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"The Secret Ingredient" ~ Recipes featured on "Proclaim!"

~Orange Cranberry Biscotti~

Father Brian Saylor
Pastor of Saint John the Evangelist Parish in Bellefonte,
and Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Parish in Spring Mills

• 2 cups all-purpose flour
• 2 teaspoons baking powder
• ¼ teaspoon salt
• ¾ cup granulated sugar
• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter room temperature
• 2 teaspoons orange zest
• ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
• 2 large eggs room temperature
• ⅔ cup dried cranberries

Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and set aside.

In a bowl, whisk all-purpose flour, baking powder, and salt, and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, add room temperature butter and granulated sugar. Using a hand mixer, beat it well until light and fluffy.

Add eggs, orange zest, and vanilla extract. Mix it again until well combined.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ones. Using a mixer on a low speed, mix until just combined and don’t overmix!

Then using your hands, lightly knead the dough, so it all comes together in one bowl and cut it in half.

Form the dough on the baking sheet into two rectangle logs, about 8×4 inches. Bake for about 20-25 minutes, until the edges are lightly golden in color and the top is set.

Take it out of the oven and let sit on the counter for about 20 minutes to cool off.

When it’s cooled, using a sharp knife, cut the logs into ½ or ¾-inch slices. Place them back on the baking sheet cut side down and bake again for another 10 minutes, turning them halfway through.

~Vibrant Sicilian Pesto~

Father Frank Scornaienchi, T.O.R.
Pastor of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Altoona

& Father Carl Vacek, T.O.R.
Parochial Vicar of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Parish, Altoona

• 1 pound rigatoni or other short tubular pasta
• Kosher salt and ground black pepper
• 1½ cups whole-milk ricotta cheese
• ¼ cup raw pistachios, plus 2 tablespoons finely chopped pistachios
• 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil plus more for serving
• 2 ounces Parmesan cheese (without rind), cut into 4 or 5 pieces.
• ½ cup lightly-packed fresh basil
• ¼ cup roughly chopped fresh chives

In a large pot, bring 4 quarts of water to boil. Stir in the pasta and 1 tablespoon salt (some cooks like to add a little more salt), then cook, stirring occasionally, until al dente. Reserve 1½ cups of the cooking water, then drain the pasta and return it to the pot.

In a blender, combine the ricotta, the whole pistachios, oil, Pamesan, basil, chives, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Add 1 cup of the reserved pasta water and blend until creamy, about 1 minute; the pesto should have a consistency similar to yogurt.

Pour the pesto over the pasta and stir, adding more reserved pasta water as needed so the sauce coats the noodles. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Serve drizzled with additional oil and sprinkle with the chopped pistachios.

~Poor Man’s Cake~

Father Jim Dugan
Pastor of Our Lady of Lourdes Parish in Altoona

Simmer one box of raisins in two cups of water for 10 minutes. Remove from heat. Add two cups of sugar and ¾ cup of shortening.

  • 1 cup of cold water
  • 2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1 tsp. cloves
  • 4 cups flour
  • 1 tsp. nutmeg
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • Add rasin mixture

Bake at 350 degrees for 40 minutes in metal pan, or 325 degrees for 50 minutes in a glass pan.

~Thumbprint Cookies~

Father Brian Saylor
Pastor of Saint John the Evangelist Parish in Bellefonte,
and Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Parish in Spring Mills

Prep Time – 15 mins
Cook Time – 15 mins
Additional Time – 20 mins
Total Time – 50 mins

  • 1 stick unsalted butter, at room temperature
  • ⅓ cup powdered sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ⅛ teaspoon almond extract
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 large egg yolk
  • 1 ¼ cups all-purpose flour
  • ⅓ cup white sugar, or as needed
  • ½ cup fruit jam, divided
  1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
  2. Mix butter and powdered sugar together until creamy. Add vanilla extract, almond extract, salt, and egg yolk. Mix. Add flour and blend until just combined.
  3. Scoop dough into ½-ounce (1 tablespoon) balls. Roll balls in a plate of white sugar to coat; roll again between your palms. Place several inches apart on a silicone-lined baking sheet. Flatten balls lightly with your fingers.
  4. To make shortbread cookies with a little jam, poke a well into each cookie using the end of a thick wooden spoon dusted with powdered sugar, or using one of your fingers. Fill cookies with fruit jam. Tap baking sheet against the counter to let jam settle.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven until tops are barely blonde and bottoms are slightly golden, about 15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack before icing.
  6. Meanwhile, mix powdered sugar with a little milk until you have a consistency that will hold its shape when piped. Pipe icing on top of cookies in a zigzag pattern. Let sit for 15 minutes before serving.

~Pasta E Ceci~

Pat Fiore

  • 1 can ceci (garbanzo beans)
  • 2-3 cloves garlic (minced)
  • 1 pound small or medium sea shells
  • 1/4 cup chopped onions
  • 7-8 tbsp olive oil
  • 4-5 slices yellow American cheese

  1. Saute onions and garlic in olive oil
  2. Cook sea shells el dente – remember to add a little salt to the water
  3. While sea shells are cooking, take some of the ceci and crush with a fork. Add the crushed ceci and the rest of the can to the saute. Add the cheese and let melt.
  4. When the shells are done, drain but leave some water – more if you like it soupy and less if you don’t – then combine with the saute.
  5. Sprinkle some grated romano over each dish and serve. Add salt and pepper to taste. Try some hot pepper flakes if you like it spicy.
  6. Optional – If you like, add some chopped vegetables to the saute and let cook for several minutes.

~Tuna Tartare~

Very Rev. Lubomir Strecok, VF
Pastor of Sacred Heart Parish in Altoona
Administrator of Saint Mary Parish in Altoona

  • 3 tuna steak
  • 1/4 cups olive oil
  • 3 limes, zest grated
  • Squeezed lime juice
  • ½ teaspoons wasabi powder
  • ½ tablespoons soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon hot red pepper sauce
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 chopped scallions (white and green parts)
  • 1 tablespoon jalapeno pepper paste
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • ½ tablespoons toasted sesame seeds (optional)

~Corn Fritters~

Father Brian Saylor
Pastor of Saint John the Evangelist Parish in Bellefonte,
and Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Parish in Spring Mills

  • 1 1/3 cups flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons baking powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon white sugar
  • 1 can (14.75 oz) cream-style corn
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 tablespoon heavy cream
  • Vegetable oil for frying


  1. Whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar
  2. Mix in corn, egg, and cream until mixture comes together
  3. Line a plate with paper towels
  4. Pour oil into a heavy skillet over medium-high heat
  5. Once oil is hot, scoop mounds of corn batter into pan and spread lightly
  6. Fry 2-3 minutes, then flip and cook another 2-3 minutes until golden brown
  7. Transfer to paper towel

~Father Arnone Macaroni~

Father Leo Arnone
Pastor of Saint Aloysius and Saint
Francis Xavier Parishes in Cresson

  • 2 cup Elbow Macaroni
  • Grated Cheese
  • Italian Seasoning
  • Crushed Red Pepper
  • Garlic Powder
  • 6 Slices of Swiss Cheese
  • 6 Slices of (your favorite cheese)
  • ½ cup of Milk

Boil macaroni, but not completely done. Treat 7 x 11 casserole with olive oil spray. Place half the partially cooked macaroni into casserole. Sprinkle (to your liking) with grated cheese, Italian seasoning, crushed red pepper, and garlic powder. Place six slices of your favorite cheese (I like pepper jack, sharp cheder, habanero) on top. Add remaining macaroni and repeat sprinkling of grated cheese and spices. Top with six slices of Swiss cheese. Pour ½ cup of milk over the casserole and place in oven at 350 degrees until the top is golden brown. Upon serving, add extra grated cheese and fresh ground pepper as you like. Enjoy!

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