Monday, October 31, 2016

Satsuma Mandarin Orange Pepper Jelly

At the very end of October or early November, these pretty little Satsuma Mandarin Oranges ripen and are begging to be picked, so a group of us headed over to McKenzie Farms Nursery to visit Stan McKenzie and buy some of his glorious citrus fruit freshly picked from his grove.

Satsuma Mandarin Oranges McKenzie Farms Nursery
A few  years back we had paid our first visit to Stan's nursery and marveled at all the wonderful fruit he had available. He showed us everything from Asian Pears and Dragon Limes, to Guava and Persimmons, but it was the much sought after Satsuma Mandarin Orange we were really after.

Satsuma Mandarin Oranges - McKenzie Farms Nursery

What is the Satsuma Mandarin Orange? It is a seedless and easy-peeling citrus species, Its fruit is "one of the sweetest citrus varieties, with a meltingly tender texture" and usually seedless, about the size of other mandarin oranges (Citrus reticulata). One of the distinguishing features of the satsuma is the thin, leathery skin dotted with large and prominent oil glands, which is lightly attached around the fruit, enabling it to be peeled very easily in comparison to other citrus fruits. The satsuma also has particularly delicate flesh, which cannot withstand the effects of careless handling. The uniquely loose skin of the satsuma, however, means that any such bruising and damage to the fruit may not be immediately apparent upon the typical cursory visual inspection associated with assessing the quality of other fruits. In this regard, the satsuma might be categorized as a hit-and-miss citrus fruit; the loose skin particular to the fruit precluding the definitive measurement of its quality by sight and feel alone. (source: Wikipedia)

Our visit this time did not disappoint, and we quickly loaded  up on these delightful little oranges, along with some fresh lemons and pecans from his trees and a few produce items also grown right on their land.
McKenzie Farms Nursery
When I got home with my goodies I contemplated making a jam with my Satsuma Mandarin Oranges, but I didn't want a marmalade, so I thought, hmmmm, what about a pepper jelly with just a touch of heat? One that would be great with grilled shrimp, chicken or pork, but equally delicious on a cheeseboard with crackers and cream cheese? And so this recipe was "born." It is sweet and tart with a touch of heat ... just as I wanted.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bundt Cake

Updated October 2019

This is probably one of the most moist cakes I've ever made! It's exactly like a pumpkin roll only in a bundt cake form.

Delicious, moist and tender, you don't need anything else with this cake except a hot cup of coffee or a tall glass of cold milk.

If you can, I absolutely recommend using fresh pumpkin puree, but you can also use sold pack pumpkin (not pie filling) available at most grocery stores. You will also need:

  • Flour and Sugar
  • Ground Cinnamon, Ginger, Cloves and Nutmeg 
  • Vegetable Oil
  • Brown Sugar
  • Farm Fresh Eggs
  • Cream Cheese
  • Vanilla Extract
  • A Large Mixing Bowl
  • Bundt Pan or Tube Pan

2 and 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground cloves
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
2 cups fresh pumpkin puree or one - 15 oz can pumpkin
1 cup packed light or dark brown sugar
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 cup vegetable or canola oil
4 large farm fresh eggs
1 tsp pure vanilla extract
Cinnamon-Sugar for dusting over top of cake

Cream Cheese Filling
12 ounces (1 - 8 oz pkg + 4 oz from another pkg) full-fat block cream cheese
1 large farm fresh egg
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees and grease a 10-inch bundt pan. Whisk the flour, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and nutmeg together in a large bowl. Set aside.

Whisk the pumpkin, brown sugar, granulated sugar, oil, eggs, and vanilla extract together until combined. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredients and whisk until completely combined.

Make the cream cheese filling: Using a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a paddle or whisk attachment, beat the cream cheese on high speed until no lumps remain. Beat in the remaining ingredients on medium-high speed until combined.

Spread half of the pumpkin batter into the prepared bundt pan. Spread all of the cream cheese filling evenly on top. Spread the remaining pumpkin batter on top.

Bake for 55-65 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the cake comes out clean with just a couple lightly moist crumbs. This is a large, heavy cake so don't be surprised if it takes a little longer in your oven.

Once done, remove from the oven and allow to cool for 1 hour inside the pan. Then, invert the slightly cooled bundt cake onto a wire rack set over a large plate or serving dish. Dust top liberally with cinnamon-sugar.  Allow cake to cool completely before serving.

Store cake in air-tight cake container for several days.



© 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.

Wednesday, October 26, 2016

Potato Corn & Bacon Chowder

I love good hearty soups, stews and chowders in the fall and wnter. They are quick, easy meals to prepare and so delicious.

Here in South Carolina, as soon as the temps lower just a bit in the early fall, chowders like this are my go to for many weeknight meals. This chowder is rich, creamy and thick ... a real stick to your ribs kind of meal, delicious with a side salad and a good crusty bread to dunk.

2 shallots, diced (or one small onion)
4 tbls butter
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups chicken bone broth or stock
2 cups heavy whipping cream
2 cups peeled and diced potatoes (2 medium red or Yukon gold potatoes, not Russet)
1 cup niblet corn (fresh or frozen)
1/2 tbls parsley flakes
1 tsp course-ground black pepper
1 tsp garlic powder
3 strips bacon, cooked crisp and crumbled
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

In a large sauce pan over medium-high heat, melt butter and saute' shallots several minutes or until translucent but not browned. Slowly whisk in flour, then add chicken bone broth or stock and mix until well blended.

Stir in cream, potatoes, corn, garlic powder, parsley flakes, and course-ground black pepper; cook until mixture reaches a low boil, just beginning to bubble up some, stirring often. Reduce heat to low and cook until potatoes are cooked through and softened; stir in crumbled bacon and cheese, and cook until cheese is melted. Remove from heat and serve immediately while piping hot.

Refrigerate any leftovers.

Yield: 4-6 servings

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.

Monday, October 24, 2016

An Evening to Remember {Kershaw County Farmers Market Harvest Farm-To-Table Dinner}

After months and months of planning and preparing, it was finally time for the Harvest Farm-To-Table Dinner hosted by the Kershaw County Farmers Market, so on a cool and breezy night in mid-October, the event started to unfold. What a spectacular sight it was to see! A huge tent was set up on the lawn in front of the Kershaw-Cornwallis House, and people were scurrying around putting the final touches in place.

Kershaw-Cornwallis House
The dinner was a fund-raiser to help construct a a permanent pavilion at the Kershaw County Farmers Market, a long sought after dream and vision of the market Board of Directors, as a way of establishing roots so they can grow in Kershaw County. This pavilion will be made from as many local resources as possible, and the committee has partnered with the Timber Framer’s Guild to have a true barn raising for this building. How fantastic is that?

Scale Model of Farmers Market Pavilion
Naturally I was thrilled when I was invited to attend the dinner. As a long-time customer and volunteer for the Kershaw County Farmers Market, spearheading their social media advertising, an avid "foodie," and small family farms advocate, this was an event I was really looking forward to ... and it did not disappoint. Oh my goodness, it was spectacular!

The Mary Ann Hurst Jazz Trio performed

Chef Trent Langston, and his crew from Lilfred's Restaurant and Creative Catering, in Rembert, SC did an amazing job with all the locally sourced products. Everything from the leg of lamb from Old McCaskills Farm to the pork loin from Fort Farms, the Brussels sprouts and carrots from Camden City Market, to the SC wild-caught shrimp from Off the Hook Seafood, Boykin Mill grits, and the Carolina Plantation Rice Carolina Gold Rice was expertly prepared. The bread basket full of freshly baked rolls from Mulberry Market Bake Shop was delicious served with some Happy Cow Creamery butter and Bell Honey Company raw local honey and the Kings bean coffee from Books on Broad was much appreciated with dessert at the end of the dinner.

Hors d' oeuvre Table
Table centerpieces

Take a look at the menu!
  • Hors d' oeuvres - duck sausage, mushroom, onion, wonton chip; Southern antipasto display featuring pimento cheese, pepper jelly, pickled okra, bread & butter pickles, spiced pecans and garlic croutons
  • Bread Basket - variety of freshly baked dinner rolls, butter and honey
  • First Course - grits, SC shrimp, bacon roasted red peppery gravy
  • Second Course - fall greens, apple, dried cranberry, walnuts, 1 year aged cheddar, balsamic vinaigrette
  • Third Course - leg of lamb, heritage pork tenderloin, Carolina gold rice Hoppin' John, glazed baby carrots, turnips and Brussels sprouts
  • Dessert and Coffee - variety of pies, King bean coffee
Plating the salads

Chef Trent Langston grilling up the leg of lamb
Shrimp and Grits in Bacon Roasted Red Pepper Gravy
The food, the table settings and the crowd all made it a night to remember! The silent and live auctions were also a big hit, with lots of bids coming from the crowd.

As all good things must come to and end, it was soon time to leave and head home. It was a GREAT night supporting local! As a small family farms advocate, it was a fantastic experience for me, and one I won't soon forget. We all need to know where our food comes from, do our best to support local farms and farmers markets, and thank a farmer today!


© 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, October 23, 2016

Rustic Country Apple Fritter Bread

Updated August 2019

Oh my goodness! Apples, cinnamon, and sugar all mixed up in a delicious quick bread. So darn good and easy to do.

When I first saw this recipe floating around on the internet last year, I knew it was something I wanted to try and make my own.

There are lots of variations out there, some with nuts (pecans or walnuts), some without, some with a glaze, some without. I honestly think you could do just about anything with this recipe and have it turn out well. 

The addition of raisins or cranberries would be amazing (and I'll try that next time). You could also make this with most any fruit, such as cherries or pears, for a delicious twist.

1/3 cup light brown sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon
2/3 cup white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
2 farm fresh eggs
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
1 3/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup milk (full fat)
2 apples, peeled and chopped (any kind), mixed with 2 tbsp granulated sugar and 1 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Use a 9 x 5-inch loaf pan (or 2 mini-loaf pans) and spray with non-stick spray or line with foil and spray with non-stick spray to get out easily for slicing.

Mix brown sugar and cinnamon together in a bowl. Set aside.

In another medium-sized bowl, beat white sugar and butter together using an electric mixer until smooth and creamy. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time, until blended in; add in vanilla extract. Combine & whisk flour and baking powder together in another bowl and add into creamed butter mixture and stir until blended. Mix milk into batter until smooth.

Pour half the batter into the prepared loaf pan; add half the apple mixture, then half the brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Lightly push apple mixture into batter.

Pour the remaining batter over apple layer and top with remaining apple mixture, then the remaining brown sugar/cinnamon mixture.

Lightly push apples into batter; swirl brown sugar mixture through apples using knife or spoon.

Bake in the preheated oven until a toothpick inserted in the center of the loaf comes out clean, approximately 50-60 minutes.

Baking options: For 2 mini loaves bake 30-40 minutes; for muffins bake 15-20 minutes; for large 9" loaf bake 50-60 minutes until toothpick inserted in center comes out clean. (I almost always make 2 mini-loaves, one for now and one for later). Baked bread freezes well. Allow to cool, wrap with plastic wrap, and place in zip-top bag to freeze.

Also seen on Meal Plan Monday

And 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.

Thursday, October 20, 2016

Veggie Cream Cheese {100 Days of Real Food: Fast and Fabulous Cookbook Review}

It's a great honor for me to be a "Cookbook Ambassador" for Lisa Leake of 100 Days of Real Food because I support, applaud and embrace her passion for real food ... it's what I try to live by too! Learning about "real food" is the very reason why I support local farms and markets, buy grass-fed pastured meats, avoid processed foods, cook from scratch, and use other wholesome ingredients in my recipes.

When I first found out Lisa was looking for cookbook ambassadors for the launch of her new cookbook, 100 Days of Real Food: Fast and Fabulous, I was eager to apply ... yes, apply! I had to submit my information, and my blog for review, before being chosen. You can only imagine how excited I was when I received this email which in part said: "Thank you so much for your interest in being one of my Cookbook Ambassadors! I've reviewed everyone's applications and would love for you to be part of the group. Words cannot express how much I appreciate your excitement around my book - this whole process wouldn't be nearly as much fun if I didn't have others to share it with!" Whoo Hoo!!!  I was doing the happy dance all around the house.

And so began the days waiting to receive my signed copy of her cookbook 100 Days of Real Food: Fast and Fabulous and once again reviewing (because I had already read this numerous times) the about section on her website and her eye-opening journey which was not always easy.

"Whether you’re brand new to cutting out processed food or you’re a real food veteran, I hope you’ll find some value in the resources on this blog. In the beginning of 2010 I had never before read an ingredient label, never bought anything that was organic (at least not on purpose), nor had I ever stepped foot in a farmers’ market. I am certainly not proud of those things, but that was reality for the first 32 or so years of my life and the most disturbing part is that I had no idea I was doing anything wrong.

After reading In Defense of Food by Michael Pollan I got the wake up call of my life and felt like our eating habits needed a serious overhaul. Making such drastic changes was not easy at first (it has thankfully become our “new normal” since then), and at the time I struggled to find resources to help me understand exactly how I could apply Pollan’s principles to our everyday lives."

But what exactly is "Real Food?" 

And what will you get in her new cookbook?  

100 Days of Real Food: Fast & Fabulous gives Lisa's devoted fans and newcomers exactly what they want, quick and tasty favorites for breakfast, lunch, dinner, dessert, and even snacks that are a snap to make. Inside you ll find recipes sure to please everyone, from Cinnamon Raisin Scones, Couscous and Tomato Salad, and Corn Muffins to Citrus Salad With Crispy Quinoa, Honeydew Green Smoothie, and Slow Cooker Black Bean Soup to Easy Fish Tacos, Parmesan Crusted Chicken, and Chocolate Banana Pops. While some dishes are blog favorites, seventy-five percent are brand new.

Cinnamon Glazed Bananas

Along with these family-friendly recipes, 100 Days of Real Food: Fast & Fabulous incorporates ideas for adult, big-kid, and little-kid packed lunches and new seasonal meal plans and shopping lists everything you need for accessible, quick, and real home cooking. Lisa also includes a CliffsNotes -style resource section packed with easy guidelines on how to buy real food, supermarket staples (including her Top 10 Shopping Lists by Store), the truth behind more than a dozen grocery store myths, and other handy kitchen tips (such as food prep guides and storage cheat sheets).

Asian Noodle Salad

Making and enjoying healthy meals the whole family will love doesn't have to be difficult, boring, or expensive. With this essential cookbook, illustrated with color photos for every single recipe, you ll see just how fast and fabulous good home-cooked meals can be.

But now let's get to the recipe! I deliberately chose one very easy to do and extremely versatile. Use as a sandwich spread, make cute little appetizer bites, serve as a dip with fresh veggies or crackers, or top on toasted bagels. So darn good, and easy ... really easy to make. Naturally I purchased the products I used from one of my favorite local produce markets, Camden City Market, who always has the best local veggies, and the 9 grain bread is baked fresh daily at Mulberry Market Bake Shop.

1 carrot, peeled and cut into large chunks
1/4 cucumber, skin on, cut into large chunks
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 green onion, white and green parts, roughly chopped
1 tablespoon chopped fresh dill
1/2 teaspoon salt
One 8-ounce package cream cheese, at room temperature

In the food processor, combine everything but the cream cheese and pulse until finely chopped.

Drop the cream cheese into the veggie mix and pulse until well combined.

Serve or store in the fridge for up to 4 days.

Click here for information on how to pre-order

Enter here to WIN a copy of this amazing cookbook! 
Contest begins at midnight 10/21/2016 and ends 10/28/2016

a Rafflecopter giveaway


© 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, October 2, 2016

Balsamic Glazed Chicken

I originally saw this recipe on Delish and thought I wanted to try it, BUT I wanted to use bone in chicken breasts from a local farm, and raw local honey. I also used fresh cut rosemary from our garden. Oh my goodness, it is so good!

This is the BEST Balsamic Glazed Chicken I  have ever made. It's a great Sunday dinner, full of robust flavor from the balsamic vinegar and grainy mustard, with a touch of sweet from the honey.

All ready to roast
I used pasture raised bone-in chicken breasts from Thames Farm in this recipe. They always provide a superior product, and pasture raised chicken from a small family farm is so much better than a commercially produced chicken. No added saline solution here ... just all natural, flavorful chicken. Do yourself a favor, and buy your chicken from a local farm (if possible) ... there is just no comparison.