Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Divine Mercy Sunday - Divine Mercy Sundaes

Sunday, April 23, 2017, is Divine Mercy Sunday. Our Lord appeared to a Polish nun, Sister Faustina, in 1935 and instructed her in a prayer called the Divine Mercy Chaplet. The prayer is said on rosary beads and consists of an Our Father, Hail Mary, Apostles Creed and two other prayers directed to God. One offers the Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity of Jesus Christ in atonement for personal sins and for the whole world. The other for the sake of the Passion of Jesus asks for mercy on the one praying and on the whole world. This is a very powerful prayer given by Our Lord himself.
 Here is a link on how to say the chaplet,
For a fuller understanding of the Divine Mercy message, 

The Catholic Women of the Chapel at Fort Lee, VA, have come up with a creative way to celebrate this day with their young families. Called Divine Mercy Sunday/Divine Mercy Sundaes they will pray the Divine Mercy Chaplet at 3pm with their families and conclude the afternoon by making dessert sundaes. Perhaps some of you might like to try this with your young families? Sister Faustina was canonized in 2000 by Pope John Paull II. St. Faustina pray for us!

Friday, March 3, 2017

Family Lenten Activities with Grandparents, 2017

Every year the Church gives us the season of Lent. A season of penance and renewal.  Penance is the turning away from sin and the opening of our hearts to more fully receive God’s gifts. The renewal is a reminder of our baptism when through water and the words of the priest or deacon, the Holy Spirit of God first entered our souls, removing original sin and flooding us with grace. As Catholic grandparents, how can we help our grandchildren to make room for Jesus and experience more of his life and grace this Lent? The following are a few suggestions.

Praying Arms - Pretzel
If you live near your grandchildren, invite them over to make pretzels! Pretzels were traditionally Lenten fare. Made originally of flour, water and salt, their shape is in the form of arms folded in prayer. Serve the pretzel and use it as a springboard to explain prayer as a conversation with Jesus. Burying the Alleluia is a fun and instructive activity. Catholics do not say the Alleluia at Mass during Lent, the Church’s penitential season. Alleluia means “praise Yahweh.” The Alleluia returns at the Easter Vigil Mass, the Church’s season of rejoicing. For instructions for burying the alleluia or making palm crosses, go to www.catholicicing.com

The Stations of the Cross are prayed in many parishes. When you go, invite your grandchildren to join you.  For younger grandchildren, outdoor Stations of the Cross are a better option, or The Stations of the Cross coloring book from Pauline Books & Media. Children’s Station of the Cross booklets are available from www.autom.com.

Lenten Calendar from www.catholicicing.com
Children need concrete activities. There are printable Lenten maps which take the child day by day on a journey from Ash Wednesday to Easter Sunday. You and your grandchild determine the activities.  I like the linked paper chain activity made from purple construction paper. Every good deed adds a link to the chain. The challenge is to see how many good deeds can be made before Easter arrives! There are more children’s activities at https://www.pinterest.com/colleenmarie51/lenten-activities-for-kids/  

Bread Dough Crown of Thorns

For your crafter/artist a bread dough crown of thorns or crucifix will draw them into the deeper meaning of Lent. 

Scones for the Annunciation

Hot cross buns, scones for the Annunciation and ceam puffs for the solemnity of St. Joseph will keep baking hands busy, https://foodsandfestivitiesofthechristianyear.blogspot.com, archive 2015.

Lent is a time for fasting. We associate fasting with food but it is also a time to fast from TV, electronics and technology. We can help our grandchildren fill their time with good books. Suggest reading  a saint whose feast day falls during Lent to fill their technology fast!  The Lent-Easter Book by Joan Marie Arbogast is full of activities, stories and printables suitable for grades K – 3 and 4- 8. More books for children can be found on https://www.pinterest.com/colleenmarie51/lent-and-easter-books-for-children 
Singh family benefits from Operation Rice Bowl with new farming techniques

Operation Rice Bowl or a similar charity is a way to share money saved from sacrificed treats.  Show your grandchildren pictures of how the money will be used, so they can see how their sacrifices help others.

Our love for Christ and the Church is the greatest gift we can share with our children and grandchildren.  Immerse yourself in the season, and be assured of the many graces and blessings the Lord will bestow on you and your family.

Saturday, February 25, 2017

Mardi Gras - Hush Puppies

Mardi Gras Hush Puppies
These Hush Puppies are delicious. They are from another recipe Doris Dean gave me. The Cajun Chicken and Andouille Gumbo recipe on my last post was hers. The Hush Puppies pictured here were my second batch and definitely an improvement over my first. I am not in the habit of deep-frying foods.It takes me awhile to master getting the temperature and the frying time right when I do deep fry. These puppies came out quite nicely, crispy on the outside and cooked on the inside. Below is the recipe. They go very well with gumbo. I am planning on making them again on the Monday before Mardi Gras to serve with a gumbo I just made. We will have a King's Cake from a local bakery for dessert or beignets. I have made the beignets dough but am waiting to fry them with my son-in-law's deep fryer. I will give you the beignets recipe in my next post with photos.

                                                              HUSH PUPPIES


2 cups cornmeal
2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp salt
2 tsp sugar
2 cups flour
2 eggs
1 1/2 cups milk (buttermilk is best but anything will do)
Cajun seasoning (or red pepper - 1/2 tsp)
Chopped green onion tops (one bunch)
2 Tbsp grated onion

Mix dry ingredients in bowl.  In another bowl beat eggs, add milk, and add this to the cornmeal mixture.  Add onion and red pepper.  Drop by spoonful in hot deep fat (375 degrees) and fry until brown.  

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Mardi Gras - Cajun Chicken and Andouille Gumbo

This is my friend, Doris Dean's, recipe for Cajun chicken and Andouille Gumbo. Doris grew up in Louisiana and has given me a number of authentic Cajun recipes. I made it on Friday and served it on Saturday evening to family members, who only had good things to say about. I hope you will enjoy it, too. I will be posting more about Mardi Gras foods, customs and origins over the next couple of weeks.

                                   CAJUN CHICKEN AND ANDOUILLE GUMBO


1 large onion (chopped)
1 large green bell pepper (chopped)
1 rib of celery (chopped)
4 stalks green onion (chopped)
Tony Chacherie seasoning (if you have it), or salt, red pepper and garlic powder - I used 1 1/2 tbsp. of Tony Chacherie seasoning
1 Whole chicken
1 pound Andouille Sausage (smoked beef also works)

¾ cup flour
1 cup vegetable oil (or butter) – (NO Margarine or other kind of oil)

Chicken Stock
In a pot (at least 5 quart), heat 2 or 3 quarts of water to a boil and add seasoning (salt, red pepper and garlic powder) and boil the chicken until you can remove the meat from the bones (keep the liquid as your stock). Remove the meat and place the meat back into the stock. (Discard skin and bones). Return the stock to a slow boil.

Chop all ingredients before you begin making the roux. (The roux must be stirred constantly so no free hands to chop ingredients)

While the chicken is boiling, prepare the roux
In a skillet, heat the oil until a pinch of flour tossed in sizzles. 
Gradually add the flour and stir constantly (use a wooden spoon). 
Continue to stir until it is a dark caramel color.
Turn off the heat and add the chopped onion, bell pepper and celery (save the green onions for later).  Stir thoroughly for a few minutes. (This cooks the seasonings and cools the roux). Then set aside.

Slice the Andouille sausage in thin circles and brown in a skillet for a few minutes (some people prefer to not brown it and just add to the stock after slicing, either way is good).  Add to the chicken stock. 

Add roux mixture and green onions and stir thoroughly and cook for 25 minutes. (The longer you cook a gumbo, the better it tastes – the time given here is a minimum.)

Serve over rice and sprinkle with file’ (if you have it).


5 1/2 lb. chicken

Roux at the beginning

Roux as it cooks

Roux when it is ready - notice the color
Vegetables added to roux

Andouille lightly browned
Chicken and Andouille added to the chicken stock, and roux with vegetables