Monday, October 28, 2013

Mustard Egg Noodles with Green Beans

I'm always looking for a great side dish, and this is a definite keeper!  Egg Noodles and Green Beans tossed with melted butter, grainy mustard, and a bit of salt and pepper. Wonderful!  Original recipe from Cuisine at Home.

8 oz. dry egg  noodles
8 oz. green beans, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces (fresh or frozen - I used French cut frozen)
5 tbls. butter
2 tbls. course-grain mustard
1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook egg noodles in a pot of boiling water according to package directions.  In the last 3 minutes of cooking, stir in the green beans; drain noodles and green beans.  In the same pan, melt butter over medium heat; stir in mustard, noodles, green beans and parsley and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper.

Makes 4 servings.


Sunday, October 27, 2013

Caramel Apple Jam


This Caramel-Apple Jam is so easy to make and delicious served over pancakes & waffles, or topped on biscuits or scones. Tastes like Apple Pie Filling only as a jam. Yummy indeed!!


6 cups finely diced peeled Apples (4 med-large Honey Crisp apples yielded 6 cups)
1/2 cup water*

1/2 tsp. butter
1 package Sure Jell (powdered fruit pectin)
4 cups sugar
1 cup packed brown sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon (heaping)
1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg

In a large stock pot, combine the apples, water and butter. Cook and stir over low heat until apples are tender (about 10 minutes). 

Stir in pectin and bring to a rolling boil, stirring constantly. Add the sugars, cinnamon and nutmeg and return to a rolling boil. Boil for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Remove from the heat; skim off foam. Carefully ladle hot mixture into hot half-pint or pint jars, leaving 1/4-in. head-space. Remove air bubbles; wipe rims and adjust lids. Process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath.

Note - shake jars gently from time to time while cooling (after lid has sealed) to evenly distribute apple pieces throughout the jam.

Yield: 3 pints or approx. 6 half-pints

*Option:  Replace 1/2 cup water with 1/2 cup spiced rum for a different twist.

See link for other yummy Apple Canning Recipes

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Pumpkin Apple Bread with Streusel Topping


Nothing could be more "Fall'ish" than pumpkins and apples!  Since I had a fresh pumpkin I had baked for the pumpkin puree, and some Honey Crisp apples from the Camden City Market, I decided to combine the two into this delicious, moist, sticky, yummy bread.  The recipe makes a lot, but they wrap and freeze well.  They would be awesome for holiday gift giving, office parties and more.

3 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. ground cinnamon
2 tsp. baking soda
1½ tsp. salt
3 cups granulated sugar
2 cups fresh pumpkin puree (or one 15 oz. can pure pumpkin - not pumpkin pie mix)
4 large eggs
1 cup vegetable oil
½ cup water (omit if using fresh pumpkin puree)
2 large Honey Crisp apples, peeled, cored and diced (or any crisp baking apple)
Streusel Topping:
1 1/2 tbls. all-purpose flour
5 tbls. granulated sugar
1 heaping tsp. ground cinnamon
1 1/2 tbls. butter, softened

Preheat oven to 350° F. Grease and flour seven 3 x 5 inch mini loaf pans or two 9 x 5 inch loaf pans. Combine flour, cinnamon, baking soda and salt in large bowl. Combine sugar, pumpkin, eggs, vegetable oil and apple juice in large mixer bowl; beat until just blended.

Add pumpkin mixture to flour mixture; stir just until moistened. Fold in apples. Spoon batter equally into prepared loaf pans.

Mix streusel topping in a separate bowl with a fork and sprinkle evenly over each loaf. Bake for 45-50 minutes or 60-65 minutes for the large loaves, or until wooden pick inserted in center comes out clean. 

Cool in pans on wire racks for 10 minutes; remove to wire racks to cool completely.

Yield:  2 large or 7 mini-loaves


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Saturday, October 26, 2013

Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry

Stir fry dinners are quick, easy and convenient since everything cooks in one pan.  This Chicken and Broccoli Stir Fry comes together quickly and is an easy dinner to prepare. With a little prep, you can have dinner on the table in under 30 minutes.

2 cups rice, cooked
2 stalks celery, sliced and diced
4 strips bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
4 chicken tenders, cut into small pieces
2 eggs, whisked
2-3 tbls. soy sauce (or more to taste)

In a large covered frying pan (I used an electric fry pan), cook bacon until crisp; remove to a paper towel and let drain; once cooled, crumble bacon.  Add diced celery to bacon drippings, cover pan and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring from time to time.  Add chicken, cover and cook 5 minutes or until chicken is cooked through, again stirring from time to time.  Add broccoli, cover and cook an additional 5 minutes or until broccoli is al dente.  Push broccoli, chicken and celery to the side of the pan, pour in whisked eggs to center of pan, and cook until well scrambled.  Mix all ingredients in the pan together, add soy sauce and rice and stir to combine.  Top with reserved crumbled bacon. Serve immediately.

Yield:  4 servings


Crustless Bacon Broccoli Cheddar Quiche


This quick quiche dish makes a wonderful breakfast, brunch or lunch item!  Just a few ingredients are needed to whip it up!  Bonus, it's gluten-free!

5 farm fresh eggs
1/3 cup diced onion
1 small head fresh broccoli, diced into small pieces
3 strips bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1/2 cup half and half
1-2 tsp seasoned salt
1 tsp course-ground black pepper
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 375.  Spray 9 x 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray.

Place diced onions, broccoli, and bacon in bottom of pan.

Whisk together 5 eggs, half and half, seasoned salt and course-ground black pepper; pour over onions, broccoli and bacon.  Top with 1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese.

Bake uncovered 30-40 minutes or until eggs are set. Allow to cool 5 minutes before cutting. Serve hot with a fresh fruit cup for a satisfying meal.

Make them "individuals" by pouring into prepared 4" ramekins and baking approx. 15-20 minutes, or until eggs are set.

Servings:  4-6

Nutritional benefits of fresh farm eggs


Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Creamy Cheesy Chicken Soup


Since my husband loves creamy soups, I set out today to make this Creamy Cheesy Chicken Soup!  Oh yes, it is thick, stick to the ribs goodness!

1 quart homemade chicken stock (or 32 oz. boxed chicken stock)
4 tbls. butter
2 stalks celery, diced
1/2 large onion, diced
6 chicken tenders, cut into small cubes
2 carrots, sliced and diced
2 cups frozen, cubed potatoes (or peeled and cubed fresh potatoes)
1/3 cup flour
1 tlbs. garlic powder
1/2 tbls. course-ground black pepper
2-3 tsp. thyme leaves
2 cups milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Melt butter in a large stock pot and saute' celery and onion 5 minutes over med-low heat, stirring frequently. Stir in flour and whisk in chicken stock and milk until thoroughly blended.

Add garlic powder, pepper and thyme leaves. Stir in carrots and chicken and allow to cook over low heat about 20 minutes or until vegetables are tender.

Add potatoes and cook 15 more minutes; add cheese and stir until well blended. Cook over med-low heat an additional 10 minutes or until well blended.

Adjust seasonings and add salt and pepper to taste.  Serve hot with crusty bread or biscuits.


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Sunday, October 20, 2013

Sweet Potato Rum Bundt Cake


I really love the taste of sweet potatoes and I enjoy baking with them. They add a nice natural sweetness to cakes and quick breads, plus make delicious souffle's and casseroles typically served at Thanksgiving.

Recently the fine folks at McCall Farms reached out to me and sent me some of their Bruce's Yams. Now I don't  know about you, but we've been buying Bruce's Yams for many, many years. When I don't want to bother to bake my own fresh sweet potatoes, they are the ones I choose to buy to use in my recipes.

Begun in 1838, McCall Farms is located in Effingham, South Carolina and is home to Margaret Holmes Southern-Style Vegetables, Peanut Patch Peanuts, Glory Foods and Bruce's Yams. To learn more about them, watch the McCall Farms Video here.

Looking for more Sweet Potato recipes? Check out Bruce's Yams recipes online. You can also find them on Facebook.

And now let's make this Sweet Potato Rum Bundt Cake! I can't wait for you to try it and taste it.


4 large eggs
2 cups granulated sugar
½ cup oil
½ cup unsalted butter, melted
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1 - 16 oz can Bruce's Yams, drained and lightly mashed (or one large sweet potato, baked and mashed)
3 cups all-purpose flour
1½ tsp. cinnamon 
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
1 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. baking soda
½ tsp. sea salt
½ cup rum (I use Bacardi Gold)
½ cup buttermilk (make your own by adding 1/2 tbls. lemon juice to 1/2 cup milk)

½ cup brown sugar (make our own by adding 1 tbls. molasses to 1/2 cup sugar, stir with fork)
¼ cup unsalted butter
2 tbls. maple syrup
½ cup sliced almonds or chopped pecans (optional)
3 tbls. rum
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Generously grease and flour a Bundt pan.

In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat eggs and sugar at high speed (speed 6 on my Kitchen-Aid) for 3 minutes or until thick and pale. Add oil, melted butter, and vanilla, beating at a low speed until just combined. Add the mashed sweet potatoes, beating until just combined and stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl.

In a separate bowl, add flour, cinnamon, nutmeg, baking powder, baking soda, and kosher salt. Whisk to combine.

In a measuring cup, whisk together the rum and buttermilk. Gradually add the flour mixture to the egg mixture, alternating with the buttermilk mixture. Beat at a low speed after each addition until just combined.

Pour the batter into the prepared Bundt pan. Bake for 50-60 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean. Cool in pan on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Remove from pan and allow to cool fully on the wire rack.

Glaze: While the cake is baking, bring brown sugar, butter, and maple syrup to a boil in a small saucepan over medium heat. Boil for 2 minutes, then add the almonds or pecans. Remove from heat and stir in the rum.

After the cake has cooled for 30 minutes, and is removed from the pan, drizzle the glaze slowly over the warm Bundt cake, allowing it to soak into the cake.


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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Pork Loin Roast with Brown Sugar Glaze


We love a good pork roast here, especially in the Fall when the leaves are turning, and the air is cooler.  Served with some fresh, homemade applesauce, it is yummy indeed.


1 Pork loin roast, bone-in, about 5 pounds
1 clove garlic, cut in half (or garlic powder)
salt and pepper
1 1/2 cups light brown sugar, packed (make your own by mixing white sugar with 2 tbls. molasses)
2 tbls. flour
2 tsp. Dijon mustard
3 tbls. balsamic or cider vinegar


Rub pork roast all over with cut sides of the garlic; sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place roast on a rack in a roasting pan. Roast at 325° for about 2 hours. Brush with glaze (see below) and continue roasting for about 30 minutes longer, or until pork registers *160 to 170 (well done) 140-145 for medium, when a meat thermometer is inserted into a meaty part of the roast (not touching bone).
Brown Sugar Glaze: Combine glaze ingredients in a saucepan; blend well. Stir over medium-low heat until bubbly. Set aside.

Let roast rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Serves 6 to 8.

*Pork internal safe cooking temperatures have been lowered recently:


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Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Fall Farm & Whole Foods Outing

Stan McKenzie and his Satsuma Mandarin Orange Trees
The other day some friends and I went on a Fall Farm & Healthy Whole Foods Outing.  It was a partially cloudy South Carolina Fall day, but that didn't deter us, even when the drizzle became just enough to be annoying. After all, we were on a mission to scope out a local Citrus Farm & Nursery, a fairly new lunch spot sourcing from local farms, and a wonderful small whole-foods market.  Oh yes, it was a great day!

  The day started out with about a one hour drive to our first destination:  McKenzie Farms & Nursery!  What a great place!  WOW doesn't even begin to describe our adventure there.  We were met by owner, Stan McKenzie, who had a wealth of knowledge to share with us.  First stop, his largest in-ground citrus grove, home to his 135 Satsuma Mandarin Oranges.  Following the traditions of the first settlers in the New World, McKenzie Farms harvests citrus dating back to the 1500's! Now how cool is that?  And remember, he's doing this in South Carolina, not Florida!

The trees were loaded with ripening fruit, some of it dragging on the ground. 

The next thing we knew, we were walking through the grove, listening to Stan explain the growth of the trees, the pruning of them yearly to prevent them from becoming too large (makes the picking of the fruit easier), his treatment of the plants when the weather gets below freezing, (he uses irrigation hoses, attached to fine misters that spray out water to gently cover the trees in a layer of ice, keeping them warmer than the surrounding colder air), how he takes a graft from the trees to start another tree and more. 

Following him around from one area to another, we tasted a Dragon Lime, a Persimmon (a first for me) and an Asian Pear.
Even though the Dragon Lime has a definite "bite" to it, the taste was amazing.  In fact, one of our group commented later, "I can just taste that in some Corona."  Now that was funny.           

  The citrus fruit ripens in October and November, although this year Stan said with the strange summer we had in South Carolina (a LOT of RAIN), the citrus trees bloomed almost a month later than normal.  That apparently didn't stop them from ripening on time, as many of the fruits we saw were either fully ripe, or ripening quickly, making them ready to pick soon. McKenzie Farms & Nursery also has Guavas, Figs, Pomegranates, other fruiting and flowering plants PLUS a wide selection of both winter and summer vegetables!
  What a GREAT place!  I'm sure we could have spent hours there, but we still had places to go and people to see, so we headed to the car and continued on our adventure! 

  Next stop, the Clay Pot Coffee Shop!  Absolutely, hands down, one of the best lunches I've had in a long time.  The restaurant is full of an eclectic assortment of tables and chairs, al fresco dining outside, and a smattering of local art pieces inside to include the handmade pottery of owner, Peggy Brown. 
  You go up to the counter to place your order, then choose your table and await your meal, where the
staff provides table service.  The glasses are small mason jars, which were a fun touch.  Only one lunch meal per day is prepared, so today's menu was a Clay Pot signature soup, Sweet Potato and Corn Chowder, paired with a BLT made with heritage bacon, local tomatoes, artisan lettuce served on a pita accompanied by healthy chips and grapes.  At only $8 it was a steal of a deal and so delicious. My friends even ordered dessert, and one was this amazing Fresh Apple Cake with Rum Sauce and fresh Whipped Cream ... AH MAZ ING is all I can say.  Moist, yummy, melt in your mouth deliciousness.  Don't you want a bite?
  The Clay Pot strives to source from local farms as much as possible, which is something we all appreciate, being huge supporters of local farms and markets ourselves.  Peggy said "our mission is to serve local and organic products whenever possible and promote fair trade choices."
  After our lunch, Peggy graciously gave us a tour of her restaurant, which led to a private conference room area, her personal art studio where she makes her pottery, and an outdoor courtyard area, where the community comes together for story swapping, a community drum beat, and local, live entertainment on an outdoor stage.  There's even a wonderful, ginormous outdoor fireplace, to keep everyone warm on cozy on cooler fall and winter nights.
  What an awesome, cozy, home town feel kind of restaurant, very welcoming and inviting.  The Clay Pot Coffee Shop is a definite "I will go again" kind of place. 

  So now, all stuffed from our great lunch, we were off again to our next, and final stop of the day, SC Real Foods!
Real, wholesome food, just for you and me where we were met by owner, Valerie Criswell, who proceeded to give us a complete tour. 
  Now this is "real food" at its best!  In-house no white flour bakery, whole organic grains, complimentary cracking or grinding into grits and flour, local non-homogenized raw and low-temp pasteurized milk, grass-fed beef, butter and cheese, local free-range eggs, heritage breed chicken and pork, organic and locally grown fruits and vegetables, organic nuts, seeds and beans, organic coconut oil, organic sweeteners, food storage supplies, grain mills and bulk foods, classes and support, and gluten-free products.  And every single product is non-GMO
  They even offer classes in baking, canning and preparedness. Wow!  What more could you want?
  After our tour, we shopped and shopped some more, loading up on butter, milk, pure tomato powder, Tattler canning lids (you can reuse over and over again), grains, gluten and a ton of other stuff. Darn good thing someone thought to bring a cooler with us (thank you Liz)!
   All in all, it was a wonderful day!  We learned so much about citrus trees, and what's required to have them survive in our climate, we enjoyed a fabulous lunch and "shopped till we dropped" at SC Real Foods.

  We're already planning our next farm adventure for sometime after the first of the year.  It's sure to be another amazing outing, full of discovery in our own backyard!

 Until next time ...


Sunday, October 13, 2013

Sweet Potato and Coconut Bread

Fresh Sweet Potatoes from our Kitchen Garden were baked and mashed for this Sweet Potato and Coconut Bread!  I make them in mini-loaf pans, wrap and freeze for use later!  So simple to have in the freezer, grab one or two out when you need them.  They are very moist and delicious.  GREAT for gift giving at the holidays.



Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Grease a 10-inch tube pan or two 9x5 pans or 5 mini-loaf pans (I made this in mini-loaf pans).
Mix flour, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt in a bowl.
Beat butter in a large bowl using an electric mixer until creamy, about 2 minutes. Gradually beat sugar into creamed butter until fully incorporated, about 3 more minutes. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating each egg completely before add the next.
Beat in sweet potato and vanilla extract until well mixed. Stir flour mixture, coconut, and walnuts into butter mixture until just combined. Pour batter into the prepared pans.
Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the bread comes out clean, about
1 hour 10 minutes (for tube pan), 1 hour for 9x5  pans and 35-45 minutes for mini-loaf  pans. 




Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Apple Pie Dream Squares

Pie crust rolled in cinnamon sugar, cream cheese, whipped topping and apple pie filling all come together in this luscious dessert. This is also why I love making my own apple pie filling when apples are in season.  All I need to do is grab a jar off the pantry shelf to whip up dessert.


Pie Crust
1 cup flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1/3 cup + 1 tbls. shortening
2-3 tbls. cold water
1-2 tbls. cinnamon sugar

Cream Cheese Layer
1 - 8 oz. cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups whipped topping

Apple Pie Filling
1 - pint jar apple pie filling (2 cups)

Mix flour and salt in a bowl; blend in shortening with a fork or pasty blender until mixture resembles course crumbs.  Add cold water and stir with a fork until dough comes together.  Do not over-mix. Sprinkle cinnamon sugar out on counter-top or pastry mat and roll dough into a square shape approx. 9 x 9, turning dough once to evenly coat with cinnamon sugar. 

Place into square 9 x 9 baking dish, covering the bottom and up the sides with the pie crust.  Pierce bottom in several places with a fork and bake crust in a 475 oven 8-10 minutes. Remove and allow pie crust to chill (I put mine in the refrigerator).

Beat softened 8 oz. cream cheese with 1/2 cup sugar until fluffy; fold in 1 1/2 cups whipped topping and spread over crust.  Top with apple pie filling and chill several hours. 

Just before serving, spread remaining whipped topping over top of apple pie filling layer, or simply top each serving with whipped topping, and serve with crumble topping (optional).

Crumble topping:  1 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 in a mason jar.

Yield:  one 9 x 9 square baking dish

**Note - you could also blend the apple pie filling into the cream cheese mixture, instead of having the separate layers.


Sunday, October 6, 2013

Chicken Enchilda Soup for Canning


My foodie friend, Alice, of Ally's Kitchen made this awesome Chicken Enchilada Soup she shared the other day, so I decided to make a version of it I could can!  Once done, all you'll need to do when ready to use it, is add the black beans, diced peppers and cilantro, and cook through about 15 minutes..  Quick, easy and convenient, stores on your pantry shelf until you are ready to serve it.



1/3 cup oil
2 chicken breast filets (I used 6 chicken tenders cut into cubes)
Sea Salt/Coarse Ground Pepper to taste
1 small onion diced
4 tbls. minced garlic
1 packaged white chili chicken seasoning (I made my own: 1 tsp. freshly ground pepper, 1 tsp. oregano, 1 tsp. ground cumin, 1 tsp. seasoning salt, 1 tsp. cayenne pepper, 1 chicken bouillon cube, crushed into powdered form)
1 tsp. ground cumin
½ tsp. dried chipotle chili
4 cups chicken broth (make your own)
1 large can diced roasted tomatoes
2 cups frozen corn (I used fresh)

Add to canned soup when heating to serve:
1 can black beans
1/3 cup diced green pepper
1/3 cup diced red/orange peppers
½ cup roughly cut cilantro

In a large skillet, heat oil on medium high.  Salt and pepper both sides of the chicken breasts.  Pan sear about 3 minutes on each side.  Reduce heat to medium low, cover and cook about 20 minutes.  Turn off heat. Remove the breasts to a cutting board and with two forks shred the meat. (I used 6 chicken tenders cut into cubes, then browned according to the above directions).

Using the same skillet on medium heat, sauté onions and garlic about 3-5 minutes.  Add shredded chicken, white chili seasoning mix, cumin and chipotle and blend cooking about 5 minutes.

Add chicken broth and tomatoes,  Reduce heat to low, cover and let cook about 20 minutes.  Add corn and let simmer about 20 minutes.  Add additional sea salt and pepper to taste.

Strain soup through a mesh strainer, over a large bowl.  Scoop chicken, corn, tomatoes, etc. from mesh strainer evenly into 5 pint canning jars (so that each jar has equal amounts of solids filling the jars 1/2 full with solids).  Top each jar with soup liquid in bowl, leaving 1" head space.

Cover jars with seals and rings and pressure can pints 1 hour and 15 minutes at 10 lbs. pressure. 

**When ready to use, add black beans, diced peppers and cilantro and heat through about 15 minutes, or until soup is hot and peppers are getting soft.

You may also like:
Italian Chicken Soup


© 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.