Wednesday, August 22, 2018

Cranberry Merlot Chutney

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Photo Credit: Sharon Benton Photography
Just about a year ago now, my friend, Karie, invited me to create this chutney for an issue of Basil and Salt Magazine, which was published in late fall 2017.

Photo Credit: Sharon Benton Photography
As soon as Karie contacted me, I was busy trying to come up with just the perfect chutney that would exude fall/winter and the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays.

This was a fun chutney to make, and I was very lucky because my good friend, Sharon, with Sharon Benton Photography agreed to do the photo shoot for me. It was an exciting time for both of us.


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Wednesday, August 1, 2018

BLT with Roasted Garlic Aioli

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What's better than a Bacon, Lettuce and Tomato sandwich? This quintessential is a favorite of many, especially when "fresh from the garden" vine ripe tomatoes are in season.


Now you can kick it up a notch by using a simple garlic aioli instead of mayonnaise on this classic sandwich. Smeared on some thick, toasted crusty artisan bread, or sourdough bread, it really gives it just the boost it needs to push it from ordinary to extraordinary! Now, you can totally make your own garlic aioli from scratch, but I've included a "shortcut/cheater" recipe here.

Smoky bacon, crispy lettuce, vine ripe tomato slices and garlic aioli ... match made in heaven!



RECIPE
Ingredients
Several slices bacon, cooked crisp
Small bunch leafy lettuce
1 large tomato, sliced
Sliced bread of your choice, toasted (I love using hearth bread toasted)
2 garlic cloves, pressed
¼ tsp (or more) coarse kosher salt
½ cup mayonnaise
2 tbls olive oil
1 tbls fresh lemon juice
Freshly ground black pepper

Method
For the garlic aioli, mash garlic and 1/4 teaspoon salt in small bowl until paste forms. Whisk in mayonnaise, olive oil, and lemon juice. Season to taste with coarse salt and pepper. Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and chill.

To assemble
Toast bread, spread with garlic aioli, top with lettuce, tomatoes and bacon.

Enjoy,
Mary

© 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, July 29, 2018

Smoky Honey Habanero Peach Jam

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Is there anything better than sweet, juicy peaches? To me peaches just scream summertime and slow, lazy, warm days. 

I recently purchased a basket of delicious freestone peaches from one of my farm friends at the farmers market, and just knew I wanted to create a unique and different jam with them.



Smoky Honey Habanero Peach Jam is just that ... smoky, sultry, spicy, sweet ... you taste all the flavors with a slow, mild heat finish, and it is so good.

Pair this on a cheeseboard with a variety of cheeses, or top on cream cheese over crackers. Baste it on a grilled or roasted pork loin,or brush over grilled chicken or shrimp. Delicious!



RECIPE
Ingredients
10-12 large peaches, pitted, peeled and diced (you need 10 cups diced peaches)
1/2 cup raw honey
2 tbls lime or lemon juice
1 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp cloves
1 tbls Smoky Honey Habanero spice rub (or 3 habanero peppers, seeded and diced small)
1 tbls red pepper flakes
2 tsp butter, to prevent foaming
1 box Sure-Jell (fruit pectin)
11 1/2 cups sugar

Method
Peel, pit, slice and dice peaches to equal 10 cups. Put the peaches in a large stock pot with the lime or lemon juice, honey, cinnamon, cloves, smoky honey habanero spice rub, or habanero peppers, red pepper flakes and butter.

Stir in pectin and butter; heat over high heat stirring often (use a long handled spoon and be careful as jam will splatter some) until mixture comes to a boil. Add sugar all at once and return to a rolling boil (one that doesn't stop when stirring) and boil hard one minute. 

Remove from heat and fill prepared jars, leaving 1/4-inch head-space. Process half-pint or pint jars 10 minutes in boiling water bath or steam canner.

Remove jars and allow to cool on a kitchen towel on your counter top 24 hours. Jars are sealed when button on top of lid is fully depressed and won't move up and down.

Store in pantry up to one year. Open jars must be refrigerated.

Recipe notes - This jam is mildly spicy. It has a very nice slow heat finish, but if you want more heat, you can taste test this before canning, and add more spice rub, diced habanero peppers or red pepper flakes.

Yield: approx. 12 - 8 oz jelly jars

Enjoy,
Mary

© 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, July 25, 2018

Maple Bourbon Peach Jam

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Did you know South Carolina actually outranks Georgia – the Peach State – in the production of peaches? During a normal year, South Carolina grows 60,000 tons of peaches! South Carolina is #2 in the nation in peach production (second only to California), and we are fondly called the "Tastier Peach State."

Summer in South Carolina means peaches. From roadside stands to supermarkets, this delectable fruit graces our shelves and palates from early June straight through to September.


I just love peach season here in South Carolina! They are so juicy, sweet and delicious. Or course I also love to make peach jam and other peach treats during the season.

This Maple Bourbon Peach Jam takes normal peach jam to a whole new level. The maple syrup compliments the peach flavor so well, and the bourbon enhances it, giving it just the right amount of warmth and depth of flavor.


This Maple Bourbon Peach Jam is perfect on a cheeseboard with crackers, and a variety of cheeses, spread on top of English muffins and biscuits, or served alongside a roasted pork tenderloin or baked ham, it's versatile and delicious.



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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Apple Pie Cake

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Apple Pie Cake! Say what? Yep, Apple Pie Cake is exactly that using apple pie filling in a cake. I had one jar left of homemade apple pie filling in the pantry, and thought why not add it to a cake?

Similar to many other cakes with a filling, a little batter goes in the pan first, topped with the apple pie filling, then more batter and lastly an easy crumb topping.


Oh my goodness, so yummy, and so easy! Really easy, and no mixer required. Simply mix the batter in a bowl with a spoon, stirring until batter is smooth. See what I mean? So easy!! Don't just serve it for dessert, this Apple Pie Cake makes a great breakfast treat with a nice cup of coffee or tea.


Don't have any apple pie filling? This would be amazing with any pie filling you like; blueberry, cherry, strawberry, peach and more.



RECIPE
Ingredients
2 cups flour
3/4 cups sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp salt
2 eggs
1/2 cup oil
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup milk
1 can apple pie filling

For crumb topping:
1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 cup brown sugar
4 tbls softened butter

Method
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In a large bowl, combine flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt. In a medium bowl, combine eggs, oil, vanilla and milk. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry ingredient bowl and mix to combine.

Pour half of the batter into a greased (or sprayed with baking spray) 8 x 8-inch or 9 x 9-inch pan. Spread apple pie filling over the batter. Pour the remainder of the batter on the top of the apple pie filling, covering completely.

For the crumb topping, mix in butter with flour, cinnamon and brown sugar until crumbs form. Sprinkle crumbs over top of cake.

Bake at 375 for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Yield: 9 servings

Also seen on Meal Plan Monday

Enjoy,
Mary

© 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, July 12, 2018

Banana Split Dessert

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Quick and easy no bake dessert recipe for summer party, picnic or potluck to feed a crowd, this Banana Split Dessert is fun twist on classic ice cream dessert that everyone will enjoy!

This dessert combines pineapple, bananas and strawberries in a creamy pudding that's sure to bring smiles as people dig in, and is a great way to get kids to eat more fruit! It's smooth, creamy, and delicious.


Next time you need quick and easy no bake dessert, try this Banana Split Dessert. It's sure to be a hit with everyone who tries it.


RECIPE
Ingredients
1 (20 oz.) can pineapple chunks
3 medium bananas-sliced
1 3/4 cup diced fresh strawberries
1 (3.4oz. box) vanilla instant pudding mix
1 - 8 oz container extra creamy cool whip
1 1/2 cups mini marshmallows
1/2 cup chopped walnuts (plus more to top on each serving)
1/2 cup mini chocolate morsels (plus more to top on each serving)

Method
In a large bowl mix pineapple chunks with juice and vanilla instant pudding mix, stirring to combine well. Toss in sliced bananas and strawberries, then add cool whip, stirring gently to combine.

Stir in mini marshmallows, chopped walnuts and chocolate morsels. Refrigerate 2-3 hours before serving.

When serving, top each with more chocolate morsels and chopped walnuts if desired. You can even add some chocolate syrup and a maraschino cherry on top.

Enjoy,
Mary

© 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, July 11, 2018

Maple Bacon Potato Salad

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Warm potato salads are a fantastic option, and pair perfectly with grilled meats of all kinds. They add a whole new dimension to any backyard barbecue, and because they are served warm (room temperature is fine), and contain no mayonnaise, they are portable, and make a great pot luck dish.


The vinegar and maple syrup in this dish combine with chopped onions, garlic, BACON and thyme to make a delicious vinaigrette poured over the warm potatoes. Anything with bacon is better, right?


Just like my Bavarian Potato Salad, the warm potatoes absorb some of the vinaigrette, making it a delicious, tasty side dish.



RECIPE
Ingredients
1 1/2-2 lbs small red or Yukon Gold potatoes (peeling optional)
2 tbls olive oil
6 slices bacon, chopped
1/2 medium onion chopped
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup pure maple syrup
1/4 - 1/2 tsp garlic, minced
1/2 tsp fresh thyme removed from stem and chopped (or use dried thyme leaves)
Salt and pepper to taste

Method
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Peel (if desired) and quarter potatoes (or cut into slightly smaller pieces) and place in a large bowl. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle evenly with salt and pepper, tossing to coat potatoes. Spoon potatoes onto a rimmed baking sheet, and bake for 25 minutes or until tender, turning potatoes half way through baking time to ensure even roasting.

While potatoes are baking, make the vinaigrette. In a medium pan, cook the bacon on medium-high heat until browned and crisp. Remove bacon with a slotted spoon and place on paper towel. Drain all but 1 tbls grease from the pan.

In the remaining bacon grease, sauté the onion until soft. Add the vinegar, maple syrup, garlic, thyme and half of the bacon and simmer over medium heat for 5-10 minutes, until slightly reduced. Set aside until potatoes are cooked.

When potatoes are cooked, toss with vinaigrette and garnish with remaining bacon and additional thyme if desired. Serve warm.

Yield: 4 servings

Recipe adapted from The Recipe Rebel

Also seen on Meal Plan Monday

Enjoy,
Mary

© 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, June 22, 2018

Hot Bourbon Berry Jam

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One of my favorite things to do is create unique jams, and I typically go more on the savory side when developing them. There's just something about blueberries and blackberries together that's so unique; one being slightly sweeter and the other being a bit more tart and tangy. Add some spiciness with hot peppers, and the deep flavor of a good bourbon, and you've just kicked the jam to a whole new level.


This a sweet and spicy chunky jam made with blackberries, blueberries, jalapenos, banana peppers and bourbon.  It's spicy without being too hot, savory and sweet all at the same time. This is a great jam served with cream cheese or baked brie on top of crackers, making it a wonderful accompaniment to a cheeseboard.



RECIPE
Ingredients
2 cups blueberries
1 cup blackberries
1/2 cup seeded and diced jalapenos (or your favorite hot pepper)
1/2 cup seeded and diced banana peppers (or any other similar mild pepper)
3/4 cups white wine vinegar (may use red wine vinegar)
1 tsp butter to reduce foaming
1/2 cup bourbon
1 package Sure-Jell (powdered pectin, 1.75 oz box)
5 cups white sugar

Method
Wash and sort through the berries. All together they should measure out to 3 cups. Combine the berries with the diced jalapenos and banana peppers in a large saucepan along with the butter, white wine vinegar, bourbon and Sure-Jell. Heat mixture on high, stirring often to prevent sticking.

Once mixture comes to a rolling boil, add the sugar all at once. Stir continuously until it reaches a rolling boil once again, and cook for 1 full minute. Remove it from the heat and ladle into your cleaned and prepared canning jars. Wipe off the rims of the jars, add the lids and rings, and process for 10 minutes in a boiling water bath or steam canner.

Remove jars and allow to sit undisturbed on your kitchen counter-top 24 hours. Jars are sealed when button on top of lid is fully depressed and doesn't move when touched.

Store in pantry up to one year.

Yield: 6 half-pint jars

Enjoy,
Mary

© 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, May 22, 2018

Tropical Fluff

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Where has this been all my life? Oh my goodness, it's delicious and oh so easy to make. While I have a Cherry Church Salad that's similar, and greatly enjoyed by my family and friends, I wanted something different.


Naturally there are lots of recipes on the internet for a variety of fluff's from pineapple to creamsicle. All of them look and sound amazing, but I wanted to make this with mandarin oranges and pineapple tidbits for a more tropical flair.

I'm so happy I did, as all of my taste tester have raved over this combination of fruits. It's fruity, smooth, creamy and utterly fantastic.


RECIPE
Ingredients
1 small box instant vanilla pudding
1 - 20 oz can Dole pineapple tidbits with juice
1 - 15 oz can Dole mandarin orange pieces, drained
1 - 8 oz cool whip
1 cup sweetened coconut
2 cups mini marshmallows
1/2 cup chopped pecans

Method
In a large bowl mix the vanilla pudding mix and pineapple tidbits with juice; stir well to thoroughly combine. Add drained mandarin oranges and cool whip, stirring well. Fold in sweetened coconut, mini marshmallows and chopped pecans.

Cover and refrigerate several hours before serving.

Cook's note - for an adult version, add 2 tbls coconut rum

Enjoy,
Mary

© 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, May 20, 2018

Strawberry Balsamic Sweet Onion Jam

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When strawberries are in season, I always but a few gallons; some to eat while fresh, others to freeze and use later on. The BEST strawberries always come from a local farm, so do yourself a favor and find a local strawberry patch, or buy them fresh at the farmers market.

Dorr Farms, Gable, SC
What could be better than fresh strawberries, balsamic vinegar and Vidalia onions in a jam? Oh my goodness, so darn delicious. The sweet strawberries are enhanced with the savory balsamic vinegar and onions, giving it the perfect balance.


Served with a cheeseboard, it is perfect over cream cheese or baked brie topped on crackers, but it's equally delicious basted on grilled chicken or pork.



RECIPE
Ingredients
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
4 cups fresh strawberries, stems removed, crushed
1 1/2 cups diced sweet onion (I used Vidalia Onions)
1 tsp butter to reduce foaming
1 box Sure Jell or powdered fruit pectin
7 cups granulated sugar

Method
In a large pot, over high heat, add the strawberries, onions, butter, balsamic vinegar,and pectin. Bring to a full rolling boil (one that doesn't stop while stirring). Add the sugar and return to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for one (1) minute.

Remove the pot from the heat. Ladle the jam into your hot jars, you want them filled to within ¼" of the top rim. Be sure to wipe the top rim of the jars with a damp paper towel to get off any drips or spills. Cover each jar with a lid and a ring.

Process jars 10 minutes in a boiling water bath or steam canner. Remove jars and allow them to cool 24 hours undisturbed on your kitchen counter-top. Jars are sealed when the button on the top of the lid is fully depressed and won't move up and down.

Yield: 10 - half-pint (8 oz) jars

Original recipe adapted from The Saucy Southerner

Enjoy,
Mary

© 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, May 16, 2018

Blackberry Pudding Cake

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When berries are in abundance, this Blackberry Pudding Cake is a great way to use them up. Sweet, but not too sweet, it's the perfect summer time dessert.


Don't like blackberries? Use whatever berries you like, or a mix of berries. Blackberries, raspberries and blueberries are delicious mixed up in this cake. The best part is you don't even need a mixer. This cake whips up quick and easy by mixing the batter with a spoon.



RECIPE
Ingredients
4 cups blackberries (or any combination berries you like), rinsed and dried
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
1 cup all-purpose flour
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
4 large eggs
1 tbls olive oil
1 tbls lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla extract
Confectioners’ sugar

Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Lightly spray a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with baking spray. Mix berries with 1/4 cup sugar and spread evenly over bottom of baking dish.

Whisk together flour, baking powder, and salt. Set aside. In a separate bowl, whisk eggs, olive oil, lemon zest, vanilla, and 1 cup sugar. Stir in flour mixture until just combined.

Pour evenly over berries. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, or until the top springs back slightly in the center.

Cool at least 10 minutes before serving. Sprinkle with confectioners’ sugar just before serving.

Enjoy,
Mary

© 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, May 8, 2018

Middle Eastern Rock Cornish Game Hens

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Recently we purchased some Rock Cornish Game Hens, locally raised by Bell Family Farmstead. We love game hens, and I was I was so ready to rub them with the Shawarma Spice from World Spice Merchants, and throw them on the grill.

Where oh where has Shawarma been my whole life? Shawarma is named for the traditional Levantine meat preparation where lamb, chicken, turkey, beef, veal, or mixed meats are placed on a spit, commonly a vertical spit in restaurants, and may be grilled for as long as a day. One whiff of this favorite Middle Eastern street food flavor, using a spice blend made with cumin, cinnamon, black pepper, cardamom, allspice, and cayenne, was intoxicating.


While we didn't put them on a spit, we did grill them, and the game hens turned out fantastically; crispy and spicy on the outside, juicy, moist and tender on the inside.


RECIPE
Ingredients
2 (approx. 2 lbs each) Rock Cornish Game Hens, split in half
1 tbls. oil
1-2 tbls. Shawarma spice

Method
Split game hens and rub all over with oil. Liberally sprinkle Shawarma spice all over and rub in well.
Grill over medium direct heat 15 minutes bone side down, turn over and grill 10 minutes meat side down, then return to bone side down and continue to cook until internal temperature registers 165 degrees (use a meat thermometer inserted in the thickest part to check temperature).

Remove game hens from grill and cover with foil. Let rest 10 minutes. Serve immediately with your choice of side dishes.

Cook's note - after grilling split hens can be cut in half separating the leg and thigh from the breast.

Servings: 4 -6

Enjoy,
Mary

© 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, April 11, 2018

Chocolate Depression Cake

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Chocolate Depression Cake - this recipe originates from the Great Depression, when certain every day items were scarce, and butter in particular was a luxury. Also known as a Crazy Cake or Wacky Cake, it’s egg-free and dairy free for those with allergy issues, and Vegan friendly.

Makayla Perez getting ready to enjoy her piece of Chocolate Depression Cake
I originally made this cake for a staff member of my husband's who is vegan. She and her children were thrilled with the cake, as is evidenced by the photos. My husband and his other non-vegan staff members also tried it, and it was huge hit with everyone.

This cake is the perfect after-school snack cake, so easy to make and super-yummy! Even kids could make this, it's so simple to do!



Moist, tender, full of chocolatey goodness without butter, eggs or milk. Who knew?

 Laylanie Perez and her piece of Chocolate Depression Cake
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Thursday, April 5, 2018

Deconstructed Egg Rolls

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Deconstructed Egg Rolls ... say what? All the flavors of an egg roll without the work. Simply cook this up in one pan, serve and eat. It couldn't be any easier or tastier.


Chop or shred the veggies (or save yourself time and buy shredded cabbage and matchstick carrots), brown the ground beef (pork, chicken or turkey), add the spices, soy sauce and a cup of water and 20 minutes later your have dinner. Quick, easy and delicious.


Feel free to adjust seasonings to your taste, and add any veggies you like. Bean sprouts or fresh green peas would be great added toward the end of cooking time.



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Wednesday, March 28, 2018

Amish-Style Macaroni Salad

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This is the BEST Amish-Style Macaroni Salad EVER! I have tried for a long time to make an Amish-Style Macaroni Salad with the best blend of sweet and tart, and this does it.

The dressing is perfect. It's an awesome blend of creamy, sweet and tangy, and you'll never believe what the secret ingredient is ... seriously. When you find out you'll be surprised, maybe doubtful, and possibly even have an "ah ha" moment ... for real.


I mean seriously, what has taken me so long, and where has this been all my life? I could NOT believe it could be so simple ... should I tell you?

Three words ... sweetened condensed milk. Yes, you read that right ... sweetened condensed milk. What could be easier? It's thick, creamy, sweet and works amazingly well with the mayonnaise, vinegar, salt and pepper. Just wait until you try it, you'll be surprised too.



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