July, 2018

Jul 28, 2018

One Pan Spaghetti, Spinach & Meat Sauce

One Pan Pasta Veggie Meat SauceI’m loving my one pan meals because they are easier, faster, and there’s less cleanup. And when things all cook together, they just taste better. This¬† quick and easy recipe for pasta, meat sauce, and spinach only takes 30 minutes, including prep. That’s because I use store-bought jarred marinara sauce.

Quality matter when you buy prepared products so try to find the best quality sauce you can, especially one made with Italian plum tomatoes. I use Silver Palate Low Sodium Marinara Sauce and I always use fresh baby spinach – a whole 5 ounce package. It’s a tight squeeze adding that much spinach on top of the sauce and I can do it in my 11-inch skillet because it has a domed lid, but you can also use a larger pot.

One issue with cooking spaghetti in sauce is the spaghetti tends to stick together. That’s why regular stirring is important and I find the best tool for that is a large fork. Using a fork to twist and turn the pasta helps a lot to keep it from sticking, but make sure it’s not metal if your pan in non-stick. I use my giant silicone fork for stirring.

Two things to remember with this recipe:

1) Keep the sauce boiling the whole time but not too high or you’ll cook off too much liquid. If that happens, just add a little more water. Once the pasta is added, I start off on medium heat and as it cooks down, I gradually reduce the heat to low.

2) To keep the spaghetti strands from sticking together, regular stirring is important and you can use tongs but a fork is a better choice. Once the spaghetti starts to soften, I twist and turn the spaghetti every 2 minutes and mine never sticks together.

This is a comfort food meal and at my house, every meal has to have at least one vegetable so it’s a win-win. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jul 22, 2018

Sunday Breakfast

I want to remind everyone how easy it is to make pancakes from scratch. How easy? Twelve minutes. Yes, it takes just 12 minutes to make my whole grain oatmeal pancakes. It was our Sunday breakfast, served with a little butter and a lot of real maple syrup.

These easy, healthy pancakes are made with buttermilk, oats, and whole wheat pastry flour so they are 100% whole grain. Buttermilk really makes the best pancakes! My usual breakfast is a hard-boiled egg, a slice of my homemade bread, a little fruit, and a cup of tea, but Sunday is the day for special treats – I should have called it Sunday brunch because we didn’t eat until after 11:00.

I found these pretty plates at Walmart so I took a new picture. Next Sunday, or maybe tomorrow, if you want a healthy whole grain breakfast that’s fun and easy, click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jul 22, 2018

Baking Can Be Therapeutic

Baking can be therapeutic. This appeared in Sunday’s St. Croix hurricane report and it looks like my recipes are therapeutic for Isabel, who is staying calm by baking.¬† Question, though… is it the baking of the cinnamon rolls or the eating of the cinnamon rolls that’s helping take her mind off things?


Jul 12, 2018

Easy Lemon Blueberry Loaf

Best Lemon Bluebery LoafFresh blueberries and fresh lemon make all the difference in this easy lemon blueberry loaf, but you won’t need any butter. Or even a mixer. It’s really easy to make because you mix everything by hand. Sweet loaves like this often call for buttermilk but a lot of people don’t have it so I use whole milk and I add some lemon juice to the milk, which makes a substitute for buttermilk. But if you have buttermilk, you can use that instead of making your own.

It’s important to zest and squeeze the lemon first, and in that order. Zest it first, then cut and squeeze the juice. You’ll need the juice right away to add to the milk so it can stand as long as possible and get a bit lumpy. Before I start, I always inspect the blueberries and remove any stems and also any berries that are too soft or moldy. Tossing the berries with flour helps keep them from sinking to the bottom during baking, and I find a soft plastic produce bag just right for the job and for less cleanup.

I struggled over how much sugar to use. Naturally, the less the better but some blueberries are not as sweet as others. I tried 3/4 cup, then tried adding one tablespoon, and another time I added 2 tablespoons. This recipe works with any of those amounts so I split the difference and made it 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon of sugar.

As for the glaze, make as much as you want, as thick as you want. My preference is a thinner glaze that I can brush on the top and sides but you can make it thicker with less lemon juice and drizzle it on the top. This delicious, lightly sweet loaf is best served while still warm. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones