December, 2014

Dec 27, 2014

How To Store Parsley

I’ve had this parsley for over a month! If you’re tired of throwing away wilted parsley, you will love this easy way to store fresh parsley. Just put it in a glass of water and cover it loosely with a plastic produce bag. I use the bag I brought it home in from the store.
IMG_0418Fresh parsley is great to use in cooking but I only use a little at a time. I used to keep it in the vegetable drawer in a plastic bag but I always had to throw it away before I could use it all up. There had to be a better way. So I tried putting it in a glass of water in the fridge and it kept a little longer but after a few days it was drying out.

The solution to drying out had to be plastic so I tried putting a light weight plastic produce bag loosely over the parsley and glass and I could not believe how long it lasted. I put it away on November 23rd. That was five weeks ago! And look at it today…

IMG_0695I’ll be using this parsley until 2015! I’ll let you know when it finally runs its course – probably six or seven weeks. I just had to share!

Dec 25, 2014

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to all my cooking friends.

ada85ad506a9204d5840b640d8cab712What a beautiful creation! I did not make this gingerbread house but I would like to live there.

I hope all your holiday creations turned out.

Dec 18, 2014

Simple Bean Soup

Simple Bean Soup from Dried White BeansTo make the best bean soup start with dried beans. They cook up meaty and satisfying and with my recipe, almost no work at all. My simple bean soup is exactly that. In fact, it’s so simple I was afraid it wouldn’t have enough flavor but wow! I was really surprised how much flavor the beans got just from a piece of carrot and celery and a clove of garlic.

There is no chopping to do. The best thing about this easy bean soup is you just put a piece of carrot and a piece of celery in with the beans, along with a whole clove of garlic, and by the time the beans are done, they have absorbed all that great flavor. Then remove the three flavoring pieces and after that, all you need is salt. I like a thick, hearty, stick-to-the-ribs soup so I thicken it at the end with a little flour. If you don’t like it my way, you can omit the flour at the end.

You may notice that I do not soak the beans first. Well, you can do that and it will reduce the cooking time but to me, the beans taste better without soaking. I experimented with soaking the beans overnight and doing the quick soak where you bring them to a boil and let stand for an hour. In both cases, you are supposed to discard the soaking water and cook with fresh water but then you’re also discarding some of the flavor and nutrients. To me the soaked beans were not as meaty or tasty as the no-soak method.

As for starting with hot water that, too, surprised me at how much more flavor the beans took on by starting in hot water. I don’t know why but it’s the only way I make my bean soup now. I use hot, not boiling water, so it’s the temperature of hot tap water, about 125 °F.

Here are some reasons to eat beans: They have calcium, iron, potassium, protein, soluble fiber to help lower cholesterol, and just like vegetables beans have antioxidants to protect against heart disease and cancer. They also provide a slow, steady release of glucose making bean soup a good choice for diabetics.

When it’s cold outside, you will love my simple bean soup. Actually, it’s 75 degrees today in California but it’s cold somewhere! Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Dec 11, 2014

Polish Chrusciki (Angel Wings)

This is the only think I deep fry… but I don’t care. Chrusciki are too good not to have at Christmas time and there is no way to make them without frying. And there is no way to eat just one.

These dainty powdered sugar delights, which are also called angel wings, also called bow ties, also called faworki, etc., are absolutely delicious thanks to the delicate flavor of vanilla and fresh citrus peel. As dramatic as they look, they are easier to make than you think.

I learned from my mother who made them every Christmas. She rolled the dough and my sister and I shaped them into knots or bow ties. She made a whole bunch at one time but I find it more manageable to work with a smaller dough and take up less counter space. Besides, if I made more I would just eat more. I’ve never seen anyone eat just one.

So here is my how-to video. I tried to keep it simple so even inexperienced cooks can make these fabulous holiday cookies. The most important thing is to roll the dough super thin so be patient. It takes me two minutes to get it thin enough and I’ve been making them for years.

You roll half the dough at a time and it needs to be at least 12 by 12 inches or 14 by 10 or 16 by 8, etc.. The shape doesn’t matter as long as you have around 140 square inches. You should be able to almost see through the dough.

I hope you try my Polish chrusciki and if you make them, send me a photo for my scrapbook. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

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Dec 8, 2014

How To Freeze Pecan Balls

Guess what? There is no difference between frozen and freshly made pecan balls. I tested them myself and asked two other people to do a blind taste test and no one could tell the difference. This is good news because anything you can make ahead for the holidays is helpful. I’m sure there is more than one way to freeze these delicate Christmas snowball cookies but here is how I did mine:

  1. Once they were completely cool and after the second roll in powdered sugar I gently placed them in a freezer bag so they were not touching.
  2. I removed as much air as possible from the bag and placed them gently in the freezer.
  3. To thaw I let them thaw overnight in the refrigerator and then brought them to room temperature.
  4. Then I gently rolled them in powdered sugar again to freshen them up.

So there it is. This is how you can freeze your homemade pecan balls and have extra time for…. making more! To make these super easy Christmas cookies, click here for the recipe.  – Jenny Jones

Dec 4, 2014

My Show-Stopping Christmas Bread

Christmas Holiday BreadThis is my Christmas present to myself. I LOVE this bread! It’s a sweet egg bread filled with golden raisins and a fancy glaze and sprinkles. And I make the whole thing without butter. The bread is made with extra light olive oil and the glaze is just powdered sugar and milk. So I don’t beat myself up while eating my third slice.

I don’t know why but every year when Christmas comes around, I start craving sweet bread. But it’s not enough for it just to be sweet – it has to be pretty too. And this show-stopping bread is both sweet and pretty. I make it every Christmas and it makes a beautiful gift but nobody ever gets one from me. That’s because I make it… and I eat it. I know it’s the season of giving but hey, I’m giving my recipe… isnt that enough? 🙂

This is an easy recipe too because it’s only a one-rise bread so the whole thing takes just two hours… start-to-finish.  At Easter time, I make it with different Easter-colored sprinkles and it’s an Easter bread! At other times I also make this recipe without the glaze or sprinkles for a fabulous toasting bread, especially if you like cinnamon toast! So my Christmas present to me is now my Christmas present to you. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Dec 1, 2014

Send Me Your Photo – Nov/Dec

It’s really fun to see pictures of my recipes made by someone else.  Please send your picture to:

“It was a keeper. Thanks Jenny.”
“This is so easy to make and guests really liked it at our Soup Social last year. I had people taking it home it was just that good. It’s so delicious :)”
“I have to tell you Jenny thank you for putting this recipe on YouTube. I tried your pierogi and love it. I made a salad the next day and cut up cold pierogi and put on top. It was wonderful. It is great cold too. Thank you, I’m hooked.”
“Just made this and my home has the scent of cinnamon and apples, yum!  They are delicious … easy amd figure friendly!  Thanks so much!”
“Hi this I a my pic, I am Sammie, from your delicious stew! Sorry I just saw your post to send it, also I am making flat bread and will photo and send too. Your delicious!”

“prepare estos spagetis para mi familia en el fin de semana quedaron muy satisfechos es una receta muy saludable y facil, muchas gracias senora Jones por compartir sus deliciosas recetas nosotros somos de EL SALVADOR pero nos encanta mucho la comida Americana.”20140406_143048“I’m trying to eat more vegetables so I made your vegetable pasta using my favorite tri-color pasta. It was very good!”20140420_175008
“These are so good & the frosting is amazing with no added butter. Pauline.”
“The crust turned out perfect – pretty much just awesome. Super easy – have to wait 18 hours for the dough to rise but that’s the hardest part. If you notice one half looks lighter it’s because the other side has no cheese for a silly vegan.”
“Followed your video. First time in my LIFE I kneaded something and it worked!!! Can’t wait for dessert and I’m so glad I worked out today.”
“hi Miss Jenny. thank you so much for your wonderful and delicious recipe. I found your recipe in you tube and decided to make it today for our dinner. Its yummy and my husband and my in laws loves it… definitely make this again… Cabbage rolls.”

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“Thanks for this recipe Jenny. It’s terrific (especially with homemade bread).”
“Hi Jenny, I’ve been looking for a chili recipe that my husband will give a thumbs up, & yours did it! This is going to be my main chili recipe from now on & how nice not to be simmering the pot all day!”

“Hi Jenny, I made your makowiec and easy brownies. They were scrumptious :-D Best regards, Silvia”

“Hi Jenny! Surprisingly, I just discovered your site this week and tried out the beautiful bread recipe. Now I know why you no longer buy bread. The loaf was lovely and delicious with a light crumb. Great sandwiches and toast with butter and raspberry jam. I forwarded links to friends and family and will be trying many more of your easy and delicious recipes. Kathleen Kennedy, Wimberley, TX”

“My hubby and I make lots of your recipes…this is one of our favorites, your nachos.  Also, don’t know if you are interested but I mentioned you and your “dry rub” on one of my youtube videos a while back…where I made a dry rub for country style ribs…and put a link to your “dry rub” page…over time we ended up changing the dry rub just a little to suit our family, but it’s so fantastic. Anyway, my channel is called UpLiftingHome if you care to see it. Thanks Jenny…we are 2 of your biggest fans of your cooking videos! Carol from UpLiftingHome channel