Wednesday, July 27, 2016

Seasonal Candy Available Now - For OLoGuadalupe Later

I have always really loved this Our Lady of Guadalupe treat idea from Tiffany at Family at the Foot of the Cross.  These Hershey Kisses she recommends in blue foil with white stars were generally only available in a military tribute promotion in the past and are hard to find.  So when I saw a local store carrying a variety of Hershey candies in summer seasonal assortments (think 4th of July) I was thrilled. There were several different Hershey brands (Kiss, Miniature, and Reese's) packaged in blue foil with white/silver stars. There are quite reminiscent of the blue mantle and stars on the OL of Guadalupe image. So if these are available where you are too, this summer, it would be a good time to buy some to save for her feast day in December.

Edited to add (Oct. 1, 2016): I am now seeing more candies (at Walmart) which were available for the Olympics with the stars and stripes theme.  Get them while they are still available.

Pin It

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

St. Anne Thimble & Thread Pasta in Chicken Noodle Soup

There are two types of pasta I found whose names are associated with sewing in some way – ditalini and filini.

Ditalini is short tube pasta which means “little thimble.” It is a common soup pasta, typically found in minestrone.  I found it fun that this pasta is also sometimes called Ave Maria or Pater noster, as that was about the amount of time it needed to cook the pasta – the time it would take to say that prayer.  Filini is a very thin, small cut strand pasta. The name in Italian literally means “small strands” (or threads).  These are best for light, broth based soups or cooking with rice.  In the United States we usually find it packaged as fideo. 

Today, July 26, is the memorial of St. Anne and St. Joachim the parents of the Blessed Virgin Mary.  Since St. Anne is the patron of sewing and seamstresses, it would be fitting to make something using the “sewing” named pastas – “Thimbles and Threads”.

St. Clare of Assisi is the patroness of embroidery and needlework. Assisi is known for its beautiful needlework and embroidery and “Assisi embroidery” is a distinct type of cross-stitch.  Clare would have learned this skill herself as a girl. So her feast day, August 11 would be another opportunity to make this dish as well. And since the BVM is a patron of sewing as well, so any of her feast days, I would include, too.

Since they are both soup pastas I was looking for a broth based soup to use a combo of these two pastas and I decided on chicken noodle – a basic staple soup associated with comfort and healing.

Chicken Noodle Soup

½ cup chopped celery
¼ cup chopped onions
4 cans chicken broth
½ pound cooked chicken, chopped
1 cup diced carrots
½ t. basil
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper to taste
1 ½ cup of pasta

In large pot sauté onion and celery in olive oil for 5 minutes. Add broth, chicken, and herbs/spices. Bring to a boil, then reduce to simmer for 20-30 minutes. Add dry pasta when close to serving. Needs to cook for 5-8 minutes until tender. Serve.

St. Anne, pray for us!

Pin It

Monday, July 25, 2016

Bacon and Chocolate on the Feast of St. James

"James was the brother of John and a son of Zebedee. He traditionally preached in Spain after working in Jerusalem. James was beheaded by Herod Agrippa. He is the only apostle whose death is recorded in scripture (Acts 12:2). His shield shows a scallop (or cockle) shell, a symbol of pilgrimage by sea, and the sword of martyrdom. Sometimes three shells are shown without a sword. St. James' the Greater's Day is July 25." (source)

Our oldest daughter baked Madeleines again today to celebrate her bacon-loving older brother's nameday! She adapted the recipe found in We Love Madeleines. Happy Feast of St. James!

Bacon and Chocolate

  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting pans
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 large eggs, at room temperature
  • 1/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp packed dark brown sugar
  • zest of 1 orange
  • 6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted and kept warm, plus more for greasing the pans
  • 8 oz dark chocolate
  • 3 strips of bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled into small pieces

You will also need two Madeleine Pans.


Into a small bowl, sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt and set aside. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, granulated sugar, maple syrup, brown sugar, and orange zest until thoroughly blended. Add the flour mixture and whisk until just combined. Add the melted butter and mix until just incorporated. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and let rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or up to 24 hours. 

Position one rack in the upper quarter of the oven and another in the center and preheat to 400˚F. Generously grease two madeleine pans with melted butter and dust with flour, tapping out any excess.

Spoon or pipe the batter into the prepared pans, filling each mold about two-thirds full, and bake, staggering the pans so that the top is not directly over the lower one, for 4 minutes. Then rotate the pans from front to back and upper to lower, reduce the heat to 350˚F, and bake until the edges are golden brown, about 5 minutes more. 

Let the madeleines rest in the pans on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then turn them out onto the rack and let cool. 

Meanwhile, in a double boiler over simmering water (we just used the "melt chocolate" setting on our microwave), melt the chocolate, stirring occasionally, until the chocolate is completely melted and smooth. Remove from heat. 

Dip each madeleine into the chocolate, sprinkle with the crumbled bacon. Let set on a sheet of wax paper. Serve warm or at room temperature. 

St. James the Greater, pray for us! 
Pin It

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Brownies with Salted Honey Caramel Sauce

It's been over a year since I began the autoimmune protocol diet due to health issues. I know how tough it is to celebrate with food for those dealing with allergies, food sensitivities, and other health conditions. It’s not impossible though! Just because you are on a special diet, doesn’t mean you can’t find ways to incorporate some fun and festive foods for feast days every once in awhile.

Here is a delicious {sugar-free, grain-free, dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free} recipe that I made to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. It would also be perfect for any of the other Carmelite saints, including the feast of St. Therese! Although I'm not sure I'll be able to wait until October to make them again... They are amazing! 
Brownies with Salted Honey Caramel Sauce

(source: Eat Heal Trive)  

  • 1/3 cup coconut flour
  • 1/4 cup arrowroot flour
  • 3 tbsp carob powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 cup apple sauce
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/4 cup honey
  • 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp vanilla (non-alcoholic) 
  • 1 tbsp. gelatin plus 1/4 c water (for your gelatin egg)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease an 8x8 baking dish. (Note: After greasing the pan with coconut oil, I also lined it with some wax paper.) 

In a small bowl, sift together the coconut flour, arrowroot flour, carob powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon.

Note: If you’re okay with cocoa (a Stage 2 AIP reintroduction), then replace the 3 tbsp. of carob powder for cocoa powder

In a large bowl combine the apple sauce, oil, honey, apple cider vinegar, and vanilla using an electric mixer.

In a small saucepan, sprinkle gelatin over the 1/4 c water and allow to soften for 2-3 minutes. While the gelatin blooms, mix the dry ingredients with the wet.

Turn the heat to medium low to melt the gelatin. This should only take about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Whist vigorously until the gelatin egg is very frothy. Then add this to the brownie mixture. Stir to combine.

Pour the mixture into your prepared baking pan and gently smooth and spread with the back of a wet spoon.

Bake for 25 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before cutting.


Salted Honey Caramel Sauce
(adapted from 

  • 2 cups full-fat coconut milk
  • 1 cup honey
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract (non-alcoholic, optional)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt


In a medium saucepan, combine coconut milk and honey. Bring to a low boil over medium heat. Continue to boil, stirring occasionally, until mixture is thickened to caramel sauce consistency.

Note: The time will vary depending on the size of pan you use, but plan on around 15 minutes of low boiling. (It took me about 25 minutes.) 

Remove from heat, stir in the vanilla and salt (adjust to taste). Serve warm or transfer to a jar to store in the fridge. Warm before serving. Makes 2 cups.

Serve over brownies and sprinkle with additional salt if desired. 

You can also create {AIP} Brown Scapular Treats with the brownies as well, decorating them with caramel ropes and mango crosses

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, pray for us! 

Pin It

Easy No-Bake Brown Scapular Treats

Here is a fairly quick and easy no bake treat that I made for my children today, to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel, inspired by one of my brown scapulars.  These would be perfect for any of the Carmelite Saints and Blesseds as well. 


Hershey's Milk Chocolate Candy Bars
Just Mango Slices
Cocomels Coconut Milk Caramels (or use regular caramels, these are what I had on hand) 


Break each Hershey's bar into 4 sections. Use 2 sections to make each scapular, placing them top down on a plate. Cut a cross out of the dried mango for each side of the scapular. Create the cord by cutting the caramel into sections, rolling it into a rope (2 per scapular), and placing it under each corner of the scapular. 

Holy Virgin of Mount Carmel, Our Lady of the Scapular, pray for us!

Pin It

Thursday, July 14, 2016

St. Kateri Care Package

A package arrived this afternoon, filled with all sorts of food items to celebrate St. Kateri! Hominy, wild caught salmon, bison meat, cornbread, and even some pasta shaped like "lilies" (which Mary blogged about here) for today's feast of the "Lily of the Mohawks!"  Thank you, Erica and family!

{Updated to add} The girls baked cornbread in a cast-iron skillet, while I made the pasta. I sautéd the hominy in coconut oil, with garlic and leeks, mixed in the al dente "lily" shaped pasta, and topped it with salt, pepper, and parmesan.

During dinner we read the short story about St. Kateri Tekakwitha found in More Saints: Lives and Illuminations by Ruth Sanderson.

St. Kateri, pray for us! 

Pin It

Campanelle "Little Bells" or Gigli "Lily" Pasta Ideas

Campanelle is a pasta shaped like a cone with a ruffled edge. It is Italian for "bellflowers” or "little bells" due to its shape like a bell or bell-shaped flower. This pasta shape is also referred to as gigli which means lily. Campanelle is intended to be served with heavier sauces or in a casserole.

It is part of tradition in Christian art to use lilies as a symbol of purity when portraying Our Lady or the Saints and even Angels.  The lily is an emblem of purity and chastity. It is the flower the medievals found to best symbolize the purity of Mary, and was admired as a flower of purity since the time of the Ancients. By the 14th century, it became common to find the lily in Annunciation paintings and illuminations, with either St. Gabriel holding it on in a vase between them.

There are numerous saints depicted with a lily or a bell which would be fitting for a campanelle pasta meal idea on feast days.  This week we happen to have a prominent lily associated saint - St. Kateri, the Lily of the Mohawks. But it is a good year round option due to the many saints associated and depicted with lilies or bells, as well as all the Marian feasts.  

St. Anthony the Hermit - January 17
St. Agnes - January 21
St. Agatha - February 5
St. Casimir - March 4
St. Joseph - March 19
Feast of the Annunciation - March 25
St. Agnes of Montepulciano - April 20
St. Catherine of Siena - April 29
St. Anthony of Padua - June 13
St. Aloysius Gonzaga - June 21
St. Maria Goretti - July 6
St. Kateri Tekakwitha - July 14
St. Dominic - August 8
St. Philomena - August 11
St. Gabriel the Archangel - September 29

Pin It

Tuesday, July 12, 2016

A Simple Treat for the Feast of Sts. Louis & Zélie Martin

Happy feast of Sts. Louis & Zélie Martin!  Today is the first time we celebrate their feast as canonized saints! I had hoped to have time to bake another French Vanilla Cake and Cupcakes in Honor of the Watchmaker and Lace Maker but our schedule was too full and I had to simplify. After searching through the pantry I decided to simply twist open some Oreo cookies, decorate each as a "watch face" using some melted chocolate, and then serve them on top of small rose covered lace paper doilies.

Tip: After twisting open the cookies, scrape off any cookie crumbs with the smooth side of a knife.

I just cut off the corner of a snack baggie and squeezed the melted chocolate through the small hole to decorate each cookie. Not perfect by any means, but my little ones loved them!  You can see the rest of our celebration over at Shower of Roses

Sts. Louis & Zélie Martin, pray for us! 

Pin It