Monday, July 30, 2012

Southern Candied Butter Pecan Ice-Cream


This is one of my family's all-time favorites!  Southern Candied Butter Pecan Ice-Cream and another one of my husband's culinary creations ... my favorite.

4 eggs
2 3/4 cups sugar
1 quart heavy cream
2 cups half and half
2 tbls. vanilla extract
1 Vanilla Bean (bean scraped out from pod)
3 cups chopped pecans
2 tbls. butter

Melt butter in large saucepan over low heat.  Stir in pecans to coat and sprinkle 3/4 cup sugar over pecans.  Continue to stir to mix and coat pecans until caramelized.  Spread mixture over aluminum foil and cool completely.  Break into small pieces.

In a large mixing bowl, beat 4 eggs, and slowly whisk in 2 cups sugar until well blended. Add 2 cups half and half. Pour mixture into a large sauce pan and cook slowly over medium heat, stirring often and just until mixture begins to simmer (do not boil). Remove from heat and let cool to room temperature.

In a separate bowl mix vanilla, vanilla bean and heavy cream.  Mix thoroughly and stir into egg mixture, mixing well.

Churn according to ice-cream maker's directions.  Add candied pecans, and mix slowly to distribute.

Pack into freezer containers and freeze.


© 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, July 25, 2012

Peachy Peach Ice-Cream


My husband has been making homemade ice-cream since he was 5 years old, at first alongside his grandfather and father.  Since that time, he has perfected his ice-cream into delicious, creamy yumminess!  Fresh fruit ice-cream is one of his favorites, and he almost always whips up a batch of his Peachy Peach Ice-Cream every summer when peaches are in season.

Rule #1: do NOT use milk. He uses all heavy cream and 1/2 and 1/2 creating a rich, creamy, smooth ice-cream.

Rule #2: Use cooked peaches or peach jam. You can use fresh peach jam, or chopped fresh peaches cooked to boiling in their own juice in a sauce pan.  The cooked peaches will not freeze into "frozen peach ice-cubes" in the ice-cream, but raw fruit will.


1 quart heavy cream
1 pint half and half
1 pint chopped peaches with juice (cooked to boiling in their own juice - or fresh peach jam)
4 farm fresh eggs
2 cups sugar
1 tbls. lemon juice
1 vanilla bean, cut and beans scraped out
2 Tbls. vanilla extract

Whisk 4 eggs; add 1/2 cup sugar and whisk again until all sugar (add sugar 1/2 cup at a time until all 2 cups are in bowl) is blended in. Add half and half to egg mixture and whisk thoroughly.

Pour mixture into a large saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring often until mixture is lukewarm (110-120 degrees).

Remove from heat, cover and cool in your refrigerator one hour.

In a separate bowl combine heavy cream, lemon juice, vanilla bean and vanilla extract, whisking to blend. Add peaches to heavy cream mixture and whisk until blended; stir in egg mixture and blend thoroughly with a whisk.

Pour into ice-cream maker and churn following manufacturer directions.

Yield: 2 generous quarts.


© 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, July 23, 2012

Sheperd's Pie

Sheperd's Pie is a simple comfort food that hits the spot every time!

Brown 1.5 lbs. ground beef, add some garlic powder and course-ground black pepper to taste. Spread on the bottom of baking dish sprayed with cooking spray.

Top cooked ground beef with canned (drained) or frozen corn.

Top corn with mashed potatoes sprinkled with some shredded cheddar cheese.

Bake 350 oven for 45 minutes!  Let sit 10 minutes out of oven before cutting.


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Delicious Peach Jam


When peaches are in season, I love to buy some at my local Farmer's Market and whip up a batch of yummy peach jam.  I like to keep my jam a little "chunky," because I use the fresh jam in all kinds of recipes; basted a pork tenderloin while grilling, top it on hot biscuits or pancakes, whip up some cinnamon peach muffins and more!  The possibilities are endless!

First, get your peaches

Now place them  in boiling water for a minute or two and immediately plunge into an ice water bath, and easily slip off skins.

Next chop your peaches, removing pits.  Place the chopped/diced  peaches into a large stock pot.

Add one (1 package) fruit pectin (I use Sure-Jell), 2 Tbls. lemon juice and a pat of butter to reduce foaming.

Bring to a rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly to prevent sticking.

Now add your sugar all at once, and return to a rolling boil over high heat, stirring constantly.  Boil for one (1) minute.

Remove from heat and ladle jam into prepared jars

Cover with seals and place jars in hot water bath (stock pot filled with hot water which should cover tops of jars by 1-2")

Bring to a boil and proccess pint jars 10 minutes.

Remove stock pot from heat, and remove jars placing on a towel on your kitchen counter and let sit undisturbed for 24 hours.


4 cups chopped/diced peaches (peeled and pitted)
2 Tbls. lemon juice
1 package fruit pectin (Sure-Jell)
5 1/2 cups sugar

Place chopped/diced peaches in large stock pot. Add 2 tbls. lemon juice, one (1) package Sure-Jell and a pat of butter. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly to prevent sticking.

Once mixture is boiling, add sugar all at once and return to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil for one (1) minute.

Remove from heat and immediately fill prepared jars with jam mixture. Cover jars with seals and place in boiling water bath (stock pot filled with water over the tops of the jars by 1-2"). Bring to a boil and process pint jars 10 minutes.

Remove stock pot from heat and remove jars placing them on a towel on your kitchen counter and  let sit undisturbed for 24 hours.  Jars are sealed when "button" in middle of lid is fully depressed.

Yield:  4 pint jars


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Homemade Chicken Stock


Yes, yes, yes, save those chicken carcasses (wrap and freeze them) - when you have 3-4 make some yummy, out-of-this-world chicken stock.  MUCH better than store-bought, and there are oodles of ways you can use it ... chicken soup, as a base for chicken gravy, add to mashed potatoes (instead of milk), cook your egg noodles or rice in it instead of water, and much more! So next time you think about throwing away that chicken carcass, consider making your own chicken stock instead!  Much better, no "additives," simply pure stock for use in your yummy dishes!

Check out this link for more ways to use Chicken Stock:

25 Tasty Ways to Use Chicken Stock

Add your chicken carcasses to a large stock pot.  Now add 3-4 large carrots, a whole onion sliced, some celery stalks, and water to cover all.

Bring to a gentle boil, reduce heat and simmer 5-6 hours, or until meat is falling off bones. You can also do this in a large slow cooker, heat on low and cook 8-10 hours, or 24-48 hours for a rich bone broth.

Drain your stock, discarding veggies and chicken bones.  Once cooled, pick through the bones and save all the chicken meat for future uses in soups, stews, chicken pot pie and more. Pack in a zip-top bag and freeze until ready to use.

Allow stock to cool, skim fat. Reheat stock and bring to a rolling boil.

Pour into canning jars leaving 1-inch head-space, and seal with canning lids and rings.

Process in pressure canner 25 minutes (quart jars) at 11 lbs. pressure (or follow your pressure canner instructions).

Remove jars and allow to cool and seal.


Sliced, canned peaches


I just love summertime when sweet, delicious, juicy peaches are in season!  To make the most of the season I start with the freshest peaches I can find, which is always at my local farm or farmer's market.  Then I slice 'em and can them or make peach jam/preserves. 

Come a long, cold, winter day, it's a wonderful treat to be able to grab a jar and serve those yummy peaches over homemade vanilla ice-cream, in a peach crumble/cobbler, or just with a dollop of whipped-cream on top!  Served cold or warm, they are a blissful reminder of warm summer days!

First get your peaches!

Next boil them briefly in hot water and plunge into an ice-water bath to easily slip off skins.

They will look like this!

Now simply cut them and remove the pit, then cut into the desired size slices.  Peaches will turn brown when exposed to air, even air in a sealed, sterile jar. To keep the fruit from turning brown, when you get a bowlful, sprinkle 1/4 cup lemon juice or Fruit-Fresh (which is just a mix of citric acid and vitamin C, perfectly natural). Then stir the peaches to make sure all the surfaces have been coated.

Peaches must be packed in a solution of water and sugar or fruit juice. It's up to you which to use. Sugar is added to improve flavor, help stabilize color, and retain the shape of the fruit. It is not added as a preservative. Sugar solution is much less expensive (unless you have a supply of cheap grape juice), so I usually use a light solution to keep sugar (and the added calories) to a minimum.

 Sugar Syrup

Syrup Sugar Water Yield
Light2 cups6 cups7 cups
Medium3 cups6 cups6 1/2 cups
Heavy4 cups6 cups7 cups

NOTE from : you can ALSO use fruit juice (if you want a natural alternative) or water or artificial sweetener (Stevia, sucanat, cane juice; if you want a low calorie alternative). Click here for instruction about how to prepare these sugarless, fruit juice, or Stevia, solutions!
To prepare syrup, while heating water, add sugar slowly, stirring constantly to dissolve. Bring to a gentle boil and keep it simmering. After preparing the liquid syrup, keep it hot (but not boiling).

Pack the peaches into sanitized jars (leaving 1/2 to 1 inch space at the top) and cover with boiling sugar syrup leaving 1/2 inch head space. (if you don't cook or heat the peaches first, this is called "cold packing").

Run a rubber spatula or table knife gently between peaches and jar to release trapped air bubbles. To do this more effectively, tilt the jar slightly while running the tool between the fruit and the edge of the jar and also pressing inward against the fruit a few times.

After packing the peaches in the jar, pour the sugar solution up to 1/2 inch (1 cm) from the top. the fruit should be covered completely. If you have problems with fruit darkening (turning brown) later, then sprinkle 1/2 teaspoon of Fruit Fresh or ascorbic acid into the top of the jar before you seal it.
Wipe rim and screw threads with a clean damp cloth. Add lid, screw band and tighten firmly and evenly. Do not over tighten.

Put the sealed jars in the canner and keep them cover with at least 1 inch of water and boiling. In general, if you are at sea level, boil them for at least 20 minutes (and no more than 30 min).
Here are more specific guidelines from the USDA for canning peaches in a boiling-water canner.

    Recommended process time for Peaches, halved or sliced
in a boiling-water canner.
Process Time at Altitudes of
Style of PackJar Size0 - 1,000 ft1,001 - 3,000 ft3,001 - 6,000 ftAbove 6,000 ft
20 min

Lift the jars out of the water and let them cool without touching or bumping them in a draft-free place (usually takes overnight), here they won't be bumped. You can then remove the rings if you like, but if you leave them on, at least loosen them quite a bit, so they don't rust in place due to trapped moisture.

Once the jars are cool, you can check that they are sealed verifying that the lid has been sucked down. Just press in the center, gently, with your finger. If it pops up and down (often making a popping sound), it is not sealed. If you put the jar in the refrigerator right away, you can still use it. Some people replace the lid (with a new lid) and reprocess the jar, while it’s still hot for the full time in the canner – that’s acceptable!



Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Vanilla Bean Ice-Cream


So yummy, you'll never buy store bought again!  This recipe also makes a great base for chocolate-chip ice-cream; just add mini-chocolate chips when churning.

1 quart heavy cream
1 quart 1/2 and 1/2
2 cups sugar
4 large egg yolks
1 vanilla bean, cut and beans scraped out
2 Tbls vanilla extract

Beat eggs with whisk; slowly add sugar and beat thoroughly. Add 1 pint heavy cream and beat again. Stir in 2 Tbls. vanilla extract, and meat of vanilla bean.

Pour mixture into a large saucepan and heat over low heat, stirring often until mixture is lukewarm (110-120 degrees).

Remove from heat, cover and cool in your refrigerator one hour.

Add remaining heavy cream and 1/2 and 1/2 and mix thoroughly.

Churn according to you ice-cream maker directions.  Freeze according to your ice-cream maker directions.

Option: Use your favorite cookies and make cookie ice-cream sandwiches!

Serve with your favorite toppings!  Yummmm!


Monday, July 9, 2012

Cheesy Hamburger Casserole

Oh yumm!  This is so quick and easy for a weeknight meal!

1/2 (16 oz) bag Ore Ida frozen potato cubes (southern hashbrowns)
1.5 lbs. hambuger
1 large onion, diced
1 small bag frozen green beans
Garlic Powder (dash or two)
Course-Ground Black Pepper (to taste)
1 can Cream of Mushroom Soup
Dollop or 2 of Sour Cream (I didn't measure - just used a large spoonful)
1 Tbls Worcestershire Sauce
1/2-3/4 soup can milk
6 Slices Velvetta Cheese
1 container Durkee's French Fried Onions

Set oven to 350.  Spray 13x9 pan with cooking spray.  Spread frozen hashbrowns on bottom of pan, top with green beans, spreading evenly over potatoes.  Brown hamburger with onion.  Stir garlic powder and black pepper into hamburger/onion mixture and spoon over green beans.  Mix cream of mushroom soup, sour cream, Worcestershire sauce and milk until smooth; pour over hamburger mixture. Top with 6 slices Velvetta cheese, evenly spaced over top of casserole.  Bake, covered with aluminum foil 1 hour.  Remove aluminum foil and sprinkle with French fried onions.  Continue baking 10 minutes or until onions are browned.


Saturday, July 7, 2012

Canning Corn


I almost always get great deals on fresh corn from some of the wonderful farmer's at the Kershaw County Farmer's Market! During the growing season, you will find me there most Saturday's buying all kinds of fresh veggies and produce.  My family and I have a favorite Bi-Color Corn we love, so that's what I was after one summer day.

Ok, so let's get started.  First you will need to shuck your corn and remove all the silk

Next, remove the kernels from cob.  A sharp knife will work

Doesn't that look pretty?

Fill your jars with the corn kernels and hot water. Add 1/2 tsp salt per pint or 1 tsp salt per quart jar

Pressure can jars following the attached link:

Now you're ready to eat some of summer's goodness year 'round! Store in your pantry for up to one year.


Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Frozen German Sweet Chocolate Pie


Yummy, easy and oh so delicious!  My family loves it when I make this pie!  Original recipe from Baker's German Sweet Chocolate!

1 pkg. (4 oz.) German Sweet Chocolate
1/3 cup milk, divided
4 oz. (1/2 of 8-oz. pkg.) cream cheese, softened
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 cups fresh cream, whipped
1 Graham Pie Crust (6 oz.)

Microwave chocolate and 2 Tbsp. of the milk in large microwaveable bowl on HIGH 1-1/2 to 2 minutes, or until chocolate is almost melted, stirring after each minute. Stir until chocolate is completely melted.

Add cream cheese, sugar and remaining milk; beat with wire whisk until well blended. Refrigerate 10 min. to cool.

Add whipped cream; stir gently until well blended. Spoon into crust.

Freeze 4 hours or until firm. Let stand at room temperature or in refrigerator about 15 min. or until pie can be cut easily. Store leftover pie in freezer.

Try These FUN Crusts:

Coconut-Pecan Crust
Mix 1-1/2 cups toasted coconut, 1/2 cup finely chopped pecans, 1/4 cup (1/2 stick) melted butter or margarine and 2 Tbsp. flour. Press firmly onto bottom and up side of 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 325°F for 10 min. Cool completely before filling.

Nut Crust
Mix 1-3/4 cups finely chopped walnuts and 3 Tbsp. melted butter or margarine. Press firmly onto bottom and up side of 9-inch pie plate. Refrigerate until ready to fill.

Coconut Crust
Mix 1 pkg. (7 oz.) coconut (2-2/3 cups) and 1/3 cup melted butter or margarine. Press firmly onto bottom and up side of 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 350°F for 25 to 30 min. or until golden brown. Cool completely before filling.


Monday, July 2, 2012

Cheddar-Bacon Bread

Super-yummy artisan bread, good served warm with butter, or sliced and toasted!  Makes great rustic sandwiches.









• 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
• 2 ounces Monterrey Jack cheese, grated (or sharp cheddar)
• 1/2 teaspoon salt


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.