Thursday, May 18, 2017

Strawberry Jalapeno Jam


Sweet and savory with a bit of a kick, this Strawberry Jalapeno Jam is the perfect jam to serve over cream cheese on crackers, baste on a grilled pork tenderloin, or chicken wings.

I always use farm fresh berries for my jams, and these strawberries are from my friends at Willard Farms. Here in South Carolina, the strawberry season began very early in 2017, with some of us getting our first "fresh from the fields" strawberries in early March. Sadly, the season is very short-lived and typically ends here in late May ( I have a lot of strawberries I flash froze and placed in food saver bags so I can enjoy them year round).

The possibilities are endless, so put your culinary juices to work to incorporate this jam into your next dish.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Pineapple Barbecue Pork Tenderloin


Quick, easy and delicious, this recipe combines your favorite barbecue sauce and crushed pineapple, or pineapple chunks finely diced, in an amazing sauce to baste on pork tenderloin.

Since a pork tenderloin averages 1 1/2 pounds, it cooks in less than 30 minutes, making this a great dinner option any day of the week.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Strawberries 'n Cream Pie


Amazing creamy strawberry dessert, very light and full of fruity deliciousness!

I used fresh strawberries from a local family farm, Willard Farms, I purchased and froze, but you can use either fresh or frozen strawberries.

Be sure to use fresh whipped cream you make from heavy cream for best results. The pie is best kept frozen, so remove it from the freezer and let it sit at room temperature for about 20-30 minutes for slicing to serve. It is a soft, creamy pie, with a melt in your mouth texture.

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Grilled Lamb Kofta Kebabs


Every region of the Middle East has their favorite version of Kofta Kebabs. Mostly they are made with ground lamb, herbs and spices, but occasionally you'll find them made with ground beef or veal. 

When we were stationed in Berlin, Germany many years ago, there was a large Turkish population residing there that produced an abundance of street foods, from Doner Kebabs to these Kofta Kebabs. 

These are so quick and easy to make, and delicious to eat. They are the perfect "grill time" treat to make and enjoy, and I know my family and I will enjoy these many times over the hot summer here in South Carolina!

1 lb ground lamb
1 small onion, finely diced or minced
1 tsp mint leaves
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp allspice
1 Tbls parsley
1/2 tsp course-ground black pepper
Wooden Skewers (soaked in cold water)

Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl, combining thoroughly. Divide mixture into 6 balls and shape each into ovals. Insert a wooden skewer into each oval, and using your hands, continue to shape and press tightly around skewer.

Grill kebabs over medium-high heat turning often, 6-8 minutes or until cooked through. Serve immediately while hot.


© 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.

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Quick Pickles - April Challenge


A group of us are participating in a year long Food in Jars Mastery Challenge hosted by Marisa of Food in Jars, and April was Quick Pickle Month.

So what is a quick pickle? Quick pickles are also known as refrigerator pickles. They are simply vegetables (or fruits) that are pickled in a vinegar, water, and salt (sometimes sugar, too) solution and stored in the refrigerator. Quick pickles don't develop the deep flavor that fermented pickles do, but they also only require a few days in the brine before they can be enjoyed. Quick pickles also do not require canning when refrigerated.

Cool, briny pickles straight from the fridge are one of the simplest pleasures of summer. Quick pickling is also a brilliant solution for preserving a plethora of vegetables from the market or your garden. Quick pickling doesn't require canning or a bushel of vegetables. Best of all, you can adapt this simple formula for any fresh vegetables; try a mixture of vinegars and spices for a truly custom pickle pleasure.

Pickling is best done with super-fresh vegetables or fruits. Save the slightly bruised specimens for soups or other forms of preservation. Almost any vegetable or fruit can be pickled, and the shape you choose to pickle in is entirely up to you. For example, carrots can be peeled and sliced into matchsticks or coins. Cherry tomatoes are best preserved whole. Green vegetables, such as green beans or asparagus, can be blanched in boiling water for two to three minutes and then shocked in an ice bath to preserve their color, but this step is purely optional. (source: The Kitchn)

So off we set to make Quick Pickles! It was fascinating to see what each of us came up with. We had everything from pickled avocado, to broccoli, garlic, 3 bean salad, green beans, zucchini, cauliflower, eggs, peas and carrots and so much more! Just take a look!

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Crunchy Dill Pickles


Finally I have crunchy dill pickles. I have tried all kinds of recipes, and while I enjoy all the ones I've made, I love this one for their tangy, crunchy dill flavor!

I've always wondered if salting was the key, and it certainly is, just as I discovered last year when I made my Old Fashioned Southern Squash Pickles. What a difference some time in salt water makes! You have to try it to believe it.

Monday, April 17, 2017

Old-Fashioned Pound Cake


Did you know? Pound cake refers to a type of cake traditionally made with a pound of each of four ingredients: flour, butter, eggs, and sugar. However, any cake made with a 1:1:1:1 ratio, by weight, of flour, butter, eggs, and sugar may also be called a pound cake, as it yields the same results. Pound cakes are generally baked in either a loaf, bundt or tube pan, and served either dusted with powdered sugar, lightly glazed, or sometimes with a coat of icing.

It is believed that the pound cake is a northern European dish, that dates back to the early 1700s. A recipe for pound cake is in the first American cookbook, American Cookery, which was published in 1796.

There are numerous variations on the traditional pound cake, with certain countries and regions having distinctive styles. These can include the addition of flavoring agents (such as vanilla extract or almond extract) or dried fruit (such as currants or dried cranberries), as well as alterations to the original recipe to change the characteristics of the resulting pound cake. For instance, baking soda or baking powder may be incorporated to induce leavening during baking, resulting in a less dense pound cake. A cooking oil (typically a vegetable oil) is sometimes substituted for some or all of the butter, which is intended to produce a moister cake. Sour cream pound cake is a popular variation in the United States, which involves the substitution of sour cream for some of the butter, which also is intended to produce a moister cake with a tangy flavor. Some of these variations may drastically change the texture and flavor of the pound cake, but the name pound cake is often still used.

My family loves pound cake and we enjoy eating it plain or topped with strawberries and whipped cream for a delicious spring and summer treat.

This pound cake is rich, buttery, and deliciously decadent. It's an old-fashioned timeless recipe, one I am sure you will make over and over again ... and don't change a thing, it comes out perfect every single time just the way it is!

6 farm fresh eggs
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
3 cups sugar
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup whipping (heavy) cream
1 tsp real vanilla extract

Grease and flour, or spray with baking spray, tube (or bundt) pan and set out eggs and butter to allow them to come to room temperature.

In a large bowl, cream the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating for one minute after each addition. Sift the flour and add it to the creamed mixture alternately with the whipping cream. Mix until fully incorporated; stir in vanilla.

Pour into prepared pan and place in a cold oven. Turn the oven to 300 and bake for 80-90 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Cool completely before removing from pan.

Original recipe adapted from Southern Plate


© 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.