October, 2014

Oct 31, 2014

Quick & Easy Spaghetti & Meatballs

I used to think it took hours to make a great spaghetti and meatball dinner. Here’s my video to show that is not the case. You can make an absolutely delicious sauce (it’s my quick & easy spaghetti sauce) AND the meatballs AND the spaghetti in about half an hour… AND still have time to make a salad.

Spaghetti & meatballs pleases just about everyone but doesn’t all Italian food? My goal with this quick and easy meal was to make a great marinara sauce, which means you must use fresh basil. Basil is just about the best smelling herb there is and it’s key to a great sauce.

I also wanted super soft and healthy meatballs and mine are just that. I use the leanest ground beef I can find and fresh bread crumbs that soak in milk. I use my own homemade whole wheat bread for the crumbs because it’s a soft loaf so look for a soft whole wheat bread or you can use white. But of course, whole wheat will add some beneficial fiber. Cooking the meatballs in the sauce makes them even more flavorful as they absorb the sauce and become super moist and delicious.

So here’s the drill: While the sauce cooks you make the meatballs. While the meatballs cook you boil the spaghetti. While the spaghetti cooks you make a salad and set the table. And if you want this meal to go into overdrive, how about my simple garlic bread to serve on the side.

This could be a new family tradition: Sunday spaghetti & meatballs. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

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Oct 27, 2014

French Canadian Pea Soup

French Canadian Pea Soup Recipe

No ham hocks here. This soup is traditionally made with ham hocks but I think it’s best to avoid the saturated fat and nitrates they contain so I don’t use them. But my French Canadian pea soup is still plenty delicious. In fact, I don’t even use stock… just plain water. This recipe is simple and uses ingredients it’s easy to keep on hand plus my soup cooks in about 45 minutes instead of two to three hours that some recipes take.

Although I grew up in Canada, I had never heard of French Canadian pea soup. I come from Ontario and this soup is a Quebec specialty. I discovered it during a cruise we were taking through the maritime provinces of Canada. Our last stop was Quebec City and that’s where I first discovered this hearty, delicious soup. I had been enjoying the cruise around the islands but not the food on the luxury ship. It was too fancy for me and not healthy at all with lots of flambeed things and sauces I didn’t want. I missed my own cooking so much. I just wanted a big bowl of soup. I love soup.

While exploring Quebec City we found a small family restaurant with homemade soup on the menu and their specialty was pea soup. I couldn’t get inside fast enough. I ordered the soup and as soon as I took the first bite I knew I had to make this when I got home. No truffle oil. No “foie de” whatever! It’s peasant food. I love simple peasant food. It’s what I think most people really enjoy eating and why I think so many seem to like my recipes.

Now that autumn is here, a thick and filling soup like this is perfect. Sometimes, it’s all we have for a light dinner. And every time I make it, I remember that little restaurant in Quebec City with the homemade soup. As for any future cruises, I will only go when I can have a cabin with my own kitchen! Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Oct 22, 2014

My Cookbook is Free for Everyone

Cookbook_5306Thanks to my publisher, anyone can now download my cookbook for free. It was published in 2006 but since then I have evolved as a cook and have simplified and improved the way I cook. Most of the recipes from the book are posted here on this website, the way I make them today, so there is no need to purchase the book. To download a free copy of this book click here.

(*The download works best on a desktop computer. You can not download this book to a tablet but you should be able to view it there.)

Filed Under: General
Oct 17, 2014

Quick & Easy Spaghetti & Meatballs

Easy Spaghetti & Meatballs from ScratchLooking for a family dinner that pleases everybody? Make my quick & easy spaghetti & meatballs! It only takes 35 minutes to make this delicious family favorite, all from scratch, and I promise you will never have leftovers. The lean meatballs are made with ground sirloin and they are super soft because they cook right in the sauce. The sauce is my quick & easy spaghetti sauce and I just add the meatballs (& spaghetti) to make this a complete meal… but don’t forget the salad.

This is really a quick & easy recipe because the sauce takes 5 minutes of prep and the meatballs take 10 minutes to put together. Then it all cooks in one pot and you have the most delicious spaghetti dinner. The sauce needs to cover the meatballs and the pot I use measures 7 1/2 inches across. If your pot is bigger than that, you might need to make more, smaller meatballs so they are covered by the sauce. Marinara sauce does not need to cook for hours on the stove. My recipe uses canned plum tomatoes, the best kind for sauce, and I prefer a smooth sauce so I puree the whole tomatoes first. If you like it more chunky, you can cut the tomatoes up with scissors or a knife for a chunkier sauce.

These meatballs and so soft they really just melt in your mouth. That’s because I use fresh bread crumbs and not dried ones. To make fresh crumbs, which are just soft bread in tiny pieces, I process two slices of bread in a food processor. Then I just wipe out the bowl and use the same one to puree the tomatoes. If you don’t have a food processor, you can cut the bread into small pieces and puree the tomatoes in a blender.

Whether you’re having company or a family dinner, you can’t go wrong with homemade spaghetti & meatballs. Try my easy recipe and you’ll see why they call it comfort food. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Oct 9, 2014

Homemade Apple Pie

Best Apple Pie Recipe

My homemade apple pie is so good, when anyone finds out I made one they invite themselves over. No shame. No made up stories. They just say, “I heard you made pie. I’m coming over.” Homemade apple pie is the most famous American dessert and what a treat it is when it’s made from scratch, especially a deep dish apple pie like mine. No matter how much money you have, there is no place you can buy apple pie like homemade. And this is a healthier apple pie because there is no butter anywhere. The crust is made with olive oil!

I used to be intimidated about making pie and it was always about the crust. Not only was is tricky to do with the ice water method, but who wants to eat all that shortening or butter? Once I discovered that an oil crust is not only flaky and delicious, but super easy to make, that’s all I use now (try my chicken pot pie).

With an oil crust most recipes say to pat the crust into the pan but I say put it between wax paper and roll it out. This way it’s an even thickness and you just have to trim the edges. Another thing I like about oil crusts is you can patch it wherever there is a hole or crack. Just put some extra dough there and press. Actually, you HAVE  to roll the dough to make apple pie because you need a flat top crust. It has to be one flat piece that’s rolled out and you just lay it on top, crimp, brush with milk, sprinkle on some sugar, cut some vents, and bake.

Screen shot 2014-10-08 at 8.56.37 PMThis pie bakes for almost an hour so you need to protect the edges of the crust from burning. That requires a pie ring or shield like the one pictured below.

They sell for about $5 and are much easier to use than making your own out of foil. But if you need to make your own, the easiest way is to cut a circle of foil that’s large enough to cover the whole pie and then cut a big crcle in the center, leaving the entire center of the pie exposed and just the edges of the pie crust covered. Tuck the rest of the foil under the rim, just like the photo below.

Fresh out of the oven, the center crust looks perfect...but how is the edge?

For anyone not familiar with tapioca, it is a starchy substance used in puddings and as a thickener but if you can’t find it you can use all-purpose flour instead.


I hope you like this recipe. How about this? Next time you’re invited to a family member’s house for dinner, offer to bring dessert. Show up with a homemade deep dish apple pie and watch what happens. There won’t be enough. Your cousins will be arm-wrestling for the last piece. They’ll want you to run for mayor! That’s the power of homemade apple pie. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Oct 1, 2014

No Knead Crusty Rolls

Calling all bread people!! You can make the most amazing crusty rolls at home and it’s easier than you ever imagined. There is no kneading. There is almost no work. The hardest thing is to stop eating these delicious rolls, especially when they’re fresh and hot out of the oven.

Everyone loves no knead bread that bakes in a Dutch oven like magic and comes out with a beautiful golden crust. But if you don’t have a Dutch oven (and they are expensive) you can make no knead crusty rolls instead and all you need is a baking pan.

No knead bread usually requires that you start the dough the night before, using cold water, and let it rest overnight. With my hot water method, you can make the rolls the same day so it’s faster and any time I can make bread faster, I’m a happy baker. These are the best rolls I’ve ever had.

Anyone can make homemade bread or rolls using the no-knead method. If you’re anxious about baking with yeast, you don’t need to be with this easy recipe. Even amateur bakers can make these amazing crusty rolls. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Filed Under: Videos 5 Comments