Aug 18, 2017

Making Fruitcake for Christmas? Start Now.

FruitcakeA 106-year-old fruitcake has been discovered in an old explorer’s hut in Antarctica and it looked and smelled edible! I’ve always heard that properly stored fruitcakes can last for years but whoa! This fruitcake was wrapped in waxed paper and tucked into a tin box and most likely came to Antarctica with an English expedition in 1910. The cake survived much better than the tin box, which was badly corroded. It had a very slight rancid butter smell but other than that, they say the cake looked and smelled edible! The freezing cold in Antarctica had a lot to do with the cake’s survival.

A century old cake notwithstanding, any fruitcake needs time to “age” and should be started early. The aging period can be from 2 to 4 months. Sugar acts as a preservative and alcohol kills bacteria and prevents mold. Many fruitcakes are soaked in alcohol and those can actually last for years if you periodically add more alcohol. You do this by wrapping the cake in a towel soaked in brandy or wine and then covering tightly and keep it refrigerated. It’s generally recommended that soaked fruitcake should be consumed within two years.

I don’t have a recipe for fruitcake but there are lots of good ones to be found and it is a long standing tradition to give fruitcake as a Christmas gift. Not everyone likes this very dense and rich cake so if you make one, don’t be surprised if it gets re-gifted to you five years later! 🙂 – Jenny Jones

Aug 1, 2017

Sharing Your Pictures (August)

This is my favorite thing to see – photos of my recipes made all over the world!  Feel free to share where you are from and please send your photo to:

“Hey Jenny, I decided to bake a cake for my brother’s birthday. Found your recipe and gave it a whirl. It was my first time baking a cake and I went big with 2 cakes layered, instead of a single one. The cake was super moist and the frosting went perfectly with the cake. My family certainly enjoyed it as well. Not the prettiest frosting job, but like you said, “If they smell good and don’t have flies landing on them, they’re okay with me.” Can’t wait to try more of your recipes! – Kyle from Florida.”

~ Your frosting is perfect. That’s exactly what mine looks like. Thanks for sharing. ~ jenny

“Hi Jenny, I just needed to let you know that my 12 yr old daughter saw this recipe and wanted to make this for the county fair (minus the raisins) and it turned out so fantastic that she received a blue ribbon.  She has made this 3 times now and has her grandma requesting this as well!  Thank you for sharing this recipe! This photo was taken right after my 12 yr old daughter Dahn iced the bread so it’s a bit messy. But it was delicious and still beautiful.”

~ Dahn, congratulations on the blue ribbon and on being such an amazing young baker. Great job! ~ jenny

Jul 22, 2017

Chewy Fruit & Nut Clusters

Dark Chocolate Almond Dried Cherry ClustersThis is a variation of my chocolate almond clusters and I love it. Instead of using whole almonds, I chopped them into pieces and added some chopped dried cherries and raisins. The result is a wonderfully chewy, dark chocolate, healthy sweet treat full of protein, heart-healthy fats, antioxidants and fiber. I used a dark chocolate bar (72% cacao) from World Market and followed the same process as my original recipe but instead of using tiny paper cups, I just dropped the clusters onto wax paper, let them cool, and then refrigerate.

The easiest way to refrigerate them is to slide a cutting board under the wax paper and place the whole thing in the fridge until the clusters are cold and set. Then you can put them all into a covered container but always keep them refrigerated; otherwise, the chocolate will melt in your hands. Next time you’re craving a chocolate bar or some m&m’s, try this healthier homemade fruit & nut dark chocolate cluster. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jul 12, 2017

Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies

Gluten Free CookiesThese are not raisins – they’re melted chunks of dark chocolate. I wanted an easy dessert and he wanted chocolate. So I made my easy peanut butter cookie recipe with added dark chocolate… oh and some extra added peanuts too. This recipe is so flexible and they turned out fantastic. I chopped up about 1/3 of a 72% dark chocolate bar from World Market but you could use Ghirardelli dark chocolate chips, and then I chopped up some roasted peanuts. I stirred them all into the simple cookie dough and wow, they were good.

Even if you make the original peanut butter cookie recipe, you will love that they have no flour and there is no butter or oil. So they are gluten free, healthy, and super easy to make. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jul 1, 2017

Look What You Made! (July)

I love seeing your photos of my recipes and it helps other cooks see what someone else’s dish looks like. Of course it’s always nice if you share where you are from. Please send your photo to:

“Hi Jenny, I used a cup of semolina flour instead of whole wheat, This was so good!”

~ This shows just how flexible this method can be. Thanks for the photo! ~ jenny

“Hi Jenny! I made muffins using your recipe for PUMPKIN CHOCOLATE CHIP MUFFINS with a change. Your recipes ALWAYS turn out great for me that I decided to play with this one. I used shredded zucchini instead of the canned pumpkin. Seeing that I didn’t use canned pumpkin I omitted the nutmeg and added vanilla extract. I ran out of my whole grain pastry flour so I used all purpose flour only. Added some sugar for sweetness, sorry, couldn’t help myself, I do love my sweets! And wah-lah….Zucchini Chocolate Chip Muffins!  Thank you Jenny for inspiring me to experiment in my baking adventures with you, you are a “Baking-Star”!!  Have a fabulous day! Happy Baking! 😊”

~ I’m happy to be your inspiration. Thank you for sharing. ~ jenny

“Thank you so much Jenny you have the best whole wheat bread recipe! I love it!”

~ I’m glad to hear it. Yours turned out really well, thank you. ~ jenny

“Hi Jenny. This is my first attempt at this recipe and I’m thrilled!  Have subscribed and shared with my sister. Lots more to try now, can’t wait.  Love from Susan in London, UK”

~ Thank you for sharing. You’re from London (UK) and I’m from London (Canada!) ~ jenny

“My 13 year old granddaughter made the ‘No Knead’ fastest bread today.  Sensational taste!  I’m going to try whole wheat flour next time.  Great recipe, Jennie.  Thanks.”

~ I love to see young people cooking and baking. Great job!~ jenny

“Hi Jenny! I stumbled upon your YouTube videos last night and I’m obsessed. I have never had any luck cooking with yeast but your videos gave me confidence to try again.  The first thing I tried was the pizza dough and it gets 2 thumbs up!  Yumm!  Thank you for the delicious recipes and for the confidence to try recipes that require using yeast. I adore your humor and can’t wait to try another of your recipes.  Here is a photo of my pizza. I started on the stove top using a cast iron grill pan, flipped the dough when it was brown, applied my very simple tomatoes and fresh mozzarella topping then finished it off in the oven. It was perfect. Happy cooking!”

~ Your crust looks great and I love the free-form idea. ~ jenny

“Gone bread crazy! Hi Jenny, I made the even faster white and tried it on the rye bread and it worked!  Bread in 2 hours woopee!!I call it kitchen therapy !!”

~ I’m so glad the rye bread worked too. Thanks for the inspiring photo. ~ jenny“Hi Jenny!I found these adorable cast iron baby Dutch oven’s at Winco at a fraction of the price of a large Dutch oven. Now I can bake two loaves at the same time! Because of their small size they are easier to store as well. Pictured are two loaves of even faster rye bread.” ~ Jackie L

“Hi Jenny! 🌻 I made your CRISPY APPLE TART for a small get together with family. It was a wonderful dessert to end our meal with, so delicious! I used a removable bottom tart pan. Everyone loved it and because it had ‘apples’ in it no one felt bad eating two pieces…LOL!😄 I would highly recommend this  CRISPY APPLE TART, it must be made, it’s just lovely! Thank you Jenny for sharing another fantastic recipe with us. Happy Baking! 😊”

~ A tart pan is a great idea and makes beautiful edges. Thank you for sharing. ~ jenny

“My dish this week-Huge praise from hungry kids: Thank you so much for your great help making yummy meals, healthy and tasty. I made chicken pot pie and pizza this week. Made a few other items as well, but don’t have pictures. Thank you for making my life easier. Happy kids and husband. They loved it. Making pizza tonight for a party. But this time I got your turkey to go on top. 🙂 thank you. ~ Kim Anderson from Oklahoma.”

~ I’m so glad to know I’ve made your life easier. Thanks for the photos! ~ jennyBRENDA MADE MY DUTCH BABY PANCAKE & BANANA CHOC. CHIP BREAD
“Hi Jenny, I made your Dutch Baby recipe and it was delicious. I will definitely make it again. And I made your chocolate chip banana bread recipe and of course it was delicious.”

~ Thank you for sending two photos. And a mountain of fruit is the healthiest way to serve a Dutch baby.  ~ jenny

Jun 21, 2017

Summer Vacation

Summer officially starts today and so does my summer vacation!  Please continue to enjoy my recipes while I’m away. I will be checking in but can’t always answer questions so please look to the FAQs for answers. Meantime, I hope everyone has a wonderful summer. Stay hydrated, eat well, and use sunscreen! See you soon. – Jenny Jones

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Jun 1, 2017

Your Photos/My Recipes (June)

I really appreciate when someone takes time to send a photo of one of my recipes… even better when you say where you are from. Send your photo to:

“Hi Jenny! 🌼 I made your EASY ONE BOWL YELLOW CAKE recipe with your CREAM CHEESE FROSTING recipe. I did double both of the recipes so that I could make a 2 layer cake. OMGoodness, what a tasty and moist cake, scrumptious I tell you! I added some light cherry preserves as a filling for the cake. Everyone liked it so much that they had seconds! YAY! 😊 Thank you for another recipe that will be made again and again! Happy Baking! 😃”

~ It’s lovely! Also, good for people to know they can double the recipe.  ~ jenny

“All I can say is YUM!  Your recipe is the best.  I’m a fan of yours forever.”

~ Your ribs look amazing. Thanks for the photo & compliment.  ~ jenny

“Dear Jenny, I’m Tya from Bali Indonesia. I made your dark chocolate fudge brownies recipe. I sprinkled a layer of sliced almonds on top. It’s delicious. My favorite so far and my family just loved it too. I can’t wait to try your other recipes. Thanks for sharing them with us xxx.”

~ My brownies are in Bali! Thank you for taking time to share your photo.  ~ jenny

“Dear Jenny, I thought you would get a kick out of my pumpkin pie adventure.  I followed your video exactly until it came time to find the right sized pan.  I could only find a too big pan, as you can see.  Did fine putting the filling together, then while putting the dough together mistakenly used water instead of the oil!!!  Hey, I’m old (76) but I do try.  So, never to throw away something like this, just added some olive oil, thinking Jenny said “lite” and I only have regular.  That made it lite, right!!! *O)   Rolling it out was quite the adventure as it truly stuck to the wax paper.  Just added a little flour here and there and got it off and into the pan/bowl.  The dough was way up on the edge of the pie bowl so I just rolled the pie dough down the inside of the pie bowl like an old pair of stockings, thinking this will NEVER WORK.  It did stay up, I guess from the weight of the filling.  Have not tasted it yet but the pumpkin pie aroma is heavenly!  It’s still hot and I wanted to tell you this story before dementia sets all the way in!  Worse comes to worse I have pumpkin pie pudding and I’ll go out tomorrow or on the internet and find a proper, larger pie pan!  THANKS JENNY and keep up the good work.”

~ Well you are no quitter, and in spite of everything it still looks pretty good.  ~ jenny

“Jenny I am so delighted to have come upon your website! You have provided me with lots of fun and laughter in my kitchen! I can imagine what it was like growing up in your house… The smells must have been intoxicating! Blessings, Jackie.”

~  I’m glad to hear it and thanks for the photo – your bread looks great!  ~ jenny

“Hi Jenny, I made your Dutch Baby recipe and it was delicious. I will definitely make it again.”

~  Now that’s the way to serve a Dutch baby! Great photo, thank you.  ~ jenny

“Hi Jenny! 🌷 I made your LEMON CHICKEN CUTLETS for dinner, what a flavored  packed dish!  Your step-by-step instructions were so nice and easy. Everything fell right into place, including the super easy clean-up, just like you said. 😃 The lemon chicken cutlets came out so moist and tender that no knives were needed. I prepared baked fingerling potatoes seasoned with tarragon, rosemary, black pepper and a bit of olive oil. They paired well together, very tasty. Thank you for another wonderful recipe! Happy Cooking! 😊”

~  Your whole plate looks so appetizing. Thanks for sharing.  ~ jenny

“Hi Jenny,This is the Simple White Bread (with egg) recipe.  The recipe was easy to follow and the bread is delicious .  Much, much better than any white bread from the store.  My whole family loves it.  I plan to make it often. I hope you can post my photo.”

~  I’m so glad your family liked it. Thanks for the photo!  ~ jenny

“Hi Jenny.. This is the result of my try of your Simple Bread Loaf.. It was amazing and easy to make.. I shall be making and enjoying more home made recipes.. I love your recipes and have watched every video of yours I can find.. I so enjoy your cooking video instructions.. They are so easy to follow.. Thank you and wishing you and awesome day.. God Bless.. ~ Pat aka vablueangel.”

~  Thank you for your photo, and I’m glad you enjoy my videos.  ~ jenny

“Hi again Jenny. The thing I love about your recipes is that they almost always turn out just like yours. So here is your quick loaf. I made this with all white flour this time – for chicken and cranberry sandwiches at a picnic tomorrow. The first time I made it I forgot to warm the milk (remembered just after I added it) – so I zapped the dough in a microwave for a few minutes and incredibly it turned out fine! Just off to make your crispy apple tart for the family picnic too. Best wishes from the UK.”

~  You are right – it looks just like mine. Thank you for sharing this lovely photo.  ~ jenny

ERIC (in the Netherlands) MADE MY CINNAMON ROLLS
“Hi Jenny, I recently discovered your site and video’s. You do a great job. Thank you for sharing the cinnamon roll recipe. They were enjoyed by the whole family. Easy to make and super delicious. I attach the pre-oven pic, the end result and my son enjoying them.”

~  Eric, you just made my day! Great looking rolls and what a handsome boy! ~ jenny

May 29, 2017

How To Freeze Yeast

How Do You Freeze YeastYeast has a short shelf life and once any package of yeast has been opened, it should be kept in the freezer. I always use the small packets and I find that using a butterfly clip, the kind you can get at an office supply store, is a good way to seal up the packet for freezing. A paper clip would also work. I snip off the corner of the packet, measure what I need, fold the open corner over twice and seal it with the clip. Then I pop it in the freezer. – Jenny Jones

May 25, 2017

Oatmeal Banana Breakfast Muffins

Banana Breakfast MuffinsIf you’re like me and your favorite part of the muffin is the top, you will love these easy breakfast muffins. The crunchy tops are made with nuts, brown sugar, and a little vegetable oil, but you can use melted butter instead. I always try baking without butter so I use oil in the topping. A lot of muffins like this use walnuts but I think pecans have a lot more flavor so that’s what I use, and I toast them first. Toasted nuts just taste way better than raw.

The reason I only make six is because the tops won’t be crunchy the next day and also, they are so filling, you only need to eat one. Make them with all purpose flour or a mix of all purpose and whole wheat pastry flour for some extra fiber. And keep in mind that the riper the banana, the sweeter it will be. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

May 13, 2017

Easy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Bars

Whole Grain Oatmeal Chocolate Chip BarsI love this! It’s a healthy dessert full of fiber and dark chocolate. It’s made with no white flour, no butter, and it’s a super easy one-bowl recipe. And if you line your pan with foil, there’s almost no cleanup. You can use walnuts but I find that pecans, especially when they are toasted first, have so much more flavor so they are my nuts of choice for most baking. In fact, I toast one bag at a time and keep them refrigerated for all my baking.

Now about the chocolate: Using a 70% dark chocolate bar is the healthiest choice and I like to use the 72% bar from World Market but you do have to chop it up so chocolate chips are definitely easier. I recently discovered Ghirardelli 60% dark chocolate chips and they are great but bigger than most so I did not like the result when I added them whole. So I chopped them into smaller pieces and an added benefit was there was more chocolate in every bite.

These are the chocolate chips I used, but I chopped them up first:

And here is what the World Market bar looks like:

My favorite thing, besides the delicious, chewy taste of this healthy dessert bar, is how incredibly easy it is. One bowl, no mixer, just mix it all up and bake. As of today, these healthy oatmeal chocolate chip bars are my favorite dessert.  Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

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