Mary's Crown - Queenship Salad

Bachelor's Button, or Cornflower, is an annual flowering plant in the aster family, with florets that are edible and may be used fresh in salads.  Its jagged frilly petals remind one of an ornate crown and because of that it also has a Marian connection – often called Mary's Crown. Traditionally blue, they also come in many different color variants. The blue ones especially are a Marian color.  

Because of these connections, the flowers make a beautiful and symbolic addition as a garnish to a Marian summer salad.  Its name as Mary's Crown is particular fitting for a salad on the Feast of the Queenship of Mary (August 22).

Use any available salad greens and fresh summer vegetables. Garnish with freshly picked Mary's Crown flower heads. Serve with a light vinaigrette dressing. Regina Red Wine Vinegar, in addition to being a common vinegar, easy to find - has a name that means queen, so perfect for this Queenship of Mary summer salad. 

If you don't have access to fresh Bachelor Button flowers, make sure to plant some for next year. These hardy and easy to grow flowers, make a great addition to a liturgical year and Marian garden.  And other edible late summer Marian flowers or flower petals (daisy, lavender, rose, calendula, nasturtium, chive, marigold) could be substituted though they don't have the same crown significance. 

Our Lady, Queen of Heaven, Pray for us. 


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Flower Fruit Sandwiches for Our Lady


O Mary we crown thee with blossoms today!
Queen of the Angels and Queen of the May.

Earlier this month I ran across a photo of some lovely flower covered sandwiches and was inspired to try something similar with my children in honor of Our Lady during her month of May. Due to the pandemic and stay-at-home order I used what I happened to have on hand, so some of our fruit was frozen instead of fresh, but they still turned out lovely! 


To make the sandwiches we simply trimmed the crusts off of some white bread, spread some homemade whipped cream over the bread, and then decorated each tea sandwich with flowers made from slices of fruit. 

We used fresh cuties and kiwis along with frozen blueberries, strawberries and a little mango. 



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Saint George and the Dragon Cake


Catholic Cuisine contributor Charlotte, from Waltzing Matilda, has been amazing and inspiring us with her Dragon Cakes for the feast of St. George for well over a decade now! Here are a few of her past creations. 





You can find her dragon cake direction, as well as her directions for a Dragon Cupcake Cake and Dragon Scone for Good Saint George, in the archives. If you end up making one we would love for you to share a picture on our Facebook page or tag us over at Instagram!


St. George, ora pro nobis! 
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St. Brigid Irish Tater Tot Nachos


St. Brigid feast day is February 1. National Tater Tot day is February 2. 

When two dates collide and an idea is born. I have a soft spot for the tater tot. It originated at Ore-Ida Labs in the area where my family lived in Eastern Oregon. And this year in September they are having the first annual Tater Tot festival.  So when I made a chance discovery that National Tater Tot Day was the day after St. Brigid's feast is seemed a perfect pairing.

The idea of tater tots as a substitute for chips to make a potato "nacho" (or totchos) is making the rounds as an appetizer. And the potato is an Irish staple, one of the foods most associated with Ireland, making it perfect for our Irish saint. St. Brigid is the patroness of dairy farmers and milk maids, so pile on the cheese and sour cream.  I suggest Kerrigold Dubliner Irish cheese if available. Several stories connect her to pigs as well so add the bacon. Also avocados (or guacamole) and green onions for the Irish green.  A tasty and easy Irish feast day recipe - for a multitude of Irish saints, not just Brigid.

St. Brigid Irish Tater Tot Nacho Ingredients

Directions:
Fry or bake tater tots per package instructions. Once tots are cooked, top with grated cheese. Place back in the oven or microwave until cheese is bubbly and melted. Top the tots with guacamole or avocado, sour cream, crumbled bacon, and green onion (and extra cheese if desired). If you want them spicy you can add salsa. I had some green taco sauce that I added in keeping with the Irish color theme.

St. Brigid, Pray for Us!

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St. John Bosco's Candy Juggling Balls


St. John Bosco, patron of educators and a spiritual father to boys in need, has his feast day today, January 31. He is known for having used magic tricks and juggling to entertain the youth he wanted to draw closer to God. St. John Bosco was a skilled showman and crowds would be drawn to him. During his performance, he would stop to teach and people would stay to listen to his message.

It is also said that he kept candy in his pockets as treats for the boys, and even “turned" pebbles into candy with illusion. For those reasons, I am sharing this idea of a simple treat to celebrate his feast day - M&M’s are candy, that resemble juggling balls.

Let us enjoy a sweet reminder today this caring and entertaining priest.

St. John Bosco, Pray for us!

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St. Agnes Little Lamb Popcorn Snacks


I have seen this idea for sheep-themed birthday parties and thought it would make a nice and simple (and healthy) feast day snack idea of those saints associated with sheep or who have a sheep/lamb as a symbol. This week is the feast of St. Agnes (January 21), who is usually depicted holding a lamb to represent her virginity.

Fill small baggies with popcorn (not ziploc), tie the baggie closed, and tape on paper lamb head using this template or have your children draw their own.  I taped the corners to the back to make sure it retained the rounded shape. Could also just wrap in plastic wrap to make a round shape.

Other saints with lambs/sheep symbol including those who were shepherds:
St. Genevieve (January 3)
Sts. Jacinta and Francisco (February 20)
St. Bernadette (April 16)
St. Drogo (April 16)
Good Shepherd Sunday (4th Sunday Easter Season)
St. Germaine (June 15)
St. John the Baptist (June 24)
St. Joan of Arc (October 21)

*Looks like April 16 is a great day for sheep themed ideas with two different saints associated with sheep. 


St. Agnes, Pray for Us!

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St. Sebastian Fruit Skewer Arrows


On January 20 we remember St. Sebastian, early Roman martyr. He was sentenced to be shot to death by archers. His body was riddled with arrows and he was left to for dead, but survived and was later clubbed to death. He is the patron of soldiers, athletes and archers. The arrow symbol is associated with him for this persecution that he suffered.

Other saints who have arrows for a symbol are:
  • St. Frances of Rome (March 9) - art depictions of her holding arrows
  • St. Thomas the Apostle (July 3) - was martyred by spear, though arrows and stones are also often pictured with the spear as his symbols
  • St. Philomena (August 11) - the two anchors, three arrows, palm and ivy leaf found on the tiles of her tomb were interpreted to represent method of martyrdom
  • St. Ursula (October 21) - an arrow is the symbol of her method of martyrdom and pictured either holding an arrow or with an arrow in her chest
  • St. Edmund (November 20) - symbol is crown this two arrows, symbol of his martyrdom
Readers often ask for healthy feast day options and also ones that are simple. Hopefully this is an idea that fits both those request criteria. Fruit skewers can be made in just a few minutes. A variety of fruit can be used - blackberries, blue berries, raspberries, melon balls or cubes, grapes. And strawberries with their "tipped" ends make a nice pointed end of the arrow, so place it as the final fruit. You can also leave the pointy skewer end free.  We cut feather end (fletching) out of construction paper and taped on the skewer.


St. Sebastian, Pray for Us!


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