Dairy Free Blueberry Annunciation Smoothies

This recipe was submitted by past Catholic Cuisine contributor Amy. You can find additional pictures of her cute children enjoying their Annunciation Smoothies over at her blog, Knit Together.


I thought I would share this with you super quick.  It is an easy way to whip together something special for the Feast of the Annunciation today.  I did a dairy free version, but you can replace the canned coconut milk with yogurt and the almond mil with regular cow's milk if you prefer.

You will need:
  • 2-3 cups Frozen Blueberries
  • 1-2 cups Frozen Peaches (or other fruit)
  • 1 Can Coconut Milk
  • Almond Milk
  • approx. 1/4 cup Sweetener of your choice, I used Maple Syrup

Put the frozen fruit in blender.  I use peaches too because blueberries can be a really strong flavor and some people, especially kids, might not like it.  Next, add the canned coconut milk (this will make it thick and creamy) and sweetener.  At this point you want to pour in the almond milk.  I do this by eye.  Depending on how thick you want your smoothie, you will want to fill the blender halfway or up to covering the frozen fruit.


Blend it thoroughly!


If you need more almond milk, fruit, or sweetener feel free!  Make it to your taste.


Additional recipes for the Solemnity of the Annunciation can be found in the archives

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Cathedral Cake for St. Joseph

"He was chosen by the eternal Father as the trustworthy guardian and protector of his greatest treasures, namely, his divine Son and Mary, Joseph’s wife. He carried out this vocation with complete fidelity until at last God called him, saying: “Good and faithful servant, enter into the joy of your Lord." - St. Bernardine of Siena


Bake a cake in a cathedral shaped pan in honor of St. Joseph, patron of the Universal Church. Some pan options include this Cathedral Bundt Pan, this Vaulted Cathedral Pan, and this Stained Glass Bundt Pan.  Be sure to take a moment to offer a prayer for all priests!

Prayer for Priests to St. Joseph

O illustrious patriarch St. Joseph, who carried the Infant Jesus in thy blessed arms and who, during the space of thirty years, lived in the most intimate familiarity with Him, take under thy powerful protection those whom He has clothed with His authority and honored with with the dignity of His priesthood, whom He has charged to continue His mission, to preach His Gospel, and to dispense everywhere His graces and blessings. Sustain them in their fatigues and labors; console them in their pains; fortify them in their combats; but above all, keep far from them all the evils of sin.

Obtain for them the humility of St. John the Baptist, the faith of St. Peter, the zeal and charity of St. Paul, the purity of St. John and the spirit of prayer and recollection of which thou, my dear Saint, art the model, so that, after having been on earth, the faithful dispensers of the Mysteries of thy foster Son, Our Lord Jesus Christ, they may in Heaven receive the recompense promised to pastors according to the Heart of God. Amen.

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

Additional recipes for the Solemnity of St. Joseph can be found in the archives

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"Thunder & Lightning" for St. Scholastica


There is a rustic Italian peasant dish called tuoni e lampo or "thunder and lightning" which is made with pasta and chick peas (garbanzo beans) - where “thunder” refers to the profusion of fried chickpeas, and “lightning” to the excessive amount of coarsely cracked black pepper.

One of the most dramatic stories told about St. Scholastic and her brother, St. Benedict, is one associated with thunder and lightning and found in the Dialogues of St. Gregory the Great. St. Scholasica very rarely got to see her beloved twin brother, St. Benedict. On one of their annual visits, he indicated that he had to leave and not be outside the monastery overnight.  His sister implored him to stay just for the night, but he would not. She started to weep and prayed to God. At that time violent thunder and lightning erupted, the skies opened and a mighty storm commenced. St. Scholastica said basically, "You would not listen to me but God did."  St. Benedict was forced to stay the night.  They spent the night in spiritual and heavenly talk. Benedict returned to his monastery the next morning.  St. Scholastica died a few days later and yet St. Benedict was able to have spent the extra time with her.  A lovely version of the story is told in Tomie de Poala's picture book, Holy Twins: Benedict and Scholastica



How excited I was to find the Italian dished called "thunder and lightning." Though not associated with the feast day as far as I could find, to me it seemed so perfect for St. Scholastica's feast day, February 10. Tuoni e lampo is often made with a mixture of pasta types - what is left at the bottom of the bags, then adding the beans. So really any type of pasta could be used. This particular version of the recipe I found, used a pasta called orecchiette, or "little ears" for its shape. I thought that could be a clever connection to God hearing St. Scholastica's pleas. It also seems fitting as it can refer to the St. Benedict in his rule as he begins the Prologue with these words: "Listen carefully, my son, to the master's instructions, and attend to them with the ear of your heart." 

Tuoni e Lampo

Ingredients:
6 ounces dried orecchiette pasta (“little ears”)
2 T. olive oil
1 large clove garlic, minced
1 cup cooked garbanzo beans
1 ½ t. finely slivered sage, plus sprigs for garnishing
½ cup chicken broth
½ t. coarsely cracked black pepper, “mignonette or butcher-grind”
1 T butter
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano

Directions:
Add orecchiette to pot of boiling, salted water and cook until al dente (about 12 minutes.) While that is boiling, cook garlic and chickpeas in olive oil over high heat. Stir until the chickpeas begin to pop.  Add sage, broth and pepper.  Continue to cook over high heat until the broth reduces a bit and becomes syrupy (about 5 minutes.)   Drain pasta well.  Put butter in a large warm bowl and add pasta.  Toss.  Add chickpeas and broth to bowl and stir well. Add 1/2 cup cheese and salt to taste.Mix gently.  Drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil, if desired, and dust with extra cheese. Garnish with small sage leaves.  Serve immediately.  Serves 4 though easily doubled to serve a large crowd. 

St. Benedict and St. Scholastica, Pray for us!


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Irish Cheese Toasties - Egg & Cheese Breakfast for St. Brigid


St. Brigid - February 1

As indicated in the previous post, St. Brigid is patroness of those who raise chickens.  Here is another simple egg dish for a quick feast day breakfast. I love quick non-complicated ideas for feast days. This recipe, for open faces "toasties" is simple and uses items usually available - eggs and cheese.  It is my understanding that these would be a common everyday hearty-type of fare, traditional but not one you hear about for special occasions.  The kind of food an Irish grandma would make. 

Irish Cheese Toasties

Ingredients:

2 Tbsp. butter
4 slices crusty bread
2 eggs
1 Tbsp. whole grain mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1/4 tsp. fresh ground pepper
2 cups shredded Irish cheddar

Directions:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Generously butter one side of each slice of bread and place the pieces buttered-side down on a baking sheet. Bake for 5 minutes.

While that is toasting, whisk together the eggs, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, and pepper. Stir in the cheese, evenly coating the shredded pieces with egg mixture.

Remove the toasted bread from the oven and divide the cheese mixture over the top of the four pieces of bread. Spread it to the edges of each slice.


Bake until puffed and golden brown, 12 - 15 minutes. Serve warm.
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Guinness Caramelized Onion & Irish Cheddar Quiche


We celebrate the feast of St. Brigid of Kildare, 5th century Irish saint, on February 1.  Our family has had chickens almost two years now and I really enjoy having the fresh eggs readily available in our kitchen. I recently learned that St. Brigid, in addition to being a patron of Ireland, is also the patron of poultry farmers. So as "poultry farmers" I thought it would be nice to find an egg dish to celebrate our patron's feast day and found this great recipe chock full of Irish ingredients - Guinness, potato, kale, Irish cheddar.  The Guinness caramelized onions add a tasty zing to this egg abundant dish.  Great for a breakfast or brunch on her feast day or that of other Irish saints. 



Guinness Caramelized Onion & Irish Cheddar Quiche

Ingredients:


1 cup Irish cheddar, grated
1/2 large onion, thinly sliced
1/3 cup Guinness beer
1 cup spinach, chopped  (or combo spinach and kale)
1 small potato, diced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 eggs
1/2 cup milk
extra virgin olive oil or cooking spray to coat pans


Directions:

Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees.  Saute onions over medium heat in olive oil and cook until tender, about 5-7 minutes.  Pour Guinness into the pan, stir and cover.  Let cook for 15 minutes until liquid is absorbed.  Place diced potatoes in another greased pan, and cook over medium-low heat for 15 minutes. 

In bowl, beat eggs then add milk and mix.  Add cheese, onions, potatoes, spinach (& kale optional), salt and pepper.  Mix together and pour into greased round baking dish or quiche pan. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes, or until the top is golden brown. 


For past St. Brigid day recipes that recognize another of her patronages - dairy farmers - check out these bread recipes, with include buttermilk. Traditional Irish Soda Bread  and St. Brigid's Oaten Bread



St. Brigid, Pray for us!


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Mini Ground Lamb Pot Pie Cupcakes for St. Agnes Day



I was looking for a lamb dish to make on the feast of St. Agnes and came across this cute idea for mini pot pies. Combining tender lamb with sun-dried tomatoes in a mini pastry crust and topping with mashed potato icing makes pretty “cupcake” looking pot pies.  


Lamb Pot Pie Cupcakes


Ingredients:

  • 3/4 lb. ground lamb
  • 8 oz sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • ¼ cup onions, chopped
  • 1 T. Olive oil 
  • Salt, pepper to taste
  • Mashed potato – for 'Icing' topping
  • Mini crusts, pre-made


Directions:

In skillet, saute onions in olive oil until tender. Add ground lamb and cook until browned.  Add sun dried tomatoes, cook for about 5 minutes. Salt and pepper to taste. Fill 12 mini pastry crusts with the ground lamb mixture.  Fill a piping bag with mashed potatoes. Pipe a swirl on top of the meat mixture to cover.  Place under a hot preheated broiler for 2-3 minutes to brown the mashed potatoes. Serve hot or cold. Good for a buffet, snack, lunch or dinner.   Makes: 12 mini pies

St. Agnes, Pray for us!


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St. Agnes Lamb's Wool Drinks

On January 21 we celebrate the feast of St. Agnes, 4th century martyr, known for her consecrated virginity. She is often depicted holding a lamb as her name, Agnes, means lamb or victim in Latin, and pure in Greek. In Rome on this feast day, two lambs are placed on the altar of the Basilica where her relics lie and are then blessed. The wool from these lambs is used in making the pallium, the symbols archbishops wear as sign of their authority. These are given to the new archbishops on the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, June 29.



There are so many beautiful details associated with this tradition, as specified in this article from the Vatican News Network:

The small lambs, traditionally less than a year old, are carried to the Pope in baskets, as per tradition, by the Canons Regular of the Cathedral of St John Lateran. To symbolize St. Agnes’ purity, one of the lambs wears a crown of white flowers, while the other wears a red floral wreath to recall her faithful witness even unto death.

Reared by religious sisters in the Saint Lawrence convent in Panisperna, Rome, come Summer these same lambs will be brought to the Saint Cecilia convent in Trastevere.  There, in a custom that has remained in tact down through the centuries, they will be shorn to supply the wool from which the religious sisters will weave the Pallium.

The Pallium are white woolen stoles, decorated with six black crosses worn by metropolitan archbishops around their necks as a symbol of their authority and unity with the Pope. Once woven they are custodied in an urn at the tomb of St Peter until the Holy Father presents them to newly-appointed metropolitan archbishops on June 29, the feast of Sts. Peter and Paul.


St. Agnes Lamb's Wool Drink Ideas

With the connection of lamb's wool, St. Agnes feast day lends itself to anything fluffy and white. Whipped cream seemed a fun way to try to replicate the look of wool and with this mid-winter feast, a perfect topping for a warm drink.  It's easy too!  Whether it be hot chocolate, chia latte, or a cappuccino, make it St. Agnes festive with a "woolly" topping. 


And if you are looking for some specific drink recipes with woolly names here are a few that would be fitting as well. 

Lamb's Wool - a type of Wassail ale dating from medieval times, traditionally served on Twelfth Night celebrating the end of the Christmas season. It is so named as the frothy apple mixture resembles wool. It would make a fun drink for St. Agnes feast celebrating as well. Florence Berger has a recipe for Lamb's Wool in her Cooking for Christ cookbook.  There are other versions of this wool-named ale including this one from Miss Foodwise blog.  Can be made as either an alcoholic or non-alcoholic drink.

Warm Wooly Sheep - a sweet, creamy, warm drink for the grown ups. It is made from Scotch, Drambuie, and warm milk. Recipes abound on various mixed drink websites.

St. Agnes, Pray for us!

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