Thursday, October 31, 2013

The 2013 Saint-O-Lantern Link Up!

Have you carved a Saint-O-Lantern this year? 
 If so, we'd love to see it!

The following carvings were submitted via email or Facebook:

Pope John Paul II - Submitted by Elizabeth Pullen
Pope Benedict XVI - Submitted by Elizabeth Pullen
Submitted by Peggy Sue, South Dakota
Submitted by Mark S. and inspired by the submission from the Ipps below

To Add Your Post:

1. Create a post about your Saint-O-Lanterns.
2. Using the Mr. Linky below, enter the exact link to your post.
3. Link your post back to this post.
4. Be sure to visit the links and check out everyone's Saint-O-Lanterns!
5. The linky will be open through November 6th.
6. If you would like to share a picture but do not have a blog, please email it to catholiccuisine[at]gmail[dot]com or post it on our Facebook Page.

Happy All Hallows' Eve!
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Tuesday, October 29, 2013

All Saints Guessing Jars

I just shared this post over at Shower of Roses, but thought I would add it here as well for anyone who is still looking for All Saints' party game ideas!   

A few days ago I happened to run across the link to some Saint Themed Guessing Jars at Catholic Inspired.  I loved the idea and and was inspired to create a variation for our annual All Hallows' Eve / All Saints' Party which we will be hosting again this week!

I prefer to keep the games simple for the party we host at our home, focusing on mostly group games like our All Saints Scavenger Hunt, All Saints Bingo, and the All Saints Puzzle Races - leaving plenty of time for standing around the bonfire, roasting marshmallows, lots of great food and visiting with friends and family.  This game will be a perfect addition and something that everyone will be able to participate in, both the children and adults!  

When I was out grocery shopping this past weekend I picked up a few of the original suggestions, adapting and adding some of my own ideas as well.  I then created saint themed labels for each jar.

I decided to use my Wide Mouth Mason Jars with White Storage Lids. (I plan to dump the contents of each jar into a treat bag or ziplock for each of the winners.)


St. Thérèse of Lisieux :: I didn't have much luck finding candy roses, but I couldn't leave St. Therese out of the game, so I used my rose candy molds and red and pink candy melts to make my own! ;) 


Our Lady of Mount Caramel ::  I opted for individually wrapped Rolo's.  Not only are they filled with caramel, but they are wrapped in gold and look like little crowns, don't you think?  Regular caramels would work great too.


St. Elizabeth Ann Seton :: I thought the Cinnamon Schoolbook Cookies from Trader Joe's would be perfect for this dear saint who laid the foundation for what became the American parochial school system.  


Holy Souls :: One bag of Jetpuffed Ghostmallows will represent the "Holy Souls" in purgatory, for whom we must always remember to pray.


The Holy Trinity :: Miniature "3 Musketeers" candy bars represent our one and the same God in three Divine Persons - the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

St. Francis of Assisi :: I also picked up the box of Animal Crackers at Trader Joe's, though any brand would work just as well for St. Francis of Assisi, Patron of Animals.


St. Isidore :: Any sort of fruit or vegetable shaped candies would work for St. Isidore, the patron of farmers.  I choose candy pumpkins.  If we do this again next year I might go with candy corn!


St. Anthony :: Colored Goldfish will represent the legend of St. Anthony and the multitudes of fish that rose out of the water to listen to him preach.


St. Andrew :: Rainbow Fish were our pick for St. Andrew, the patron of fisherman.  


I also created labels for Mary's Starry Mantle (Anything start would work - Yogurt Stars from TJ's, Star Shaped Pretzels, or handmade Star Candies) and St. Nicholas (Costco has a large bag of Chocolate Coins that a friend is picking up - the extras can be saved for St. Nicholas Day which is coming up in just over a month!).

To keep each person's guesses secret I also created little sheets of paper for each contestant to write their name and guess, before folding it in half and dropping it into an empty jar with a matching label.

  Our children are so excited and can hardly wait to start guessing!  

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Monday, October 28, 2013

All-Saints Themed Cookies

The following post was submitted by Lynne from Adoro Te Catholic Home Educators. The All-Saints Themed Cookies were made for a parish bakesale to fund their home school groups March for Life bus and are simply beautiful! Thank you Lynne! 

All Saints Day should be a joyful feast in its own right, but its timing leaves much to be desired. For moms who’d like to combat the blur after a night of shepherding and last-minute costume changes, resist the urge to crunch on that rapidly-hardening candy corn and pull out a cookie sheet. The folks at Adoro Te Home Educators recently held a March for Life fundraising bake sale featuring some sweet, saint-themed cookies that are easy to recreate at home. All it takes is sugar cookie dough, a cookie cutter, pre-made fondant and a cookie mold.

All of the cookie molds were ordered online. St. Nicholas, Madonna of the Portal and St. Cecilia are springerle cookie molds purchased from House on the Hill . The St. John the Evangelist and Salve Regina springerle molds were purchased from Springerle Joy.  St. Gabriel and St. Michael are bread stamps from Prosphora Stamp Central.

*Cookie mold tip: The St. Nicholas mold can be used for several saints. Color the fondant red and the image is St. Nicholas; color the fondant green and the image is St. Patrick.

Roll out your cookie dough to a 3/8 inch thickness and cut out the shape of the mold. This can be done in a few ways: purchase the custom cookie cutter available with some molds; use the cookie mold as a template by laying it on the dough and cutting around the edge of the mold with a ravioli cutter; or find the right sized cookie cutter from Cheap Cookie Cutters.  If possible go a slight bit smaller with the cookie cutter because the dough will spread when baking. Bake the cookies, in the center rack, at a 325 degree oven for 15-20 minutes (oven times vary).

* Rolling tip: We used dostix to roll out the dough evenly. Dostix make the rolling process fast and easy. They are the best baking purchase I have ever made. 

* Baking tip: Because these cookies are rather thick they have to be baked at a low oven for a longer period of time to ensure they are cooked through.

After the cookies are baked and cooled it is time to work on the fondant tops. Using pre-made fondant, we used Wilton brand fondant and gel food coloring, knead and roll out the fondant to a ¼ inch thickness. Lightly dust your mold with powdered sugar. Press the rolled out fondant into the mold starting from the center of the mold and working your way to the edges. Be sure to press the fondant into all of the deep areas of the design, you can feel the indentations as you press down on the fondant. Starting from the edge carefully peal the fondant from the mold. Trim the edges of the design then ‘glue’ the fondant to the cookie by brushing the top of the cookie with light corn syrup.

* Fondant tip: When coloring your fondant use plastic food grade gloves.

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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Candy Corn Saints

The following recipe was submitted by Eliana Murphy.  Thank you Eliana! 

My brothers and I made candy corn saints a few years ago for All Hallow's Eve. We adapted a candy corn recipe and used the candy dough to make all sorts of shapes! I couldn't find the original recipe link, but I found another one that appears to be very similar, if not identical:

Candy Corn Saints

  • 2 1/2 cups powdered sugar
  • 1/3 cup non-fat milk powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 2/3 cup light corn syrup
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Red and yellow food coloring (Note: If you wish to avoid the chemicals in artificial food coloring, you can use natural Earthgrown Food Colours from Dancing Deer Baking Co. as we did, purchasing them from our local Whole Foods. India Tree also makes natural food colors. The natural colors are more pale than artificial colors, which is why our candies are not brightly colored. )


Sift powdered sugar, milk powder and salt and reserve in a medium mixing bowl.
In a heavy-bottomed saucepan (wide and shallow is preferable, as is nonstick or enamel coated), bring granulated sugar, corn syrup, fat and vanilla up to a boil over high heat. When you begin to see bubbles, reduce heat to medium-high and cook for five minutes, stirring frequently with a heat-proof silicon or rubber spatula. A candy thermometer will read 225-230 degrees, just before thread stage. You want to set a timer or use the thermometer - this is very important. (Note: If you live at high altitude, subtract 2 degrees F for every 1000 ft above sea level, otherwise the candy may overcook or even burn.)

Remove pan from heat, and gradually add powdered sugar mixture to pan, incorporating with spatula. Make sure that mixture is completely integrated. Let mixture cool until slightly warm to the touch. Be careful that little ones do not burn themselves by molding the candy before it has cooled! It is recommended to not have children working with boiling candy, but they can safely participate in the measuring, kneading, and molding stages.

At this point, if you wish to create only candy corn shapes, you can link back to the original recipe. We got very creative with our candy and created a variety of shapes related to All Hallow's Eve and All Soul's Day. Knead food coloring into candy as desired before shaping. If the candy is too squishy or sticky, especially once you add the food coloring, try adding a little extra powdered sugar to the mixture. If you wish to avoid staining your hands, knead inside of a plastic bag or use plastic wrap between your hands and the candy. Once the candy is colored, you can mold into shapes on a surface covered with wax paper, so it won't stick.

After the candy is shaped, if you wish to keep it for a longer time (if it is not all eaten up immediately!), store at room temperature in airtight container, separating layers with parchment or waxed paper.

Shapes we made include saints, pumpkins and squash, skulls for All Souls, a harp for St. Cecilia, a shamrock for St. Patrick, and a sword and shield for St. Michael. This candy could also be used to make shapes for Christmas, Easter, St. Valentines Day, or any other feast day!
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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sprouted Wheat Berry Recipes

    Sprouted Wheat Berry Salad - Mediterranean Style

St. Ignatius was bishop of Antioch, the Syrian city on the Mediterranean. A Mediterranean style salad using the wheat berries is a fitting feast day side dish or lunch. Directions for sprouting wheat berries shared in this previous post.

1 cup sprouted wheat berries 
1/2 cup kalamata olives (sliced) 
1/4 pine nuts 1/4 cup feta (grated) 
1/3 cup sun-dried tomatoes (diced)
1/8 cup fresh basil (chopped)
1 T. olive oil 
1 t. balsamic vinegar

You can either use sprouted wheat berries raw or cook them. The tastes and textures vary slightly depending on how you use them - cooked slightly sweeter and a little chewier, raw more nutty flavor and slightly crisper. Both ways are good. If you cook wheat berries, put in saucepan with water to cover. Allow to boil. Take off heat and let sit for 5-10 minutes. Drain and cool.

To make the salad simply mix all ingredients together in bowl. Chill and serve. Make approx. 4 servings. 

    Sprouted Wheat Berry Bread Stick Croziers

Bread is one of the common uses of sprouted wheat berries. It can be made solely using the wheat berries ground or a combination of wheat berries chopped and wheat flour. If using only sprouted berries, they should be barely sprouted (about 48 hrs.) and not have developed the 1/4 inch tail. If chopped and added to a bread dough with flour can be more sprouted.

The staff or crosier is a common symbol of bishops, and since St. Ignatius was bishop of Antioch, following St. Peter a fun idea is to make crozier shaped bread sticks.

1 1/2 T yeast
1 cup warm water
1/4 cup oil
1 1/2 t. salt
2 T honey
1 egg
1/2 cup nonfat dry milk powder
3 -3 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1/2 - 3/4 cup sprouted wheat berries (chopped)

Sprinkle yeast over 1/4 cup water and, when dissolved, add remaining 3/4 cup water, oil, salt, honey, and egg. Beat smooth with wooden spoon. Beat in dry milk and 2 cups flour and wheat berries, then gradually mix in remaining flour until it is completely absorbed into dough. Dough will be somewhat sticky.

Cover and rest for 15 minutes. Shape as desired and let rise 1 hour.

For Bread Sticks: use refrigerated dough because it is easier to handle. Pinch off about 3 tablespoons dough or a 3-inch ball and roll into a log about 10 inches long and just under 1/2 inch around. curve end to shape into crozier. Place on oiled baking sheet. Cover and let rise about 1 hour. Bake for 10-12 minutes

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Friday, October 18, 2013

St. Teresa of Avila - Chicken Stew With Lighter than Air Dumplings

The following recipe was submitted by Kathy at 9 Peas in honor of the feast of St. Teresa of Avila.  Thank you Kathy! 

Here I go again, being a Feast Day Recipe Hack.
St. Teresa of Avila's Feast Day was on October 15th

I know she was brilliant, a Doctor of the Church, but I strongly suspect she had as sense of humor. When I read some of her quotes and stories I am inspired, and usually a few of them spark some imaginative ideas among our children about her humility allowing her to laugh at herself (sometimes, I know she also begged for no more public favors). I might be wrong, but I love the thought that she did have a sense of humor so and with that in mind I decided to hack my Chicken Stew with Dumplings into a recipe just for her. The dumplings are very light and the stew is hearty, so why not - think about it.

I begin by making stock. Take a whole chicken, add chopped up veggies (celery, onions, carrots, garlic etc..) and boil on the stove with herbs (parsley, kosher salt, pepper, sage, bay leaves, thyme, rosemary, celery salt) I usually simmer this for several hours, then I place a colander on top of another pot and pour the stock through to catch all the veggies, the chicken and allowing the broth to be caught in the pan I intend to make the stew in. I take out 2 cups of broth and set that aside. I allow 1 cup to cool to add to the dumplings and I mix about 1/2 cup corn starch into the other cooled broth and mix until corn starch is completely dissolved and set aside to add a bit later.

Dumplings are pretty much biscuits with a few tweaks. I take 2 cups flour, 4 tsp baking powder, 1/2 tsp kosher salt and 1/2 cup shortening. Mix dry ingredients first then cut in the shortening. Once shortening is blended well make a well in the center and add 1 cup broth. If you need more liquid, add milk but you don't want to dumplings too wet so mix well before adding anything. Roll out dough and then take a pizza cutter and cut into squares.

Now go back to the broth, turn the heat up to high medium and add chopped up carrots and frozen peas (sometimes I add corn too) I always discard the veggies from stock and add fresh at this stage. I also season the broth if it needs more. This can be by your preference, but I generally add more salt, pepper, and poultry seasoning. Add the corn starch blend you mixed up and stir it in good.

Once the broth is at a good rolling boil start dropping in the dumplings - DO NOT STIR! I'm serious, don't stir it because it will break down your dumplings. I use a wooden spoon to push them aside a bit to allow more to be added, but I never stir until the dumplings start to look like they are done. They will first puff up and then start settling down. I keep the lid on the pot at this stage and cook about 20 more minutes to allow the stew to thicken up. When you do begin stirring, do so very gently.

Voila and yum! This is my husbands most favorite meal! It may be a lot of steps, but it is actually easy to make and all those steps are worth it because you end up with a very hearty stew full of flavor.

While we ate the meal we passed around text with St. Teresa of Avila quotes in it. It is such a wonderful change to go from always instructing and teaching while your children are young to see those minds formed and adding to the discussion about a Saint. Hearing how they understand a quote and what it means to them is a lesson for the parents as well.

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St. Faustina's Soup

The following post was submitted by Kathy at 9 Peas, complete with a soup recipe from their recent celebration of the feast of St. Faustina on October 5th.  Thank you Kathy!   

You should know, I'm a notorious 'feast day' recipe hack. Which means, I take a recipe and 'make' it work for the feast day, not the other way around. I learned pretty quickly that I do not cook well when trying other country's recipes. I do really well when I try to make something have a 'feel' of that country. The goal is for my kids to learn, and for us to enjoy a meal together.

Saturday, the Feast for St. Faustina Kowalska was actually cold and rainy. The perfect day for a soup, that I dubbed Polish because it had sausage in it - and that might be stretching it because it wasn't technically Polish Sausage 'ahem' but, for my children's sake it was a soup we already love and therefore I christened it St. Faustina's soup for the sake of the Feast Day and the soup didn't have a name anyway, so it was meant to be. *recipe at bottom of post*

I did not make these. I looked up Polish Desserts online and found this website. I knew our local Sam's carried these and being pressed for time - I picked up a box. The kids loved them and I appreciated getting to provide a Polish treat without any more kitchen time. Don't get me wrong, I love to cook & bake but Saturday was filled to the brim, we didn't make it to the Symphony Concert, because our day was so jam packed.

What would I do without these Turkey's I just do not know. They keep me in laughing, and I love watching their sense of humor develop! I also love watching their Faith grow, I enjoy Feast Days so that we can learn about the Saint but also about the country they are from.

St. Faustina's Soup

2 lbs sausage (you could be on your game and actually buy polish sausage for this, I know it would be delicious)
1 small yellow onion chopped
2 cloves garlic
(I usually soak Great Northern Dry Beans and cook those for this, but Saturday was busy, so I used cans)
2 can butter beans
2 cans Capelini Beans
2 can Northern Beans
(Basically just use any white beans you like, but remember the salt content will be greater so taste before over salting)
2 bunch kale washed and torn into shreds
Chicken Broth (I use 2 boxes)
Salt/Pepper to taste

Cook Sausage with onions and garlic, add to crock pot. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer on low all day, serve with hearty bread or croutons. Sooooo yummy!

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Saturday, October 12, 2013

Sprouting Wheat - Getting Ready for St. Ignatius of Antioch

Catholic Culture's Liturgical Year website: 
St. Ignatius is one of the great bishops of the early Church. He was the successor of St. Peter as Bishop of Antioch. He was condemned to death by wild beasts during the Emperor Trajan's persecution. On his way to Rome, he wrote seven magnificent letters, which we still have today, concerning the Person of Christ, his love for Christ, his desire for martyrdom and on the constitution of the Church and Christian life. His sentiments before his approaching martyrdom are summed in his word in the Communion antiphon, "I am the wheat of Christ, ground by the teeth of beasts to become pure bread."

Wheat berries are a great visualization of this quote from St. Ignatius.  Sprouted wheat berries can be included in many dishes and are very nutritious, so would be a nice option for his feast day, October 17.

Sprouting wheat berries is easy, but you need to think ahead a little. You need a few days to get them to sprout so they will be ready to eat or use in recipes on St. Ignatius' feast. So if you want to join in and start now, you will need:
  • wheat berries
  • mason jar(s)
  • cheesecloth
  • water

Fill a mason jar about 1/3 full of dried wheat berries (to allow for expansion). Rinse wheat berries and drain. Refill jar with fresh water so that it is about an inch above or twice as high as the berries. Cover with cheese cloth and jar ring (or rubber band). Let sit for at least 12 hours. After it has sat, pour out water and rinse berries thoroughly. After jar is drained well, place on side, so seeds spread out for better air flow. A couple times a day rinse with luke warm water and drain berries and place jar on side again. Berries should sprout to 1/4 inch in 2-4 days. Once sprouted they are ready for use. To keep, refrigerate them. Will keep about 1 week. 

~Simple uses for sprouted berries: sprinkle over yogurt, mix into salads as topping, put into sandwiches, add to soups or stir fry.
~Recipe ideas to follow. 

~Would be fitting for Easter season, too. Sprouting wheat symbolizes the Paschal mystery. Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24)

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Monday, October 7, 2013

Wilfra Apple Cake

The following recipe, adapted from Cooking with the Saints, was submitted by Hi Cookery in honor of the feast of St. Wilfrid. Thank you Highlander and Islander!

October 12: Feast Day of St. Wilfrid

If a certain dessert is “American as apple pie,” then this similar sweet is as British as Wilfra apple cake. This recipe is associated with St. Wilfred, a seventh century bishop who established several churches and monasteries, oversaw a large diocese and preached to the pagans in England.

English culture and cuisine influenced the colonists of early America. Wilfra apple cake is probably a precursor to apple pasty/pastie and pie. The unique ingredient, however, is the shredded cheddar cheese which, when melted, binds the apple filling together.

For a different yet delicious dessert that is a cross between a cake and a pie, try Wilfra apple cake on the Feast Day of St. Wilfrid.


(Adapted from Cooking With the Saints by Ernst Scheugraf)

For the pastry dough

  • 3 cups flour
  • ¾ cup butter, softened
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 5 tablespoons water, cold

For the filling

  • 1 ½ pound cooking apples (we used Granny Smith variety)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¾ cup brown sugar
  • ½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
  • milk
  • sugar


Cut the butter into small pieces. In a large bowl, rub the butter into the flour until it looks like coarse crumbs. Add the salt, sugar and lemon juice. Pour in the cold water and mix into a smooth dough. Divide in half. Roll each out to ¼ inch thick.

Lay one of the pastry pieces on the bottom of a well greased square (10 x 10 inch) or rectangle (8 x 12 inch) pan. Reserve the other pastry piece to put on top of the filling.

Peel the apples and slice them thinly. Put them in a bowl and sprinkle lemon juice to prevent browning. Mix in the brown sugar.

Add the cheddar cheese. Spread the apple mixture on top of the bottom pastry layer. Cover with the other pastry layer. Cut out shapes from the extra pastry dough to decorate the edges (optional).

Brush the top layer with a little milk. Finish off the edges (optional) with any cut-out pastry dough shapes. Sprinkle with sugar.

Bake in a preheated oven at 350 degrees F for 40 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely to allow the juices from the apples to set with the cheese. Slice into squares and serve.


  • If “apples are of your eyes,” then try the recipe for apple pie on National Apple Pie Day on December 3. Search our blog for other recipes containing apples as an ingredient.
  • Leftover pastry dough can be used to make delicious “dokeyanas” (pets de souers). They are sweet, swirled cinnamon rolls that we blogged about on National Pastry Day on December 9.

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