Posted November 30th, 2007 | Events

We’ve been getting some great responses on Fr. Leo’s  appearance on  Life on the Rock appearance last night. We’ll post some of them here on the blog. If you or anyone you know believe in the Grace Before Meals mission of making families stronger, please encourage them to sign up for our weekly email blast (We never share your info), or buy Fr. Leo’s book Recipes for Family Life.

posted by riz

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Posted November 27th, 2007 | Recipes

Ingredients (Serves 4):

  • 4 medium-sized pork chops
  • 1 egg, beaten with 2 tablespoons of water to create an egg wash
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 1 cup of bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 2 apples (any type), peeled, cored, and cut into ¼ inch wedges
  • ½ teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon of brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of fresh thyme
  • 1 clove of garlic, chopped
  • A splash (1/8 cup) of any liquid of your choice (you can use either water, milk, or even a splash of white wine)


Create egg wash by beating 2 eggs with water. Lightly season pork chops with salt and pepper. Place pork chops in egg wash, and then dredge in breadcrumbs on both sides of the chops. Heat olive oil in a large nonstick pan over high heat. Carefully put the pork chops in the pan and let cook for 3-5 minutes on each side (depending on the size of the pork chops). Remove and set aside. (Another Option: Cook pork in pan for only 1 minute on each side to create a dark browning crust on each side, and then finish cooking in a 350-degree oven for about 12-15 minutes longer.) In the same pan, melt the butter. Add the fresh chopped garlic and sauté. Add the chopped apples, cinnamon, brown sugar, thyme, and the liquid of your choice and mix all together. Cook for about 5 minutes, making sure to stir occasionally. Add a dash of salt and pepper at the end of the cooking process. To place, layer some apples on a plate and place the pork chops over them. Whipped potatoes or sticky rice completes this sweet and savory meal!

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Posted November 27th, 2007 | Audio, Simply Blogging

Listen to last weekend’s homily in regards to the Feast of “Christ the King”. Here is also a link for the readings that were proclaimed on the Sunday, 11/25 to help give a perspective on the homily.

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Posted November 26th, 2007 | Events

This day, our group was treated to a very large buffet and American Breakfast.  Yet, many were also surprised to see marinated eggplants and zucchini on the menu – for breakfast!  I love Europe’s version of American Breakfasts!

As this day was designed as a free day with plenty of options, some of our group went to a Ferrari factory and museum.  However, a majority of our group went on a 1-hour bus ride to visit the city of Turin – the home of the winter Olympics, but also the shrine of the Shroud of Turin.  After driving through the city we found our way to San Lorenzo, where we celebrated Mass in a baroque-style chapel that was absolutely magnificent!  Words can’t describe the intricate arches within the dome, the relief work in the marble, the statues or the paintings.  It also has one of the best copies of the Shroud of Turin, as well as a small display of some of the Roman Instruments of Torture, which were used in the Scourging of the Pillar.

We then met our guide, Donatella, who toured us to the Turin Basilica where we had a historical and spiritual study of the Shroud and saw where it was encased.  Although the Shroud was not there for scientific study, we still had the privilege of learning more about it and experiencing the power of the “icon” of a man who was scourged and crucified.

The Cardinal Archbishop of Turin says it best (as I paraphrase): Science cannot prove the “belief” that this IS scientifically the actual burial cloth of Jesus.  But Faith can assure us, with scientific help, that this Shroud is an authentic icon of a man who was scourged and crucified during a period of the world’s history that coincides with Jesus’ life!  Science can prove the shroud is as old as Jesus’ time, but only Faith will help us see what God’s Son was willing to go through for us!

Many were quite moved by this site and also very impressed with the beauty of this city, influenced by Swiss borders and other northern European architecture.  Turin, the first capital of Italy, has a proud culture and a deep faith.  The cafe lunch stop and afternoon gelato walk made this a wonderful worthwhile day trip.

Our return gave us all enough time to prepare for dinner in a local restaurant, where our group was treated to Risotto, infused with saffron and Veal Milanese, and pureed potatoes, drizzled with a lemon olive oil dressing.  It was a great evening, only to prepare us for a night at the hotel as the pilgrims continued their fellowship and faith!

Tomorrow, Padua, the “incorrupted” tongue of St. Anthony, renewal of wedding vows, the Venetian lagoon, and goodbye to Eustacchio.

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Posted November 26th, 2007 | Past Emails

Click Here to read last week’s email blast, “The Power of a Thanksgiving Prayer”

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Posted November 20th, 2007 | Events

This day began with a later departure as we made our way to Milan, the shopping capital of Italy and a fashion center for Europe, not to mention a holy place as well.  There we celebrated Mass in a special choir section of the Main Altar in the Cathedral of Milan – a masterpiece of Romanesque design, with Gothic spires and incredible artwork.  The body of Saint Charles Borrommeo is buried there, just a few feet below where our group celebrated Mass.  It was quite a wonderful experience to pray and sing in this Cathedral, which also celebrates the “Ambrosian Rite.”  After Mass, we met our guide Maria who toured us through the major sites of Milan.  The group then had the chance to break off for shopping in some of the highest fashion stores in Europe.

After the shopping spree our group made its way to the ATA Executive Hotel, where many took the free night to tour the city, experience the local restaurants and explore on their own.  After a busy day of shopping and touring, we were all ready for a nearby restaurant dinner and an early night to rest from carrying all of those shopping bags!

Tomorrow, the Shroud of Turin and an American Breast, complete with marinated eggplants and zucchini, just like mom used to make.

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