A Catholic Girl’s Guide to Thank-Filled Cooking



Every November, I think of baking around St. Elizabeth of Hungary’s feast day. I like watching cooking shows and reading food magazines because I get new ideas for recipes to try.

Whether I’m baking a batch of cookies, a favorite family recipe or trying a new recipe, I like being in the kitchen. It’s time away from life’s to-do list to focus on something simple: making something yummy.

I have been interested in baking for as long as I can remember: When I was little, I loved making banana bread and cookies with my mom, sister and grandma.

But I really started becoming interested in cooking during college.

I cooked for a Newman Center retreat my senior year of college, and it was one of the best things I’ve ever done. Cooking multiple chocolate-and-vanilla-swirl cheesecakes with other retreat team members, I was completely content. Sharing Christ’s love through word and food was a blessed time.

In grad school, I cooked and baked up a storm—and I haven’t slowed down since. My cookbooks are splattered with ingredients. That’s okay. It’s a good thing, like a well-worn Bible (I often underline and highlight mine).

Cooking reminds me of how God has continued to show me who I am. Actually, looking back, I was always a cook: I had an Easy-Bake Oven when I was little. Those were the days—yummy bite-sized treats that took minutes to make.

Christmas is approaching, and Christmas cookies are an essential in my kitchen. One year my sister and I baked a batch of sugar cookies before heading out to the Christmas Eve candlelight Mass. It was one of the best memories of Christmas I’ve ever had. The comfort of cooking up tasty traditions followed by the beauty of the church in soft candlelight was so special. The standard Christmas carols being sung before Mass—it was a little bit of heaven. Home and heart meet heaven: What could be better than that?

I no longer need a recipe to make a tasty dish my family and friends will enjoy. I have memorized time-honored family recipes, and I create my own. I think I enjoy cooking so much because it’s really part of “me.”

I am the Catholic woman who loves cooking, flip-flops, daisies, Jane Austen novels and the movie adaptations, St. Therese and St. Gianna, traveling, writing and … sipping mochas on Saturday mornings.

I enjoy entertaining and good conversation with treats like scones and cookies. I even have hosted a cookie party or two. It’s a great way to gather people together, which is the point of life: Gathering in a community of faith, family and friends are so important.

In the fast-paced, technology-driven world, I think people often forget the little things. Like family around the table. Like the goodness of a home-cooked meal. That’s what I hope I will do someday as a wife and mother. Until then, I thank God for food, faith, family and friends.



  1. Lesley-158563 November 18, 2012 Reply

    I like the warmth of this article. Different and nice!

  2. Oksana-918816 November 19, 2012 Reply

    What a wonderful story!

  3. Angelene S. November 20, 2012 Reply

    I totally relate! I’m a college student in love with cooking and making wonderful memories that last~

  4. Janice-905360 November 20, 2012 Reply

    Great article! Food is a part of all our lives and traditions and memories. What would faith, family, friends, and love be without food??? Think I want to go make a batch of homemade oatmeal cranberry cookies. 🙂 By the way, anyone seen “Grace Before Meals” with Father Leo? A very inspriing priest who weaves his faith with his passion for food.

  5. Liz-1196865 November 7, 2015 Reply

    I agree with you Janice. It inspired me to take out my banana bread recipe. I have tons of frozen bananas in the freezer just for the occasion. I would also like to host a cookie party this Christmas, but my place is small. Any ideas???

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