Grace Before Meals: Recipes and Inspiration for Family Meals and Family Life [NOOK Book]


With just a few ingredients and a few hours of time, your kitchen can become the perfect setting not only for a delicious meal but for experiencing the greatest blessings in life.
In Grace Before Meals: Recipes and Inspiration for Family Meals and Family Life, Father Leo Patalinghug (yes, the same Father Leo who defeated Bobby Flay on Throwdown!) helps you make family meals a way of life. Combining more than 30 simple but delicious ...
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Grace Before Meals: Recipes and Inspiration for Family Meals and Family Life

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With just a few ingredients and a few hours of time, your kitchen can become the perfect setting not only for a delicious meal but for experiencing the greatest blessings in life.
In Grace Before Meals: Recipes and Inspiration for Family Meals and Family Life, Father Leo Patalinghug (yes, the same Father Leo who defeated Bobby Flay on Throwdown!) helps you make family meals a way of life. Combining more than 30 simple but delicious recipes related to personal milestones, family holidays, and faith observances, along with scriptural references and short essays offering wisdom on faith, values, and family togetherness, Father Leo shows that mealtime is the perfect setting for discussing the major issues all families face. In fact, research shows that frequent family dinners can reduce many risks facing children, including drug and alcohol abuse, teen pregnancy, depression, eating disorders, and poor academic performance. These are meals that nourish body and spirit.

From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Editorial Reviews

From Barnes & Noble
His parishioners know him as Father Leo Patalinghug, but Bobby Flay probably knows him as the cooking whiz who defeated him on Food Network's Throwdown! Father Leo's Grace Before Meals displays both sides of his personality in a cookbook that invites Christian families to share meals that nourish them in every sense of the word. This attractively illustrated cookbook contains 30 simple, delicious recipes for holidays and personal milestones, but also includes a wealth of gentle lessons on faith, values, communication, and dealing with personal problems. A cookbook that brings people together.
From the Publisher
“I can think of no greater pastoral and societal priority than the renewal of family life.  And I can think of no better place for this renewal to take place than around the dinner table.  Father Leo is leading the charge with his wise and practical book, Grace Before Meals.”
– Father Jonathan Morris, Fox News Analyst and Author of The Promise: God's Purpose and Plan for when Life Hurts
“Brilliant! Grace Before Meals is a delicious invitation to celebrate family and food in ways that will nourish both the body and the soul.”
– Matthew Kelly, New York Times bestselling author of The Rhythm of Life and Rediscovering Catholicism
“The "New Evangelization" proclaimed by Pope John Paul II takes the people of the Church into many different venues -- including, says Father Leo Patalinghug, the kitchen. And why not? The Master himself did a lot of his teaching over meals, and identified himself and his enduring love for his people with bread and wine. Catechetics-through-cooking might seem new, but it's as old as the Gospels, and in Father Leo, this ancient craft has an engaging 21st century practitioner.”
– George Weigel Distinguished Senior Fellow, Ethics and Public Policy Center
“I happily endorse Grace Before Meals by Father Leo E. Patalinghug. Father Patalinghug was a student of mine at the Pontifical North American College in Rome when I was rector. How pleased I am to learn that he is now nurturing and caring for both souls and bodies, the first through sacraments and the second through good cooking. Our human family and our supernatural family – the Church – will be strengthened.”
– Most Reverend Timothy M. Dolan, Archbishop of New York
“Through his amazing ministry and this wonderful new book, Father Leo Patalinghug has cooked up the perfect recipe for a fun, faith-filled and delicious family life.  This book is packed not only with delectable meals any family can prepare, but also with thought provoking commentary to get conversations flowing around your dinner table.  You'll enjoy Father Leo's culinary treats, his spiritual inspiration, and the great wit and good cheer with which he draws friends and family closer together to celebrate life, love and great food.”
– Lisa M. Hendey, Founder of and author of The Handbook for Catholic Moms
Grace Before Meals is much more than a motto or book title.  It’s really a conscious life choice to value the true worth of sharing meals with family and friends.  Fr. Patalinghug has beautifully captured the essence of what eating a meal with loved ones should be – a time to reflect, to be thankful to God for all He has given us and to take some time out of a busy day to truly connect with your family.  The book is equally inspirational as it is appetizing.”
– Thomas S. Monaghan, Chancellor & Founder of Ave Maria University
“Patalinghug is using his role as a budding celebrity chef to preach the importance of the dinner table in family life.”
The Washington Post
“Father Leo Patalinghug is looking to bring families closer together and closer to God using the simplest of recipes: Stir things up and have dinner together.”
National Catholic Register
“Grace Before Meals is a movement. A movement to get families back to the kitchen to feed each other – physically and spiritually.”
Catholic Digest
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780307717221
  • Publisher: The Crown Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 7/27/2010
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 176
  • Sales rank: 768,334
  • File size: 4 MB

Meet the Author

FATHER LEO PATALINGHUG is the driving force behind Grace Before Meals – a movement founded on the belief that shared meals strengthen relationships – as well as the star of the Grace Before Meals webisodes, a popular online video series. He often cooks diners for friends, students, and local parishioners, using these opportunities to build friendships and engage in relaxed conversations in the kitchen. In addition to his work with Grace Before Meals, Father Leo also serves on the faculty at Mount Saint Mary's Seminary and travels widely as a Catholic conference speaker.

From the Trade Paperback edition.
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Read an Excerpt

Table of Contents
Foreword: Never a Day Without Grace!
Introduction: Grace Before Meals
1. The Most Uplifting Throwdown – Accepting a Celebrity Chef ’s Challenge
2. Fresh Starts – New Year’s Day
3. One More Gift – Epiphany
4. Soups and Smiles – World Day of the Sick
5. Adjusting Focus – Ash Wednesday
6. Why Sacrifice? – Fridays of Lent
7. Good Job! – Rites of Passage
8. Heat and Light – Pentecost Sunday
9. Turning the Table – Mother’s Day
10. Burgers and Blessings – Memorial Day
11. Just Like Dad – Father’s Day
12. Be Mine – Feast of the Sacred Heart of Jesus
13. Living in Liberty – Independence Day
14. Generation to Generation – Grandparents’ Day
15. Only a Game – Winning and Losing
16. You’re Hired – Landing a First Job
17. Hurt and Healing – Relationships
18. Hopes and Hugs – Moving Out, Moving On
19. Priceless – Respect Life Sunday
20. Seeking Good – All Hallows’ Eve
21. New Creations – All Saints’ Day
22. Courage and Convictions – The Feast of Saint Francis
23. Goodness and Mercy – Thanksgiving Day
24. ’Tis the Season – Advent
25. Joy, Joy, Joy – Christmas
26. A Day in the Life of Families – Tackling the Throwdowns in Our Lives
Metric Conversion Chart
Recipe Index

Grace Before Meals: Recipes and Inspiration for Family Meals and Family Life
So he commanded the skies above; the doors of heaven he opened.
God rained manna upon them for food; bread from heaven he gave them.
All ate a meal fit for heroes; food he sent in abundance.
PSALM 78:23–25
If food is one of God’s bountiful blessings to His people, it only makes sense that the preparation of that food can also be a blessing, especially to our families. There are countless opportunities to teach and learn about God in every aspect of our relationship with food. From our earliest years, we can understand the miracle of growth as we sow seeds and watch them flourish under our watchful care, or prop a potato over a container of water and watch it sprout roots and leaves. As grandparents, we can pass on traditions flavored with secret recipes for the special cakes and pies that have been family favorites for longer than anyone remembers. Or perhaps we can tell the stories of times when God showed His goodness by providing “manna” for our family in times of trouble.
In between these two extremes of discovery and remembrance, the time spent in a kitchen preparing a meal as a family offers unmatchable opportunities to learn and talk about much more than measuring flour or chopping vegetables. Conversations come easily in a kitchen, and both parents and children often find it safer to have a heart-to-heart talk if they don’t have to be eye-to-eye while they’re doing it.
The inevitable shared successes and failures that come with the process of creating sauces and soufflés also serve a deeper purpose. They shrink the gaps in relationships stretched by packed schedules.
This edition of Grace Before Meals was created especially for families. Without being “preachy” or boring, parents can use these themed meals—from the obvious, like Thanksgiving, to the less obvious, like World Day of the Sick—to provide food for the soul as well as the stomach. Along with short essays, scriptures, and menus, you’ll find dozens of suggestions for transforming mealtime lessons into actions that respect children and teens, acknowledge their unique needs, and reinforce their connection to the family.
The best teachers, especially parents, never stop being students themselves. So it is our hope that you will be surprised by what you discover as you go through each chapter. Our prayer is that your own gifts and experience will be enriched as both you and your children learn how to prepare, serve, and enjoy meals that richly satisfy long after the meal is over and the kids have grown into adults.
Using This Book
Experiencing true grace before a meal is not limited to the prayer families say before they eat. It happens when you come together to cook, talk, and share blessings at your table! Here are a few hints to help make Grace Before Meals: Recipes and Inspiration for Family Meals and Family Life even more effective:
Satisfying Our Hungry Hearts
Each chapter begins with a brief passage from Sacred Scripture followed by a lesson or thought about the suggested event or holy day/holiday. From there, families have an opportunity to make the celebration happen by coming together to create not only a delicious meal, but great memories, too.
Let’s Talk
This list of questions can help families start conversations about the things that matter most to them, namely, what each of you believes. Some feel that families should not talk about religion, sports, or politics at the dinner table. I wholeheartedly disagree! These proposed questions allow your family to talk without fear, but with love!
Let’s Listen
God’s Word is alive and enlivening! These Scripture references give families an extra opportunity to consider God’s perspective on family life and holidays, or as some originally called them, “holy days.” Some families may even want to begin their family meal with one of the suggested passages or use it as a meditation throughout the week. This section reminds us that God does speak to us in our hearts, so let’s leave room for Him at our table.
Let’s Cook
The proposed menus come from my experiences while traveling, dining with my family, friends, and parishioners, and experimenting to satisfy my own cravings. Don’t feel obligated to use these exact menus in this exact order. Feel free to mix the recipes and ingredients based on your family’s taste buds, cravings, and dietary restrictions. In fact, feel free to make a completely different meal for your family, but don’t pass up the opportunity to share in the discussions. It is my hope that these recipes can inspire you to travel deeply in the journeys you all take in life and to experiment with your family’s cravings as well.
Fun Facts
Fun facts make life fun! That’s why we’ve highlighted some of our family-friendly ideas, cooking tips, and other fun facts. We hope you enjoy the colorful and easy-to-read format, because we want to help make your family experience fun, as a matter of fact!

Bon Appétit!

From the Trade Paperback edition.

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Customer Reviews

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Sort by: Showing all of 5 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 1, 2012

    Great gift!

    I saw this book at a local bookstore and ended up picking it up as a gift for my sister-in-law. I love Fr. Leo, and I love the movement he supports about having families share meals together. This book is great for families looking to return to traditional family meals together in a fun and unique way.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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