The Good Shepherd’s Garden Party :: Week One

by | Mar 25, 2010 | Good Shepherd's Garden Party | 13 comments

Week 1

“The Good Shepherd’s Pasture”

This Week’s Good Shepherd’s Garden Party Menu

Mini Shepherd Pies
Shepherd’s Crooks
God’s Sheep
Graham Cracker Gates
Ewe and Ram Cupcakes
Lamb’s Wool
Wolf Paw Cookies

Decorating Ideas

Lindt Chocolate Lamb Shaped Candies
or any type of Lamb Decoration

Recipes and Suggestions

1. The Good Shepherd

These Mini Shepherd Pies will make a cute main dish for our Garden Party! They can easily be made using a muffin pan and then the children can add little pieces of vegetables to make faces.

Mini Shepherd Pies


1 pound Ground Beef
1/2 cup Ketchup
1 tablespoon Worcestershire Sauce
1-1/2 cups Frozen Peas and Carrots Mixture
2 cups of Mashed Potatoes
1 tube Refrigerated Buttermilk Biscuits
Misc. Pieces of Vegetables for making a Shepherd’s Face (optional)


1. In a large skillet, over medium heat, sauté the ground beef for 6-8 minutes, or until meat is cooked through, stirring frequently to break up the meat. Drain if needed. Add ketchup and Worcestershire sauce and stir well to combine. Add peas and carrots and stir well to combine and defrost. Set aside.

2. Press 1 biscuit dough onto the bottom and up the sides of each of 10 greased muffin cups. Fill with beef mixture. Spread mashed potatoes over beef.

3. Bake at 375° for 20-25 minutes or until golden brown. Decorate with vegetables to create a Shepherd’s Face.

Photo Credits: Taste of Home and Disney

“I am the good shepherd; I know my own and my own know me, as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.” John 10:14-15

2. The Shepherd’s Crook

Shepherd’s Crook Breadsticks

1 tube of Refrigerated Breadstick Dough

Shape each section of breadstick dough into Shepherd’s Crooks. Bake as directed on package.

Photo Credit: Waltzing Matilda

“The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want; he makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters; he restores my soul. 
He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; 
 for thou art with me;
 thy rod and thy staff,
 they comfort me. Thou preparest a table before me
 in the presence of my enemies; thou anointest my head with oil; 
 my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
 all the days of my life,
 and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord
 for ever.” Psalm 23:1-6

3. The Sheepfold

Popcorn is white and fluffy, like sheep, and when air-popped, sometimes a piece of popcorn comes flying out of the popper and flies across the room, like a lost sheep. Remind the children that, like sheep, we wander astray sometimes. The fence protects the Shepherd’s sheep from straying from him. The bowl is like the fence for the popcorn.

God’s Sheep

Popcorn and Butter (optional)

Directions:  Air-pop the popcorn and serve it warm, if possible. Butter, if desired, can be melted in a saucepan on the stove.

Photo Credit: Shower of Roses

“Truly, truly, I say to you, he who does not enter the sheepfold by the door but climbs in by another way, that man is a thief and a robber; but he who enters by the door is the shepherd of the sheep. To him the gatekeeper opens; the sheep hear his voice, and he calls his own sheep by name and leads them out. When he has brought out all his own, he goes before them, and the sheep follow him, for they know his voice. A stranger they will not follow, but they will flee from him, for they do not know the voice of strangers. This figure Jesus used with them, but they did not understand what he was saying to them.” John 10:1-6

4. The Gate of the Sheepfold

Graham Cracker Gates

Graham Crackers,  Peanut Butter and Pretzel Sticks

Photo Credit: Waltzing Matilda

“So Jesus again said to them, Truly, truly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep. All who came before me are thieves and robbers; but the sheep did not heed them. I am the door; if any one enters by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” John 10:7-10

5. The Ewe and the Ram

The Ewe and the Ram Cupcakes

1 box white cake mix + ingredients listed on box
1 can fluffy white frosting
48 mini M&M’s
1 piece of bubblegum cut into little triangles (optional)
12 large marshmallows cut into half lengthwise and then again diagonally
1/2 bag miniature marshmallow cut into half

Bake cupcakes according to directions on package, cool and then frost.

For the Lamb: Arrange the halved mini marshmallows around the perimeter of each cupcake, in two circles. Leave room for ears on the edges, and an empty circle in the center for the face. Place halved full-sized marshmallows in reserved spots for the ears. Place two mini chocolate candies in upper half of each empty circle to make the eyes, and a bubble gum triangle or mini M&M for the nose.

For the Ram: Tint some frosting blue or any color of your choice. Pipe on a Ram horn with white frosting or melted white chocolate chips.

Photo Credits: Waltzing Matilda, Shower of Roses, and Red Velvet Armadillo

“When they had finished breakfast, Jesus said to Simon Peter, “Simon, son of John, do you love me more than these?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Feed my lambs.” A second time he said to him, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” He said to him, “Yes, Lord; you know that I love you.” He said to him, “Tend my sheep.” He said to him the third time, “Simon, son of John, do you love me?” Peter was grieved because he said to him the third time, “Do you love me?” And he said to him, “Lord, you know everything; you know that I love you.” Jesus said to him, “Feed my sheep.” John 21:15-17

6. The Lamb

This beverage, quite common in England from the high Middle Ages, was enjoyed on various festive occasions including the Christmas season. Unlike the wassail, it was a cold drink and it was simpler in contents, consisting of the juice of roasted apples mixed with spiced ale.

Lamb’s Wool
Recipe Source: The Catholic Cookbook


4 cups apple cider
1 stick cinnamon, 3 inches long
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/2 cup honey
3 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1 can (18 ounces) pineapple juice


Heat cider, cinnamon in a deep saucepan. Bring to boil; reduce heat and simmer 3 minutes. Add remaining ingredients. Simmer until heated through. Cool. Pour into punch bowl. Yield, 15 servings.

The next day again John was standing with two of his disciples; and he looked at Jesus as he walked, and said, “Behold, the Lamb of God!” John 1:35-36

7. The Wolf

Wolf Paw Cookies

1 package Voortman’s Iced Almonette Cookies
Chocolate Almond Bark or Chocolate Chips, melted for dipping
White Chocolate Chips (or white frosting) to use for claws

Dip one side of each cookie into melted chocolate. Add 4 or 5 white chocolate chips for the claws. (Wolfs have 4 claws on the back paws and 5 on the front.) Let cool.

Note: You may want to place the cookies onto wax or parchment paper to cool, so they don’t stick to your serving platter.

Option: Substitute with Pepperidge Farm Tahiti Cookies and White Chocolate Frosting.

Photo Credit: Shower of Roses and Waltzing Matilda

“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for his sheep. He who is a hireling and not a shepherd, whose own the sheep are not, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf snatches them and scatters them.” John 10:11-12

Shopping List

Fresh Produce:
Lemon (3 Tbs juice + 1 tsp rind)
Misc. Small Pieces of Vegetables (Such as: Carrots, Cucumbers, Peas, Red Pepper)

Meat Department:
1-pound ground beef

Dairy & Refrigerated Items:
Butter (for popcorn, optional)
1 tube Buttermilk Biscuits
1 tube Breadstick Dough
1 pkg (24 oz) Mashed Potatoes,
or use leftover Mashed Potatoes

Frozen Peas & Carrots Mixture

Canned & Dry Goods:
Peanut Butter

Ground Nutmeg
Cinnamon (1 stick, 3” long)

Ketchup (1/3 cup)
Cider vinegar (1 Tbs)
Worcestershire Sauce

Baking Supplies:
1 box white cake mix + ingredients listed on box
1 can fluffy white frosting
1 bag mini M&M’s
12 large marshmallows
1/2 bag miniature marshmallow
1/2 cup honey
Chocolate Almond Bark or Chocolate Chips
White Chocolate Chips (or white frosting) to use for claws

Graham Crackers
Pretzel Sticks

Cookies & Sweets:
1 pkg Iced Almonette Cookies (Voortman’s )
1 piece of bubblegum (optional)
Lindt Chocolate Lambs (optional)

Apple Cider (4 cups)
1 can (18 ounces) Pineapple Juice

You can download this post in a printable form here

A Mr. Linky will be posted at Catholic Cuisine on Monday April 12th for anyone who would like to share their photos with everyone!


  1. Anonymous

    sounds like a yummy menu!

    got a good subsitute for the shepherds pie my girls wont eat it and i'm vegetarian?

  2. Charlotte (WaltzingM)

    We're not vegetarians, but I have heard that cooked lentils are a good substitute for ground beef. Maybe even combined with some rice to help soak up the extra moisture.

    It really is up to each family to decide what works best for them. Feel free to be as creative with these ideas as you need to be!

  3. Lena

    I'm loving your organization and pro-activeness.


    Pax Christi – Lena

  4. Kelly

    My BIL is vegetarian and they use lentils instead of ground beef.

    Jessica and Charlotte ~ you're two amazing women!!!

  5. Tiny Actions

    This is fabulous! Thank you dear ladies for doing all the pre-planning. Charolette and Jessica you two are my angel helpers 🙂 I greatly appreciate it!

  6. Anonymous

    thanks for the lentil suggestion can't believe i couldn't think of that 🙂

    thanks for all your hard work we are super excited about this! 🙂

  7. Erin

    This looks great!!

    For the Shepherd's Pie recipe… do you combine the potato flakes with leftover mashed potatoes, or do you just use one or the other? I noticed it said "potato mixture" and didn't understand what that meant.

    Thanks for planning and sharing this so far in advance!!

  8. Jessica Gordon

    Erin, yes, it is just one or the other… We combined a couple recipes to come up with the one in this post (the filling from one recipe and the shell from another) and one of those recipes did have a "potato mixture" which had some crushed potato chips mixed in… We wanted to keep it as simple as possible and so you just need regular mashed potatoes, which ever way you prefer to make them!

  9. Shirley

    Thank you for making this SOOOOO easy for the rest of us!

  10. Jessica Gordon

    Thanks everyone! This has been so fun to plan and I've really enjoyed getting to talk to Charlotte often, as we brainstorm ideas! 🙂

    I'm still in awe over some of the things she is able to come up with… Aren't the Graham Cracker Gates darling?!

  11. Kimberly Lottman

    This is wonderful and the girls and I are so excited! I may be having a hysterectomy in the midst of the 50 days of Easter celebrations, but we will do what we can! If not, I plan to print it all out and have it filed away for next year!


  12. The Thomas Family

    This is amazing ladies. Thank you for extending our Easter activities this year. This week so far we are doing one activity a day. Today we actually are doing two–it's a good day:)
    For all of the Cajun families in Louisiana (or any one familiar with our products) for the Shepherds pie–we will be using our Cajun Power Sloppy Boudreaux for our meat mixture. YUMMY!!!! Looking forward to next week!!!! Easter Peace to you all!!!!

  13. Tiffany

    Jessica- Your creativity is such a Divine Gift! Thank you for sharing your gifts with us….Everything is beautiful:)


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Hi! I'm Jessica, a Roman Catholic wife and home educating mother to our nine children. I was home educated myself, along with my eleven younger siblings. I have a special devotion to St. Therese, through whom I have been given much help and many blessings--the beautiful "Shower of Roses" that she has sent my way! Here I will record a few of the blessings I treasure. Please remember that what you see here is just a little glimpse at our lives, so please say a prayer for us, as we continue to strive for holiness.

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