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Mar 27, 2015

Blueberries for Breakfast

Fresh Blueberry Pancakes Recipe

This morning I had blueberries for breakfast. Did I mention they were wrapped in delicious, light, fluffy buttermilk pancakes? Making pancakes from scratch is one of the easiest things to do. Honestly, it takes five minutes to put the batter together – it’s basically  just flour, buttermilk and egg with leavening and a little oil. Oh… and blueberries. These blueberry pancakes were so delicious I didn’t even use syrup.

With summer coming it won’t be long before you won’t need a loan application to buy fresh blueberries. In the meantime, these breakfast beauties are really good with diced apple and even plain. Yesterday I made potato pancakes for lunch and I’m keeping the leftovers for tomorrow’s breakfast.

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My mother used to cut potato pancakes into strips and cook them with scrambled eggs. It’s one of my favorite breakfast dishes. So that’s what I cooked today so far. (& yesterday) … just sharing… – Jenny Jones

Mar 23, 2015

Grown Up Mac & Cheese

Healthy Veggie Mac & Cheese Recipe

I LOVE this dish. I’ll say it again. I LOVE this dish!!! It’s easy to make, lower in fat than most, it has four vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, and tomato) and everything is coated in a light creamy, cheesy sauce. It’s mac & cheese for grownups but don’t you think kids would like this too? If they’re picky, use white cauliflower and they’ll never even see it. It’s soft and blends right in with the pasta. If  you make it, let me know if it passes the kid test.

It’s important to do all your prep first because everything cooks quickly. It won’t take long if you buy the already-cut vegetables but I cut all of the veggies myself and I also inspect the baby spinach for any bad leaves or thick stems, which I remove.  The prep includes cutting the vegetables, checking over the spinach, shredding the cheese or slicing it really thin. Hey, you’ll be cutting the cheese!

Speaking of cheese, please don’t buy pre-shredded cheese. It has an additive and will never melt as well as a block of cheese and I always use reduced fat (I use Tilamook brand). With reduced fat cheese and 1% milk, and all these vegetables… somebody needs to make this today. And send me a picture to post. (YourPhotos@JennyCanCook.com).

This recipe is similar to my Quick & Easy Mac & Cheese but with less pasta and added vegetables but it’s still a quick and easy dinner. I wasn’t sure what to call it… veggie mac & cheese or mac & cheese with vegetables or maybe rainbow mac & cheese. I decided on “Grown Up” because we grownups know how important it is to eat vegetables at every meal. And if they’re surrounded by my delicious low fat mac & cheese, it’s a win-win. Click here for the recipe.  – Jenny Jones 

Mar 18, 2015

Apple Pie

Apple pie doesn’t have to be full of butter and shortening to be awesome. My healthier apple pie uses an easy oil crust and I use extra-light olive oil for that. And the filling! OMG, it’s so good!! I use three pounds of granny smith apples with a deep dish pie pan.

Homemade apple pie is something special and I hope my video shows that it’s not hard to make, especially with an oil crust. I used to make pie crusts with shortening and ice water, etc. so forget that method. It’s too much trouble. An oil crust is healthier, way easier, and bakes up beautifully.

So I hope this video gets you to make the ultimate American dessert – apple pie. Once you taste this delicious & healthier pie, you will make it again. I also find it to be a useful negotiating tool. “Honey, I’m thinking about making apple pie today. How is that garage coming along?” Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

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Mar 14, 2015

Chinese Stir-fry

Best Homemade Sweet & Sour Chicken Recipe

Sweet & Sour Chicken is one of my favorite Chinese dishes but I never order it in restaurants because the chicken is always battered and deep fried so I learned to make it myself. And I made some today. There’s just one rule with my sweet & sour chicken… fresh pineapple!

A lot of stores sell pre-cut pineapple so I just bought a small container for my pineapple chicken. I tried making it with canned pineapple but I’d rather make something else than use canned pineapple for this dish. Fresh makes a huge difference.

For the juice, I didn’t want to buy a big bottle of juice so I got a 6-pack of tiny  6-ounce cans and just used one can for the recipe. I needed 1/3 of a cup and I drank the rest. Sweet & sour chicken cooks fast and I served it over sushi rice, which is a sticky rice. In my opinion, this sweet and sour chicken is as good or better than any I’ve had from a restaurant. I also like this meal because it’s delicious and it has lots of antioxidant-rich vegetables and lean protein. The last time I tried sweet & sour chicken at a restaurant, there was literally ONE piece of red pepper (the picture showed lots of red & green peppers). That was the day I decided to make my own, having no idea how easy it really would be. Click here for the recipe.

I also made a loaf of no-knead bread… again. It seems like I make at least one loaf a week.

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I switch around between the original, which I made today, then whole wheat, then fruit & nut or olive. This bread never disappoints and as many loaves as I have made, I’m still amazed every time at this easy, nothing-to-do method for baking bread. Click here for the recipe.

I love bread. If I ever had to be gluten-free I’d be one sad human being! So that’s what I made today. …just sharing… – Jenny Jones

p.s. I am loving all the positive comments and especially the photos I’ve received of my own recipes made by you (wanna see?). I never expected so many people would try my recipes since they are not fancy, and I just want to say thank you for your confidence in me and for taking time to write. – Jenny Jones

Mar 7, 2015

Weekend bread

Jenny's Simple Whole Wheat BreadThis morning I baked my simple whole wheat bread and I forgot just how easy it is. It’s only one rise and the whole thing, start-to-finish, takes just an hour and a half. It’s a soft loaf, perfect for French toast. That’s what I plan to make with it tomorrow. Today I just sliced it while it was still warm and put a little butter on it and had it with scrambled eggs.

I love homemade bread… the smell… and the taste… you just can’t buy it anywhere. I also made homemade tortillas (they disappear quickly around here) and I also worked on my Polish bigos recipe. … just sharing… – Jenny Jones

Mar 6, 2015

Brownies for the weekend

Whole Wheat Brownies Recipe

It’s always good to have something sweet for the weekend (besides my sweet-heart!). He loves my easy chocolate brownies so I made some for the weekend. At the same time, I improved the recipe with a few minor changes, which I have noted on the printable recipe. I followed Lisa’s comment below my recipe and reduced the baking soda for a fudgier brownie. I also doubled the vanilla and reduced the baking time.

I also adjusted some amounts for easier measuring. I realized that 1/3 of a cup is 5 1/3 tablespoons so I changed both the 5 tablespoons of oil and the 6 tablespoons of yogurt to 1/3 of a cup each. It’s much easier to measure and makes no difference in the batter. We both like the new brownie better but the old version is still available too.

This morning I also made my giant breakfast cookies.  Just like my brownies they are 100% whole grain and made without butter.

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I love these breakfast cookies so much I just added them to “My Favorites” category. A lot of times, I also have them for dessert. For dinner I made vegetable fried rice with edamame. So that’s what I cooked today. …just sharing… – Jenny Jones

Mar 3, 2015

Soup for the week

Homemade Vegetable Soup

This is my vitamin pill. I made a big pot of vegetable soup for the week. I used my own chicken stock,  which I had frozen, and added a mountain of vegetables – a total of twelve, I think. The fresh vegetables I used were: carrot, potato, red pepper, zucchini, kale, spinach, napa cabbage, green beans, celery, and broccoli, and I also added frozen peas and corn. Do you see anything in there I missed? The soup is for the week but it will never last that long.

This morning I also made English muffins for breakfast and for dinner, my skinless chicken drumsticks. Oh, I also marinated some beets (my beet salad) for dinner but I’ve been snacking on them all day. My favorite thing to do is spend all day in the kitchen. …just sharing… – Jenny Jones

Feb 27, 2015

Crispy Apple Tart

Crispy Apple Tart Recipe

This apple tart is pretty easy to make and it’s delicious! Not to mention it looks amazing. If you like things not too sweet you will love this crispy fruit tart. I make it with my easy oil crust, no butter, and very little sugar. I’ve tried it with different apples but granny smiths work the best. They are firm and easy to slice thinly. It takes three or four really big apples, about 1/2 pound each (I prefer four), and the glaze is just some apricot jam that’s warmed up a bit. I use St. Dalfour brand.

Most tarts use a crust with shortening or butter but mine is a much easier oil crust made with avocado oil but you can any flavorless vegetable oil of your choice.  You could actually press the entire crust into your pan but it’s hard to get an even thickness so I roll it between wax paper. Then it almost fits the pan and you can press it a little towards the edges and basically “cut & paste” the crust together. Try not to have any holes or cracks and also keep it inside the rim or it can burn. As it is, the edge of the crust gets really dark but it’s super crispy and delicious.

I make this tart in a 12-inch pizza pan and I have also used a pizza pan with holes and that works well too. Here it is right before baking:

Best Apple Tart RecipeI love this healthy dessert. Make it for a party and call it apple pizza. One thing about serving: The apples are cooked and soft so the best way to slice the tart is with a long knife using a rolling motion. The soft apples will try to stick to the knife so keep an eye on them. I tried using a pizza cutter (the wheel thingy?) – bad idea. It took some of the apples with it.

Be sure to slice the apples nice and thin – 1/8-inch thick. As for how to place the slices, be creative. I always do the perimeter first but you can do your own thing. I also tried making the crust using whole wheat flour but it would not come out crisp so all-purpose is the flour to use. Hey, the apples have fiber! ? Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Feb 26, 2015

I updated my breakfast brownies

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I made my breakfast brownies today and decided they could be better. So I made a second batch with a little more sugar, a little less cereal, and I added another egg and liked it better.  I adjusted the printable recipe accordingly but you can always get the old version at the bottom of the recipe. If you need extra fiber, there’s a ton in these chewy breakfast brownies.

Like most cooks, I’m always trying new things with my recipes, looking to see if I can make something better or easier or healthier. I also made potato soup today and I plan to post the recipe soon.

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It’s cold here in California – down into the 60s! 😉 I know. It’s into the zeros in other places! I’m sorry. That’s why I made soup today, getting ready to post my recipe for everyone in the Boston area, where they’re getting record snow this week. So that’s what I cooked today. … just sharing… – Jenny Jones