Another Dents de Loup Idea for St. Francis Feast

Dents de loup, wolf’s teeth in French, is a culinary decorative cut used for fruits or vegetables. It is called dents de loup because the pointed teeth-like shapes of the outer surface or rind looks like the sharp teeth of a wolf.   Last year I shared a recipe for a French cookie/biscuit also called Dents de loup as an option for the feast of St. Francis of Assisi because of his connection to the wolf of Gubbio story.  But it is also really simple to add a dents de loup option to a meal or snack for the feast day by using this cut on an orange, watermelon, cantaloupe, kiwi, grapefruit, lemon, tomato, or bell pepper.

How to Cut a Fruit or Vegetable in Dents de Loup 

  • Cut thin slice off both ends of the fruit so it will hold steady in the plate or platter.
  • Start at the middle of the fruit.  Insert a sharp knife at an angle, going deep enough to reach the center.  Remove the knife and insert again at an angle but in opposite direction to form a triangle (or pointed dent de loup/wolf tooth).
  • Continue with same pattern around the fruit.  When you reach the beginning cut, separate the two halves.   
It is now ready to serve or to decorate any plate. Watermelon boats/baskets are frequently decorated with this cut.  Lemons that are cut in dents de loup are often served with fish to decorate.
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World Cake for St. Therese

The following cake was submitted by Julie Machado, from Marta, Julie e Maria, for the feast of St. Therese. Thank you, Julie!

Seeing as St Therese is the patroness of all foreign missions, here is an idea for a world cake. I used this chocolate cake recipe and glaze from RealSimple minus the strawberries. Then I printed out a world map outline and roughly cut out the continents. I gently rested the paper on the cake and sifted powdered sugar on it, then lifted off the paper. I used a pastry brush to wipe of excesso sugar. Voilá!

A blessed St. Therese day!

Additional ideas and recipes for the feast of St. Therese can be found in the archives

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St. Thérèse the Little Flower Cake

The following cake was submitted by Anna, from Regina Coeli Baker, to celebrate the Little Flower! This was her daughter's 10th birthday cake. "It was a white and red velvet cake with raspberries and buttercream. Accents and topper were made in fondant (and totally edible)." You can find additional cakes decorated by Regina Coeli Baker here. Thank you, Anna! 

O Little Flower of Jesus, pray for us!

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Michaelmas Cupcakes

One of our family's favorite ways to celebrate Michaelmas is with cupcakes. Bake Devil's Food cupcakes, decorate with chocolate frosting, and serve with cocktail "swords" (Playmobil swords work great too!) to help St. Michael defeat the "devil”!

and more recipes for Michaelmas in the archives! 

Grant us with Michael still, O Lord, 
Against the Prince of pride to fight; 
So may a crown be our reward, 
Before the Lamb’s pure throne of light. 
- Excerpt from "Hymn in honor of St. Michael the Archangel"

Happy Michaelmas!

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Canonization of Junípero Serra - Tortilla Making

With the canonization today of St. Junípero Serra, we had a little community celebration at our house. Lots of kids learning about California mission life and how they lived and what they ate.  The culmination of the event was making our own corn tortillas which were eaten with toppings of frijoles, peppers, and cheese. We are doing another similar event tomorrow.

We started out by learning about how to grind corn on a makeshift metate. (Just for fun - we didn't use this flour in the actual preparation or cooking.)

Then everyone rolled out their own tortillas, placed between sheets of wax paper.

They were then fried on the griddle. The kids patiently waited and kept an eye on their special creations.

And finally everyone enjoyed their finished tortillas, topped with frijoles, peppers, and queso fresco. 

If you are learning about St. Junípero Serra and celebrating his canonization this week, give fresh tortilla making a try!

Making Corn Tortillas From Scratch

2 cups masa harina
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 cups hot water

Mix the masa harina and the salt together in a mixing bowl. Pour in the water and stir to combine.  Using your hands, knead the dough for a minute or two in the bowl. The dough is ready when it's smooth, but no longer sticky, and easy forms a ball.

Rest the dough for 15-30 minutes to fully absorb the water and texture of the tortillas. When ready, pinch off a few tablespoons of dough and roll it between your hands to form a ball.  Adjust the amount of dough to make larger or smaller tortillas.

Without a tortilla press: Place the ball of dough on a piece of wax or parchment paper. Place another piece on top of dough ball. Use a rolling pin to flatten the tortillas. Start in the middle and roll out to the edges until thin and about 6 inches in diameter. Peel away the top paper, flip the tortilla over onto your palm, and peel off the back paper.

Warm a large, flat cast iron griddle or skillet over medium-high heat.  Cook for 2 minutes, until the edges are starting to curl up and the bottoms look dry and pebbly. Flip and cook another 1 to 2 minutes on the other side.  Serve with selected toppings. Makes about 20 6-inch tortillas.

St. Junípero Serra, Pray for us!

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Homemade PayDay Bars for the Feast of St. Matthew

Last All Hallows' Eve I filled one of our All Saints Guessing Jars with PayDay bars for St. Matthew, patron of accountants! In honor of his feast today I decide to try a recipe for some Homemade PayDay bars. They were quick and easy and, according to my children, tasted better than the actual candy bars.          

Homemade PayDay Bars
adapted from

  • 1 (16 oz) jar dry roasted peanuts
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1 (10 oz) bag peanut butter chips
  • 1 can sweetened condensed milk
  • 2 cups miniature marshmallows


Grease the bottom and sides of a 9x13 pan. Pour half of the peanuts into the pan..

Over medium-low heat, melt butter and chips. Remove from heat and mix in sweetened condensed milk. Stir in marshmallows, do not melt marshmallows.

Spoon mixture over peanuts in pan, pat down.

Top with remaining peanuts and press down to help adhere the top layer of peanuts. 

Chill until set. 

Cut into desired serving size.

These bars only took about 20 minutes to assemble and another 20 minutes to chill. If you are looking for something even easier you can always just pick up some PayDay candy bars.  I hope you all have a blessed feast day!

Matthew from The Twelve Apostles by Marianna Mayer

St. Matthew, ora pro nobis! 

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St. Matthew Winged Cupcakes

The following recipe was submitted by Julie Machado, from Marta, Julie e Maria, for the feast of St. Matthew. Thank you, Julie!

A symbol for St. Matthew is a winged man or angel. Some link it to the geneology at the beginning of his Gospel while others to the angel that appeared to Joseph. I had the idea to make winged cupcakes, with the figure of a man, but you could also draw a lion for St. Mark, an ox for St. Luke or an eagle for St. John and put on the wings. (View the various symbols here.)

First, melt some chocolate, put it in a frosting dispenser or plastic bag with the tip cut off and draw angel wings on wax paper. Let them set in the refrigerator.

Make cupcakes and frost them according to whatever recipe you like best. I used a sugar and spice recipe from a cupcake book. Draw a man stick figure on the cupcakes using the melted chocolate. Stick the wings on.

It is hot here so my wings started melting pretty fast out of the refrigerator.

"Such was his intention when, behold, the angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream and said, “Joseph, son of David, do not be afraid to take Mary your wife into your home. For it is through the holy Spirit that this child has been conceived in her."  Matthew 1:20

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