Monday, April 28, 2014

Italian Flag-Shaped Caprese Salad

Here's an idea for any Italian Saint's Feast Day or Papal Celebration!  We used this idea to celebrate the Canonization of JPII and John XXIII this past weekend at the same time as we gathered for our Rome Pilgrimage Reunion.
Caprese salad is a common salad entrée found in Rome so we thought it quite fitting for an Italian feast! 
Don't forget that both St. Catherine of Siena and St. Francis of Assisi are the 2 Patron Saints of Italy...It would be quite fitting for their feast days as well:)
It's very simple to put together and even more festive in the shape of the Italian flag!
Typically, Caprese consists of  sliced tomatoes, fresh mozzarella and basil leaves, drizzled with extra-virgin olive oil and sprinkled with salt and pepper. It's that easy and it's so fresh and delicious!
*I used a fresh mozzarella log and Roma tomatoes for the flag so the shapes would correspond in size.*
Depending on your taste, balsamic vinegar may be added or a different blend of spices.  Dining in Rome, we rarely experienced it being served with vinegar.
Wash and gently dry fresh basil leaves and set aside.  Slice fresh mozzarella log and tomatoes of choice.  (We used Roma) Arrange according to flag colors, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Buon appetite!

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Sunday, April 27, 2014

Keys of Heaven Candies

Today is a historic day in the Catholic Church as two popes are canonized.  You can find a number of recipes to commemorate these new saints in the archives including Papal PolentaKremówka Papieska (Papal Cream Cake), and John Paul II Sugar Cookies.  I just finished making some "Keys of Heaven" candies for my children using this Key Mold and Yellow Candy Melts.

St. John XXIII and St. John Paul II, Ora Pro Nobis!

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Wednesday, April 23, 2014

St. George and the Dragon Veggie Platter

With the feast of St. George falling on Easter Wednesday this year, following a weekend filled with Easter and Birthday cakes in our home, I decided to make a Veggie Platter for the feast of St. George instead of a dragon cake or our Saint George Cookies. Our veggie platter was inspired by a couple snake themed veggie trays I found through a google image search, with the addition of some lettuce wings at the suggestion of Charlotte's oldest son.  I thought it turned out great and my children love it! We will devour the dragon this evening with dinner, after reading a couple new books (Saint George & the Dragon by Jim Forrest and The Saint Who Fought the Dragon: The Story of St. George - affiliate links) that one of our boys discovered in his Easter Basket! You can also read The Ballad of St. George by Eliana Murphy over at Shower of Roses.

St. George and the Dragon Veggie Platter


  • Cucumbers - I used 2 for the head and body
  • Carrots - I used baby carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Tomatoes
  • Olives - 1 can of black olives
  • Lettuce - 2 leaves for Wings
  • Veggie Dip of your choice


Using the end of one of the cucumbers and some carrot slices, create a dragon head.

Slice the rest of the cucumbers and shape into a body on a platter, wrapping around the dip bowl.

Add the broccoli, carrots, tomatoes and olives, along with the two leaves of lettuce for the wings.

Happy Feast of St. George! 

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Friday, April 18, 2014

A Lenten Dinner on Holy Thursday

I just realized that even though our family has been enjoying Lenten Dinners for the past six years (originally inspired Alice's Lenten Teas) I have never posted any of the pictures here at Catholic Cuisine!  It's a little late for this year, but at least next year this post will be in the archives! :)  It really isn't very hard to pull together this symbolic meal and it can be modified in so many ways, as you can see from the changes I've made from year to year.  You can find my posts from our 2012, 2011, 2010, and 2009 Lenten Dinners/Teas on Holy Thursday over at my other blog Shower of Roses.  (Updated to add: In 2015 we had this Lenten Dinner on Holy Thursday.) 

Removing a thorn from our Lenten Crown of Thorns 
Note: This Post Contains Affiliate Links

Here are the pictures from this year's Lenten Dinner on Holy Thursday:

~ Palm on the Road ~

Like I did a couple years ago, I decided to add another book to our collection for this menu item. When I ran across a bargain priced version of The Donkey and the Golden Light I thought it would be perfect for this year.

"And many spread their garments on the road, and others spread leafy branches which they had cut from the fields." Mk. 11:8

~ Costly Oil ~

One of the boys made a salad and I pulled out the vinegar and some "costly oil" to use as dressing. 

"And truly, I say to you, wherever the gospel is preached in the whole world, what she has done will be told in memory of her." Mk. 14:9

~ Thirty Pieces of Silver ~

I happened to have 30 Chocolate Coins left over from St. Patrick's Day so I used these for our "silver" this year.  Only a few of the children gave up candy this year so those few are saving their few coins (and Hershey Kiss) for Easter and put another sacrifice bean in the jar. 

"Then one of the twelve, who was called Judas Iscariot, went to the chief priests and said, 'What will you give me if I deliver him to you?' And they paid him thirty pieces of silver." Mt. 25: 14-15

~ Unleavened Bread ~

I kept it extra simple this year and picked up a package of Naan since my husband loves it, although technically it is a leavened bread...  Don't tell the kids! 
It was perfect for with either the Chicken Curry Soup or the Fig Butter. 

"And on the first day of Unleavened Bread, when they sacrificed the passover lamb, his disciples said to Him, 'Where will you have us go and prepare for you to eat the passover?'" Mk. 14:12

~ The Mount of Olives ~

This year's Mount of Olives was a mix of Black Olives and Garlic/Jalapeño stuffed Green Olives

"And when they had sung a hymn, they went out to the Mount of Olives." Mk. 14:26

~ The Cock Crows Twice ~

This year we had Chicken Curry Soup and Baked Chicken.

"Mom, did you just put the chicken in the baking pan so that it looks like it is homemade?!  Genius!!" 
Um, no.  I put it in the pan so that I could heat it up! ;)  And I should have washed and dried my hands before touching the little sign with my greasy fingers... The Chicken Curry Soup was homemade though, using my mom's recipe. YUM!!! 

"And Jesus said to him, 'Truly, I say to you, this very night, before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.'" Mk. 14:30

~ Gethsemane Figs ~

Fig Butter representing Gethsemane Figs to spread on the "unleavened bread." 

"And they went to a place which was called Gethsemane; and he said to his disciples, 'Sit here, while I pray.'" Mk. 14:32

~ Sleepy Apostles ~ 

Not all of the children like herbal tea, but a few of us enjoyed some Sleepytime Tea after dinner. Thanks again Jennifer for the suggestion!

"And he came and found them sleeping, and he said to Peter, "Simon, are you asleep?  Could you not watch one hour?" Mk. 14:37

~ Judas' Kiss ~

One Hershey Kiss each to represent Judas' Kiss. 

"And when he came, he went up to him at once, and said, 'Master!' And he kissed him." Mk. 14:45

~ The Clouds of Heaven ~

Since we were traveling on the solemnity of St. Joseph this year I still had a package of Cream Puffs in the freezer that I had purchased for our annual feast day celebration.  They made perfect little "Clouds of Heaven" for our Holy Thursday Dinner. 

"And Jesus said, 'I am; and you will see the Son of man seated at the right hand of Power, and coming with the clouds of heaven.'" Mk. 14:62

~ Peter's Tears ~

Roasted and Salted Almonds were perfect for Peter's Salty Tears.

"And immediately the cock crowed a second time. And Peter remembered how Jesus had said to him, 'Before the cock crows twice, you will deny me three times.' And he broke down and wept." Mk. 14:72

I'm adding this last picture to give you a peek at the supplies for this year's dinner. (The soup and salad are not pictured, and we ended up not using the Fig Bars.)  It really isn't that difficult at all to pull together these symbolic meals!  The girls set the table, the boys helped prepare the soup and salad, and I printed off some new little card stock signs. (You can still download my document over at Scribd or Dropbox.)  

I hope you all had a very blessed Holy Thursday!

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