|St. Joseph Leading the Christ Child, Murillo|
This is a special day for us, as we have many Josephs in our family and my husband is half Italian. So San Giuseppe is a very popular guy here! On this Solemnity, our family will enjoy a St. Joseph's altar surrounded by tasty Italian treats, including cream puffs (a traditional dessert on this day) and a special cake with cannoli-like flavors. (I have included the recipe below.) We will also add some olives, Italian bread, baked ziti, and sauteed spinach to our display to make a whole dinner in honor of St. Joseph. Later tonight, I'll post a picture of the spread on this post!
Here's the finished spread! I ended up making a slow-cook cacciatore with the ziti because, as it turned out, I was unable to be in the kitchen from 3-5:30 p.m., meaning the main dish had to be finished and cooking before 3. Typical day! I couldn't really get a good picture of it because our house is tiny and I couldn't get far enough back to incorporate the entire counter. Also, late in the day the lighting was strangely strange...
Another shot of the "spread" showing
the salad and some of the desserts.
My favorite side of the buffet, lol!
Usually, St. Joseph altars consist of breads and desserts, but for our family, a dinner works out well. I can't imagine keeping the children out of a spread of goodies all day, and, while we all enjoy dessert here, how many different desserts can we really eat on one day? By making it a dinner display, we can have a festive feast and a lavish display around St. Joseph without having it be entirely about dessert! Also, we put everything out at once, eat it, and it's not lingering around temptingly all day. We leave up our "altar" made of three gold-wrapped Amazon boxes, plastic flowers, and our St. Joseph statue for the entire day.
Now, having said that it isn't entirely about dessert, I'll pass on a dessert recipe I tried this year, lol!
This recipe was originally in a Woman's Day magazine that I was reading in a doctor's waiting room. I didn't write down the issue number or the name of the cake, but it had a lot of cannoli ingredients in it and seemed perfect for St. Joseph's Day! It really is delicious, but a bit hard to get the four layers to turn out quite right. No one will mind, though! It's very rich!
Bake 1 French Vanilla Cake from a mix in two 9" round pans.
Mix together and refrigerate until spreadable:
16 oz. ricotta cheese
1/2 c. powdered sugar
2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. rum extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
2 oz. semi-sweet chocolate, finely chopped (I just used the mini semi-sweet morsels since I need to buy a bag of them to complete the recipe, see below)
Cut each layer in two horizontally. The easiest way to do this is to use a serrated bread knife. Spread the ricotta mixture between and on top of the cake layers, leaving 1" unfrosted around the edges of each layer. (You want the edges of each layer to almost meet so that there aren't big gaps between the layers that might make frosting a problem.) Don't frost the top layer.
For the final frosting, mix together and refrigerate until spreadable:
2 8oz. cartons mascarpone cheese
3-4 c. powdered sugar (that's not 3/4! between 3 and 4 cups)
1/4 c. whole milk
2 tsp. almond extract
1 tsp. vanilla extract
May St. Joseph, the patron of families, intercede for your family and all of its needs in the coming year.
Oh, St. Joseph, whose protection is so great, so strong, so prompt before the throne of God. I place in you all my interests and desires. Oh, St. Joseph, do assist me by your powerful intercession, and obtain for me from your divine Son all spiritual blessings, through Jesus Christ, our Lord, so that, having engaged here below your heavenly power, I may offer my thanksgiving and homage to the most loving of Fathers.
Oh, St. Joseph, I never weary of contemplating you, and Jesus asleep in your arms; I dare not approach while He reposes near your heart. Press Him in my name and kiss His fine head for me and ask him to return the Kiss when I draw my dying breath. St. Joseph, Patron of departing souls - Pray for me.