Posted March 31st, 2008 | Uncategorized

Each First Sunday of the month, St. John Catholic Church in Westminster (www.sjwest.org) hosts a pancake breakfast to bring the parish families closer together.  Since it’s sponsored by the Knight of Columbus – a great fraternal and philanthropic organization – these pancake breakfasts also donate all of the proceedings to serve particular charitable needs. 

A good friend (Joan Mac) just informed me that proceeds for this Sunday (April 6, 2008) will go to a special cause:  a lcoal family (with lots of children) that has just lost their home and is in a serious crisis right now. 

Here’s what you can do to help.  Be sure to Fast before Mass so that you hunger for Jesus AND those tasty pancakes, sausage, eggs, and other Knights of Columbus breakfast trimmings.  Come to the Pancake breakfast held at St. John Catholic Church’s Portico & Reception Hall.  Pay the very inexpensive costs for the breakfast itself. Then make a larger contribution to help this family in need! 

Even if you’re not in the Westminster area, perhaps you could help this family by going to the St. John website (www.sjwest.org) and getting in touch with them to see how you could help in some way.  This is truly a GRACE BEFORE MEALS kinda’ movement, and I sure hope you can help!

Who would have thought that your hunger could really be helpful?!?  

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Posted March 28th, 2008 | Uncategorized

I’m not sure if you all had the chance to attend Mass this morning (Friday of Easter Week), or read the readings for today’s liturgy, BUT, if you did I hope you picked up on a very unique concept?  Jesus, after telling his disciples to cast their nets on the other side, revealed Himself to the disciples in such a loving and mysterious way that they immediately rushed to return to shore.  After hauling the large number of fish (the “sign” to tell the Disciples it was the Lord commanding them to cast their nets), the Disciples found Jesus standing there along the seashore with breakfast, i.e., bread and fish on charcoals!  Gosh, Jesus is a true foodie!  Only He can pull of “fish for breakfast!”It may sound strange, but =my Filipino Background has fish as part of their culinary cuisine for early morning too.  Gosh, Bagels, Cream Cheese and salmon makes a great breakfast treat!  But,  I remember growing up as a kid and eating a “champurrado” – a hearty-chocolate-rice stew.  I know it may sound strange, but it was sweet, chocolaty, and creamy good!  But, to add a different level of flavor, my mother also added some deep fried fish chips to the dish.  It added a level of “saltiness” to the “sweetness” similar to the way a Recess Butter Cup capitalizes on the salty and sweet combination.But, reading about Jesus preparing fish for breakfast could makes me wonder if Jesus had any “Filipino” in him?  Just kidding.Take a moment and reflect on the intimate beauty of these post-resurrection scripture accounts. You may be surprised to read just how much food is involved in these experiences.  It goes to show that heaven is truly an “eternal banquet.”  I hope you had a nice Easter Week!

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Posted March 25th, 2008 | Past Emails

Click Here to read last week’s email blast, “Easter Birthdays!”

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Posted March 25th, 2008 | Recipes

Here’s a pasta recipe that features a little bit of the leftover Easter ham. This dish is perfect for a quick but flavorful lunch or dinner. It is excellent when paired with a glass of BOGO’s Pinot Grigio.

1 pound penne pasta or fusili (spiral) pasta

¼ cup olive oil

2 tablespoons butter or margarine

1 garlic clove, minced

2 teaspoons chopped shallots

2 to 3 teaspoons all-purpose flour

½ cup BOGO Pinot Grigio wine

½ cup chicken broth

2 cups cooked ham, chopped into small cubes or very thin strips

2 cups asparagus, cleaned, prepped and chopped into ½-inch sections

1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

1 to 2 cups pasta water (depending on the consistency you prefer)

½ teaspoon salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

Boil pasta following package directions. NOTE: Before draining, reserve two cups of the pasta water and set aside.

While the pasta boils, in a large frying pan, heat the olive oil and butter over medium heat.  Add garlic and shallots and cook for about 1 minute.   Sprinkle the flour into the butter and oil mixture and whisk together until flour is fully incorporated (no lumps).  Slowly add the white wine.  Add the chicken broth and stir.  Add the ham.  When pasta is cooked, drain the water, reserving one-to-two cups of starchy pasta water.  Return pasta to the pot.  Pour the sauce over the pasta. Mix gently, adding just enough of the reserved cooking water to achieve the desired consistency, and add the asparagus and Parmesan cheese.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

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Posted March 22nd, 2008 | Uncategorized

From all of us at the Grace Before Meals team, I want to wish you and your family a most Blessed Easter!  This is a special time for families to grow in faith, hope and love.  So, be sure to remember that God is the reason for this seaon.  Although colored eggs, chocolate bunnies and Easter hams help make this celebration a “tasty treat,” it’s really the Lamb of God – Jesus – the victor over sin and death who transforms this celebration into a Life Saving Feast! 

Also, please remember to pray for all of those new brothers and sisters in Christ who freely chose to profess and were officially received into the Roman Catholic Faith at the Easter Vigil of Holy Saturday.  They are now in communion with the Lord and with us, especially as we receive the Lord, the Lamb of God, at His Sacred Table.

Easter Blessings of Joy for He Is Risen!  Alleluia!

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Posted March 21st, 2008 | Simply Blogging

Recently, we’ve been getting lots of emails from members of the GBM community telling us about other cool and interesting sites on the Web. Thanks to everyone who’s been sharing. We love to pass on these as well as your family stories and tips, too, so keep emailing us at info@gracebeforemeals.com

Here are a few links to check out.  While they aren’t necessarily about food, they do give you some things to think about and possibly discuss.

http://www.catholicscomehome.org/epic/epic120.html

http://www.expelledthemovie.com/playgroundvideo3.swf

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