Posted December 31st, 2009 | Uncategorized

Grace-Filled Toast?  That simply means a prayer!


To you and your family, and friends, may you experience the Lord’s blessings in the New Year!

This week, I’ll be sending to all of the subscribed a list of my top 10 recipes that were created in 2009, including a recent herb crusted rib roast!    If you haven’t signed up for the free weekly blasts, join the family fun!  Be sure to start off the new year with a great family dinner, and of course, Grace Before Meals!


Posted in Uncategorized | 6 Comments »

Posted December 25th, 2009 | Greetings

May you and your family experience the grace of this Holy Day!   I look forward to staying in touch with you in 2010!  May the grace of God be with you and your family and may our world experience God’s peace one dinner table at a time, beginning with God’s table – His Sacred Altar of Life and Love!

Posted in Greetings | 11 Comments »

Posted December 15th, 2009 | Events

Don’t forget to tell family and friends if they missed the show the first time!  And, be sure to send Food Network a quick not to say thanks and to tell them what you thought of the show!  And, in the meantime, I hope your family is having a wonderful Advent Season.  More to come as I’ll be getting a tour of the food network a few days before Christmas.  Now, that’s a great gift.  It’s a “stomach stuffer”, much better than a stocking stuffer.


Posted in Events | 18 Comments »

Posted December 9th, 2009 | Uncategorized

I just had one of the most incredible culinary experiences, since the Throw Down with Bobby Flay!


I attended the screening party of the Season 6 Top Chef Finale at Volt Restaurant in Frederick, c0-owned by Brian Voltaggio. I was a guest of John Fiesler, the Executive Director of the Tourism Council of Frederick County.   The carpeted, heated, and beautifully decorated tent next to the award winner restaurant was a perfect venue to celebrate the culinary expertise of this incredible chef and person.


Chef-testants Brian and his brother Michael were truly the top notch in this thrilling culinary competition.  What was most touching was the fact that the top contenders were also brothers.  In the Finale, the producers did a fine job in tugging the heart strings of every viewer by bringing in surprise guests:  their moms!

Each competitor talked about how they learned the importance of family through food lovingly prepared by mom!  Michael Voltaggio commented about his mother’s cooking by saying it wasn’t spectacular cooking, but what was important was that his mother always provided!  Gosh, I’m welling up with tears just thinking about how true that is.

Whether the contestants knew it or not, they were talking about the Grace Before Meals movement!

The party, fitting for a top chef, offered delicious cured meats, pungent cheeses, marinated olives, and small sampler platters of their dishes – including the braised flank steak that I ordered.


I can’t remember the line that Brian said on TV when his brother was declared this season’s winner, but he commented on how proud he was of his little brother!  No matter what, that was more important than anything else.

Here’s a great picture of Brian receiving a consolation kiss from his lovely wife at announcement that his brother Michael was the winner.  While Brian didn’t win, he has so much to be proud of! And boy, I can’t wait to get some more of his culinary creations.  See you at VOLT!


Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Posted December 9th, 2009 | Recipe-Meats

4 Lamb chops, frenched and sliced into two ribs chops (double-thick cut)

2 cups bread crumbs

1 tbs salt

1 tbs pepper

4 tbs olive oil

2 teaspoons butter

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp fresh thyme


2 tbs grape jelly

2 tbs mustard
1 cup orange juice

1 tsp apple cider vingar

½ tsp salt

½ tsp pepper



Preheat oven to 400 degrees.  Cut lamb chops into double-thick chops.  Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.  Dredge in breadcrumbs.  Heat olive oil and butter in a large skillet.  Sear chops for 2 minutes on all sides.  Remove chops and place on baking sheet. Then place in the oven for 15-18 minutes (depending on temperature preference).  To prepare the sauce, add the grape jelly, mustard, vinegar, and orange juice to the skillet, and whisk together until fully incorporated.  Place skillet over medium/low heat and reduce until half.  To serve, place small portion of sauce on the side.


Posted in Recipe-Meats | 6 Comments »

Posted December 8th, 2009 | Uncategorized

I get a ton of emails from people who say the nicest and sometimes funniest things.

For example this one from a Mission that I recently gave at Holy Family Church in Davidsonville, MD.


Dear Fr. Leo
Just wanted to let you know how much my son and I enjoy your talk tonight at our Parish mission. Also, thank you fr signing our apron and signing my son Jake’s hand.  It was wonderful to celebrate Saturday night mass with you also.  My son and I lit the Advent wreath that night. Thank you again for inspiring us and sharing your passion with us.
God Bless

And, this one from the Fritz Family –

Father Leo,
Thank you so much for coming on Saturday. Your company was enjoyed by all. Next time you can cook!!  Hopefully you will be back with some seminarians and vocation guys for a cooking episode.  The Parish mission is awesome!
Love of Christ,
And this one really made my day, and cracked me up too!
Greetings Fr. Leo!
We have been praying for you and I’m so excited to see how the Grace Before Meals movement is taking off! We didn’t have cable back when you had the cookoff, so Fr. Tim (McKeown) stopped by the other day with a copy of the show. So amazing! You were awesome!
We are having a shift at our parish. Our pastor suddenly resigned last week. This morning our Bishop was at our church and announced we would be getting a new pastor, but not before Christmas. On the way home, as we were discussing this with the boys, I heard ten-year-old Elliott (Fr. Tim’s godson!) muttering “Please be Fr. Leo. Please be Fr. Leo.” We had to explain that it would not be you. (They loved meeting you and really enjoyed watching the cookoff, and especially seeing the Mount in the footage.)
I’m getting bad with responding to all the emails, but please know that I appreciate your comments, notes, and encouragement.  For more fun, be sure to join my facebook page.  Just click on the facebook icon on the home page!
Fr. Leo
img_9253(Fr. Joe Barre, pastor of Holy Family Catholic Church in Davidsonville, MD and his assistant chef in their parish’s “Iron Chef” competition. I’ll write more about that in an upcoming Blast for the Feast of the Holy Family!)

Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments »