Tag Archives: quick and easy

Red Chile Strawberry Jam

A quick and easy chile strawberry jam with red chile flakes and no pectin | mjskitchen.com

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If you love sweet and spicy then you’re going to love this Red Chile Strawberry Jam! With every bite you get the luscious sweetness of strawberries soon followed by a burst of spicy chile that continues to tickle the tongue long after the jam has moved on. It’s a great jam for toast, biscuits, crackers and our favorite, a soft double cream brie.  But once you taste it, you’ll probably just grab a spoon and eat it right out of the jar.

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Quick Holiday Foods Ideas From MJ’s Kitchen

The holidays are a very busy time of the year for SO many reasons. Therefore, it’s nice to have some quick ideas to help save time in the kitchen. Below are a few of the things I do to make life a little bit more relaxing and fun without sacrificing the comfort of good food.

Quick and easy food ideas for the busy holiday | mjskitchen.com

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Antipasto Style Hors d’oeuvres

An easy antipasto can be made using a lot of what you already have in the pantry and refrigerator. mjskitchen.com


The other day I was going through the first recipe book that I started back in the 80’s and found this recipe for an antipasto type hors d’oeuvre.  I remembered making it all of the time for dinner parties and summer backyard parties and it was always a big hit; therefore, I decided to bring it back.  These Antipasto Style Hors d’oeuvres can be served as an antipasto (the first course of a formal meal) or as hors d’oeuvres for a stand-up party.  It has a lot of delicious little bites that can be enjoyed by meat eaters, vegetarians and even vegans.  Just keep the meat and the cheese out of the marinated vegetables and off to the side or even on another plate. That way every one can enjoy them.

What makes this dish special is the dressing. It’s pack with herb deliciousness!  If you have tarragon vinegar, this is a great use for it.  At the house that we lived in during the 80’s I had an tarragon bed with plants 4 feet tall!  Needless to say, I made A LOT of herb vinegar. Hopefully, I’ll be able to make some this summer if my tarragon does well.  If you don’t have tarragon vinegar, white wine vinegar is a nice substitute.
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Braised Sausage with Cabbage and Onions

Braised Sausage with cabbage, onions and raisins

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For years, cabbage has been a vegetable that I can just “take it or leave it” – usually leaving it. Coleslaw, sauerkraut, corned beef and cabbage – not on my list of favorite foods. However, Kimchi is an exception, but that’s a story for another day. Since Bobby feels the same way as I do about cabbage, it’s been a struggle through the years coming up with a cabbage dish that we both love, not just like.  Knowing that cabbage is good for us, and it’s one of the few leafy things that I can get fresh in the winter, I had to keep trying.  Today I’m sharing the success of that struggle.  We both LOVE Sausage with Cabbage and Onions and have no problem eating it many, many times a year.  During the cooler months, it’s one of our go-to comfort foods.  I hope you’ll enjoy it as much as we do.

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Southwestern Pork Stir Fry

A quick and easy stir fry dish with spicy pork and a variety of vegetables mjskitchen.com


“MMMMM, this is good!” is the common response to this meal.  It’s a response like this that ensures that I make again and again. 🙂  This Southwestern Pork Stir Fry can’t be any easier to make.  One can literally be ready to start eating in 30 minutes, making it a perfect weekday meal.  It’s got everything – protein, several vegetables, spice, and lots and lots of flavor.  For a really hearty meal, you can serve it with a carbohydrate of your choice.  I’ve served it with tortillas (flour or corn), cornbread, rice, and our favorite – creamy polenta (recipe below).

The following recipe serves two with a nice serving leftover for lunch the next day. To serve 4 to 5, just double the recipe and use a bigger skillet.  The cook times should remain pretty much the same. It’s that easy!

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Glazed Carrots with Sage

Glazed carrots with sage


Carrots – what can one say about carrots?  They are good, good for you, cheap, easy to cook, and extremely versatile.  Glazed carrots with sage is one of those carrot dishes that epitomizes all of these characteristics.  It’s SO delicious that it is our favorite carrot dish. It is SO easy to make that whenever I just have 15 minutes to throw a side together, this is my go to recipe. You can also change up the herbs and oils to better meet your tastes and to complement the rest of the meal. However, the recipe below is our favorite version and one that I very seldom change.
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Quick Pickled Cucumbers

Quick pickled cucumbers in just 4 hours. #pickled @mjskitchen mjskitchen.com

While my mother canned some of the best sweet pickles I’ve ever had, she also made these little batches of quick pickled cucumbers as a condiment for the dinner table or as an afternoon snack.  It wasn’t a dish that I helped with (because it’s so easy!), so I never learned how she made them, but I certainly remember how they tasted.  I knew the marinade had vinegar and sugar, but what type of vinegar, what other ingredients and at what proportions – I had no idea.  So many years ago (pre-internet, if you can imagine such days ever existed), I started playing around, trying to get the marinade just right for that deja vu moment. After a few batches, I had it.  I’m not sure if it’s my mom’s quick pickled cucumber recipe, but it sure reminds me of hers.

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