Apple Muffins on the Feast of St. Euphrosynos

It’s nice that the feast of St. Euphrosynos falls right in the middle of apple season. We’re going apple picking with our homeschool co-op in a couple weeks, but every so often that trip coincides with this feast day. We love the simplicity of this humble boy’s life, proving that you don’t have to be a theologian or all that extraordinary to be sanctified.

Recipe for Paleo-ish Apple Cinnamon Muffins:

• 2c Birch Benders Paleo Pancake Mix

• 2 apples peeled, cored, and diced

• 1/2 tsp cinnamon

• 1/4c maple syrup

• 1tsp vanilla extract

• 1 1/3c water

• 1 egg

Preheat oven to 375. Line a muffin tin with paper liners. Mix all ingredients except apples together until batter is well combined then stir in apples at the end. Spoon mixture into muffin tin and bake 30min.

Other St. Euphrosynos feast day ideas:

Many Mercies: St. Euphrosynos and humble pie

Ancient Faith Radio Saint of the Day: St. Euphrosynos the Cook of Alexandria

The Boy, a Kitchen, and His Cave

St. Euphrosynos coloring page

Illumination Learning: Crafts for Orthodox Youth – St. Euphrosynos

Charming the Birds from the Trees: Apple Bread

Liturgical New Year

Simple handwriting/copy work practice craft for Liturgical New Year. Make scrolls of all or part of Isaiah 61:1-2 the passage Jesus quoted when he announced his mission to the world in the synagogue. According to Holy Tradition, this event happened on September 1. Christ would have read the passage from a scroll too. This year we glued our paper to straws, but in the past we’ve used popsicle sticks. As followers of Christ, these things should also be our mission. Just like with “New Year’s Resolutions” in January, this can be a good time to set spiritual goals with your family for the year and talk about ways you can make Christ’s mission your mission.

Dear Children,

There are dragons in this world. May you slay them like St. George.

Paleo-ish Lazarus Cookies

“Tomorrow Christ will come, by His word to bring your dead brother to life. Hearing His voice, bitter hell that is never satisfied will tremble and groan aloud, and it will release Lazarus bound in his grave-clothes.”  — Stichera from Vespers on Friday Evening before the Saturday before Palm Sunday known as the Saturday of the Holy and Righteous Lazarus, The Lenten Triodion


Weird macabre things Orthodox people do: eat mummy bread/cookies called Lazarakia on Lazarus Saturday which commemorates Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead. 

We’re still Paleo here in our neck of the woods and it’s made so many people in our house feel generally better, lose weight, and stopped years of chronic stomach aches in our daughter! 

We’re headed to our favorite local monastery tomorrow which we try to do every year on Lazarus Saturday. Our Archbishop serves Liturgy and we get a fun and relaxing day romping in the woods and catching up with the sisters. 

I decided to try a Paleo-ish version of the Lazarakia and make them more like sugar cookies instead of bread rolls to bring with us. I was inspired by all the mummy treats and snacks that float around near Halloween in addition to the traditional bread.

We recently tagged along on a work trip with my husband and we had sweet potato pancakes at a restaurant one morning that were amazing. I thought incorporating sweet potato flour into the recipe might help with texture and elasticity. I couldn’t find any, but I did find a sweet potato pancake mix that was gluten free and decided to use that instead. This recipe is vegan, but because of the frosting and some of the grains in the sweet potato mix, it is not truly Paleo. You could leave off the frosting and double up on the Paleo pancake mix if you wanted to stick with the diet 100%. 

Ingredients

Preheat oven to 375.

Mix together pancake mixes, pumpkin, maple syrup, vanilla extract, and pumpkin pie spice to form dough. Roll dough out and press a gingerbread man cookie cutter into the dough to make the mummy bodies. Place on baking sheet and bake 10 minutes. 

While cookies are baking you may need to chop up the chocolate chips to make the eyes proportional to your cookie cutter. I cut mine into quarters. You could also get the extra mini chips instead. 

Remove cookies from oven and working quickly press two chocolate chips or chocolate chip pieces into the head of each. Use a spatula to transfer cookies to a cooling rack. 

Once the cookies are cooled spoon frosting into a pastry bag (or snip the tip off a plastic zipper bag and use that). Decorate each cookie with frosting “gauze” strips. 

Enjoy!


More about Lazarakia & Lazarus Saturday from around the web: 

Of red deserts and blue skies


Obviously, visiting the desert on the Sunday St. Mary of Egypt is not feasible for everyone, but when you live an hour away from Red Rock Canyon in the Mojave Desert, an afternoon of hiking there is a must.

The deep blue skies, the Liturgical color for feasts of the Theotokos, kept my mind on the Annunciation which is also celebrated on our calendar today. This picture, of many I took, stood out to me because of the solar flare. In most Annunciation icons there is usually a semi circle that represents the divine realm, from which three rays emerge. As I was going through my pictures from the day, it was yet another sweet little reminder. There are many ways to commemorate these two important days on our church calendar (most important being attending Liturgy or Typika, depending on your situation, of course).

In the past on Annunciation, I have had a potted flower exchange with friends to start a Theotokos themed prayer garden for the year or had the kids bring vases of flowers to place in front of the icon of the Theotokos.

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Feel free to share any special traditions you have for the Sunday of St. Mary of Egypt or Annunciation in the comments below!

Favorite ideas from around the web:

Namesdays and our Annual Photinia Hedge Photo

Our daughter’s saint is Marty Photini (the Samaritan woman, the first evangelist, and equal to the Apostles). On our calendar (OCA) her feast day is today (March 20), though I know it varies. There’s this plant called Photinia that blushes the bright red of the martyrs right around her feast day and I like to take a picture of our daughter in front of it every year to document, even if it means pulling over at a random hedge we spot when we are out of town. 


Many years to all the Photinis out there! What ways do you celebrate names days in your family? 

Sunday of St. John Climacus

I had a last minute idea and crowdsourced local stairwells accessible to the general public. I remembered a good one myself while waiting for responses. After running an errand, I took my daughter to my university alma mater to climb four stories in the library and enjoy the view at the top. We’re over halfway through Lent friends. Keep climbing up those steps and don’t let the demons get you down.