January, 2015

Jan 29, 2015

Simplified Skinless Chicken Drumsticks

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With visitors from all over the world (over 170 countries) there was some confusion about the spices in my marinade. So I changed it. And I actually like it better. It’s now a simple combination of orange & lemon juice, garlic and salt and I find the drumsticks just as flavorful but a lot easier to make. I was afraid they would seem bland after the spicier version, but I was surprised how much flavor they had and I only marinate them while the oven heats up. I made other improvements too like reducing the cooking time by increasing the oven temperature.

Like most cooks, my recipes evolve over time  because I’m always trying to make things better. That’s why I created a special category in my blog called “Recipe Changes/Fixes” so if anyone is confused, thinking something is different than they remember, they can check on any changes I made in that blog  posting.

I make these skinless drumsticks a lot, usually on Fridays, so we have snacks for the weekend but I’m still working on avoiding the messy job of cleaning the rack. I tried roasting the drumsticks on greased foil but they stick to the foil even when it’s greased. I did find one thing, however, that is a disposable foil pan that allowed me to eliminate the rack.

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It’s called EZ Foil by Hefty and these cookie sheets are textured on the bottom and there was no sticking whatsoever, and no greasing necessary. The drumsticks turned over beautifully with no effort at all. I’m guessing not all stores will carry these sheets but wow, I love the textured feature. And oh… good news: I wash and re-use them.

My new and improved skinless chicken drumsticks recipe is ready and available, just in time for the Super Bowl. Click here for the new recipe.  (Still want the old recipe? Click here) – Jenny Jones

Jan 28, 2015

Some Super Bowl Ideas

Here are some snack ideas for anyone planning to watch the game on Sunday. Because for me, Super Bowl is really about the snacks, and the commercials… in that order. (I do laundry while they’re playing!) Just click on the photos for the recipes.

Chocolate-Covered Football StrawberriesChocolate-strawberries121-585x388

Sweet & Spicy Chicken FingersSweet&SpicyChicken Fingers_600

Deviled Eggsrecipes_deviled_eggs_600

Healthier NachosNachos_600_2

Caramelized Onion & Roasted Red Pepper DipCaramelizedOnion-RoastedRedPepperDip_600

Good luck to whoever’s playing!!

Jan 26, 2015

Updated Marble Loaf Cake

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I just posted the updated recipe for my marble loaf cake that I love so much. I went back to the original way that I was making it, which involved beating egg whites and folding them into the batter at the end. I had eliminated that step to make the recipe easier and less work but after making it a few times, I realized I should have left it alone.

So… good news / bad news. The good news is the loaf is light and fluffy again and the bad news is it takes a little more work – well just the one extra step of beating the egg whites.

If you hate washing pans (who doesn’t?) you will like this. If you do what I do and line the loaf pan completely with foil, you won’t have to wash the pan. And I don’t even grease the foil but you can if you want to. I just peel away the foil from the loaf, after about 15 minutes of cooling. But be careful when putting in the foil and use your knuckles in the corners so it doesn’t tear.

You’ll notice that I beat the egg whites first. When beating egg whites there must be no fat whatsoever in the bowl, not from the yolk or from beaters not are not completely clean. So use your clean beaters on the whites first. Now you can continue using the beaters on the second mixture without having to clean them first. My first recipe had fresh orange zest added and that is still an option. You can add the zest of an orange along with the flour but I like it both ways, with and without the orange zest.

This marble loaf is the first thing I make for company because it makes a beautiful presentation and goes really well with coffee or tea. And people will be amazed when you say, “There’s no butter at all in this cake.” I hope you’ll try my new, updated marble loaf cake. Click here for the new recipe. (Still want the old recipe? Click here) – Jenny Jones

Filed Under: Sweets
2 Comments
Jan 22, 2015

Homemade Apple Sauce

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Wait until you experience the taste of fresh apple sauce. You won’t want to buy it any more. Fresh homemade applesauce is so good, I sometimes eat it with a spoon as my dessert. I see lots of recipes with added sugar and stuff, but here’s the thing.  Apples are sweet. They don’t need added sugar so this is the easiest, and healthiest, thing to make. You just cook some apples. Just peel, core, and chop them up and add a little water in the pan to get the cooking started.

You can have fun trying it with different varieties of apples. Not all apples taste the same. Granny Smith are good for baking but to me, not sweet enough for apple sauce. My favorite for sauce is gala but do you have any idea the number of different apple varieties that exist in the world? Seven thousand! You heard me. That’s 7,000!  Here are just a few that I’ve actually seen: Rome, Braeburn, Cortland, Crispin, McIntosh, Fuji, Golden Delicious, Red Delicious, Gravenstein, Liberty, Jonamac, Ida Red, Criterion, Winesap, Pippin, Elstar, Cameo, Pink Lady, Spartan, Newton, Sunrise, Empire, Ginger Gold, Red Cort, Northern Spy, Almata, Gold Russet, Maiden’s Blush, Crimson Gold, Dorsett, Honey Crisp, Honey Gold, Winesap, and Anna (I grow my own Anna apples). I get to keep the ones the squirrels don’t eat! 

The point is, you can  come up with a lot of different flavors of apple sauce depending on the type of apple, or use a combination of different varieties. Have fun with this simple, easy healthy snack. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jan 18, 2015

Red Cabbage Rolls

Red Cabbage RollsI always wondered if cabbage rolls made with red cabbage would turn out and now I can report on my experiment. I already knew from eating lots of cabbage salads that red cabbage is a little tougher than the green one. That turned out to be true even when the leaves are softened for cabbage rolls. I boiled the whole head of red cabbage for ten minutes, just like I do the green one for my cabbage rolls. The leaves didn’t seem soft enough so I put them back in for another few minutes and they seemed a little softer. I then proceeded as usual, cutting off the thick spine to make them easy to roll.

The main difference occured when rolling. I made both green and red ones so I could really compare and the green leaves rolled up beautifully and didn’t tear or break. But some of the red ones tended to break and crack so I had to patch the crack and then roll up my golabki. So the red leaves were a little harder to work with but I must say they do look good.

And the taste? Wonderful, just like the green ones. So my summary is… if you are making cabbage rolls for the first time, stick with the green cabbage. The soft leaves will be easier to roll and you will be confident in making them again. If you make them in red, just be prepared for a little extra work if they tear but that can happen with green leaves too. When it happens, you remove the filling, lay an extra piece of a cabbage leaf over the tear, fully covering and overlapping the tear, then add your filling and roll it up.

Cabbage rolls made with red cabbage make a beautiful presentation and once they are cooked, the red rolls are just as tender as the green ones. So there is my report. I will definitely make red cabbage rolls again if only for the reaction I’m sure to get when I put them on the table.

My Polish cabbage rolls recipe has been very popular and I’m thrilled with the number of people who have made and love them. Over 1/4 million people have viewed the video on youtube (I never expected so much interest in my little Polish recipe). Polish food rocks! If you haven’t made stuffed cabbage yet, click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jan 14, 2015

Breakfast Brownies

breakfast_brownies_600Are you getting enough fiber? Well now you can! Just make my super high fiber breakfast brownies made with every kind of fiber I could think of. I make them with oats, high fiber bran cereal, whole wheat flour, prunes and even olive oil, so there’s no white flour and no butter. Did I mention the chocolate chips?? You do know that dark chocolate is good for the heart so use the darkest chocolate chips you can find. Now let’s talk about the ingredients you will need:

Oats – I use regular Quaker Rolled Oats in the round carton.

Flour – I use whole wheat pastry flour, any brand I can find.

Cereal – I use Kellog’s All Bran Original cereal, which has 10 grams of fiber in 1/2 cup. If you can’t find it, look for an equally high-fiber cereal.

Oil – I use extra light olive oil but you can use a different oil if you like.

Chocolate Chips – I use either semi-sweet chocolate chips or I chop up some of a 62% Scharffen Berger chocolate bar.

Prunes – This is important. I use Sunsweet Premium Prunes in a can and they are very soft and moist. I even took a picture to show you how moist they are and their moisture is key to keeping these chewy bars moist. If you chop up regular dried prunes, the bars will be dry.

IMG_0951If you can’t find these prunes in a can, you can pour boiling water over regular dried prunes, cover, and let them stand for 15 minutes. Then drain and chop. I experimented with it and they come out softer for sure, but not quite as soft as the canned ones. But it’s the best I can come up with for my international cooks who can’t find these American products.

This recipe is similar to my giant breakfast cookies with a few changes. I call them breakfast brownies but you can call them prune bars or high fiber bars. Fiber is beneficial for many reasons.  Besides preventing constipation, fiber can help you maintain a healthy weight and lower your risk of diabetes and heart disease. But to eat fiber it has to taste good and that’s where I come in. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Filed Under: Breakfast
7 Comments
Jan 10, 2015

Cake Strips to the Rescue

If you bake a lot of cakes there are two issues that need fixing. One is that they rise too much in the center and the other is that the edges get over-baked and dry. A cake strip will fix that. Here is my yellow cake baked with no cake strip. It’s domed in the middle and the edges are overdone and dry.

IMG_6051And here it is with a cake strip – perfectly flat and the edges are soft and evenly baked.

IMG_6091 copyA cake strip is easy to use. You just soak it in water for about 15 minutes, then press out the excess water and wrap it around the pan just before baking.

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It protects the edge of the pan from getting too hot and the cake will bake evenly. If you can’t find one, you can fashion your own using fabric. I have never done that but you can find lots of how-to’s in the internet. They’re also called baking strips for cakes.

While working on this recipe I was surprised by something I learned about cake pans. It’s about the color. I always knew that a dark pan absorbs more heat so baked goods will brown more than in a light colored pan. But I baked two cakes, both with cake strips, in two different pans that I considered light colored. But look at the difference…

Cake Pans1200_6284The pan on the left is my more expensive Williams-Sonoma Gold Touch pan that I never thought of as dark. The pan on the right is a cheaper silver colored pan (with no brand name so I don’t even know where I got it) but the cake in the cheaper silver pan came out perfectly. The edges were velvety soft and the cake didn’t brown too much. The one on the left was okay but the edges pulled away a bit and it browned a little more. Bottom line: use a silver colored pan and a cake strip for a perfect, soft, yummy cake.

Speaking of cake, this simple yellow cake is one of my easy-to-make healthier cakes and it’s my go-to cake for all kinds of frosting and filling. It’s soft and not super sweet… and it’s made without butter. I’ll be posting the recipe soon, so get your cake strips ready! – Jenny Jones

Jan 9, 2015

Salmon Patties: How-To Video

One of the healthiest recipes I make is my salmon patties. Now here’s a how-to video that shows just how easy it is to make a meal that benefits your heart, brain, eyes, joints, even your skin and hair, not to mention the cancer protection provided by salmon.

And canned salmon makes this a healthy dinner you can make any time without a trip to the fish market. The patties come together very quickly with just a few ingredients so the whole process, start-to-finish, takes less than 15 minutes.

Let’s talk about what to serve with these delicious fish cakes. Here are some things I have served with my salmon patties:
– Steamed chunks of sweet potato
– My oven-roasted sweet potato fries
– My Greek lemon potatoes
– Chopped salad
– My rice with kale
– My roasted vegetables
– Rice and steamed broccoli
– My roasted Brussels sprouts & potatoes
– My spaghetti with chard (my favorite!)

One of my visitors even made the patties into burgers so now you have lots of ways to try this easy recipe that’s bursting with health benefits. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Filed Under: Videos 11 Comments
Jan 6, 2015

Easy Tortilla Pie

Tortilla_Pie_600You only need a few basic ingredients to make this easy tortilla pie: whole wheat tortillas, canned beans, bottled salsa, peppers, and reduced fat cheese. Add some onions and garlic and this comes together pronto in a yummy, stick-to-the-ribs dinner the whole family will love.

Here’s why I love my easy tortilla pie: It has two different kinds of beans, black and cannellini beans; It has three different colors of pepper – red, green and yellow; And it’s made with whole wheat tortillas. Even if you aren’t a fan of whole wheat tortillas, they become so soft when baked with my sauce and cheeses, you can eat this moist layered casserole with a spoon.

There’s a recipe for tortilla pie in my original cookbook but this new recipe is simpler, faster, and healthier, not to mention even more delicious. This is an easy recipe to customize and make your own. If you like is spicy, be sure to include the jalapeño pepper and get a jar of spicy salsa. If you like it mild, you can leave out the jalapeño pepper altogether and replace it with extra bell pepper, or a milder Anaheim pepper, and use a mild salsa.

Here are a couple of brands I use in this recipe:

Tortillas – Trader Joe’s Whole Wheat Tortillas

Salsa – Green Mountain Gringo from Whole Foods

I make my pie in an 8-inch round pyrex baking dish with tall sides and a glass lid. Sometimes I cut the tortillas to fit exactly into the baking pan and with this pan, the filling all stays inside and doesn’t spill out. A lot of recipes use a springform pan and if you have one, that’s the pan to use. You can also make this tortilla pie in any kind of pie pan, preferably deep dish. Some of the beans may spill out but who cares? Just make sure you cover it well with foil.

Nutritionally, this healthy meal is hard to beat. There is lots of fiber in the beans as well as the tortillas, and beans also provide calcium and protein. The colored peppers are full of antioxidants to help protect against diseases like heart disease and cancer. And if you make it spicy, spicy foods boost metabolism and that helps with weight loss. But the best reason of all to make this easy casserole is it’s simply delicious. And it’s meatless, too. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jan 1, 2015

Send Me Your Photo – Jan/Feb

How did my recipe turn out? Send me a photo and show off your creation. Please send your picture to: YourPhotos@JennyCanCook.com

DONNA (Central Virginia) MADE MY NO KNEAD CRUSTY ROLLS
Just yesterday I discovered your YouTube videos, website and Facebook page and what a treasure trove of wonderful recipes. I remember watching your TV show and when I saw your video on making No Knead Crusty Rolls, I was glad to see you are still around and making people happy with your food. The crusty rolls were so tasty and the chewy crust divine that I will be making them often. The 7 I didn’t eat went in the freezer to enjoy later.  Again, thank you for your fabulous recipes and doing the videos. We love you!”
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RANDY MADE MY PUMPKIN PIE
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ALISSA MADE MY CINNAMON-GLAZEDAPPLE BROWNIES
“Cant wait to eat them!!!”
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BRETT MADE MY EASY BAKED ZITI
“I gave your Baked Ziti a go and it is out of this world. Thank you so much for sharing all the recipes you have given me renewed zest in the kitchen again and on the track to eating healthier.”
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ALISSA MADE MY HOMEMADE APPLE PIE
“Well it tastes amazing even though it doesn’t look so pretty : / I used boskoop apples and they are kind of mealy but taste really good.”
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ANGELINE MADE MY NO KNEAD CRUSTY ROLLS
“These are from overnight dough which was prepared with cold water. I must admit that the dough was rather sticky! Nevertheless, they were yummy. Thanks,Jenny.”
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ANGELINE MADE MY GRANOLA BARS & PACZKI
“I used almond and pumpkin seeds in the nuts portion. And they kept well under refrigeration. Still yummy even after a month’ s storage! And beautiful donuts, thanks.”
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MARISA MADE MY PIEROGI
“Love the pierogi recipe!! Thank you!”
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LISA MADE MY CHICKEN POT PIE(S)
“Jenny’s Awesome Mini Chicken Pot Pies for my ‘premed’ son at University!! P.S. Cheated and didn’t make the crust but I will next time.  Love your recipes. It is kind that you are sharing the recipes from your cookbooks for all to enjoy.”
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CHUCK MADE MY NACHOS FOR DINNER
“Made your Super Awesome Healthier Nachos tonight and they were a win with the wifey!”
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SINISTER MINISTER MADE MY GRANOLA & BLUEBERRY PANCAKES
“I made your easy granola and it is guuuuud! You made me a believer! No more store bought!”
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“A very lucky wife got some of Jenny’s blueberry pancakes this morning!”
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CINDY MADE MY CINNAMON ROLLS
“I made your wonderful home made cinnamon rolls- Super yummy, super easy!!  Thanks.”
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KATHLEEN MADE MY CROUTONS
“Croutons with one finely minced Garlic clove. The house smells divine! This is my second batch and just as perfect as the first! We’ll be eating a lot more salads now. (I hear my husband snacking on them in the kitchen-warm from the oven)”
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KATHLEEN MADE MY TORTILLAS
“Oh my! I’ll only be eating homemade tortillas from now on! So easy! Used Olive Oil, rolled on Silpat, kept warm in 200 oven. The two of us ate almost all of them! + my DH was a little boy in South Texas and appreciates home made tortillas. This former Yankee is a success! Thanks Jenny!” (Silpat… I have to try that – j.j.)
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CJ MADE MY “TUNNELS OF CINNAMON” BREAD
“Thanks for the recipe!! I converted everything to grams and milliliters(europe :) ) and this is the result. I’m very happy!! Thanks!”
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