Posted February 24th, 2010 | Italian, Recipe-Italian, Recipe-Pasta

To make this little can of albacore come to life, I created my version of Italian tuna pasta that I ate in Florence during my seminary days.  I’ve made it for several other people and they say it’s definitely the opposite of penitential!  But, it’s still in the Lenten rulebook for fasting and it sure beats the texture and blandness of those sandwiches!

Ingredients:  Serves 1 portion

1 cup of dried fusili pasta, boiled and cooked al dente

1 can of albacore tuna

1 Tbs olive oil

1 clove fresh garlic, minced

1 Tbs fresh capers

½ tsp green peppercorns

½ tsp kosher salt

¼ tsp black pepper

¼ cup tomato sauce


Sauté garlic in pan of hot olive oil. Add tuna (including the liquid in the can), capers, and peppercorns.  Mix until tuna is warm.  Add tomato sauce and let simmer for 1 minute.  Add pasta and allow some of the pasta water to help “cream” the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste.

Posted in Italian, Recipe-Italian, Recipe-Pasta | 5 Comments »

Posted February 17th, 2010 | Uncategorized

OK, so Lent is a time for repentance and seeking forgiveness.  So, here’s two that I’d like to ask forgiveness of you right off the bat!

First:  Sorry for putting a “meat” recipe in this week’s blast – which just happens to fall on Ash Wednesday – a day for fasting and abstinence for Catholics.  I didn’t mean to “tempt” anyone, but I was playing off the “snow ball” and “meat ball” imagery.


Secondly, please forgive me for the error / typo on the caption regarding St. Monica (St. Augustine’s mother) and St. Helen (Constantine’s mother).  I confused the two saints.  And while I know who is who, I think I was just typing so fast that I confused them. The picture is mom and son praying at tomb of St. Monica in the Basilica of Saint Augustine, Rome, Italy.


The many comments I received about this error showed me that people DO read these blasts.  So, while it proved I’m a typo-error-grammar mistaking kinda’ guy, I’m also very impressed that people took the time to read and reply to a caption of a photo.  WOW – you all DO care!

So, thanks for reading, replying, responding and FORGIVING!

Posted in Uncategorized | 13 Comments »

Posted February 17th, 2010 | Uncategorized

Ash Wednesday marks the beginning of the season of Lent – a time of fasting, prayers and almsgiving.  Every monothesistic religion has a period of time dedicated to “cleansing” the body, mind and soul.  For Catholics, this Ash Wednesday means a time of fasting and abstinence. That means, fasting and abstinence:  one full meal today only and abstaining from meat products.  In other words, we prayerfully pay attention to what we are eating, and focus on God Who feeds us with the Bread of Eternal Life!


We recall Jesus’ forty days in the desert.  And like Him, we too will experience temptations in our hungers, personal tests, and discouragement in our trials.  With God, we can overcome all challenges, tests and trials!  Yet, I had no idea that such a “temptation” would come from me!?!  You see, tonight Food Network is re-airing the STEAK Fajita Throw Down with Bobby Flay.  (17 Feb 2010 @ 10:30EST)


How will Catholics and people who are fasting from meat today (as a personal discipline) be able to watch that show without some craving, or temptation to start cooking up some steak fajitas?!?


I’m just grateful that the Food Network continues to re-broadcast that fun and inspiring episode that features our Grace Before Meals movement.  Yet at the same time, I just find it so ironic that they would “tempt” our viewers with delicious meat oriented foods on a day that many Catholics are trying to “discipline” their intake.  img_0507

It just means that we will have to rely on God to help us through the deliciously meat-filled episode and throughout the 40 Days of Lent!  Trust in my prayers for you!

But, there are plenty of non-meat dishes on our webshows, perfect for your family’s celebration of meatless Fridays during Lent!  Bon Appetitto!


May God bless you and your family during this Holy Season of growing in love of God and neighbor, charity for the poor, and satisfying our hungers through prayer!

Posted in Uncategorized | 22 Comments »

Posted February 16th, 2010 | Recipe-Italian, Recipe-Meats

Enjoy this delicious meatball recipe in this season of snowballs, courtesy of Mark Bello and Pizza-a-Casa.


Ingredients:  (makes about 30-40 meatballs)

Per 1 lb. of ground pork in a 3 to 1, lean to fat, coarse grind
1 Tbs fennel seed
1 tsp fine crystal sea salt
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp garlic powder
1 egg, beaten
1/2 C breadcrumbs
30-40 strips of roasted red pepper (optional)

Mix all ingredients (except red pepper strips) well. Form mixture into ping-pong sized balls and place in roasting pan. Bake at 350F until browned and just above pink inside (about 10-15 minutes).  Serve on toothpick topped with a roasted red pepper strip (optional).

(Throw these delicious meatballs at me any time of the year – except during Ash Wednesday and Fridays of Lent!)

(Throw these delicious meatballs at me any time of the year – except during Ash Wednesday and Fridays of Lent!)

Posted in Recipe-Italian, Recipe-Meats | 17 Comments »

Posted February 9th, 2010 | Recipe-Pastry

Ingredients (serves 2-3)

1 bagel, plain and ripped into small pieces

1 egg, plus 2 additional egg yolks

½ cup chocolate, (milk or dark) shaved

1 cup milk

2 tsp cinnamon

½ tsp salt

1 tsp vanilla

2-3 Tbs coffee liqueur

2 Tbs unsalted butter


Instructions:  Preheat oven to 350.  Rip one bagel into small ¼ inch pieces and set aside.  In microwave safe bowl, melt chocolate, cinnamon, salt, vanilla, coffee liqueur, and butter by microwaving for 30 seconds to 1 minute.  Mix and incorporate all flavors together.  The consistency should be “soupy” and loose.  Beat one egg and 2 additional egg yolks together.  Temper eggs by adding chocolate sauce a few tablespoons at a time, so not to cook the eggs.  Once fully combined, pour over the bagels, and be sure to mix so that each piece of bagel is fully soaked by the mixture.  Place in a small oven safe dish, sprayed with nonstick spray and bake for 30-35 minutes.  You will notice the bagel pudding will rise.  Be sure to serve quickly to get that fluffy and warming comfort with each bite!  Serve with a little vanilla ice cream topped with whipped cream.


Posted in Recipe-Pastry | No Comments »

Posted February 3rd, 2010 | Uncategorized

It’s been quite the past few weeks!  Travels here, there and everywhere, plus the full load at the seminary. Recently, an interview for a paper in Harrisburg, PA asked how it all gets done.  The real answer is:  GOD!  The energy can only come when God supplies it, and he supplies it if we ask for it in prayer.  But, this entry won’t be a sermon, but just a little update.

So, here goes:

Bishop Guilfoyle HS in Altoona, PA hosted a Grace Before Meals event.  Awesome set of students, faculty and a bunch of parents even came.  They even had t-shirts!

img_0128There were tons of kids who were doing all they could to get the food we prepared – bite sizes of the Monte Cristo sandwiches!

img_0106We had great sponsors, including US Food Services.  One of the reps who helped me cook was even a black belt martial artists.   Thank God he didn’t challenge me to a surprise Throw Down!


Since, I’m actually writing this blast from the plane – yes, Airtran now allows internet access on board – I won’t have time to write about the other trips to Texas and then LA.  That’ll come at another time, as soon as I can find another flight with internet access!

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments »