September, 2015

Sep 25, 2015

Mathematician Food Fights

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Sep 24, 2015

Hunter’s Stew is Polish comfort food

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My dad used to make hunter’s stew but he called it kapusta, which means cabbage in Polish. Hunter’s stew, also called bigos, is based on sauerkraut  and it usually has added meats including kielbasa. This recipe does not belong only to Poles. There are many varieties of hunter’s stew in eastern Europe but they almost all include sauerkraut and various meats.

Bigos has been around for centuries. People used to cook big pots of this stew for hours, even days, adding all kinds of meats from beef, pork, ham, sausages, venison, even rabbit – after all it was a “hunter’s” stew.

I’ve been working on finding a simpler way to make bigos and now I’m sharing my own recipe, which doesn’t require a lot of ingredients or a lot of work, and there is less focus on meat and more focus on the sauerkraut, fresh cabbage, mushrooms, and lots of flavor.

The recipe starts with store-bought sauerkraut and the best kind to buy is the one they sell in the refrigerated section and I use store-bought chicken cooking stock (unsalted) because there is plenty of salt already in the sauerkraut. I have also made my hunter’s stew with homemade beef stock but I am not a fan of store-bought beef stock, only chicken.

Hunter’s stew, like most stews (and like me) gets better with age 🙂 so try to make it a day or two ahead and let it marinate in the refrigerator before serving. Some people serve it with rye bread but we always had it with mashed potatoes. The strong flavors of the stew and the mild potatoes goes really well together.

It takes a lot of chopping and shredding but otherwise, this dish cooks with virtually no effort after that. Smacznego. – Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Sep 23, 2015

Cheeseburger on a Trampoline

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Sep 18, 2015

Skinless Thighs & Fries

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I’m posting my new simpler way to make one of my favorite one pan meals. This no-fuss dinner cooks in one pan and it takes almost no work. Plus the whole house smells divine with all the spices as they cook. Both the chicken and the potatoes are coated with a mixture of aromatic spices & olive oil and as they’re cooking along in the oven, you have plenty of time to make a salad or cook a side vegetable.

What I like most about this recipe is that the two foods can be separated at the end if either the chicken or potatoes need a few more minutes. Chicken thighs come in all sizes – sometimes I get four in a pack and sometimes six. So smaller pieces will cook faster.  And depending how big you cut your potato wedges, they may need more or less time. So at the end, you can separate the chicken from the potatoes and cook just one of them a little longer if needed. I only had to do that once.

The broiler-type pan is important because chicken thighs have a lot of fat and all the fat cooks off and stays in the broiler pan, not touching the chicken, and not spreading onto the flat part of the pan where the potatoes cook and that keeps the potatoes crispy.

I had posted this recipe before when I used to cook asparagus on the same pan but it was too much trouble so now I just cook my green vegetable separately. This chicken dinner goes really well with asparagus and I’ve had it with broccoli and brussels sprouts, too. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Sep 15, 2015

I made apple pie without butter

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Any time I make apple pie there’s an air of excitement around here. Has it cooled yet? How long before we can taste it? Don’t tell the neighbors – they’ll come over for sure and I want it all for myself. Homemade apple pie never loses its appeal and let me tell you this was delicious.

I used three pounds of granny smith apples and my popular oil crust and it made dinner more than just a meal… it was an event. That may be because I made my orange-sesame chicken, one of my favorite quick dinners. The picture may not show it but this easy chicken stir fry is really really good. And it’s fast. When dessert takes a little longer, like apple pie, I usually opt for a quick and easy dinner.

So anyhoooo… I’m just sharing what I cooked today. Click here for my homemade apple pie recipe. – Jenny Jones

Sep 11, 2015

Caught Again

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Sep 10, 2015

Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownies: How-To Video

“Why don’t you make more videos?” That’s what they say but here’s the problem. I’m retired! I should be lounging along an exotic beach somewhere sipping something in a tall glass with a little umbrella on it. Instead I’m in the kitchen and that’s because… well, I’d rather be in the kitchen than Cabo!

Call me crazy but they always said do what you love. And I’m doing it. So here is another video. It’s my dark chocolate fudge brownies and I’m pretty proud of myself for this easy recipe. You’ll see that by using foil and wax paper, you only have to wash one pot. And it’s another super easy, healthier than most, recipe and again I’m baking without butter.

When they said dark chocolate is good for you I celebrated by having some dark chocolate. It should be at least 70% cacao and that’s what makes this brownie so rich and fudgy. If you love chocolate you will love this simple recipe. These dark chocolate brownies are a big hit around here. In fact, my man wants chocolate chips in everything, but I draw the line at meat loaf. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Filed Under: Videos 15 Comments
Sep 9, 2015

My Homemade Pot Holders

IMG_6263-copyCooking is more fun when you have great toys to play with, like colorful bowls and kitchen tools but pretty pot holders are nowhere to be found — except in my kitchen. Because I made them. I went to Jo-Ann fabrics, got 1/4 yard of quilted fabrics, some binding and made my own. All these quilted fabrics have a different design on the back so here are the backs of my pot holders…

IMG_6267-copyHere’s how I made them: There was no pattern to so I just cut the fabric into 7 by 8-inch shapes and rounded the corners. I used two thicknesses per pot holder so before adding the binding, I first connected the pieces together to keep them flat. I did that by sewing two seams – each one diagonal from corner to corner. Then I used Double Fold Bias Tape (extra wide) for the edge. I used an old existing pot holder to see how to secure the “loop.”  I love how they turned out.

A safety note: I used two thicknesses but when I baked a cake at 350 degrees and used my new pot holder to remove the pan, a little heat came through by the time I put the pan on a rack so when I make more, I plan to use 4 thicknesses instead of just two and I suggest that if anyone makes them, to make them thicker or just use them as decoration. Next time I plan to use some leftover plain quilted fabric for my extra filler and save my fancy fabric for the outside.

Hey, with those colors I could turn these pot holders into a bikini. All I need is some colorful string and voila! Coverage for the beach! Of course, men would have it easier. All they need is an oven mitt! – Jenny Jones

Filed Under: General
15 Comments
Sep 4, 2015

Caramelized Apple Oven Pancake

Weekend breakfasts are the best because there’s more time to make things like my caramelized apple oven pancake. It only takes 30 minutes and boy, is it good! You need a 9-inch cast iron skillet and lots of apples. I use two huge apples, weighing 1/2 pound each and I’ve used both Granny Smith and gala, cut into 1-inch chunks.  There’s more apple than pancake in this delicious breakfast but that’s a good thing.

First you melt a little butter and brown sugar in the skillet and cook the apples on the stove top over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes until they get caramelized. After 5 minutes, they should look like this.

IMG_6633_1200Now you just pour the batter right on top of the apples. The batter is really light and super easy, made with milk, eggs, and flour basically and you just whisk it by hand – no mixer. As soon as the batter is added, using an oven glove, you put the hot pan in the oven (preheated to 400 degrees F) and fifteen minutes later, it’s done. Then you carefully, with oven gloves, invert in onto a big serving plate and it will look like this…

Car Apple Pancake1200_7610The edges of the pancake are caramelized just like the apples, which are soft and sticky sweet. You don’t need any topping like syrup but you can sprinkle it with a dusting of powdered sugar if you like. If this is all you’re eating, it will serve two but if you have some eggs and toast and this on the side, it will serve four. And if you’re starving and you make this easy apple pancake, someone I know actually ate the whole thing in one sitting. It wasn’t me. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Sep 3, 2015

Boneless Stuffed (Pork) Butt

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