St. Therese Cupcakes

The end of September marks the beginning of a full week of very popular saint feast days. While it's not very healthy to enjoy dessert every night, there are a few weeks where I make an exception and this is one. For St. Therese of the Child Jesus I always make white cupcakes with roses on top. At least with cupcakes, you can easily share with the neighbors, right?

“When I die, I will send down a shower of roses from the heavens, I will spend my heaven by doing good on earth.” -- Thérèse de Lisieux


Just a note -- there are many more ways to top a cupcake with roses than by creating them with decorator frosting. If decorating just isn't your thing, try the baking aisle at the grocery store to see if they have candy roses for cake decorating. There is a candy store near my home that carries rose-shaped butter mints -- I think those will top my cupcakes this year. Wilton makes a rose mold for molding melted chocolate, and that's a great option. You can also make roses from fruit roll-ups, so there are lots of options and you are not to be put off by the roses!

White Cupcakes

1 cup white sugar
1/2 cup shortening
2 eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 teaspoons baking powder
3/4 cup milk

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Line a 12-cup muffin pan and a 6-cup muffin pan with paper liners.
In a medium bowl, cream together the shortening and sugar.
Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then stir in the vanilla.
Combine flour and baking powder, add to the creamed mixture and mix well.
Finally stir in the milk and beat until batter is smooth.
Pour or spoon batter into the liners (I like to use an ice cream scoop filled about 2/3).
Bake 15-20 minutes or until they test done with a toothpick.
Cool and frost with desired frosting.

For the St. Therese cupcakes I used a traditional decorator frosting to frost the cupcakes and then make the roses (clear vanilla is not necessary, just use ordinary vanilla extract -- most of the other ingredients you probably have on-hand).

Makes 18 cupcakes.

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Our Lady of La Salette - Mini Blueberry Galettes

Mid-September brings one of the Marian feasts of an apparition in France. The Blessed Virgin appeared to two young shepherds, Maximin Giraud and Melanie Calvat, on the mountain of La Salette, France on September 19, 1846.  After thorough investigation the Church approved the message and secret of La Salette as written by Melanie. The account was published in Lecce in 1879. Mary's message in La Salette was similar to that of Fatima, "If my people do not wish to submit themselves, I am forced to let go of the hand of my Son. It is so heavy and weighs me down so much I can no longer keep hold of it." Our lady cried and expressed her sadness at those who do not keep Sunday holy and who take the name of the Lord in vain.

I saw the idea for mini blueberry galettes on The Pioneer Woman’s blog. They seemed a perfect dessert for French Marian apparition feast days – galettes because they have a French connection and blueberries because the color is associated with Our Lady.

Galette is a French culinary term referring to a variety of flat, round cakes, made with a flaky pastry dough. It is a broad term and can include a wide variety of different desserts, but most often galette refers to a free form tart that is made with a flaky pasty crust. The tarts are not molded in tart pans. Instead, filling is placed directly on top of a circle of rolled pastry and the edges are folded up and around the filling and baked until crisp. 

Galette Pastry Dough
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp sugar
pinch of salt
6 Tbsp cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
1/4 cup ice water

In a bowl, mix the flour, sugar, and salt. Cut in half of the butter with pastry blender until the mixture resembles coarse meal. Cut in the remaining butter until the largest pieces are the size of peas. Drizzle the water over the dough and mix until moistened. Knead together 2 or 3 times. Flatten dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Mini Blueberry Galettes

1 cup blueberries
1/8 cup sugar
1 Tbsp cornstarch
1 lemon
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
pinch Of salt
1 egg
1 Tbsp Water

Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
Stir together blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, 1 tsp lemon zest, juice quarter of the lemon, vanilla, and salt in a bowl.

Roll out dough. Using a 5-inch round pastry cutter cut rounds of pastry. Rerolling and cutting until dough is used. Makes 6 mini galettes. Place rounds on baking sheets lined with parchment paper. Evenly distribute the blueberry mixture between the six discs.

Gently fold over the edges of each crust, folding the dough in on itself to create a small rim of crust.

Make an egg wash by beating together the egg and water. Brush edges of each pie with the egg wash. Sprinkle the crust with sugar.

Bake for 15 minutes until golden and filling is bubbly. Remove from the oven and allow pies to sit on the pan for 5 minutes. Remove and cool.  Serve warm or at room temp.

~There are several apparitions of Our Lady in France, so these mini treats could be used several times around the year. 

Our Lady of Pontmain (OL of Hope) - January 17
Our Lady of Lourdes - February 11
Our Lady of the Miraculous Medal (Rue du Bac) - November 27
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Celebrating the Anniversary of the Implementation of Summorum Pontificum

I didn't have an opportunity to decorate a cake this year (you can find last year's Deo Gratias Chant Cake here), but Costco kindly added some writing to one of their fall bouquet cakes for me yesterday!  I'll be serving the cake following our local (once every other month) Extraordinary Form Latin Mass this afternoon, which happens to fall on the feast of the Exaltation of the Holy Cross and the anniversary of the implementation of Summorum Pontificum

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New St. Michael Apron and Giveaway!

Catholic Embroidery has generously offered to give one of their brand new St. Michael Embroidered Aprons to a visitor here at Catholic Cuisine, just in time for the upcoming feast of St. Michael on September 29th!

St. Michael Embroidered Apron - Quis ut Deus

Black cotton twill apron featuring our St. Michael Sword design that includes the scales of justice, flames of St. Michael's battle, and famous quote, "Quis ut Deus" - Who is like unto God?

This apron, and many more, can be purchased here at Catholic Cuisine (Catholic Cuisine will receive a percentage of any of the aprons purchased from this page), or they can be purchased directly from Catholic Embroidery!  Enter STMICHAEL coupon code for free shipping on all orders over $45 through September 29th.  Additional ideas for celebrating the feast of St. Michael can be found in the archives.

To enter the giveaway please use the Rafflecopter box below:

Note: I'm also hosting giveaways each day this week over at Shower of Roses from September 1-7, 2014. You can find Our September Book Basket and Giveaway here and today's Holy Heroes Giveaway hereBe sure to stop by and enter! 

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St. Monica's Tears~A Feast Day Treat!

Happy Feast of St. Monica!
St. Monica is the perfect model for perseverance.  She never gave up prayers for her wayward son. (St. Augustine) Begging God for his conversion, she cried many tears. Legend says that a drain formed in the ground where her tears fell while she prayed for her son.  

When she approached her local bishop to ask him to help win over her son to the faith, the Bishop consoled her by saying: "God's time will come.  Go now, it is not possible that the son of so many tears should perish."  

The good news is that Monica never gave up and her son's heart was turned away from his evil ways.  Augustine later became know for his famous conversion and became "St." Augustine after his death, one of the greatest saints and doctors of the Catholic Church.  

St. Monica's life was a message of hope.  Her tears gave way to God's sweet grace and bountiful blessings!  

These teardrop treats represent St. Monica's tears that were "sweetened" by the sweat of her prayers.
St. Monica's Tears
Easy 2 ingredients:
1.Crescent dough
2. Nutella/Hazelnut spread
Break apart crescent dough into triangles.
Spread a small amount (approx. 1-2 teaspoons) of Nutella or favorite spread on the top end of the triangle only. A little bit goes a long way...Otherwise the chocolate will leak all over! 
Roll dough from the larger end down to the smaller end as if making a croissant.  Then, fold the two ends inward to form the shape of a teardrop.
Pinch the ends together to increase the chances of holding the teardrop shape.
Here are before and after photos.  
Remember that the dough will rise/puff up a little bit so try to elongate the ends as much as possible.
Enjoy the sweetness!
Intercede for us, dear St. Monica, example for Christian motherhood, hope, and perseverance!

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Honey Arnold Palmer - Refresher for St. Bernard Feast Day

The "Arnold Palmer" drink is a mix of half tea and half lemonade served chilled over ice. It is also called half-and-half. It is one of our family's favorite drinks, especially in the summertime. I came across a honey sweetened version on the National Honey Board Website. The inclusion of honey seemed a natural to add to the mid-August feast of St. Bernard of Clairvaux, as he is a patron of bees and beekeepers. There are other beekeeper patron saints but this one falling on August 20, seems particularly fitting since this time of year we are looking for ways to beat the summer heat and add refreshment.

I have adapted the recipe as follow:

1 part - lemon juice
1 part - honey
2 parts - water
4 parts - unsweetened tea

For honey-lemon syrup/lemonade:
1 part - honey
2 parts - water
1 part - lemon juice (fresh squeezed or concentrate)
Combine ingredients in sauce pan over low heat. Stir until dissolved. Cool.

Mix honey-lemon mixture with 4 parts tea for the half and half.  Add more tea or water to taste.  Stir, refrigerate, and serve over ice. May need to stir again while drinking as honey settles to bottom if left too long. Garnish with lemon or mint if desired. Relax. Enjoy.

ETA: Apparently, August 20 is also National Lemonade Day - I had no idea. How convenient to have suggested a lemonade drink already. The honey-lemon/lemonade portion of this recipe is very tasty on its own and I recommend it as well. 

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St. Bernard of Clairvaux Dijon Chicken

St. Bernard (August 20), mystic and Doctor of the Church, was a main propagator of the Cistercian reform and the founding abbot of Clairvaux Abbey in Burgundy. He was born in Fontaines-les-Dijon, France in 1090.

Dijon is the capital of the Burgundy region in France. The region is world famous for its Burgundy wine and its mustard. It had become a recognized center for mustard making by the 13th century. The creation of Dijon mustard as we know it  is credited to Jean Naigeon, who revolutionized the original mustard recipe by substituting verjuice (the sour juice of unripe grapes) for the vinegar traditionally used in the making of mustard. This resulted less acidic mustard with a smother flavor. 

To make Dijon mustard, ground black or brown mustard seeds are pressed and steeped in verjuice, or more recently in white wine. At one time, any product called Dijon mustard had to be made in the Dijon region of France. Other products could be called "Dijon-style mustard" or simply "dijon mustard" with a lowercase "D".  Today, however, the term Dijon mustard has become generic, so any mustard using the basic Dijon recipe can be called Dijon mustard.

Our family has a Dijon mustard based chicken recipe that has been a favorite for 30 years. It seems a fitting feast day meal for the eminent St. Bernard who hails from the Dijon area.

Dijon Chicken

1/2 cup butter 
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
3/4 cup dry breadcrumbs
1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese (fresh or jarred)
2-3 T. dried parsley flakes
4 boneless skinless chicken breast cut in strips

Heat oven to 375°F.
Melt butter in small saucepan with minced garlic. After garlic has sautéed, add mustard and mix.  Let cool and whisk mixture to combine until creamy. Mix bread crumbs, parmesan cheese, and parsley in shallow bowl or pan.  Dip chicken into butter/mustard mixture, then dip in bread crumb mixture to coat both sides. Place in glass 9x13 pan. Bake uncovered 25 - 30 minutes, until juice of chicken is no longer pink when centers of thickest pieces are cut.

St. Bernard of Clairvaux is the author of the Marian prayer, The Memorare, which you may want add to your feast day meal prayer.

REMEMBER, O most gracious Virgin Mary, that never was it known that anyone who fled to thy protection, implored thy help, or sought thy intercession was left unaided. Inspired with this confidence, I fly to thee, O Virgin of virgins, my Mother; to thee do I come; before thee I stand, sinful and sorrowful. O Mother of the Word Incarnate, despise not my petitions, but in thy mercy hear and answer me. Amen.

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