Tuesday, March 08, 2011

Fat Tuesday Fun!

We normally would do pancakes but I've been saving up all of my gluten free flour blend for a king cake!

Soooo just because I wanted to make something with all the heavy stuff (eggs, milk, fat...) I made this one using the one box of cake mix that remained in our previously well stocked pantry. It was calling to me...especially since I won't be baking during Lent excepting on special feasts (we'll probably do cake on for rose's birthday on a Sunday or Feast day).
Here's a quick recipe...this gives a denser/bar-like texture. Which is what I was going for as it seems more rich and FAT Tuesday-ish to me! :)

1 box of Vanilla or white Cake mix
1/3 cup of vegetable oil
8 tbsp of water
1 egg
Wilton Spring colored sugar sprinkles (or any purple/green/yellow sugars)
Combine and mix well. Spread into a greased pan of your choosing (around 8 to 9 inch pans will work best). Bake until a toothpick comes out clean. Usually between 15-30 minutes.

This recipe can also be used to turn a cake mix into cookies...just reduce the water by 2 tbsp...it will be sticky but it bakes into a very soft cookie.

Once it cools flip it onto a plate and brush with a bit of a powdered sugar/milk mixture or with corn syrup. Sprinkle your mardi gras colored sugars onto the cake in sections.

We also decided to make a Mardi Gras mask! Little Rose wanted to "make" something. I've been in a bit of an allergy stupor thanks to the Benadryl I took a double dose of last night. So when she asked this morning...I couldn't remember what my plans for today were...and luckily, I spotted the cake and thought, "Mardi Gras". "Mardi gras means beads, masks..." and I managed to come up with this pretty quick!

We just used what we had around the house:

Green cardstock
Purple crepe paper
Yellow construction paper
I drew the mask shape on the cardstock and little rose cut it out. Then I helped cut out the eyes and attached the yarn by making a small slit in either end. If you have a hole puncher I'm sure that would be easier! I tied it in a knot on each end making sure it was tight enough to fit over her ears. She cut out construction paper feathers and glued them onto her mask. I cut strips of crepe paper for her to make streamers out of, and she glued them onto the sides.


Hope your Shrove/Fat Tuesday is blessed! Lent is near...Fasting/Praying/Almsgiving here we come!

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Gluten Free Crown of Thorns and Alleluia Sign

So we have never, ever made a salt dough crown of thorns because of my little rose's gluten allergy. Never. This year I thought I would do one using Gluten Free flours, salt and water. AND...



My son was convinced we had to paint it (actually he wanted to use blue and black...but I explained why brown was more realistic).


We painted it together and ended up with this for our table centerpiece! I decided to use my cake stand since I'm not making cakes (Except for Rose's Birthday) during Lent. Then, on Easter, we'll put a pretty cake on the stand and decorate our crown with flowers. We aren't pulling out the toothpicks as I really prefer the beans in a jar for sacrifices but it is always an option now that I know the gluten free version works! I used a salt dough recipe I found and converted it to this:

2 cups of Rice flour
2 cups of Bob's Gluten Free Flour Blend
1 cup of salt
Paint (we used acrylics)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix all dry ingredients. Add water until dough forms. Approximately 1 to 2 cups of water depending. Then carefully make 3 snakes and braid them together and shape your crown pinching it off at the ends. Place toothpicks in as desired. Bake about 40 minutes to an hour until it begins to brown. Word of advice...if you do this place it on a heavily greased cookie sheet or use a sheet of parchment paper as ours plastered itself to the cookie sheet and I spent quite a bit of time trying to "unstick" it. Also, gluten free flours make the dough more likely to tear as you work with it so plan on your crown being smaller in diameter and just patch together pieces if they break. I did one small braid and one larger one and pinched them together. Let it cool completely before painting.

We have our first decorative Alleluia sign to hide!
I used the letters suggested by Lacy at Catholic Icing and glued them to scrapbooking paper and cardstock which I then cut out and laced onto a ribbon (the only ribbon I found in my house)! I think it turned out OK. I'm not much for the fancy paper crafts! I'm more of a baker myself! Soooo props for our first time! Hopefully it will last more than one year!

I plan to do a lesson on Tuesday and have the kids sing and shout Alleluia and then we'll put it in a bag and hide it away until Easter.

Wishing you a blessed last few days of ordinary time!!

Thursday, March 03, 2011


My daughter wants a baby sibling.

Can you tell?


She is so very sweet.
She has been asking since Christmas for a sister for her birthday.

The faith of children is so touching. She got down and prayed for God to send her a baby sister right then when I told her she could always ask.

I am hopeful it will be time soon, but depending on God's grace to carry me through the wait. Perhaps it won't be soon. I really am thankful that I have His grace to pull me through the ups and downs and pangs. I honestly want and hope at times and at others am just thankful to be here, a mother of two. Pained at the pains my friends have endured. Confused and shaken by what I think I should be, and knowing that I am where I am because of His Love.

Babies. Such gifts! Thank you Lord for the gifts you give, have taken, and have yet to give.

Jesus We Trust in Thee. Every step, every breath, every heartbeat is yours. Take us and mold us into You.

Lenten Sacrifice Jar


Many Catholics have a tradition of placing beans in jar whenever a sacrifice is made during Lent. My good friend does this with her children and this year I decided to add it to our list of Lenten activities.

My children will get a bean to put in the jar whenever they do something without being asked or are helpful/sacrificial. I plan to do it too! Then, on Easter Morning...the jar will be full of jelly beans! The fruit of their good works united to the sweetness of the saving grace of Jesus!! :)

I love this activity! I just used an old jelly jar and printed some images from my computer which I cut and pasted onto some crepe paper I wrapped around and glued to the jar. Very EASY but a nice touch. The purple bowl is one we had on hand. I picked up some black beans and pinto beans to use.


Woohoo! One thing ready...everything else to go!

"...do not let your left hand know what your right is doing,
so that your almsgiving may be secret.
And your Father who sees in secret will repay you."