Where food and faith come together

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By: Gwen Ragno
Recipes tested by Becky Fain, Lori Akey, Jen Price and Mary Wendzonka

Becky Fain/Flavor 574

As Good Friday and Easter approach, many of our readers are getting ready to gather with family and friends for special meals to honor the holiday. After all, one of the things we love most about holidays is the excuse to spend quality time making and eating good, wholesome food. 

“Sunday Dinners: Food, Family, and Faith from Our Favorite Pastors” is a cookbook written by Elkhart County native (and former South Bend Tribune features editor) Diane Cowen that gathers together family recipes from 13 well-known pastors. Cowen, who now works at the Houston Chronicle, highlights not only the food itself, but also the tradition behind Sunday meals and each family’s unique stories, prayers and personalities around the dinner table. 

To explore the cookbook, a few of us here at Flavor 574 chose a recipe from the book to try. Together, we made a four-course meal, though at four different homes. Here’s what our recipe testers thought. 

Strawberry Salad with Vinaigrette

Recipe from Rev. Randy and Rozanne Frazee of Oak Hills Church in San Antonio, Tex.

Tested by Becky Fain: “It was quite delicious! I wasn’t sure about the dressing, but ended up really liking it. Had I known salad dressing is that easy to make, I would have never wasted money buying it. I couldn’t get the kiddos to try the salad, but they did munch on the strawberries and cheese. I’m going to make it again and bring to Easter dinner this Sunday.” 

Spinach Frittata

Recipe from Rev. Dr. Jim and Barb Dixon of Cherry HIlls Community Church in Highlands Ranch, Colo.

Tested by Lori Akey: “In general, it was really good! I would add a few more spices next time.”

Potato Salad

Recipe from Pastors Samuel and Eva Rodriguez of New Season Christian Worship Center and Cantico Nuevo in Elk Grove, Calif. 

Tested by Jen Price: “I used yellow potatoes and a Granny Smith apple, and added the optional paprika. Seriously so yummy! It tasted like deviled eggs with the perfect amount of sweet tartness to balance out the potato.”

Flan de Queso (Cheese Flan) 

Recipe from Pastors Samuel and Eva Rodriguez of New Season Christian Worship Center and Cantico Nuevo in Elk Grove, Calif.

Tested by Mary Wendzonka: “It’s very good—a smooth, creamy texture with a nice vanilla flavor. It reminds me of a custard flavor. And it was very quick and easy. I would make it again. The recipe said to stir the sugar often while caramelizing it—I stirred it too much, so it clumped and then took too long to melt. The result was a hard toffee which stuck to the pan, leaving my flan with very little topping. Next time I would barely stir it. In my oven, it took closer to 80 minutes to bake.”

You can find “Sunday Dinners” by Diane Cowen at Better World Books or anywhere else books are sold. Check back tomorrow for an interview with the author. 

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