Saturday, September 29, 2012

Pumpkin Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting

Yum

Oooo I just love Fall and all the yummy things you can make with fall produce!  Pumpkins, squash, sweet potatoes, apples and more all come to mind when I think "fall" and this pumpkin cake has to be one of my all-time favorites ... easy to do, and so yummy! It's a hit every time I serve it.


Recipe
Ingredients
2 cups of Flour
½ tsp. of Salt
2 tsp. of Cinnamon
1½ tsp. of Baking Soda
2 cups of Pumpkin (make your own)
2 tsp. of Baking Powder
2 cups of Sugar
1 cup of Oil
4 Large Eggs

Note: At this point, you should also set out the cream cheese and butter needed for the icing as those ingredients will need time to soften.

Cake makes a tube pan, bundt pan or 13 x 9-inch pan.

Method
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees F. Combine all of the above ingredients in a large bowl. Mix together thoroughly until entirely moistened and well-blended.

Lightly grease and flour your baking pan (I use Baker's Joy baking spray). Pour your cake batter into the prepared pan.

Bake for one hour or until you can insert a toothpick and pull it out clean.

Let the cake cool in the pan for 20 minutes. Then, remove it from the pan and allow it to cool on a cooling rack for one more hour.
 
Ingredients for Frosting

4 oz. of Cream Cheese
1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
cup of Butter
½ tsp. of Vanilla
1½ cups of Confectioner's Sugar

Note: This recipe can easily be doubled if you want a thicker layer of frosting.

Method
Cream the cheese and margarine in a medium-size bowl. Add the vanilla and confectioner's sugar.
Mix until smooth. Spread the frosting onto the cake.


Enjoy,
Mary

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Thursday, September 27, 2012

French Breakfast Muffins

Yum

Rich but airy muffins dipped in melted butter and rolled in cinnamon sugar!  Oh yes, they are so yummy!  My family loves these and I hope yours will too!


Ingredients
1/3 cup shortening
1/2 cup sugar
1 egg
1 1/2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/2 cup milk
Topping
1/2 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup sugar
1-2 tsp. cinnamon

Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Put first 8 ingredients in a large bowl and mix by hand until combined.  Batter is very thick.

Spray 8 or 12 cup muffin tins with baking spray (I use Baker's Joy); fill muffin cups 2/3 full.  Bake 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned.

Melt 1/2 cup butter.  In a small bowl, stir together 1/2 cup sugar and 1-2 tsp cinnamon.

Swirl baked muffins in melted butter to completely coat, then roll muffins around in cinnamon sugar mixture, again to completely coat. 

Serve while warm. Muffins store well in an air-tight container for a few days, or wrap and freeze.

Yield:  8-12 muffins

Variations - increase flour to 2 cups
Apple: Add 1 cup peeled, cored and diced apple
Banana: Add 1 cup mashed banana
Carrot: Add 1 cup shredded carrot
Pumpkin:  Add 1 cup cooked and mashed pumpkin or butternut squash
Sweet Potato: Add 1 cup cooked and mashed sweet potato
Zucchini: Add 1 cup shredded zucchini


Enjoy,
Mary

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Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Classic White Sandwich Bread

Yum
Oh my goodness!  Don't you just love the smell of fresh bread baking in the oven?  I know I do and I think the hubs likes it even better!  Nothing is easier and more simple to do than this loaf of bread.  With a little practice, you too can make perfect bread at home! Original recipe from King Arthur Flour.

















Ingredients
1 1/3 to 1 1/2 cups lukewarm water*
1 heaping tablespoon honey
2 1/4 teaspoons instant yeast
1 3/4 teaspoons salt
2 tablespoons soft butter
4 cups King Arthur Unbleached All-Purpose Flour
1/3 cup Baker's Special Dry Milk or 1/2 cup nonfat dry milk granules
*Use the lesser amount in summer or humid climates; the greater amount in winter or drier climates.

Method
Mix all of the ingredients in the order listed, and mix and knead, by hand, or using a stand mixer (I used my Kitchen Aid with the dough hook) to make a smooth dough. It won't be particularly soft nor stiff; it should be smooth and feel bouncy and elastic under your hands.
 
Place the dough in a lightly greased bowl, or large (8-cup) measuring cup. Cover it, and let it rise for 60 to 90 minutes, till it's become quite puffy, though not necessarily doubled in size. (Tip - turn on oven for only 1 minute to 400 - after 1 minute turn oven off and  place bowl inside oven). 
 
Gently deflate the dough, and shape it into a fat 9" log. Place it in a lightly greased 9" x 5" loaf pan.
 
Cover the pan, and let the dough rise for 60 to 90 minutes (mine only took 60 minutes), till it's crowned 1" to 1 1/2" over the rim of the pan. Towards the end of the rising time, preheat the oven to 350°F.
 
Bake the bread for 20 minutes. Tent it lightly with aluminum foil, and bake for an additional 15 to 20 minutes, till it's golden brown. An instant-read thermometer inserted into the center will read 195°F to 200°F.
 
Remove the bread from the oven, and turn it out onto a rack to cool. Brush top with butter if desired. When completely cool, wrap in plastic, and store at room temperature.
 
Yield: 1 large loaf, about 18 servings.
 
 
Dough all risen

 
Shaped into 9x5 loaf

 
 
Ready to bake!
 
 
Yummmm!
 
 

Monday, September 24, 2012

Freezing Fresh Potatoes

Yum

Have you ever had a lot of potatoes and wondered how to freeze them?  Well look no further because I have just the tips for you to do it successfully at home. This is especially wonderful when potatoes are in season in your area ... nothing better than fresh from the farm or market goodness!  It does take a little work, but so worth the effort and costs just pennies to do!  I received 11 large baking potatoes free (again it pays to know your farmer) and made mine into diced potatoes and French fries.

*Note - Baking potatoes (such as Russet), including Yukon Gold, freeze better than red potatoes.  I kept all the cut potatoes in a large bowl filled with ice-water until ready to cook.  Place water in large stock pot adding 1-2 tsp. sea salt and bring to a full, rolling boil before adding the potatoes to blanch before freezing. When ready to use after freezing, cook them frozen, do not thaw first. The Potatoes will brown if you defrost them.


Freezing Diced Potatoes:Diced potatoes can be frozen for use in a variety of recipes. Here's how:
  • Peel two pounds of potatoes. (or whatever amount you want to work with.) Cut the potatoes into 1-inch cubes.
  • Simmer the diced potatoes in salted water until just tender.
  • Spray a sheet pan with non-stick cooking oil and spread cooked potatoes in a single layer on the pan.
  • Place the pan of diced potatoes in the freezer until frozen solidly.
  • Transfer the frozen potato cubes to freezer bags or containers to use as needed.
Freezing potatoes for hash browns and other shredded potato recipes:
  • Shred or grate 2 pounds of potatoes (or any amount you want to work with).
  • Place grated/shredded potatoes in a bowl of iced water until all potatoes are shredded.
  • Drain the ice water when you are ready to prepare the potatoes for freezing.
  • Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil.
  • Place the shredded potatoes into the boiling water just until they begin to be tender.
  • Spray a sheet pan with cooking spray.
  • Drain the potatoes thoroughly and place on the sheet pan in mounds or patties.
  • Leave on the sheet pan until solidly frozen, then store in freezer bags or containers.
Make ready-to-cook frozen French fries:
  • Peel and cut the potatoes you want to freeze into "french fry lengths."
  • Boil cut potatoes in salted water until partially cooked.
  • Drain and place in a single layer on a sprayed sheet pan.
  • Freeze until solid; transfer to freezer bags or containers and put in freezer.

Yield:  11 large baking potatoes yielded one gallon bag of French fries and two quart bags of diced potatoes.



Enjoy,
Mary

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Friday, September 21, 2012

Apple Crisp

Yum


What does Fall mean to you?  To me it means pumpkins, pumpkin seeds, baked butternut squash, slow cooked stews, chili's, soups, and, of course, apples. Applesauce, Apple Pie, Apple Muffins, Apple Jelly, Apple Butter and, of course, Apple Crisp. 

There's just something about warm apple crisp, served with vanilla ice-cream, heavy cream or whipped cream, that brings a big smile to my face, and a whole lotta' yumminess to my tummy!  How do you like apple crisp?






Recipe

Ingredients
10 cups apples, peeled, cored and sliced (I use Honeycrisp or Granny Smith)
1 cup sugar
1 tbls. flour
2-3 tsp. ground cinnamon (or to taste)
1/2 cup water

Topping
1 cup oats
1 cup flour
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/4 tsp. baking powder
1/4 tsp. baking soda
1/2 tsp. cinnamon (optional)
1/2 cup butter, melted

Method
Preheat oven to 350 F.  Place the sliced apples in a 13 x 9-inch pan sprayed lightly with cooking spray.  Mix the white sugar, 1 tablespoon flour and ground cinnamon together, and sprinkle over apples. Pour water evenly over all.

In a separate bowl, combine the oats, flour, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon (if desired), and melted butter together. Crumble evenly over the apple mixture.

Bake at 350 degrees for about 45 minutes or until topping is crispy and apples are bubbly.

Cook's note - recipe is easily cut in 1/2 for 9 x 9-inch baking dish.




Enjoy,
Mary

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Monday, September 17, 2012

Linsen Suppe Mit Wurst (German Lentil Soup With Sausage)

Yum

Love, love, love this soup!  Had it many times while we were stationed in Berlin, Germany (hubs was in the US Air Force and I was the Tour Director for the US military forces), so we got to experience everything Germany had to offer.

I searched a long time for this recipe, talked to German friends, researched German cookbooks, and finally made a very good replica of what we remembered from our time in Germany.

This is a hearty soup, typically served in the Fall and Winter, and is somewhat considered a "working man's soup," as it's inexpensive, full of protein, fiber and other goodies that make it an all-around "good for you" soup!  Guten Appetite!


Recipe

Ingredients
16 ounces dried lentils
1 ham hock or ham bone (I used a ham bone with lots of meat left on it)
2 tablespoons butter
1-2 potatoes, peeled and diced (if desired)
12 cups chicken stock or 12 cups vegetable stock
1 bay leaf
2 teaspoons Worcestershire Sauce or 2 teaspoons Maggi seasoning
1/2 teaspoon garlic
1/4 teaspoon fresh ground nutmeg (I used McCormick's)
1/2 teaspoon celery salt
1/2 teaspoon course-ground black pepper
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 tablespoons vegetable oil or 2 tablespoons bacon fat
2 tablespoons flour
3 cups sliced smoked sausage or polish sausage

Method
In a large stockpot, sauté onions in butter until translucent. Rinse lentils, removing any grit. Place in the stockpot; add potatoes, stock, bay leaf, Worcestershire sauce, garlic, nutmeg, black pepper and celery salt. Bring to boil over high heat; reduce heat and add ham hock or ham bone. Simmer for 2 hours. Add water as needed. (I like it thick and rich so I add very little water).

After two hours, in separate saucepan, combine veg oil and flour. Heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until browned, to make a roux.

Once the roux is a light chocolate color, temper the roux with a couple of ladle fulls of the soup fluid (try to leave out lentils). Add roux/soup mixture to soup, it will thicken slightly (don't forget to remove the bay leaf!).

Simmer for as long as you care to on low heat, the longer the better! Two hours at least for good flavor. When ready to serve; Remove the ham hock or ham bone.  Add sliced, smoked sausage or sliced polish sausage and simmer 5 minutes more to heat through. Serve hot, on top of a bowl of spaetzleTastes even better the next day!

Enjoy,
Mary

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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Apple-Oat-Raisin-Pecan Streusel Muffins

Yum

These muffins are super-moist, easy to do, and chock full of goodness!  Oats, apples, golden raisins and chopped pecans all mixed up in a cinnamon batter, topped with a brown sugar-oats-butter-cinnamon streusel!  Yummmy!


Recipe
Ingredients

1 1/2 cups quick oats
1 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup sugar
3/4 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 cup golden raisins
1/2 cup chopped pecans 
1 egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup milk
tablespoons butter, softened
1 1/2 cups cored cored, peeled and diced apples (I use Honey-Crisp apples, but any crunchy apple will do.  Two medium apples made 1 1/2 cups finely diced apples).


Streusel

1/2 cup oats (quick or regular)
2 tablespoons firmly packed brown sugar
2 tablespoons butter, softened

Preheat oven to 400°F.
In a bowl combine first 9 ingredients; stirring to combine.  Make a well in the center and add egg, milk and softened butter, stir just till moist, don't over stir. Add apples. Fill greased muffin tins 2/3 full

Streusel: Place all ingredients in a small bowl and blend with a fork.
Sprinkle over tops of muffins.

Bake 20-30 minutes or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (baking time varies depending on the type of oven you are using, so check muffins after 20 minutes, and continue baking if necessary)

Yield: 14 muffins (I used an 8 section muffin pan for slightly larger muffins than the standard 12 section muffin pan)

Enjoy,
Mary

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Apple-Pepper Jelly

Yum


I'm so excited about this Apple-Pepper Jelly because it's my very own recipe ... one I put together based on the success I've had with my Garlic-Onion Jelly!  It's just the right amount of "sweet," with a little bit of "bite" from the jalapeno peppers!  Serve over cream cheese on crackers, or baste on a pork loin or grilled chicken ... yummmmmm!



Gather your ingredients!


Mix apples, peppers, white wine, white wine vinegar and sure-jell together in large stock pot.


Bring to a rolling boil over high heat.


Add sugar all at once and stir to melt.


Return to rolling boil over high heat; boil for 1 minute stirring constantly to prevent sticking.

Ladle into canning jars, over with seals and tighten rings

Add jars to boiling water bath (any large stock pot with rack on the bottom will work); cover with water to 2" over the tops of the jars. Place cover on stock pot and bring to a boil over high heat.

Boil covered 10 minutes; remove jars and allow to cool on a kitchen towel on your counter top 24 hours.

















Recipe
Ingredients

1 3/4 cup dry white wine (can use cooking wine)
1/4 cup white wine vinegar
2 medium apples, diced (I use Honey-Crisp, but any crunchy apple will work)
2 Jalapeno peppers, diced
2 small red peppers, diced
3 1/2 cups sugar
1 pkg. Sure-Jell (pectin)
5 -1/2 pint canning jars

Method

In a large stock pot stir together the wine, vinegar, diced apples, diced jalapeno peppers and sure-jell. Bring mixture to a rolling boil over med-high heat stirring constantly.

Quickly stir in sugar and bring back to a rolling boil. Boil and stir 1 minute; ladle mixture into half-pint (8 oz) canning jars.

Put jars in a boiling water bath (any large stock pot will do with a rack on the bottom and the water covers the jars completely by 1-2").

Cover and bring to a boil; reduce heat slightly and continue to boil 10 minutes.

Remove jars from boiling water bath and allow to cool on a kitchen towel, gently shaking jars from time to time to evenly distribute the apples and peppers. Mixture will be "jelling" as you do this.

Cooled jars can then be placed in kitchen cabinet; will keep for a year or more. Keep any open jars in the refrigerator.

Yield: 5 - half pint (8 oz) jars

Enjoy,
Mary

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Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Easy Chicken Divan

Yum
I really love easy! Sometimes cooking all day gives me a  lot of pleasure, like when I have a big pot of soup cooking, or a pot roast in the crock pot, but week nights, easy works!  I've been experimenting with this recipe for a long time, and FINALLY found what works the best every time! We really love it, and hope you do too!




Ingredients
6-8 chicken tenders
1 can cream of chicken soup (I make my own)
1-2 Tbls. Spicy Brown Mustard (I use Gulden's, but any will do)
1/2-3/4 cup white wine (I use cooking wine; you can omit the wine and use water, but the taste will not be the same)
1-2 tsp. garlic powder
1 tsp. course-ground black pepper (or to taste)
Small amount diced celery and onion (optional; if desired)
1/2-3/4 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Method
Mix all ingredients (except chicken tenders) in a covered baking dish sprayed with cooking spray; whisk until smooth. Add chicken tenders and spoon mixture over tenders.  Bake covered in a 350 oven 30-45 minutes or until hot and bubbly and chicken is cooked through.  Uncover dish, top with shredded sharp cheddar cheese and bake an additional 5 minutes, or until cheese is melted.  Serve immediately.

Suggestion: serve over rice with steamed vegetables (we love steamed broccoli with this, but any vegetable will do)

Enjoy,
Mary

Sunday, September 9, 2012

German Cinnamon Apple Cake

Yum


Yummy, sticky, cinnamon apple cake!  This is another German wonder I just love! You just can't get enough of it!

Recipe

Ingredients:
4 cups sliced and peeled apple (I used Honey Crisp Apples, but any hard, crunchy apple would work)
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 cups sugar
3/4 cup vegetable oil
2 eggs
2 tsp vanilla
2 cups flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves

Method:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

To prepare the apples, peel and core about 4 apples. Slice them into about 1/4 inch thick slices and place them into a large bowl. Pour the sugar over the apples and give them a quick toss with your hands and then add the lemon juice. Let the apples and the sugar hang out for about 30-45 minutes. This process with soften the apples and the sugar will become liquid.

Add the vegetable oil, eggs and vanilla to the apple mixture and stir together with a spoon.
In another bowl, combine the flour, baking soda, cinnamon and cloves. Mix together until the baking soda and spices are evenly distributed through the dry ingredients mixture.

Add the dry ingredients to the wet ingredients, and combine with a spoon carefully until the dry mixture is just incorporated.

Spray a *9×9 baking dish with baking spray. Transfer the batter into the baking dish and bake in a preheated oven for 50-55 minutes, or until a knife can be inserted in the center and comes out clean.
Serve with freshly whipped cream.

*I made 4 mini-loaves and they cooked 30-35 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.  I cooled them, then wrapped with plastic wrap and froze in zip-top freezer bags.

Enjoy,
Mary

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Apple Butter (slow cooker)

Yum

I love Apple Butter!  It's like a right of passage, as summer gives way to fall, and leaves begin to change colors and fall, one simply must make apple butter. There's something wonderful about the spicy smell as its cooking that just says "yes it's fall!"


Many times I make this in a slow cooker, but you can also cook it low and slow on top of the stove. Either way works well, you just have to stir it more often when on the stove top to keep it from burning.


Recipe
Ingredients

5 1/2 pounds apples, cored - no need to peel (or 4 quarts homemade applesauce)
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar/juice/cider
2 cups brown sugar
1 tbls. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. ground cloves
1 tsp. allspice
1 tsp. nutmeg

Method
Core apples to remove core and seeds, no need to peel. Place the apples in a slow cooker. In a medium bowl, mix the sugar, cinnamon, cloves allspice and nutmeg. Pour the mixture over the apples in the slow cooker and mix well.

Cover and cook on high 2 hours.

Reduce heat to low and cook 9 to 11 hours, stirring occasionally, until the mixture is thickened and dark brown (prop lid up slightly by laying a wooden spoon across one end of the slow cooker, resting the lid on top of the spoon during the last 2-3 hours of cooking time).

For a smoother apple butter, blend cooked apple butter in a blender before storing. Apple butter is done when you can stand a spoon up in it.

Spoon finished apple butter into sterile containers, cover and refrigerate, freeze, or can it.

**If cooking on the stove top, cook over low heat, stirring often, 6-8 hours or until desired thickness. 

Canning
Fill 8 oz. jars with hot apple butter leaving a 1/4-inch head-space. Process jars in a boiling water bath 10 minutes.

Cooks note - The peels of the apple contain a lot of taste and pectin so I always use them. Apple Butter will reduce in half approximately when cooking down, so if you start with 4 quarts of applesauce, you'll end up with 2 quarts or slightly less. I usually process mine in 8 oz jelly jars and it yields 6-7 jars.

Don't forget to try this Apple Butter Cake!


Enjoy,
Mary

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Thursday, September 6, 2012

Simple Italian Bread

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I'm always on the look-out for a good Italian bread. This recipe is so versatile, it can be Italian Bread, Focaccia or Pizza Dough.  Imagine that, three variations, one dough ... plus it's simple! Simple ingredients, simple to make, easy stuff!   You can butter, garlic and add Italian herbs and more to the the dough before rolling up and shaping into loaf ... I love it and love what you can do with it! Wonderful served with any pasta dish or a bowl of my Cheesy Potato or Veggie Beef Soup!


 Dough before baking


Ingredients
1 (1/4-ounce) envelope active dry yeast
1 teaspoon sugar
1 cup warm water (100° to 110°)
2 to 3 cups bread flour
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 teaspoon salt

Preparation

Combine yeast, sugar, and 1 cup warm water in bowl of a heavy-duty electric stand mixer; let stand 5 minutes. Add 2 cups flour, oil, and salt to bowl, and beat at low speed, using dough hook attachment, 1 minute. Gradually add additional flour (1 cup) until dough begins to leave the sides of the bowl and pull together. (Note: The dough will take on a "shaggy" appearance as the flour is being added. When enough flour has been added, the dough will look soft and smooth, not wet and sticky or overly dry with a rough surface.)

Increase speed to medium, and beat 5 minutes. Cover bowl of dough with plastic wrap, and let stand in a warm place (85°), free from drafts, 30 minutes or until doubled in bulk. Punch dough down, and let stand 10 minutes.


Turn dough out onto a lightly floured surface; shape dough into a 12-inch loaf (flatten dough with hands to 12" rectangle. Roll up from long end and shape into loaf). Place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Cut 3 (1/4-inch deep) slits across top of dough with a sharp paring knife. (The slits release interior steam and prevent the loaf from blowing apart at the side.)  Brush with egg white wash for crustier crust, if desired (whisk 1 egg white with 1 tbls water).

Bake at 400° for 16 minutes (approx) or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.

 
 Bread all done!


Herbed Focaccia: Proceed with recipe as directed, shaping dough into a ball instead of a loaf. Roll dough into an 11- x 14-inch rectangle on a lightly greased baking sheet. Press handle of a wooden spoon into dough to make indentations at 1-inch intervals. Drizzle dough evenly with 1 tablespoon olive oil; sprinkle evenly with 1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning. Bake at 475° for 12 to 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Pizza Crust: Proceed with recipe as directed, shaping dough into a ball instead of a loaf. Roll dough into an 11- x 14-inch rectangle on a lightly greased baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil, or spread with pesto or pizza sauce, and sprinkle with desired toppings. Bake at 475° for 20 to 25 minutes.

Veggie Beef Soup

Yum

In South Carolina, sometime in the early Fall, the humidity and temps drop to overnight lows in the high 50's to low 60's and highs only in the low 80's ... ok, that's cool enough here to feel a bit like Fall!  LOL!  Can't wait!  I especially can't wait for all the tastes and foods Fall brings with it, such as stews and soups, apple crisps and cobblers, baked butternut squash and other goodies.



I love all kinds of soups and stews, and we have them quite often during the Fall and Winter seasons.  This Veggie Beef Soup is one of my all-time favorites and you can use any beef/meat you want, or mix up the vegetables to make it your own. It's one of those versatile, anything goes kind of soup!  Enjoy!




Recipe

Ingredients
1-2 lbs. cut-up beef pieces such as stew beef (pastured beef preferred; can also use ground beef)  
1-2 tbls. olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 - 14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes 
1 - 14.5 oz. can tomato sauce 
4 cups beef stock or beef bone broth
2-3 Yukon Gold or Red potatoes, chopped/diced (russet potatoes don't hold up well)
3 large carrots, chopped/diced
2 celery stalks, chopped/diced
1-2 cups green beans (I use frozen)
1-2 cups corn kernels (I use frozen)
1-2 tsp. Italian seasoning
1 tsp. Garlic salt
1-2 tsp. Course-Ground Black Pepper (or to taste)




Method
Add olive oil to stock pot and saute' beef until browned; add onions, celery, and seasonings, continue to cook until vegetables are soft.

Stir in tomatoes, tomato sauce and beef stock or beef bone broth; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and let simmer approx. 1-2 hours, until beef is tender, stirring from time to time.

Add potatoes and carrots and return to a boil; reduce heat and simmer approx. 30 minutes.

Add frozen green beans and corn; continue cooking until all vegetables are tender and heated through. 

For slow cooker or crock pot - mix all ingredients in slow cooker or crock pot (sprayed with cooking spray - omit olive oil).  Cook on low 8-10 hours or until done.

Pressure Canning - This soup cans up very well. You would brown the beef, then add all other ingredients, uncooked, to the beef, stirring together. Use a slotted spoon to fills jars, which will insure you have 1/2 solids to 1/2 liquid (the soup will "cook" in the pressure canner).  

Process pint jars 75 minutes and quart jars 90 minutes at 11 lbs. pressure.


Also seen on Meal Plan Monday

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.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Honey-Mustard Chicken Breasts

Yum

Wonderful, sweet and tangy roast chicken! Another great way to use a whole cut-up chicken, or bone-in chicken breasts.


Ingredients
Bone-In Chicken Breasts, or whole cut-up chicken
1/3-1/2 cup honey (I use raw local honey from Bell Honey Company)
1/4 cup grainy mustard

Method
Preheat oven to 350.

In a small bowl, blend honey and mustard. Spray baking dish with cooking spray, add chicken and baste honey/mustard mixture over top of chicken.

Bake in 350 oven 45 minutes basting with honey/mustard mixture from time to time, until chicken is cooked through and well glazed.

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.

Strawberry Jello Poke Cake

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Looking for a way to change up an ordinary yellow cake, I decided to make a strawberry jello poke cake! I made a simple yellow cake, poked holes in it and poured strawberry jello over all,  then frosted it with cream cheese frosting. Serve each piece with more sliced strawberries, if desired. Delicious!




















Ingredients

For the cake:
1 1/2 cups flour
1 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
3/4 cup milk
1/3 cup shortening
1 egg
1 tsp vanilla
1 4-oz package strawberry jello (prepared according to the directions on box)
Sliced fresh strawberries for serving with cake

For the frosting:
4 oz cream cheese, softened
2 tbls butter, softened
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups confectioner's sugar

Method
Measure all ingredients into a large mixer bowl.  Blend 1/2 minute  on low speed, scraping bowl.  Beat 3 minutes on  high speed.  Scrape bowl and pour into prepared 9 x 9-inch square baking dish sprayed with baking spray (I use Baker's Joy). Bake in a preheated 350 oven 35-40 minutes or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean.  Let cake cool on wire rack. Once cooled, poke holes in cake all over with the tines of a fork. Prepare jello according to directions and immediately pour slowly and evenly over cake trying to fill in all the holes.  Allow cake to chill in the refrigerator several hours.
Beat cream cheese and butter until creamy; add confectioner's sugar and vanilla, beating until smooth.  Frost cake with frosting mixture and serve slices of cake with sliced strawberries.



Poke cake with strawberry jello poured over top


Frosted with cream cheese frosting


Enjoy,
Mary



Slow Cooker Garlicky Eye of Round Roast

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This is a wonderful slow cooker roast!  My family loves it, and because you cook it in a slow cooker, it is perfect for a weeknight meal, but also makes a wonderful Sunday dinner. Delicious! It's definitely a "keeper" in our house!


Ingredients
3 lb. eye of round roast
1 tsp salt
1 tsp course-ground black pepper
6 potatoes, peeled and left whole
5 carrots cut into pieces
3 ribs celery cut into pieces
1 onion cut into 1/8ths
1 tbls bottled minced garlic
1/2 tsp dried thyme leaves
1/3 cup flour
1 - 10 oz. can beef consomme' (I use my own beef stock)
1/2 cup red wine (optional)

Method
Place roast in crock pot, sprinkle with salt and pepper, add carrots, celery, onion, potatoes, garlic and thyme.

Blend flour with consomme and pour over roast, add wine if desired.

Cook on low heat for 8-10 hours.

Enjoy,
Mary

Liz Krejci's Pepper Jelly

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This is my good friend, Liz Krejci's, Pepper Jelly recipe!  I remember the first time I ever had some, she brought it to a party we were having, and served it over cream cheese on crackers!  Ohhhhh I was in love with it!  It was soooooo yummy! 

Since then I've had it many times (every Christmas we would get a gift basket of her canned goodies, and the pepper jelly was always one of the most cherished).


Until today had I never made it myself, so I picked some great peppers from my Kitchen Garden and got to work chopping and dicing the peppers.  Ooooo laaaa laaaa!  Wonderful!

Ingredients
1 ¼ cups white vinegar
2 cups chopped green peppers (seeded)
1 cup chopped jalapeno peppers (seeded - wear gloves when handling the jalapeno peppers)
6 cups sugar
1 pkg Sure-Jell
1 tsp butter (to prevent foaming)

Method
Pulverize or puree in blender:
¼ cup vinegar
chopped peppers
chopped jalapeno peppers

In large stock pot or pan:
Pulverized/pureed peppers
1 pkg Sure-Jell
1 cup vinegar
1 tsp butter

Boil 3 minutes, skim off foam (if any). Pour in sugar all at once and boil hard (rolling boil) for 1 minute. Remove from heat and ladle into sterilized jars. Process jars 10 minutes in boiling water bath.

Remove jars and let sit undisturbed on your kitchen counter-top for 24 hours undisturbed. Store in pantry up to one year. Open jars must be refrigerated.

Enjoy,
Mary

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