Friday, August 23, 2019

Brandied Spiced Peach Jam

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Brandied Spiced Peach Jam is a great "summer meets fall" kind of jam. The sweetness of the peaches and schnapps, combined with the brown sugar and spices, are a match made in heaven.

It is reminiscent of all the flavors of fall, using a sweet summer peach. Use this jam on toast or biscuits, topped on pancakes, waffles and pound cake, or heat some up and pour over vanilla ice cream. Brandied Spiced Peach Jam is also an excellent basting sauce or accompaniment for roasted pork loin, leg of lamb, or ham.

Ohhhhhh laaaaa laaaaaaa!! 



RECIPE
Ingredients
8 cups peeled, chopped peaches
1 box Sure-Jell (powdered pectin)
1 tsp butter (to reduce foaming)
1/2 cup Peach Schnapps + 1 tbls more to add to each jar
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground allspice
2 cups brown sugar
8 cups granulated sugar

Method
Combine peaches, Sure-Jell, butter, peach schnapps, cinnamon and allspice in a large stock pot. Heat over medium-high to high heat, stirring to prevent sticking, until mixture comes to a boil.

Add sugar all at once and return to a rolling boil (one that doesn't stop while stirring). Boil hard one minute. Remove from heat and ladle into prepared canning jars leaving just slightly less than 1/4-inch head-space. Top each jar with 1 tablespoon Peach Schnapps. Wipe jars and top with lids and bands.

Process jars in boiling water bath or steam canner 10 minutes.

Remove jars and allow to cool 24 hours on a kitchen towel on your counter-top. Jars are sealed when button on top of lid is fully depressed and won't move up or down.

Store in pantry up to one year.

Yield: 10-12 - 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.

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Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Bloody Mary Beans

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Bloody Mary Beans ... oh yes! These are so delicious in Bloody Mary's, but equally good right out of the jar to nibble on.

I picked up a half-bushel of Blue Lake green beans from a local farm to put up, but I also knew I wanted to make some of them into these Bloody Mary Beans.



Wading my way through all those green beans was a 2 day job, but in the end, I'm always happy to put up my own.

These Bloody Mary Beans are bursting with flavor from the garlic and dill weed to the hot sauce. The recipe is identical to my Pickled Asparagus with the exception of the added hot sauce.




Bloody Mary Beans are crisp tender, tangy and a little spicy. Want more spice? Add more red pepper flakes and hot sauce. If you'd rather them be mild, you can add less or leave it out completely.

You may also like these other pickled vegetable recipes:
Pickled Cabbage Slaw
Pickled Cauliflower and Carrots
Frog Balls {Pickled Brussels Sprouts}


RECIPE
Ingredients
5 lbs fresh green beans, ends trimmed
2 cups white vinegar
2 cups water
2 tbsp pickling salt
1 tsp. dill weed
1 tsp. black peppercorns
1 tsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. dried minced garlic (or fresh minced garlic)
1 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tsp. hot sauce (or more to taste)

Method
Combine the vinegar, water and salt in a saucepan and bring to a boil. 

Add the dill weed, peppercorns, mustard seeds, garlic, red pepper flakes, and hot sauce to each jar.

Pack the green beans into the jars over the spices, leaving ¼-inch head-space.

Pour the liquid over the green beans, and tap the jars to remove any air bubbles. Wipe rims with a damp cloth, apply the lids and rings, and process in a boiling water bath or steam canner for 10 minutes.

Remove from jars from water onto a towel, and allow to cool completely. Once cool, remove the rings and check the seals. Sealed jars can be stored in a cool, dark place for up to one year.

How to use:  Add to Bloody Mary's, or serve on an assorted pickle tray.

Yield: 5-6 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.

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Tuesday, July 9, 2019

Mixed Berry Cobbler

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What could be better than fresh summer berries all mixed up in a delicious cobbler? If you ask me, not much!


Every Spring and summer, I look forward to the abundance of fresh berries available at my local farmers markets from a variety of local farms. I am usually the one you see buying several gallons at a time so I can flash freeze them and store them in food saver bags in my freezer.


Recently when I had a variety of berries at home, I thought a Mixed Berry Cobbler would be awesome with these. Of course, I have always made Blueberry Cobbler or Blackberry Buckle, but I'd never mixed the berries together. I know, right? Why hadn't I ever done this before? I'm so glad the light bulb in my brain went off finally and I mixed them up, along with some sweet strawberries.



You may also like:
Blueberry Dump Cake
Luscious Blueberry Turnovers
Old Fashioned Blueberry Coffee Cake
Blackberry Pudding Cake
--------------------------------------------
RECIPE
Ingredients
For the Mixed Berry Filling
2 cups fresh blueberries
2 cups fresh blackberries
2 cups fresh strawberries, chopped
3/4 cup sugar
2 teaspoons freshly grated lemon zest
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

For the Topping
1 cup plus 5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons sugar
1½ teaspoons baking powder
¼ teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled & cut into small pieces
1 large egg, slightly beaten
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 tablespoon sugar
½ teaspoon ground cinnamon, optional
¼ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg, optional

Method
Preheat oven to 375. Lightly butter 9½-inch deep-dish pie plate, 10-inch pie plate or 2-quart baking dish.

Prepare the Mixed Berry Filling: In a large bowl, add all the berries. In a small bowl, combine sugar and lemon zest. Add the flour and whisk until thoroughly combined. Sprinkle mixture evenly over berries and toss gently. Add mixture to pie plate or baking dish.

Prepare the topping: In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder and salt until well combined. Using a pastry blender, cut butter into flour mixture until it resembles a coarse meal with small pea-sized pieces of butter. In a small bowl, whisk vanilla into beaten egg using a fork. With a fork, gently toss beaten egg and vanilla into flour mixture until moistened and dough starts to hold together. Continue to toss and blend gently with fingertips until well combined yet taking care not to overwork the dough.

Assemble the Cobbler: Sprinkle biscuit crumble topping evenly over fruit filling. Sprinkle biscuit crumble topping with sugar and, if desired, dust with freshly grated nutmeg. Alternatively, dust with cinnamon-sugar combining sugar and cinnamon before sprinkling over topping. 

Bake in preheated oven until topping is golden brown and filling is cooked through and bubbly, about 55 minutes. To prevent over-browning of topping, cover with sheet of aluminum foil after 30 to 35 minutes of baking. Remove foil and carefully transfer to wire rack to cool.

Serve cobbler warm by itself or topped with fresh whipped cream.

Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Cook's note - you can definitely use frozen berries, but the cobbler will not set up as thick, and will be slightly more runny.

Recipe adapted from Wicked Good Kitchen

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.


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Monday, June 17, 2019

Plum Jelly

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A few years ago, my husband and I transplanted 3 purple leaf plum trees from our yard to a military recreation area my husband manages. Mostly this was done to provide some shade for a few RV sites, but also to provide an edible fruit for his customers.
It's taken a few years, but those plum trees have now matured, and for the very first time, one tree was loaded with delicious plums. 
They have a taste very similar to Damson plums and make an excellent choice for jelly or jam. Sweet and slightly tart at the same time, they are simply delicious.
I set out one morning with a large bucket to pick some of these amazing plums, and with the help of another friend, we managed to almost fill a large bucket simply by picking the ones we could reach on the lower branches. This tree was loaded, and there are still many plums unpicked we simply couldn't reach.

Upon my return home I set out to make Plum Jelly. This has to be the easiest jelly recipe you will ever try. No peeling or pitting, you simply cook down the plums in water, then strain it through a mesh colander, extracting the delicious juice used to make the Plum Jelly.
How easy is that? It's the simplest, easiest jelly recipe ever. Even if you have never canned before, you can do this.
Spread on English muffins, toast or biscuits for a delicious breakfast treat. Serve over cream cheese with crackers, heat and baste on grilled chicken or pork toward the end of grilling time, or heat and top on vanilla ice-cream, pancakes or waffles. Delicious!
You may also like:
RECIPE
Ingredients
6 lbs. plums
4 Cups water
3 1/2 tbls Hosier Pectin or 1 3/4 oz powdered fruit pectin package (Sure-Jell)
1 tsp butter (to reduce foaming)
8 Cups sugar
Method
In a large stockpot simmer plums and water until tender and broken down, about 30 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Ladle mixture into a mesh strainer placed over a large bowl. Using the back of a spoon, press solids around mesh strainer to remove as much liquid as possible. Let stand for 30 minutes. You should have 6 cups of liquid. 

Return liquid to pan, add butter and pectin. Stir and bring to a boil. Add sugar all at once and bring to a full rolling boil, stirring constantly. Boil for 1 minute and remove from heat. Skim off any foam with a metal spoon.

Ladle hot mixture into sterilized jars leaving 1/4 inch head-space. Remove air bubbles and wipe rims. Apply lids.

Process for 5 minutes in a boiling water bath or steam canner. Remove jars and allow to sit undisturbed on your kitchen counter 24 hours. Jars are sealed when button on top of lid is depressed and won't flex up and down.

Store in pantry up to one year. Open jars must be refrigerated and will keep several months.

Yield: 12 - 8 oz jelly 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.


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Monday, May 13, 2019

Garlic Butter Rice with Kale

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Garlic Butter Rice with Kale is my new favorite side dish. Think beyond the normal kale salad and make this amazing side dish full of nutritious kale.

Considered to be a "super food" kale is so very good for you. Here are just some of the health benefits of kale:

  • exceptionally high amount of Vitamins A, C and K
  • high in antioxidants
  • help lower cholesterol which can reduce the risk of heart disease
  • it has cancer fighting substances
  • an excellent source of minerals that many people don’t get enough of, including calcium, potassium and magnesium
  • So this kale recipe is an excellent delicious way to get more nutrition into your diet!


This Garlic Butter Rice with Kale is so good my husband even ate it, and liked it, and he is not a veggie fan. That was a win-win to me!

You may also like:
Kale and Strawberry Salad with Strawberry Vinaigrette


RECIPE
Ingredients
4-5 cups chopped fresh kale
1 tablespoon olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
1 cup uncooked rice
2 cups chicken bone broth
3 tablespoons butter, reserving 1 tablespoon
2 tsp garlic powder

Method
Remove kale from stems, roll leaves up cigar style and slice thin ribbons then chop. Place the kale in a large bowl and rub with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Set aside.

Cook rice in a rice steamer (or on your stove top) with the chicken bone broth, 2 tablespoons butter and garlic powder.

Once rice is fully cooked, fluff with a fork. Add kale, remaining 1 tablespoon of butter and stir to combine. Cover steamer and let sit on "keep warm" for approx. 15 minutes. Alternately, if you cooked the rice on your stove top, remove from heat, add kale and let sit covered 15 minutes.

Serve as a side dish with most any roasted or grilled meats. We loved it with fried chicken breasts and garlic cheese biscuits.

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.

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Sunday, May 12, 2019

Cocoa Fig Spread

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Cocoa Fig Spread, oh where have you been all my life? My daughter recently purchased some Cocoa Fig Spread, called me up and said "mom you need to make this" then proceeded to tell me all about it. She sent me some photos so I could see it, and the ingredients label from the back of the jar.

photo credit: Sharon Benton Studios
I did a little homework and discovered Cocoa Fig Spread is a product of Croatia. How cool is that!
Croatia, with its over 1,000 islands and islets, is a country with an exceptional natural beauty, varied terrain, and cosmopolitan cities. Croatia is also renowned for its production of healthy food, a characteristic of this part of Europe.

photo credit: Sharon Benton Studios
Around the time I was making it, I was preparing for a Getaway with some amazing women chefs, and a fabulous food photographer, Sharon Benton Studios. Several taste tested and critiqued it for me, then proceeded to set up an entire photo shoot around it. It was fantastic and the photos used here are the result.
photo credit: Sharon Benton Studios
This versatile Cocoa Fig Spread is amazing on baked goods and breakfast treats, or warm and poured over ice cream or fresh fruit. Fold gently into mascarpone and use as a filling for crépes. Pairs with soft cheeses such a Brie, Manchego, and aged Cheddar's or Gouda's or spread onto whole grain toast with sliced bananas.

photo credit: Sharon Benton Studios
You may also like these other Fig recipes
Southern Fig Jam
Drunken Fig Jam
German Fig-Apple Mustard
Fresh Fig Spice Cake
Fig-Cranberry Chutney


RECIPE
Ingredients
4 cups diced ripe figs (I use Brown Turkey)
2 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup fair trade cocoa (Equal Exchange or similar product)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cloves
1/3 cup brandy

Method
In a large heavy saucepan combine diced figs, sugar, cocoa powder, lemon juice, cinnamon and cloves. Stir and heat over medium high heat bringing to a gentle boil.

Reduce heat and simmer 20-30 minutes, stirring often. Mixture will begin to thicken up and figs will be macerated.

Remove from heat and stir in brandy (be careful as it will splatter some). Spoon mixture into a blender or food processor and pulse on low a few times, or until mixture is smoother with a few remaining pieces of fig.

Pour or spoon into prepared 8 oz mason jars, leaving 1/4-inch head-space. Top with lids and rings and process in a water bath or steam canner 10 minutes.

Remove jars and place on a kitchen towel on your counter-top and allow jars to sit undisturbed 24 hours. Jars are sealed when button on top of lid is depressed and won't flex up or down.

Yield: 5 - 8 oz 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.


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Sunday, April 7, 2019

Strawberry Pineapple Jam

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The other day I was able to pick up several gallons of juicy, delicious, locally grown and freshly picked strawberries from my friends at Dorr Farms. WOW! These strawberries are incredible.  Seriously so good I had to stop myself from eating them. Just look at them!!


I knew many of these berries were destined to be jam of one kind or another, so I drove home with the idea of freezing most of them for future use. I walked into the kitchen with my treasures and sitting on the counter was a can of Dole crushed pineapple. Hmmmmm? Right away the wheels started turning ... I mean really sometimes that's a dangerous thing, but not this time.


Delicious, juicy, fresh strawberries and a can of crushed pineapple is a match made in heaven. This jam is amazing topped on biscuits or English muffins, and delicious as a filling between cake layers. It's the perfect Spring or summer jam and a great way to put up some of those berries.


You may also like:

Step-by-Step Strawberry Jam


Strawberry Margarita Jam


Strawberry Jalapeno Jam



RECIPE
Ingredients
3 cups chopped strawberries (I used fresh, but you can use frozen)
1 - 20 oz can Dole crushed pineapple (slightly drained, about 1/2 the juice)*
1 package Sure Jell (pectin)
1 tsp butter
7 cups sugar

Method
In a large stock pot, combine chopped strawberries, crushed pineapple (slightly drained), Sure Jell pectin and 1 tsp butter (to prevent foaming).

Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring often to prevent sticking. Add sugar all at once; stir and bring back to a rolling boil. Boil hard 1 minute stirring constantly (use a long handled spoon to avoid the jam splattering on you).

Remove from heat, stir to reduce any foaming and ladle into prepared canning jars leaving 1/4-inch head-space. Wipe rims of jars with a wet paper towel and cover with lids and bands.

Process in a boiling water bath or steam canner 10 minutes. Remove jars and place on a kitchen towel on your counter-top. Let sit 24 hours undisturbed. Jars are sealed when button on lid is fully depressed and won't flex up and down.

Store in pantry up to one year.

*Cook's note - drain the pineapple slightly, or about half the juice out. You don't need to be too fussy with this, you just don't need all the liquid.

Yield: 8 - half-pint jars

Also seen on Meal Plan Monday
Featured in Parade Magazine

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.

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