Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Savory Lemon-Herb Pork Roast

Best grilled pork tenderloin I've ever had!  Quick, easy and so tasty!  Serve over rice with seasonal grilled vegetables for a delicious meal. Original recipe from Paula Deen.

1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup lemon juice
4 cloves garlic, minced (I used minced garlic in a jar)
2 tbls minced thyme leaves
2 tbls miced rosemary
2 tbls Dijon mustard (I used a grainy German mustard)
2 tsp kosher salt
2 tsp course-ground black pepper
1 (4-5 lb) boneless pork loin roast (I used a smaller pork tenderloin)


In large resealable plastic bag combine 1st 8 ingredients and mix to combine. Add pork roast, seal and refrigerate at least 4 hours and up to 2 days (I did 1 day). Remove pork from marinade discarding marinade, and let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes. Pre-heat grill to medium-high (350-400); grill roast with lid closed 10-15 minutes per side depending on thickness or roast or until a meat themometer inserted in thickest portion registers 145. Let roast stand 10 minutes before slicing. Garnish with lemon wedges, fresh thyme and rosemary if desired!


Sunday, June 24, 2012

Blueberry-Cinnamon Muffins

Delicious, full of berry goodness, muffins!

1/4 cup regular oats
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon, divided
1/4 cup butter, softened Click to see savings
1 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup egg substitute Click to see savings
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cups fat-free buttermilk
1 cup fresh blueberries Click to see savings
Vegetable cooking spray

Click to see savings

Stir together oats, brown sugar, and 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; set aside.
Beat butter and granulated sugar at medium speed with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add egg substitute, beating until blended. Stir in vanilla.
Combine all-purpose flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon; add to butter mixture alternately with buttermilk, ending with flour mixture. Gently stir in blueberries. Spoon batter into muffin pans coated with cooking spray, filling two-thirds full. Sprinkle evenly with oat mixture.
Bake at 350° for 15 to 20 minutes or until tops are golden. Cool muffins in pans 5 minutes; remove from pans, and cool on wire racks.

Streusel Topped Blueberry Cake

Delicious, light, and full of blueberry goodness coffee cake.



Streusel Topping:
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1/3 cup granulated white sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 cup cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces

Cake Batter:
1 cup all purpose flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup  (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup  granulated white sugar
1 large egg
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup milk
2 cups fresh blueberries

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C). Butter, or spray with a nonstick vegetable spray, an 
8 x 8 inch square pan or an 8 inch round cake pan.

For streusel topping: In a large bowl, mix together the flour, sugar, and ground cinnamon. Cut in the butter with a pastry blender or fork until it resembles coarse crumbs. Set aside while you make the cake batter.

In a separate bowl whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside.

In the bowl of your electric mixer, or with a hand mixer, beat the butter until smooth. Add the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add the egg and vanilla and beat until incorporated. Add the flour mixture, alternately with the milk, and beat only until combined. Spread the batter onto the bottom of the prepared pan, smoothing the top with an offset spatula.

Evenly arrange the blueberries on top of the cake batter and then sprinkle with the streusel topping.

Bake for about 40 - 50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center of the cake comes out clean. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack to cool slightly.

Serve warm or at room temperature.

*Note - you can also make this in 4 aluminum foil mini-pans. Once cooked and cooled, wrap with plastic wrap, place in zip-loc freezer bag and freeze. Keeps very well.

Yield:  Makes about 9 servings.


Friday, June 15, 2012

Warm Bacon Cheese Spread

Delicious party dip! Every time I make it there is never any left, and everyone is always asking me for the recipe. It's so popular I've never even had time to take photos of it, so this is a stock photo.

stock photo

Italian Bread Bowl



1 loaf round sourdough bread or 1 Italian Bread Bowl
1 - 8 oz cream cheese
1 1/2 cups or 12 oz. sour cream
1 1/2 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 cup green onion, chopped finely
2 cups sharp shredded/grated cheddar cheese
12 oz. bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled


In a mixer, blend the cream cheese on low until softened. Add sour cream and Worcestershire sauce, mix well. Next add bacon and onion and mix well.

Cut the top and hollow out bread bowl (leave 1/4" minimum around the edges). 

Cut the top and inside bread into bread hunks for dipping if you want or discard. 

Spoon cheese mixture into bread bowl and wrap entirely in aluminum foil. 

Bake 325 for one hour or more until thoroughly heated. 

Serve with bread hunks, crackers, fresh veggies, whatever you want.


© 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, June 11, 2012

Shrimp Ceviche

Wonderful, super-yummy appetizer dish to serve with tortilla chips or anything you desire! I got this recipe a few years ago from a friend of mine.  Unlike some traditional ceviche's, this one is made with steamed shrimp.  It's so good, and my grandsons love it!  It's always a hit when I serve it.


3 lbs steamed, shelled, deveined and chilled popcorn shrimp
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes
1/2 small onion, minced
1 tbls. minced garlic
2 tbls. lime juice (can use lime juice from concentrate)
One (1) large bunch of cilantro, leaves only - no stems; chopped to medium or fine
One (1) jar of good chunky salsa - mild, medium or hot, depending on taste. (I use mild)

Mix all of the above, EXCEPT SALSA, together; marinate in refrigerator for two (2) hours.

Add the jar of salsa and return to refrigerator for at least two (2) hours. Can marinate overnight, even better if you have the time.

Serve with restaurant style tortilla chips.


© 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, June 10, 2012

Lasagna Roll-Ups with Meat Sauce

So good and so easy!  I love the Lasagna Roll-Ups stuffed with the meat and cheese mixture!  

Meat Sauce

1 onion, chopped
3/4-1 lb. ground beef 
1 tablespoon tomato paste
5 garlic cloves, minced (I used some from a jar of minced garlic)

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 (14.5 oz) petite diced tomatoes (drained)
1 (14.5 oz) can tomato sauce (or make your own)
Salt and pepper, to taste


1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese
2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 cups shredded 6-Cheese Italian Blend
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh basil
1 box lasagna noodles


Adjust oven rack to upper-middle position and heat oven to 350 degrees.

Make Sauce: Place beef and onion in saucepan and cook over medium heat, breaking up mixture with wooden spoon, until no longer pink, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer 1 1/2 cups beef mixture to paper towel-lined plate and reserve. Add tomato paste, garlic, and pepper flakes to pot with remaining meat mixture and cook until fragrant, about 1 minute. Stir in tomatoes and simmer until sauce is slightly thickened, about 20 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. (At this point, sauce can be refrigerated in airtight container for 3 days.)

Prepare Filling: Combine ricotta, 2 cups mozzarella, 1 cup 6-cheese Italian blend, egg, salt, pepper, basil,and reserved meat mixture in large bowl. Boil lasagna noodles according to package instructions, but just until al dente' and pliable.  Drain and rinse with cold water; lay noodles flat on a piece of plastic wrap or parchment paper. 

Assemble Dish: Spread half of meat sauce over bottom of baking dish. Place several spoonfuls of meat/cheese mixture along the length of each lasagna noodle, roll-up and arrange, seam-side down, over sauce in baking dish. Spread remaining sauce over roll-ups. Cover with foil and bake until bubbling around edges, about 40 minutes. Remove foil and sprinkle with remaining mozzarella and 6-cheese Italian blend. Bake until cheese is melted, about 5 minutes. Let cool 15 minutes. Serve.


Sunday, June 3, 2012

Step-by-Step Strawberry Jam

Updated June 19, 2019

So easy, and so delicious!  We can never be out of this at my house because my husband loves this jam.

Did you know?

  • Strawberries are the only fruit that wear their seeds on the outside. The average berry is adorned with some 200 of them. No wonder it only takes one bite to get seeds stuck in your teeth.
  • Strawberries aren’t true berries, like blueberries or even grapes. Technically, a berry has its seeds on the inside. And, to be über technical, each seed on a strawberry is considered by botanists to be its own separate fruit. Whoa, meta!
  • Strawberries are members of the rose family. Should you come upon a bush of them growing, you’ll see: they smell as sweet as they taste.
  • The strawberry plant is a perennial. This means if you plant one now, it will come back next year and the following and the year after that. It may not bear fruit immediately, but once it does, it will remain productive for about five years.
  • Americans eat an average of three-and-a-half pounds of fresh strawberries each per year. It’s closer to five pounds if you count frozen ones. In a study, more than half of nine-year-olds picked strawberries as their favorite fruit. They’re nature’s candy!
  • Belgium has a museum dedicated to strawberries. In the gift shop at Le Musée de la Fraise (The Strawberry Museum), you can buy everything from strawberry jam to strawberry beer.
  • Native Americans ate strawberries long before European settlers arrived. As spring’s first fruit, they were a treat, eaten freshly picked or baked into cornbread.
  • The ancient Romans thought strawberries had medicinal powers. They used them to treat everything from depression to fainting to fever, kidney stones, bad breath and sore throats.
  • Sex & Strawberries? In France, where they’re believed to be an aphrodisiac, strawberries are served to newlyweds at traditional wedding breakfasts in the form of a creamy sweet soup.
  • Strawberries are believed to help reduce the risk of heart disease and certain cancers. They are low in calories and high in vitamins C, B6, K, fiber, folic acid, potassium and amino acids.
  • Strawberries contain high levels of nitrate. This has been shown to increase blood and oxygen flow to the muscles. Research suggests that people who load up on strawberries before exercising have greater endurance and burn more calories.
  • California produces some 80% of the strawberries in the U.S. They grow about 2 billion pounds of the heart-shaped fruits per year. Every state in the U.S. and every province in Canada grows their own.
  • To store fresh strawberries, wash them and cut the stem away. However, if you plan to keep them in the fridge for a few days, wait until before you eat them to clean them. Rinsing them speeds up spoiling.
  • Strawberries can also be pickled. Especially when picked green or unripe. If your berries are overripe, make jam!

  • Let's get started making strawberry jam!

    Put fresh strawberries, sliced and slightly mashed in large saucepan or stock pot

    Add 1 box Sure-Jell (fruit pectin) and 1-2 tsp. butter

    Bring mixture to a rolling boil, stirring often to prevent sticking

    Add sugar, all at once, and bring mixture back to a rolling boil. Boil hard one minute. Be careful, mixture will spatter some.

    Almost done

    Ladle into canning jars

    Put jars in a large stock pot with a rack on the bottom; cover jars completely with water by 2"

    Bring water to a rolling boil and process pint jars 10 minutes in boiling water bath

    Allow jars to cool on a kitchen towel on counter-top 24 hours.


    5 cups sliced and slightly crushed fresh strawberries (the fresher the better)
    7 cups sugar
    1 pkg Sure-Jell (fruit pectin available in most grocery stores)
    1-2 tsp butter
    canning jars (available at WalMart and other similar stores)

    Slice and crush fresh strawberries and place in large, heavy pot; stir in powdered pectin (Sure-Jell) and 1-2 tsp. butter to prevent foaming.

    Cook on high heat stirring constantly until mixture comes to a rolling boil (one that doesn't stop when stirring); add sugar all at once and keep stirring until mixture comes to a rolling boil again. Cook 1 minute at full rolling boil. Be careful, mixture will spatter.

    Remove from heat and place in canning jars (pints or 1/2 pints work best). Cover and seal each jar.

    Place jars on a rack in large stock pot, cover with water - jars will be underwater by 2 inches.

    Cover with lid and bring to a boil. Let boil 10 minutes.

    Remove jars and place them on a towel on a counter undisturbed for 24 hours. Jars are sealed when button on top of lid is fully depressed and can't be moved.

    Store in pantry up to one year.

    Yield: approx. 5 pints or 10-half pints



    © 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.

    Bread and Butter Pickles

    Updated August 2019

    Bread and Butter Pickles are a sweet and tangy delicious pickle. They are versatile and can be topped on burgers, diced and added to potato salad, tuna salad and so much more.

    This is a very easy and quick bread and butter pickle recipe! Just follow these step-by-step directions.

    Gather your ingredients together

    Blend ingredients in sauce pan and bring to a boil

    Slice cucumbers very thinly, or leave a bit chunkier if desired

    Add sliced onion

    Toss cucumbers and onions together Sprinkle with 1/3 cup canning salt and add 2 quarts cold water to cover. Let sit 2 hours; drain but do not rinse.


    8 cups thinly sliced cucumbers, 1/4"thick
    2 cups thinly sliced onion
    1/3 cup canning salt
    3 cups sugar
    3 cups white vinegar
    2 tsp. mustard seed
    2 tsp. celery seed
    2 tsp. turmeric

    In a large stock pot, add sliced cucumbers and onion. Sprinkle 1/3 cup canning salt over all, cover with cold water and let sit 2 hours. Drain, but do not rinse and set aside.

    In a large saucepan, add sugar, vinegar and spices. Bring to a boil over medium high to high heat, stirring often. Remove pan from heat and pour mixture over drained cucumbers. Let sit 30 minutes, stirring once in awhile to thoroughly blend.

    Using a slotted spoon, fill prepared jars (wide mouth pint jars work best), pushing vegetables down in jars. Ladle hot liquid over vegetables leaving 1/4-inch head-space. Use a plastic knife and move up and down around sides of jars to remove air bubbles; top with more liquid if necessary keeping 1/4-inch head-space.

    Cover jars with lids and rings and process in boiling water bath or steam canner 10 minutes. Remove jars from water bath and let sit on a kitchen towel on your counter-top 24 hours undisturbed. Jars are sealed when button in middle of lid is depressed and can't be moved.

    Remove jars from boiling water bath or steam canner and cool on towel placed on counter top for 24 hours. Store in cabinet. Delicious.

    Yield:  Approx. 4 pints depending on size of pickling cucumbers


    © 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.

    Freezing Fresh Green Beans

    It's so easy to prep and freeze your own fresh green beans at home! Start with Fresh Green Beans from your garden or Farmer's Market.

    Use a "Frenching Tool" to French-cut the green beans


    All Frenched and ready to blanch.

    Boil some water with 1 tsp. salt

    Add beans and blanch for three (3) minutes

    (All fruits and vegetables contain enzymes and bacteria that, over time, break down the destroy nutrients and change the color, flavor, and texture of food during frozen storage. Green beans require a brief heat treatment, called blanching, in boiling water or steam, to destroy the enzymes before freezing. Blanching times for beans is 3 minutes (the duration should be just long enough to stop the action of the enzymes and kill the bacteria).

    Drain and immediately plunge beans into ice-water bath

    Blot beans dry with paper towels and place on a lightly sprayed baking sheet.  Put them on the top shelf of your freezer, or the coldest most point, and let freeze for at least one hour, checking from time to time to break apart and keep them separate.

    Once frozen, pack into freezer storage bags and lay flat in the freezer.

    There's no need to French-cut the beans if you don't want to. Simply cut them into the desired size and proceed as above. $2 for 2 lbs. of fresh green beans from the Farmer's Market, one hour of time = one-gallon bag of French-cut green beans! Priceless!