Saturday, April 30, 2011

Sunday, May 1, 2011

This Sunday is an especially exciting day this year as there are so many things to celebrate on one day. most of our celebrations are going to center around the beatification of Pope John Paul II and Divine Mercy Sunday. Catholic Cuisine has some yummy ideas here and here. We'll make some sort of Polish food (my husband's family favorite is kielbasa sausage and eggs) that day and watch the coverage on EWTN. Here are the various feats days for Sunday and celebratory ideas from the archives Divine Mercy Sunday 2010 Feast of Saint Joseph the Worker 2010 May Crowning 2010

Easter 2011

Our Easter weekend was wonderful. We hosted Easter dinner for 17 people and the food was delicious. Here are a few snapshots...
Hot Cross Buns on Good Friday Last year I used this recipe, but this year I thought I would try this recipe, but I think I like roll-like buns like last year over a pan of rolls. Our parish Easter Egg Hunt
Cute Bunny Fun
Dying Easter Eggs
Easter baskets and gifts
Easter Decorations
A storm a couple weeks ago knocked a little bird's nest out of a tree. Thankfully, I didn't see any birds eggs around it. But it made the perfect place to put some of our dyed Easter eggs as a decoration.
Our Butter Lamb
I made this lamb with this mold and used honey butter we made ourselves from heavy cream
Our family picture after Easter morning mass
Our Easter egg hunt at home. I could have watched this all day. I am so glad Sweet Pea started walking recently. She was so proud of herself finding eggs and had so much, and she was so adorable.
Our Easter Dinner
I wish I could have gotten some better pictures, but the hungry masses were looming. Dinner included two maple brown sugar glazed hams, sweet potatoes with oatmeal crumble topping, honey glazed carrots, fried apples, baby greens salad with a homemade balsamic dijon maple syrup vinaigrette, potato casserole, broccoli casserole, pretzel salad, Hawaiian rolls, watergate salad, and a cross monkey bread.
The dessert area had some homemade sugar cookies, our family favorite chocolate buttermilk cake, Easter candy molds (like those here but not as pretty or worthy of a close-up picture) and of course a monkey bread cross which was with the dinner food as it is considered a main course food in our family :)

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

Hoping you all have a joyous Easter

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Bird's Nest Cookies

Aren't these bird's nest cookies so adorable. And very easy to make.
Just your basic rolled sugar cookie recipe. Buttercream frosting died blue as the base (I intended it to be a light robin's egg blue, but it came out a bit darker than I planned). Chocolate frosting (recipe below) in little twig lines to make the nest. Then a few jelly beans as the eggs.
We made lots of other Easter cookies too.
Hope you have a Happy Easter.
I'll be back later with pictures of our Easter.
Chocolate Buttercream Frosting
(family recipe from my ma-ma)
1 stick butter
4 tbsp cocoa - I often add more and only use Hershey's not Nestle
melt above on stove on low to low-medium heat pour melted cocoa mixture into mixing bowl and add
1 box powdered sugar
1 tsp vanilla
5-6 tbsp milk
Mix until creamy

Friday, April 22, 2011

"Father, Forgive them..."

Michelangelo, Crucifixion, 1540

"Father, forgive them; they do not know what they are doing." (Lk 23:34)

Address delivered on April 23, 1943, by Msgr. Fulton Sheen

"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do" (Luke 23:34).

On the mountain of the Beatitudes Our Divine Lord said: "Love your enemies."

Now, on the Mount on Calvary, He practices what He preached. As He is nailed to His Cross, for the first time in the hearing of our world there was uttered a prayer for those who gave one pain. "Father, forgive them for they know not what they do." Father! God is no vague cosmic power, no Mindless Mover, no Mathematician — He is a Father. Now, in the name of all the prodigal children of the world, He says, "I will arise and go to the Father," to ask pardon for all of us. Father forgive! Forgive whom? Pilate, Annas, Caiphas, Judas — yes, and all of us.

Only God can forgive. Nature never forgives. If you cut your finger, it bleeds. Our fellow men but rarely forgive. Society never forgives. That is why there are sanctions, punishments, and prisons. Nor can we ever forgive ourselves. Lady Macbeth after the murder of Duncan said she could not even say "Amen," it choked in her throat. Never could she wash the blood off her hands. Not all the waters of the seven seas were enough to wash that blood incarnadined from her hands.

Only God forgives. "Father, forgive them." And the reason? "Because they know not what they do."

Who are the "they" who know not? They are the aimless people. How many aimless people there were in His day, and how many in our own, whose lives have no pattern, no object, no goal; whose existence is very much like the staccato paragraphs of our modern columnists jumping, flitting like a butterfly from one idea to another, but never tying them together into a coherent whole. How many existences there are like the make-up of a newspaper, a conglomeration of all points of view, but nothing to live by; lives that resemble modern music that allows any instrument to pick off a tune and carry it on its own, quite apart from the concert and the harmony of the whole. These are the people who know not what they do.

But why was Our Lord so ready to forgive? I think the reason is because He loves us. In just the proportion that we love anyone, we are willing to forgive him. A mother without much education will write a letter to her son who is in camp. If he were to show it to a grammarian, he would say that it contained many mistakes; but to that son the letter is flawless.

Why is every mother much more willing to condone the faults of her own child than to condone the faults of her neighbor’s child? Is it not because she loves her child more than her neighbor’s? Wherever there is love, there is forgiveness. Hence when Peter came to an understanding of love, after Pentecost, one of the first sermons that he preached was: "The author of life you killed . . . I know that you did it through ignorance" (Acts 3:15, 17). Peter was filled with love; therefore he was willing to understand. Early in Christ’s public life, James and John were angry because the Samaritans had rejected Our Divine Lord and received Him not into their city. These two brothers, whom Our Divine Lord had called "the sons of thunder," asked God to send down lightening from heaven and destroy them. It was indeed fitting that the "sons of thunder" should want Him to "send down lightening. But Our Divine Lord said: "You know not, you know not what spirit you are. You have no love. You are not willing to forgive." John understood that later on when as an old man he was constantly sending out messages of love. Almost every line of his epistle reads love, love, love.

Love thy neighbor and then you will forgive!

Because God loves, He is willing to forgive; and therefore God never adds our sins. If we return that love, He only subtracts.

If this Word from the Cross has any meaning for us, it should infuse into us two resolutions. First a willingness to forgive. There is a terrible increase of hate in the world today. Perhaps war increases the tension of people and therefore makes them hate. If people only knew it, every time they hate somebody else, they fall victim to that person. Think of how many there are in our land today who have fallen victims to Hitler because they hate him. They do not love justice. They just despise someone. If we but know it, every time we hate anyone we are criticizing ourselves. Our Divine Lord said: "Judge not, that you may not be judged" (Matthew 7:1).

Judge not, that you may not be judged — by whom? By those who hear you judge your neighbor. The criticism that we make of others is in almost every instance a criticism of ourselves. The measure of a person’s character is the size of the things that make him mad. Who are those who are most apt to condemn infidelity in someone else except those who are themselves unfaithful? They minimize their own guilt by projecting it into someone else. That is why every time they judge, they judge themselves. Those who are constantly accusing someone else of dishonesty are generally dishonest themselves. That may be the reason why so many politicians are always fond of calling one another grafters.

To seek forgiveness is the second resolution. Never deny that you are a sinner. There are tens of thousands of people in the United States who are today going to psychoanalysis, when all they need is a good confession. Our Divine Lord is willing to forgive. "If your sins be as scarlet, they shall be made as white as snow" (Isaias 1:18). "I am not come to call the just, but the sinners . . . they that are in health need not a physician, but they that are ill" (Matthew 9:12-13).

Now that we enter into these last few days of Holy Week, let any one of you who may be Catholic and has not been to Confession for some time resolve to go tomorrow. Be convicted of sin, not just because sin is wrong; be convicted of it because you see its relation to the Cross. That is the way we should be convinced of our own wickedness in every case. How often, for example, when a husband and wife are blessed with a child, will they stand before that baffling bit of humanity and begin to see their want of selflessness. That child convicts them of sin. They never knew before how selfish they were. Let this Cross and the forgiveness of Our Lord convict you of sin. He is more willing to forgive you than you are to be forgiven.

There is a legend to the effect that one day the devil went before the throne of God and said, "Why is it that you are willing to forgive some people thousands and thousands of sins and yet you can never forgive me for my one sin?" And the answer that God gave was, "Well, did you ever ask Me?" Have you? Peter was not made Pontiff until he had fallen three times. And if you had never sinned, you never could call Christ, "Savior."

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Divine Mercy Novena Starts Good Friday

The Divine Mercy Novena starts Good Friday continuing until Divine Mercy Sunday following Easter.

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Corn Spoon Bread

photo from Gourmet.com
(Mine really looked just like this.
I will make this again soon and not forget to take a picture of my own to post.)

I am trying to get through some stuff in my pantry so I decided to make something new using corn meal. I came across this recipe for Corn Spoon Bread. I tweaked (see my adjusted recipe below) it a little omitting the green onions and red pepper flakes and instead adding 1-2 tablespoons of brown sugar to make it a tad sweet. It was so delicious I wanted to share. I wish I had taken a picture of it because it looked beautiful. But we ate it too fast. So I found the above picture online at Gourmet.com which looked the most like my spoon bread, although their recipe is different. I made a double recipe which I would recommend for any family larger than four people. I cooked it for about 40 minutes instead of 25 minutes in a round glass pyrex dish. I covered the top with foil for the latter 20 minutes or so to keep the top from browning too much. Here is the recipe with my adjustments below:

Corn Spoon Bread

2 cups milk (I used skim) 2/3 cup yellow cornmeal 1 teaspoon kosher salt 2 cups shredded Cheddar, divided 2 cups frozen corn kernels, defrosted 4 large eggs, lightly beaten 2 tablespoons butter, cut in small pieces 2-4 tablespoons ground brown sugars Directions Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. In a medium saucepan, whisk together the milk, cornmeal, and salt. Cook over medium-high heat, stirring constantly, until mixture has thickened, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1 cup of the cheese, the corn, and the brown sugar. Temper the eggs by slowly whisking some of the hot milk mixture into the beaten eggs. Stir the tempered eggs into the milk mixture. Pour the mixture into a 1-quart baking dish. Top with pieces of butter and sprinkle with the remaining cup of cheese. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes or until center is set and cheese is lightly browned. Cover with foil during baking if top is getting too brown but center not set yet. Remove from the oven and serve immediately.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Celebrating Holy Week

From the archives:
Holy Week
Holy Week (2010)
Palm Sunday
Palm Sunday (2010)
Palm Sunday (2009)
Holy Thursday
Good Friday
Good Friday (2009)
Holy Saturday
Easter Sunday

Friday, April 15, 2011

Easy Homemade Butter

I received this wooden butter lamb mold as a gift from my mother-in-law last year. This was my first time making a butter lamb, so I wanted to practice before Easter. It was the perfect opportunity to try making homemade butter. We made regular salted butter and honey butter. We used mason jars, heavy cream, a pinch of salt and a couple tablespoons of honey (although we will use more honey for the next batch). It was very easy and the butter was delicious. Be prepared for your arms to get a little sore, but it only takes about 10 minutes of shaking the jar to get butter.

First step was to pour the heavy cream into the mason jar filling it up 1/2 to 2/3 of the way. screw on the lid very tightly.

Start shaking and shaking. Now shake some more.
At some point after about 5 minutes after the cream has gotten very thick, it will separate into a soft butter ball and liquid buttermilk. Keep shaking for a couple more minutes to thicken up the butter ball. Then pour the buttermilk out. Save it in a jar for using later for pancakes, biscuits or baking.
We shook for another minute or so to get the last of the buttermilk off. Then we rinsed off the butter ball with cold water. Then we put the butter into the lamb mold and chilled it.
Our homemade butter was delicious.
We had fun talking about how butter was traditionally made by churning it. A great book to accompany this activity is Winter Days in the Big Woods in the My First Little House Book series. This page with Mary churning the butter was perfect.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Look Who's Walking

video
A couple days ago, I made lunch for Sweet Pea and told her to go to her chair (crawl to her chair) for a sandwich and strawberries. I turned around and she is standing there and starts just WALKING across the kitchen to me. I got so excited that she started giggling and sat down half way across the kitchen. I ran and grabbed the camcorder and put her in the same spot and she did it again. I was glowing for the rest of the day. I am so smitten with this baby, and don't even try telling me she is not a baby anymore.

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