Sweet Carmel Rosary


A very simple idea to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (July 16) is a rosary fashioned out of caramel bits. These cute and tasty caramel bits are a perfect rosary bead size - ready made. Just count out 59 caramel bits and arrange in rosary shape. I used some extra caramel to mold the cross and pressed a Marian medal into a flattened bead for the rosary center.  These caramel bits are made by Kraft and where available are sold in grocery store baking sections. You might have to look a few places to find them. I found these at Walmart.


Though this feast day is most associated with the scapular, the rosary is always fitting for a Marian feast day. On this special Marian feast day the family could say the rosary together then enjoy snacking on the beads. Alternatively, you could eat the beads as you go along.

Also, the rosary is a prominent feature hanging from the cinture of the Carmelite habit so is associated with the various Carmelite saints in images. This idea could be implemented on and of hte feasts days of the Carmelite saints, too.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Pray for us. 
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St. John Mini Grasshopper Ice Cream Pies


At the end of this week, we will commemorate the feast of the birth of John the Baptist. In Matthew's gospel we hear that while he was in the dessert, John the Baptist's food was locust and honey, so those are images we associate with him. In the past the idea of a grasshopper pie or parfait has been suggested here at Catholic Cuisine to associate with St. John the Baptist. There is the traditional grasshopper pie or a modified version with mint chocolate chip ice cream for a frozen alternative.

How did this combo become a "grasshopper" dessert? First came the grasshopper cocktail, a sweet after-dinner drink, whose main ingredient is green (thus the grasshopper) crème de menthe, and also white crème de cacao, and cream. Then in the sixties, using the same flavors, came the green mint pie with a cookie or graham cracker crumb crust. Making an ice cream pie with mint chocolate chip ice cream is a simpler version for the same flavors.

I had seen these mini graham crusts and thought they would be cute for making a couple variations. One is the mint chocolate chip version for the more traditional "grasshopper" flavor. The other is plain vanilla ice cream drizzled with honey. And the plastic grasshopper toy just adds to the effect.

To make the mini ice cream pies, set out ice cream until is softens enough to spoon into crusts and spread evenly. Refreeze. I sprinkled crushed graham crackers on pies to symbolize the sand of the dessert where John lived and preached. And a drizzle of honey was added to the vanilla pies.

As we experience the beginning of summer, long days, and warm evenings, this cool treat would be a refreshing way to celebrate.  Enjoy your John the Baptist desert dessert.

 

St. John the Baptist, Pray for us.

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"Hammer of Heretics" Snack


Today we celebrate the feast day of St. Anthony of Padua, most frequently called upon as intercessor of all things lost. But the great preacher, St. Anthony was also known as the "Hammer of Heretics" for his exemplary teaching of the truths of the faith among the heretics of his day. He traveled throughout northern Italy and southern France combating abuses in the Church and bringing people back to the faith through his diligent preaching.


While it is short notice (and I apologize for that), I do love a simple way to celebrate the feast day. This simple, but "hard-hitting" snack takes just a few seconds to make - and is easy for the kids to do themselves. And hopefully these common ingredients are even on hand. All you need are pretzel sticks and and cheese sticks (any cheese block could be cut into hammer head blocks as well). Slice a cheese stick into 4ths. Gently insert a pretzel stick into the bottom of the cheese piece to form an edible mini-hammer. [Thinly sliced carrot or celery sticks could be cut as a substitute for the pretzel sticks.]

That is it - enjoy.

St. Anthony, holy friar, Hammer of Heretics, Pray for us.
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Caprese Salad with Tomato Rose for St. Rita


This clever idea was shared by my friend, Alexandra, who put a novel twist on the Rose Garden Tea Sandwich. These lovely tomato roses are the centerpiece of an Italian Caprese inspired salad. Caprese is a combination of flavors, textures, and freshness: ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, and a drizzle of olive oil or balsamic vinegar. In this version the slice of fresh mozzarella is layered with a basil leaf and then drizzled with balsamic vinegar and topped with the lovely tomato rose. Focusing on the Italian origin of the Caprese salad with the rose tomato variation this would be a perfect addition for the feast of Italy's St. Rita of Cascia (May 22) who is often pictured with roses and has a rose miracle story. Or could be for one of the Italian Roses - St. Rose of Viterbo (September 4) or St. Rose Venerini (May 7).


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Divine Mercy Cinnamon Rolls


Last year I made these heart shaped cinnamon rolls with whipped cream and berries to serve on Divine Mercy Sunday along bacon, scrambled eggs and orange juice. They were so easy to make and I'm planning to serve them again this year!

Divine Mercy Cinnamon Rolls 

What you need: 
  • Ready-to-Bake Cinnamon Rolls (Last year I used the Jumbo Rolls from Trader Joe's. This year I'm planning to use homemade Cinnamon Roll dough.) 
  • Whipped Cream
  • Strawberries, sliced
  • Blueberries


Directions: 

Take each pre-sliced cinnamon roll and completely unroll it. To re-roll it into the shape of a heart, simply roll up both ends at the same time until they meet in the middle. Pinch the bottom to form the "point" of the heart. Bake as usual.

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Organic 6-Grain Waffles for the Annunciation



The feast of the Annunciation is celebrated on March 25th. The main food associated with this feast is waffles. You can read more in Jenn's post on Lady Day Feasting in the archives. A couple years ago we made these delicious Organic 6-Grain Waffles using a Belgian Waffle Maker and topped them with Marionberries and Maple Syrup!  This year my girls are planning to make the thinner Swedish style waffles using our heart shaped waffle maker and may try the recipe Charlotte shared for Annunciation Waffles which can also be found in the archives.

Organic 6-Grain Waffles 
with Marionberries & Maple Syrup

Ingredients:
  • 1 cup Milk
  • 3 tablespoons Oil
  • 1 Egg
  • 1 1/2 cups Organic 6-Grain Pancake and Waffle Mix 
  • Marionberries (optional)
  • Maple Syrup (optional)

Directions: 

Place milk, egg, and oil in a medium bowl, stir with a wire whisk until smooth.  Add pancake mix and store until the large lumps disappear. Do not over mix. Let stand for 1 or 2 minutes to thicken while you heat waffle iron.  Be sure to spray waffle iron with pan spray so your waffles don't stick before cooking. Enjoy! 

Note: I purchased a 5 pound bag of the mix made by Central Milling Company (for a great price!) at our local Costco. It can also be found over at Amazon




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Cannoli Bites for Solemnity of St. Joseph


This recipe is a different take on a classic Italian feast day treat; simpler than the traditional cannoli but with similar flavors.  Making cannoli is a big process and it to great way to get the flavor of cannoli without the work. Use a pre-made pie crust, flavor it a little, cut into small circles and make mini cups to fill with the cream.

Cannoli Bites

Ingredients:
Cannoli cups:
1 refrigerated pie crust
3 tablespoons coarse natural sugar (Turbinado)
1 teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
dry white wine

Cannoli Filling:
16 oz whole milk Ricotta cheese, strained
4 oz Mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 T. sugar
1 t. vanilla
1/3 cup mini semi-sweet chocolate chips
powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)

Directions:
For the cannoli cups - Heat oven to 400°F.  Thaw pie crust. Unroll the crust onto a lightly floured surface. Brush lightly with wine and sprinkle the top of each crust with the sugar and spice mixture. Lightly roll over it with a rolling pin so that sugar and spices are pressed into the dough.



With a 2 – 2 ½ inch round biscuit cutter or cookie cutter, cut out circles and lightly press them inside a greased mini muffin cup to create a pastry cup.  Bake for 8-10 minutes until golden brown. Cool.


For Filling  - In a mixing bowl, blend together Ricotta and Mascarpone cheese to mix well and remove lumps. Add sugars and vanilla and mix in. Cover and chill 30 minutes.

After mini shells/cups are cool, remove cannoli filling from refrigerator, transfer to a piping bag fitted with a tip (or you can use a large resealable bag and cut the tip off one end). Pipe filling into cups and sprinkle with chocolate chips and dust with powdered sugar. 


For best results serve within 2 hours. Store in refrigerator.  Makes approximately 20 cannoli bits.

St. Joseph, Patron of the Universal Church, Pray for us!


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