Monday, May 28, 2012

Zucchini Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yum

Delicious, moist cake.  Perfect way to use up some summer fresh zucchini!

Recipe

Ingredients
2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking soda
1 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. baking powder
3 tsp. ground cinnamon
3 eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups white sugar
2 cups grated zucchini
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease one 13 x 9-inch baking pan.

Combine eggs, oil, sugar, grated zucchini, and vanilla. Beat until well mixed. Stir in the flour, baking soda, salt, baking powder, and cinnamon and mix until just combined. Stir in the chopped nuts. Pour batter into prepared pan.

Bake at 350 degrees for 45 minutes.

Cream Cheese Frosting Recipe:
1/4 cup butter, softened
4 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 cups confectioners' sugar
1-2 tsp cream or milk
Beat well until of spreading consistency.


Enjoy,
Mary

Creamy Cucumber Salad with Dill

Yum

Super-easy, delicious way to enjoy all those yummy cucumbers.  This recipe has German origins and is one we've enjoyed many times.  It is extremely adaptable and can be cut in 1/2, doubled or even tripled.  Enjoy!

Ingredients
3 med. cucumbers, sliced
1 med. sweet onion, thinly sliced
1 tbls. sugar
1 c. sour cream
1/2 c. white wine vinegar (or plain white vinegar will do)
1 tbls. fresh dill, chopped (I use McCormick's Dill Weed if you don't have fresh)
1/2 tsp. salt
Dash pepper

Method
In a bowl make alternating layers of cucumbers and sliced onion, sprinkling with chopped dill (may need to adjust for your taste by adding more or less dill). 

Combine sour cream, sugar, white wine vinegar, salt and pepper. Pour over cucumbers. 

Let chill at least 4 hours. Easy!

Enjoy,
Mary

Friday, May 25, 2012

Cherry Church Salad

Yum

Although it's called Cherry Church Salad, it's fondly known as "pink stuff" in our house!  Light, delicious summer side dish, perfect for all types of backyard barbecues or gatherings. 

Ingredients
1 can cherry pie filling
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 small can crushed pineapple (with juice)
2 cups mini-marshmallows
1 cup shredded coconut
1 cup chopped pecans
1 8-oz. container cool whip

Method
Toss all ingredients together in any order in a large mixing bowl.  Stir until combined.  Chill for an hour or 2 before serving.  (Always better the next day)!

Enjoy,
Mary

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Chinese Chicken and Broccoli

Yum


Quick, easy, delicious anytime dinner!


Recipe

Ingredients
4-6 boneless, skinless chicken tenders, cut into 1" cubes
1 bunch fresh broccoli, cut into pieces
1-2 Tbls. Teriyaki sauce
1-2 Tbls. cornstarch
1 1/2-2 cups chicken stock
roasted peanuts or cashews

Method
Marinade chicken tender cubes in Teriyaki sauce for 20-30 minutes. In a large non-stick fry pan, cook chicken and Teriyaki sauce until chicken is cooked through. Sprinkle cornstarch over all and add chicken stock, stirring to blend smoothly and sauce thickens. 

Reduce heat and toss in fresh broccoli pieces, stirring to coat.  Cook a few more minutes or until broccoli is just tender-crisp.  Toss in peanuts or cashews and stir a few times to coat.

Remove from heat and serve immediately over cooked white rice.

Enjoy,
Mary

© 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.


Saturday, May 19, 2012

Nana Jester's Pound Cake

Yum

This is my great-grandmother's, Nana Jester's, pound cake recipe!  You know the kind where she added a handful of this and a pinch of that, and it turned into this delicious, dense and slightly "spongy" old-fashioned pound cake?  

Great served with sliced strawberries and whipped cream, or a dollop of ice-cream with some fudge sauce!



Let's make the cake!















Place butter (room temp) in mixing bowl















Cream butter















After 10 minutes looks like egg whites















Beat in sugar















Add eggs one at a time















Eggs all beaten in















Flour, sugar, nutmeg, salt and vanilla all beaten in





















Don't forget the Brandy!















Place batter into prepared pan (I use Baker's Joy Baking Spray)















All baked!  Yes, mine always cracks in the middle!














Ready to slice and top with strawberries and whipped cream or ice-cream and fudge sauce!

Ingredients
1/2 lb. butter (2 sticks)
1 2/3 cup sugar
5 eggs
pinch salt
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp. mace or nutmeg
1/3 cup brandy or dark rum
2 cups flour

Method
Cream butter to the consistency of egg whites, about 10 minutes (this is very important); add sugar gradually.

Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition.

Add flour and salt and fold into mixture. Add vanilla and brandy.  Batter will be thick.

Pour out into prepared 9" loaf pan or small tube pan, sprayed with baking spray.

Bake in 325 degree oven 1 hour and 10 minutes or until toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

Allow to cool about 10 minutes, then remove from pan and continue cooling on baking rack.

Enjoy,
Mary

© 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.


Friday, May 18, 2012

Triple Dipped Fried Chicken

Yum
Super crucnhy, crusty fried chicken!  Original recipe adapted from Paula Deen.

















Ingredients

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoons garlic salt
1/2 tablespoon ground black pepper

1 1/3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tbls Texas Pete (or more if you like spicy)
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 egg yolks, beaten
1 1/2 cups beer

1 quart vegetable oil for frying
1 (3 pound) whole chicken, cut into pieces (or chicken breast tenders - I used 11-12 tenders)

Buttermilk for soaking chicken pieces prior to frying. I put the chicken tenders in a zip-loc bag and let sit for 4 hours or more in the refrigerator.


Method

In one medium bowl, mix together 2 cups of flour, garlic salt, 1/2 tablespoon black pepper. In a separate bowl, stir together 1 1/3 cups flour, Texas Pete Hot Sauce, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, egg yolks and beer. You may need to thin with additional beer if the batter is too thick.
2. Heat the oil in a deep-fryer to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Dip chicken in the dry mix. Shake off excess and dip in the wet mix, then dip in the dry mix once more.
3. Carefully place the chicken pieces in the hot oil. Fry for 9-10 min. (if using chicken tenders) or longer for bone-in chicken (chicken pieces will float to the top when done) or until well browned. Smaller pieces will not take as long. Large pieces may take longer. Remove and drain on paper towels before serving.

Thursday, May 17, 2012

Homemade Vanilla Chocolate Chip Ice-Cream

Yum
The hubs is an excellent ice-cream maker!  This is his recipe! Delicious, creamy, yummy ice-cream!


















Ingredients
4 jumbo farm fresh eggs
2 cups sugar
1 qt. heavy cream
2 cups 1/2 and 1/2
2 tbls. vanilla extract
2 cups mini-chocolate chips

Method
Beat well 4 eggs with wire whisk. Add 1/2 cup sugar at a time to eggs, thorougly beating with each addtion until sugar is all combined. Add heavy cream and mix.  Add 1/2 and 1/2, mix well; add vanilla and mix.  Churn mixture in ice-cream maker according to directions.  Stir in mini-chocolate chips.  Freeze until set.

Enjoy,
Mary

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Strawberry Dream Squares

Yum

I just love when strawberries are in season. They are so delicious and versatile able to be used in a number of recipes from salads to desserts. This is a delicious summer dessert, and one of our favorites.

Recipe

Ingredients

12 graham crackers, finely crushed (about 2 cups)
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
1/4 cup sugar
1 cup fresh or frozen mashed strawberries
3 cups thawed cool whip or whipped cream, divided
2 pkg. (3.4 oz. each) vanilla instant pudding
3-1/2 cups cold milk


Method
Mix graham cracker crumbs and butter. Reserve 2 Tbsp. crumb mixture; press remaining onto bottom of 13×9-inch pan. Refrigerate while preparing filling.

Beat cream cheese and sugar until well blended. Stir in strawberries. Gently stir in 2 cups cool whip or whipped cream; spread over crust.

Beat pudding mixes and milk with whisk 2 minutes. Pour over cream cheese filling.

Refrigerate 1 hour; top with remaining cool whip or whipped cream and reserved crumb mixture.

Refrigerate 4 hours before serving.

Enjoy,
Mary

© 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.


Sunday, May 13, 2012

Whipped Strawberry Dessert

Yum

A trip out to my local strawberry farm always involves a group of friends, and a pre-order to pick up berries already to go in gallon buckets! Yes, it costs a bit more, but is so worth it as far as time is concerned.


After I get home with my strawberries I refrigerate them until I'm ready to begin putting them up in one way or the other. I usually stem and flash freeze a tray of them, and put the frozen solid berries into zip top bags to freeze and use another time. Then I tackle a few recipes to make with them fresh, such as this delicious, yummy strawberry dessert!

Ingedients
1 - 8 oz cream cheese
1/4-1/3 cup sugar
1 - 8 oz extra creamy cool whip or 2 cups fresh whipped cream
1 graham cracker crumb crust, buttery nut crust, or  pie crust (directions below)
2 cups fresh sliced strawberries (room temperature)
Additional sliced strawberries to serve over top

Crust -
Graham Cracker Crumb Crust
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup sugar, 5 tbls butter melted
Mix together and press into 9 x 9-inch pan. Chill in freezer 5-10 minutes before filling

Buttery Nut Crust
1 cup flour, 1/3 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup chopped pecans or walnuts, 1/2 cup butter melted.
Preheat oven to 350. Mix all ingredients in a baking pan and cook 15 minutes, stirring 2-3 times during baking. Remove and cool 10 minutes, reserving 1/2 cup to sprinkle on top. Press remainder into a 9 x 9-inch baking dish sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

Pie Crust
1 1/2 cups flour, pinch salt, 1/2 cup shortening, 4 tbls. cold water
Mix flour and salt, cut in shortening until mixture resembles course crumbs. Add cold water and stir with a fork just until dough comes together. Flour a work surface and roll dough out to fit into 9 x 9-inch pan (don't worry about being perfect or too picky). Prick bottom of crust in several places with a fork and bake at 475 for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool completely before adding filling.

Method
Beat softened cream cheese until creamy; add sugar and beat until well blended.  On low speed, mix in 2 cups sliced strawberries.  Fold in 1- 8 oz container extra creamy cool whip or 2 cups whipped cream.  Spoon mixture into pan on top of crust and smooth out.

Freeze until set; about 1 hour. Store in refrigerator. Garnish with fresh sliced strawberries when serving.


Enjoy,
Mary

© 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.


Saturday, May 12, 2012

Chocolate Delight

Yum

Delicious light and creamy dessert we enjoy many times during the year.  Easy to make, delicious to eat. This is the perfect dessert to take to a pot luck or backyard cookout. It's enjoyed by young and old alike, and keeps well for several days stored in the refrigerator.

Ingredients
1 cup flour
1 cup finely chopped  pecan pieces
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter or margarine, melted
1 pkg. (8 oz.) cream cheese, softened
2 tbls. milk
1 tub (8 oz.) cool whip, thawed, divided (or 2 cups fresh whipped cream)
3-1/2 cups cold milk
2 pkg. (4-serving size each) instant chocolate pudding

Method
PREHEAT oven to 350. Mix flour, pecans, sugar and butter until flour is moistened. Press evenly onto bottom of 13 x 9-inch baking pan. Bake 20 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool. (I have used an 9 x 9-inch square Pyrex dish and it worked just fine, although each layer is a bit thicker of course)

BEAT cream cheese and 2 Tbsp. milk in large bowl with wire whisk until well blended. Gently stir in half of the whipped topping. Spread over cooled crust.

POUR 3-1/2 cups cold milk into large bowl. Add pudding mixes. Beat with wire whisk 2 minutes or until well blended. Pour over cream cheese layer. Refrigerate 4 hours or until set. 

Spread remaining whipped topping over pudding just before serving and top with more toasted pecans, if desired.


Enjoy,
Mary

© 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.

Yorkshire Pudding

Yum

Light, puffy, airy "bread" traditionally served with a Prime Rib Roast and Beef Gravy!  Yumm!

Ingredients
2 cups flour
1 tsp salt
2 cups milk
4 eggs

Method
Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

In a large bowl, whisk all ingredients together until blended, but do not over beat.

Pour batter into hot roasting pan (13 x 9-inch) containing 2 tbls. drippings from roasted Prime Rib. If you don't have beef roast drippings, spray pan with cooking spray and add 2 tbls. melted butter. 

Bake 425 for 35-40 minutes or until puffed up and browned.

Serve hot, and smothered in gravy. 

Enjoy,
Mary


Light and Fluffy Buttermilk Biscuits

Yum
Love this recipe for biscuits!  I've tried many, and this is my #1 go-to recipe!  Original recipe from America's Test Kitchen.




Ingredients

If you don’t have buttermilk, there is no need to run to the store. Make a substitute by stirring 1 tablespoon plus ¾ teaspoon lemon juice or white vinegar into 1¼ cups milk. Let the mixture stand at room temperature for 10 minutes until slightly thickened.

8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter
4 tablespoons vegetable shortening
3 cups all-purpose flour
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon baking soda
1¼ cups buttermilk

 

Method

1. CHILL FAT: Cut butter and shortening into ½-inch pieces and refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.

2. MIX DOUGH: Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 450 degrees. Line baking sheet with parchment paper. Pulse flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in food processor until combined. Add chilled butter and shortening and pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal.

3. KNEAD DOUGH: Transfer flour mixture to large bowl. Stir in buttermilk until combined. Turn dough onto lightly floured surface and knead briefly, 8 to 10 times, to form smooth, cohesive ball. Roll dough into 9-inch circle, about ¾ inch thick.

4. CUT BISCUITS: Using 2½-inch biscuit cutter dipped in flour, cut out rounds and arrange upside down on prepared baking sheet. Gather remaining dough and pat gently into ¾-inch-thick circle. Cut rounds from dough and transfer to baking sheet.

5. BAKE BISCUITS: Bake until biscuits begin to rise, about 5 minutes, then rotate pan and reduce oven temperature to 400 degrees. Bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes more. Transfer to wire rack and let cool 5 minutes. Serve warm.

 
To make ahead: Cut rounds can be refrigerated, covered with plastic wrap, for 1 day. To finish, heat oven to 450 degrees and proceed with step 5.

Enjoy,
Mary

 

Monday, May 7, 2012

Sweet 'n Sour Pork with Fried Rice

Yum

I just love making Chinese Take-Out at home!  It's something our family enjoys and the recipe for the Sweet 'n Sour Sauce has been a family-favorite of ours for many years!  Enjoy!


2 eggs beaten, 2 cups cooked rice, 1 onion chopped and sauteed', 4 slices bacon cooked crisp and crumbled, Soy Sauce to taste



Sweet 'n Sour Sauce bubbling


Sweet 'n Sour Pork
Ingredients
1 pork tenderloin cut into bite-size pieces
Toss pieces in bowl with cornstarch or flour

Beer-Batter
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 cups beer

In a small mixing bowl add flour, egg, garlic powder, and black pepper. Stir in 1 cup beer (you can add more than one cup to obtain your desired texture).

Method
Dip pork pieces tossed with cornstarch or flour in beer-batter. Drop each piece into fryer and cook until done, about 3 minutes.


Fried Rice
Ingredients
2 cups cooked d cooled rice (best made day ahead)
4 strips bacon fried and cooked crisp
1 onion, diced
2 large farm eggs, beaten
1 stalk celery, diced (optional)
Soy Sauce to taste

Method
Cook bacon until crisp in large fry pan; remove and drain on paper towels. Add diced onion and saute' until translucent; add beaten eggs and cook until eggs are soft set. 

 Crumble bacon and add to onion/bacon mixture, stir in cooked rice and add Soy Sauce to taste; stir to combine. Reduce to low heat to keep warm.

Sweet 'n Sour Sauce
Ingredients
8 Tbls. Ketchup
6 Tbls. Vinegar
6 Tbls. Sugar (granulated)
2 Tbls. Cornstarch
2 Tbls. Canola Oil
1 1/3 cups Water

Method

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan, heat to boiling over low heat. Add crushed pineapple, diced bell pepper as desired.

Enjoy,
Mary

             

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Cheddar-Bacon Artisan Bread

Yum
This bread is off the charts delicious!  Serve warm with butter!












 

Ingredients

• 6 strips of bacon
• 1 cup lukewarm water
• 1 tablespoon sugar
• 2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
• 3 cups (13 1/2 ounces) bread flour, divided
• 2 tablespoons tomato paste (I did not use the tomato paste)
• 2 ounces Monterrey Jack cheese, grated (I used sharp cheddar)
• 1/2 teaspoon salt (I did not add the salt)

Method

1. Cook bacon until very crisp. Drain and let cool, reserving 1 tablespoon of bacon fat. Crumble bacon and set aside.
2. In bowl of stand mixer, combine water, sugar, yeast, and about 1/3 of flour. Mix well and let stand for 15 minutes. Mixture will be frothy.
3. Add remaining bread flour and tomato paste. Knead with dough hook until dough becomes elastic. Add cheese, crumbled bacon, salt, and reserved bacon fat and knead until all ingredients are incorporated and evenly distributed. Form dough into ball, drizzle with a bit of olive oil, and return to bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled, about one hour.
4. Preheat oven to 350° and sprinkle some cornmeal on baking sheet. Remove dough from bowl and form it into ball. Place it, seam-side down, on prepared baking sheet. Cover with plastic wrap and set aside until doubled, about 30 minutes.
5. Slash loaf as desired, and bake until browned and done, about 45 minutes. Let cool completely on rack before slicing.

Homemade Sour Cream

Yum
So easy! Lot's less expensive, great taste!




















 

Ingredients

1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/4 cup buttermilk (make your own by adding 1 1/2 tsp lemon juice to 1/4 cup milk)


Method

Combine all in canning jar, cover with lid tightly and shake to combine ingredients. Let sit on kitchen counter for 18-24 hours. Refrigerate before serving. Top with fresh herbs of your choice when serving, if desired.

Enjoy,
Mary