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