Celebrity Blogger Week: Maria Nolletti Ross

February 7, 2015
Tim Schenck

It's really too bad the pages in the back of this year's Saintly Scorecard aren't of the scratch 'n sniff variety. Because you'll find six delectable "Saintly Sprinkles" -- recipes from Lent Madness Resident Foodie Maria Nolletti Ross. All the recipes have connections to saints.

While we agree that they're all mouth-watering, please don't drool on the full-color, glossy, pull-out bracket. It hurts our feelings.

ImageMaria Nolletti Ross, Lent Madness Resident Foodie, received her training in her parents’ Italian/American, New York bakery and her home kitchen. She is a member of St. Andrew’s On-the-Sound Episcopal Church in Wilmington, North Carolina, where she serves as a lay reader and a youth-group volunteer. She lives with her husband, daughter, three cats, five koi, and a cell phone on which she too frequently texts her son at college. A member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators, Maria recently earned the Highlights for Children Author of the Month Award for her August 2014 story, “No Translation Needed.” She invites you to follow along with her as she studies the lives of the saints, uncovers their modern-day messages, and cooks up related recipes on her blog Saints and Recipes. You can find her on Facebook and Instagram (marianollettiross) and check out her Saints and Recipes Facebook page.

What do you most love about the extraordinary honor of being the Resident Foodie (besides global adulation)?
What I love most about being a part of Lent Madness is that this team of saintly nutjobs said to me, “Hey, you’re our kind of nutjob! Wanna play?”

What is the quirkiest thing you've learned about one of your saints and how does this inspire your mariafaith?
The seeming inconsistency of the love St. Francis of Assisi had for animals is to me one of his quirkiest and most inspiring characteristics. One time he saw two lambs tied up and destined for slaughter. He wept uncontrollably until his brothers begged for the coins needed to purchase the lambs and set them free. But often as a guest in someone’s home, especially on a feast day, he would be served roast lamb. He would eat it in earnest and with grateful acceptance of the generous gift of a meal at someone’s hearth because his great love for all life included human beings.

This inspires me to remember that no matter how passionate I am about my beliefs, sometimes it’s best to shut up and be gracious.

Downton Abbey or The Walking Dead and why?
Downton Abbey because zombies are scary, and I don’t need that kind of stress in my life.

Besides Lent Madness, what do you most look forward to in the season of Lent?
I most look forward to being intentional for the Lord during the season of Lent. In particular this year, after spending the last month catching up on general reading and other stuff from my pile o’ procrastination, I’m excited to get back to saintly research, writing, and cooking!

SEC NOTE: This picture of Maria with her daughter is not from an Adam and Eve pageant depicting Eve eating an Apple product.


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16 comments on “Celebrity Blogger Week: Maria Nolletti Ross”

  1. I'm going to have this tattooed on the inside of my arm: " . . . no matter how passionate I am
    about my beliefs, sometimes it’s best to shut up and be gracious." Looking forward to hearing
    more from this wise woman.

  2. Exactly. St Paul said be a good guest. Was in Africa and the mayor invited us air force guys to a dinner of goat, a signif sacrifice to his desert village. We could have been just as happy with a peanut butter sandwich, but it is the receiving of gifts that is just or more important sometimes. I don't know why I decided to open this lenten madness one, but thankx! I'll use this lent to be helpful to the folks who have been too long on the back burner...

  3. Maria,
    Great reading about you. I grew up in Wilmington and my Dad served as rector of St. Mark's for 25 years. During his retirement, he served as supply at St. Andrew's and both my parents are buried there as well as Rev. and Mrs. Daniel Allen.

  4. I love everything about this interview, especially, "What do you most love about the extraordinary honor of being the Resident Foodie (besides global adulation)?" Maria totally deserves global admiration. I know because I've had her cooking. 🙂

  5. I jumped ahead in the saintly sprinkles bonus section and baked the Hawaiian wedding cake. It was delicious. Thank you for sharing St. Kamehameha's story and the recipes. This week I'll bake St Francis' honey almond cookies. yum yum

  6. Bobbi, I'm glad you're having fun with the recipes! Remember that if you share your goodies with anyone at all, it counts as a Lenten discipline.

  7. I really appreciate utilizing laypeople as celebrity bloggers. In the past, mostly/only(?) priests/deacons(?) were used. That was nice but seminary didn't necessarily turn them into writers...I mean, a sermon is one thing and a blog is another. So, welcome Blogger #3.

    1. "Although not technically a Celebrity Blogger, we are using the term “Celebrity Blogger Week” to highlight all the members of the Lent Madness Team. Maria is our Resident Foodie whose recipes, or Saintly Sprinkles, can be found in the Saintly Scorecard: The Definitive Guide to Lent Madness 201So, we shall now get recipes! Lent Madness is expanding as will I when I try those recipes!

  8. Maria
    You're a woman after my own heart! I, too, am rooting for Joseph to win the Halo.
    Bread is my favorite food (followed closely by wine and cheese). And I am a graduate of the Education For Ministry course (I met my wife there). Good to see you back this year!

  9. Help! I want to know more about Maria's Communion Bread Baking Team at her church, and I don't do FaceBook (no time--see how long it took me to get around to writing this comment?). Maria, I'd love to hear from you!

  10. Hi Lucille!

    Since you didn't ask a specific question, I'll just ramble on a bit:

    Our Communion Bread Baking Team is an off-shoot of our Altar Guide. I'm one of four members, and I provide the bread for the fourth Sunday of each month. On a fifth Sunday, or if someone is traveling and unable to arrange a trade, we serve store-bought, whole-wheat pita bread.

    Our church has always provided real bread for Communion, but some folks prefer the wafers for a variety of reasons. For example, some clergy don't like the idea of real bread for Communion because they fear the crusty crumbs of say a French baguette that could get EVERYWHERE. So the real trick is to provide a bread with a soft crust and little potential for crumbage. (Yes, I did make up that word.)

    So you'd want to provide a loaf or two for a taste and breakage test. And I recommend that you offer to provide it on a small scale, for example at a Healing, Youth, or Saturday Evening Service. These are services in which people are more likely to be comfortable with a break in tradition.

    We bake the bread at home the day before, place it in a plastic bag once it's completely cool, and place it in the sacristy for use the next morning.

    The recipe I provided in the Saintly Scorecard will make one large loaf (for our 11:00) and two smaller loaves (for our 8:00 and 9:00).

    Anything else you'd like to know?

    Thanks for commenting!