August 27 and 28: Saints Monica and Augustine Wine-Soaked Pears

2 reasons this recipe works for these 2 saints:

1. In his Confessions, Augustine shares that when she was a little girl, his mother Monica had a little obsession with wine, bringing her little wine glass with her from house to house. She was eventually scolded by one of her serving maids, and that ended the affection for wine.

2. One of the most famous scenes from Confessions describes Augustine stealing pears with his friends–not because he was hungry, but just for the sake of stealing. This pear-theft incident was a major turning point in his life.

3 tips for this recipe:

1. The longer you let the pears soak, the more flavorful they will be. At the least, give them half an hour.

2. Serve with creme fraiche, ricotta cheese, or something else for a little bit more flair!

3. Save remaining liquid for another use, such as making mulled wine. As my husband said, “It tastes like Christmas.”

Ingredients

2 cups dry red wine
2 cups water
1 peach, sliced
1 lemon, juiced and quartered
1/2 cup of sugar
2 cinnamon sticks
4 whole cloves
2 pears, peeled, halved, and cored

1. In a medium-sized pot, combine wine, water, peaches, lemon juice, lemon pieces, sugar, cinnamon sticks, and cloves; bring to boil over high heat.

2. Add pears, reduce heat to a simmer, and place lemon and peach pieces on top of pears to submerge them in liquid.

3. Cook, covered, until pears are tender when pierced, about 15 minutes.

Saints Monica and Augustine, pray for us!

August 24: Saint Bartholomew Chili Cheese Potato Skins

2 things this O.A. (original apostle) is most often known for:

1. Bartholomew, patron saint of tanners, is often depicted with a large knife and holding his own skin.  He was flayed alive.

2. He is usually identified as Nathanael (John 1:45-49, John 21:2).

Ingredients
3 russet potatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 lb ground beef
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon cumin
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste
1 can 12 oz kidney bean, drained and rinsed
1 can 12 oz diced tomato, drained and rinsed
1 cup roasted green chile
2 cups shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream, to serve
fresh cilantro, chopped, to serve

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 425˚F.

2. On a baking sheet, place 3 potatoes; using a fork, puncture holes all around the
potatoes. Bake for 45 minutes – 1 hour, until the potato gives when you press into it.

3. In a pot, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Add the onion, and stir until golden.

4. Add the garlic and ground beef, breaking up the meat into the onions and garlic.

5. Add the chili powder, cumin, salt, and pepper.

6. Add the kidney beans, tomatoes, and green chili peppers, and stir to combine. Simmer for 10 minutes. Set aside.

7. Once the potatoes have cooled, place one on a cutting board. Cut the potato in half lengthwise. Cut off one of the ends of the potato. Using a spoon, scoop out the
insides of the potato making sure not to scoop out too much or the potato skin will be too thin. With the remaining potatoes, cut them in half lengthwise and cut off both of the ends and scoop out the potato.

8. On a parchment paper-lined baking sheet, place both ends. Place three of the skins alongside one potato end and place the other 3 potato skins alongside the other end.

9. Brush the potato skins with the rest of the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

10. Scoop the chili into the potato skins and packing it down into an even layer. Sprinkle the cheese over the potato skins. Bake for 5 minutes until melted.

11. Top with sour cream and cilantro.

Notes
Recipe from Julie Klink

Saint Bartholomew, pray for us!

August 23: Saint Rose of Lima Tallarines Verdes (Peruvian Pasta)

4 key things about Saint Rose:

1. She was a Third Order Dominican inspired by the life of Saint Catherine of Siena.

2. Saint Rose was the first Catholic to be canonized in the Americas—the first to be declared a saint.

3. She also had a special devotion to the Child Jesus and to his Blessed Mother (which is the big reason you’ll see her depicted in art with baby Jesus).

4. When she died at 31, the ENTIRE city of Lima turned out for her funeral.

1 way to dress up this pasta for next year:

1. St. Rose’s feast day happened to be on a Friday this year, but next year, add steak on top of the pasta! My husband and I first came upon this dish at the Peruvian restaurant by our old home, and it is an exceptional combination! But, the noodles by themselves are just as delicious.

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/4 cup diced red onion (from 1 small onion)
5 ounces spinach
1 cup packed fresh basil leaves
1/2 cup ounces queso fresco, crumbled, plus more for garnish
1/4 cup evaporated milk
1/4 cup toasted walnuts, chopped
1 garlic clove, chopped
Fresh juice from 1-2 limes
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
12 ounces uncooked angel hair pasta

Preparation

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a small skillet over medium. Add onion; cook, stirring occasionally, until tender and translucent, about 4 minutes. Set aside.

2. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high. Add spinach and basil; cook just until wilted, about 30 seconds.

3. Using a slotted spoon, transfer spinach and basil to a fine wire-mesh strainer; cool slightly, about 5 minutes.

4. Add spinach and basil, queso fresco, milk, walnuts, garlic, lime juice, salt, pepper, and remaining 2 tablespoons oil to food processor. Process until smooth, about 1 minute.

5. Cook pasta in salted water according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup cooking water.

6. Toss spaghetti with spinach mixture, adding cooking water, 2 tablespoons at a time, until desired consistency is reached.

7. Garnish with additional basil and queso fresco. 

Notes
Recipe from Paige Grandjean

Saint Rose of Lima, pray for us!

August 22: Queenship of Mary “Queen Cake”

2 mysteries of the Rosary that tie perfectly into today’s celebration (which is the fifth Glorious Mystery!):

1. The Fourth Glorious Mystery: The Assumption of Mary, which we celebrated a week ago! I love how these two celebrations line up together so closely.

2. The Second Joyful Mystery: The Visitation. Elizabeth greets Mary with the title “the mother of my Lord” (Luke 1:43), which in my humble opinion, has got some queenly significance to it!

1 reason to go with “Queen Cake,” and 3 ways to dress it up:

1. My whole liturgical eating began with the feast of the Epiphany back in January. I made these cinnamon rolls as a “King Cake,” and they were a hit in our home! My husband and I even talked months later about wanting to eat those cinnamon rolls again and again…but we really liked the idea of saving them for a special feast. I must admit that we are happy that we don’t have to wait until January to have them again–there’s another feast to enjoy them, and it’s lovely that they are about 7 months apart! But you can make them a little different by doing these things:

A. Add blue food coloring to your icing.
B. Don’t like food coloring? Add blueberries on top!
C. Instead of putting a baby in your cake, place a little statue of Mary or a Marian medal in your cake! The winner can keep it (and maybe have to make the cake next year!)




Ingredients

Dough
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
2 cups whole milk, warm
½ cup granulated sugar
2 ¼ teaspoons active dry yeast
5 cups flour, divided
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons salt

Filling
¾ cup butter, softened
¾ cup light brown sugar
2 tablespoons ground cinnamon

Frosting
1 (8 ounce) package cream cheese, softened
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon almond extract
1 tablespoon honey

Preparation

1. In a large bowl, whisk together warm milk, melted butter, and granulated sugar. Make sure the mixture is warm, not hot.

2. Sprinkle the yeast evenly over the warm mixture and let it sit for 5-10 minutes.

3. Add 4 cups of all-purpose flour to the milk mixture and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined.

4. Cover the bowl with a towel or plastic wrap and set in a warm place to rise for 1 hour.

5. Generously butter 2 smaller pans or one larger pan and set aside.

6. Make the filling: in a medium bowl, combine the brown sugar, butter, and cinnamon. Mix well, then set aside.

7. Remove the towel and add an additional cup of flour, the baking powder, and salt. Stir well, then turn out onto a well-floured surface.

8. Knead the dough lightly, adding additional flour as necessary, until the dough just loses its stickiness and does not stick to the surface.

9. Roll the dough out into a large rectangle, about ½-inch (1 cm) thick. Fix corners to make sure they are sharp and even.

10. Spread filling evenly across dough.

11. Roll up the dough, forming a log, and pinch the seam closed. Place seam-side down. Trim off any unevenness on either end.

12. Cut the log in half, then divide each half into 7 evenly sized pieces, about 1½ inches thick.

13. Place about 7 cinnamon rolls in each cake pan, one in the center, six around the sides.

14. Cover rolls and place in a warm place to rise for 30 minutes.

15. Preheat oven to 350˚F.

16. To prepare the frosting: In a medium bowl, combine cream cheese, melted butter, brown sugar, vanilla and almond extract. Beat with an electric mixer. When mixture starts to stiffen, stop mixer and add honey.

17. Remove plastic wrap or towel from rolls. Bake the cinnamon rolls in a preheated oven for 25-30 minutes, until golden brown. While still warm, drizzle evenly with frosting.

Mary, Queen of Heaven and of Earth, pray for us!

August 21: Saint Pius X Focaccia Bread

4 things you may not have known about this pope-turned-saint:

1. He was born in Italy, but his parents were Polish. Think of all the combos you could do for a whole feast!

2. He made miracles happen IN his lifetime, specifically curing children from awful conditions and diseases.

3. Have you read his Oath Against Modernism? Yay or nay, you should give it a read.

4. He is known as “Pope of the Blessed Sacrament,” which led to a bread recipe in his honor!

1 way to jazz up your focaccia in honor of today’s saint:

1. Traditionally, I poke holes all around the focaccia, but I only made indents in the shape of an X this time; then, I placed rosemary in those spots so that the X popped out beautifully.

Ingredients
Dough
1 cup warm water
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons honey
2 teaspoons salt
3 ⅓ cups flour
1 ½ teaspoons yeast

Toppings
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, leaves removed
salt, to taste
pepper, to taste

Preparation

1. Combine water, olive oil, honey, salt, flour, and yeast in a large bowl. Mix well and knead the dough until it is elastic.

2. Transfer the dough into an oiled bowl. Cover with a towel or plastic wrap and let rise once for 1 hour in a warm place, until the dough has doubled.

3. Preheat oven to 375˚F.




4. Remove the dough from the bowl and stretch the dough into a circle.

5. Place the dough into well-oiled cast iron pan. Cover with towel or plastic wrap and rest for 30 minutes.

6. Poke the top with your fingertips, ideally in the shape of an X.

7. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with rosemary, salt, and pepper.

8. Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes.

Notes
Adapted from Rie McClenny

Saint Pius X, pray for us!

August 20: Saint Bernard Nursing Cookies

The 1 thing you’re probably shocked St. B is the patron of:

1. He is the patron saint of nursing mothers!

Yes, and it ties perfectly into his devotion to the Blessed Mother! In a vision, Mary sprays breast milk on St. Bernard while nursing Jesus. Why? It was her response to his prayer, “Show me that you are a human mother.”

1 tip for this recipe:

1. I usually end up freezing most of the dough, which is great because husband and I can pull it out whenever and enjoy cookies anytime.

Ingredients

1 cup butter
1 cup sugar
1 cup firmly packed brown sugar
2 eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups oats
1.5 cups chocolate chips
1/4 cup brewer’s yeast

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°.
2. Beat butter, sugar, and brown sugar well.
3. Add eggs and mix well.
4. Sift together flour, brewers yeast, baking soda, and salt.
5. Add dry ingredients to butter mix.
6. Stir in oats and chips. Scoop onto baking sheet.
7. Bake for 10-12 minutes. Let set for a couple minutes then remove from tray.

Saint Bernard, pray for us!

Notes
Recipe adapted from Noel Trujillo

August 19: Saint John Eudes Cognac Stawberries

3 things about another (and probably new to you!) St. John:

1. A French saint, he had zealous devotion to the Sacred Heart and the Immaculate Heart.

2. He was the founder of two religious orders, one specifically for prostitutes who wanted to escape that lifestyle.

3. “All that is his is yours: his spirit, his heart, his body and soul, and all his faculties.” -St. J.E.

Ingredients

1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup Cognac
1 pound strawberries, halfed and cut into hearts

Lemon zest, 1 lemon

Preparation

1. Combine sugar and cognac. Stir in strawberries.

2. Refrigerate until cold, about 20 minutes.

Notes
Adapted from Rachel Ray

August 16: Saint Stephen of Hungary White Yam Bites

2 fun facts about this saintly king of Hungary:

1. Born a pagan, he is the first canonized saint of his country. He was baptized around the age of 10.

2. He married Saint Henry’s sister; I love when saints’ worlds collide!

2 tips for this recipe:

1. Serve with sour cream or Greek yogurt (and leftover blessed herbs!)

2. Flip regularly so that you don’t burn one side of the potatoes!

Ingredients:
1 white yam, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil
Paprika, to taste
Salt, to taste

Preparation:
1. Heat skillet with oil on medium-high. When oil begins to sizzle, add in thinly sliced potatoes.

2. When you begin to notice the potatoes turning golden, flip them. Repeat.

3. When you have reached the crispiness level you desire, remove from skillet and sprinkle paprika and salt onto potatoes. Enjoy!

Saint Stephen of Hungary, pray for us!

August 15: Assumption Blueberry and Blessed Thyme Sorbet

1 fun story about St. Thomas the Apostle and the Assumption:

While preaching the Gospel in India, Saint Thomas received tried to return West for departure of Mary from her earthly life; he did not make it until the third day after she was laid to rest. Approaching her tomb, he was astounded to see her radiant living body ascend! She tossed her belt to him as a sign of hope, and Thomas made haste to announce to the forlorn apostles that she, too, was risen from the dead.

Ironic, huh? The one apostle who had doubted Jesus rising from the dead and had to touch His side is now the one to give physical evidence of Mary’s Assumption!

1 tip for this recipe:

1. If freezing overnight, cover with a lid or plastic wrap, and let it sit out at room temperature for 5-10 minutes before serving.

2. I used thyme to taste, so every few seconds after blending the sorbet, I would stop to taste. I probably would have added too little if it weren’t for that!

Ingredients
Frozen blueberries (12-18 ounces)
Fresh thyme, to taste (and blessed, of course!)
1/4 cup honey

Preparation
1. With a food processor or blender, blend the blueberries, thyme, and honey until thoroughly combined. Pour into a rectangular loaf pan and smooth into an even layer.
2. Freeze for 2 hours, or until frozen but still soft enough for scooping.

August 15: Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Lemon and Blessed Sage Chicken Thighs

2 other Biblical figures who were assumed into Heaven:

1. Enoch
2. Elijah

3 tips for this recipe:

1. This recipe almost tastes like guilt-free fried chicken, so go ahead and batter the chicken in the flour mixture ahead of time–it will be crisp and brown on the outside, soft and tender on the inside!

2. Feel free to sprinkle even more sage on top of the entire dish when you are ready to serve; great sides would be mashed potatoes or rice.

3. If you don’t have a pan that is oven-proof, just keep your pan covered for an hour on the stove top.

Ingredients:
8 chicken thighs, bone-in with skin
2 lemons
1/2 cup butter
1/4 cup water or chicken broth
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons fresh sage, blessed and chopped!

Flour mixture:
1 cup flour
2 tablespoons salt
2 teaspoons paprika
1 teaspoon black pepper

Preparation

1. Preheat oven to 350°.

2. Heat a heavy pan (one you can put in the oven) on medium heat.

3. Combine all flour mixings in a mixing bowl. Dredge the chicken in the seasoned flour; place each piece.

4. Brown your chicken for 7 minutes on each side.

5. Meanwhile, clean your sage and chop it (herb scissors are the best!). Slice one lemon; mince garlic.

6. Set brown chicken on a plate and set aside. Lower your heat to medium/low or low.

7. Add butter and melt. Use a spoon to scrape the browned bits in the pan to deglaze. Once butter is melted, add garlic and sage. Squeeze the juice of 1 lemon into the pan. Add 1/4 cup of water. Then lay half the lemon slices on the bottom of the pan.

8. Return the chicken to the pan, and top with the remaining lemons.

9. Place in oven for one hour.


Notes
Recipe from Diana Reis