Monday, January 30, 2017

Chocolate Cobbler

When I first saw this recipe on Bake or Break I just knew I wanted to make it. I mean who wouldn't want some ooey gooey chocolately goodness?

The best thing about this recipe is IT'S EASY! So simple to do, with just a few ingredients, but wow, what it delivers is something like a molten lava cake meets brownie and fudge sauce.

Decadent, delicious, tantalizing and amazing ... yep! It's all of those things and more.


1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
1 cup all-purpose flour
7 tbls cocoa, divided
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup milk
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
1 1/2 cups hot water


Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Stir together 3/4 cup sugar, flour, 3 tablespoons cocoa, baking powder, and salt. Stir in the milk, butter, and vanilla, mixing until smooth. Pour into an ungreased 8-inch square glass baking pan.

In a small bowl, mix 1/2 cup sugar, brown sugar, and 4 tablespoons cocoa. Sprinkle evenly over the batter. Pour hot water over the top. Do not stir.

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until the center is almost set. Let stand for 15 minutes, then serve. Use the chocolate sauce in the bottom of the pan to spoon over servings. Garnish, if desired, with ice cream or whipped cream.

Also seen on Meal Plan Monday

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.

Friday, January 27, 2017

Drunken Fig Jam

This  jam is equally at home topped on toast or English muffins, on a cheeseboard, or as an accompaniment to grilled meats. It would be amazing with a pork loin roast!

It's versatile and flavorful. The sweetness of the figs shines through the boozy Brandy element, and the touch of cardamom enhances all the flavors.

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Cherry Port Jam

Oh my goodness, this jam is so darn delicious. It can be used a multitude of ways from savory with cheese, sweet with dessert, or as an accompaniment with roasted or grilled pork, ham, lamb and poultry.

Pairing the sweet cherries with the Port wine was a match just meant to be, and the hint of ground cloves just put it over the top. After my first taste of this Cherry Port Jam, I knew I had a winner.

Port is a sweet, red, fortified wine from Portugal. Port is most commonly enjoyed as a dessert wine because it is rich and sweet. There are several styles of Port, including red, white, rosé and an aged style called Tawny Port. Port wine pairs wonderfully with richly flavored cheeses (including blue cheese and washed-rind cheeses), chocolate and caramel desserts, salted and smoked nuts, and even sweet-smoky meats.

I used Benjamin Tawny Port, a product of Australia, which is a tawny port that's described as a nutty wine with brilliant fruit, made in a lighter tawny style. The wine, a blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Shiraz and Muscat, has a medium finish with a touch of dark plum at the end.

Wednesday, January 25, 2017

Spicy Blackberry Merlot Jam

This Spicy Blackberry Merlot Jam will wow you! Blackberries, Merlot wine and a touch of red pepper flakes puts this jam over the top, bursting with flavors.

I used fresh blackberries I purchased in the summer and flash froze for the freezer, but you could easily use frozen blackberries. It's sweet yet tangy with a bit of a bite from the red pepper flakes, but not too overpowering.

Delicious served on top of cream cheese over crackers, as an accompaniment on a cheeseboard, or served with grilled or roasted meats such as pork, chicken or lamb. You could even heat some up and baste it on while cooking ... amazing!!

Monday, January 23, 2017

Blueberry Maple Pecan Conserve

This is probably one of the best conserves I've ever made. The blueberries with the maple syrup is just so darn delicious.

Serve this with baked brie for a nice addition to a cheese platter, or top on vanilla ice-cream or spoon over pancakes and waffles.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Marmalade - January Challenge

A group of us are participating in the Food In Jars Mastery Challenge hosted by Marisa at Food in Jars and the first challenge was MARMALADE. Who knew there were so many different kinds of marmalade?

We had everything from traditional Lemon and Orange marmalade's to Caramelized Onion and Gin & Lime! It was a great challenge making marmalade, and learning all about how to get it to reach the jelling point (220 degrees) without added pectin.

Thankfully Marisa had some great tips for us to follow, and the next thing we knew, the photos were rolling in as each person completed the challenge.

We all learned a few things from the others too, and everyone cheered on everyone else as their trials and tribulations were acknowledged. Everything from how adding liquor makes the marmalade take longer to jell and set up, to burning the pot ruining a batch happened, but no one got discouraged; they just tried again!

These are the great results!


Grab the RECIPES!

A traditional Seville Orange Marmalade with a Twist
Sue Harris - Jams 'n Pans

Anne Marshall-Candeloro

Lynn Elliott Vining - Southern With a Twist

Cranberry Onion Marmalade
Veronica McLaughlin Gantley - My Catholic Kitchen

Nikki and Phil Carriere

Nikki and Chris Carriere

Julie Posigian


© 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.

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Sugar Candied Peanuts

I had never candied anything other than pecans until I did these the other day. Of course it's no harder to do than than the Cinnamon Sugar Candied Pecans ... I guess I never really thought about it. Then I made some Honey Roasted Peanuts for my husband, and he asked if I could candy some peanuts like I did the pecans, and I thought, why not?

Naturally you can do this with any nuts you like, or a mixture of nuts. They make a great little snack, addition to baked cookies, a nice crunch in trail mix and more. PLUS they're so easy and inexpensive to do, and store well for several weeks in a tightly sealed container such as a mason jar.

Monday, January 16, 2017

German Pork Rouladen

I've been dying to make these ever since I bought some pork cutlets (scallopini) from my friends at Sunny Cedars Farm. We'd discussed having this cut of pork added to their line-up of delicious products, and I'm so happy they did, since this cut is not typically available at local farms I visit.

What is Rouladen? Rouladen or Rindsrouladen is a German meat dish. Usually consisting of bacon, onions, mustard and pickles wrapped in thinly sliced beef or pork which is then cooked.

Beef or veal is typically used though some food scholars tend to believe the original version was probably venison or pork, and pork is still popular in some areas. The beef rouladen as we know them today have become popular over the last century. The cut is usually topside beef or silverside since this is the cheaper cut. The more expensive version would be the round steak, also known as rump steak. The meat is cut into large, thin slices.

The filling is a mixture of smoked and cooked pork belly or bacon, chopped onions and chopped pickles (gherkins or dill) which is at times varied by adding minced meat or sausage meat. The mixture varies from region to region. Rouladen are traditionally served for dinner. Red wine is often used for the gravy.

This is a super simple dish to make, and so darn delicious. A little advanced prep makes it even easier.

4 pork cutlets or scallopini
1-2 tbls. grainy German mustard (I used Fig-Apple Mustard)
4 slices bacon
1/3 white onion, diced
1-2 dill pickles, diced
4 tbls butter, melted
4 tbls. flour
2 cups beef broth or stock

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread mustard evenly over 4 pork cutlets, topping each with one slice of bacon. Add the diced onion and pickles to one end, roll up and secure with a tooth pick.

Place seam side down in a baking dish or casserole lightly sprayed with cooking spray. In a small sauce pan, melt butter and whisk in flour to make a roux. Whisk in beef broth and cook over med-high heat until mixture bubbles and thickens making a gravy.

Remove saucepan from heat and pour gravy over pork rouladens. Cover and bake 1 hour or until rouladens are cooked through and very tender.

Serve over your choice of spätzle, egg noodles, rice or potatoes.

Yield:  4 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.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Cherry Crumble

When I buy fresh cherries over the summer, I buy a LOT of them. My husband and I then spend a bit of time pitting them all and I flash freeze some so have a few gallon bags in the freezer for use year round. I also make Cherry Pie Filling with them I water bath can so I have a few jars at any given time conveniently stored in my pantry.

Putting up your own fresh cherries is so much better tasting that store bought, and buying them seasonally and either freezing or canning them takes a bit of time then, but it's so worth it later when you want this dessert as an example. For me, I pulled out a jar of my pie filling and made the crumble; simple, quick and delicious.

What is a crumble?  
A crumble is a dish of British origin that can be made in a sweet or savory version, although the sweet version is much more common. A sweet variety usually contains stewed fruit topped with a crumbly mixture of fat (usually butter), flour, and sugar. A savory version uses meat, vegetables and a sauce for the filling, with cheese replacing sugar in the crumble mix. The crumble is baked in an oven until the topping is crisp. The dessert variety is often served with custard, cream or ice cream as a hearty, warm dessert after a meal. The savory variety can be served with accompanying vegetables.

Popular fruits used in crumbles include apple, blackberry, peach, rhubarb, gooseberry, and plum. Sometimes, a combination of two or more of these fruits may be used in a crumble, for example, rhubarb and apple may be used in the same crumble. The crumble is typically given the name of the dominant fruit in it: for example, a crumble made with apple would get the name of "apple crumble", while one made with rhubarb would get the name of "rhubarb crumble". The topping may also include rolled oats, ground almonds or other nuts, and sometimes sour milk (e.g. vinegar and milk) is added to give the crumble a more extravagant taste. Brown sugar is often sprinkled over the crumble topping, which caramelizes slightly when baked. In some recipes the topping is made from broken biscuits (cookies in American English) or even breakfast cereals, but this is not traditional.

Crumbles became popular in Britain during World War II, when the crumble topping was an economical alternative to pies due to shortages of pastry ingredients as the result of rationing. To further reduce the use of rationed flour, fat and sugar, breadcrumbs or oatmeal could be added to the crumble mix. The dish was also popular due to its simplicity.

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Cherry Marmalade

I am participating in a year long Food In Jars Mastery Challenge hosted by Marisa from Food in Jars and the January challenge was marmalade!

I've made all kinds of marmalade's before, but mostly the standard citrus marmalade's such as orange. With this challenge, I wanted to step outside the box a bit and try something different, so I asked the question on my Facebook page: "if you were a marmalade, what flavor would you be?" The answers were so surprising! Pear, Peach, Cherry, Cranberry, Pineapple ... all over the spectrum, which was awesome.

I had some cherries I purchased over the the summer and flash froze in my freezer, and I just happened to have an orange, so Cherry Marmalade was born.

What is marmalade? How does marmalade differ from jelly or jam?

Orange marmalade has long been a favorite spread for bread and toast. You may be surprised to learn that marmalade was originally made from a completely different fruit, one not even in the citrus family. Marmalade's are used not only as a sweet spread, but also as the main ingredient in a variety of bread and desserts as well as in sweet and savory sauces for meat, poultry, and vegetables.

The definition of marmalade has evolved over the centuries. Originally, it was a sweet spread made from the quince fruit. The term marmalade has conflicting origins. One account holds that marmalade was created by a doctor treating Mary, Queen of Scots, for seasickness by mixing crushed sugar with oranges. The story infers the term marmalade is a derivation of "Marie est malade," a French phrase roughly meaning "Mary's illness."

However, most historians scoff at this explanation and believe the term came from the Portuguese marmelo for quince, from which original marmelada was made.

Marmalade first appears in English print in 1524. By the 18th century, the Seville orange (a bitter variety) had replaced the quince in marmalade popularity.

Today, the general definition for marmalade is a sweet jelly in which pieces of fruit and rind are suspended. The key is the rind, which gives lends a bitterness to delightfully balance the sweetness of the jelly.

Most marmalade's have a citrus base, either orange (preferably Seville orange), lime, lemon, grapefruit, or kumquat. To this general base, many other fruits can be added to pique the palate. (Source: About

Original recipe from Ball Blue Book Guide to Preserving

2 lbs fresh sweet cherries, pitted (I used fresh cherries I had pitted and frozen)
2/3 cup chopped medium orange
3 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1 tablespoon butter

Rinse cherries and orange. Stem and pit cherries, set aside. Cut orange in half and remove seeds. Finely chop orange pulp and peel. Measure 2/3 cup of chopped orange.

Place all the ingredients into a large saucepan on low and stir until sugar has dissolved. Increase heat to medium-high and bring to a boil, stirring constantly. Cook rapidly to the jelling point (220 degrees on a candy thermometer), stirring constantly.

Remove the pot from the heat and skim foam. Fill half pint jars with the hot mixture, leaving 1/4-inch head space. Wipe jar rims with a damp paper towel and put lids on.

Process in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes. Remove jars and allow to cool 24 hours on a towel on your kitchen counter-top. Store jars in pantry up to one year. Opened jars need to be refrigerated.

Yield: 4 - 8 oz 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.

Friday, January 6, 2017

Ham and Potato Chowder

This chowder is delicious in the fall or winter. It's one of those stick to your ribs type of comfort food that is nourishing and satisfying.

I like to make my own ham bone broth or stock when I have a ham bone to use, but you can use chicken stock if that's what you have on hand. You just won't have as much ham flavor.

I also used cubed ham I cut up from a whole ham and then store in food saver bags in the freezer, but you can also use cubed ham you buy in the grocery store.

This chowder takes no time to put together and makes enough to feed a hungry family of 4-6 quite easily. Add a tossed salad and some cornbread muffins or rolls for a complete, hearty meal.

Thursday, January 5, 2017

Hungarian Goulash

One of my favorite fall or winter dishes, Hungarian Goulash is simply a "stew" of sorts with paprika added. The German version contains no potatoes, while the Hungarian version usually adds potatoes and sometimes even carrots.

My first encounter with Hungarian Goulash was in a very old paperback Crock Pot cookbook. That version added ketchup instead of tomato paste, and while good and one my family enjoyed, we've since had it the German way and far prefer it.

What is goulash? In Hungarian cuisine, traditional "Gulyásleves" (literally "goulash soup"), "bográcsgulyás", pörkölt, and paprikás were thick stews made by cattle herders and stockmen. Garlic, caraway seed, bell pepper, and wine are optional. These dishes can be made as soups rather than stews. Excepting paprikás, the Hungarian stews do not rely on a flour or roux for thickening. Tomato is a modern addition, totally unknown in the original recipe and in the whole Central European food culture until the first half of the twentieth century.

German Gulasch is either a beef (Rindergulasch), pork (Schweinegulasch), venison (Hirschgulasch), or wild boar (Wildschweingulasch) stew that may include red wine and is usually served with potatoes (in the north), white rice or spirelli noodles (mostly in canteens), and dumplings (in the south). (source: wikipedia)