Today's feast is rather special for us. We have a great devotion to the Little Flower and her Little Way. She can teach us all humility and obedience to God's Will even when it goes against our rather strong wills (she's a self-diagnosed spoiled and stubborn princess). Her ability to attain what she believed was God's will for her (entrance into Carmel at a young age) while also accepting life in Carmel and not in the Missions prove her love and faith in God.
A funny story about St. Therese -- last Advent, we started a new family tradition of drawing saints to be our patron for the year. All the saints chosen had an affiliation with priests, since 2010 was declared "The Year of Priests". We had all kinds of saints -- young, old, male, female, religious and lay. We all drew names: BamBam got St. Ignatius of Loyola, LegoManiac got St. John Marie Vianney, I got St. Damien of Molokai (who had just been canonized), and dh got St. Catherine of Siena. String Bean pulled St. Therese of Lisieux ... a saint she's been hearing about all her life; String Bean was not happy: she wanted a new "cool saint. We let her re-draw. She drew again: St. Therese of Lisieux.
"You didn't choose her ... she chose you, dear!"
St. Therese of the Little Flower, pray for all of us!
and a very special prayer for God's many blessings to our little friend Tess on her 5th birthday this Sunday.
Oh, and the menu tonight? Cheesy-Focaccia (String Bean's request for her patronal feast) and Eclairs (St. Therese's favorite treat).
CHEESY FOCCACIA in an hour!
• 2 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
• 1 teaspoon salt
• 1 teaspoon white sugar
• 1 tablespoon active dry yeast
• 1 teaspoon garlic powder
• 1 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1 teaspoon dried thyme
• 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
• 1 pinch ground black pepper
• 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
• 1 cup water
• 2 tablespoons olive oil
• 2 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
• 1 tsp garlic powder
• 1 cup grated mozzarella (in the dairy section)
• 1 cup Italian blend grated cheese (in the dairy section)
1. In a large bowl, stir together the flour, salt, sugar, yeast, garlic powder, oregano, thyme, basil and black pepper. Mix in the vegetable oil and water.
2. When the dough has pulled together, turn it out onto a lightly floured surface, and knead until smooth and elastic. Lightly oil a large bowl, place the dough in the bowl, and turn to coat with oil. Cover with a damp cloth, and let rise in a warm place for 20 minutes.
3. Preheat oven to 450 degrees F (230 degrees C). Punch dough down; place on greased baking sheet. Pat into a 1/2 inch thick rectangle. Mix oil and dry parmesan + 1 tsp garlic powder. Brush top with mixture. Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
4. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until golden brown. Add remaining cup of Italian blend cheeses. Pop in turned-off oven to melt and keep warm. Serve warm.
Little Flower Eclairs
½ cup butter
1 cup water
1 cup all-purpose flour
¼ tsp salt
1 (5 oz) package instant vanilla pudding
½ cup choc chips
2 cups milk
1 cup choc chips
2 tbls butter
3 tbls strong coffee
Preheat oven to 450. Grease a cookie sheet.
In a med saucepan, combine butter and water. Bring to a boil, stirring until butter melts. Reduce heat to low and add flour and salt. Stir vigorously until mixture leaves the sides of the pan and begins to form a stiff ball. Remove from heat. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well to incorporate compeltely. With a spoon or pastry bag pipe dough into 1-1/2x4 inch strips.
Bake 15 min in the preheated oven, reduce heat to 325 and bake 20 minutes more, until hollow sounding when lightly tapped on bottom. Cool completely on wire rack.
Make pudding as directed on package, adding chocolate chips just because…..
Cut tops off of cooled shells and fill with pudding.
Icing: melt 1 cup choc chips, 2 tbls butter, 3 tbls hot, strong coffee – stirring till smooth. Spread on eclairs and serve.