Sunday, December 29, 2013

New Year's Eve/Day Menu Ideas

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Whether you are having a large party or a small family get-together here are a few ideas for a New Year's Eve Gathering or New Year's Day Menu.  Any of the hors d' oeuvres would be lovely served prior to the entree' choices below.  From Boneless Leg of Lamb to Pulled Pork Barbecue ... the choice is yours!





















http://cookingwithmaryandfriends.blogspot.com/2012/12/crab-balls-with-remoulade-sauce.html





















http://cookingwithmaryandfriends.blogspot.com/2013/02/fried-hot-wings.html


















http://cookingwithmaryandfriends.blogspot.com/2012/06/shrimp-cevichi.html


http://cookingwithmaryandfriends.blogspot.com/2012/11/bleu-cheese-cheese-apple.html


http://cookingwithmaryandfriends.blogspot.com/2012/11/roasted-boneless-leg-of-lamb.html


http://cookingwithmaryandfriends.blogspot.com/2013/12/roasted-beef-tenderloin.html


http://cookingwithmaryandfriends.blogspot.com/2013/06/hand-pulled-pork-barbecue.html


http://cookingwithmaryandfriends.blogspot.com/2012/10/german-sauerbraten-roast.html


Enjoy,
Mary

Chili Sauce

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You know it was one of those moments when I needed Chili Sauce for some appetizer meatballs I was making (the grape jelly/chili sauce kind), and the stores were all out of it, I thought, I bet I can make  it!  Love those moments!  Well, of course you can make it, and it's so easy! This was another one of those "now why didn't I just do this before" kind of moments.


RECIPE
Ingredients
2 cups ketchup                                                  
1 cup honey (I use fresh honey from Bell Honey Company but any good, natural honey will work)                             
1 cup distilled white vinegar                       
tablespoon dried minced onion                       
2 teaspoons chili powder
teaspoons plain salt
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon red chili pepper flakes
1/2 teaspoon white pepper 


Method
Measure all ingredients into a large saucepan.  Stir or whisk to combine and heat over medium-high heat until mixture comes to a boil, stirring often to prevent sticking. 

Reduce heat and simmer 15-20 minutes or until all ingredients are well blended, and sauce thickens some.  

Taste and adjust all seasonings as needed.  Flavor should be a balance between savory, salty, sweet and sour.  

Remove from heat and allow to cool.  Pour into mason jars and refrigerate. Chili Sauce will keep for weeks refrigerated. 

Canning instructions:  If canning, divide mixture into 4 - half-pint mason jars, cover with seals and rings and process in boiling water bath 15 minutes.

Remove jars and allow to cool 24 hours on a kitchen towel on your counter-top.

Store in pantry. Once opened jars need to be refrigerated.
      

Yield:  2 pints or 4 half-pint jars     

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, December 27, 2013

No-Bake Blueberry Cheesecake Parfaits

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Using some of my Homemade Blueberry Pie Filling, I made these No-Bake Blueberry Cheesecake Parfaits today for dessert.  I love using 8-oz. mason jars for this ... simply screw on the top and you have a dessert "to go" very easily with no worry about spilling.  Quick, easy and so yummy!

Ingredients
1 - 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 tbls. vanilla
2 tbls. lemon juice
1/2 - 8 oz. container cool whip or 1 cup heavy cream, whipped
1 graham cracker crumb crust, evenly divided (see directions below)
1 - 16 oz. jar Blueberry Pie Filling

Graham Cracker Crumb Crust
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tbls. sugar
5 tbls. butter, melted
In a mixing bowl, add all ingredients and mix together with a fork until well combined


Method
Set out cream cheese to soften. Once softened, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth and combined. Add vanilla, lemon juice and sour cream and beat until well blended.  Mix in whipped heavy cream or cool whip until fluffy.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to cool 1-2 hours.

Assemble
In 8 - 8 oz. mason jars, add 3 tbls. of the graham cracker crumb crust then top the crust with 2-3 large spoonfuls of the cheesecake filling, and lastly top cheesecake filling with 2 spoonfuls of the blueberry pie filling, until each jar is full and all ingredients are evenly distributed.  Cover jars with lids and store in the refrigerator.

Yield: 8 - 8 oz. mason jars

Variations:
Cherry
Lemon
Caramel Apple
Strawberry
Chocolate

Enjoy,
Mary

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Roasted Beef Tenderloin

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My husband loves to experiment with different spices for rub combinations.  He's crafted a variety of them over the years, but today made one especially for a Beef Tenderloin Roast we were having for Christmas dinner.  This turned out AH MAZ ING!  Perfect "special dinner" for a couple, or up to 4 people for a dinner party.  Serve with Smashed Baked Potato Casserole.


Ingredients
One - 2 1/2 lb. beef tenderloin
1 tbls. olive oil

Rub
2 tbls. course-ground black pepper
1/2 tbls. course sea salt or Himalayan salt (or to taste)
1 tsp. ground mustard
1 tsp. oregano leaves
1 tsp. dried thyme leaves
1 tbls. fresh chopped rosemary
3 fresh cloves garlic, minced (or use minced garlic in a jar)
Mix all together and allow to sit several hours to marry the flavors.  Cover beef tenderloin with rub (above) liberally coating all sides of the beef.

Sauce
2 tbls. butter, melted
3/4 cup sour cream
3 ounces cream cheese
2 ounces bleu cheese crumbles
1 tsp. multi-blend cracker pepper
2 tbls. white wine

Method
In a small sauce pan over medium heat, melt butter; stir in sour cream, cheeses and cracker pepper and stir until melted.  Add white wine while whisking sauce and continue mixing until smooth.


Method for Roasted Beef Tenderloin
Add olive oil to a heavy fry pan (one safe for oven use as well).  Heat over high to med-high heat; add beef tenderloin covered with rub and sear on each side 1 1/2 minutes per side.

Remove pan from heat and place in oven at 425 for 30 minutes.  Test for desired doneness (130 medium rare/140 medium) with an instant read thermometer.  Remove roast from pan and allow to stand 15 minutes before carving.

http://butcherboymarket.com/custroastingguide/meat-roasting-guide/

Serve Roasted Beef Tenderloin topped with sauce, a side of Smashed Baked Potato Casserole, and your choice of steamed fresh vegetables or a side salad.

Yield: 4 servings

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.

Smashed Baked Potato Casserole

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Very versatile baked potato casserole. Serve as an accompaniment with Roasted Beef Tenderloin, or any roasted/grilled beef, chicken or pork dish.


















Ingredients
4 large russet baking potatoes
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. parsley leaves
1/2 tsp. course-ground multi-blend pepper
1/2 tsp. onion flakes
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
8 tbls. butter, cut into 4-5 pieces
1 cup sour cream

Method
Preheat oven to 425.  Bake 4 russet baking potatoes for one hour, or until done.  Split potatoes, remove potato from skins and place potato in a large mixing bowl. Add all other ingredients and mix until blended. Place in a prepared casserole dish and bake 1 hour until browned and cooked through.

 


Serves:  4-6

Enjoy,
Mary

Sunday, December 22, 2013

French Dip Sandwiches

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I love making these French Dip sandwiches after we've had a Prime Rib Roast dinner. I have my husband shave the beef with his electric knife, which works perfectly to get paper-thin slices of beef.


Recipe

Ingredients
Shaved slices of roasted prime rib
2 Portuguese hard rolls, split in half (or any other hard roll)
Butter to spread on rolls
Cooking spray
Garlic powder
Caramelized onions (see procedure below)
Shredded Mozzarella cheese (or any thin sliced or shredded white cheese; i.e. Provolone, Monterrey Jack, Swiss)



Method
Preheat oven to 350.  Split rolls in half; spray outside of rolls with cooking spray (or oil), butter inside of rolls and sprinkle with garlic powder. Place on large baking sheet and cook several minutes or until rolls are lightly toasted. 

Remove from oven and top with shaved beef and cheese. Top this with caramelized onions using slotted spoon.  Return to oven and continue to bake until cheese is melted.

Remove from oven, place tops of rolls on sandwich and press down with a spatula.  Serve immediately with caramelized onion mixture to use as a dipping sauce.


Caramelized Onions
1 large onion, sliced
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1/4 cup red wine (cooking wine will work)
1 cup beef stock/broth (2 beef bouillon cubes heated in 1 cup water)

Method
Slice 1 large onion very thinly, separate onion into rings.  Melt butter in heavy saucepan and sauté over medium to med-high heat about 30 minutes, or until onions are well cooked and browning.  Add red wine and beef stock and simmer several minutes.  Remove from heat and set aside. Serve with French Dip sandwiches.

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.


Thursday, December 19, 2013

Easy Marcaroni Salad

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We enjoy this here year round!  It's a great side dish to almost anything grilled.  Perfect for a backyard barbecue, or picnic.

During the cold winter months we many times enjoy this with "indoor" barbecued chicken or ribs. It's also great with roasted chicken.

RECIPE
Ingredients
2 cups elbow macaroni noodles, cooked until barely done, or al dente'
3/4 cup mayonnaise
1/3 cup sour cream
6 tbls. white vinegar
2 tbls. sugar
2 stalks celery, diced
1 medium onion, diced
1 tbls. parsley flakes
Course-ground black pepper and Himalayan salt, to taste

Options: Add drained tuna fish, cooked cubed chicken, diced ham, cooked bacon, chopped hard boiled eggs, diced peppers, carrots or broccoli if desired. I almost always add carrots for the extra crunch.

Method
Boil elbow macaroni until barely done, or al dente'. Drain and rinse with cold water.

In a large bowl add all other remaining ingredients and mix until well blended. Toss in cooked macaroni and mix well with a spoon; mixture will look soupy, the macaroni will absorb the liquid as it cools.

Spoon into a covered bowl and store in the refrigerator several hours. Mix with a spoon, taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

Serve cold with your choice of barbecued meats.

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, December 15, 2013

No-Bake Cheesecake Parfaits

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Cute 8 oz. mason jars make great containers for these No-Bake Cheesecake Parfaits!  Something I've wanted to make for a long time, so I spent some time today playing around with them.  I used my Carmel-Apple Jam for the filling, but you could certainly use any of your favorite jams or fresh fruit to make them your own.  Little graham cracker crumbs, topped with a little crumble topping, and they're ready to go!




















Ingredients
1 - 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup sour cream
1 tbls. vanilla
2 tbls. lemon juice
1/2 - 8 oz. container cool whip or 1 cup heavy cream
1-2 tbls. graham cracker crumbs, evenly divided

Crumble topping1 cup oats, 1 cup brown sugar, 1/2 cup flour, 4 tbls. butter, 1/2 cup pecans; mix all together and spread in a baking pan sprayed with cooking spray to prevent sticking.  Bake in a 350 oven, stirring once, for 10 minutes.  Remove from oven, stir and allow to cool.  Store leftover in a mason jar (keeps several months on your pantry shelf).

Method
Set out cream cheese to soften. Once softened, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth and combined. Add vanilla, lemon juice and sour cream and beat until well blended.  Mix in heavy cream or cool whip until fluffy.  Cover with plastic wrap and allow to cool 1-2 hours.
In 6 - 8 oz. mason jars, layer some of the cheesecake filling, caramel-apple jam, graham cracker crumbs, more of the cheesecake filling and top with crumble topping.  Cover and store in the refrigerator.

Yield: 6 - 8 oz. mason jars

Enjoy,
Mary


Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Cheesy Shells & Ham Bake

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Quick and easy, this Cheesy Shells & Ham Bake is a great way to use up leftover ham, or buy some "ham cubes" and keep them in your freezer. Either way it's delicious and a family-friendly quick supper.



Recipe
Ingredients
2 cups shell pasta (or any small pasta you like)
4 tbls. butter
4 tbls flour
2 tsp ground mustard
2 cups milk
2 cups cubed Velveeta cheese
2 cups shredded sharp cheddar cheese (plus more to dust over top)
1 cup ham, cubed
*optional - add 1 cup broccoli florets or green peas if desired


Method
Cook pasta in boiling, salted water until just done - you want them to be slightly under-cooked.  Drain and rinse immediately with cold water to stop cooking process.  Let sit in colander in cold water while you continue with recipe.

Melt butter in large saucepan, stir in flour and whisk until smooth. Stir in ground mustard and add milk, whisking to make smooth. Over medium high heat, stir in Velveeta and continue stirring off and on until cheese is melted. Lower heat to medium-low and stir in shredded sharp cheddar cheese; continue stirring until cheese is melted and sauce is smooth. Remove from heat.

Drain pasta and mix into cheese sauce; stir in cubed ham pieces. Pour mixture into a 2 quart casserole dish sprayed with cooking spray.  Sprinkle top with more shredded cheddar cheese.

Bake 350 for 30-40 minutes or until bubbly around edges and cooked through. Let sit 5 minutes 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.

Monday, December 9, 2013

Easy Flavored Rice

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Why buy flavored rice when you can make it yourself?  By simply adding a few ingredients, you can have great flavored rice at home with very little effort. Try it for yourself and see!


















Ingredients
1 cup long-grain rice
2 cups water
1 tbls. instant beef or chicken bouillon granules
2 tsp. dried minced onion
1 tsp. thyme leaves
1 tsp. parsley flakes
1 tbls. butter

Method
Add all ingredients to a rice steamer and allow to cook.  Once done, fluff rice with a fork adding about 1-2 tsp. more butter.  Allow rice steamer to stay on "keep warm" for 15-20 minutes.  Perfect fluffy steamed rice every time.
Make this with chicken bouillon granules and other spices to "change it up."  Add sautéed sliced almonds, sliced mushrooms, or toasted pecans to make it your own.  The varieties are endless!

Yield:  4 servings

Enjoy,
Mary

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Grilled Cabbage Wedge

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Oh my goodness!  Thinking a little bit "outside the box" I wondered what a grilled cabbage wedge would taste like?  I mean, you see grilled wedges all the time, right, but I've never seen one with cabbage so I thought to myself, "why not?"  A little EEVO, spices and more should make it yummy, right?  Well this Grilled Cabbage Wedge uses Fein Tasting Foods "Veggie Rub" and is amazingly yummy!  So simple, yet full of flavor, I really wondered "now why didn't I think of this before?"


Ingredients
1 cabbage, cut into wedges
Olive oil to coat cabbage liberally
1-2 tbls. Fein Tasting Foods "Veggie Rub"
dash or 2 balsamic vinegar
Bleu cheese crumbles



















Method
Coat cabbage wedges liberally with olive oil; dust to cover completely with Fein Tasting Foods "veggie rub."  Place in a grill fry pan and cook over indirect medium high turning every 5 minutes on all sides for a total grilling time of approximately 20 minutes.  Remove from heat and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and top with bleu cheese crumbles.



Enjoy,
Mary


Curt's Grilled London Broil

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My husband has been grilling London Broil's for a long time ... he first learned how from his father many years ago. Over the years, he's tried many different marinades, some good, and some not so good. After awhile, he decided to make his own and oh my goodness, it is awesome!  Feel free to adjust all seasonings to your taste.

















Curt's Marinade
1/3 cup oil
1 tbls. red cooking wine
1 tbls. balsamic vinegar
1 tbls. minced garlic
1/2 tsp. ground white pepper
1/4 tsp. thyme leaves
1 1/2 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1 1/2 tsp. course-ground black pepper
1/8 tsp. onion powder
1 London Broil (top round roast)

Method
Pierce London Broil all over with the tines of a fork.  Mix marinade in a zip-top bag, seal and shake to blend all.  Add London Broil and marinade several hours (or overnight) in your refrigerator, turning from time to time to evenly soak meat in marinade.

Grill on sear burner 1 minute per side; continue to grill on direct high about 5-7 minutes per side depending on thickness.  Remove, cover with foil and let rest 5 minutes before slicing/serving.

Enjoy,
Mary

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Turkey and Cabbage Soup

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Just a short bit ago I saw a post from The Southern Lady Cooks for her Crockpot Turkey, Cabbage and Rice Soup which looked so good I thought I'd make some for the canner.  You must leave the rice out, otherwise it would continue to absorb the liquid in the jar when canning, BUT you can add it when serving.  Such a great way to use the turkey stock I made!























Ingredients
1 gallon turkey stock (follow directions here for chicken stock)
3-4 cups turkey, cooked and chopped (I used the turkey meat from the carcass after making the stock)
1 onion, chopped
1 cup celery, chopped
1 (14.5 ounce) can petite diced tomatoes, un-drained
1/2 head of cabbage, chopped
To each jar add:
1/2 tsp. course-ground black pepper
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. chili powder
1/4 tsp. cumin

Method
Layer equal amounts of onion, celery, tomatoes, cabbage and cooked turkey to each quart canning jar. 

Now add spices listed to each jar.  Pour turkey stock over all.  Run a knife around the inside of jars to remove air bubbles, and add more stock as necessary leaving a 1/2-inch head space.

Cover jars with seals and rings and process in pressure canner 90 minutes at 10 lbs. pressure. 

Remove pressure canner from heat, allow canner to cool down completely, then remove jars and let them sit on your counter-top undisturbed for 24 hours.  Store in pantry. 

Serve over hot cooked rice with a side of corn muffins or cornbread.


























Yield:  6 quart canning jars

Cooks note:  I did not add the tomatoes with green chili's, the Worcestershire sauce or salt called for in the original recipe.  You can add those if desired when heating to serve.  This is a spicy soup, adjust all seasonings to taste.

Enjoy,
Mary

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Twice Baked Potato Boats

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One of my husbands favorite things to make are these Twice Baked Potato Boats.  Full of flavor, they go great with grilled steak, chicken or pork.  Heck, they make an awesome meal by themselves with just a side salad.  So good.

Ingredients
2-4 large Russet baking potatoes
1 tbls. olive oil
1-2 tsp. Himalayan salt
3 tbls. butter
1 1/2 tsp. course-ground black pepper
1 tsp. Garlic-Herb Medley (we use McCormick's)
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tbls. Bleu cheese (if you don't like bleu cheese, substitute cheddar or parmesan)

Method
Preheat oven to 400 degrees,  Rub potato skins with oil and dust with salt.

Bake 1 hour, or until potatoes are cooked.

Split potatoes lengthwise in half and scoop out cooked potato into a large bowl, reserving potato skins.

Mix cooked potato with all remaining ingredients, then scoop mixture back into reserved potato skins.

Bake for 30 minutes or until tops are lightly browned.  Serve immediately.

These can be made easily on a grill also!  Perfect for camping or RV trips!

Yield: 4-8 (halves)

Enjoy,
Mary

Monday, November 25, 2013

Lemon Meringue Pie

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This recipe came from my Great-Grandmother, Nana Jester, via my Grandmother, Mamie.  It's a great made from scratch Lemon Meringue Pie, and the only one we serve in our family.  It's also a favorite of our daughter-in-law, and we have a lot of requests here for "favorites," do you?  This one wants Lemon Meringue, another wants Pumpkin, the other Pecan, and another Apple.  As is the "norm" here, they all get their favorites.


Recipe

Ingredients
2 cups sugar
6 tbls. corn starch
pinch salt
2 lemons
2 cups water
4 eggs (I used farm fresh eggs from Wil-Moore Farms)
1 tbls. butter

Crust
1 1/3 cups flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 cup shortening
3-4 tbls. cold water (ice water works best)


Method
Crust:  Preheat oven to 475 degrees. In a large mixing bowl, mix flour and salt. Add shortening and cut in with pasty blender or fork until it resembles course crumbles. Add water and mix with a fork until dough forms a ball, being careful not to overwork dough. Turn out onto floured board, and roll out into a large circle (big enough to fit into 10" pie pan). Trim excess and crimp edges using the tines of a fork dipped in flour all around the pie pan. Bake in preheated 475 degree oven for 8-10 minutes or until lightly browned; remove from oven and allow to cool.

Filling:  In a large sauce pan, mix together sugar, corn starch and salt.  Stir in water, the juice of 2 lemons, and the grated zest (rind) of one lemon. Separate egg yolks (reserving egg whites), beat yolks and add to sauce pan; stir in 1 tbls. butter. Heat over medium-high heat, stirring frequently until mixture bubbles, begins to softly boil and thickens; continue cooking for one minute.  Pour into cooled pie shell.

Meringue:  In a large mixing bowl, add reserved egg whites and 4 tsp. cold water. Using a mixer, whisk/beat egg whites slowly adding 12 tsp. sugar and continue to whisk/beat until stiff peaks form.
Spoon meringue on top of pie, smoothing to the edges. Using the back of a spoon, form some peaks with the meringue. Bake in 350 oven 15 minutes or until meringue is lightly browned. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Chill in refrigerator.

Cook's note - If you don't have time to cool the pie shell, you can proceed with adding the filling to the pie shell, topping with meringue and baking.

Yield:  One 10"



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.


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Southern Home Fries

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Simple foods are many times the BEST EVER and this is probably the simplest thing you'll ever make, but so delicious!


You know everyone in your family has a "favorite" and this is my daughter's all-time favorite breakfast food.  Heaven help me if she comes home for a visit and we don't do at least one BIG cooked breakfast.  You know the kind with pancakes, eggs, Southern home fries, sausage gravy & biscuits, bacon (lots of bacon), grits, orange juice, coffee and more! 

A big breakfast is what we typically serve the day after Thanksgiving.  Usually those family members who have traveled are heading home, so this is a nice send-off, because everyone leaves with a belly full of yumminess!  And if they're not leaving, then hey, this holds them all off until they hit the leftovers that afternoon.

Over the years I've had many friends come over for breakfast so long as I'm serving these Southern Home Fries ...




Recipe

Ingredients
1 bag - 32 oz. frozen southern hash browns (cubed potatoes) or 4 cups diced, cubed potatoes (use a firm potato such as Red or Yukon gold, not Russet)
1 medium onion, diced
4 tbls. butter
2-3 tbls. oil (your preference)
2-3 tsp. Season-All or any seasoned salt (or to taste)
1-2 tsp. course-ground black pepper (or to taste)



Method
In a large electric fry pan (or heavy fry pan with lid), melt butter and oil at 350 degrees.  Add frozen potatoes (or fresh, cubed potatoes) and diced onion; stir to coat with butter and oil mixture.  Sprinkle season-all and pepper on top and stir again to evenly mix.

Cover fry pan and cook 3-5 minutes.  Remove lid, allowing condensation from the lid to drip into the pan. Using a spatula, mix around to ensure they are not sticking.  Cover and cook for an additional 5 minutes.  Potatoes should be getting cooked but not mushy.

After about 5 more minutes (cooking time may vary), remove lid and allow potatoes to brown, stirring from time to time to prevent sticking and to ensure even cooking/browning.  Potatoes are done when they are brown and crisped on the outside, and the oil and butter is absorbed.  Serve immediately.

Cook's note - Freezes very well.  Allow to cool, then bag and freeze. Simply thaw and bake, uncovered in 350 oven until hot.




Enjoy,
Mary

Monday, November 18, 2013

Mexican Bean Soup Mix

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Here's another easy gift in a jar to make to give to friends or family for the holidays!  Little ingredients, big flavor = great gift!

Mexican Bean Soup Mix

Ingredients
3/4 cup pinto beans
3/4 cup red kidney beans
1/2 cup white rice
3/4 cup small pasta
Flavor Packet
2 tbls. dried onion flakes (or minced onion)
2 tbls. dried parsley flakes
1 tbls. chili powder
2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. dried oregano
6 tsp. chicken bouillon granules

Method
In a 1 quart mason jar with lid, layer the beans.  In small plastic bags add:  rice to one, small pasta to another and flavor packet ingredients to another (seal each with twist ties) and place in jar.  Add lid and any decorative cloth, rope ties, bows, etc. you 'd like. 

Include a recipe card with the following instructions:

Add beans to heavy 4-5 quart pot with 4 cups water. Bring to a boil, cover and remove from heat. Let sit 1 hour.  Drain beans and return to pot.  Add 8 cups water and contents of flavor packet. Bring to a boil; reduce heat, cover and simmer 1 hour or until beans are firm tender (time will vary - you want them tender but not mushy).  Stir in rice and continue to simmer until rice is cooked (25-30 minutes).  Stir in pasta and 1/2 cup more water and simmer until pasta is tender (10 minutes).

The soup mix is now ready to eat "as is" for a hearty protein and fiber packed vegetarian version, or add cooked ground beef or shredded cooked chicken if desired.

Yield:  8 cups

There are many, many recipes out there for Soup Mixes in a Jar and more!  Check out these links for more amazing ideas:

Soup Mixes in a Jar Recipes

Cookie Mixes in a Jar Recipes


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, November 17, 2013

Pork Tenderloin w/Pecan Amaretto Jam

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Amazing, quick and easy way to prepare a pork tenderloin.  The end result is moist and tasty.


















Ingredients
1 pork tenderloin
1/2 jar Pecan-Amaretto Jam (1/2 cup)
1 tbls. grainy mustard
1 tbls. honey

Method
Mix Pecan-Amaretto Jam, grainy mustard and honey in a small bowl.  Spray a baking/roasting dish with cooking spray and place pork tenderloin in the pan.  Spoon Pecan-Amaretto Jam mixture over pork, reserving some to baste pork with later.

Roast in 350 oven approx. 35-45 minutes or until pork is cooked through.  Baste with additional Pecan-Amaretto Jam part way through roasting time.

Enjoy,
Mary

Callie's Classic Buttermilk Biscuits

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A recipe review from the cookbook Callie's Biscuits and Southern Traditions.

I love biscuits, but to be honest, this "northern gal" couldn't make a biscuit to save her life. I made awesome "hockey pucks" you could sling across the floor, but never the soft and flaky kind I saw in cookbooks and magazines.

Luckily for my family, over the years I did learn how to make biscuits, simply because I refused to give up ... and I tried all kinds of recipes. Along the way, I learned several things; do not over-work the dough and always use self-rising flour and buttermilk. These are key to great biscuits.

Callie's Classic Buttermilk Biscuits are light, fluffy and full of flavor, and the addition of the cream cheese makes them super-yummy. They are also very easy to make ... take a look ...



Ingredients
2 cups self-rising flour
5 tbls. butter, divided
1/4 cup cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup buttermilk

Method
Preheat oven to 500. In a large mixing bowl add self-rising flour, 4 tbls. butter cut into small pieces and the cream cheese. Using your hands, cut in the butter and cream cheese until flour is crumbled.

Make a well in the middle and add the buttermilk. Continue to mix with your hands until a soft dough forms. The dough will be wet and shaggy.

Dust top of dough with more flour, and using a rubber spatula around the sides of the bowl, remove dough to a lightly floured board. 

Dust again with flour, roll out into an oval 1/2" thick and cut biscuits with 2" round biscuit cutter.

Place each on a rimmed baking sheet, with the biscuits touching each other.
Melt remaining 1 tbls. butter and brush tops of biscuits.

Place in oven and immediately reduce heat to 450. Bake 16-18 minutes or until biscuits are lightly browned on top.




I split and buttered one and topped it with my Caramel-Apple Jam!  Oh wow! Then I made a Bacon, Egg and Cheese Biscuit ... heaven!




Disclaimer: The cookbook in this post was provided by Callie's Biscuits. All opinions are my own.


Enjoy,
Mary


Saturday, November 16, 2013

Spiced Pecans

Yum

There are a ton of recipes out there for Spiced Pecans, but this is one of my favorites, and the first of several posts I'm doing for "gifts in jars" for the holidays!  They are spicy and sweet with a little "kick" of heat!  Bring them as a hostess gift, or use them as an addition to any party or gathering as a little something to snack on. And you know pecans are good for you too!  They will keep several weeks in a well-sealed mason jar, or a few months stored in a zip-top bag in your freezer. Then simply grab out a bag when you want some.

Recipe


Ingredients
1 1/2 tsp. salt, divided          
1/2 tsp. cayenne (or 1 tsp. if you want them very spicy) 
1 tsp. each ground white pepper, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice     
4 cups pecan halves (about 12 oz.)
1/4 cup butter, melted
1/2 cup regular maple syrup   

Method
Heat the oven to 350°F. In a medium bowl, toss together 1 tsp. salt, cayenne, white pepper, nutmeg, cloves, and allspice. Add the pecans and toss well. Drizzle the melted butter over the pecans and mix well. Turn out onto a rimmed baking sheet, sprayed with cooking spray, scraping any spices and butter from the bowl and spreading the nuts into one layer.

Bake until lightly toasted, stirring occasionally, about 9 minutes. Remove from oven, drizzle the maple syrup over the nuts, stir to combine, and return to oven to bake about 10 minutes longer, until the nuts turn glossy and slightly dark.

Remove from oven and stir slightly;  let the nuts cool in the pan for 30 minutes and then scrape the nuts and any maple drippings into a bowl; break up any large clusters. Serve immediately dusted with remaining 1/2 tsp. salt (if desired).

Store in mason jars or place in zip-top bags and freeze.

Yield:  4 cups

Disclaimer: The samples in this post were provided by Schermer Pecans. All opinions are my own.

Health benefits of Pecans

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.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

"Kicked-Up" Cheeseburger Soup

Yum

While we love Cheeseburger Soup the regular way, with mild cheeses blended in, we also love it with just a little bit of heat.  This recipe incorporates the usual cheese with some Jalapeno-Jack cheese for a "twist" on the norm. 


Recipe
Ingredients
1 lb. ground beef
¾ cup chopped onion
¾ cup shredded carrots
¾ cup diced celery
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried parsley flakes
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper (or red pepper flakes)
4 tablespoons butter
4 cups chicken broth
4 cups peeled and diced potatoes (or frozen cubed potatoes)
¼ cup all purpose flour
2 cups of Velveeta processed cheese cubed
1 cup Jalapeno-Jack cheese, cubed
1 1/2 cups milk
¾ teaspoon salt
¼ to ½ tsp. course-ground black pepper
¼ cup sour cream
Toppings:  shredded cheddar cheese and bacon crumbles (optional)

Method
Brown the ground beef in 3 quart saucepan. Drain and set aside.

In the same saucepan add butter, onion, shredded carrots, parsley flakes, oregano, cayenne and celery; saute' until tender and stir in flour.

Add the broth, potatoes and beef and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, cover and simmer 10-12 minutes or until potatoes are tender.

Reduce heat to low. Stir in the cheeses, milk, salt and pepper. Cook and stir until cheese melts.

Remove from heat and blend in sour cream. Serve immediately topped with shredded cheddar cheese and bacon crumbles if desired.

Servings:  6-8

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, November 9, 2013

New England Bread and Sausage Stuffing

Yum

It wouldn't be Thanksgiving in our house without this Bread and Sausage Stuffing.  My mother has been making it as long as I can remember, and one of the first things I made when I got married was this stuffing.  The smells and the taste bring me right back to her kitchen when I was a little girl!  And the way she told me to tell if it was "made right" was to smell it!  That's right, smell it!  It should smell like poultry seasoning and onion :-)  To this day my daughter, son and grandsons all smell it to make sure it's "right!"

From left, grandson, Nic, nephew, Jacob and grandson, Ethan mixing it up




















My mom always stuffed the turkey, filling the cavity to capacity, but over the years I have started baking it outside the turkey for a number of reasons; one the safety concern and the other because we enjoy this as a side dish with chicken or pork too!  Makes an excellent option to everyday mashed potatoes, or, as my husband would say, a great addition!



Nic mixing it up!




















Ingredients

1 1/2 - 2 large loaves soft sandwich bread, torn into pieces 
(I also use leftover hamburger or hot dog buns, whatever I have on hand)
1 stick butter, melted and slightly cooled
2 cups chicken stock (or giblet water if cooking the giblets for Giblet Gravy)
1 lb. sage or plain sausage meat
1 large onion, diced
4 tsp. poultry seasoning (or more to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste
Drippings from turkey/chicken (if desired)

Method
Tear bread into pieces in a large bowl.

Break up sausage and add to bowl.  Toss in all other ingredients and mix with your hands until well combined.

The mixture should be slightly "wet" and loose (add more chicken stock if needed).

Bake covered in a 350 oven for 30 minutes; uncover and bake 15 minutes more or until browned.  During the baking time you can add some drippings if desired, but not required.

Serve hot with gravy!

Yield:  13 x 9-inch baking pan

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.