Saturday, September 29, 2012

Celebrating Michaelmas and Nameday Prayers for the Family

In honor of St. Michael, and a certain little boy's nameday, our family always celebrates today's feast with Devil's food cupcakes (this year it was a simple cake, made from a mix) topped with a St. Michael statue.  The celebration is never complete without little swords for stabbing the cake devil!

This year's feast is coming to an end, but I thought I'd pop in for a minute to share a picture, and the Nameday Prayers from My Nameday - Come for Dessert.   I hope you all had a very blessed feast!

Nameday prayers. Today the family prays the following:

Father: The Lord, King of archangels.

All: Come, let us adore, alleluia.

Father: I looked up and saw a man standing there clad all in linen and his girdle was of fine gold. Clear as a topaz his body was, like the play of lightning shone his face; and like burning crossets his eyes; arms and legs of him had the sheen of bronze, and when he spoke, it was like the murmur of a throng.

All: He bestows favors on those nations who honor him, and his prayer leads them to the kingdom of heaven, alleluia.

Father: The angel Michael, chief in paradise, to whom the angelic citizens pay honor.

All: Most glorious prince, archangel Michael, be mindful of us here and everywhere; pray ever for us to the Son of God, alleluia, alleluia.

Father: From the writings of Pope St. Gregory the Great:

Michael means "Who is like God!" When any work of remarkable power is to be done, we are told it is Michael who is sent, that from both his action and his name we may understand that none can accomplish what God in His might accomplishes.

All: Salvation belongs to our God, alleluia.

Father: Let us pray. O God, who ordained the services of angels and men in wonderful order, be pleased to grant that our life on earth may be guarded by those who stand always ready to serve You in heaven. Through Christ our Lord.

All: Amen. Christ conquers, Christ reigns!

Holy Michael, Gabriel and Raphael, 
Pray for us!

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Wednesday, September 26, 2012

St. Jogues - Huron Indian Blueberry Crunch Cake


September 26 – Extraordinary Form ~ October 19 – Ordinary Form
These eight French Jesuit missioners, the first canonized saints of the North American continent, labored and died among the most barbaric of red men in the most impenetrable fastnesses of the 17th-century New World. After struggling with unbelievable privations and hardships, they were severely tortured and martyred by the Iroquois Indians between the years 1642 and 1649. Fathers Isaac Jogues and Anthony Daniel and the two lay oblates, John Lalande and Rene Goupil, gave their lives in what is now New York State; Fathers John de Brebeuf, Gabriel Lalemant, Charles Garnier, and Noel Chabanel in central Canada.


My children’s interest led us to this impromptu Saintly treat.  We imagined that St. Isaac Jorgues, St. John De Brebeuf, and their companions would have eaten something similar while on their mission among the Huron Indians since the Huron Indians supplemented their diets with wild blueberries. 
Although agriculture was important in the economy of the Huron, it was not the only source of subsistence. Berries, particularly strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries, were plentiful. Fruits were fried for winter use, to be used as preserves for the sick, to give taste to sagmite, ad to put into the small cakes that were baked in the ashes. ~ An Ethnography of the Huron Indians, 1615-1649
The ordinary meal of soup was sometimes supplemented with unleavened cornbread baked under the ashes.  This bread occasionally hand beans of wild fruits added to it.  To make bread, corn was first pounded into flour in a wooden mortar and the hull removed by fans made of tree bark.  The corn was boiled for a short time in water and wiped and dried a little, then crushed and kneaded with warm water, shaped like cakes or tarts (an inch long), and baked in the ashes.  To the dough might be added beans that been been boiled separately.  Sometimes dried or fresh fruits, such as raspberries, blueberries, strawberries, and blackberries were added. ~ An Ethnography of the Huron Indians, 1615-1649
Additional resources on St. Jogues and the First American Martyrs are listed here.
This recipe is modified from Paula Deen’s  Pineapple Blueberry Crunch Cake
Sweetie and Sparkles collected the ingredients.
Sweetie crushed our pineapples while Sparkles melted the butter.
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They took turns adding the ingredients.
Dad and I consider our family to be modified Paleo -- we do what we can, within the means that we have been provided.  Here’s an example of what I mean.  We don’t keep the traditional treats handy in our home but being the sugar addict that I am, I will send Dad to the nearby store for a quick fix.  (I like to think that pregnancy hormones have something to do with my attempted binges but I’m not so sure.)  In order to avoid such scenario I opt to store some quasi healthy treats.  In this case it’s gluten-free cake mix.  The blueberry pie filling was bought after a saw a pin from Melody for a blueberry cake recipe.  I was unable to locate a gluten-free pie filling but I did search for a filling that did not contain high-fructose corn syrup.  Again, it’s not the ideal snack but it beats the alternative for us.  
The kids are always thrilled when the get to “enjoy” a mom-approved treat.
First went the crushed pineapples.  Sweetie was in charge of using the emulsion blender to crush the cubed pineapples that we had on hand.
Together, they layered the blueberry filling and covered it all with boxed yellow cake mix.
Then I drizzled the warm butter over the top.  Note that all the cake should be covered with some amount of butter.
Forty-five minutes later, we enjoyed a yummy treat!
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Recipe: St. Jogues - Huron Indian Blueberry Crunch Cake
Prep Time: 10 min. | Cook Time: 35-45 min.| Difficulty: Easy | Servings: 8-12
INGREDIENTS:st jogues blueberry treat 
  • 3/4 cup butter
  • 1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple, with juice
  • 1 (20-ounce) can blueberry pie filling
  • 1 box gluten-free yellow cake mix
  • Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees
  • Butter a 9x13 casserole dish
  • Pour the pineapple with juice in the casserole dish
  • Evenly spread the blueberry filling over the pineapples
  • Cover with dry yellow cake mix
  • Drizzle with melted butter over the cake layer
  • Bake for 35 to 45 minutes at 350 degrees
"To maintain it, and see what can be done for the instruction of these tribes, it is here deemed expedient to send some Father. I have reason to think I shall be sent, having some knowledge of the language and country. You see what need I have of the powerful aid of prayers, being amidst these savages. I will have to remain among them—almost without liberty to pray; without Mass; without Sacraments —and be responsible for every accident among the Iroquois, French, Algonquins and others. But what do I say? My hope is in God, who needs not us to accomplish His designs. We must endeavor to be faithful to Him, and not spoil His work by our shortcomings. I trust you will obtain for me this favor of Our Lord, that, having led so wretched a life till now, I may at last begin to serve Him better.” ~ St. Isaac Jogues
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Saturday, September 22, 2012

Émincé de Veau St. Moritz (Curried Veal St. Moritz)

This recipe, adapted from Cooking with the Saints, was submitted by Hi Cookery in honor of today's feast of St. Maurice!

September 22: Feast Day of St. Maurice

During a tour of the Cathedral of Sts. Catherine and Maurice in Magdeburg, Germany, Islander and her friends Lisa and John L. noticed a rare dark, stocky statue that stood out from among the other Anglo-Saxon images in the church. It was of St. Maurice himself, a Christian knight from North Africa, and the statue is reputed to be the earliest icon of him in existence (circa 1240 A.D.). According to Wikipedia, “The Cathedral of Magdeburg is the first and oldest standing temple honoring the life of St. Maurice. When the new cathedral was built under Archbishop Albert II of Käfernberg (served 1205-32), the relic said to be the head of Maurice was procured from the Holy Land.”

We are glad that there is a display of cultural diversity in the church! And Islander feels privileged to have been able to see St. Maurice’s unique statue in Magdeburg, Germany.

In observance of his feast day, we cooked Curried Veal St. Moritz. The author of the cookbook from which we adapted the recipe notes that the dish came from a hotel in St. Moritz, Switzerland, a resort town named after the saint. He wrote: “The chef who originated it presented it as an entry in the Culinary Olympics of 1960. This recipe was so special it was awarded a gold medal.”


(Adapted from Cooking with the Saints by Ernst Schuegraf)


  • 1 ½ pounds veal scallops
  • 1 cup onion, finely chopped
  • pinch of garlic salt
  • 4 tablespoons butter, divided
  • 2 tablespoons curry powder
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 3 cups chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 4 tablespoons white wine


Slice the veal thinly and into bite-sized pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Sauté in two tablespoons of butter until lightly browned on both sides. Transfer to the bottom of a baking dish with a lid. Next, make the sauce. Sauté the onions in two tablespoons of butter and add a pinch of garlic salt. Stir in the curry powder and corn starch and mix until well blended.

Slowly pour in the chicken stock over the onion mix and stir until slightly thickened. Add salt, pepper and wine to the sauce. Pour over the veal in the baking dish. Cover with the lid and bake in a preheated oven at 325 degrees F for about an hour. Remove from the oven. Garnish with cilantro and serve with rice (optional).

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Thursday, September 20, 2012

St. Matthew's Silver Dollar Pancakes

September 21st is the feast of St. Matthew the Apostle and Evangelist. Since St. Matthew was a tax-collector and often symbolized by a bag of coins or loose coins, I thought Silver Dollar Pancakes would be perfect for celebrating his feast day! 

You can make these using your own favorite pancake recipe, a gluten-free recipe, or my favorite which can be found in the archives.   This time, however, I'm planning on using an extra quick and easy Pancake Mix!   My husband has been out-of-state on a wildfire assignment (today is only day 8 of 16) and I'm on my own with our seven kiddos.  Quick and easy is about all I can manage at the moment! 

Once you have your pancake batter ready to go, heat a griddle or frying pan until it is good and hot.  (Or you can use a Silver Dollar Pancake Pan, if you happen to have one on hand.)  Grease the pan and drop spoonfuls of batter onto the griddle - just enough to spread to an approximately 2 1/2-inch round.  (I used a 1 Tablespoon Scoop for this step.)  

When a few bubbles form on top of the pancakes, flip them over and cook for another minute or so.  

Repeat the process until all of the batter has been used. Transfer pancakes to warm plates and serve with your favorite syrup.
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Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Chicken San Gennaro

This delicious recipe for Chicken San Gennaro was submitted by Hi Cookery in honor of the feast of St. Januarius, which is celebrated on September 19th.  

September 19: Feast Day of St. Januarius (Gennaro in Italian)

We enjoyed meandering around Manhattan’s Mulberry Street, which is the main thoroughfare of “Little Italy.” On the weekends, when the weather was nice, we would take a 45-minute train ride from New Jersey, where we lived, to New York and explore the ethnic sections of the city. Little Italy was just steps away from Chinatown, so we got to tour (and taste) the best of both worlds!

Little Italy hosts an annual Festa di San Gennaro, an 11-day festival coinciding with the feast day of the patron saint of Naples, in September. The big block party features parades and processions, vendor and games booths, entertainment and food! A sausage sandwich with sweet bell peppers and onions is traditionally sold and served at the festival. But a similar version is made with chicken. We tried the latter at home for a tasty and traditional meal marking the Feast Day of St. Januarius.


(Adapted from Cooking With the Saints by Ernst Scheugraf)


  • 4 chicken breasts, skinless and thinly sliced
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon basil
  • 1 cup onions, sliced
  • 1 sweet red bell pepper, sliced
  • slices of Italian bread, toasted


Lightly season the chicken breasts with salt and pepper. Heat a skillet with a little olive oil and saute the garlic over low heat. Turn up the heat and brown the chicken on both sides. Remove from the skillet and keep warm on a lipped plate. In the same skillet, pour in the white wine, scraping the brown bits. Sprinkle the oregano and basil and boil to make a sauce. Pour over the chicken.

In the same skillet, saute the onions until brown and soft, adding a little olive oil as necessary. Remove from the skillet. Saute the pepper until slightly softened but still crisp. On a plate, lay a few slices of toasted Italian bread. Place a chicken breast on top of one slice. Spoon a little sauce over it. Garnish with a side of onions and peppers. Serve as a sandwich.


  • San Gennaro festivals are held where there are large communities of Italian-Americans, such as New York City, Los Angeles and Las Vegas.
  • The Feast Day of St. Januarius/Gennaro is celebrated in the West on September 19. But in Naples, the patron saint is fested on December 16 (this was the day in 1631 that Mount Vesuvius could have had a volcanic eruption but Italians believe that he interceded and spared the city).

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Hildegardplätzchen (St. Hildegard Spice Cookies)

The following recipe was submitted by HI Cookery in honor of today's feast of St. Hildegard of Bingen!  Thank you Highlander and Islander! 

September 17: Feast Day of St. Hildegard of Bingen

Food bloggers and chefs may appreciate St. Hildegard of Bingen, a 12th century German saint who wrote her own cookbook. The multi-talented nun believed in the holistic and natural approach to healing. So her recipes included organic ingredients, such as spelt and spices. Below is an adaptation of her spice cookies which she believed will improve one’s outlook in life. Have a happy Feast Day of St. Hildegard and bake these ancient biscuits called “Hildegardplätzchen.”


(Adapted from Cooking With the Saints by Ernst Scheugraf)


  • ½ cup (1 stick) butter
  • ¾ cup sugar (granulated white or brown)
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 ½ cup flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons nutmeg
  • ½ teaspoon ground cloves


In a large mixing bowl, cream together the butter and sugar. Beat in the eggs. In a separate bowl, combine the flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and ground cloves.

Gradually add the flour mixture and blend until a soft dough is formed. Add a little water if it is too dry. Make into a ball and flatten into a disc. Roll out into about ¼-inch thick and cut out 3-inch circles. Place on a cookie sheet.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 12-15 minutes or until golden. Remove from the oven and transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Yield: Approximately 3 dozen cookies.


  • A mixture of all-purpose and spelt flours may be used in this recipe. St. Hildegard advocated the use of spelt over other wheat-based flours because the former is easier to digest and contains more protein.
  • St. Hildegard developed a spice cake version of her cookies for another saint. We made “Margariten Lebkuchen” on the Feast Day of St. Margaret of Antioch on July 20.
  • Learn more about St. Hildegard of Bingen from Catholic Online.

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Mystical Rosette Ombré Cake

The following cake recipe and tutorial was submitted by Highlander and Islander, from HI Cookeryin honor of today's feast of the Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary.   I love this cake!   I attempted to make a similar cake last December for our youngest daughter, our little "Christmas Rose." It is such a fun cake to make and would also be perfect for the upcoming feast of St. Therese!  

September 12: Feast Day of the Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary

Our Lady inspires us to create special cakes in her honor. Last year, we posted our version of a “Stella Maris (Mary, Star of the Sea) Cake.” This year, we made a “Mystical Rosette Ombré Cake,” since one of Mary’s nicknames is the “Mystical Rose.” The name is meaningful to us as we were married at the Mystical Rose Chapel, which overlooks iconic Diamond Head, in Honolulu, Hawaii.

For this particular cake, we used two techniques that are quite trendy today—ombré to create color gradations inside of the cake and rosette piping to decorate and texturize the outside of the cake. The cake has a pretty presentation on its own but when sliced, it reveals the subtle surprise of a blue hue!

Make a “Mystical Rosette Ombré Cake” for the Feast Day of the Most Holy Name of the Blessed Virgin Mary.


For the blue ombré cake

  • 2 boxes of white cake mix (for 3 8-inch round cakes) or 3 boxes (for 3 12-inch round cakes)
  • egg whites
  • oil
  • water
  • blue food coloring
  • rose water flavoring (optional to taste; see Notes)

Grease and flour 3 round cake pans. Prepare the cake mix according to the package instructions, adding a few drops of rose water to flavor the batter (optional). Divide the batter into 3 equal portions. Use the food coloring for each portion, doubling or tripling the amount of the drops to create distinct color gradations.

Pour the batter into the pans (be sure to remember which pan contains light, medium and darker colors). Bake according to the package instructions. Remove from the oven and allow the cakes to cool completely.

For the frosting

(Adapted from Wilton)

  • 1 cup vegetable shortening (we used Crisco brand all-vegetable shortening baking sticks)
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla (we recommend clear vanilla extract)
  • pinch of salt
  • 4-6 cups powdered sugar, sifted
  • 4+ tablespoons of cream, milk or water


Make 2-3 quantities of the frosting recipe (enough to frost the 3-layered 8- or 12-inch round cakes). In a large mixing bowl, cream the shortening with the vanilla and salt. Gradually add the powdered sugar and beat until smooth. Pour a little bit of liquid to thin it out until the frosting reaches spreadable and piping consistency. Smear a little frosting on the bottom of a cake board and invert the darkest color cake onto it to secure in place. Generously spread frosting on top of this cake.

Layer with the medium color cake on top. Spread frosting on top of this cake. Finally add the lightest color cake on top. Spread frosting on top of this cake and crumbcoat the sides until completely covered.

Outfit a pastry bag with Wilton tip 1M. About an inch from the bottom of the cake, make a rosette by swirling a circle from the center outward. Space an inch apart and repeat until the bottom row of the cake is covered with rosettes. Continue making rosettes on the side of the cake and on top. Refrigerate to set the frosting. Bring the cake to room temperature about half an hour before serving.

Place on a cake pedestal and top with a Mary figurine (optional). Slice to reveal the ombré coloring inside the cake. Use a sharp knife to make the first cut deep into the cake. Wipe the frosting off the knife. Make a second cut into a wedge shape. Serve on plates. Always wipe the frosting off for each cut to make clean slices and showcase the ombré.


  • Rose water may be found in the specialty baking aisle of grocery stores or at Indian and Middle Eastern food markets. Be careful not to add too much to the cake batter or else the floral flavor will be overpowering.
  • We actually made a “Mystical Rosette Ombré Cake” for a student prayer social to celebrate the Vigil of Mary, Queen of the Apostles (September 5). We made another one for a parish potluck at our church to observe the Nativity of the Blessed Virgin Mary (September 8).
  • Make a Mary cake for her birthday or one of her many feast days. Search our blog for other cake recipes for inspiration and ideas.

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Saturday, September 8, 2012

Strawberry Pink Lemonade Birthday Cake

Today is our dear Blessed Mother's Birthday!  We are hosting a Mother/Daughter tea at our home this afternoon so I decided to make a special cake for Our Lady.  

This year, I ended up using my Fleur de Lis Pan again.  I just love this pan!  The Fleur-de-lis is a symbol of the Blessed Virgin Mary because it resembles both the Iris and the Madonna Lily:
  • Iris: The iris or "Sword Lily" is an emblem of Our Lady's Seven Sorrows.
  • Lily: The Lily, symbol of virginity and purity. There is also a white day lily which only blooms during the time of the Assumption in mid-August and is known as the Assumption Lily among horticulturalists. The species here is very similar to the Assumption flower.

I also opted to just use a cake mix, since baking the cake was just one little thing to check off my long to-do list for the tea party, but you could make it from scratch if you'd prefer.  I basically just wanted to share the glaze with you all.  I thought it turned out pretty! 

Strawberry Cake 
with Pink Lemonade Glaze

Strawberry Cake Mix (with pudding), plus water, oil and eggs to make the cake
Bundt/Crown shaped Cake Pan

1/2 cup butter
4 cups powdered sugar
1/3 cup pink lemonade concentrate

Bake cake according to directions on the box, or use your favorite strawberry cake recipe.

Beat butter, powdered sugar and lemonade concentrate until light and fluffy.   Transfer to pan and heat until the icing is quite runny.   Spread the frosting on the cooled cake.

Impart unto Thy servants, we beseech Thee, O Lord, the gift of Thy heavenly grace, that to us, for whom the childbearing of the Blessed Virgin was the beginning of our salvation, the votive solemnity of her nativity may give increase of peace. Through our Lord. Amen. 

Thou art my Mother, O Virgin Mary: keep me safe lest I ever offend thy dear Son, and obtain for me the grace to please Him always and in all things. Amen.

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Friday, September 7, 2012

Kalbscoteletten à la Saint Cloud (Veal Cutlets St. Cloud)

The following recipe was submitted by Highlander and Islander, from HI Cookery, in honor of today's feast of St. Cloud!  Thank you and happy feast of St. Cloud!

Kalbscoteletten à la Saint Cloud 
 (Veal Cutlets St. Cloud)

For the veal cutlets
  • 4 veal cutlets, about 5 ounces each
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 bacon strips


Tenderize the veal cutlets by pounding them thin with a meat hammer. Season with salt and pepper. In a skillet, melt the butter and brown each side of the veal cutlets but do not cook through. Transfer to a baking dish and top with a bacon strip. Make the gravy.

For the gravy
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 3 tablespoons flour
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tablespoons sherry


In the same skillet where the veal cutlets were browned, melt the butter. Stir in the flour. Pour in the chicken stock, scraping the brown bits from the sides. Keep stirring until thick. Season with salt and pepper.

Mix in the sherry. Pour the gravy over the veal cutlets. Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 20-25 minutes or until the veal cutlets are cooked through yet tender. Serve the veal cutlets immediately with a side of rice or potatoes, spooning the gravy over them.

  • We halved the original recipe to feed just the two of us. But we followed the original measurements of the gravy because we like sauces with our meats.
  • The author suggests inserting small pieces of truffle or a flavorful mushroom into the cutlets for a unique taste. However, truffles are expensive and not readily available in most areas like ours.
  • St. Cloud is the patron saint of nail makers in France. So our final food photo above features the large nails that Highlander used to build our backyard deck.

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