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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-soupTo 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

ChristmasBreadSlice_600This 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: YourPhotos@JennyCanCook.com

TERRY MADE MY EASY PAN PIZZA
“It was a keeper. Thanks Jenny.”
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RHONDA MADE MY CORN CHOWDER
“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 :)”
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MARCIA MADE MY PIEROGI
“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.”
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MS. FABULOUS MADE MY APPLE BROWNIES
“Just made this and my home has the scent of cinnamon and apples, yum!  They are delicious …..so easy amd figure friendly!  Thanks so much!”
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SAMMIE MADE MY BEEF STEW
“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!”
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ANTONIA MADE MY SPAGHETTI WITH CHARD & VEGETABLE PASTA
“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
MARIANNE MADE MY PACZKI
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PAULINE MADE MY LEMON BROWNIES
“These are so good & the frosting is amazing with no added butter. Pauline.”
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RYAN MADE MY PAN PIZZA
“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.”
Ryan
ALISSA MADE MY CINNAMON ROLLS & RED VELVET CUPCAKES
“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.”
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LOI MADE MY CABBAGE ROLLS
“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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KEVIN MADE MY BEEF STEW
“Thanks for this recipe Jenny. It’s terrific (especially with homemade bread).”
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PAULINE MADE MY TURKEY CHILI
“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!”
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SILVIA MADE MY MAKOWIEC & EASY BROWNIES
“Hi Jenny, I made your makowiec and easy brownies. They were scrumptious :-D Best regards, Silvia”
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KATHLEEN MADE MY SIMPLE WHOLE WHEAT BREAD
“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”
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CAROL MADE MY NACHOS
“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
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Nov 25, 2014

Be part of my scrapbook

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My recipes have gone international! I never expected that my recipes would be seen by people all over the world. I love it! You’re all seeing ME so now… I want to see YOU! I’m looking for pictures of my website visitors, and pictures of any of my recipes you’ve made. Nothing elaborate – just a snapshot will be welcome. The food doesn’t have to be fancy… and neither do you. Maybe I’ll post a picture of me in the kitchen when I’m not shooting a video! 🙂

I’ve had visitors here from over 170 countries. Who knew there even WERE 170 countries?! I can’t believe it! Look at the list…

Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, Singapore, Malaysia, New Zealand, Philippines, Germany, South Africa, South Africa, India, India, Indonesia, United Arab Emirates, Thailand, Brazil, Saudi Arabia, Japan, Ireland, Hong Kong, France, Mexico, Spain, Greece, Sweden, Italy, Pakistan, Israel, Belgium, Norway, Lebanon, Denmark, South Korea, Kuwait, Switzerland, Malta, Austria, Portugal, Trinidad and Tobago, Jordan, Romania, Puerto Rico, Qatar, Turkey, Poland, Taiwan, Egypt, Vietnam, Russia, Costa Rica, Argentina, Kenya, Slovenia, Guam, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Hungary, Latvia, Barbados, Brunei, Finland, Bahamas, Jamaica, Bangladesh, Dominican Republic, Morocco, China, Czech Republic, Colombia, Ecuador, Georgia, Sri Lanka, Nigeria, Chile, Ukraine, Iceland, Oman Estonia, Peru, Bermuda, Lithuania, Venezuela, Bolivia, Serbia, Belize, Ethiopia, Uganda, Bahrain, Iran, Luxembourg, Algeria, Cambodia, Palestine, Uruguay, Zambia, Guatemala, Marshall Islands, Macedonia, Slovakia, Aruba, Panama, Tanzania, U.S. Virgin Islands, Botswana, Fiji, Grenada, Iraq, Macau, Mauritius, Namibia, Tunisia, Albania, Gibraltar, Cayman Islands, Mongolia, Nepal, Suriname, St. Vincent & Grenadines, British Virgin Islands, Honduras, Myanmar, Northern Mariana Islands, Maldives, El Salvador, Antigua and Barbuda, Ghana, Saint Lucia, Malawi, Kosovo, Cape Verde, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Kazakhstan, Syria, Zimbabwe, Angola, Mozambique, Papua New Guinea, Caribbean Netherlands, Bhutan, Belarus, Guernsey, Greenland, Guadeloupe, Haiti, Norfolk Island, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Solomon Islands, Senegal, Anguilla, Armenia, American Samoa, Curaçao, Dominica, Faroe Islands, Jersey, Libya, Martinique, Réunion, Rwanda, Seychelles, St. Maarten, Swaziland, Turks and Caicos Islands, Togo, Vanuatu, Yemen.

I’m honored that so many people like my cooking and especially when you send in a photo of one of my recipes that you made. I love seeing those pictures and I know it helps other home cooks see how things will turn out. And I would love to see pictures of you too. Who are you? Where are you from? What did you make? How did it turn out?

Please send your picture to: YourPhotos@JennyCanCook.com

UPDATE: While we build the new scrapbook, some photos will be posted below….

“Hi Jenny from Palm Desert, Ca – love your videos and your simple recipes. I use to watch you when you were on tv. Always wondered what happened to you until I found your website. love you and thanks for sharing!  Paula Rose” 
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“Hi Jenny, I was so happy to find your videos on YouTube and now your web site. I just  discovered the no knead technique (I am not very techy and not computer literate) and then your faster way to make bread. As you can see, it turned out beautifully! Thank you for sharing your love of cooking and your  sense of humor. You have inspired thousands of people to get into the kitchen and make some good ,healthy food.  The picture of me was taken last year with my beloved Lhasa Apso, Yoda Cassanova. He died in August and I kind have been cooking a lot to get through my sadness. Blessings to you, Terry Flagg”

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“Hi Jenny, Here is a photo of me – Paula from Brussels, Belgium. Just love your blog and especially the videos. Best wishes and take care. Paula”

Paula

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” Jenny, I’m from central Minnesota.  I love your YouTube videos and your blog.  I made Pierogi thanks to your helpful tips and also golumpki.   I also cook outdoors in most any kind of weather.” ~ Tom Schutta

IMG_4087 copy Tom Schutta made my pierogi.
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Nov 18, 2014

No Knead Fruit & Nut Bread

Fruit&NutBread_600I love it! I love it! I love it! I’m having so much fun with my no knead breads. I started with the plain one, then I made my 100% whole wheat version. Not long after I did it with kalamata olives and now this! The idea came to me during our trip to Vancouver. We had a fabulous brunch at the hotel and they had a whole wheat fruit & nut loaf that looked so good. Did I mention that I’m a bread person? So I tried a slice and it was fabulous. A few minutes later I went back for more and it was gone! All that was left was the tiny heels… but I took them anyway. Everybody loved this bread. I wondered right away if I could make it at home and would it work with my no knead recipe?

The answer is yes. I made it a few times and had to take a break because I kept eating it – I could not stop myself. Fruit and nut bread is such a great combo, especially for breakfast. So here are some things to know:

  • The oven is very hot and sugar burns easily. The first time I made it, the crust was almost burned so I had a better result with a slightly reduced temperature. I still preheat the Dutch oven to the usual 450 degrees F to get the initial blast of heat but as soon as the bread goes in, I reduce the temperature to 400.
  • If your Dutch oven will fit, raise your oven rack up one notch to lift the bottom of the pot farther away from the heat. But put it back to the center for the last 10 minutes when the lid is off.
  • You can also start the dough the night before but using cold water and let the covered mixture stand on the counter top (not in a warm spot) overnight from 8 to 24 hours, and then shape it in the morning and continue.

I  make mine with half and half whole wheat and bread flour. I do recommend bread flour but you can use all purpose flour with the whole wheat. This half and half flour mixture ensures a soft loaf but a healthier one with the added fiber. I tried using all whole wheat flour with this sweet loaf but it didn’t work for me. It’s so simple, you just dump everything into a bowl, the flours, walnuts, raisins, sugar, salt, and yeast, and add water.

If you’re a bread person like me, you will love this delicious fruit & nut bread. But you may have to challenge yourself to not eat it all in one day. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Nov 12, 2014

Pumpkin Pie – Healthier & Easier

You’re about to be surprised at how easy it is to make homemade pumpkin pie from scratch…. a really good pumpkin pie, too. Did I mention that mine is healthier since it has no butter or cream anywhere and the crust is made with olive oil? And it’s delicious!

The filling is so simple with only four ingredients plus the spices. I use canned pumpkin and canned milk. Where other recipes use cream or condensed milk, I use 2% reduced fat condensed milk. And if you’re considering using fresh pumpkin you should know that canned pumpkin has more vitamin A than fresh and all you have to do is open a can. I’m all about using fresh ingredients but not with pumpkin. Have you ever tried to cut one up for cooking? If you accomplish that, you can skip the gym that day.

I’ve struggled for years with pie crusts, trying to avoid shortening but butter was the only replacement and I didn’t want all that saturated fat. Then I discovered oil pie crusts. They are so easy, so quick, and hard to mess up. This is a healthier pie crust because I use heart-healthy extra light olive oil and it could not be an easier. It’s the same crust I use in my apple pie, chicken pot pie, and apple pie bars. It’s the only crust I ever use.

When a pumpkin pie comes out of the oven, the smell of those wonderful spices is intoxicating. I use cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and cloves but I prefer Saigon cinnamon over the more common Ceylon cinnamon. The difference in flavor is huge so if you can find Saigon cinnamon (my brand is Spice Islands), it is a more fragrant and potent cinnamon.

spice-island-cinnamon

Don’t be intimidated by homemade pie. Try my easy recipe for a healthier, easier pumpkin pie. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

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