cake.

France: Galette (or Gateau) des Roi (or Rois) (Cake of the Kings). Usually this is a round and flat cake, honey-spice or sponge inside. It is decorated with pastry, fruits, or sugared frills. Each cake has a bean, small token or miniature doll inside. A nice tradition: there should be one more piece than the number of guests. The extra portion, la part a Dieu--God's share--is for the first poor person who knocks at the door. The day of the Kings means sharing as well as receiving. Nobody who asks for food or alms will leave empty-handed that day.

England: Twelfth Cake is eaten with Lamb's Wool (mulled ale with roasted apple pulp). Inside the cake are a bean and a pea. The man to find the bean was the King of the part, and the woman with the pea is the Queen.

The Festive Bread Book by Kathy Cutler contains 7 different types of bread or cakes for Epiphany, including ones from Spain, Brazil, Holland and a Twelfth Night Bread of Lady Carcas. This book is OOP. Another book I highly recommend, Celebrations of Bread by Betsy Oppenneer, only has one recipe for Epiphany, Rosca de Reyes.

We usually serve this King Cake as part of our Epiphany family celebration. This recipe is from from La Cucina Egeriana. by Eleanor Bernstein, Ferraro, CSJ and Maria Bettina, from Notre Dame Centre for Pastoral Liturgy, a cookbook that is out-of-print. There is another similar recipe in Bad Catholics Guide to Good Living by John Zmirak and Denise Matychowiak. I know Denise is a chef from New Orleans, so this recipe is definitely authentic. Compared to this one, the main difference is that there is no nut filling in her version.


2 packages dry yeast
1/3 cup warm water
1/2 cup sugar (divided, 1/3 cup plus remaining amount, 2 Tbsp.)
1 stick butter
2/3 cup evaporated milk
2 teaspoons salt
4 eggs
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon rind
2 tablespoons finely grated orange rind
5 cups flour plus 1 cup for kneading surface

Melt 1 stick butter, milk, 1/3 cup sugar and salt in a saucepan. Cool to lukewarm. Combine 2 tablespoons sugar, yeast and water in a large mixing bowl. Let stand until it foams (5-10 minutes). Beat eggs into yeast mixture, then add milk mixture and lemon and orange rinds. Stir in flour, 1/2 cup at a time, reserving 1 cup for the kneading surface. Knead dough until smooth (about 5-10 minutes). Place in large mixing bowl that has been greased. Turn dough once to grease top; cover and let rise in a warm place until doubled, about 1 1/2 to 2 hours.

1/2 cup chopped pecans
1/2 cup brown sugar, packed
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon cinnamon
1 stick butter, melted

Either 1 egg beaten or Confectioner's Sugar Icing (see below)
Then 1/3 cup each colored sugar of purple, yellow and green
2 plastic babies (3/4 inch) or 2 red beans

For filling, mix pecans, brown sugar, granulated sugar and cinnamon. Set aside. For topping, tint sugar by mixing in food coloring until desired shade is reached. For purple, use equal amounts of blue and red. (Use just a drop or two at a time).

When dough has doubled, punch down and divide in half. On a floured surface, roll half into a rectangle 30 x 15 inches (this takes a long time for me, and the dough gets to be very thin). Brush with half of the melted butter and cut into 3 lengthwise strips. Sprinkle half of sugar mixture and pecans on strips, leaving a 1-inch lengthwise strip free for sealing. Fold each strip lengthwise toward the center, sealing the seam. You will now have three 30-inch strips with sugar and nut mixture enclosed in each. Braid the 3 strips and make a circle by joining the ends. Repeat with the other half of the dough.

Place each cake on a 10"x15" baking sheet, cover with a damp cloth, and let rise until doubled, about 1 hour. Brush each egg and (optional) sprinkle top with colored sugars, in sequence.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Bake 20 minutes or until cake tests done. Remove from baking sheet immediately so that sugar will not harden. While still warm, place 1 plastic baby or bean in each from underneath the cake.

At this point I add Confectioner's Sugar Icing and then sprinkle colored sugar in different sections of the cakes.

To freeze, wrap cooled cake tightly in plastic wrap. Before serving, remove plastic and thaw. The cake is best if heated slightly before serving.
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Recipes for January ~ Month Dedicated to the Most Holy Name of Jesus

The Month of January is dedicated to
the Most Holy Name of Jesus.

"For there is no other Name under heaven given to men, whereby we must be saved." ~ Acts of the Apostles 4:12

"Amen, amen I say to you: if you ask the Father any thing in My Name, He will give it to you." - Gospel of John 16:23

January 1st, Solemnity of the Blessed Virgin Mary, Mother of God (New) and Circumcision of Our Lord (Trad):

January 3rd, Most Holy Name of Jesus (New):
  • There aren't any recipes in the archives at this point for this particular feast, but all the suggestions from the feast of the Most Holy Name of Mary could easily be modified using any of the symbols of Jesus: the Chi-Rho symbol, the IHS symbol, Ichthys, and the Cross.

January 4th, St. Elizabeth Ann Seton (New):

January 6th, Epiphany of the Lord (New, Trad.)
(In the United States this feast is celebrated on the first Sunday following January 1st):

January 13th, Baptism of Our Lord (Trad.)
(On the New Calendar, this feast is celebrated on the Sunday following January 6th):

January 17th, St. Anthony, Abbot (New, Trad.):

January 21st, Our Lady of Altagracia:

January 21st, St. Agnes (New, Trad.):

January 24th, St. Francis de Sales (New):

January 25th, Conversion of St. Paul (New, Trad.):

January 28th, St. Thomas Aquinas (New):

January 29th, St. Francis de Sales (Trad.): See January 24th

January 31st, St. John Bosco (New, Trad.):

Blessed be the most holy Name of Jesus without end!
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Nativity Cookies

It has been a little busy around our home these past few weeks since, in addition to celebrating Christmas, we also welcomed home our 6th little one who was due on Christmas Day, but arrived a bit early, on December 15th! Our precious Christmas "Rose" was born with a few little heart defects, but since her baptism this past Monday, the doctor was no longer able to hear her heart murmur! The power of prayer and the graces from the sacraments are truly amazing! She has another echocardiogram scheduled for the 2nd of February where we will see if her heart has healed.

Anyhow, I am currently working on compiling a post with recipes for January from the archives, and also wanted to share these Nativity Cookies we made just before Christmas. (Though we never did get around to putting the stable together!) These would also be great to make for the upcoming feast of Epiphany!

Here's what you need:
  • Nativity Cookie Cutter Bake Set
  • Cut-Out Cookie Dough (We used the delicious recipe below.)
  • Decorations: Icing, Sprinkles, Etc... (We "Painted" our Cookies!)

The Best Rolled Sugar Cookies



1 1/2 cups butter, softened
2 cups white sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
5 cups all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt


In a large bowl, cream together butter and sugar until smooth. Beat in eggs and vanilla. Stir in the flour, baking powder, and salt. Cover, and chill dough for at least one hour (or overnight).

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Roll out dough on floured surface 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Cut into shapes with any cookie cutter. Place cookies 1 inch apart on ungreased cookie sheets.

Bake 6 to 8 minutes in preheated oven. Cool completely and decorate.

NOTE: We made the "paint" using powdered sugar, milk and various colors of food coloring. You need to make it thin enough to where it spreads easily, but not so thin that it soaks the cookies or runs off the edges.

Wishing you all a Merry Christmas and
a very Blessed New Year!

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St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Colonial Brown Bread

The following cookbook suggestion and recipe (for the upcoming feast of St. Elizabeth Ann Seton on January 4th) was shared by Monique Holmes, in Wyoming. Thank you Monique!

I thought I would write to you and tell you about a wonderful recipe book we have, as well as a recipe for St. Elizabeth Ann Seton which my family enjoys.   The cookbook is Building the Family Cookbook by Suzanne Fowler.  Here is the recipe:

St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Colonial Brown Bread

Oven Temp: 350
need a greased 9 X 5 loaf pan

2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 c. + 3 T flour
1 c. brown sugar, packed
2 t. baking soda
2 c. buttermilk

Mix all dry ingredients. Slowly add the buttermilk, stirring until well blended.  Pour into a greased 9 X 5 loaf pan.  Bake at 350 degrees for one hour.

Turn pan at once and cool on a wire rack.  The bread may be eaten warm.  Turn the bread on the side for easier slicing.

Variations:  I use all whole wheat flour and turbinado sugar.

Cautions:  Don't use any other type of flour.  I used whole wheat pastry flour once and it didn't turn out near as good.  Edible but not great! Pin It