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Nov 12, 2018

I Made Ribs

Best Baby Back Oven RibsI made ribs this weekend with my own rub and sauce and I can see why the video has 5 million views and 35,000 comments on youtube and why my recipe has garnered over 800 comments here on this website. They are fantastic! I always make them in the oven now because I don’t like cleaning the grill. And this time I couldn’t find the silver skin on the back to remove and they were still just as tender as ever.

In case anyone has not tried this easy, foolproof way to make the most delicious fall-off-the-bone-ribs, try this recipe. Use my rub and sauce and you won’t be disappointed.

I went to bed early last night, planning to have the leftovers for dinner tonight but this morning, two of the ribs are missing. Apparently, my husband decided he needed a midnight snack. ? Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Nov 4, 2018

Custard Filled Pączki – Polish Doughnuts

Custard Filled Polish PaczkiSomebody please stop me from eating five! These oven-baked Polish doughnuts are so light and so delicious and filled with homemade custard, well….. I can only make these a few times a year. It’s too easy to eat five. Pączki are most often filled with jam but custard is my favorite by far. These Polish doughnuts are light and airy and really simple to make.

Filling them is the hardest part and a pastry bag does make it easy. I used to use a long, slender pastry tip but I find it easier to use a wider tip, something like these:

Pączki are traditionally fried but I avoid eating deep fried food – nobody needs that. Besides, I could never eat five fried doughnuts without requiring medical care. Oven-baked is the way to go. Fill them with jam or custard. Either way you will love these delicious pączki (pronounced potnch-kee). Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Oct 26, 2018

One Pan Spaghetti with Beets

Spaghetti With BeetsLook at this beautiful spaghetti! It’s not just beautiful but it’s delicious and healthy too, full of brain boosting beets. And wait until you see how easy this pasta dish is. Everything cooks in one pan. No draining the spaghetti and no extra pots to wash. I am loving my new one-pan and one-pot recipes and this one makes a dramatic presentation. (anyone thinking Christmas?)

The ingredients are so simple: garlic, beets, spaghetti, and Parmesan cheese. You’ll need a pan at least 8 inches across so the spaghetti can fit, but you still have to break the spaghetti in half. These days, whenever I sauté garlic, I add it before the oil gets hot. This way there is no chance it can burn and the garlic flavor infuses the oil as well.

Beets are red… very red. Do not wear white clothing when handling beets and remember they can also stain white or wood utensils. I use the big holes on a box grater like this to shred the beets:Beets are full of fiber and nutrients and are good for lowering blood pressure, reducing inflammation, supporting brain health, and they have anti-cancer properties. So besides the stunning presentation, there are may reasons to make this easy and healthy side dish. Keep in mind it’s important to stir the spaghetti well and often so it doesn’t stick.  Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Oct 15, 2018

I Made Apple Pie

Best Apple Pie Oil Crust

Autumn is here and that means it’s apple pie time. I always make it with an oil crust because if nothing else, it’s just easier. You can pat it into the pan but I find that rolling it between sheets of wax paper is the best way to use an oil crust, especially for the top. My apples of choice are granny smith ? and my thickener of choice is tapioca but flour works too.

Homemade apple pie is something special. We were at a social gathering last night and when desserts were set out, I told some friends I had just made an apple pie and it was cooling on the counter at home. If they wanted to, we could skip the prepared desserts and go to my house for apple pie. “Homemade apple pie? Let’s go!”

That’s the power of homemade apple pie. My husband’s two favorite desserts are my Fresh Strawberry Cake and Homemade Apple Pie. Nothing compares. I love this delicious pie and I must admit I like the power. I think I hear him in the garage right now cleaning things up. ? Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Oct 13, 2018

One Bowl Chocolate Chip Loaf Cake

My favorite desserts are something a little sweet, and that is why I created this simple loaf cake.  It’s easy to put together (I like that) with barely any cleanup (LOVE that), and it’s not too sweet so I don’t feel guilty if I have a little piece after breakfast. I still prefer baking without butter and I always prefer easy recipes so this one is perfect. It’s a moist tender cake and so delicious I never seem to have any leftovers.

If you don’t have a mixer, you can make this recipe by hand. Just sift all the dry ingredients, including sugar, into a bowl, make a well, stir in the liquids, and proceed. It won’t be quite as tall but still very delicious – a bit more like a pound cake. As for the chocolate chips, I use dark chocolate chips but I also like to use part chocolate chips and part chunks of a dark chocolate bar, somewhere in the 63 to 70% cocoa range. I just chop it up into small chunks.

And I’ll say it again: toast  your nuts before baking with them and you will see a big difference in the flavor, especially with pecans, my favorite baking nuts. If you like sweets that are not too sweet, easy to make, and even easier to eat, you will love this easy loaf cake. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Sep 23, 2018

Sunday Dinner

Easy Spaghetti and Meat SauceI wanted something easy to make for dinner so I picked my 30-minute spaghetti with meat sauce and spinach. It’s a complete meal and it all cooks in one pot. Yes. The spaghetti cooks in the sauce along with the beef and spinach. I love that it makes a thick, meaty and delicious spaghetti and the spinach adds lots of nutrition. The recipe calls for 5 ounces of spinach but if I can cram a little more under the lid I always do because it looks like a lot, but spinach cooks down so much it almost disappears – not a bad thing for those who are not fans of this nutritious green. I have made it with baby spinach and also regular spinach, whichever one looks fresher in the package. I love this easy dinner. I went back for two more helpings, it’s that good. Click here for the recipe.

Healthy Cinnamon RollsOh, and I made cinnamon rolls with breakfast. Notice I say “with” and not “for.” That’s because cinnamon rolls FOR breakfast is a no-no. But once you have your eggs and whole grain toast and a little fruit, you’re allowed to have a cinnamon roll. At least that’s the rule around here because it’s my kitchen and I am in charge! ? This is an easy one-rise recipe that I make without butter but you can use butter in the filling if you like. It’s one of my most popular recipes. Click here for my cinnamon rolls recipe. – Jenny Jones

Sep 5, 2018

Easy Multigrain Artisan Bread

Multigrain No Knead BreadI never knew such a healthy, hearty bread could be so good and so easy to make. It’s probably the no knead bread I make the most because it’s just so easy. I haven’t bought bread in years. All of the bread recipes I post here are ones I make at home and it’s usually the Dutch oven breads because they are so easy to put together.

The prep is barely 5 minutes as you just combine the oats and flour(s) with yeast, salt, and water in a bowl. You cover the dough and let it rest overnight and the next day you fold the dough over a few times, let it rest a while, and bake in a Dutch oven. It’s foolproof. And you get a hearty, crusty loaf of bread you could never buy anywhere that’s so fresh and delicious. This multigrain no knead loaf is usually part of my breakfast and I also love it with a bowl of vegetable soup.

I started the dough last night but I was impatient this morning and didn’t wait the full 2 hours before baking. It was actually 1 hour and 15 minutes so I saved 45 minutes off the resting time. I will try it again with the shorter resting time and if it works once more (and was not a flook) I will adjust the recipe so you can make it faster. To try my multigrain no knead artisan bread, click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Aug 30, 2018

Carrot Cake with Chocolate Frosting? Yes!

Carrot Cake Chocolate FrostingI didn’t have any cream cheese. But I wanted carrot cake. My husband said, “How about your chocolate frosting?” (He loves chocolate!) Once I stopped laughing, I decided to make my whole wheat carrot cake with chocolate frosting, knowing once he had a taste, he would agree to never make a baking suggestion again. Well after I ate some of the cake, I had to eat crow. It was delicious!

Homemade carrot cake is a real treat and worth the effort of shredding a big carrot. I’ve simplified my recipe so it works with or without crushed pineapple and this time I didn’t have pineapple either and this cake is really delicious without it, especially with chocolate frosting. I used my 2-Minute Chocolate Frosting and frosted only the top of my cake right in the pan.

Mine is a healthier whole wheat carrot cake make without butter so the only butter here is in the frosting. I sometimes double the frosting, split the cake and make it a 2-layer treat. If you want to try something different and delicious, make homemade carrot cake with chocolate frosting, or use the traditional cream cheese topping.  Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Aug 26, 2018

Quick & Easy Taco Casserole

Healthy Mexican CasseroleThere are lots of Mexican restaurants here in Southern California and I love Mexican food but I don’t always feel good after eating it. And tacos are my favorite so I decided to create something of my own that’s healthy, low fat, easy to serve, and really good! Most taco casseroles use tortillas chips but corn tortillas are a healthier choice and they make a taco casserole that’s soft and with more flavor than using tortilla chips. This easy dinner is high in fiber and protein. it has two vegetables, and it’s gluten free.

Quality matters so look for corn tortillas with the shortest ingredient list and not too much salt. I always look for low sodium products including the pinto beans (I use S&W brand). You can always add salt later or even some cayenne pepper if you like it spicy. And do not use pre-shredded cheese because it won’t melt like freshly shredded cheese. And when drizzling the bean liquid be sure to get the edges.

It’s really easy to put this delicious casserole together in layers and and it’s never dry because I reserve the liquid from the drained beans and pour some over each layer. Depending on the brand, I sometimes get 3/4 of a cup of liquid and other times it’s only 1/4 cup so I just add water to bring it up to one cup. Here’s how I layer it:

3 Tortillas + Meat + Drained Beans + Bean Liquid + Cheese. Repeat this two more times to make 3 layers and then add remaining 3 tortillas on top. I like to tear and scatter them over the top in smaller pieces for easy serving. (It’s okay to have some openings in the tortilla layers).

You can serve this taco casserole two ways: Either top it with the shredded lettuce and tomatoes or serve them on the side. It’s fun for everyone to put on as much as they want and you can even use some chopped white onion as an extra topping, or even some sliced jalapeno peppers.

If you like soft tacos and fun, easy family meals, you will love this easy taco casserole. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Aug 7, 2018

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Healthier Chocolate Chip CookiesI always look for a healthier way to make all the favorite things we like to eat and chocolate chip cookies are at the top of my “favorite things to eat” list. I posted my recipe some time ago but when I baked them today, I made a couple of small improvements. I reduced the oil and salt a little and I prefer them the new way. (the changes are noted in the recipe).

Anyone looking to bake with whole grains can make my version that uses part whole wheat & part all purpose flour. But these healthier cookies can also be made using only all purpose flour but honestly, there’s not much difference so I say go with the whole wheat version.

While most chocolate chip cookie recipes start out with a stick of butter, my recipe uses only three tablespoons of butter. I’m still not convinced we should be eating lots of butter as some people believe but when I use butter, I’m going with the grass-fed kind.

I always put nuts in these cookies and whether you use walnuts or pecans, I highly recommend toasting the nuts first. Toasting intensifies the flavor and it will add a lot to these delicious cookies, especially pecans. For chocolate chips, the darker the better for some health benefits.

To try my whole wheat dark chocolate chip cookies, just click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones