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Feb 28, 2019

Oatmeal Fig Bars

Healthy Fig NewtonsAre you getting enough fiber? You will if you make these super high fiber, soft and delicious oatmeal fig bars. I make the crust/topping with oats, whole wheat pastry flour, and vegetable oil (cold pressed avocado oil is my preference). The filling is simply cooked figs with a little added sugar. I have these healthy fig bars for dessert after dinner and after breakfast too. I love them.

The desserts I make the most are always the ones without butter, with whole grains, and with some added health benefits like fruit or chocolate. And these fit the bill.

Figs are loaded with fiber but that’s not all. They also provide a wide range of vitamins and minerals.  If you like fig newtons, these easy homemade bars will taste even better. Doesn’t everything homemade taste better?  Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Feb 20, 2019

Whole Wheat No Knead Bread (updated)

100% Whole Wheat No Knead BreadI found a better way to make my 100% whole wheat no knead bread. I’m using the same ingredients but I recently found that you don’t always need the resting period for no knead breads while the oven heats up so I tried it with this whole wheat version and it turned out great. And it saves time. I plan to experiment with all my other no knead breads and will report back on each one if they are just as good without the resting time.

I get the best result in my 3 1/2-quart Dutch oven so the bread can not spread too much. Keep in mind that this is a heavier, more dense loaf than the original white flour version but if you want an easy, healthy, high fiber bread recipe, this is it. The only difference between this recipe and the old one is that the old one had a 2-hour resting period before baking. So the total time for this recipe just went from 13 hours to 11 (but you’re sleeping most of this time anyway).

For my new and improved, faster 100% whole wheat no knead bread, click here for the recipe.

Feb 18, 2019

Homemade Pierogi

Homemade Pierogi

Quick & easy pierogi? There is no such thing. But if ever a  recipe was worth the time, it’s homemade pierogi. I only make potato & cheese pierogi because that’s what I grew up on. My dad taught me how to make them and I’m so glad I shared the recipe because I wasn’t sure if anyone would want to put in the effort. It turns out a lot of people do. There are hundreds of comments and over a million people have watched the video.

There are two things to make: the dough and the filling. The mashed potato filling is easy to make but the dough takes more time and it’s important that the filling stays inside the dough when they are boiled. Before boiling, the pierogi must be kept apart on a floured towel because if they touch each other they will likely stick and create an opening in the dough. That would result in them breaking apart when they’re boiled. I line a baking sheet with a dish towel and sprinkle it with flour and place them on the towel, not touching.

How To Make PierogiI boil mine in a medium saucepan so I only boil 4 or 5 at a time, making sure at first that they don’t touch each other in the water. Pierogi take about 3-4 minutes to cook and when they’re done I remove them to an oiled baking sheet and put the next few in the boiling water. (By the way, “pierogi” is plural – one is called a “pierog” but people often use “pierogies” as the plural).

Best Polish PierogiOnce they’re cooked I still keep them mostly separated. There are two ways to enjoy these Polish treasures. One is to eat them right after boiling when they are soft and tender, served with sour cream and bacon bits. I rarely eat bacon but that rule goes out the window when I make homemade pierogi.

The other way is to pan fry them in a little oil or butter until they’re lightly browned and serve them with (big surprise…) sour cream and bacon bits. They are also often served with fried onions. Well I have to go now. We have leftovers. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Feb 10, 2019

No Knead Multigrain Bread

Easy Mulitigrain No Knead BreadIt must be Sunday because I’m making my favorite no knead bread, the one I love having for breakfast. This easy mulitgrain loaf has two kinds of fiber, one from the oats and the other from whole wheat flour. Oats have soluble fiber and whole wheat has insoluble fiber, the perfect combination of whole grains. No knead loaves made with whole grains don’t form the lovely cracks we see in the white versions but they still form a beautifully crunchy crust.

This recipe uses the overnight method with cold water so I put it together last night before bed and baked it this morning. I’ll be saving a couple of slices and freezing the remaining slices that will last me all week, and then next Sunday….. well…. I’ll make it again. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Feb 4, 2019

Chicken Veggie Kabobs

Chicken Veggie Skewers OvenFood on a stick is really fun! And easy. And healthy. Mine is made with lean chicken breast, two kinds of peppers, zucchini, and onion, all baked in the oven and it’s delicious. Marinating the chicken is important but my marinade is simple, with just a few ingredients. And I only marinate it while I prep everything else. Then I toss in the veggies just to quickly coat them with the marinade. Soft vegetables like peppers and zucchini are perfect for this quick bake. I tried other vegetables like thinly sliced carrots and halved Brussels sprouts but neither one cooked enough so I suggest sticking with this combo.

I use metal skewers because it’s less work. With wooden ones, they need to be soaked in water before using to keep the wood from burning. Some recipes say to soak for at least 30 minutes while others say overnight but I have never used wood so I can’t say for sure. A few things to note:

  • It’s two skewers per person so try to make them the same so everyone gets served equally.
  • I put the chicken & veggies on a plate only for easier handling & separating as you thread the skewers.
  • It’s best to line your pan with foil, even the edges, because the juices can roll off and burn. I always put parchment paper on top of the foil in case the kabobs stick.
  • Don’t crowd the pieces – it helps them cook faster.
  • Use oven mits because the metal skewers get hot.

My marinade is simple but you can spice yours up any way you like. I always serve this with basmati rice. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Feb 1, 2019

Sharing Your Photos (February)

My thanks to everyone for sharing photos of my recipes, especially when you say where are from. Please send your photo to: YourPhotos@JennyCanCook.com

MELBA MADE MY OATMEAL BANANA BREAKFAST MUFFINS

“Hi, Jenny, your recipes are an inspiration! Thank you!! I hope you don’t mind, I took a chance and made a few tweaks: for topping= Kind Healthy grains cereal-Vanilla Blueberry clusters; for 3/4 c all-purpose flour= 1/4 c King Arthur gluten-free flour, 1/4 c almond flour, 1/4 AP flour, 1 TBSP ground flax seed; for 1/4 c vegetable oil=1/4 c of melted butter; for 1/3 c sugar= 1/3 c real maple syrup, 2 really ripe bananas; for pecans= I sprinkled organic pumpkin seeds over the topping before baking. I was holding my breath. They came out moist, not overly sweet, and delicious. Knowing you are constantly updating your recipes gave me the courage to take a chance. Thank you so much!”

~ I’m glad to know my recipe is so adaptable. Thanks very much. ~ jenny

APRIL MADE MY PACZKI & NO KNEAD BREAD

“Hi Jenny, I have tried 2 of your recopies both have turned out amazing, exactly as you described!! Thank-you for sharing your wonderful talent. I enjoy watching your videos!!!”

~ You’ve been busy! Thank you for taking time to send these great photos. ~ jenny

BUNNY (from Chicago) MADE MY PACZKI

“Hi Jenny, The weather here was awful, but we didn’t care.  Our house was filled with the most wonderful bakery smell thanks to your recipe for delicious baked Paczki.  We didn’t make the custard, choosing to fill our doughnuts with red raspberry preserves.  However, they were SO GOOD!  We will reserve the custard for another day.  Meanwhile, thanks for transforming a cold, dark and blustery day into something special.  What a great family project.”

~ Thank you for your photo. It’s good to hear that this brightened your day. ~ jenny

STEPHEN (from Vancouver, BC Canada) MADE MY MULTIGRAIN NO KNEAD BREAD

“Using the Faster No Knead Bread recipe.”

~ I’m so glad someone else is enjoying my favorite loaf.  Thank you. ~ jenny

BETH MADE MY NO KNEAD BREAD

“This is a photo of the latest quick Dutch oven bread, topped with dried garlic, onion and poppy seeds.”

~ Thank you for your photo. The addition of your toppings looks really good. ~ jenny

D.K. MADE MY SIMPLE WHOLE WHEAT BREAD

“This bread is so easy. I do like to brush some beaten egg and sprinkle with sesame seeds or oats.”

~ I love the oat topping. Thank you for sharing. ~ jenny

VERA MADE MY QUICK & EASY CHOCOLATE CAKE

“Homemade Chocolate Cake late night snack. Thank you Jenny 🙏 God bless you 😇”

~ Thanks for sharing your photo. I just made one myself. ~ jenny

Jan 31, 2019

Healthier Hot Dog Buns

Guess what? You can make healthier hot dog buns at home and it’s super easy. I made soft whole wheat hot dog buns using my Simple Whole Wheat Bread recipe (the popular one that’s soft and delicious and takes 90 minutes) and this takes even less time because they bake in 12 minutes.

Homemade Hot Dog BunsI made the dough and instead of shaping it into a loaf, I cut it into 8 pieces. I decided to make 4 sandwich rolls and 4 hot dog buns so I shaped four into circles and four into about 7-inch long rolls. I covered them with a towel and let them rise in a warm spot until doubled (about 35-40 minutes).

Healthier Hot Dog BunsHere’s how beautifully they doubled in size.

Whole Wheat Hot Dog Buns

Then I baked them for 12 minutes at 375° F. If you want to make easy, soft whole wheat hot dog buns that are healthier than any you can buy, click here for the bread recipe. – Jenny Jones

p.s. For super-soft homemade hot dog buns you can always use my Simple White Bread recipe.

Jan 29, 2019

Make No Knead Bread in LESS THAN 2 HOURS!

Fastest No Knead Bread Ever

GOOD NEWS! There is an even faster way to make my 2-Hour No Knead Bread. Thanks to a comment by fellow baker, Terry, who simply forgot the 15-minute rest, it turns out you can do without it. So the 2-hour recipe now can be made in 1 3/4 hours! When I saw Terry’s comment I immediately tried it myself. And it worked. I just left out the 15-minute rest and took it straight from the mixing bowl after the one-hour rise, folded it over a few times on a floured surface, and placed in on a sheet of parchment paper. I lifted the parchment and dough, placed it in my preheated Dutch oven, and baked as usual. Look at how well it turned out!

Most bread connoisseurs will agree that the longer the dough rests, the better flavor the bread will develop. This is true but some days I want bread and don’t have much time and I thought this loaf tasted really good.  I’m not sure if I should adjust the recipe so in the meantime, here is all you need to do: 1) Preheat your oven 15 minutes earlier. 2) Skip the 15-minute rest before baking.

Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jan 27, 2019

Impossibly Easy Granola

Easiest Recipe Homemade GranolaSunday is when I stock up on my homemade granola. It seems to disappear quickly around here but it’s no problem because this is one of my simplest, easiest recipes. I dump everything onto a baking pan, mix it up with my hands, and bake it. I stir it a couple of times and I like to bake it until it’s really well toasted and brown. I use thick oats or regular rolled oats if it’s all I have, along with lots of nuts, brown sugar, coconut, and real maple syrup, plus as little oil and that’s it. My oil of choice these days is cold pressed avocado oil. When something is this healthy and this easy, there’s no reason to eat the store bought stuff. Homemade always tastes better. Click here for the recipe.

Soft Oatmeal Chocolate Chip CookiesSpeaking of “homemade tastes better” I also stocked up on my soft & chewy oatmeal raisin cookies. Well, they are usually oatmeal raisin cookies but today I “accidentally” mistook my dark chocolate chunks for raisins so I guess I’m stuck with these soft oatmeal dark chocolate chunk cookies. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 😋  Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jan 22, 2019

Pasta Fagioli Soup

NEW RECIPE: It takes less than 30 minutes and just a few basic ingredients to make this easy pasta fagioli soup from scratch. Cannellini beans and ditalini pasta are traditional  for this popular Italian soup. I use canned cannellini beans but I can never find ditalini so I use a different small pasta, DeCecco small elbows (no. 81).

For the tomato, I use Pomi Strained tomatoes that come in a box. Once opened, I freeze 1/2 cup portions specifically to have on hand for this delicious soup. One box gives me six 1/2 cup portions. I also use my own homemade chicken stock (there’s always some in the freezer) but you can use store bought stock.

I thicken the soup by dividing the beans in half and mashing one half with a fork, which takes less than a minute and I focus on the broken ones for mashing (the whole ones look better for serving).

And this is good: You’ll only have one pot to wash. Most recipes cook the pasta separately but I cook mine right in the soup. Prep your vegetables first because this easy recipe  comes together quickly. Sometimes, it’s all I need for a meal – just a big bowl of pasta fagioli and a slice of my crusty bread. If it’s all you’re having, this recipe makes two large servings. Otherwise, it will serve three. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

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