Thursday, July 26, 2012

St. Anne's Day Dessert Fruit Pizza

Through the ages she {St. Anne} has been depicted wearing a green mantle and a red dress, colors symbolic of immortality and divine love.  Rev. Edgar Schmiedler in "Your Home: A Church in Miniature" mentions the custom in Louisiana of children of French extraction named Anne wearing red and green ribbons in her honor. These are colors to bear in mind for party decorations on her feast. There is no need to look "Christmasy" by using equal amounts; rather, use cool green for the main color scheme with accents of red. ~ My Nameday - Come for Dessert

This year, in honor of today's feast of St. Anne, we my oldest daughter made a Dessert Fruit Pizza covered with "Red and Green Fruit Ribbons" to celebrate, just like Lisa made last year!  Here's our recipe, adapted from Pampered Chef:

Dessert Fruit Pizza


  • 1 package (18 ounces) refrigerated sugar cookie dough
  • 1 package (8 ounces) cream cheese softened
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 4 cups assorted red and green fresh fruit such as strawberries, raspberries, kiwi, green grapes, etc


Preheat oven to 350° F. Place dough on round baking stone and cook 18-20 minutes until golden brown. Remove from oven and cool. For topping, combine cream cheese and sugar and spread over cookie dough, then start placing on the fruit.

Family Prayer on the Feast of St. Anne:

Father: We all rejoice in the Lord, 
As we keep holiday in honor of blessed Anne, 
Of her whose feast fills angels with joy, 
And sets them praising the Son of God. 
All: Amen. 

Father: Spotless Anna, Juda's glory, 
Through the Church from East to West 
Every tongue proclaims thy praises, 
Holy Mary's mother blessed. 
All: From thy stem in beauty budded 
Ancient Jesse's mystic rod; 
Birth from thee received the Mother 
Of the almighty Son of God 

Father: Let us pray. O God, You were pleased to bestow Your grace upon Anne so that she might fitly become the mother of her who was to bear Your only-begotten Son; grant that we who keep her feast will be helped by her protection. Through Christ, our Lord. 
All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Sts. Joachim and Anne, Pray for Us! 
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A is for St Anne and for Apple Tart

France, the 'Eldest Daughter of the Church' has always had a special connection to St Anne, since it's earliest days.  If you have ever watched the 4 part documentary Eldest Daughter of the Church (which I high recommend) you will see it begins with St Anne ~ her venerable body being carefully transported from the persecution in the Holy Land, in a boat with Sts Lazarus, Mary Magdalen, Martha and other notable New Testament people.  They have been cast out by their persecutors into a boat with no oars and by the grace of God, arrival safely to the shores of France.  This country was to be the final resting place for St Anne and devotion has spread out from there to all parts of the world, notably Canada, where her greatest shrine stands, in La Côte-de-Beaupré.

Since St Anne's feast day falls in height of summer in the Northern Hemisphere, where fruit is abundant and enjoyed, it comes as no surprise that fruit tarts are a tradition for her feast.  There would be great spiritual symbolism as well, St Anne is the 'fruitful, flowering vine of Jesse' and Mary is the Immaculate  'fruit of her womb'.  Her tomb in Apt, France had been engraved with this symbolism as Frances Parkinson Keyes points out in her book, "St Anne, Grandmother of Our Saviour":

"This design is still visible, in exacly the same form wherein it was graven so many centuries ago. It consists of the flowering branch of a tree, interlaced with a vine bearing both foliage and grapes. To look at it is an experience so moving that, months after gazing at it, this chronicler finds it impossible even to write of it without profound emotion. For it reveals, unmistakably, that when the stone slab was carved, even as now, men and women were reverently reciting the litany which begins:

"St Anne, Grandmother of our Saviour, pray for us." And continues: "St Anne, Root of Jesse, St Anne, Fruitful Vine....pray for us."

St Anne's tomb engraving.

So I have made for my family today a fruit tart ~ an apple tart.  Apple is a very good choice of fruit for St Anne because Eve in the Garden of Eden, corrupted the apple, whereas Mary is the 'new Eve' who restores what is corrupted and Mary is the fruit of St Anne's womb..I think of the typology of the two Eves and think ~ apple.  

I wanted something that was delicious and healthy.   So I found a lovely recipe that is gluten-free with minimal sugar, using hazelnut meal for the crust/base and agave nectar and apple cider with the apple filling.  My husband said, 'well I really enjoyed that', so I think it is a good recipe, just the perfect amount of sweetness and worth trying.  The recipe was adapted by Tamara Duker Freuman at her website here.


Flourless Hazelnut Tart Crust

1.5 cup Hazelnut Meal
6 Tbsp of powdered sugar (I used rapadura)
2 Tbsp of butter at room temp 
1 1/2 Tbsp of cream

I just kneaded the ingredients together, popped the bowl in the fridge for 15mins, then pressed the dough into 9" tart dish.  I pre-baked the pie crust in the oven at 375 degrees (for Australia, that would be 190 degrees), for about 5mins or so and then removed it from the oven, ready to fill with the apple filling

Apple Filling

2 lbs (1 kg) Granny Smith apples, cored, peeled and sliced into 1/2" wedges
1/4 cup agave nectar
3/4 cup apple cider

I placed the apple slices into a large frypan, drizzled the agave nectar over the apples and poured in the apple cider.    I popped the lid on the frypan and let the apples cook for about 10-15mins (the time depends on whether you want the shape of the slices kept or you are happy to to let the apple go to mush ~ I did the later).  I then removed the lid and let all the liquid evaporate and then spooned the filling into the tart dish.

I then put the tart into the oven at the same temperature as before and cooked for 25-30mins.  Once out of the oven, I let it cool so that it was mildly warm and served with whipped cream.  I cut the pie to serve 8.

Happy St Anne's Day!

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Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Transportation Themed Snacks for the Feast of St. Christopher

July 25th is the Memorial of St. Christopher, patron saint of travelers. I'm planning on having a Transportation Themed Snack Time for my kids, in honor of this dear saint, which we will enjoy while reading The Legend of St. Christopher.  I just know my kids are going to love the snacks, and I love that they are all healthy, made with (mostly) real food, and yet are still fun and colorful!

Update: You can see additional pictures here

Banana Airplanes

I ran across an idea earlier today (via a google search for airplane snack ideas) and made a trial version this evening.  It was very easy to make and turned out so cute.  I know these are going to be a hit!

Ingredients Needed for Each Airplane:
  • 1 Banana 
  • 1 Strawberry
  • 5 Brown Mini M&M's (3 reg. M&M's cut in half, or 5 raisins, would also work) 
  • Whip Cream (I made my own, sweetened with stevia)


Slice banana in half lengthwise.   Take one of the halves and slice it at a slight angle about 2/3 of the way through.   Arrange the banana pieces on a plate to look like a plane.   Add the Mini M&M's for the windows, a strawberry for the tail, and whipped cream for the jet stream and clouds.

 Graham Cracker Stop Lights

I made these little stop light snacks for my son's recent Cars themed birthday party.  The kids loved them so much that I think I am going to make them again in honor of St. Christopher.

  • Graham Crackers
  • Peanut Butter
  • Cocoa Powder
  • Red, Yellow, and Green M&M's 


Mix some cocoa powder into peanut butter.  (I just added a spoonful or so.) Break Graham Crackers into quarters and spread peanut butter mixture on the top of each cracker.   Add a Red, Yellow, and Green M&M to complete the stoplight.

*If you wanted to skip the M&M's, you could always make these with Strawberry, Apricot, and Kiwi Slices!  I also love the idea for making stoplights with celery sticks, cream cheese, and red, yellow and green bell peppers, cut into circles!  

Apple Slice Cars

I first saw this idea on Pinterest, originally from BentOnBetterLunches, and finally had a chance to try them!  This is yet another super cute snack that the kids will love and is still completely nutricious!  

  • Apples
  • Firm Grapes
  • Food Picks (I used toothpicks broken in half) 


Slice an apple into wedges and trim the core. (I used my Pampered Chef Apple Wedger, which cuts the apple into 10 wedges.) 

For each apple wedge, slice 2 grapes in half, widthwise. Push the pick through one end of the apple and add one grape to each end of the pick, sliced side out.  Repeat with the other end of the apple wedge, adding 2 more grape slices.

Deviled Egg Boats 

We made these Deviled Egg Boats last year for one of our Good Shepherd Garden Parties. They would be a perfect snack for the feast of St. Christopher! 

  • 12 hard-boiled eggs 
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard 
  • 2 teaspoons vinegar (white or cider) 
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup mayonnaise 
  • 2 red, orange, yellow, or green bell peppers 
  • Paprika 


Peel the eggs, then slice each one in half to make boats. Place the yolks in a medium-sized bowl and mash them with a fork. Add the mustard and the vinegar, then add the mayonnaise, stirring until the consistency is smooth but not soupy.

Next, make the sails. To do this, cut each pepper into 1-inch-wide strips, then cut the strips into 1-inch squares and slice each square in half diagonally.

Fill the egg-white halves with the yolk mixture. Stick the sail upright into the filling and sprinkle with paprika. Makes two dozen.

St. Christopher, Patron of Travelers,
Ora Pro Nobis! 
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Monday, July 16, 2012

A Simple Caramel Applesauce Crown Cake

Happy Feast of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel!  

Our family is celebrating with a simple Caramel Applesauce Crown Cake in honor of Our Lady baked in a beautiful Marian Fleur de Lis Cake Pan.   

Caramel Applesauce Crown Cake


3 eggs
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup oil
1 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 fresh apple, grated or chopped (skin left on is okay)
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
Caramel sauce (optional)


Heat oven to 350˚ F. Grease and flour a bundt cake pan.  (I choose a beautiful Marian Fleur de Lis Bundt Pan for our crown cake. )   

Combine all ingredients and mix well.

Bake for approximately 45-50 minutes.  Cake is done when toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  

Cool for 5 minutes and remove from pan. Cool completely and then top with caramel sauce.

*This cake can also be baked in a 9x13 pan for 35-40 minutes, or 2 -9" round layers for 30-35 minutes. 

*You can find the beautiful Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Statue here

Our Lady of Mt. Carmel, Ora Pro Nobis! 

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Wednesday, July 11, 2012

A Little "Pizza Italy" With St. Benedict

Since St. Benedict was born in Italy, we thought we'd bring a little "pizza Italy" into our home today.  This take-and-bake pizza makes an easy lunch or dinner on the Feast of St. Benedict.  Warning:  Your family must like olives on their pizza!  We designed our pizza, based on the Holy Cross pictured on the back of the St. Benedict medal.  Since St. Benedict had a profound veneration for the Holy Cross and for our Savior Crucified, the St. Benedict medal was made.  The Medal of St. Benedict is one of the Sacramentals of the Church.
Take-and-bake cheese pizza
1 can medium olives
20 pepperoni slices
Prior to baking, slice olives in half (length-wise) and arrange in shape of the Benedictine cross.  Place pepperonis in the 4 corners (5 in each corner) to mimic the circles on the back of the St. Benedict medal.  These 4 large circles hold the letters C S P B standing for the Crux Sancti Patris Benedicti (The Cross of the Holy Father Benedict). Bake and enjoy! 

+Happy Feast of St. Benedict+
Crux Sacra Sit Mihi Lux 
~(May the Holy Cross be for me a light)~

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Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Poulet Veronique (Chicken Cutlets St. Veronica)

The following recipe suggestion was submitted by Veronique Pileri. Last year, in honor of the feast of St. Veronica (her name saint) on July 12th, she served Poulet Veronique using this recipe from Epicurious. Thank you Veronique. 

Poulet Veronique 
(Chicken Cutlets St. Veronica)


2 skinless boneless chicken breast halves
3 teaspoons chopped fresh tarragon
2 tablespoons (1/4 stick) butter

1 shallot, chopped
2/3 cup small green and/or red seedless grapes
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/2 cup whipping cream


Place chicken breasts between sheets of waxed paper and pound to even 1/2-inch thickness. Peel off paper. Sprinkle chicken breasts with 1 teaspoon tarragon, then salt and pepper. Melt butter in heavy medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add chicken breasts to butter; sauté
 until brown and cooked through, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer chicken breasts to plates.

Add shallot and remaining 2 teaspoons tarragon to drippings in skillet. Sauté over medium-high heat until shallot begins to soften, about 2 minutes. Add grapes, wine and cream and boil until sauce thickens enough to coat spoon, about 5 minutes. Season sauce with salt and pepper. Spoon sauce over chicken.

Veronique adds:   We stayed with a French theme for the rest of our meal with taboule, ratatouille and baguette. A lovely dessert crepe and coffee would be a fine ending.

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Sunday, July 1, 2012

Recipes for July ~ Month dedicated to the Most Precious Blood

The month of July is dedicated to the Most Precious Blood. (The Feast of the Most Precious Blood, established by Pope Pius IX in 1849, was originally celebrated each year on the first Sunday of July. Later, Pope Pius X assigned July 1 as the fixed date of this celebration.) The early Fathers say that the Church was born from the pierced side of Christ, and that the sacraments were brought forth through His Blood.

July 1st, and All Month, Most Precious Blood of Our Lord Jesus Christ (Trad):

July 1, Bl. Junipero Serra (New):


July 3, St. Thomas the Apostle (New):

July 4, U.S. Independence Day (New):

July 4, St. Elizabeth of Portugal (New):
  • St. Elizabeth Rose Rolls
  • St. Elizabeth of Portugal (the great-neice of St. Elizabeth of Hungary) is symbolized by a crown representing sovereignty and victory over hardship.  Any of the Crown Cake Recipes in the archives would be perfect for her feast! 

July 6, St. Maria Goretti (New, Hist.):

July 11, St. Benedict (New):

July 12, St. Veronica of the Veil (Hist.):

July 12, Saints Louis and Zelie Martin (New/some places):

July 14, Blessed Kateri Tekakwitha (New):

July 15, St. Swithin:

July 16, Our Lady of Mount Carmel (New, Trad.):


July 22, St. Mary Magdalen (New, Trad.):

July 23, St. Brigit of Sweden (New):

July 25, St. James the Greater (New, Trad.):

July 25, St. Christopher (Trad.):

July 26, St. Anne (New, Trad.):

July 30, Blessed Solanus Casey (New):

July 31, St. Ignatius of Loyola (New, Trad.):

Precious Blood of Jesus, save us!
Sanguis Christi, inebria me!
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