St. Luke's Artist Palette Cookies



There is a great article, which was shared over at Catholic Culture today, about St. Luke, Evangelist and Artist written by Jennifer Gregory Miller. She begins by saying that "the month of October is filled with many memorials and optional memorials of saints, but the only two feasts during the month are for St. Luke, Evangelist on October 18, and ten days later Saints Simon and Jude, apostles." She goes on to say that in her family she likes to "emphasize the various "levels" of feast days, and since feasts are higher than memorials and optional memorials, St. Luke will be honored in a special way."

Jenn's article inspired me to plan something extra for the feast of St. Luke this year. I was just telling a friend yesterday that I really need to get started on Tract B of our Art Program for this school year. What better day to kickoff art than on the feast of the patron saint of artists?!  So we are going to get started with "A Little Art Study" as suggested by Jenn, after reading about St. Luke in Lives and Legends of the Saints from our October Book Basket.

I'm especially looking forward to learning a little more about Our Lady of Czestochowa, the "Black Madonna,"which my girls and I were blessed to see and venerate (the pilgrim icon) at my brother-in-law's parish during our recent road trip.

To go along with our art study I looked through my cupboards to see if I could come up with a special treat with the supplies I had on hand. In less than ten minutes I had a little platter of "St. Luke's Artist Palette" cookies all ready for the feast. They are far from perfect, but they were quick, easy, and still turned out cute. My children are going to love them!



St. Luke's Artist Palette Cookies

Supplies:

  • Sandwich Cookies (I used Trader Joe's Joe-Joe's, Oreos would work great too.)
  • M&M's in Red, Orange, Yellow, Green, and Blue (I used what I had in my cupboard: a mix of regular red, orange, blue M&M's, yellow Reese's Pieces, and green Pumpkin Spice M&M's…) 
  • Pretzel Sticks
  • White Heart Shaped Sprinkles (like these)
  • White Icing 

Directions: 

Twist open cookie. Place an M&M of each color on the white filling. Break a Pretzel Stick in half and attach the Heart Sprinkle to the broken end with a dab of white icing. (Note: If you don't have icing you can use a little of the cookie filling.) Place the pretzel "paintbrush" on the cookie. All done!


St. Luke, Patron of Artists, Pray for Us! 

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Soles of St. Hedwig


St Hedwig, known as St. Jadwiga in Poland, was a 13th century duchess of Silesia and is a historic patroness of Poland.  Her feast day is October 16. On this feast day, in that region, there is a bread called Hedwigsohlen (Shoe Soles of St. Hedwig) that was historically distributed to the poor of Trebnitz, the location of the Cistercian abbey which her husband founded and she later entered. The biography at Catholic Culture website states St. Hedwig led a life of piety and solicitude for the sick and poor, including their religious education. She lived a life of poverty and humility, despite her prominent position. Every day, even in winter, she would walk barefooted, so her feet were in bad shape. A story tells us her husband sent her a pair of shoes, insisting that she not be without them — so she kept them under her arm. The shoe soles, depicted in the bread shape, remind us of her generosity to the poor, and the fact that she sacrificed her own comfortable shoes when walking. 

Hedwigsohlen 


For dough 
1/2 cup lukewarm milk
4 tablespoons sugar

1 teaspoon dry yeast
1 lemon
2 cups flour
4 tablespoons butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 egg 

For topping 
2 tablespoons sour cream
1 egg yolk
sugar

Mix half of the milk with a teaspoon of sugar and the yeast. Let stand until frothy. Grate the peel of half of the lemon. Mix this and all the other dough ingredients with the yeast mixture to make a smooth dough. It may be necessary to add extra flour or liquid so the dough is pliable. 

Let dough rest for 45 minutes. Cut the dough into 10 small balls and pieces and form each into the shape of the sole of a shoe.  The dough should be about 1/4 inch thick. Put the "soles" onto a greased baking sheet,  let rise and rest for about 20 minutes. 

Bake the bread in preheated oven at 400 ° F (200 ° C) for 20 minutes until golden brown. Five minutes before the end of baking time, brush the top of each "sole" with the mixture of sour cream and egg yolk. Sprinkle with sugar and return to oven for last 5 minutes.

This recipe is from Cooking with the Saints by Ernest Schuegraf. Any bread dough recipe could be used and shaped into the sole shape.  In fact, you could use pre-prepared dough or even biscuit or cookie dough as those can easily be cut in the desired shape - and retain the shape well. Lots of possibilities for "sole" food in memory of St. Hedwig. 


St. Hedwig, Pray for us!

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Root Vegetable Harvest Recipes for October Saints


October is late harvest time all over the world. The Polish especially have a tradition of emphasizing the and celebrating the harvest season. Late September usually brings frost, so most often only the root crops, like cabbage, turnips, beets and carrots and perhaps some grains are being harvested in October. Old Polish legends talk about harvesting these late root crops and sowing of winter wheat on or just after October 16 which is St. Hedwig’s Day or Sw. Jadwiga in Poland. She is a patroness of Poland and it is said that she sweetens these crops if they are left until that date. 

Sw. Jadwiga, jesli deszcz nie pada
To do kapusty Pan Bog miodunada.


On St. Hedwig's, if it's not raining
God grants honey to the cabbage.


Another mid-October feast is tied into Polish harvest lore. It is also said that by St. Luke's Day (Sw. Lukasz), October 18 all the work in the field should have been completed. They might chant:  "Sw. Lukasz day, co w polu szukasz?" (Translated: "On St. Luke's Day, what are you looking for in the fields?")


So to celebrate the late harvest season and the root vegetables, to recognize a couple October saint feast days, and give a nod to my Polish heritage, I have a couple hearty recipes to share. 


Roasted Root Vegetables 

1 T olive oil
1 small onion, sliced
4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
1 turnip, peeled and diced
1 yam or sweet potato, peeled and diced
1 parsnip, peeled and diced
1 t dried rosemary
1 t dried thyme
1 pinch salt
1/2 t black pepper
1-2 T balsamic vinegar, optional for drizzling.

Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a baking sheet pan with nonstick cooking spray. Combine all ingredients in a mixing bowl and toss to combine. Place mixture on a baking sheet and bake approximately 30 minutes. Turn vegetables every 10 minutes until vegetables are tender and slightly browned. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar before serving.
Makes 6 servings.

Polish people make a lot of zupa (soups), and starting with the cold weather and the harvest, soup is a wonderful addition to any meal.  Here is one that combines some of the root vegetables that are common in Polish fare.

Cabbage Kielbasa Soup

1 small head cabbage, shredded
1 small onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
2 T olive oil
4 cups water
3 T cider vinegar
1 T brown sugar
1 pound Kielbasa sausage, halved, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
4 medium potatoes, peeled and cubed
3 carrots, chopped
1 t caraway seeds
1/2 t pepper


In a Dutch oven or large kettle, saute the cabbage, onion and garlic in oil until tender. Add water, vinegar and brown sugar to cabbage mixture.  Stir in remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer for 60-70 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Makes 8-10 servings.
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Yemas de Santa Teresa - St. Teresa's Egg Yolks


An interesting tradition in Spanish cooking is the abundance of monastery sweets that call for many egg yolks. This is thought to come in part from sherry and wine producers, who used egg whites for refining or clarifying wines. The remaining yolks were often given to a convent or monastery in town for use in baked goods and confections. The most famous of these sweets are candied egg yolks called simply, yemas (meaning “egg yolk”) or Yemas de Santa Teresa because of their association with the convent in Avila. Yemas are a rich and creamy, traditional Spanish dessert made from egg yolks, granulated sugar and water, then coated in powdered sugar.  Yemas de Santa Teresa are a popular treat on her feast day, October, 15.

Yemas de Santa Teresa Recipe

3 oz water
1/2 cup sugar
peel from 1/2 lemon
6 egg yolks
powdered sugar

Put water, sugar, and lemon peel into a small saucepan. Dissolve the sugar, while bringing the water to a boil. Continue to cook until the mixture is at soft ball stage (238 degrees), stirring often. Remove from heat, and remove peel.

Separate the yolks from the whites and beat the egg yolks. Pour the beaten egg yolks into a saucepan. Pour the hot mixture into the egg yolks, stirring constantly. With heat on the low, stir the mixture slowly and continuously with whisk, until the yolks begin to solidify – up to 10 minutes. The mixture will easily pull away from sides and bottom of pan at this point. Remove from heat. Spoon onto a plate and allow to cool.

After the mixture has cooled, sprinkle powdered sugar through a sieve onto a countertop. Place yolk mixture on top and roll it to cover in sugar. Pinch off a small bit of yolks, about size of a walnut. Roll it into a ball and roll in powdered sugar to cover.  Chill yemas in refrigerator.  The powdered sugar on the outside will form a small crust as the balls cool.  Makes about 8-10 yemas.
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Dents de Loup - Wolf's Teeth Cookies


When I saw these cookies last year, suggested on Pinterest by a super creative French friend of mine for the Feast of St. Francis (HT: Mattie Nelson), I knew they would be a perfect addition to Catholic Cuisine ideas. These specialty shaped cookies go by various names. Known as Dents de loup in France or Wolfszähne in Germany, they are Wolf's Teeth Cookies. One of the most famous stories of St. Francis of Assisi is that of his coming to the aid of the town of Gubbio, when it was terrorized by the ferocious wolf. These fun cookies can remind us of the Wolf of Gubbio on the Feast of St. Francis of Assisi.

Wolf's Teeth Cookies

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

1 cup butter, room temp or slightly softened
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 3/4 cups flour + 2 tablespoons
2 teaspoons vanilla (+ optional 2 teaspoons Cognac, brandy, etc.)

Cream the butter and sugar with hand mixer until light colored, fluffy. Add flavoring, mix. Add eggs one at a time and mix. Mix in flour, a little at a time, about 1/4 cup of the flour each time.

Butter/grease the pan* ridges. Drop a walnut sized balls of dough off a spoon into the ridged form. Keep well spaced so they don't run together. I cut the recipe to one third when I made them and it made 20 cookies.


Bake for 15 minutes, until golden brown on top.


*Special Note in the Spirit of St. Francis - Make your own baking pan
I didn't have a Dents de loup or Wolfszähne pan, and didn't want to buy one as it is not likely something I would use very often. So in the austere spirit of St. Francis, I decided I could improvise with a simple disposable and inexpensive option. Using a large, flat-ish disposable aluminum pan, I made a modified baking pan.


I cut off the ridged edges all around, clipped the corners to flatten and spread flat. I rolled a rolling pin over it to take out the indentations and get it as flat and smooth as possible. Then I folded over approximately 1 1/2 inch, flipped and folded again (fan fold style) until I had a makeshift "dents de loup" pan.


As I figure most of you don't have a specialty pan like this or the desire to purchase one, I hope this is helpful and manageable alternative.

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Pot Pie Soup for St. Francis

This post was written by Catholic Cuisine contributor, Charlotte from Waltzing Matilda

 Last year, I made Chicken Pot Pie Soup which is basically a cream of chicken soup with baked pie crust crumbled on top. I thought that using my mini animal cookie cutters I could make the pie crust represent the animals that St. Francis is patron of.
I made a basic pie crust recipe but you could just roll out a pre-made one. Cut out the shapes and bake them up on a cookie sheet. Sprinkle them over soup when ready to serve. The recipe for the soup is below but you can use your favorite recipe if you have one.

Chicken Pot Pie Soup

2 tablespoons of butter
1 medium onion, diced
2 stalks of celery, diced
1 large carrot, diced
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons of flour
4-6 cups of chicken stock  (depending on how thick or thin you like your soup)
4 cups of frozen shredded hash browns
4 cups of cooked, diced chicken
½ cup of heavy cream
1 cup of frozen peas

In a large soup pot, melt butter and cook onions, celery and carrots over medium heat until softened. Add garlic and cook for another 30 seconds. Stir in the flour and cook for just another 30 seconds stirring constantly. Add chicken stock and increase heat. Once soup begins to simmer, add hash browns and simmer about 15 minutes until soup begins to thicken. Add chicken and simmer until heated through. Add cream and peas. Simmer 5 more minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.


Dear God, You enabled St. Francis to imitate Christ by his poverty and humility. Walking in St. Francis' footsteps, may we follow Your Son and be bound to You by a joyful love. Amen.
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Angel Kisses for the Feast of the Guardian Angels

This post was written by Catholic Cuisine contributor, Charlotte from Waltzing Matilda


I whipped up these little peppermint meringue cookies earlier today trying to beat the rain that is heading our way today. If you've ever made meringue cookies, you know that rain or humidity can kill all of your efforts turning what should be a delightfully crispy little melt-in-your-mouth treat into a chewy piece of cardboard. I wanted to add a little peppermint flavor to my cookies which some people do with crushed up candy canes but I still wanted them to be white for the feast day today so I used a little peppermint extract. Keep these in mind for Christmas too!

Angel Kisses

2 egg whites (room temperature… very important to let your egg whites come to room temperature)
1/8 tsp. salt
1/8 tsp. cream of tartar
1/2 C. sugar
1/4 - 1/2 tsp. peppermint extract (depends on how pepperminty you want them.

Preheat oven to 225 degrees and line pans with parchment paper. Place egg whites, salt and cream of tartar in a metal bowl and whip with electric mixer. You can't use a hand whisk. It doesn't put enough air into the egg whites.


When you have beaten the whites to form stiff peaks (tips of whites stand straight up in the air when you pull the beaters out) and the egg whites look glossy, gradually add your sugar. Add it slowly and beat well after each addition. Finally, using a clean spatula free of any kind of oil, quickly fold in the peppermint extract using a light hand. Scoop batter into a gallon size zip top bag with one corner cut off or use a piping bag with a decorative tip. Pipe out little dollops. Place pans in oven for 1.5 hours. Don't let the cookies brown. They should be completely dry when done. Turn off oven and leave door ajar while the cookies cool completely.

Enjoy!

I humbly salute you, O you faithful, heavenly Friends of my children! 
I give you heartfelt thanks for all the love and goodness you show them. 
At some future day I shall, with thanks more worthy than I can now give, 
repay your care for them, and before the whole heavenly court 
acknowledge their indebtedness to your guidance and protection. 
Continue to watch over them. Provide for all their needs of body and soul. 
Pray, likewise, for me, for my husband, and my whole family, 
that we may all one day rejoice in your blessed company. Amen


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