Feast of the Little Rose

It’s been a little while since we’ve talked faith. With all this pandemic and social unrest and fear-driven distractions, faith should be in the forefront. For many of us on a personal level, faith has been center stage even if we haven’t been vocal about sharing it.

I am a Cradle Catholic. If you aren’t familiar with the term, a Cradle Catholic is someone who was baptized as a baby and has remained Catholic. I embrace Catholicism for one reason only – it speaks to me. The Catholic Faith (as I understand it) speaks in a language my soul understands.

One of the things that I love about the Church are the saints. Saints are people, just people. As people, saints are also sinners. Yet despite their flaws and shortcomings, they strive to do better, to be better, to answer a call and fill their role in God’s Plan. Today is the Feast Day of Therese of Lisieux. She is simply known as The Little Flower, one of two most popular saints in the history of the church.

For me personally, the struggles of The Little Rose hold deep meaning. Without going into detail, fifteen years ago I faced a crisis of faith. When I met privately with our Parish Priest, I told him that from an early age I felt God in my life, but now He was gone. I felt frightened and alone and abandon. Shunned as it were and I didn’t understand why. What had I done that God, who had always been there, would suddenly be silent? I will never forget what Father Kevin said – that I was in good company. Many Godly people, including Saint Theresa struggled with doubt. Struggles, fears, doubt and disbelief are gifts. For in overcoming these obstacles we become stronger, better servants to one another with compassion and understanding. We become messengers of God by example. If we can show just one person that love triumphs over hate, that kindness wins over cruelty then we have fulfilled our purpose for being. Saints guide us, they pray for us and teach us the importance of allowing God to be a part of every moment of our lives.

The Little Rose Afternoon Tea

An Assortment of Bagged Teas

Simple Scones with Mock Cream and Fruit Preserves

Sandwiches –
Little Rose Tea Sandwiches
Smoked Salmon Pinwheels with Lemon Chive Cream Cheese
Mesquite Chicken Salad on Mini Croissants

Dessert –
Lemon Buttercream Tea Cakes

Simple Scones with Mock Clotted Cream and Fruit Preserve
Simple Scones
3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 pound (1 cup) unsalted cold butter, diced
1 1/2 cups half and half cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract

Heat oven to 350 degrees.

In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt together.

With a pastry blender or two knives, cut the cold butter into flour mixture until particles are the size of small peas. Fold in your Alternative Ingredients of choice to the flour mixture.

Add half and half cream and vanilla extract to the mixture and blend until dough forms. DO NOT over mix the dough.

With floured hands, pat dough to a 1-inch thickness onto a floured board. With a floured cutter of your desired shape, cut out and place 1-inch apart on a parchment paper lined or a lightly greased and floured baking sheet.

Bake 20 to 25 minutes until lightly golden brown.  Baking time will vary according to the size of your scone.

Mock Clotted Cream
1 cup heavy cream
1/3 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon confectioners’ sugar

Using a whisk attachment on a mixer, whip heavy cream until stiff peaks form.

Remove bowl from mixer and hand whisk in sour cream and confectioners’ sugar until just combined.

Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

When serving, place clotted cream in a small bowl and serve alongside a small bowl of your favorite fruit preserves such as Boysenberry or Blackberry.

Little Rose Tea Sandwiches
12 round Tomatoes
6 slices White or Multigrain Bread
12 tablespoons Garden Vegetable Cream Cheese
24 Small Basil Leaves

Note: Large, firm tomates are the easiest to peel. Plan to utilize the tomatoes in a sauce as quickly as possible to avoid waste.

Using a thin, sharp paring knife, peel each tomato in one long thin spiral. Roll each spiral into desired shape rose. Set roses aside on paper towels to absorb excess tomato juices. (How to Video)

Lay bread slices out on a flat work surface. Using a round cookie cutter, cut 2 circles from each slice of bread.

Spread about a tablespoon of cream cheese on each bread round. Top with a rose. Arrange two small basil leaves with each rose to create the leaves.

Arrange tea sandwiches on a serving platter.

Smoked Salmon Pinwheels with Lemon Chive Cream Cheese
Lemon Chive Cream Cheese

4 oz Cream Cheese softened
1 Lemon, zested
1 teaspoon Chives, finely chopped
1 teaspoon Mayonnaise

Let cream cheese soften at room temperature. Place softened cream cheese in a small mixing bowl. Zest lemon over the cream cheese, set aside.

Finely chop fresh chives, scatter over the cream cheese. Add mayonnaise and mix well.

Place in an airtight container and refrigerate. To use, let cream cheese soften.

Pinwheel Sandwiches
9 Asparagus Spears
6 slices White Bread
3 tablespoons Lemon Chive Cream Cheese
6 oz thin Smoked Salmon

Bring a medium pot of water to a boil. Prepare a bowl of ice water. Trim asparagus. Blanch asparagus for 2-3 minutes, just until tender-crisp. Plunge asparagus into ice water to stop the cooking so it stays crisp. Once chilled, pat to dry.

Remove crusts from bread. Overlap two slices by about half an inch and roll flat with a rolling pin. Spread with 1 tablespoon lemon chive cream cheese. 

Arrange smoked salmon slices over the surface of the sandwich, making sure to cover the entire area. Place three stalks of asparagus at one short end of the bread, trimming to just fit the length of the bread.

Roll tightly into a spiral, starting with the asparagus end, so the asparagus is in the center of the roll.

Wrap roll in plastic. Repeat with remaining bread and salmon to create two more sandwich rolls.

Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes so the spiral shape will set. Slice each sandwich roll into four small pinwheel tea sandwiches. Arrange on a serving platter.

Mesquite Chicken Salad on Mini Croissants
2 cups Shredded Chicken
1/2 cup Celery
2 tablespoons Red Onion
3/4 cup mayonnaise
2 teaspoons Mesquite Seasoning or to taste
12 Mini Croissants
Green Leaf Lettuce

Note: Shredded chicken can be found in the freezer section in bags or the refrigerated section. Rotisserie chicken can also be shredded.

Shred chicken into small pieces. Place in a large mixing bowl and set aside.

Finely dice celery, place in a small mixing bowl. Grate onion, add to the celery along with all the onion juices. Mix in mayonnaise and mesquite seasoning to create a dressing mix.

Fold mayonnaise mixture into the shredded chicken; stir to coat. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Split Croissants lengthwise , place a small lettuce leave on the bottom half. Top with chicken salad, secure tops to form a sandwiches. Arrange on a serving platter. If desired, garnish platter with lettuce leaves or curly parsley for a splash of fresh color.

Lemon Buttercream Tea Cakes
Lemon Cake Rounds
1 (18.25-ounce) Lemon Cake Mix
3 large Eggs
1 cup Water
1/4 cup Vegetable Oil
1/3 cup Sour Cream
1 Lemon, zested
Garnish: fresh primroses

Heat oven to 350-degrees. Line a 17-x-11-inch rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.

In a large bowl, combine cake mix, eggs, water, oil, lemon zest and sour cream. Beat at low-speed with an electric mixer until moistened, approximately 30 seconds. Increase speed to medium, and beat for 2 minutes, scraping sides of bowl as necessary. Pour batter into prepared pan, and level with a spatula. Rap pan on the counter top sharply several times to reduce air bubbles.

Bake until cake is golden brown and a wooden pick inserted in the center comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes. Let cake cool completely in pan.

When cake has cooled, cut 24 rounds from cake, using a 2¼-inch round cutter.

Note: Cake may be baked in advance, cut into rounds, and frozen in an airtight container, with layers separated by waxed paper, for up to a week. Let come to room temperature before frosting. Store, covered, in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

Lemon Buttercream Frosting
1 cup Salted Butter, softened
6 cups Powdered Sugar
2 teaspoons fresh Lemon Zest
1/4 cup Lemon Juice
1-1/2 teaspoons Lemon Extract
Yellow Paste Food Coloring

Let butter soften at room temperature.

Meanwhile, sift powdered sugar into a large bowl. Set aside. Zest lemon, set zest aside. Cut lemon in half, squeeze to juice. Add additional lemon juice if necessary for 1/4 cup.

In the bowl of a standing mixer, cream butter. Add zest and juice to the butter. Slowly add powdered sugar, fully combining between each addition. Add Lemon Extract. If buttercream is too dry, thin slightly with milk, about a tablespoon at a time for desired consistency.

Beat at low-speed with an electric mixer until combined, scraping down sides of bowl as necessary. Increase speed to high, and beat until light and fluffy. Add food coloring until desired shade of yellow is achieved.

Use immediately, or refrigerate in an airtight container until needed. Let buttercream come to room temperature before using, and beat at high-speed with an electric mixer for 1 minute.

To Assemble Cake Rounds: Place Lemon Buttercream in a piping bag fitted with a large open-star tip (Wilton #1M). Pipe a circle of buttercream onto 12 cake rounds. Top each with another round of cake, pressing lightly to adhere. Pipe a decorative rosette of buttercream onto top of each cake round.

Garnish each cake with a fresh primrose, if desired.

Author: Rosemarie's Kitchen

I'm a wife, mother, grandmother and avid home cook.I believe in eating healthy whenever possible, while still managing to indulge in life's pleasures.

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