This photo sent me to the store to buy apples just so I can try this version of my cinnamon rolls. Dalila, who clearly loves baking and has some mad skills, added apples and pecans to my recipe and it looks amazing. “I added some diced apples to the filling and also some pecans,” she wrote. “Topped the apple cinnamon rolls with some more chopped pecans before baking. Talk about a delicious morning treat with my coffee!” Thank you, Dalila, for all of your inspirational and lovely photos.”
A few people shared this concept of lining a square pan with parchment paper by crumpling up the paper into a ball and then pressing it into the pan. I was a little skeptical but decided to try it and and it really works. I always struggled with lining my square pan for granola bars, which I make almost weekly, because you pressed one side down and the other one pulled away. This way is much easier. I don’t know why… it just works. – Jenny Jones
There are always fresh homemade cookies in this house and it’s usually what we have for dessert. Oatmeal cookies are my favorite because oats provide good fiber and even dark chocolate has health benefits, so this is a win-win recipe. There’s no butter in this easy recipe – I use avocado oil instead – but you can use another vegetable oil if you like.
I’m always torn about how long to bake them. The less you bake them the softer they will be but I also like browned edges so I left the baking time open to between 12 and 14 minutes. I also realize that all ovens and baking sheets are different so you can judge the baking time that works for you. Either way it’s a simple recipe for old fashioned oatmeal cookies but with new fashioned dark chocolate chunks. My husband says, “Everything is better with chocolate!” He’s after me for a chocolate meat loaf! I don’t see it happening. Click here for the recipe. (not the chocolate meatloaf, the cookies! 😀) – jenny jones
Here is the whole wheat version of my chewy oatmeal dark chocolate chunk cookies (above). When I can find whole wheat pastry flour I always make them this way. Whole grain cookies make a healthier dessert and these easy cookies are 100% whole grain. The ingredients are basically the same as the white flour version (except for the flour swap) but the technique is as little different – but still very simple. You freeze the dough before baking.
To make these whole wheat chewy oatmeal dark chocolate chunk cookies click here for the recipe. – jenny jones
What are the odds that two people baked their own birthday cakes in July? I chose both their photos to feature this month and get this: One baker is only 10 years old and the other is 74! Lucci from the Philipines, who turned 10 on July 16th, made her own chocolate cake. She said, “It was soo easy. I did one layer, my sister did another layer, my mom frosted the cake, and I piped the borders!!” What a beautiful job she did piping the border, just like a pro.”
The vanilla cake on the right was made by Janice from Michigan, celebrating her 74th birthday on July 8th. “The cake was delicious and I have enjoyed it everyday since making it,” she said. “Every morsel I ate was DELICIOUS.” Janice, I just celebrated my own 74th birthday in June and yes, I baked my own cake too! 🎂 Birthday blessing to you both. ❤️
Here’s another no knead bread that I love. It’s crunchy on the outside and on the inside too! I make it with two kinds of flour (whole wheat and white) and then I add a half cup of cracked wheat to the dough. The result is a fabulous high-fiber bread with a golden crust and a delicious nutty interior with lots of crunch.
Cracked wheat is made by milling raw wheat berries into smaller pieces, preserving the nutrient and fiber rich bran and germ layers. So this delicious loaf has extra fiber and protein, and cracked wheat is also a good source of iron.
If you like hearty, farm-style bread with extra crunch, you will love this recipe. I have never been able to find cracked wheat at the store so I order it online, solely to make this recipe. Cracked wheat is a series of uncooked, hard, dry pieces and looks like this:
I have also made the same recipe with steel-cut oats but it does not have the flavor or texture that this one does. I use the overnight version to allow the uncooked cracked wheat time to soften. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
By popular demand, here is the vanilla version of my hugely popular quick & easy chocolate cake. As simple as the recipe is, it was not easy to get it right. I finally came up with a version that always turns out for me. I know it has a lot of sugar but every time I tried to use less, it did not turn out. With this “wacky” style cake, the sugar is needed for structure.
I also tried different pans, a square 8 x 8 pan and a round 8-inch pan, and was disappointed in both results. A 9-inch pan was the perfect size for a consistent cake. I suggest sticking with the recipe as written and you won’t be disappointed. It’s a light and delicious homemade cake that anyone can make, even amateur cooks. During the coronavirus quarantine, it’s good to have a dessert that does not use eggs, or even butter except for the frosting.
I’ve also just posted my new 2-minute vanilla frosting, made with just 2 tablespoons of butter, although this cake is really good with chocolate frosting too. I usually cool the cake in the pan and only frost the top.
If you plan to remove the cake to a platter, I suggest greasing the pan and lining the bottom with parchment paper. You can buy packages of parchment paper rounds or cut our own. I hope everybody likes this simple yet delicious cake and I’ll be waiting for the first photo! Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL MY HOW-TO TIPS Click here.
Most of us are not grocery shopping as often as we used to and that includes me. I go once a week during the “geezer hour” when they open early for us seniors. So I had to figure out the best way to store my cut fruit and veggies so they would last all week. I always have some crudité on hand as well as cut papaya or melon. I store them in those Glad plastic containers and I noticed that moisture always accumulated inside but on the underside of the lid and moisture is not a friend to cut fruit or vegetables.
I tried lining the container with a paper towel but the moisture still did its damage. Then I tried putting a piece of paper towel or a napkin on top of the fruit to keep the moisture from dripping down on the fruit. Guess what? It works! The paper on top of the cut fruit keeps the excess moisture away and now my cut papaya keeps all week and my crudité of carrot & cucumber slices and cabbage wedges stays fresh twice as long as before. I just wanted to share this tip for everyone else who is eating lots of fruits and veggies. You ARE eating lots of fresh fruit and vegetables, right? What was that? “I try…???” Don’t get me started! 😠
Fresh fruit and vegetables are the lifeline to good health. 🍏🍒🥕🥦 So here’s a new rule: You can’t make any of my breads until you’ve had some fruit and veggies. Don’t make me come over there! 😀
FOR A COMPLETE LIST OF ALL MY HOW-TO TIPS Click here.
I was so happy to see this photo of my hot dog buns the day after I posted the recipe. Terri from Nevada made them because she said her husband was grilling up some brats. I could almost smell them over here! 🌭 Terri said she needed to work on the shaping but I say, “who cares?” They look perfect to me! I chose this photo to remind everyone that cooking and baking from the heart is what matters. If you put these beautiful buns next to a package of store bought buns, which ones do you think everyone would take? I know, right? 😋