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Mock Strawberry Fig Preserves

Strawberry Fig Preserves made with figs, sugar and strawberry jello. So easy and so good! mjskitchen.com

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Figs seem to be one of those fruits that people love or they don’t like at all.  At the house where I grew up, there was a huge fig tree in the back yard that was quite prolific and produced almost every year.  During the summer we had an abundance of fresh figs which a few members of the family enjoyed right off the tree and the other could leave them be.  My mother and I were a couple of the ones that loved figs and could eat them by the bowl full.  However, we had more figs than we could eat so in order to not waste a single fig, my mother made these Strawberry Fig Preserves with JELL-O.  Everyone loved these preserves!  They are a great compromise for those who love figs and those who don’t.

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Pineapple Coconut Popsicle (only 3 ingredients)

Coconut Pineapple Popsicle with fresh cherries - just 3 ingredients. mjskitchen.com

 

For those of you experiencing a hot summer or not, let me introduce you to a cold and refreshing, guilt-free Pineapple Coconut Popsicle with a few fresh cherries thrown in for your enjoyment. This is a tasty treat to help you stay cool while the temperatures around you soar.

To make this mouthwatering treat you only need three ingredients, a blender and six popsicle molds. The most difficult part of the process is having to wait for them to freeze.

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Quick & Easy Spiced Apple Breakfast

Spiced Apple Breakfast is a quick & easy breakfast of stewed apples, granola, and creme fraiche | mjskitchen.com

 

When it’s cold outside, I need to be warm on the inside.  That’s why, during the winter months, cold cereal stays in the pantry and hot dishes like eggs, grits and steel cut oats become our main stay breakfasts.  This winter this Spiced Apple Breakfast has been added to our repertoire – stewed, spiced apples with granola and crème fraîche.  It is so easy to make and takes no time at all.  The hot spiced apples, with the crunchy granola and creamy crème fraîche yield an enjoyable breakfast that is so warm and satisfying.  And if you really want to spice things up, add some of those bourbon infused cranberries from that old-fashioned you made last night. 🙂

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Cranberry Old-Fashioned Cocktail

An Old Fashioned Cocktail enhanced with a dash of orange bitters and cranberries #cocktail #old-fashioned | mjskitchen.com

 

During the holidays we met some friends at a local Irish pub, Two Fools Tavern.  While the rest of the party ordered local brews, I ordered the seasonal Old-Fashioned which, because it was December, was a cranberry flavored old-fashioned. For me it was the perfect cocktail – slightly sweet, use of a good bourbon, and a little fruity.  I liked it so much that I made it a goal to recreate it for the new year. Here’s my version of a Cranberry Old-Fashioned Cocktail.

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Sage Pumpkin Soup with Apple and Andouille

A robust pumpkin soup seasoned with sage and enhanced with apples and sausage for flavor and texture #soup #pumpkin mjskitchen.com

 

Sage is a perennial herb that makes a gorgeous plant for any herb garden and supplies its grower with an abundance of dried sage that is a thousand times better than anything you can buy off the shelf. Each year I dry enough sage for a year’s worth of recipes and then some.  One such recipe is this Sage Pumpkin Soup with Apples and Andouille which uses a generous amount of crushed dried sage to complement its other ingredients.

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Apple Pecan Buttermilk Pancakes

Fluffy apple buttermilk pancakes with apples, pecans and a touch of cardamom | mjskitchen.com

 

For the past year, whenever I made pancakes I would make my Cornmeal Ricotta Pancakes or these Raspberry Oatmeal Yogurt Pancakes by my friend over at Inspired Edibles.  Both have been our favorite pancakes for quite a while, but now they have some serious competition – Apple Buttermilk Pancakes.

With this year’s plentiful and delicious fall apples, I’ve been making these Apple Buttermilk Pancakes with Pecans.  They are so moist, and can be sweet or a little tart depending on the type of apples used.  The pecans add a bit of a crunch, and if you toast them first, you get a little extra flavor that complements the apples quite well.  Top the pancakes with warm maple syrup for a delicious weekend brunch.

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Peaches with Fried Grits and Pecans

A breakfast of fried grits, sliced peaches, toasted pecans and mint, topped with maple syrup #breakfast #grits #peaches @mjskitchen

 

Do you find yourself stuck in a rut for breakfast at times, bored with another smoothie or bowl of cereal with fruit?  If so, then I think you’ll find this breakfast – Fried Grits with Peaches and Pecans – quite refreshing. What’s not to love about fresh peaches and grits?  This is a hearty, but light breakfast.  It’s sweet and savory with lots of texture and flavor, and it’s also quite versatile in that you can use just about any fruit you have on hand.  We just really like it with peaches and peaches and grits is a great combo.

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Tomato Red Chile Jam

Tomato chile jam with 4 ingredients - tomato, red chile, sugar, lemon juice @mjskitchen #jam #tomato #red #chile

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This Tomato Chile Jam has been my favorite sweet and savory jam for several years now.  I was tempted to keep it to myself but it’s just too good not to share.  It’s not a PB&J jam nor a jam for toast. It’s more of  a jam to eat with crackers, pour over baked brie or use as a marinade.  My favorite use is as a marinade for pork, such as these pork kabobs with tomato chile jam marinade. Continue Reading →

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Cold Cantaloupe Cucumber Soup

A cold cantaloupe soup with cucumber, mint and white pepper. #cantaloupe #cold #soup | mjskitchen.com

 

I think everyone will agree that all melons  – watermelon, cantaloupe, honeydew – are best eaten in their prime, when they’re sweet and firm.  But sometimes, you’ll buy a melon that has gone past its prime or one that, you can tell, is just never going to get there. Either the melon is overripe and mushy or under ripe and not very sweet.  When this happen, a cold soup is a great way to save the melon and actually enjoy it.  My favorite is this Cold Cantaloupe Soup with Cucumber.  This soup makes a great starter, a palate cleanser, or a complement to a grilled cheese sandwich.  The sweetness of the cantaloupe is balanced with the spiciness of pickled pepper vinegar and the savory bite of ground white pepper.

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