St. Helena Wine

The following drink suggestion in honor today's feast was submitted by Kim Loney from Texas.


"We remember Saint Helena today not only because she found the True Cross, but because, although she was an Empress, she was still God's humble servant..." 
Saints for Girls by Neumann Press.

*Santa Helena Special Selection Cabernet Sauvignon 2015
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La Croix to Celebrate the Triumph of the Cross


On this day of the Feast of the Exultation of the Cross, we celebrate the discovery of the true cross by St. Helena and the dedication of the bascilica built on Calvary by Constantine.   It is a celebration and commemoration of God's greatest work: his salvific death on the Cross and His Resurrection.

Need an easy yet memorable idea to commemorate the day? Pick up some La Croix sparkling water to add to your meal or snacktime. The name Croix is French for "cross" so it can be a reminder of that great saving work of Christ for us.


Christ, through your holy cross save us. 
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Peruvian Corn Snack for St. Rose Feast Day


St. Rose of Lima, partoness of South America, is celebrated August 23. An idea for a simple snack on the feast of St. Rose (or other Peruvian saints) is the traditional Peruvian cancha, a popular snack made with a special type of large-kerneled corn called maíz chulpe. The dried kernels are tossed with oil and toasted in a hot skillet until they are browned and puffed.Trader Joe's makes their version of this snack - a Giant Peruvian Inca Corn which is very tasty. 


We love snacking on it. Since it is a ready made snack would be really easy to pull out for the feast day as an alternative to making your own. We opted for the ready made Trader Joe's version, but if you want to make the homemade version, it is as easy as popping corn. See recipe for details.

Homemade Cancha

Ingredients
1 cup maíz chulpe (can usually be found at Hispanic grocers)
1-2 tablespoons oil
salt

Directions

Heat oil in large, heavy-bottomed skillet on medium heat. Add the chulpe corn and toss to coat with the oil. Cover and cook, shaking the pan periodically to keep the kernels from burning. The kernels will begin popping (without turning inside out like popcorn) and turn golden brown. Cook until popping subsides, about 5-8 minutes.  Drain on a plate lined with paper towels. Salt to taste.

St. Rose of Lima, Pray for us. 
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Sweet Carmel Rosary


A very simple idea to celebrate the feast of Our Lady of Mount Carmel (July 16) is a rosary fashioned out of caramel bits. These cute and tasty caramel bits are a perfect rosary bead size - ready made. Just count out 59 caramel bits and arrange in rosary shape. I used some extra caramel to mold the cross and pressed a Marian medal into a flattened bead for the rosary center.  These caramel bits are made by Kraft and where available are sold in grocery store baking sections. You might have to look a few places to find them. I found these at Walmart.


Though this feast day is most associated with the scapular, the rosary is always fitting for a Marian feast day. On this special Marian feast day the family could say the rosary together then enjoy snacking on the beads. Alternatively, you could eat the beads as you go along.

Also, the rosary is a prominent feature hanging from the cinture of the Carmelite habit so is associated with the various Carmelite saints in images. This idea could be implemented on and of hte feasts days of the Carmelite saints, too.

Our Lady of Mount Carmel, Pray for us. 
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St. John Mini Grasshopper Ice Cream Pies


At the end of this week, we will commemorate the feast of the birth of John the Baptist. In Matthew's gospel we hear that while he was in the dessert, John the Baptist's food was locust and honey, so those are images we associate with him. In the past the idea of a grasshopper pie or parfait has been suggested here at Catholic Cuisine to associate with St. John the Baptist. There is the traditional grasshopper pie or a modified version with mint chocolate chip ice cream for a frozen alternative.

How did this combo become a "grasshopper" dessert? First came the grasshopper cocktail, a sweet after-dinner drink, whose main ingredient is green (thus the grasshopper) crème de menthe, and also white crème de cacao, and cream. Then in the sixties, using the same flavors, came the green mint pie with a cookie or graham cracker crumb crust. Making an ice cream pie with mint chocolate chip ice cream is a simpler version for the same flavors.

I had seen these mini graham crusts and thought they would be cute for making a couple variations. One is the mint chocolate chip version for the more traditional "grasshopper" flavor. The other is plain vanilla ice cream drizzled with honey. And the plastic grasshopper toy just adds to the effect.

To make the mini ice cream pies, set out ice cream until is softens enough to spoon into crusts and spread evenly. Refreeze. I sprinkled crushed graham crackers on pies to symbolize the sand of the dessert where John lived and preached. And a drizzle of honey was added to the vanilla pies.

As we experience the beginning of summer, long days, and warm evenings, this cool treat would be a refreshing way to celebrate.  Enjoy your John the Baptist desert dessert.

 

St. John the Baptist, Pray for us.

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"Hammer of Heretics" Snack


Today we celebrate the feast day of St. Anthony of Padua, most frequently called upon as intercessor of all things lost. But the great preacher, St. Anthony was also known as the "Hammer of Heretics" for his exemplary teaching of the truths of the faith among the heretics of his day. He traveled throughout northern Italy and southern France combating abuses in the Church and bringing people back to the faith through his diligent preaching.


While it is short notice (and I apologize for that), I do love a simple way to celebrate the feast day. This simple, but "hard-hitting" snack takes just a few seconds to make - and is easy for the kids to do themselves. And hopefully these common ingredients are even on hand. All you need are pretzel sticks and and cheese sticks (any cheese block could be cut into hammer head blocks as well). Slice a cheese stick into 4ths. Gently insert a pretzel stick into the bottom of the cheese piece to form an edible mini-hammer. [Thinly sliced carrot or celery sticks could be cut as a substitute for the pretzel sticks.]

That is it - enjoy.

St. Anthony, holy friar, Hammer of Heretics, Pray for us.
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Caprese Salad with Tomato Rose for St. Rita


This clever idea was shared by my friend, Alexandra, who put a novel twist on the Rose Garden Tea Sandwich. These lovely tomato roses are the centerpiece of an Italian Caprese inspired salad. Caprese is a combination of flavors, textures, and freshness: ripe tomatoes, fresh mozzarella cheese, fresh basil, and a drizzle of olive oil or balsamic vinegar. In this version the slice of fresh mozzarella is layered with a basil leaf and then drizzled with balsamic vinegar and topped with the lovely tomato rose. Focusing on the Italian origin of the Caprese salad with the rose tomato variation this would be a perfect addition for the feast of Italy's St. Rita of Cascia (May 22) who is often pictured with roses and has a rose miracle story. Or could be for one of the Italian Roses - St. Rose of Viterbo (September 4) or St. Rose Venerini (May 7).


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