Wednesday, May 30, 2012


“God grant me the serenity to accept the people I cannot change, the courage to change the one I can, and the wisdom to know it’s me.”

— Unknown, variation of an excerpt from “The Serenity Prayer” by Reinhold Neibur

Monday, May 28, 2012

Let’s not forget what they have given

“Memorial Day this year is especially important as we are reminded almost daily of the great sacrifices that the men and women of the Armed Services make to defend our way of life.”
— Robin Hayes

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Need to turn things around?

if you’re headed in 
the wrong direction, 
God allows U-turns!” 
— Allison Gappa Bottke

Thursday, May 24, 2012

It’s your choice

“The doors we open and close each day decide 
the lives we live.”
 — Flora Whittemore

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

The power of compassion

“What matters is that we recognize our smallness in the universe and see kindness 
as the only avenue toward a larger self.”

— Gloria Wade-Gayles

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Anchovy Sauce for Pasta

Celebrating Jubilarians 2012

Benedictine Sister Ingrid Anderson
60 years as a Benedictine Sister
St. Benedict’s Monastery, St. Joseph

This is the third in a series of recipes shared by jubilarians in the St. Cloud Diocese. A jubilee marks the special anniversary of one’s religious profession.

The Italians call it “puttanesca.” Sister Ingrid Anderson simply calls it “anchovy sauce for pasta.” And, I call it “fantastic!”

I’ll be honest. Like most individuals who haven’t had much experience with anchovies, a red flag hoisted itself in my mind when Sister Ingrid mentioned this recipe. I was fairly convinced I didn’t like anchovies — thinking they are too fishy or too salty or too something…

But, she related that everyone she’s made this for was actually surprised how much he or she liked it. And, also amazing (for us “anchovy newbies”) the sauce doesn’t taste like fish or anchovies. By the time she said that the melding of flavors even satisfies those who prefer meat in their pasta sauce, she had me sold on trying it.

I’m glad she was so convincing because I truly agree with her culinary assessment. My husband and I both were impressed with how delicious this sauce is. I loved the “grown-up” taste created by the intermingling of the anchovies (which blended in and were not recognizable), the rich juicy tomatoes, perky olives and capers and savory garlic and herbs. I realized that the anchovies added a sophisticated taste, truly contributing another dimension of flavor to the dish.

Thanks, Sister Ingrid, you can count me among those you’ve converted. I’m definitely over my fear of these little fish and confidently moving into the anchovy appreciator’s arena. CJK

Anchovy Sauce for Pasta
(Sister Ingrid Anderson)

2-3 tbsp. olive oil
3-5 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
1 (2 oz.) can anchovies, drained well
1 (28-32 oz.) can diced tomatoes, Italian style
8 Kalamata olives, quartered
2 tbsp. capers
1/2 tsp. dried oregano or basil
1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes
Salt and pepper

Heat the oil. Add the chopped garlic and sauté until soft. Add the anchovies, mashing them until they disappear into the mix. Stir in the tomatoes and simmer for 5 minutes. Mix in the olives, capers, oregano or basil and red pepper flakes. Turn the heat to low and cook uncovered until the sauce is thick — about 20 to 30 minutes. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper, if needed.

Serve over hot pasta.*

Yield: 4 servings

A note from Sister Ingrid: *I prefer angel hair pasta for this dish and usually serve it with Parmesan cheese. The sauce should be thick — don’t be afraid to simmer it a bit longer if it needs it.

A note from Carol: Sister Ingrid (Janet) Anderson grew up near Mitchell, South Dakota. She entered St. Benedict’s Monastery while attending the College of St. Benedict in St. Joseph. After completing her doctorate in nutrition and biochemistry at the University of Minnesota, she spent nearly 40 years teaching food and nutrition classes at CSB, where she was chair of the Department of Home and Community Service and later vice president of Student Development.

A member of the Minnesota Dietetic Association for many years, she also served as president of the organization.

Others featured in this series include Franciscan Sister Mary Joel Bieniek with the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls’ homemade sauerkraut recipe and Poor Clare Mother Mary Matthew Tomsyck and her monastery’s zucchini casserole recipe.

Friday, May 18, 2012

Thursday, May 17, 2012

The six best doctors...

“The best six doctors anywhere,
And no one can deny it,
Are sunshine, water, rest, and air,
Exercise and diet.
These six will gladly you attend,
If only you are willing.
Your mind they’ll ease,
Your will they’ll mend,
And charge you not a shilling.”

— Nursery Rhyme

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Take yourself to the next level

“It is a fine thing to have ability, but the ability to discover ability in others is the true test.”
    Mary McLeod Bethune

Sunday, May 13, 2012

A Mother’s Love

“A mother is someone who dreams great dreams for you, but then she lets you chase the dreams you have for yourself and loves you just the same.”

— Unknown

Friday, May 11, 2012

Lemon Supreme Bars

A true story…

Once upon a time there was a popular restaurant that was hailed as “pie heaven” in the city where we work. Alas, one day it closed. Many people were disappointed — including several in our newspaper office.

And, then our editor Joe’s birthday approached. To celebrate his special day, we wanted to get him a pie from the aforementioned restaurant. Sadly, we could not. Then, staff writer Sue Schulzetenberg-Gully decided to search the all-knowing, ever-growing “world wide web” and quickly discovered a recipe (on Taste of Home) that mimicked his favorite pie. She “saved the day” when she prepared one for his office birthday celebration.

Since then, Sue has tweaked the recipe in more than one direction and turned it into these fabulous Lemon Supreme Bars. And, everyone was (and still is) happy. The end. CJK

In celebration of Mother’s Day, Sue dedicates this recipe to her mom, Sharon Schulzetenberg, a member of St. Michael Parish in Spring Hill.

Lemon Supreme Bars
(Sue Schulzetenberg-Gully)

6 tbsp. butter, softened at room temperature
3/4 cup flour
Photo by Sue Schulzetenberg-Gully
1/4 cup powdered sugar

Lemon Filling
1 1/4 cups sugar, divided
6 tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 tsp. salt
1 1/4 cups water
2 tbsp. butter
2 tsp. grated lemon peel
4 to 5 drops yellow food coloring, optional
1/2 cup lemon juice

Cream Cheese Filling
2 pkgs. (one 8 oz. and one 3 oz.) cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup powdered sugar
1 1/2 cups whipped topping
1 tbsp. lemon juice

Spray an 8x8-inch square baking pan with no-stick spray. Preheat oven to 350°F.

For crust: Mix softened butter with flour and powdered sugar. Press into bottom of prepared pan. Bake at 350°F for 15 to 20 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.

For lemon filling: Combine 3/4 cup sugar, cornstarch and salt. Stir into water until smooth. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat; add remaining sugar. Cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened and bubbly. Remove from the heat; stir in butter, lemon peel and food coloring, if desired. Gently stir in lemon juice. Cool to room temperature (about one hour).

For cream cheese filling: Beat the cream cheese and powdered sugar in a large bowl until smooth. Fold in whipped topping and lemon juice. Spread cream cheese mixture onto cooled crust; top with lemon filling. Refrigerate overnight. Store in refrigerator

Yield: 16 bars

A note from Sue: I got a number of compliments on these bars with the cookie dough crust but I’ve also made them with a graham cracker crust and received raves for those, too. It’s a versatile recipe — scrumptious every time.

A note from Carol: Sue has always enjoyed cooking, baking and entertaining. She’s a great one for bringing treats for our staff — often getting up early to bake a batch of cookies or bars to bring to work. Otherwise, she’s generous with candy, especially chocolate. Her Brownie Mound Cookies were a recent office treat.

Sue’s rich, lemony dessert is the finale in this trio of recipes suggested for a Mother’s Day brunch. It would provide a sweet, sassy finish to the Nicoise Salad and Cheesy-Onion Bread Ring luncheon.

Thursday, May 10, 2012

Cheesy-Onion Bread Ring

Kristi Anderson fondly remembers a bread-baking scenario from her childhood. Often when company would be coming to their home she and her brother Bob and sister Leigh got to help their mother make garlic pull-aparts for the dinner.

“We’d help Mom grease two round cake pans — then she would place a loaf of frozen bread dough in each and cover them with a flour sack dish towel,” Kristi recalled. “We waited and waited for the dough to rise so that we could take turns kneading it and pulling it apart into small pieces to put back into the pans. Mom would mix liquid garlic and melted butter to pour over the top and sprinkled it with dried parsley flakes before it went into the oven. Our family just loved this rendition of garlic bread.

“It’s been fun for me to share the same experience with my own kids,” she continued. “But, in our busy lives, there usually isn’t time for us to wait for dough to rise. So when I found this recipe some years ago in the Taste of Home magazine, it reminded me of the wonderful garlicky bread bites that we used to make with Mom but this version comes together in no time.” CJK

In honor of Mother’s Day this Sunday, Kristi dedicates this recipe to her mom, Laurel Yanish, a member of St. Francis Xavier Parish in Sartell.

Cheesy-Onion Bread Ring
(Kristi Anderson)

Photo by Kristi Anderson
2 1/2 tsp. poppy seeds, divided
2 tubes (11 oz. each) refrigerated French bread
1 cup (4 oz.) shredded cheese
3/4 cup sliced green onions
6 tbsp. butter, melted
2 pieces bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled (optional)

Spray a 10-inch fluted tube pan with no-stick cooking spray. Preheat oven to 375°F.

Sprinkle 1/2 tsp. poppy seeds into the prepared pan. Cut the dough into 40 1-inch pieces; place half in pan. Sprinkle with half of the cheese and onions. Top with 1 tsp. poppy seeds and drizzle with half of the butter. Repeat layers.

Bake at 375°F for 30-35 minutes or until golden brown. Immediately invert onto a wire rack. Serve warm.

Yield: 1 loaf

A note from Kristi: The original recipe called for Swiss cheese but I’ve found that any cheese works well and that toppings you might have on hand, such as bacon bits or herbs, are welcome additions to this easy, awesome bread ring.

A note from Carol: Kristi’s attractive, savory bread is a perfect accompaniment to yesterday’s Nicoise Salad recipe and tomorrow’s Lemon Supreme Bars — give this special menu some thought for your Mother’s Day brunch.

Kristi’s other recipes on FFF are yummy Chocolate Peanut Butter Stuffed French Toast, adorable Chocolate Covered Cherry Cake Pops, sassy Avocado Salsa and gluten-free melt-in-your-mouth Peppermint Kisses.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Nicoise Salad

To commemorate Mother’s Day, May 13, Jenna Vavra dedicates this impressive recipe, whose original roots lie in Nice, France, to her mother Diane Rieger. Jenna prepared this recipe that she found on SimplyRecipes, for her mom a few years ago and has had fun since then experimenting with adding tuna or salmon cooked in a variety of ways.

“It’s a bit more time consuming than some simpler salads but it is definitely worthy of a special occasion,” Jenna said. CJK

Nicoise Salad
(Jenna Vavra)

• 1/2 cup lemon juice
• 3/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
• 1 medium shallot, minced
• 1 tbsp. fresh thyme leaves, minced
• 2 tbsp. fresh basil leaves, minced
• 2 tsp. fresh oregano leaves, minced
• 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
• Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Whisk the lemon juice, oil, shallot, thyme, basil, oregano and mustard in a medium bowl; season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.

• 10 small new red potatoes, scrubbed and quartered
• 2 medium heads Boston or butter lettuce, leaves washed, dried and torn into bite-sized pieces
• 2 (8 oz. each) grilled tuna steaks or 3 to 4 (5 oz.) cans of solid tuna packed in oil, drained
• 3 small ripe tomatoes, cored and cut into eighths
• 1 small red onion, sliced very thin
• 8 oz. green beans, stem ends trimmed and each bean halved crosswise
• 6 hard boiled eggs, peeled and either halved or quartered
• 1/4 cup Niçoise olives or Kalamata olives
• 1 (2 oz.) can anchovies in olive oil, drained (optional)
• 2 tbsp. capers (optional)
• Salt and freshly ground pepper

Bring potatoes and 4 quarts of cold water to boil in a large pot. Add 1 tbsp. salt and cook until potatoes are tender (about 5 to 8 minutes). Using a slotted spoon, transfer them to a medium bowl — do not discard the boiling water. Toss the warm potatoes with 1/4 cup vinaigrette; set aside.

While the potatoes are cooking, toss the lettuce with 1/4 cup vinaigrette in a large bowl. Arrange a bed of lettuce on one or two serving platters. Cut the tuna in 1/2-inch thick slices, coat with vinaigrette and place in the center of the lettuce. Toss the tomatoes, red onion and 3 tbsp. vinaigrette in a bowl. Salt and pepper this mixture to taste and position on the lettuce bed.

Return the water to a boil; add 1 tbsp. salt and the green beans. Cook until tender but crisp (about 3 to 5 minutes). Drain the beans, transfer to ice water and let stand until just cool (about 30 seconds); dry beans well. Toss the beans with 3 tbsp. vinaigrette and salt and pepper to taste; place on the lettuce bed. Then arrange the dressed potatoes on the lettuce.

Add the hard boiled eggs, olives and anchovies (if using) to the lettuce bed. Drizzle eggs with remaining 2 tbsp. dressing, sprinkle entire salad with capers (if using) and serve immediately.

Yield: 10 servings

A note from Jenna: I’ve made this Nicoise {pronounced nee-swahz} Salad recipe with both grilled tuna steaks and canned tuna. The canned tuna works out just fine. I prefer the oil-packed tuna rather than the water-packed for this recipe.

A note from Carol: Well-known to FFF readers, Jenna’s other recipes include a decadent Chocolate Raspberry Layer Cake, delightful Lemon Macaroons and delectable Chocolate Cherry Biscotti

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Tickle her pink

Are you looking for a Mother’s Day brunch menu that will make your mom feel truly special yet, with a little planning, won’t keep you in the kitchen all morning? Recipes for Nicoise Salad, Cheesy Onion Bread Ring and Lemon Supreme Bars are on the FFF docket — just in time to give your mother “the royal treatment.”

To make things easier for yourself, consider making the bars, mixing the vinaigrette, washing and drying the lettuce and hard boiling the eggs for the salad the day before. Top off this inviting fare with your mom’s favorite beverage. She’ll be tickled pink! CJK

Monday, May 7, 2012

Embrace the experience

“It is good to have 
an end to journey toward; 
but it is the journey 
that matters, in the end.”

   Ursala K. LeGuin

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Moment by moment

“In the happy moments, praise God. 
In the difficult moments, seek God. In the quiet moments, trust God. In every moment, thank God.”


Thursday, May 3, 2012

A prayer for our country

May your unfailing love rest upon us, O Lord, even as we put our hope in you. 
— Psalm 33:22

No ocean can hold it back.
No river can overtake it.
No whirlwind can go faster.
No army can defeat it.
No law can stop it.
No distance can slow it.
No disease can cripple it.
No force on earth is more powerful or effective than the power of prayer.

Join with millions of people in prayer for America on this 61st observance of the National Day of Prayer. One prayer, one heart at a time, we can create healing and change for our nation.

Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Zucchini Casserole

Celebrating Jubilarians 2012

Poor Clare Mother Mary Matthew Tomsyck
25 years as a Franciscan Poor Clare Nun
St. Clare’s Monastery, Sauk Rapids

This is the second in an occasional series of recipes shared by jubilarians in the St. Cloud Diocese. A jubilee marks the special anniversary of one’s religious profession.

The enticing aroma from this zucchini casserole is one that Mother Mary Matthew Tomsyck knows well. When its familiar scent wafts throughout the Poor Clare Monastery in Sauk Rapids, without even peeking in the oven she knows one of her best-loved dishes will be served for dinner.

This recipe, from the monastery’s collection, has been popular with the sisters for as long as Mother Mary Matthew, a silver jubilarian, has been there — and likely much longer. It’s one of the many recipes she also likes to prepare. Light salads, fish dishes and chocolate desserts are some of the favorite categories in her cooking repertoire but it may be a while before she spends much time in the monastery kitchen again — her current duties as abbess keep her busy in other directions.

Each year the abbess assigns a sister to act as the main cook and another to be her assistant. Sometimes the sisters volunteer for these yearlong positions as, of course, some individuals like the task better than others. Mother Mary Matthew has been the “head cook” at least twice since she’s joined the community and truly relished the time she spent in the kitchen. CJK

Zucchini Casserole
(Poor Clare Mother Mary Matthew Tomsyck)

4 eggs
1/4 cup oil (or scant 1/2 cup milk)
1 med. zucchini, shredded (about 1 cup)
1 med. onion, grated or chopped
2 cups grated cheddar or American cheese
3/4 cup baking mix (such as Bisquick)
1 tsp. salt
Pepper to taste

1 (5 oz.) can tuna, optional*

Preheat oven to 350°F. Spray an 8-inch square baking dish with no-stick cooking spray.

Beat eggs with oil or milk. Add the other ingredients, stir well, and pour into prepared baking dish. Bake at 350°F for 45 minutes or until golden brown.

Yield: 9 servings

A note from Mother Mary Matthew: This dish can become too wet at times due to the liquid in the zucchini. The zucchini can be squeezed slightly to remove some of the extra moisture before it is added to the egg mixture.

Adding tuna is an option but it’s not essential. *If you add the oil-packed tuna, use a little less oil or milk than called for. If you use tuna canned in water, drain the liquid off before adding.

A note from Carol: Over time Mother Mary Matthew has served her community as portress, bursar, and novice mistress and, for the last four years, as abbess. A native of Muskego, Wis., and graduate of Silver Lake College in Manitowoc, Wis., she was a member of the Franciscan Sisters of Christian Charity in Manitowoc for eight years prior to transferring to the Sauk Rapids monastery where she later took her solemn vows. During three of her years in Manitowoc, Mother Mary Matthew was a second grade teacher — a vocation that she dearly loved and will always cherish.

Sue Schulzetenberg-Gully took the portrait of Mother Mary Matthew Tomsyck.

Franciscan Sister Mary Joel Bieniek was the first feature in this series with the Franciscan Sisters of Little Falls’ homemade sauerkraut recipe.