August, 2014

Aug 28, 2014

Make Artisan Crusty Rolls at Home

No Knead Crusty Rolls RecipeI used to think you could only buy crusty dinner rolls at a bakery but wait ‘til you see how incredibly easy it is to make your own homemade rolls from scratch. And forget everything you thought you knew about baking bread. Here’s what you will NOT have to do:

1. Proof your yeast.

2. Take the temperature of your water.

3. Knead the dough.

4. Rise the dough twice.

5. Rise it in a warm spot.

6. Get stressed about baking with yeast.

All those things are history! Once I learned that you could bake amazing crusty bread at home with no kneading and almost no work, I set out to make it as fast and easy as possible. I’ve already shared my method for making the fabulous crusty bread that bakes in a Dutch oven.

No dutch oven? No problem. If you want to make the no knead bread that bakes in a Dutch oven but you don’t have one, you can make the same dough into these beautiful crusty rolls. All you need is a baking pan. This method is so easy and it’s foolproof. Don’t worry about the water temperature – just use hot tap water. Don’t worry about kneading the dough – you don’t have to. It’s basically like this:

  1. You mix the dough together, cover, and let it rest for 3 hours.
  2. You shape it into 8 rolls and let them rest for 35 minutes.
  3. You take the same 35 minutes to heat up your oven.
  4. You bake the rolls.
  5. You eat the rolls!

And if you like sesame seed rolls, just brush them right before baking with egg white and sprinkle with sesame seeds and look what you get:

SesameRolls600_9168By the way, you can start this dough the night before and let it stand on the counter top overnight for 8 to 24 hours. The only difference is you would use cool water. Then in the morning, shape the rolls and after the 35 minute rest and oven warm-up, you can bake them. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Aug 26, 2014

Easy Baked Ziti: How-To Video

Baked ziti is a classic Italian comfort food, and my version is lower in fat than most and probably easier to make than most too. Here’s my simple step-by-step video showing how I make my baked ziti using store-bought sauce and low fat cheeses.

I always use reduced fat cheese and this casserole is no exception. And you don’t have to use tons of cheese to make this a creamy, melty, cheesy dinner. This is a hearty delicious meal, perfect for Sunday family supper. The meat I use is the leanest I can find, usually ground sirloin, which has less saturated fat but I’ve also made it with ground turkey.

You’ll find that not all bottled/jarred sauces are the same so try some different brands of marinara sauce until you find your favorite. Enjoy the video and let me know if you make my easy baked ziti. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Filed Under: Videos 1 Comment
Aug 23, 2014

Parchment Paper vs. Wax Paper

Prisco asks… Are parchment paper and wax paper the same?

My response… Parchment paper and wax paper are very different. Wax paper is actually coated with wax and not intended for use in the oven. The wax would probably melt in there anyway and wind up on your food. It’s good to use for messy work like breading or you can sift dry ingredients on it to save washing a bowl. Parchment paper is grease and moisture-resistant and is made for use in the oven. Even in the hottest oven at 500 degrees F, the edges of the paper may turn brown but it’s still safe to use. And it saves a lot of cleanup.

Aug 22, 2014

Coming Soon…

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I have so many recipes I’m anxious to post but it takes time for me to put each one together. That means writing up every detail so that everyone can understand and follow, even novice or international cooks. And then there’s the photo. Well that takes time because I’m not a food stylist and when I get a good photo, it’s usually a lucky shot. Not being a pro, I just hope the lighting is right and that I’ll get lucky. It usually takes about 200 shots to get one I like. But I enjoy every part of the process and I love what I’m doing.

All your comments mean so much to me, knowing that someone took time to write a note about a personal recipe I shared. These recipes are personal because I am not a “recipe developer.” I am a home cook sharing only the things I make for myself at home so I sincerely appreciate all your comments and compliments. Thank you so much. And here are some of my recipes I’ll be sharing soon….

No Knead Crusty Rolls (super easy, almost no work, perfect if you don’t have a Dutch oven for the Faster No Knead Bread – same recipe but it’s rolls made on a baking sheet)

Spaghetti & Meatballs from Scratch (sauce and meatballs from scratch ready in 40 minutes)

Butterscotch Pudding (healthier, low fat, so easy to make from scratch)

Light as a Cloud Cheesecake (Italian style ricotta cheesecake that melts in your mouth)

One-Pan Roasted Vegetables & Chicken (one of the healthiest meals I make – everything bakes in one pan)

Whole Grain Almond-Topped Waffles (100% whole grain healthy waffles baked with lots of sliced almonds on top)

Lemon Chicken Cutlets (pounded, breaded, pan fried in a little olive oil)

Homemade Apple Pie (no shortening, no butter, awesome apple pie with a flaky crust made with olive oil and three pounds of apples!)

 

Filed Under: General
2 Comments
Aug 15, 2014

My Everyday Cookies

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These healthy cookies are always on hand in my kitchen because I love sweets but they have to be as healthy as I can make them. And these are. They are 100% whole grain made with whole wheat pastry flour and oats. Then I add heart-healthy olive oil and this is a cookie I can eat every day (and I do!). The truth is that most of the time, dessert in my house is just a cookie and it’s this cookie more than any other. It’s sweet and satisfying and might actually do you some good. It has lots of fiber, heart healthy fat, and no butter or white flour. Did I mention a few mini chocolate chips?

I tried to decide what to call this… Oatmeal Cookies, Whole Grain Cookies, Healthy Cookies, Olive Oil Cookies, Cookies I Eat Every Day, but then I settled on Everyday Cookies because I have them just about every day. Sure, they are dessert after dinner but why not after breakfast? They have oats and whole grains and nuts – isn’t that what’s in a granola bar? And my granola bar recipe has chocolate chips too. So I do eat these healthy cookies every day, sometimes more than one a day.

These are some crispy cookies, which is good because they keep really well. I keep them in a covered container, mostly in the fridge by the second day, but they don’t last long. With two of us here they disappear fast and when they’re gone, I make more. If you’re looking for a crispy, healthier cookie, one that you can eat every day that might even do you some good, click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Aug 12, 2014

Turkey Breakfast Patties

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Five ingredients is all you need to make these simple, easy turkey-apple breakfast patties… and about 15 minutes. In fact, you’ll barely have enough time to scramble some eggs. Okay, I admit it. I like breakfast sausage but I haven’t had it in years. There’s this thing I have about eating healthy. I love the smell and flavor of traditional breakfast links but not all the fat that’s in there. I’m very excited that I can enjoy a healthier breakfast sausage. (patty, actually – unless you have a sausage maker and some casing!) If you’re wondering about using white ground turkey breast, I tried it and it’s just too dry but here’s the good news – dark meat is nutritionally superior to white meat. Look at this:

  • Calories: White meat = 161 calories. Dark meat = 192 calories.
  • Fat: White meat = 4 grams. Dark meat = 8 grams.
  • Protein: White meat = 30 grams. Dark meat = 28 grams.
  • Iron: White meat = 1.57 mg. Dark meat = 2.4 mg.
  • Zinc: White meat = 2.08 mg. Dark meat = 4.3 mg.
  • Thiamine: White meat = .04 mg. Dark meat = .05 mg.
  • Riboflavin: White meat = .13 mg. Dark meat = .24 mg.
  • Selenium: White meat = 32.10 mcg.  Dark meat = 40.90 mcg.
  • Folate: White meat = .01 mcg. Dark meat = 10 mcg.

So don’t skip breakfast. Turkey sausage and eggs is full of protein and with a slice of whole grain bread, it’ll keep you going for hours. How about making your own breakfast sandwich with a whole grain english muffin, a fried egg, and a turkey patty. Note to self: Add that to my bucket list. To try my easy, healthy turkey breakfast patties, click here for the recipe.

Aug 12, 2014

How To Measure Ingredients

Professional bakers generally weigh ingredients but I don’t consider that practical so I do what I think most of us do, which is use measuring cups and spoons. Measuring liquids is pretty simple and requires a glass or plastic cup with markings that should be viewed at eye level, but dry ingredients are where recipes are affected the most. The proper way to measure flour is to first stir the flour in its container in case it has settled too much and become compacted. Then you are supposed to spoon it into your dry (stackable) measuring cup. Since I bake so much I keep my flour in a covered container but I always stir it first before measuring. My method is “dip and level” meaning that after I stir the flour around in the container, I dip my measuring cup into the  flour, do not tap or shake the cup, and then I level off the top with a knife. I dip and level with sugar also but it does not tend to settle as much as flour. With small dry ingredients like spices, baking powder, etc. I just dip in the measuring spoon, scoop it up and then level off with a knife. I think most failures in baking happen by not stirring and aerating the flour first.

Here’s some advice I have based on some mistakes I have made:

1) Never measure liquid things like vanilla or oil in a measuring spoon over the bowl you’re working in – it can easily spill over into your bowl and there’s no way to fix it.

2) Never break an egg directly into a batter but always into a small bowl or cup first. You’d be surprised how often you’ll find a piece of egg shell.

3) When baking with cocoa powder sift it together with the other dry ingredients because it’s not always easy to incorporate it later.

I also found a couple of helpful links below…

http://allrecipes.com/video/30/how-to-measure-ingredients/detail.aspx

http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/measuring-101/

Aug 9, 2014

Recipe Changes/Fixes

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Like most cooks I am always working on my recipes by either improving, simplifying, correcting, or just clarifying. So…. I MADE THE FOLLOWING CHANGES TO MY RECIPES:

Oatmeal Snacking Cake – (April 15, 2017) – Drastically simplified and improved…. less sugar, less ingredients, simpler instructions.

Cinnamon-Glazed Apple Brownies – (March 18, 2017) – Took down this recipe for re-working.

Vegetable Bean Pasta (Feb. 4, 2017) – Eliminated asparagus and indicated to add the spinach later, along with the pasta.

Canadian Butter Tarts (Jan. 14, 2017) – Increased butter from 3 Tbsp. to 1/4 cup; Replaced 1/2 cup white sugar with 3/4 cup brown sugar; Added 1/4 cup corn syrup; Increased one egg to two.

One Pan Chicken & Vegetables (Jan. 4, 2017) – Removed recipe, feeling it was not consistent.

Easy White Bread (no egg) (Dec. 23, 2016) – Increased the rising time from 35 minutes to one hour and reduced the baking time from 30 to 25 minutes.

Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Macaroons (Dec. 12, 2016) – For the coconut-almond macaroons, I reduced the ground almonds from 1/4 cup to 2-3 tablespoons.

Skinless Thighs & Fries(Oct. 19, 2016) – Shortened the cooking time to 30-35 minutes total by putting both chicken and potatoes in to cook at the same time.

Lemon Brownies (Aug. 27, 2016) – Indicated that a 9 x 9-inch pan also works.

Creamy Carrots (Aug. 25, 2016) – Switched from milk to water when adding cornstarch and increased cooking time by 3 minutes, eliminated salt & pepper, increased sugar.

Cinnamon-Glazed Apple Brownies (Aug. 17, 2016) – Reduced yogurt from 1/2 cup to 1/4 cup, apples from 3 cups to 2 cups, reduced baking time to 20 minutes. Eliminated salt.

Blueberry Coffee Cake (Aug. 3, 2016) – Made walnuts optional, made primary cake with all purpose flour with the option of using part whole wheat pastry flour, reduced sugar from 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp. to just 1/2 cup, simplified layering to not put any streusel in the middle. This is an older recipe and I am still working to make it even simpler.

Oatmeal Banana Breakfast Brownies (May 29, 2016) – Indicated that it takes two small bananas to make 3/4 cup mashed – one banana is not enough. Also, reduced oil from 1/2 to 1/3 cup and increased baking time from 20 to 25 minutes.

Simple Whole Wheat Bread (April 3, 2016) – Indicated that honey can be used instead of sugar.

Easy Dinner Rolls (March 16, 2016) – Reduced baking time from 14-16 minutes to 10-12 minutes.

Vegetable-Bean Pasta (March 6, 2016) – Increased flour from 1 Tbsp. to 1 1/2 Tbsp.

Corn Chowder (Feb. 29, 2016) – Eliminated the red pepper and bay leaf.

Double Chocolate Almond Biscotti (Feb. 29, 2016) – I noted to turn the oven off for the final 20 minutes of drying the biscotti.

Blueberry Coffee Cake (Feb. 27, 2016) – Eliminated salt, reduced flour in streusel from 1 1/2 T. to one T. and increased vanilla from 1/2 to one teaspoon.

Giant Breakfast Cookies (Feb. 1, 2016) – Changed 1/2 cup prunes to 1/2 to 1 cup prunes.

Marble Loaf Cake (Jan 30, 2016) – Reduced baking time from 45 minutes to around 40 minutes.

Cabbage Rolls (Jan 28, 2016) – Added that long grain brown rice works well.

Easy One Bowl Yellow Cake (Jan 14, 2016) – Noted that you can use either an 8 or 9-inch pan.

Christmas Sugar Cookies (Dec. 17, 2015) – Deleted the note to use only 2 cups of flour for a cookie press. The same recipe works for both cutouts and press.

Christmas Wreath Bread (Dec. 6, 2015) – Increased oil from 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup.

Christmas Bread (Nov. 4, 2015) – Changed the shape from loaf to wreath, replaced water with milk, and increased sugar from 1/4 to 1/3 cup.

Greek Spinach Pie (Oct. 19, 2015) – Increased the spinach from 1/2 pound to 3/4 pound and increased the dill from one tablespoon to two.

Crispy Oatmeal Choc. Chip Cookies (Sept. 9, 2015) – Simplified by making the crisped rice optional.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (Sept. 7, 2015) – Reduced nutmeg from 1 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon; increased sugar by 2 tablespoons.

Citrus Chiffon Cake  (Aug. 29, 2015) – Reduced number of eggs from 7 to 6.

Simple Whole Wheat Bread  (Aug. 21, 2015) – Changed the loaf pan size from 9 x 5-inch to 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch which is more accurate.

Bolognese Sauce/Meat Sauce  (Aug. 12, 2015) – Drastically shortened the cooking time, eliminated the water, simplified the recipe, and re-named it Simple Meat Sauce.

Easy Bread & Butter Pickles  (Aug. 4, 2015) – Simplified the process – the ingredients are the same.

Kitchen Sink Cookies (July 20, 2015) – Eliminated the butter, simplified the ingredients, streamlined the instructions.

Apple Brownies (July 13, 2015) – Reduced amount of cinnamon in glaze from 1/4 tsp. to 1/8 tsp.

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes (July 9, 2015) – Eliminated the dash of salt.

Apple Pie Bars (July 7, 2015) – Increased apples from 6 to 8 cups or 2 pounds, not three.

Whole Wheat Waffles (June 27, 2015) – Added 1/8 teaspoon salt.

Easy One-Bowl Chocolate Cake (June 15, 2015) – Included fresh lemon juice as a substitute for distilled vinegar – it works just as well.

Bran Muffins (May 8, 2015) – Increased the whole wheat pastry flour from 3/4 cup to 1 cup and reduced a/p flour from 3/4 cup to 1/2 cup.

 Easy Dinner Rolls (May 8, 2015) – Made the main recipe with all a/p or bread flour with the option for whole wheat.

Rainbow Bean Salad (March 16, 2015) – Increased canned bean sizes from 8.5 oz to 15 oz. and increased onion from 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup.

Easy Chocolate Brownies  (March 6, 2015) – To make them more fudgey I reduced the baking soda from 1/4 tsp. to 1/8 tsp.. I also doubled the vanilla to 2 tsp. and simplified the measuring by making the oil and yogurt both 1/3 cup instead of 5 Tbsp. and 6 Tbsp., because both amounts are very close to 1/3 cup.

Crispy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (March 1, 2015) – Increased vanilla from 1/2 tsp. to 1 tsp. and streamlined the instructions.

Breakfast Brownies (Feb. 26, 2015) – Increased eggs from 1 to 2, reduced cereal from 3/4 cup to 1/2 cup, increased vanilla to 1 tsp.

Turkey Breakfast Patties (Feb. 21, 2015) – Changed the patty size from 2 1/2 to 3-inches and added the internal temperature required for turkey.

No Knead Whole Wheat Bread (Feb. 3, 2015) – The faster method does not work as well as the overnight method so I changed the recipe to use the overnight method. It takes longer (still hardly any work at all) but it makes a better loaf that is less dense.

Giant Breakfast Cookies (Jan. 31, 2015) – I suggested that instead of chocolate chips, use the darkest chocolate bar. The one I prefer is Scharffen Berger 70% chocolate bar, which I chop into tiny pieces.

Skinless Chicken Drumsticks (Jan. 29, 2015) – Simplified marinade, increased oven temperature from 400 to 425 and reduced cooking time from 1 hour to 45 minutes. I also eliminated adding water in the pan. This reduced total time to 1 hour.

Marble Loaf Cake (Jan. 26, 2015) – Improved the recipe by beating egg whites stiff before adding to make a lighter, moister cake.

Marinated Superfoods (Dec. 30, 2014) – Reduced steaming time from 10 minutes to 6 – 8 minutes.

Christmas Sugar Cookies (Dec. 7, 2014) – Clarified amount of flour for both cutouts and cookie press. Changed rolling thickness to 1/4-inch and increased baking time from 8-10 minutes to 9-11 minutes.

Chrusciki (Dec. 3, 2014) – Lowered frying oil temperature from 375 to 350-365° F and reduced the frying time to about 30 seconds. Increased sour cream from 1 to 2 tablespoons, reduced kneading from 100 to 50 turns. Also reduced the total times.

Giant Breakfast Cookies (Nov. 30, 2014) – Increased vanilla to 1 teaspoon.

Simple Whole Wheat Bread (Nov. 30, 2014) – Clarified the different temperatures for milk when using instant or regular yeast.

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls (Oct. 26, 2014) – Reduced the prep time (35 to 30 min.) and total time (2 hrs. 20 min. to 2 hours). Also added that both regular active yeast and instant yeast can be used.

Simple Whole Wheat Bread (Oct. 23, 2014) – Added the option of using either instant or regular yeast.

Apple Muffins (Sept. 2, 2014) – Simplified by eliminating the sliced apples on top and putting more apples in the batter. This required reducing the batter so it would fit 12 muffin cups. Also reduced the sugar on top and increased the sugar in the batter by about 1/2 tablespoon.

Vegetable Pasta (Aug. 25, 2014) – Increased pasta water to 1 1/2 cups and flour to 1 tablespoon. It makes the dish more creamy.

Vegetable-Bean Pasta (Aug. 25, 2014) – Increased pasta water to 1 1/2 cups, flour to 1 tablespoon, and beans to one can.

20-Minute Pizza Dough (Aug. 19, 2014) – Clarified instruction re: adding water slowly as you may not need all the water.

Dry Rub for BBQ Ribs (Aug. 16, 2014) – Corrected a typo. Chili powder and sweet paprika were mistakenly listed as one teaspoon each, should have been two teaspoons each.

Easy Baked Ziti (Aug. 15, 2014) – Changed amount of ziti pasta from 8 oz. to 10 oz. Noted that after adding sauce,  add 1/4 cup water  jar, shake, and add what’s left in the jar to the pan.

Easy Pan Pizza (Aug. 8, 2014) – Added new option for eliminating the overnight wait and starting the pizza the same day.

Easiest Granola Ever, Seriously. (July 8, 2014) – Simplified the instructions to mix everything right in the baking pan.

Cabbage Rolls (May 20, 2014) – Notated that mushrooms in the filling are optional.

Beef Stew (May 6, 2014) – Eliminated the dredging of stew meat before browning.

Skinless Chicken Drumsticks (May 1, 2014) – Eliminated the step of rubbing drumsticks with oil before baking – it really wasn’t necessary..

 

Aug 8, 2014

Easier Faster Pan Pizza

Best No Knead Dough Pan Pizza

Good news! After the success of my faster no knead bread I wondered if the same concept would work for my pan pizza. It does. The original easy pan pizza recipe, which is the most viewed video on my youtube channel, is a really easy recipe but you have to start the dough the night before and let it stand overnight. The result is an amazing crust that everyone has raved about but now, you don’t have to start it the night before. All you do is use hot tap water instead of cold water (the original recipe calls for cold water) and you can start the pan pizza the day you want it. I’m so excited about this.

Simply by switching from cold water to hot tap water (not boiling), you reduce the overnight rest of 12 hours to only 3 hours. Here’s what to do: Use the same exact recipe but use hot water instead of cold, and instead of letting it rest overnight on the counter, you let it rest for 3 hours on the counter.  After 3 hours, you proceed with the original recipe from step #2. There it is. My faster easy pan pizza.

The main thing to remember is that instead of starting it the night before, you can start this easier faster pan pizza about 5 hours before you want to eat. Click here for my original recipe. – Jenny Jones

Aug 5, 2014

Easy Baked Ziti

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If you like lasagna you will love this easy casserole. Baked ziti is a classic Italian dish and my version is light and healthy, made with lean ground sirloin and part skim cheeses. If you’re tempted to buy pre-shredded mozarella for this dish you may be disappointed. Any cheese that is pre-shredded will never melt as well as real cheese that you shred by hand. That’s due to the stabilizers that are added to packaged shredded cheeses. It takes about a minute to shred your own cheese so just do it. You’ll be rewarded with a creamy, melty dish that’s as close to lasagna as I’ve ever had.

Homemade marinara sauce is great if you choose but for this dish, bottled sauce works really well. Ziti is not always available so you can use other shapes of pasta with penne being the closest. The man in my life recently had a birthday and I offered to make him anything he wanted for dinner and for his birthday cake.  He could have had anything that I make and guess what he wanted? He asked for baked ziti for dinner and my fresh strawberry cake for dessert. Good call, since I was eating here too. To try my Easy Baked Ziti click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

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