Monday, October 18, 2021

Cowboy Candy Relish


While we all love my Jalapeno Pickle Relish, I recently had the idea to make Cowboy Candy Relish using the same brine as Cowboy Candy ... and ... oh ... my ... goodness! It's soo good y'all and extremely versatile.


What do you need to make Cowboy Candy Relish?
  • 3 lbs jalapenos
  • 1 medium white onion
  • White vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Celery seed
  • Turmeric
  • granulated garlic
  • food processor or sharp knife and cutting board
  • Measuring cup
  • Mesh strainer
  • Water bath or steam canner
  • Half-pint canning jars
How to use it?
  • Top it on burgers, brats or hot dogs
  • Mix it into Jalapeno Popper Dip or Crack Ranch Dip
  • Mix it into pimento cheese for a punch of heat
  • Add it to egg salad, potato salad or chicken salad
  • Mix it with mayo for a twist on tartar sauce
  • Add it to Queso 
  • Sprinkle some over Nachos

Jalapeno Popper Dip (cream cheese, sour cream, cheddar cheese,
Cowboy Candy relish, panko crumbs, shredded parmesan and melted butter)

RECIPE

Ingredients
3 lbs jalapenos, fresh and firm
1 small to medium onion, minced
2 cups distilled white vinegar 
6 cups granulated sugar
1⁄2 tsp turmeric
1⁄2 tsp celery seed
2 tsp granulated garlic
1 tsp ground cayenne pepper

Method
Wearing gloves if desired, slice the stems from the jalapenos and discard. Slice in half and seed if desired, or leave the seeds in. Dice or mince the peppers and onion in a food processor using the chopping blade. 

In a large pot, bring vinegar, white sugar, turmeric, celery seed, garlic and cayenne pepper to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the minced peppers, and onion; simmer for 4 minutes.

Strain relish through a mesh strainer over a bowl reserving the brine. Scoop the relish
 into canning jars leaving 1/2 inch head-space.

Add the syrup back to the pot and bring to a full rolling boil. Boil hard for 6 minutes.

Using a ladle, add the boiling syrup to the jars over the 
minced peppers, distributing it evenly between all the jars, leaving a 1/2-inch head-space. Use a small knife, or a plastic canning tool designed to remove air bubbles, and run it around the insides of the jars, moving it up and down to remove any air bubbles. Adjust the level of the syrup if necessary.

Wipe the rims of the jars with a clean, damp paper towel and top jars with lids and bands.

Process jars in a boiling water bath or steam canner 10 minutes for half-pints adjusting for your altitude.

Transfer the jars to a dish cloth-covered space on your counter-top and let jars sit undisturbed for 24 hours.

Cooks note - yield depends on size of peppers used and how fine the peppers and onion are diced or minced; approx. 4-6 half-pints.

Enjoy,
Mary

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Sunday, October 10, 2021

Mixed Peppers Pepper Jelly


All summer long we had a a variety of peppers growing in our raised bed garden. It's truly amazing how many peppers just a few plants will produce, but the peppers kept coming and coming. At times I felt like I was part of some sort of never ending story! Bear in mind all these peppers all summer long came from ONE of each type of plant ... wow!


I made a variety of pepper products such as pickled peppers, pepper relish, Cowboy Candy (candied jalapenos), Cowgirl Candy (candied mild peppers), then suddenly thought why not a mixed peppers pepper jelly? You know, one with all the flavor but much less heat that would be great for those folks who just can't handle the spice.


So with some Mad Hatter Peppers, Mild Hatch Chiles, Banana Peppers and just a handful of Jalapeno Peppers this Mixed Peppers Pepper Jelly was born. And oh my goodness, it is sooooooo delicious.


What do you need to make Mixed Peppers Pepper Jelly?

  • 2 cups mixed minced mild/sweet peppers such as red or orange bell peppers, Mad Hatter peppers and mild Hatch chile or Banana peppers (any combo of mild peppers works)
  • 1/2 cup seeded and minced jalapeno peppers
  • Sugar
  • Sure-Jell (yellow box powdered fruit pectin 1.75 oz)
  • Vinegar (apple cider or white vinegar 5% acidity)
  • 1 tsp butter
RECIPE
Ingedients
2 cups any combo of mild peppers minced
1/2 cup seeded and minced jalapeno peppers
1 cup apple cider or white vinegar (5% acidity)
1 tsp butter (to reduce foaming)
1 box yellow Sure-Jell fruit pectin
5 cups sugar

Method
Cut and seed peppers then mince in your food processor using the chopping blade. Measure to be sure you have 2 1/2 cups and scoop it all into a stock pot.

Add vinegar, butter and Sure-Jell; stir to mix well. Bring to a boil over high heat  and cook 3 minutes stirring often.

Carefully add sugar all at once and return to a rolling boil stirring constantly. Boil hard one minute.

Remove from heat and ladle into half-pint jars leaving 1/4-inch headspace. Wipe rims with clean cloth and top with lids and bands.

Process in boiling water bath or steam canner 10 minutes. Remove from canner and allow to sit on a kitchen towel on your countertop 24 hours undisturbed. Jars are sealed when the button on the top is fully depressed and won't flex up or down.

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

Yield: 5 1/2 half-pint (8oz) jars

Enjoy,
Mary

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Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Pumpkin Apple Cake




When the first hint of fall comes to the south in October I love buying a few small baking pumpkins at the farmers market and cooking them for pumpkin puree. It's so easy to make it yourself and takes no time at all. Bonus, save the seeds for roasted pumpkin seeds, a favorite fall treat!


Pumkin puree freezes great, so I store mine in 2 cups containers in the freezer. That way I have some readily available for all kinds of fall treats. Yes, you can absolutely make this cake using a 15 oz can of pumkin (plain and not pie filling) if you don't want to bother making your own. 


Now let's talk about this cake y'all! It is so tender and moist ...plus it's chockful of good for you ingredients with the pumpkin, apples and raisins. And don't leave out the bourbon, brandy or spiced rum. You can use it in place of the vanilla extract in the cake plus it gives the frosting such a nice burst of flavor! Of course you can leave it out and substitute with a non-alcoholic flavoring if you want to.


What do you need to make Pumpkin Apple Cake?

  • Flour
  • Sugar
  • Baking Powder and Baking Soda
  • Salt
  • Cinnamon, Nutmeg, Cloves, Ginger
  • Pumpkin Puree
  • Vanilla
  • Farm Fresh Eggs
  • Vegetable or Canola Oil
  • 1-2 Crunchy Apples
  • Golden or Regular Raisins
  • Pecans (or walnuts)
  • Confectioner's Sugar
  • Cream Cheese
  • Butter
  • Bourbon, Brandy or Spiced Rum

RECIPE

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
2 cups sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
3/4 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon cloves
1/2 teaspoon ginger
2 cups fresh pumpkin puree (or one 15 oz can 100% pure pumpkin)
*1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla flavoring
3 eggs
1 cup oil
1 1/2 cups fresh apple peeled and petite diced (1 honeycrisp apple yielded 1 1/2 cups)
3/4 cup golden raisins (or regular)
*Use 1 1/2 teaspooons bourbon, brandy or spiced rum instead

Nutmeg Frosting
1-8 oz pkg. cream cheese, softened
1 stick butter or margarine softened
1-1 lb. box confectioners sugar
4 teaspoons bourbon, brandy or spiced rum (your choice)
2 teaspoons nutmeg
1/2-3/4 cup peans chopped to sprinkle over top

Method
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl combine oil, eggs, sugar, vanilla, pumpkin and mix well. Add flour, baking powder, baking soda, salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, ginger and apples and continue mixing until well blended.

Fold in raisins and pour batter into a prepared 9 x 13 cake pan or two 9 x 9 cake pans. Bake 9 x 13 cake 45 to 50 minutes or 9 x 9 cake pan 35-40 minutes. Test for doneness by piercing the cake in several places with a toothpick. Cake is done if the toothpick comes out clean with no cake batter on it.

Nutmeg Frosting
Mix all ingredients with mixer until you get the spreading consistency you want. Spread on cooled cake and sprinkle top with chopped pecans. (Frosting covers 9 x 13 cake or two 9 x 9 cakes).

Cooks note - This cake freezes very well, so I almost always bake this cake in two 9 x 9 cake pans and wrap one up for the freezer (not frosted). Cake will keep well in the freezer for 2-3 months.

Recipe adapted slightly from The Southern Lady Cooks

You may also enjoy:
Pumpkin Streusel Coffee Cake












Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread









Pumpkin Oat Cranberry Muffins













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.

Saturday, July 3, 2021

Brandied Summer Berries


After I made some boozy holiday cherries in the fall for the holidays, a friend asked why do boozy fruits just have to be at the holidays? Why can't there be other combinations other times of the year? 


Well of course there can be, and as a matter of fact I've made Peach & Brandy Sauce we've enjoyed during the late summer and well into fall and winter, and don't even pass by Apples 'n Spiced Rum Sauce


But I will admit I never really gave much thought to summertime berries such as 
raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and blueberries. Hmmmmm, I bet these will be amazing over poundcake, a buttery biscuit, vanilla ice cream or even just topped with fresh whipped cream. The possibilities really are endless! 

What do you need to make Brandied Summer Berries?

  • 6 cups mixed berries (your choice of raspberries, strawberries, blackberries and blueberries fresh or frozen)
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 1/4 cup Blackberry Brandy (may substitute with any brandy - I think strawberry brandy would also be amazing) 
  • 1 tsp ground cardamom

RECIPE
Ingredients
1 1/4 cup brandy
6 cups mixed berries (2 cups each strawberries, blackberries, blueberries)
1/2 cup granulated organic white sugar
1/2 cup light brown sugar
1 cup water
1/2 cup lemon juice
1 tsp ground cardamom

Method
Trim tops and cut strawberries in half length-wise. Equally divide berries among 7 half-pint canning jars layering with the blueberries first, then the strawberries followed by the blackberries and lastly a few more blueberries leaving 1/2-inch headspace. 

In a heavy bottom saucepan combine the sugars, lemon juice, cardamom and water. Bring syrup to a boil, stirring often until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from heat, stir in brandy.

Add brandy syrup to jars leaving a 1/2-headspace, remove air bubbles and top the jars with additional syrup if needed.

Using a clean damp dishtowel wipe rims of jars, add lids and rings to finger tight.

Process in a water bath or steam canner for 15 minutes, adjusting for altitude. Remove jars from canner and let sit on a towel on your counter-top 24 hours undistrubed. Jars are sealed when the button on the top of the lids is fully depressed and won't flex up and down.

For best results allow flavors to develop 4 weeks before openingStore in pantry up to one year. Open jars need to be refrigerated.

Yield: 7 - half-pint jars

Cooks note - fresh fruit is best, but if using frozen fruit partially thaw it to make it easier to pack tightly into the canning jars. Do not use canned fruit. 

Enjoy,
Mary

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Monday, May 10, 2021

Strawberry Coffee Cake


This strawberry coffee cake is baked with a simple buttery coconut crumb topping. This is an easy and delicious way to enjoy fresh spring strawberries.


What do you need to make Strawberry Coffee Cake?
  • flour
  • sugar
  • baking powder
  • salt
  • milk
  • 1 egg
  • strawberries
  • butter
  • shredded coconut



The crumb topping can be made with or without the shredded coconut, so if you don't have any on hand, don't worry about it. Still tastes delicious. Trust me when I tell you it'll be gobbled up in no time.


RECIPE
Ingredients
1 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup milk
1 large egg
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 1/2 cups fresh sliced strawberries

Crumb Topping
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup butter (1/2 stick)
1/2 cup shredded coconut

Method
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease and flour an 9-inch baking pan. In a bowl, combine the 1 cup flour, 1/2 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt. Stir to blend thoroughly. In a mixing bowl, whisk the milk with the egg and melted butter. Add the dry mixture and beat for 2 minutes.

Spoon the batter into the prepared baking pan and spread evenly. Top the batter with the sliced strawberries. Combine 1/2 cup flour and 1/2 cup sugar; cut in butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Add shredded coconut and mix in. Sprinkle the crumb topping mixture over the strawberries.

Bake in the preheated oven for 30 to 35 minutes, or until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted into the center of the cake.

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.

Monday, April 19, 2021

Greek Grilled Lamb Loin Chops

Greek Grilled Lamb Chops is a great way to enjoy lamb since this cut is moist and tender. A lamb loin chop is cut from the back waist of the lamb, and doesn’t have a rib bone (unlike a lamb rib chop). Both loin chops and rib chops have tender meat which makes it great for things like searing, broiling and, grilling.

This cut of meat is generally a bit meatier than rib chops, and American lamb from your butcher or local farmer has absolutely no gamey taste. (American Lamb Board)


What will you need to make Greek Grilled Lamb Loin Chops?

  • lamb loin chops
  • butter
  • olive oil
  • lemon zest and juice
  • garlic cloves
  • sprigs fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
  • dried oregano (you can use fresh oregano if you prefer)
  • kosher salt
  • black pepper
  • red pepper flakes

RECIPE
Ingredients

2 lbs lamb loin chops
1/4 cup melted butter
2 tbsp olive oil
1 lemon, zest and juice
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 sprigs fresh rosemary leaves, chopped
2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
black pepper
1 pinch red pepper flakes

Method
In a small bowl, add the zest and lemon juce; mix with the olive oil and melted butter and whisk to combine thoroughly. 
Add the minced garlic, chopped rosemary leaves, oregano, kosher salt, black pepper and red pepper flakes and whisk well. Pour over lamb chops in bowl or into a large zip-top plastic bag. Let marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes to one hour.

Prep your grill to 350°F. Grill over medium-high heat, basting chops with the marinade, 3-4 minutes per side or until internal temp reaches 130°F for a nice medium rare. Grill to internal temp of 145°F for more well done. 

Alternately, use a cast iron or heavy bottomed skillet, and cook 3-4 minutes per side on your stove top until internal temp reaches 130°F or a bit longer to 145°F for more well done.

Remove from grill and let rest covered with aluminum foil 10 minutes.

Enjoy,
Mary

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Sunday, March 21, 2021

KFC Coleslaw Copycat recipe


We just love Kentucky Fried Chicken coleslaw and have enjoyed it many, many times over the years. We also have a family coleslaw recipe from my mother-in-law called
Grandma Joan's Coleslaw we also enjoy, but there's just something about the Colonel's coleslaw that's special.

KFC was founded by Colonel Harland Sanders, an entrepreneur who began selling fried chicken from his roadside restaurant in Corbin, Kentucky, during the Great Depression. Sanders identified the potential of the restaurant franchising concept, and the first "Kentucky Fried Chicken" franchise opened in Utah in 1952. 


KFC popularized chicken in the fast-food industry, diversifying the market by challenging the established dominance of the hamburger. By branding himself as "Colonel Sanders"Harland became a prominent figure of American cultural history, and his image remains widely used in KFC advertising to this day. KFC's original signature product is pressure-fried chicken pieces, seasoned with Sanders' recipe of 11 herbs and spices, and his coleslaw recipe was a close runner-up. (source: Wikipedia)


On a quest to recreate his sweet yet tangy coleslaw I searched and searched the "interwebs" for the best copycat recipes and believe me there are a bunch of them out there ... shocker! Hahaha of course there are because people love it, so off I set to the test kitchen to make up a few and see what I could come up with and this is my result.


You'll quickly see this coleslaw gets its kick from 2 acids, both lemon juice and vinegar, then throw in a nice amount of sugar, buttermilk, mayonnaise, and salt and pepper to round out the dressing.

What do you need to make KFC Coleslaw?

  • Mayonnaise
  • Buttermilk
  • Lemon juice concentrate
  • White vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Black pepper
  • Salt
  • Cabbage
  • Carrot
  • Onion


RECIPE

Ingredients

1/2 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup milk
1/4 cup buttermilk (add 1 tsp lemon juice to regular milk to make your own buttermilk)
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp ground black pepper
1 and 1/2 tbsp white or apple cider vinegar
2 and 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
4 cups shredded then diced cabbage (about 1/2 of a medium head)
1 medium carrot, diced
1/4 medium onion, diced

Method
Shred the cabbage, carrot, and onion and dice finely; mix all veggies in a large mixing bowl.

In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the dressing ingredients. Pour over the veggies and stir all with a spoon to fully incorporate.

Cover the bowl with a saran wrap and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours, or preferably overnight. The flavors need a chance to blend and develop for the best tasting coleslaw.

Stir again before serving.

Enjoy,
Mary

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Sunday, March 7, 2021

Crusty Sourdough Rolls



These sourdough rolls are crusty and chewy using just a small amount of yeast and some steam in your oven. They are great as dinner rolls and a simple way to use your sourdough starter.


They are easy to make, and even better, my husband continues to tell me they're awesome, and I'm sure your family will think so as well.

If you are used to baking artisan sourdough, the dough will probably seem very dry to you. Since it is being formed into rolls, and needs to keep its shape, the texture is more like a traditional bread dough.


RECIPE
Ingredients
1 1/4 cups thick liquid pourable sourdough starter
2 1/2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour or bread flour (I used 3 cups)
3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon water
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon yeast

Method
Combine the starter, flour, water, and sugar in a large mixing bowl. Stir to combine. The mixture should be a very slightly sticky dough. Cover and allow to rest for about 30-40 minutes. 

(pro tip - turn on oven to 400 degrees for 1 minute and turn off - set dough inside oven to rise).

Add the salt and yeast on top of the dough, and using the dough hook on your stand mixer, set it on low and run it about 5 minutes. If kneading by hand, knead for about 10 minutes (with a 5 minute rest halfway) without adding any additional flour. The dough should not be sticky, should not cling to the sides of the bowl and form easily into a ball. If it seems too sticky add more flour a few tablespoons at a time.

When the dough is kneaded, cover it with some cling wrap or a clean kitchen towel and put in in a warm place to rise for about 90 minutes or until dough has nearly doubled in size. 

When the dough has completed its first rise, remove the dough from the bowl and place it onto a lightly floured counter or a cutting board. Prepare a baking sheet with parchment paper or oil and flour. Dust the top of the parchment with cornmeal and divide the dough into 8 equal pieces. 

Shape the pieces into rolls by rolling into balls and pinching the bottoms together. Place on the cornmeal dusted parchment and rub the tops with flour. Slash, if desired, using a lame or sharp knife. Cover with clean dish cloth and allow to rise again at room temperature for 30-45 minutes.

Towards the end of the rising time, preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Place one rack in the center, and one in the lower middle area. Place a roasting pan with water in it on the bottom rack.

When the oven has heated and the rolls are risen, place the rolls inside and bake for 17-21 minutes, until browned outside. Cool rolls on wire rack.

Cooks notes -

  • To reheat rolls preheat oven to 350 and heat rolls for 5 minutes. 
  • Rolls freeze very well. Place room temperature rolls into a zip-top bag and freeze for up to 2 months. Defrost 1 minute per roll on the defrost setting in the microwave.

Recipe adapted from Heart's Content Farmhouse

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.

Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Muffuletta Olive Salad


So what is a muffuletta and olive salad?

The muffuletta sandwich is said to have been created in 1906 at Central Grocery Co. on Decatur Street, New Orleans, Louisiana, by its delicatessen owner Salvatore Lupo, a Sicilian immigrant. Another Italian-style New Orleans delicatessen, Progress Grocery Co., originally opened in 1924 by the Perrone family, claims the origin of the muffuletta is uncertain.

The traditional-style muffuletta sandwich consists of a muffuletta loaf split horizontally and covered with layers of marinated muffuletta-style olive salad, salami, ham, Swiss cheese, provolone, and mortadella. Quarter, half, and full-sized muffulettas are sold.

The signature olive salad consists of olives diced with the celery, cauliflower and carrot found in a jar of giardiniera, seasoned with oregano and garlic, covered in olive oil, and allowed to combine for at least 24 hours. (source: Wikipedia)


Because I really wanted to process the 
olive salad for shelf stability I didn't use olive oil, but you can add it when you use it if desired.


Add 
olive salad to a Greek salad, pasta salad, to cream cheese for a dip, topped on crostini, flavor up a beef roast or slow cooked chicken and more.


RECIPE

Ingredients
2 cups cauliflower, diced small
1 cup celery, diced small
1 cup carrots, diced small
2 - 15 oz. cans drained pitted medium black olives
2 1/2 cups drained pitted Kalamata olives
2 1/2 cups drained pimiento-stuffed green olives

Seasonings (added to each of 6 pint jars)
1 tsp minced garlic
1 tsp oregano leaves
1 tsp Italian parsley
1/2 tsp red pepper flakes

Brine
4 cups red wine vinegar (5%)
2 cups water
2 tbsp pickling salt

Method
Dice small the cauliflower, carrots and celery and mix together in a bowl; set aside.

Drain and rough chop all the olives placing each variety in separate bowls.

Using 6 pint jars, add the seasonings to each jar. Now evenly divide the cauliflower, carrots and celery mix to each jar, and top with each variety of olives evenly distributing them and leaving a 1/2-inch headspace.

Combine all the brine ingredients in a saucepan and heat to dissolve the salt. Remove from heat and pour evenly into each jar leaving 1/2-inch headspace; run a plastic knife around the inside of the jars to remove any air bubbles and adjust headspace as needed, top jars with lids and bands.

Process jars in a water bath or steam canner 20 minutes. Remove jars and let sit 24 hours undisturbed on a towel or rack on your countertop. Jars are sealed when button on top is fully depressed and won't flex up and down.

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

Yield: 6 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.