Friday, August 14, 2015

Friday night pizzas

Artichoke and kale; crab and corn; farm eggs and braised scallions

With the warm summer weather, our weekly Friday night pizza has migrated to the grill and we have abandoned our usual pantry staple toppings for the bounty of the herb garden and farmers' market. While these pizzas might be meatless, they aren't lacking in flavor. Frugal Friday tip: roasted, unsalted sunflower seeds make an economical substitute for pine nuts.

Kale pesto with sweet potatoes and Vidalia onions

Clam and parsley; zucchini

Parsley pesto, zucchini, and heirloom cherry tomatoes

Monday, August 10, 2015

Back to School done right

I just got home from parish school registration for my older son. I wasn't initially motivated to go- all finances from tuition to milk money are handled through a tuition management company, my son won't need the school uniform until kindergarten, and somehow we muddled through last school year without attending. While in my heart I wish school started after Labor Day, I have nothing but props for how well the school staff set up this event geared towards parents (there will be a parish wide family hot dog dinner the night before school starts next week).

Entering in the school gym, one went through a circuit of informational tables: first, we were welcomed by the Principal and received the School Calendar and Handbook. Then followed the middle school religion teacher, a young religious brother, staffing a table geared to middle school needs. Next came the opportunity to share time, talent, and treasure by volunteering for Parent Teacher Council events and ordering SCRIP. A representative from the uniform company was available to answer questions, and secondhand uniforms were available for purchase.  Subsequently, athletics waivers could be turned in; laptops were available to register for inclement weather alerts. The last leg reinforced the connection between the diocese, parish, and the school: Virtus registration, verifying parish census information; and receiving a children's Sunday lectionary from the parish priest. Additionally, student club tables were located in the adjacent lobby. All in all, it was a well coordinated event that bodes well for the new school year.

Image: Vincent Van Gogh, "The Schoolboy"

Sunday, April 5, 2015


Jesus said to her, "Do not hold me, for I have not yet ascended to the Father; but go to my brethren and say to them, I am ascending to my Father and your Father, to my God and your God." (Jn 20, 17)

Franciabigio, Noli mi Tangere, 1520-25

Friday, April 3, 2015

Good Friday

There they crucified him, and with him two others, one on either side, and Jesus between them.
 (Jn 19, 18)

Antonello da Massina, Crucifixion, 1475

40 Meatless Meals: Black Bean Soup

A simple slow cooker black bean soup pairs well with pumpkin bread for a nutritionally balanced Good Friday meal. I have often frozen the pumpkin bread with excellent results, so this meal can require very little hands on time on this somber day.

Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup (Serves 4-6)
1 lb dried black beans, soaked overnight and drained
7 cups water or vegetable broth
1 lb frozen corn
1 T olive oil
1 onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 t cumin
1 t oregano
1 t lime juice
salt and pepper to taste
Plain yogurt and grated cheese for garnish, optional

Combine beans and water in slow cooker and cook for eight hours on low. Right before serving, add corn to crock. In a skillet, sautee remaining onion, garlic, and peppers until tender, then add to crock. Season; garnish before serving, if desired.

Pumpkin bread notes: I usually bake the batter for Smitten Kitchen pumpkin muffins (whole wheat version, with dried cranberries) in a greased loaf pan at 375 for 70 minutes.

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Maundy Thursday

For I received from the Lord what I also delivered to you, that the Lord Jesus on the night when he was betrayed took bread, and when he had given thanks, he broke it, and said, "This is my body which is for you. Do this in remembrance of me." (1 Cor 11, 23-24)

Fray Nicolas Borras, The Last Supper, 1570s

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Spy Wednesday

[Judas] went away and conferred with the chief priests and officers how he might betray him to them. (Lk 22, 4)

 Lippo Memmi, Betrayal of Judas, 1340

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Palm Sunday

And those who went before and those who followed cried out, 
"Hosanna! Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord! (Mk 11, 9)

Entry into Jerusalem, Italian Mosaic Artist, 1140-47

Friday, March 27, 2015

40 Meatless Meals: Broccoli Sunshine Pasta

This quick pasta salad is good to have on hand as we approach Holy Week and the comings and goings associated with its additional liturgies. Traditional Broccoli Sunshine Salad becomes a vegetarian meal by swapping bacon/ham for legumes and tossing it with pasta. My family's version of the original salad did not include cheese, but there's no reason why you can't add some.

Broccoli Sunshine Pasta (Serves 6)
1 lb box short pasta
3 cups broccoli florets, cut in spears
1.5 cups cups cooked legumes or canned equivalent (I think kidney beans are prettiest, but anything goes- I used garbanzos in the version pictured)
1/2 cup mayonnaise
2 T minced red onion
1 T poppy seeds
2 T cider vinegar
1 T sugar
1/3 cup dried cranberries
1/3 cup sunflower seeds (optional)

Prepare pasta according to box directions, adding broccoli in last minute of cooking. Meanwhile, in a large bowl, prepare the dressing by combining mayonnaise, onion, poppy seeds, vinegar and sugar. Drain pasta/broccoli mixture, and toss with dressing and beans. Gently fold in dried cranberries and sunflower seeds, if using. Chill before serving.