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Sep 4, 2018

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If you tried to send a photo and were not successful, that feature appears to be down. We are working on it so please save your photo and try again later when I update this post. I love receiving your pictures and wondered why nobody sent one lately. Thanks for your patience.

Aug 30, 2018

Carrot Cake with Chocolate Frosting? Yes!

Carrot Cake with 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

Soft Taco CasseroleNEW RECIPE: There 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 after coating the bottom of the pan with a little bean liquid:

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

Chocolate Chip Cookies from ScratchI 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

Aug 1, 2018

Thanks for Your Photos! (August)

It really makes my day when someone take time to send a photo of one of my recipes, and it’s always nice if they say where they’re from. Please send your photo to: YourPhotos@JennyCanCook.com

EDDY MADE MY BEEF STEW

“My first old-school Beef Stew. Thank you.”

~ That’s a good looking beef stew. Thanks for the instagram photo. ~ jenny

JOANN MADE MY NO KNEAD BREAD

“Sent from my iphone.”

~ That’s a beautiful, cracked crust – the best kind. Thank you! ~ jenny

DALILA MADE MY CHOCOLATE-DIPPED COCONUT MACAROONS

“Hi Jenny! 🌼 I happen to enjoy coconut like crazy, so I made your CHOCOLATE-DIPPED COCONUT MACAROONS. The first thing I really liked about this recipe was the number of ingredients I needed, only 5 ingredients. I did add almonds to my macaroons, so 6 ingredients for me. Still, not bad, I was done combining everything in no time at all. I used my small cookie scoop to form my macaroons. The texture was so good, nice and moist with a good chew to them. You definitely know your sweets…..YAY YOU!! 👌 This recipe is a keeper, it’s nice and easy with limited ingredients. But mainly because these macaroons taste great! Happy Baking! 😊”

~ Thank you for another lovely photo. They turned out perfectly. ~ jenny

DARNY MADE MY NO KNEAD BREAD

“Thank you for sharing this simple recipe..this is the very first bread i learned how to make,and because of this i began to bake more different kinds of bread and pastries ,you inspired me,and made a baker out of me..thank you..this is my husband’s and my kids favorite bread by the way.”

~ The bread looks fab and so does your little Italian chef. I’m happy to have been an inspiration. Thank you. ~ jenny

Jul 28, 2018

One Pan Spaghetti, Spinach & Meat Sauce

One Pan Pasta Veggie Meat SauceI’m loving my one pan meals because they are easier, faster, and there’s less cleanup. And when things all cook together, they just taste better. This  quick and easy recipe for pasta, meat sauce, and spinach only takes 30 minutes, including prep. That’s because I use store-bought jarred marinara sauce.

Quality matter when you buy prepared products so try to find the best quality sauce you can, especially one made with Italian plum tomatoes. I use Silver Palate Low Sodium Marinara Sauce and I always use fresh baby spinach – a whole 5 ounce package. It’s a tight squeeze adding that much spinach on top of the sauce and I can do it in my 11-inch skillet because it has a domed lid, but you can also use a larger pot.

One issue with cooking spaghetti in sauce is the spaghetti tends to stick together. That’s why regular stirring is important and I find the best tool for that is a large fork. Using a fork to twist and turn the pasta helps a lot to keep it from sticking, but make sure it’s not metal if your pan in non-stick. I use my giant silicone fork for stirring.

Three things to remember with this recipe:

1) Keep the sauce boiling the whole time but not too high or you’ll cook off too much liquid. If that happens, just add a little more water. Once the pasta is added, I start off on medium heat and as it cooks down, I gradually reduce the heat to low.

2) To keep the spaghetti strands from sticking together, regular stirring is important and you can use tongs but a fork is a better choice. Once the spaghetti starts to soften, I twist and turn the spaghetti every 2 minutes and mine never sticks together.

3) It makes great leftovers. You can reheat it a pot or pan, with a little added water to keep it moist, cover and reheat over low heat, stirring a few times. You can also drop in some more spinach, which will wilt nicely as you heat and stir.

This is a comfort food meal and at my house, every meal has to have at least one vegetable so it’s a win-win. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jul 22, 2018

Sunday Breakfast

I want to remind everyone how easy it is to make pancakes from scratch. How easy? Twelve minutes. Yes, it takes just 12 minutes to make my whole grain oatmeal pancakes. It was our Sunday breakfast, served with a little butter and a lot of real maple syrup.

These easy, healthy pancakes are made with buttermilk, oats, and whole wheat pastry flour so they are 100% whole grain. Buttermilk really makes the best pancakes! My usual breakfast is a hard-boiled egg, a slice of my homemade bread, a little fruit, and a cup of tea, but Sunday is the day for special treats – I should have called it Sunday brunch because we didn’t eat until after 11:00.

I found these pretty plates at Walmart so I took a new picture. Next Sunday, or maybe tomorrow, if you want a healthy whole grain breakfast that’s fun and easy, click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jul 22, 2018

Baking Can Be Therapeutic

Baking can be therapeutic. This appeared in Sunday’s St. Croix hurricane report and it looks like my recipes are therapeutic for Isabel, who is staying calm by baking.  Question, though… is it the baking of the cinnamon rolls or the eating of the cinnamon rolls that’s helping take her mind off things?


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Jul 12, 2018

Easy Lemon Blueberry Loaf

Best Lemon Bluebery LoafFresh blueberries and fresh lemon make all the difference in this easy lemon blueberry loaf, but you won’t need any butter. Or even a mixer. It’s really easy to make because you mix everything by hand. Sweet loaves like this often call for buttermilk but a lot of people don’t have it so I use whole milk and I add some lemon juice to the milk, which makes a substitute for buttermilk. But if you have buttermilk, you can use that instead of making your own.

It’s important to zest and squeeze the lemon first, and in that order. Zest it first, then cut and squeeze the juice. You’ll need the juice right away to add to the milk so it can stand as long as possible and get a bit lumpy. Before I start, I always inspect the blueberries and remove any stems and also any berries that are too soft or moldy. Tossing the berries with flour helps keep them from sinking to the bottom during baking, and I find a soft plastic produce bag just right for the job and for less cleanup.

I struggled over how much sugar to use. Naturally, the less the better but some blueberries are not as sweet as others. I tried 3/4 cup, then tried adding one tablespoon, and another time I added 2 tablespoons. This recipe works with any of those amounts so I split the difference and made it 3/4 cup + 1 tablespoon of sugar.

As for the glaze, make as much as you want, as thick as you want. My preference is a thinner glaze that I can brush on the top and sides but you can make it thicker with less lemon juice and drizzle it on the top. This delicious, lightly sweet loaf is best served while still warm. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jun 30, 2018

Easy One Pot Chicken Veggie Pasta

Creamy Chicken Veggie PastaWhy boil and drain pasta when you can cook it right in your sauce? In fact, everything here, the chicken, all these healthy vegetables, the creamy sauce, they all cook in one pot. And get this… 1) easy cleanup… 2) four vegetables in every serving… 3) start-to-finish : 30 minutes!

It’s vital to eat vegetables every day and this easy dinner has broccoli, carrots, peppers, and peas. There are probably more veggies than pasta in this fast and easy dinner but that’s a good thing. The creamy sauce it made with whole milk and a little flour and the result is an awesome healthy dinner that tastes much richer than it is.

My husband calls it Chicken Pot Pie Pasta because it reminds him of my chicken pot pie. I find myself looking for even faster and even healthier meals to cook and this one is going on the top of my list.  To make this fast and healthy chicken veggie pasta, click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

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