Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Butternut Squash Soup


Delicious and creamy, Butternut Squash Soup is amazing. Baked butternut squash, diced onions, celery, carrots and a few other things come together to make this awesome soup.

Farmers markets are great places to find seasonal ingredients, such as butternut squash, so stop by your favorite market and pick one up. Butternut Squash Soup makes a great cup of soup with a grilled cheese sandwich, or serve it for dinner with a side salad.

I made some Italian Bread Bowls to serve ours in; they are fun to eat out of and bonus, you can eat the bowl!

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Cheeseburger Minced Meat Sandwiches


This has all the components of a cheeseburger, only in a minced meat sandwich. Ground beef, diced onions, diced dill pickle, pickle juice, ketchup, mustard, Worcestershire sauce, salt and pepper all come together to make this delicious, easy sandwich.

Hearty enough for dinner, these cheeseburger minced meat sandwiches are quick and easy to make, kid-friendly and delicious. They are also very budget-friendly using just a few everyday ingredients. Serve them on a toasted bun, or they even taste great on white sandwich bread!

Friday, December 1, 2017

Bottom of the Jam Jar Vinaigrette


Take your favorite jam, any flavor, and turn it into a vinaigrette. Say what? Oh my gosh, I love this. Since I make so many different jams over the year, this was a fantastic discovery. Who knew?

So easy to do, and very versatile. When you get down to the bottom of the jam jar, make this simple vinaigrette, or don't wait. Just scoop out a heaping tablespoon of your favorite jam anytime.

This also makes a great "sauce" to brighten up grilled chicken, pork, or shrimp. Simply drizzle some on while grilling, and serve more on the side for dipping.

Thursday, November 16, 2017

Cranberry Orange Jam


Plump sweet, tart and tangy cranberries make their appearance every fall, and are oh so good for you. Full of antioxidants and other good for you stuff, it just makes sense to turn them into a  jam you can enjoy long past the holidays.

Since cranberries have a lot of natural pectin, there is no pectin required for this recipe ... see? Easy!

This jam is not overly sweet. It is delicious on scones or English muffins,  over cream cheese on crackers, basted on grilled or roasted poultry, as an accompaniment to turkey, ham or pork, what's not to love?

Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Discovering Gorget Distilling Company - Revolutionize Your Spirit


I always find it amazing what you can find right outside your back door, if you take the time to look. For a  few years now we've been traveling to local farms, markets and real food establishments to learn about their processes, discovering the best of South Carolina small family farms, farmers markets and "real food stores" who source their products from local farms and markets.

We've traveled all over the state, from one farm or farmers market to another, and recently decided to branch out exploring wineries who are making amazing wines from their scuppernog or muscadine grapes, visiting both The Winery at Mercer House and Enoree River Winery.

And then I read about Gorget Distilling Company and couldn't wait to go visit. As they say on their website:

"Gorget Distilling’s name has a unique tie to both South Carolina and the birth of our country as a nation. The word gorget means a piece of armor worn around the throat in battle. At the beginning of the Revolutionary War, William Moultrie was commissioned to design a flag to signal South Carolina troops. He took the blue from the soldier’s uniform and the crescent shape from the cap, designing the Moultrie or Liberty Flag. Gorget Distilling Co. was founded in 2015 by three local gentlemen who wanted to create not only a buzz about the gorget, but a following for their fine, handmade, local spirits. Isn’t it about time you #Revolutionizeyourspirit??

The grains they use come from local farms in the surrounding area, and their corn is crushed at Boykin Mill, a 100 + year old water powered stone mill, which is a local historic mill; how cool is that?

"At Boykin Mill, corn is ground today as it has been for 200 years. Water rushing through the spillway behind the dam of the mill pond is channeled through 100-year-old turbines to power the mill. The corn is crushed between two ancient millstones which are hand dressed with with notched surfaces, and which weigh a ton each. These rotate slowly, maintaining a cool temperature to retain the essential oils and preserve the delicious flavor of the corn."

So on a nice Saturday in early November, a small group of us met at Gorget Distilling Company for a tour and tasting. 

We arrived at 1 p.m. and were met by our host for the day, Hugh Thomas, one of the owners and the Distiller. After introductions all around, we began our tour, which was fascinating. 

Did you know?  To be vodka it has to come out of the distillery at 190 proof or higher. The distillery's rum tanks hold 136 gallons, and bourbon takes a year in the barrels and is aged in a new barrel each time. 

When making whiskey or rum, which also takes a year, the barrel can be used about 2-3 times, then they sell the barrels to breweries to use. So cool.

Then we tasted! For the nominal fee of  $5 per person we tasted a dozen of their liquors, from the award-winning silver rum to vodka, flavored rums, and moonshine. While I enjoyed all of them, my personal favorites are the silver rum and vodka.

Gorget Distilling Company sells all their liquors on site, as well as has them available at retailers in the area. They also have a nice selection of T-shirts, ball caps, beautiful glasses, and other items for customers to purchase. 

When you see the "certified South Carolina product" label on their bottle, you know you are getting a local, handcrafted product, produced right here in South Carolina, and that's fantastic. Anytime you can shop local and support local is a win-win, for yourself, your community, and the local business you are supporting.

Until our next adventure ...


© Cooking with Mary and Friends. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cooking with Mary and Friends with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Monday, November 13, 2017

Rib-Eye Tomahawk Steak


You owe it to yourself to try this "show stopper" Rib-Eye Tomahawk Steak just once. Perfect for special occasions, dinners for two, or any other time you want a caveman-sized cut of beef.

This fabulous steak came from our friends at Boss Farms, LLC - a Certified South Carolina Grass-Fed Angus Beef farm. You just can't beat it for texture or flavor.  Take a look at what they say on their website:

Boss Farms Beef is an excellent healthy protein choice for Grass Finished Beef. Our cattle are the Aberdeen heritage Certified Black Angus. They are smaller in their frame therefore the portion size is more appropriate for most.  They peacefully graze on high quality, high protein grasses.  We process the grass finished steers at a USDA Inspected Processor where they are dry aged and vacuum packaged into individual cuts and flash frozen to lock in the flavor ready for your freezer. When you eat Boss Farms beef you are benefiting from:
Low in saturated fat and cholesterol
Rich in Omega-3 Essential Fatty Acids
Rich in Conjugated Linoleic Acid
High in Vitamin B complex
(niacin, riboflavin, and B12)
High in Vitamins A and E
Rich in Zinc, Iron, and Digestible Protein
High in all Nine Essential Amino Acids
Free of Preservatives
Free of Antibiotics and Hormones

Buying grass-fed beef from a local farm or market is many times more expensive, but so worth that expense for superior taste. Don't "settle" for an inferior product. Support your local farms; you'll be happy you did.

The benefits? You know how the beef was raised, you can shake the hand of the farmer who raised the beef, and many times you can tour their farm to see their operation first-hand. You can't get more transparent than that, and the taste, the taste is far superior. This is PRIME beef, the best of the best, and all of us deserve it.

Friday, October 27, 2017

Apples 'n Spiced Rum Sauce


Almost nothing is better than apples in a delicious spiced rum sauce. It just pairs so well with a variety of sweet treats from ice-cream to pound cake;  heat a little up and spoon it on top, AH MAZ ING!

For savory dishes, this would be great with a roasted pork, lamb or baked ham. Mmmmmm yumm.

I chose to make this as a "small batch" but the best part is the recipe is easily doubled. Simply cook the apples and sauce down until the sauce is slightly thickened, add to jars and process.

2-3 large honeycrisp apples (or any firm, crunchy apple), peeled, cored and chopped, approx. 3 cups 
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup spiced rum (I used Captain Morgan)

Place prepared apples in a large saucepan with the sugars, cinnamon and spiced rum. Bring to a boil, stirring often.

Reduce heat slightly, but keep mixture at a low boil for approx. 20-30 minutes, stirring often. Sauce will reduce some and thicken slightly.

Ladle apples and sauce mixture into 8 oz canning jars, evenly distributing the apples and sauce between the jars leaving a 1/4" head-space. Top jars with lids and bands and process in a boiling water bath or steam canner 10 minutes.

Remove jars and let cool undisturbed on you kitchen counter top 24 hours. Jars are sealed when button on lid is completely depressed and won't flex up or down. 

Store in pantry up to one year. Opened jars need to be refrigerated.

Yield: 3-4 eight ounce jars, recipe is easily doubled.


© Cooking with Mary and Friends. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Cooking with Mary and Friends with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.