Thursday, February 27, 2014

Shrimp De Jonghe


Years and years ago, in an effort to get my husband to eat more seafood, I made this super-yummy, yet simple, casserole.  He loved it!  Since then, we've enjoyed this many times over the years and there's still something special about this simple casserole ... delicate and light, yet filling at the same time. I usually make this when we have some leftover steamed shrimp from a shrimp boil or other seafood feast.  Simply peel the shrimp and they're ready for this casserole.


2 lbs. steamed shrimp
4 cloves garlic, minced (or use minced garlic in a jar)
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
1/4 tsp tarragon leaves
1/4 tsp parsley flakes
1/2 tsp minced onion
dash of nutmeg and thyme
2 tsp. salt (optional)
1/4 tsp course-ground black pepper
1/2 cup chicken broth
1 cup dry bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 400. In a large fry pan, cook and stir garlic in butter until butter browns. Remove from heat; add remaining ingredients except bread crumbs. Toss 1/4 cup of the garlic butter with bread crumbs. Pour remaining butter mixture over shrimp in casserole and top with buttered crumbs. Bake uncovered 10 minutes.  Do not overcook or shrimp will get tough.  Serve with rice and steamed vegetables or a salad for a complete meal.

Note - This is a fun dish to make in 4 individual ramekin casseroles so each person has their very own.  Recipe can easily be cut in half.

Serves:  4


© 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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Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Blanching and Freezing Fresh Asparagus


First of all, let me say I LOVE fresh Asparagus!  It's got to be one of my all-time favorite Spring vegetables! When I find it fresh at a good price, I always buy some and freeze it.  I don't much care for it canned, even though I love the convenience of food in jars. Asparagus is just meant to be eaten fresh or fresh-frozen in my opinion.  Unless you are going to pickle it, and then I love pickled asparagus. My cost was $2 lb. = 50 spears = 10 per bag = .77 cents per bag / 2 people = .38 per person, can't beat it!

Several bunches fresh Asparagus
Water to boil
Sea Salt
Ice in a sink with water

Cut bottom ends from Asparagus spears. Add about 2" of water and 1/2 tsp. of sea salt to a large sauce pan, cover and bring to a boil over high heat.

Add Asparagus spears and return to a boil.  Once water is boiling again, set timer for 4 minutes.

Drain and immediately plunge Asparagus into ice water.

Repeat with any remaining spears until all Asparagus is blanched.   Lay all spears out on paper towels and allow to dry 30 minutes.

Place all Asparagus spears on a large cookie sheet covered with parchment paper (or wax paper) and place on the top shelf of your freezer to flash freeze for 1-2 hours.

Remove from freezer, place as many spears as you want into a zip-top or food-saver bag, seal and freeze.  I do mine as 10 spears per bag.  Place bags in freezer to store.


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Monday, February 24, 2014

Irish Chocolate Potato Cake


This recipe has been in my family for many years.  I remember my mother baking it many times for us when we were kids, and a recipe card I have from my mother says "Grandmother Conron" who is my grandfather's mother, Sarah Conron (McGee) ... that makes this recipe 100+ years old.  It hails from Ireland and has distinct Irish roots in my family.

2 cups sugar
1 cup butter (2 sticks)
4 eggs
1 cup hot, riced potatoes
2 cups flour
2 tsp. baking powder
1 tbls. ground cinnamon
3/4 tbls. ground cloves
1 tbls. nutmeg
4 - 1 oz. each squares unsweetened baking chocolate, melted
1/2 cup milk
1 cup chopped nuts (I used pecans, but walnuts would work too)

Preheat oven to 350.

In a large mixer, cream butter and sugar together until fluffy.

Add eggs and beat well.

Add hot, riced potatoes (if you don't have a ricer, push potatoes through a colander or sieve), then add flour, baking powder, spices, milk, and melted chocolate beating well.

Stir in chopped nuts. Batter should look light and fluffy.

Pour batter into prepared pans (2 small 9" cake pans, a 13" x 9" pan or Bundt pan) sprayed with baking spray, and bake:

9" cake pans 30-35 minutes
13" x 9" pan 40-45 minutes
Bundt pan approx. 45-50 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.

Remove from oven and cool on wire rack.

Note - This is a very rich cake best not layered. If layered, serve small pieces as a little bit will go a long way. Also, you didn't read it wrong, the spice measurements are TABLESPOONS and not teaspoons.

Chocolate Frosting
4 - 1 oz. each squares unsweetened baking chocolate
2 cups confectioner's sugar (powdered sugar)
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 tsp. vanilla
1/3 cup milk

Microwave chocolate in large microwaveable bowl on high 1-1/2 min., stirring every 30 sec. Stir until chocolate is completely melted. Cool 5 minutes. Add sugar, butter and vanilla. Gradually add milk, beating constantly with mixer on low speed until well blended.

Note - Recipe makes enough to frost tops and sides of 2 (8- or 9-inch) cake layers, 
top and sides of 13 x 9-inch cake, tops of 3 (8- or 9-inch) cake layers or 24 cupcakes.

Also seen on Meal Plan Monday

© 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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Friday, February 21, 2014

Meatball Subs


So simple to make!  Use my recipe for Cheesy Meatballs and Simple Pasta Sauce and you have it! Just add sub rolls and more mozzarella cheese!


1 recipe Cheesy Meatballs
1 recipe Simple Pasta Sauce (omitting ground beef)
Sub rolls, split and toasted
Shredded mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Brush rolls all over with melted butter. Place partially split sub rolls, open side down, on a baking sheet and heat until lightly browned. Remove from oven, top with warm meatballs and hot pasta sauce. Sprinkle tops with shredded mozzarella cheese and eat.


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Monday, February 17, 2014

Cheesy Meatballs


Just because I wanted something a little different, I experimented with making some cheesy meatballs.  Not just your ordinary cheesy meatballs, but ones made with both Parmesan and Mozzarella. 

These would be PERFECT in pasta sauce for Spaghetti and Meatballs, or yummy as Meatball Subs or in my Rigatoni and Cheesy Meatball Bake!  Adding the shredded Mozzarella cheese was the key ingredient!  Ooey, gooey and so cheesy!  They are awesome.

1 lb. ground beef
1 egg
2 tsp. oregano leaves
2 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. course-ground black pepper
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1/4 cup Mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup bread crumbs (or just slightly more)

Preheat oven to 350.  Mix ground beef and all other ingredients together in a large mixing bowl.

Mix with your hands until well blended, adding more bread crumbs, a little bit at a time, if necessary.

Mixture should be fairly stiff and hold together well. Shape into small meatballs (you should get 24).

Place on a baking sheet, sprayed with cooking spray and bake in a 350 oven 15-20 minutes, or until cooked through.  Remove from oven, loosen with a spatula and let cool.

  1. Add to Simple Pasta Sauce during the last 15-20 minutes to heat through.  Serve over your choice of pasta with a side salad and garlic bread.
  2. Heat with some pasta sauce for Meatball Subs. Top subs with more shredded mozzarella cheese.
  3. Use in Rigatoni and Cheesy Meatball Bake
  4. Replace ground beef in Vegetable Beef Soup for a twist on the normal soup
  5. Use instead of ground beef in Italian-Style Beef and Pepperoni Soup
  6. Use instead of ground beef in Pizza Pasta Bake
  7. Top your Pizza with them


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Sunday, February 16, 2014

Cheesy, Creamy Scallop Potatoes with Bacon


Love this recipe!  Goes great with almost any entree' and is so yummy. My husband is a total "meat and potatoes" kind of guy, and this hit the spot  Easy to make, just takes a little prep on your part and it's done.

1/2 stick butter (4 tbls)
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 1/2 cup milk
1 1/2 cup heavy cream
1 tsp salt
2 tsp course-ground black pepper
1 Tbsp parsley flakes
1 tsp hot sauce
1 medium onion, sliced
5-6 red or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and sliced thin
2 cups cheddar cheese, divided
3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
1/2 tsp paprika, sweet mild

Slice onions into rings.  Rinse potatoes; drain then thinly slice. 

In a small pot, heat butter on medium heat until melted. Add flour. Whisk until smooth. Gradually add milk, cream, salt, black pepper, parsley flakes, 1 cup cheddar cheese and hot sauce. 

Bring to a boil over med-high heat; stir constantly for 2 minutes or until thick. 

Place lid on pot to keep warm (this can be made ahead of time and let sit until ready to use).

In a 2 qt. glass baking dish, layer potatoes and onion rings alternately starting ending with potatoes. Pour sauce over potatoes and onions. Sprinkle remaining 1 cup cheddar cheese over top.  

Bake at 350 for 1 hour, or until browned and bubbly.  Crumble bacon on top and enjoy.

Also seen on Meal Plan Monday
© 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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Saturday, February 15, 2014

Baked Pork Chops with Onion

After our recent ice storm, simple dinners have been the way to go. A couple of pork chops, some salt and pepper, an onion and water and you have dinner.  Super-simple, easy and delicious.

2 tbls. oil
2 tbls. butter
salt and pepper to taste
1 onion quartered
water to cover all

Preheat oven to 275.  In a large Dutch Oven, heat oil and butter over med-high heat.  Salt and pepper pork chops liberally over both surfaces.  Sear pork chops in oil and butter until well-browned on each side. Remove from heat and add quartered onion and water to cover all.  Cover Dutch Oven with lid and place in preheated oven. Bake for 3 hours or until very tender.  Serve with your choice of sides.  Easy and delicious.


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Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Sirloin Tip Roast - West Ridge Farms-Premium Beef


Because of the ice/sleet/snow storm here in South Carolina, we decided to cook a small Sirloin Tip Roast I purchased Sunday while visiting West Ridge Farms-Premium Beef. Our thinking was to roast it for lunch to serve on some homemade Kaiser Rolls I had baked, then if we lost power, at least the beef would be cooked!  Yes, ice storms can do so much damage, and power outages are the main problem.

A Sirloin Tip Roast is a less tender cut of beef, coming from an area near the sirloin (read more here), but makes a delicious roast if cooked properly.  It's a lean cut of beef making it suitable for roasts, beef kabobs, sliced thin for roast beef sandwiches and more.

Oh my goodness ... this beef is AH MAZ ING!!!  This is the BEST beef I have ever tasted, seriously. It was juicy, tender, succulent, and everything you'd want in a good beef roast.  Raised on pasture, antibiotic and hormone-free, it beats any other beef I've ever had for flavor and taste. And there was little to no shrinkage when the beef roasted. Wow!  I'm so glad I have more in the freezer to cook another day.  Check out my day at the farm here.


1 - 2 or 3 lb. Sirloin Tip Roast
Oil to rub all over beef
Peppercorns, freshly ground
Course ground salt (Himalayan or Sea Salt)

Preheat oven too 500.  Spray a small roasting pan with cooking spray.  Oil beef all over with oil of your choice.  Using a pepper grinder, grind pepper corns all over beef and sprinkle with course-ground salt.

Roast in 500 oven for 15 minutes, reduce heat to 325 and continue to roast an additional 30 minutes or until a meat thermometer registers 130-135 for medium-rare.

Remove roast from oven, cover with foil and let sit 20 minutes before carving to give the juices a chance to redistribute.  Slice thin and serve in sandwiches or with au jus from the pan along with mashed potatoes and a vegetable.  So ... darn ... good!


© 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, February 11, 2014

Chicken and Stuffing Casserole


This is so good!  Pure comfort food at its finest.  Earlier today I made chicken stock and saved all the chicken meat from the carcasses after it cooked. Pretty thrifty, and normally I get a good amount of chicken meat off the bones. I love doing this!  That lovely chicken meat you might have thrown away just became another meal ... chicken and rice, chicken soup, chicken pot pie, white chicken chili, chicken enchiladas, or this chicken casserole. So easy to do and very yummy!


2-3 cups cooked, chopped chicken (or turkey)
1 cup chicken stock, divided
1/2 large loaf of white sandwich bread, torn into small pieces (about 12 pieces with crust)
1/2 onion, chopped
1 stalk celery, diced
2-3 tsp. poultry seasoning
1/2 stick butter, melted
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray a 9 x 9-inch baking dish with cooking spray.  Place chopped, cooked chicken in the baking dish; add 1/2 cup chicken stock.

In a large bowl, mix torn bread with onion, diced celery, poultry seasoning, melted butter, salt & pepper, and remaining 1/2 cup chicken stock, stirring until well combined. Spread stuffing evenly over chicken/stock mixture.

Cover and cook 30 minutes; uncover and cook an additional 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit 15 minutes before cutting.  Serve with gravy if desired.

*Note - Use Cornbread stuffing or Stove Top stuffing if preferred.

Yield:  4-6 servings


© 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, February 10, 2014

West Ridge Farms - Premium Beef Farm Tour

  In my continuing quest to find local farms "doing it right," a group of us set out on a partly sunny Sunday in February, to West Ridge Farms - Premium Beef to meet with farmer Adam Frick, and have a tour of the farm.  After our exit from the interstate, and a few long and winding country roads, we pulled into the farm to an area with a few old out buildings, a large barn and pastures as far as we could see.

old farmstead outbuildings
  We were in an area of old pecan trees, where Adam explained to us "West Ridge Farms began in 1982, when John Frick bought the land our cows now call home. Although the land had been used as pasture once before, years of neglect and vacancy had allowed trees and brush to grow up. John Frick cleared all of it himself and began planting and plotting out pastures." As he talked he explained "there are still tulips that come up every year along this fence and in another area over there more flowers and even a few asparagus."
Jinny trying to tempt them closer
  Following along, we were led into the first pasture where cows and calves were enjoying the February sunshine munching on hay, some calves nursing on their mothers, some calves laying down, and others wandering into a near-by pond for a drink of water.  While they allowed us to get fairly close, none of them would get close enough to be patted, not for lack of trying by a few in the group who tempted them with arms outstretched holding hay.

One of many ponds supplying water to the cows
Adam Frick with his cows
  As we were admiring all the cows and their calves, Adam talked about their farming practices by explaining  "In 2009, with the soaring price of corn, we at West Ridge Farms decided to transition to a grass by saying-fed herd and eliminate commercial cow production. However, not all breeds of cattle are ideally suited to exclusive grass-feeding, so we researched and experimented until we settled on Red Angus bulls with some Continental heritage (Charlais, Simmental, and Limosin) from our existing brood stock. Our Registered Red Angus bulls provide the strong marbling characteristics that beef-lovers crave. In 2013, by paying diligent attention to the cows’ needs and with a little help from the weather, we successfully raised our first group of grass-fed calves from birth to slaughter."

Ear tags are used for identification
round bale silage
  Next we wandered over to another pasture where all the steers were hanging out. Here Adam explained all about the hay 
silage, which I found fascinating.  I guess it shouldn't surprise you this young farmer is also a chemist.  Imagine that!  "During the winter months, we feed a combination of dry grass hay and round bale silage (commonly called haylage). Since the baling process is rather violent, the leaves on dried grass (where the sugars are made via photosynthesis) tend to shatter. By baling the grass while it is still wet or wilted, the leaves are more flexible and tend not to 
the steers
break or shatter. This allows us to store a higher quality forage and eliminates the need for using grain supplementation to meet the growing calves' dietary needs. With that being said, their rumen still has to adjust somewhat to the change in digesting cellulose for energy to digesting fatty acids and plant-based sugars. The haylage is fed predominately to our growing steers and heifers."

  Wandering around the farm, it is evident in Adam's expressions and enthusiasm, just how much he cares about his herd, and how well they are cared for.  For many of us, this is extremely important as we are looking for a great product, raised humanely on pasture with no added hormones or antibiotics.  It speaks volumes when the entire herd
Eating some hay
is under their direct supervision, and so much attention is paid to the welfare of the livestock they are raising. This is a young farmer who definitely knows his product!  While most of their herd is grass-fed, there are some who are fed a corn-free grain mix.  "
Most of our herd is 100 percent grass-fed and grass-finished beef. Our cows eat a combination of Fescue, Bermuda, and Johnson grasses, which they graze upon or are fed as hay or round bale silage. We carefully monitor our cows’ intake to ensure proper nutrition while
Well, hello there!
providing the variety that keeps them content. Through selective breeding, we are able to offer meat that is leaner than grain-fed beef but marbled well enough to yield tender, flavorful cuts. 
If you prefer the taste and texture of grain-fed beef, West Ridge Farms can serve you, too! With the grain-fed consumer in mind, we feed some of our cows a special corn-free grain mix that won't compromise their health. Their beautifully marbled meat is a result of substituting up to five percent of their diet with this high-fiber grain formula, which includes wheat and soybean co-products. Due to its high
Cute calf
fiber content, this feed is digested much like grass, allowing the cows to spend less time adjusting to a higher-starch diet, yet the meat has the savor and composition that grain-fed consumers are 
seeking. Whether selecting grass-fed or grain-fed, all of our beef is dry-aged for a minimum of two weeks to enhance tenderness and imparts a smooth, nutty flavor that is unlike any beef you have ever tried."  And what exactly are the nutritional benefits of grass-fed beef you ask? Read all about it here.  

  After 2 hours of wandering around the farm, and an education in the proper care and feeding of a herd of cattle, it was time for us to get going, but not before we all purchased some awesome beef products. There were all-beef hot dogs I've been told by another foodie friend taste like a German Nuremberger Wurst (can't wait to eat one), tenderloin fillets, soup bones, sirloin tip roasts, chuck roasts and 
Boneless sirloin tip roast
stew beef, so we loaded up our coolers and headed 

All-beef hot dogs

Tenderloin Fillet
 Our next stop which was lunch at Vella's Restaurant and Tavern in Chapin, S.C. The lunch was awesome and they had the absolutely best fresh asparagus I've ever tasted, dusted with aged Parmesan cheese! 

  After lunch we continued our trek home, talking about the farm tour and all the delicious beef we had purchased.  Once again I am thankful we have an abundance of local farms doing it "right" for you and me right here in South Carolina.  It's tireless hard work, but without our support, they wouldn't be able to continue to do what is their passion, producing a great product for you and me.  Does it cost more? Maybe. Is it worth it. Yes!  The way to really save money on grass-fed beef is to buy it in larger amounts, such as a side or 1/4 side of beef.  While that does mean more initial outlay, the total cost is around $3.90 per lb., which includes all cuts of beef from tenderloins to ground beef and everything in-between. Don't have the freezer space yourself for that much beef? Consider what we are doing and going in on it together with other friends or family members, dividing it up between all participants.  The BEST thing you can do for yourself and your family is just EAT REAL FOOD!  Buy it from your local farm, get to know your farmer, and support your local Farmer's market.  I think you'll be happy you did!


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Thursday, February 6, 2014

Irish Stew with Beer & Wine


Irish stew (Irishstobhach / Stobhach Gaelach) is a traditional stew made from lamb, or mutton (mutton is used as it comes from less tender sheep over a year old, is fattier, and has a stronger flavor, and is generally the most traditional variation used) as well as potatoes, onions, and parsley. It may sometimes also include carrots. Irish stew is also made with kid goat. (
Irish stew is a celebrated Irish dish, yet its composition is a matter of dispute. Purists maintain that the only acceptable and traditional ingredients are neck mutton chops or kid, potatoes, onions, and water. Others would add such items as carrots, turnips, and pearl barley; but the purists maintain that they spoil the true flavor of the dish. The ingredients are boiled and simmered slowly for up to two hours. Mutton was the dominant ingredient because the economic importance of sheep lay in their wool and milk produce and this ensured that only old or economically non-viable animals ended up in the cooking pot, where they needed hours of slow cooking. Irish stew is the product of a culinary tradition that relied almost exclusively on cooking over an open fire. It seems that Irish stew was recognized as early as about 1800...
Today you can find many recipes for Irish Stew, some with beef and some with lamb ... no matter how you make it, this is comfort food at its best. 

I come from a long line of Irish ancestors. My maiden name is Walsh, my mom was a Conron, her mother was a Phelan, and my great-grandmother was a McGee, so you know this Irish Beef Stew speaks loudly to me. It's something I grew up on, part of my heritage, and one I love to serve to this day.

1 1/2 - 2 lbs. stew beef (or cubed lamb pieces if preferred)
1/2 cup flour
1-2 tsp. minced garlic
1 cup Guinness beer or other dark beer
1/2 cup red wine
*4 cups homemade beef base or beef bone broth
1 small can tomato paste
1 tbls. sugar
1 tbls. dried thyme leaves
1 tbls. Worcestershire sauce
2 bay leaves
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 large onion, chopped
5-6 red or Yukon gold potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
5-6 large carrots, peeled and cut into chunks
Salt and pepper to taste

Combine beef pieces and flour in a zip-top bag and shake to coat; place all in a slow cooker sprayed with cooking spray.  Add the next 11 ingredients and stir to mix well.

Cover and cook on low 8-10 hours or on high 4-6 hours.  If you're in a hurry, parboil the potatoes and carrots until partially cooked; add to slow cooker and turn on high for 30 minutes and cook until softened.  Otherwise, add the potatoes and carrots during the last 2 hours of cooking time (be sure to turn the slow cooker to high).

Serve stew immediately with a nice crusty bread for dunking in the stew.

*Beef base - To make a quick beef base, roast beef bones (soup bones, rib bones) in a large roasting pan several hours (this is going to take about 3 hours) in a 250-300 oven until marrow is cooked.  Add 8 cups water and cook an additional hour or two until broth has reduced in half.  Add salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste. At this point you can either "put it up" by canning it in a pressure canner, or freeze it for use another time.  I like to make beef base and keep it on hand for when I want to use some, such as in this stew recipe.  It's also amazing in vegetable beef soups, French onion soup, or almost anything calling for a hearty beef base. You can also use homemade beef bone broth.

Alcohol substitutes - If you'd rather not use the beer and wine, substitute non-alcoholic beer for the Guinness and apple cider or unsweetened grape juice for the wine. Some balsamic vinegar or red wine vinegar could also be added a teaspoon at a time, until flavor is where you like it.


© 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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Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Glazed Turkey Tenderloin


So what is a Turkey Tenderloin?  It is the part of the turkey derived from the softest sections of the breast, the white portion of the turkey breast meat taken from the center of the breast of a turkey. Typically they come with two tenderloins in one package.

One is great for 2-3 people, but you would need both for up to 6 people. Turkey tenderloins are very versatile and can be marinated, grilled, roasted, fried ... the possibilities are limited only by your imagination, making a wonderful substitute for beef or pork in many dishes.  Additionally, they are fairly economical, which is an added bonus.

1 turkey tenderloin
3 tbls. molasses
2 tbls. grainy mustard
1-2 tsp balsamic vinegar

Preheat oven to 350.  Spray a baking dish with cooking spray and place tenderloin in dish.  In a small bowl, whisk together the other ingredients and spoon about 1/3 of the mixture over the tenderloin. Roast 35-40 minutes, basting several times during the cooking process.  Remove from oven, tent with foil, and allow to rest 10 minutes before serving.

Yield:  2-3 servings


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Monday, February 3, 2014

Chicken Tahiti, aka Sweet 'n Sour Chicken

This recipe comes from my mother.  Since she worked, she loved quick meals, and anything that was quick to put together. As kids, we loved this chicken, and as an adult I have served it many times over the years. Baked chicken breasts or tenders, smothered in a tangy sweet 'n sour sauce, pineapple chunks and bell pepper pieces, served over rice ... always a hit!  Don't have pineapple chunks and bell pepper? No problem, just leave them out.  

4 chicken breasts or 8 chicken breast tenders
Homemade Sweet 'n Sour Sauce (recipe)
White rice, cooked
Pineapple chunks, chopped bell pepper (optional)

Preheat oven to 350.  Cook rice according to package instructions; set aside and keep warm.  Place chicken pieces in a baking dish, sprayed with cooking spray. Spoon sweet 'n sour sauce over top to evenly covered.  Bake 35-45 minutes, depending on size of chicken pieces, until chicken is cooked through. Baste with sauce one or two times while cooking.  Serve hot over rice, with more sweet 'n sour sauce.

Yield:  4 servings

*Tip - Make the sweet 'n sour sauce in advance and store in your refrigerator (keeps for several weeks).


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Sunday, February 2, 2014

Sweet 'n Sour Sauce


Really easy and simple Sweet 'n Sour Sauce I've been making for years. Just a few simple pantry ingredients make this great sauce.  It's sweet and tangy, goes great with chicken, fish or pork dishes.

8 Tbls. Ketchup
6 Tbls. Vinegar
6 Tbls. Sugar 
2 Tbls. Cornstarch
2 Tbls. Canola Oil
1 1/3 cups Water

*Options - Add crushed pineapple, pineapple pieces, and/or diced bell pepper as desired.

Combine all ingredients in a small saucepan, heat to boiling over low heat, stirring to prevent sticking. Sauce thickens as it cooks. Stores well in a refrigerator for several weeks.


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Beer Sauced Links, aka Beer Sausages


I got this recipe from an old friend when we were stationed in Berlin, Germany and have made them many times over the years ... perfect for game day or anytime you want a quick and easy snack to put together! GREAT family-favorite appetizer ... always a hit here and there are never any leftovers.

2 lbs. smoked sausage, cut into slices
1 cup beer
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
2 tbls. cornstarch
1/4 cup vinegar
1/4 cup mustard (I use a spicy brown mustard)
1 tbls. horseradish

Combine sliced smoked sausage pieces and beer in a sauce pan.  Cover and simmer 10 minutes.

Meanwhile in a small bowl combine the brown sugar and cornstarch; stir in vinegar, mustard and horseradish.

Add mixture to smoked sausage and cook until sauce is thickened and bubbly.  Serve hot in a fondue pot or small crock pot.


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