Monday, June 29, 2015

Peach and Jalapeno Pepper Jelly


Oh my goodness. This jelly is so good, probably one of the best I've ever made or tasted. The sweet of the peach and the heat of the peppers combine beautifully in this jelly. Serve over cream cheese on crackers or baste on grilled pork, it's amazing. This the perfect gift for friends and family at the holidays, or it makes a great party appetizer.


10 medium peaches, peeled, pitted and diced (or approx. 4 cups)
3 large jalapeno peppers, seeded and minced
2 tbls. lemon juice
2 tsp. butter (to reduce foaming)
1 package Sure-Jel (fruit pectin)
5 cups sugar

Blanch peaches in boiling water 60 seconds, then immediately plunge peaches into an ice bath. Once cooled, slip off skins, remove pit and dice peaches.

Place diced peaches in a large stock pot. Add seeded and minced jalapeno peppers, lemon juice, butter, and 1 package Sure-Jel (fruit pectin).

Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring often. Reduce heat slightly and let cook about 5 minutes, to soften the fruit. 

Add sugar all at once, stir well, increase heat to high, and return to a rolling boil (one that doesn't stop while stirring). Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and ladle jelly into prepared mason jars. Cover with rings and lids and process in boiling water bath 10 minutes.

Remove jars from boiling water bath and let sit on your kitchen counter-top 24 hours. Jars are sealed when button in the middle of the lid is fully depressed.

Once jars are sealed, and as jelly cools, slightly shake jars from time to time to evenly distribute peach and pepper pieces throughout the jelly.

Store jars on pantry shelf up to one year. Refrigerate any opened jars.

Yield: 6 - 8 oz. jelly jars


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Sunday, June 28, 2015

Betty's Peach Marmalade


This is an old "family favorite" recipe from my husband's grandmother, Betty D'Olier Marshall. It's a wonderful combination of fresh peaches, oranges and cherries. There is no pectin used, you simply cook low and slow, stirring often, until the marmalade thickens naturally.

Wonderfully delicious spread on top of toasted English muffins or scones, and equally good spooned over top of vanilla ice-cream or pound cake.


12 good sized peaches (I used organic peaches)
3 oranges (I used naval oranges)
1/2-1 cup sweet cherries, pitted and petite diced
Sugar equal to the amount of fruit
1 tbls. butter, to prevent foaming

Blanch peaches 30-60 seconds in boiling water. Immediately plunge peaches in ice water to stop cooking process. Slip skins off peaches, remove pit and dice or process peaches in a food processor.

Grind the oranges, rind and all, through a meat grinder. If you don't have a meat grinder, cut oranges into small pieces and process using the "pulse" setting on your food processor until pieces are quite small.

Dice the cherries into small pieces.

Combine peaches, ground oranges, and diced cherries and measure to see how much fruit you have.

Place fruit mixture in a large stock pot and add 1 cup sugar for every cup of fruit. Stir well and bring to a boil over a medium-high heat. Add butter, reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring often to prevent sticking.

Marmalade will thicken as it cooks, and reduce down. This process can take at least an hour, and possibly longer.

How to tell when your Marmalade is ready?

Use a candy thermometer. When you’re making jam with traditional amounts of sugar, you’re aiming to cook it to 220°F. That’s the temperature at which sugar forms a gel and can bond with the pectin (whether it naturally occurring in the fruit or you’ve added it). Monitoring the temperature can give you confirmation that you’re on the right track.

Use the freezer test. At the beginning of cooking, put two or three small plates or bowls in the freezer. As you begin to approach the end of cooking, pull one out and put a small dollop of jam into the middle of the dish. Tuck it back into the freezer for two or three minutes (take your jam off the heat during this time, because if it the test tells you it’s done, you will have just spent three minutes overcooking your jam).When the time is up, pull the dish out of the freezer and gently nudge the dollop of jam with the tip of your finger. If it has formed a skin on top that wrinkles a bit when pushed, it is done. If it is still quite liquid and your finger runs right through it, it’s not done yet.

Give it time. Jam/Marmalade can take up to a week to achieve its finished set. Don’t declare it a failure ten minutes out of the canner.

Fill jars leaving 1/4" head-space. Cover with lids and process 10 minutes in boiling water bath. Remove jars and let sit 24 hours undisturbed on your kitchen counter-top. Store unopened jars in your pantry up to one year.

*Recipe is easily doubled or tripled since there is no added pectin. Simply keep your fruit to sugar content equal.

Yield: approx. 6 - 8 oz. jelly jars or 3 pint jars


© 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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Thursday, June 25, 2015

Simple Veggie Frittata


A Frittata is an Italian-style omelette baked in a skillet. Fritatta's are quick and easy to make and a wonderful option for Sunday brunch, or light lunch/dinner anytime.  Because they are so versatile, you can make them with anything you like; ham, sausage, your choice of cheese, mushrooms, bell peppers, broccoli, fresh tomatoes and more.


2 farm fresh eggs, scrambled
Salt and pepper, to taste
Fresh broccoli florets, diced
Black olives, sliced
Fresh cherry or grape tomatoes, sliced
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

Preheat oven to 350. Spray a 6-inch skillet (I use cast iron) with cooking spray. Place all chopped, diced and sliced veggies evenly around the bottom of the skillet. Pour scrambled eggs over top of veggies; top all evenly with shredded cheddar cheese.

Bake covered for 20 minutes. Remove lid and continue baking 10 more minutes or until eggs and set and cheese is melted.

Serve immediately with a slice of  hearty bread toasted and a side of fresh fruit.

Cooks note - recipe is easily doubled or even tripled to make a larger frittata. Increase skillet size and cooking time to insure frittata is cooked through.

Yield:  2 lunch size pieces


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Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Sweet Honey Mustard Wine Grilling Sauce


The other day my husband made up this grilling sauce because we were tired of some of the everyday standard ones we use. This uses white wine, grainy mustard, honey and more to make it perfect for chicken, pork, shrimp or veggies.

Delicious just basted on while cooking, but we especially enjoy it when foods are grilling.


1/2 cup butter melted
1 clove garlic, finely minced
1/2 cup white wine
1/2 cup grainy brown mustard
1 small sprig fresh rosemary, finely minced
3 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
3 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup honey

Blend everything together in a small saucepan and simmer until mixture thickens and reduces slightly, approximately 30 minutes, or until desired thickness.

Remove from heat and use to baste on grilled food or store in your refrigerator, Keeps well refrigerated up to 2 weeks.


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Old-Fashioned Homemade Buttermilk Pancakes


This is another great recipe from the cookbook Deep South Dish Home-Style Southern Recipes. It's quick and easy to make, and the pancakes are delicious. You can also find Mary on the internet at Deep South Dish.

I whipped some of these up for my husband for breakfast and all he could say was "mmmm, mmmm, yummmm, now I have a happy tummy."


2 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp. baking powder
2 tsp. baking soda
3 tbls. sugar
1 tsp. sea salt
2 cups buttermilk (make your own by adding 2-3 tsp. lemon juice to milk)
2 tbls. butter melted
2 large farm fresh eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Whisk together flour, baking powder, baking soda, sugar and salt; set aside.

Combine milk with 2 tbls, butter, eggs and vanilla. Add buttermilk mixture to flour mixture and gently combine. Batter should be fairly thick and lumpy, but pourable; avoid over-mixing.

Heat griddle or skillet over medium high heat. Spoon or pour 1/3 cup batter onto pan leaving at least 1/2"-inch between each. When pancakes begin to bubble up and edges appear dry, turn over to brown other side.

Serve immediately with additional melted butter and syrup.


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Friday, June 19, 2015

Creamy Asiago and Peppercorn Salad Dressing


Best ever salad dressing, so easy to make. Once you make this, you won't want to buy it from the store.

It's best with fresh greens such as arugula, spinach and any of the lettuces. Stop by your local farmers market, or farm stand, and buy the freshest you can get. Bring your bounty home and enjoy your fresh greens with some of this phenomenal salad dressing. Really good with sliced garden fresh tomatoes too.


1/2 cup Asiago cheese, grated
1 to 2 tsp. freshly ground peppercorns
1/2 tsp. salt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1/2 cup buttermilk (make your own by adding 1 tsp. lemon juice to 1/2 cup milk)
1/2 cup sour cream
1 tsp. Worcestershire Sauce
1 tsp. lemon juice

In a small bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, buttermilk and sour cream. Add in the remainder of ingredients, stirring well.

Pour into a mason jar and cover with lid. Chill for at least an hour before using, overnight is even better.


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Taco Loaded Baked Potato


Loaded baked potatoes are so good, and extremely versatile. I've made them with creamy chicken and broccoli, shredded roast beef with gravy and more.

These Taco Loaded Baked Potatoes are family-friendly and make a quick weeknight dinner everyone will love. Change it up and use ground turkey, chicken or pork for the ground beef; any option is delicious.

1 lb. grass-fed beef
4 baking potatoes
1/2 cup salsa
2 tbls. taco seasoning mix
1/3 cup water
Sour cream
Sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
Slice jalapeno peppers (optional)
Sliced black olives (optional)

Preheat oven to 400. Scrub potatoes, place on a baking sheet and bake 40 minutes or until cooked through.

While potatoes are baking, brown ground beef in a small sauce pan. Drain grease. Sprinkle ground beef with add  2 tbls. taco seasoning mix and 1/3 cup water. Return to burner and simmer until water is absorbed.

To Assemble
Cut cooked baked potatoes in half lengthwise, being careful not to cut through potato skin. Repeat by cutting potatoes in half width-wise, again being careful not to cut through skin.

Using your thumbs and forefingers on both sides of the cut potato, push cut potato together towards center, causing potato to fluff up.

Top each potato with 1/4 cup ground beef mixture; sprinkle each with shredded sharp cheddar cheese. Divide salsa evenly on each and top with a dollop of sour cream. Add any optional ingredients at this time and serve immediately.

Also seen on Weekend Potluck


© 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, June 14, 2015

Blueberry Spice Jam


Oh my goodness! This is a great way to make good use of summer's blueberry bounty. The secret is a tiny bit of nutmeg or cinnamon, which makes all the difference, turning plain old blueberry jam into something amazing, and a feast for your palate.


1 1/2 pints ripe blueberries (approx. 3 cups)
1 tbls lemon juice
1 tsp. butter
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg or cinnamon
5-1/2 cups sugar
3/4 cup water
1 box powdered pectin (I use Sure-Jell)

Wash and thoroughly crush blueberries, one layer at a time, in a saucepan. Add lemon juice, spice, and water. Stir in the pectin and bring mixture to a full, rolling boil over high heat, stirring frequently.

Add the sugar and return to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, quickly skim off foam, if any. Ladle jam into jars, cover with lids and rings, leaving 1/4-inch head-space.

Process pints and half-pints 5 minutes in a boiling water bath. Remove jars and let cool undisturbed on a kitchen towel on your counter-top 24 hours.

Store sealed and unopened jars in your pantry up to one year. Refrigerate after opening.

Yield: About 5 half-pints


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Friday, June 12, 2015

Father's Day "Man Foods"


Check out this great collection of 20 "Man Foods" for the special man in your life this Father's Day, because all dads are special and deserve the BEST! Whether dad is a beef and steak lover, fried chicken freak, grilled ribs aficionado, or a seafood fanatic, there's a little something here for everyone.

1. Barbecue Beef Brisket
Barbecue Beef Brisket

2. Crispy Fried Chicken

Fried Chicken

3. Beef Tenderloin Roast

Beef Tenderloin

4. Grilled Beef Ribs

Grilled Beef Ribs

5. Spice Infused Grilled Pork Chops

Spice Infused Grilled Pork Chops

6. Grilled Barbecue St. Louis Ribs

Grilled Barbecue St. Louis Ribs

7. Grilled Swordfish Steaks

Grilled Swordfish Steaks

8. Perfectly Grilled London Broil

Grilled London Broil

9. Man 'O Steak

Man 'O Steak

10. Low Country Boil

Low Country Boil

11. Grilled Beef Rump Roast

Grilled Beef Rump Roast

12. Sweet and Hot Sticky Wings

Sweet and Hot Sticky Wings

13. Pulled Pork BBQ

Pulled Pork BBQ

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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Baked Honey Mustard Pork Chops

Ready to eat! Dig in!

Oh my goodness, these are so good! It is literally a taste explosion in your mouth; sweet honey, tangy mustard and tender bites of pork.

Baked slow and low for 1 1/2-2 hours, they come out extremely tasty and tender. The honey mustard mixture caramelizes during the baking time, so frequent turning of the pork chops coats them evenly and beautifully in the delicious sauce.

Sticky, sweet and tangy


2-4 center cut pork chops
3-4 tbls. raw, local honey
2 tbls. grainy mustard, or mustard of your choice

Preheat oven to 275-300 degrees. Spray a large baking dish well with cooking spray. In a small bowl, whisk together honey and mustard to blend well.

Place pork chops in baking dish, and spoon a bit of the honey-mustard sauce evenly over the pork chops and bake 30 minutes.

Remove baking dish from oven, turn pork chops over and baste other side of pork chops with sauce. Return to oven and repeat turning pork chops and basting on more sauce every 30 minutes, or until chops are done and well caramelized with honey-mustard sauce.

Serve immediately with your choice of side dishes.

All caramelized and ready to serve!

Cook's note - this would also be good with a slow cooked Pork Shoulder Roast.


© 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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Old-Fashioned Coffee Cake from Deep South Dish: Home-Style Southern Recipes + Giveaway


Recently I was invited to review this awesome cookbook Deep South Dish: Home-Style Southern Recipes by my friend, Mary, at Deep South Dish. I was happy to be invited and couldn't wait to "dig in" to her great cookbook.

As said about Mary and her cookbook on Amazon: "Mary Foreman loves to share her Home-Style Southern Recipes - like her mother and grandmother used to make. A popular food blogger and recipe developer, Mary gets millions of unique page views per year to her blog She calls on her heritage of good cooking for recipes that all have one thing in common - incredibly great taste! So pull up a chair, grab a glass of sweet tea, and join Mary in dishing up good ole southern recipes from the Deep South USA."

Having been a fan of hers forever, and a follower on her Facebook page, Best Southern Recipes of the Deep South, I knew this cookbook would be full of delicious recipes I'd want to try.

There were so many to choose from, but since my husband has a BIG sweet tooth, I was super-happy to see this recipe for Old Fashioned Coffee Cake. It was quick, easy to prepare, uses minimum ingredients, yet yields this soft, delicate coffee cake and glorious streusel topping. Oh yes, it's a keeper now in our house. This is one of those recipes you'll make over and over again ... it's that good.

I mean, really, how couldn't it be! Just look at the pictures ... it is amazing!


Prep time: 10  minutes
Cook time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4-6

Streusel Topping:
1/2 cup packed brown sugar
1 tsp. cinnamon
1 tbls. all-purpose flour
1/2 cup chopped pecans
2 tbls. melted butter

Coffee Cake:
2 tbls. melted butter
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 tsp. kosher salt
2 tsp. baking powder

Streusel Topping: Whisk together brown sugar, cinnamon, flour and pecans. Sitr in melted butter until well mixed, and set aside.

Coffee Cake:  Preheat oven to 375. Butter an 8 x 8-inch glass baking pan. Mix together melted butter with sugar; add milk and egg; blend. Stir in flour, salt and baking powder; beat until smooth. Pour into prepared baking  pan.

Sprinkle Streusel Topping evenly over top, and bake 25 minutes, or until set. Remove from oven and set aside to cool slightly.

Cut into squares, or serve with a spoon. Additionally, Mary suggests serving this with a scoop of vanilla ice-cream for an unexpected dessert ... delicious.

Click to order your own copy of 

Enter HERE to WIN a copy!

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this cookbook to review. All opinions are my own.


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Sunday, June 7, 2015

Bacon Broccoli Egg and Cheese Breakfast Cup


Quick, easy and tasty breakfast cup, perfect for Sunday Brunch or lazy weekend. Or make some ahead, cool, wrap and refrigerate for a breakfast at the office. Simply reheat in a microwave.


2 farm fresh eggs, beaten
2 strips of bacon, cut in half
4 fresh broccoli florets, diced
Pepper Jack cheese, diced
Salt and pepper, to taste

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Spray a 7 oz. ramekin with cooking spray. Lay cut pieces of bacon in ramekin, overlapping and covering bottom and sides of ramekin.

Add diced pepper jack cheese and broccoli. Pour beaten egg over all and bake 25-30 minutes, or until bacon is cooked and eggs are set.

Remove from oven and let cool 3 minutes before carefully removing breakfast cup from ramekin and placing on a plate to serve.


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Thursday, June 4, 2015

Farmily-Sized Creole Chicken and Rice


Simple, quick and easy, this Family-Sized Creole Chicken and Rice comes together quickly making it a great dish for a weeknight meal. Slightly spicy and very tasty, it's a "meal in one" for all to enjoy.


1 cup rice
2 cups water
3 tsp. creole seasoning, 1 tsp. reserved
1 stalk celery, diced
1 small onion, diced
1 tbls. olive oil
4 chicken breast tenders, sliced in half length-wise, then cubed
1 - 14.5 oz. can petite diced tomatoes, drained

Add 1 cup rice, 2 cups water and 2 tsp. creole seasoning to your rice steamer and cook according to manufacturer directions. Alternately, add rice, water and creole seasoning to a large sauce pan and bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer covered over low heat 20-25 minutes or until rice is tender and all liquid is absorbed.

Meanwhile, in a large deep fry pan, saute' celery and onion in olive oil over medium heat until onion is translucent and celery is tender. Sprinkle additional 1 tsp. creole seasoning over all, add cubed chicken and continue to cook until chicken is cooked through. Stir in drained, petite diced tomatoes, cover and simmer on low heat 5 minutes; remove from heat.

Spoon over cooked rice and serve immediately.

Yield: 4-6 servings


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