Mother’s Day Menu
Moms feed their children from the moment they are conceived in the womb, which is where life begins! With breastfeeding, a mom continues to naturally give her child sustenance by giving of herself. And even after a child has learned to fend for themselves, there exists an instinctual desire for a mother to feed her children. I think of my own mother who insists I eat something each time I visit home – even when I’m not hungry!
Mothers also have an ongoing concern about whether or not their children are being fed spiritually. A regular practice of our faith will let her know she has accomplished this task. By living our faith well, we can also show to our moms we have put ourselves in God’s hands. For a mom, that’s the best place for her children. The second best place however, is around the dinner table with her.
In my book, Grace Before Meals: Recipes and Inspiration for Family Meals and Family Life, I dedicate an entire chapter to moms. The bite sized theological essays, conversation starters, and recipes, help husbands and children show their gratitude to mothers by making them a special breakfast in bed.
So to make this a special Mother’s Day weekend, be sure to do something special for mom, like making her the suggested menu in my book, and going all together as a family to church.
CLICK HERE for a few recipe ideas to help celebrate Mother’s Day.
Recipe for the marinated fresh fruit:
SPECIAL MOTHER’S DAY DEAL:
For the rest of May, as a way to celebrate mothers, receive a 10% discount and be entered to receive free GBM swag by using the promo code:
Also, if you share with us your favorite memories as a mom or memories with your mother, you could be featured in our next eBlast and Facebook page to help others see the shining examples of good people that are a part of this movement.
Let us pray:
Father in Heaven, you gave us our moms as a sign of your love for us. May we always be grateful for this gift. May we cherish the dignity of women, and especially those who made great sacrifices to bring life into this world. Protect all mothers from anxiety for their children, and may our prayers for moms be a sign of our gratitude and love. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Trabuco Canyon, CA
|A Tribute to the Heroes, the Helpers and the Hurting|
This week America experienced tremendous challenges and pain. These difficult times can either melt us into more compassionate people or mold us into people full of anger.
In the midst of the pain, suffering, confusion and sadness, I’ve heard many different people giving some very good advice to help us get through it all. One piece of advice I heard was to look for the heroes, the helpers and the hurting. In other words, we can sometimes be trapped by our own fear, pain, confusion and sadness. And while we have to pay attention to our own feelings – especially negative ones – we can’t dwell on them. We also need to pay attention to the big picture.
Looking at the big picture helps us to see the inspiring efforts of heroic people and gain encouragement from their selflessness. These examples can warm our hearts, melting away rough edges and brokenness.
By looking at the bigger picture, we also see how these challenges can either mold us into better people with softer and more loving hearts, or hardened hearted people who seek revenge and destruction – like these terrorists. The environments in which we live have that molding effect. We therefore have to make sure we put ourselves in good places and with good people who can mold our hearts into something good.
What better way to describe this reality than through food! Take, for example, a hard cheese like parmesan as an analogy of our own hearts. When heated, it becomes soft, and less prone to being broken. The melted cheese can also be made into something useful, beautiful and of course, delicious to feed the hungry when put over something curbed.
Like this cheese, our own hearts are vulnerable to being broken. But the heat of challenging times, like hearing these tragic events, can actually create an opportunity to “soften” our hearts, melting away the edges, and making us more moldable. These tragic events can either help us to experience more compassion or more hate – depending on who, or what, it is that molds our hearts.
Hopefully you can see how challenging times melt us, but also shape us. It may be a “cheesy” analogy, but it makes sense. The scriptures tell us that we are like clay in God’s hands. In faithful foodie language, it may be more like melted and molded goodness!
Let us pray:
Father in Heaven, we pray for peace in our world, consolation for those who mourn the death of loved ones, courage for those who now face physical and emotional struggles, and thanksgiving for the heroic actions that are trying to bring about a calm and peaceful resolution to the problems in our world. Keep our families safe, and may these moments fill our hearts with the warmth of compassion in order to mold it into the heart of Your Son, Jesus our Lord. Amen.
Your comments and questions are so important to our movement. Please post your comments below. And, if you have other questions, post them here or contact our project manager.
Bacon Brussels Sprouts
Prayers In Light of the Boston Marathon Tragedy
After Monday’s tragedy in Boston, MA at the Boston Marathon, where 3 people were killed and over 31 were taken to the hospital with injuries, the entire team at Grace Before Meals wishes to prayerfully extend our deepest condolences and support to the victims’ of this terrible tragedy and their families, especially as Fr. Leo travels to Massachusetts this weekend for the Diocese of Springfield Women’s Conference. As Cardinal O’Malley urged, ” In the midst of the darkness of this tragedy we turn to the light of Jesus Christ, the light that was evident in the lives of people who immediately turned to help those in need. We stand in solidarity with our ecumenical and interfaith colleagues in the commitment to witness the greater power of good in our society and to work together for healing.”
Whenever I speak at different venues, I try and encourage parents to make sure veggies are treated with respect. After all, the main reason most children don’t enjoy eating their veggies is because we don’t prepare them well. And, similarly to “nasty veggies,” children can also resist faith – thinking it’s boring or difficult to swallow. We need to learn how to plate, present and most importantly prepare both vegetables and faith in a way that will get our kids to digest the truth (and the food) that is served at every family dinner.
To help you get started here’s a quick recipe for Bacon Brussels sprouts – because nothing keeps spring veggies savory like adding some bacon! This recipe celebrates the “springy” taste of Brussels sprouts – which you can actually get year round – while making it appealing to more finicky eaters. Bacon’s cured saltiness helps to balance some of Brussels sprouts’ pungent flavor. Parboiling and then stir frying the sprouts in a high heat creates a char that can help to eliminate some of the obnoxious smells that come when boiling these mini-cabbages. This process also elevates the dish’s taste while retaining a bit more textural variety.
|Bacon Brussels sprouts as a side dish with roasted potato chips and filet mignon, pepe verde (with green pepper corns).|
Bacon Brussels Sprouts:
Serves 2 for side dishes
|I used left over sprouts and added it to some linguine, sautéed it in olive oil, garlic and dusted with parmesan cheese – which made for a fresh, healthy and delicious spring pasta.|
Let us Pray:
Inspire us Lord with desire to feed our children – whether they are our own biological children, or our “spiritual children” – with the good things in life. Give us creative ways to make the “bitter truth” of our faith more palatable, not masking the truth, but to help them digest it more easily. Keep our Grace Before Movement strong by encouraging our members to share their ideas, questions and comments so that we can continue to dialogue about the things that matter most to them. And, finally Lord, bless each member of our movement with Your Grace – before, during and after each meal. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Please keep us encouraged by posting your comments below! And, if you have other questions, post them here or contact our project manager.
Bean Cake for CRS Rice Bowl
Recently, Catholic Relief Services (CRS) teamed up with Grace Before Meals to create a little video in preparation for Lent, which officially begins TODAY with Ash Wednesday! This collaboration features me cooking with Joan Rosenhaur, the Executive Vice President for the United States. Together we made a Bean Cake from Burkina Faso, which is located in the western part of Africa.
The video highlights the important work done by CRS through the CRS Rice Bowls. I’m sure you’ve seen these little boxes before, a Lenten tradition, in which people put in money as part of the Lenten practices. Instead of purchasing something that we really don’t need, like a cup of coffee, dessert, candy, or what have you, you simply put that money into the box. You’ll be amazed at how much we spend on things we don’t need. The money from the boxes builds up and collectively, it can make a difference in the lives of so many people around the world – people who are hungry, in need, or learning how to be self-sustaining!
Besides the charitable affects of the CRS Rice Bowls, I really enjoy and encourage the “experiential” aspect of the program. Each bowl has recipes and stories from people from all different parts of the world. The recipes give users the chance to have a small “taste” of the different culture. It also gives participants an opportunity experiment the recipes and to hear the stories of the people who eat these meals. It’s also a real Grace Before Meals opportunity for the family, providing the opportunity for conversation about our global human family, developing compassion, or simply learninging more about our faith through food.
And, may I add, these recipes are low cost, interesting to make, and delicious to eat!
As you begin the 40 days of Lent, make it special by “interacting” with the CRS Rice Bowl Program. You’ll find your spiritual life, compassion, and knowledge about our human family grow with each recipe and story.
Remember, in preparation for St. Valentine’s Day we will also be announcing the drawing of the winner for a Grace Before Meals gift bag. So stay tuned for next week’s email blast and enjoy a blessed Saint Valentine Day with the special love in your life – God and your spouse!
Fr. Leo talks about “Spicing Up Married Life” on CBS Baltimore
Fr. Leo hits up his native Baltimore’s news station, WJZ, to share information about his book “Spicing Up Married Life” with the “Coffee With” crew and gets into a colorful discussion about marriages, meals, recipes and conversations for couples. Check out the video and if you want to see even more, be sure to check out the web extra at baltimore.cbslocal.com.
One last chance to enter our Valentine’s Day Contest!
Considering Valentine’s Day is tomorrow, it is the perfect time to share a meal with the one you love. Why not make it special by making it together and taking the time to talk about your love! For one more day, you can receive a 10% discount on your total purchase and be entered for our Valentine’s Day Gift Set, which includes a signed copy of Spicing Up Married Life, the ingredients for one of the recipes featured in the book, and a wine/beverage pairing as recommended by wine expert John Buechsenstein. Just use the promo code VDAY13 before midnight tomorrow to be entered. Click the banner below for more details!
For more information on how you can participate with the CRS Rice Bowls, click HERE. Leave your comments below.
Let us pray:
Gracious Lord, accompany us on these 40 sacred days of Lent. May our efforts, as well as those of CRS Rice Bowls, bring us to a level of discipline, compassion, humility and holiness. Bless our efforts for praying, fasting and almsgiving, and make us true instruments of your peace. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.
ST. ALPHONSUS LIGORI CATHOLIC MISSION
I appreciate tradition. But I’m also not afraid to give some new ideas a try to make sure traditions don’t become stale or boring. One menu tradition that can sometimes get boring is mashed potatoes. Don’t get me wrong. I love mashed potatoes, especially if they’re buttery, savory, not clumpy, and almost mousse-like in consistency. But, with so many other soft Thanksgiving foods (I’m thinking sweet yams with marshmallow, creamed mushrooms and beans, and hopefully a moist turkey), I sometimes think that Thanksgiving could use some textural variety.
With that in mind, I want to offer a delicious potato recipe for Thanksgiving or your upcoming Advent Dinner Party. I’ve posted a similar recipe before, and it’s received rave reviews. So consider this a potato tradition worth continuing!
People say these potatoes are beautiful to look at as well as tasty, making each part of the meal – even the side dish – something special! After all, that’s what Thanksgiving is all about: a special meal for you and your family.
One benefit to this potato preparation is that you can have an exact count of potatoes for each serving, generally 2 or 3 potatoes per person. And if you have any leftovers, it’s easy to refashion these potatoes into a mash or hash the next day. And, with this parboiling technique, it’s easy to prep these potatoes in advance and have them hot and ready for a well-timed sit-down dinner.
On behalf of the Grace Before Meals team, we wish you and your family a most blessed Thanksgiving Feast. And remember, the word “Eucharist” means “Thanksgiving.” Therefore, our Catholic Faith offers us a chance to celebrate this joyful feast every day of our life and not just once a year.
Be sure and take pictures of your Thanksgiving Meal and send them to our new website so that we can start a Grace Before Meal “fam” page. Also, check in with our Facebook and Twitter page for fun Thanksgiving updates.
|Couples at a recent event at Our Lady of Good Counsel Parish in Vienna, Virginia, enjoying the new book specially written for engaged and married couples. Order yours today, as well as other Grace Before Meals gift items, and receive these in time for Christmas.|
Your questions, comments, shared recipes, and simply expressing your thoughts help us to remember the importance of our message. If there’s something you’d like for me to write about, a recipe you’d like to share, or a question you have, please post your comments below.
Let us pray:
Father in Heaven, we thank you everyday of our lives – not just once a year. But in a special way, families across the United States offer their thanks as they also prepare for the great feast of Christ the King and Advent – in preparation for the Birth of Jesus. May all travelers in this busy season be safe. May each table be graced with family, friends and a bountiful meal. We remember those who go without. And we pray in thanksgiving for those missionaries who serve the poor. May God bless us all, and may the souls of all the faithful departed through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.
Family Faith Festival at St. Patrick Church
St. Patrick Church, 1000 N. Beckley Station Road. Louisville, KY 40245
CONTACT: Tim Grove | firstname.lastname@example.org | 502-719-0362
Holy Hour Presentation at Columbia University
Columbia University 405 West 114th St. New York, NY 10025
CONTACT: Fr. Dan O’Reilly | 917-685-6175 | daniel.o’email@example.com
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