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Aug 12, 2014

Turkey Breakfast Patties

Turkey Apple Breakfast Patties

Five ingredients is all you need to make these simple, easy turkey-apple breakfast patties… and about 15 minutes. In fact, you’ll barely have enough time to scramble some eggs. Okay, I admit it. I like breakfast sausage but I haven’t had it in years. There’s this thing I have about eating healthy. I love the smell and flavor of traditional breakfast links but not all the fat that’s in there. I’m very excited that I can enjoy a healthier breakfast sausage. (patty, actually – unless you have a sausage maker and some casing!) If you’re wondering about using white ground turkey breast, I tried it and it’s just too dry but here’s the good news – dark meat is nutritionally superior to white meat. Look at this:

  • Calories: White meat = 161 calories. Dark meat = 192 calories.
  • Fat: White meat = 4 grams. Dark meat = 8 grams.
  • Protein: White meat = 30 grams. Dark meat = 28 grams.
  • Iron: White meat = 1.57 mg. Dark meat = 2.4 mg.
  • Zinc: White meat = 2.08 mg. Dark meat = 4.3 mg.
  • Thiamine: White meat = .04 mg. Dark meat = .05 mg.
  • Riboflavin: White meat = .13 mg. Dark meat = .24 mg.
  • Selenium: White meat = 32.10 mcg.  Dark meat = 40.90 mcg.
  • Folate: White meat = .01 mcg. Dark meat = 10 mcg.

So don’t skip breakfast. Turkey sausage and eggs is full of protein and with a slice of whole grain bread, it’ll keep you going for hours. How about making your own breakfast sandwich with a whole grain english muffin, a fried egg, and a turkey patty. Note to self: Add that to my bucket list. To try my easy, healthy turkey breakfast patties, click here for the recipe.

Aug 12, 2014

How To Measure Ingredients

Professional bakers generally weigh ingredients but I don’t consider that practical so I do what I think most of us do, which is use measuring cups and spoons. Measuring liquids is pretty simple and requires a glass or plastic cup with markings that should be viewed at eye level, but dry ingredients are where recipes are affected the most. The proper way to measure flour is to first stir the flour in its container in case it has settled too much and become compacted. Then you are supposed to spoon it into your dry (stackable) measuring cup. Since I bake so much I keep my flour in a covered container but I always stir it first before measuring. My method is “dip and level” meaning that after I stir the flour around in the container, I dip my measuring cup into the  flour, do not tap or shake the cup, and then I level off the top with a knife. I dip and level with sugar also but it does not tend to settle as much as flour. With small dry ingredients like spices, baking powder, etc. I just dip in the measuring spoon, scoop it up and then level off with a knife. I think most failures in baking happen by not stirring and aerating the flour first.

Here’s some advice I have based on some mistakes I have made:

1) Never measure liquid things like vanilla or oil in a measuring spoon over the bowl you’re working in – it can easily spill over into your bowl and there’s no way to fix it.

2) Never break an egg directly into a batter but always into a small bowl or cup first. You’d be surprised how often you’ll find a piece of egg shell.

3) When baking with cocoa powder sift it together with the other dry ingredients because it’s not always easy to incorporate it later.

I also found a couple of helpful links below…

http://allrecipes.com/video/30/how-to-measure-ingredients/detail.aspx

http://sallysbakingaddiction.com/measuring-101/

Aug 9, 2014

Recipe Changes/Fixes

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Like most cooks I am always working on my recipes by either improving, simplifying, correcting, or just clarifying. So…. I MADE THE FOLLOWING CHANGES TO MY RECIPES:

Pumpkin Pie (Nov. 26, 2020) – Increased crust ingredients back to original amounts so there is more crust to work with.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (Nov. 7, 2020) – Eliminated whole wheat pastry flour as it is hard to find during the pandemic. Recipe now uses only all purpose flour with the option to sub some for the pastry flour.

No Knead Greek Olive Bread (Sept. 14, 2020) – Shortened the resting time from 2 hours to one hour.

Lemon Blueberry Muffins (Aug. 23, 2020) – Eliminated whole wheat pastry flour and made it 100% all purpose flour with the option of using whole wheat. Due to the pandemic, whole wheat pastry flour is almost impossible to find. I also included the lemon zest with the dry ingredients instead of the liquid but either way is fine.

Cracked Wheat No Knead Bread (Aug. 16, 2020) – Increased yeast from 1/4 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon.

One Pan Broccoli Bean Pasta (Aug. 9, 2020) – Added 1/2 cup water + 2 teaspoons of flour for a creamier dish.

Apple Cake (Aug. 4, 2020) – Changed the flour to 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour only with the option of using 3/4 cup all purpose with 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour.

Carrot Cake (June 14, 2020) – Changed the flour to 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour only with the option of using 3/4 cup all purpose with 3/4 cup whole wheat pastry flour.

Apple Pie Bars (June 10, 2020) – Clarified to slice apples into 1/2 to 3/4-inch slices rather than large chunks.

Kitchen Sink Cookies (June 5, 2020) – Corrected my mistake in too little oil. Adjusted oil from 1/3 cup to 1/2 cup and raised oven temperature from 350 to 375F.

Apple Pie (May 23, 2020) – Changed size of apples from 1-inch to 3/4 to 1-inch size, thinking a little smaller is better for Granny Smith apples to cook all the way.

Blondies (May 10, 2020) – Simplified the process, increased vanilla from 1 1/2 to 2 teaspoons and changed chocolate chips to chocolate chunks.

Quick & Easy Taco Casserole (April 4, 2020) – Eliminated the step of putting liquid in the bottom of the pan before adding layers.

Crispy Apple Tart (March 14, 2020) – Increased number of apples (was 3) to 3 or 4 apples as I now make it using 4. Reduced apricot glaze from 1/3 cup to 3 tablespoons, and indicated to grease the pan as it helps to brown the bottom.

Sweet Potato Chocolate Cake (Feb, 28, 2020) – Reduced prep time from 25 to 20 minutes, indicated to either boil or steam the sweet potato.

Best Meatloaf Ever (Feb, 16, 2020) – The original recipe is unchanged, but on the smaller one pound version that’s available at the bottom of the original recipe, I changed the milk quantity from 1/3 cup to 1/4 cup.

10 Grain No Knead Bread (Jan. 31, 2020) – Eliminated the step of softening the cereal with boiling water.

Sweet Potato Chocolate Cake (Jan. 09, 2020) – Swapped old frosting with my 2-minute chocolate frosting but I left the option for the old one using sour cream at the bottom.

Canadian Butter Tarts (Jan. 04, 2020) – Updated the recipe: 1) Switched from melted butter to softened butter. 2) Switched from brown sugar to white sugar. 3) Increased oven temperature & reduced baking time.

High Fiber Granola (Sept. 29, 2019) – Revamped the recipe to include flaxseed meal and egg white for more crunch.

Zucchini Chocolate Cake (Sept. 28, 2019) – Indicated you can use half whole wheat pastry flour & half all purpose flour, added the option of using an 8 x 8-inch square pan and reduced the powdered sugar in the frosting from 1 1/2 cups to 1 cup.

Crispy Top Oatmeal Bars (Sept. 14, 2019) – Reduced chocolate chunks from 1/2 cup to 1/3 cup and indicated to keep the oven rack in the middle for broiling, not move it up a notch.

Spicy Mexican Casserole (Aug. 30, 2019) – Reduced measure of Jalapeno peppers to 1/4 cup, removed suggestion of using bell peppers, indicated to drain tomatoes, made Pinto beans optional. Added “Spicy” to the name.

Broccoli Bean Pasta (June 29, 2019) – Changed the method so it all cooks in one pan.

15 Minute Veggie Pasta (June 23, 2019) – Changed the method so it all cooks in one pan.

Wound Healing Soup (June 16, 2019) – Changed serving size from 5-6 servings to 4 servings.

Spaghetti With Chard (April 7, 2019) – Simplified the process to cook all in one pan.

No Knead 100% Whole Wheat Bread (Feb. 20, 2019) – Eliminated the 2-hour resting period.

Polish Doughnuts – Paczki (Nov 4, 2018) – For custard filling, I increased cornstarch from 1 Tbsp to 4 teaspoons.

No Knead Rye Bread (Oct. 24, 2018) – Increased yeast from 1/4 teaspoon to one teaspoon.

Angel Hair Casserole (Aug. 8, 2018) – Reduced sauce cooking time from 10 minutes to 5.

Chocolate Chip Cookies (July 25, 2018) – Reduced oil from 1/4 cup to 3 tablespoons and reduced salt from 1/4 teaspoon to 1/8 teaspoon.

Metric Conversion Chart (May 25, 2018) – Increased flour measurements in grams and ounces after much testing with my scale. One cup of flour was changed from 4 1/4 ounces / 120 grams to 4 1/2 ounces and 130 grams. Flour never measures the same twice so I did the best average I could.

Marble Loaf Cake (May 21, 2018) – Increased oil from 1/3 cup + 1 Tbsp. to 1/2 cup and increased sugar added to cocoa from 1 tablespoon to 2 tablespoons.

Boston Cream Pie (March 24, 2018) – Added salt to the cake recipe and reduced vanilla in glaze from 1/2 to 1/4 tsp. Also, eliminated 8-inch round so you only use a 9-inch round pan.

Chocolate Chip Coffee Cake (March 10, 2018) – Increased salt from 1/8 tsp to 1/4 tsp.

Skinless Chicken Drumsticks (March 10, 2018) – Reduced sugar in marinade from 2 Tbsp to 1 Tbsp.

Blueberry Coffee Cake (March 4, 2018) – Eliminated using 8-inch round pan, only use 9-inch. Eliminated tossing berries with flour before adding, unless berries are wet.

Oven-Baked Chicken Parmesan (March 1, 2018) – Eliminated salt & pepper from flour mixture and sprinkled the cutlets with salt & pepper instead. Now instead of two egg whites, you can choose to use one egg. Eliminated parsley from the breadcrumb mixture and you can sprinkle it on just before serving.

Cinnamon Puffs (Feb. 12, 2018) – Added option of using whole wheat pastry flour, reduced baking powder to 1 tsp. and baking soda to 1/4 tsp. Replaced nutmeg with cinnamon in the batter.

Christmas Sugar Cookies (Dec. 16, 2017) – Simplified process. Eliminated milk. Added how to make them whole wheat.

Simple Bread Stuffing (Nov. 22, 2017) – For drying bread cubes, reduced time in turned off oven from 1 hour to 15 minutes.

Pumpkin Pie (Nov. 17, 2017) – Reduced the amount of pie crust: reduced flour from 1 2/3 cups to 1 1/3 cups of flour and reduced oil and milk from 1/3 cup to 1/4 cup each.

No Knead Crusty Rolls (Nov. 14, 2017) – Increased baking time from 20-25 minutes to 25-30 minutes for even more crusty rolls.

Easy One Bowl Blondies  (Nov. 6, 2017) – Corrected a typo calling for 1/2 cup of all purpose flour – should have been one cup.

Potato Pancakes  (Sept. 18, 2017) – Changed frying oil from canola to peanut oil.

Mexican Casserole  (Aug. 19, 2017) – Adjusted jalapeños from 3/4 cup to 2 large jalapeños, up to 3/4 cup.

Greek Spinach Pie  (July 29, 2017) – Increased spinach from 3/4 lb to 1 lb, dill from 2 Tbsp. to 1/4 cup, feta cheese from 3 oz to 5 oz, added 1/2 cup cottage cheese, and made the number of phyllo sheets optional (from 20 sheets to 15-20). Also, eliminated chopping the spinach, and added 1/4 tsp. salt and pepper to taste.

Kitchen Sink Cookies  (July 2, 2017) – Switched from whole wheat pastry flour to all purpose flour, eliminated baking powder, and reduced temperature from 375 to 350.

Double Chocolate Chip Cookies  (April 29, 2017) – Reduced butter from 1/4 cup to 3 tablespoons, decreased sugar from 3/4 to 2/3 cup total, increased chocolate chips and nuts to 1/3 cup each, reduced baking time to 10-11 minutes.

Oatmeal Snacking Cake  (April 15, 2017) – Drastically simplified and improved…. less sugar, less ingredients, simpler instructions.

Cinnamon-Glazed Apple Brownies – (March 18, 2017) – Took down this recipe for re-working.

Vegetable Bean Pasta (Feb. 4, 2017) – Eliminated asparagus and indicated to add the spinach later, along with the pasta.

Canadian Butter Tarts (Jan. 14, 2017) – Increased butter from 3 Tbsp. to 1/4 cup; Replaced 1/2 cup white sugar with 3/4 cup brown sugar; Added 1/4 cup corn syrup; Increased one egg to two.

One Pan Chicken & Vegetables (Jan. 4, 2017) – Removed recipe, feeling it was not consistent.

Easy White Bread (no egg) (Dec. 23, 2016) – Increased the rising time from 35 minutes to one hour and reduced the baking time from 30 to 25 minutes.

Chocolate-Dipped Coconut Macaroons (Dec. 12, 2016) – For the coconut-almond macaroons, I reduced the ground almonds from 1/4 cup to 2-3 tablespoons.

Skinless Thighs & Fries (Oct. 19, 2016) – Shortened the cooking time to 30-35 minutes total by putting both chicken and potatoes in to cook at the same time.

Lemon Brownies (Aug. 27, 2016) – Indicated that a 9 x 9-inch pan also works.

Creamy Carrots (Aug. 25, 2016) – Switched from milk to water when adding cornstarch and increased cooking time by 3 minutes, eliminated salt & pepper, increased sugar.

Cinnamon-Glazed Apple Brownies (Aug. 17, 2016) – Reduced yogurt from 1/2 cup to 1/4 cup, apples from 3 cups to 2 cups, reduced baking time to 20 minutes. Eliminated salt.

Blueberry Coffee Cake (Aug. 3, 2016) – Made walnuts optional, made primary cake with all purpose flour with the option of using part whole wheat pastry flour, reduced sugar from 1/2 cup + 1 Tbsp. to just 1/2 cup, simplified layering to not put any streusel in the middle. This is an older recipe and I am still working to make it even simpler.

Oatmeal Banana Breakfast Brownies (May 29, 2016) – Indicated that it takes two small bananas to make 3/4 cup mashed – one banana is not enough. Also, reduced oil from 1/2 to 1/3 cup and increased baking time from 20 to 25 minutes.

Simple Whole Wheat Bread (April 3, 2016) – Indicated that honey can be used instead of sugar.

Easy Dinner Rolls (March 16, 2016) – Reduced baking time from 14-16 minutes to 10-12 minutes.

Vegetable-Bean Pasta (March 6, 2016) – Increased flour from 1 Tbsp. to 1 1/2 Tbsp.

Corn Chowder (Feb. 29, 2016) – Eliminated the red pepper and bay leaf.

Double Chocolate Almond Biscotti (Feb. 29, 2016) – I noted to turn the oven off for the final 20 minutes of drying the biscotti.

Blueberry Coffee Cake (Feb. 27, 2016) – Eliminated salt, reduced flour in streusel from 1 1/2 T. to one T. and increased vanilla from 1/2 to one teaspoon.

Giant Breakfast Cookies (Feb. 1, 2016) – Changed 1/2 cup prunes to 1/2 to 1 cup prunes.

Marble Loaf Cake (Jan 30, 2016) – Reduced baking time from 45 minutes to around 40 minutes.

Cabbage Rolls (Jan 28, 2016) – Added that long grain brown rice works well.

Easy One Bowl Yellow Cake (Jan 14, 2016) – Noted that you can use either an 8 or 9-inch pan.

Christmas Sugar Cookies (Dec. 17, 2015) – Deleted the note to use only 2 cups of flour for a cookie press. The same recipe works for both cutouts and press.

Christmas Wreath Bread (Dec. 6, 2015) – Increased oil from 1/4 cup to 1/3 cup.

Christmas Bread (Nov. 4, 2015) – Changed the shape from loaf to wreath, replaced water with milk, and increased sugar from 1/4 to 1/3 cup.

Greek Spinach Pie (Oct. 19, 2015) – Increased the spinach from 1/2 pound to 3/4 pound and increased the dill from one tablespoon to two.

Crispy Oatmeal Choc. Chip Cookies (Sept. 9, 2015) – Simplified by making the crisped rice optional.

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (Sept. 7, 2015) – Reduced nutmeg from 1 teaspoon to 1/2 teaspoon; increased sugar by 2 tablespoons.

Citrus Chiffon Cake  (Aug. 29, 2015) – Reduced number of eggs from 7 to 6.

Simple Whole Wheat Bread  (Aug. 21, 2015) – Changed the loaf pan size from 9 x 5-inch to 8 1/2 x 4 1/2-inch which is more accurate.

Bolognese Sauce/Meat Sauce  (Aug. 12, 2015) – Drastically shortened the cooking time, eliminated the water, simplified the recipe, and re-named it Simple Meat Sauce.

Easy Bread & Butter Pickles  (Aug. 4, 2015) – Simplified the process – the ingredients are the same.

Kitchen Sink Cookies (July 20, 2015) – Eliminated the butter, simplified the ingredients, streamlined the instructions.

Apple Brownies (July 13, 2015) – Reduced amount of cinnamon in glaze from 1/4 tsp. to 1/8 tsp.

Blueberry Buttermilk Pancakes (July 9, 2015) – Eliminated the dash of salt.

Apple Pie Bars (July 7, 2015) – Increased apples from 6 to 8 cups or 2 pounds, not three.

Whole Wheat Waffles (June 27, 2015) – Added 1/8 teaspoon salt.

Easy One-Bowl Chocolate Cake (June 15, 2015) – Included fresh lemon juice as a substitute for distilled vinegar – it works just as well.

Bran Muffins (May 8, 2015) – Increased the whole wheat pastry flour from 3/4 cup to 1 cup and reduced a/p flour from 3/4 cup to 1/2 cup.

 Easy Dinner Rolls (May 8, 2015) – Made the main recipe with all a/p or bread flour with the option for whole wheat.

Rainbow Bean Salad (March 16, 2015) – Increased canned bean sizes from 8.5 oz to 15 oz. and increased onion from 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup.

Easy Chocolate Brownies  (March 6, 2015) – To make them more fudgey I reduced the baking soda from 1/4 tsp. to 1/8 tsp.. I also doubled the vanilla to 2 tsp. and simplified the measuring by making the oil and yogurt both 1/3 cup instead of 5 Tbsp. and 6 Tbsp., because both amounts are very close to 1/3 cup.

Crispy Oatmeal Chocolate Chip Cookies (March 1, 2015) – Increased vanilla from 1/2 tsp. to 1 tsp. and streamlined the instructions.

Breakfast Brownies (Feb. 26, 2015) – Increased eggs from 1 to 2, reduced cereal from 3/4 cup to 1/2 cup, increased vanilla to 1 tsp.

Turkey Breakfast Patties (Feb. 21, 2015) – Changed the patty size from 2 1/2 to 3-inches and added the internal temperature required for turkey.

No Knead Whole Wheat Bread (Feb. 3, 2015) – The faster method does not work as well as the overnight method so I changed the recipe to use the overnight method. It takes longer (still hardly any work at all) but it makes a better loaf that is less dense.

Giant Breakfast Cookies (Jan. 31, 2015) – I suggested that instead of chocolate chips, use the darkest chocolate bar. The one I prefer is Scharffen Berger 70% chocolate bar, which I chop into tiny pieces.

Skinless Chicken Drumsticks (Jan. 29, 2015) – Simplified marinade, increased oven temperature from 400 to 425 and reduced cooking time from 1 hour to 45 minutes. I also eliminated adding water in the pan. This reduced total time to 1 hour.

Marble Loaf Cake (Jan. 26, 2015) – Improved the recipe by beating egg whites stiff before adding to make a lighter, moister cake.

Marinated Superfoods (Dec. 30, 2014) – Reduced steaming time from 10 minutes to 6 – 8 minutes.

Christmas Sugar Cookies (Dec. 7, 2014) – Clarified amount of flour for both cutouts and cookie press. Changed rolling thickness to 1/4-inch and increased baking time from 8-10 minutes to 9-11 minutes.

Chrusciki (Dec. 3, 2014) – Lowered frying oil temperature from 375 to 350-365° F and reduced the frying time to about 30 seconds. Increased sour cream from 1 to 2 tablespoons, reduced kneading from 100 to 50 turns. Also reduced the total times.

Giant Breakfast Cookies (Nov. 30, 2014) – Increased vanilla to 1 teaspoon.

Simple Whole Wheat Bread (Nov. 30, 2014) – Clarified the different temperatures for milk when using instant or regular yeast.

Homemade Cinnamon Rolls (Oct. 26, 2014) – Reduced the prep time (35 to 30 min.) and total time (2 hrs. 20 min. to 2 hours). Also added that both regular active yeast and instant yeast can be used.

Simple Whole Wheat Bread (Oct. 23, 2014) – Added the option of using either instant or regular yeast.

Apple Muffins (Sept. 2, 2014) – Simplified by eliminating the sliced apples on top and putting more apples in the batter. This required reducing the batter so it would fit 12 muffin cups. Also reduced the sugar on top and increased the sugar in the batter by about 1/2 tablespoon.

Vegetable Pasta (Aug. 25, 2014) – Increased pasta water to 1 1/2 cups and flour to 1 tablespoon. It makes the dish more creamy.

Vegetable-Bean Pasta (Aug. 25, 2014) – Increased pasta water to 1 1/2 cups, flour to 1 tablespoon, and beans to one can.

20-Minute Pizza Dough (Aug. 19, 2014) – Clarified instruction re: adding water slowly as you may not need all the water.

Dry Rub for BBQ Ribs (Aug. 16, 2014) – Corrected a typo. Chili powder and sweet paprika were mistakenly listed as one teaspoon each, should have been two teaspoons each.

Easy Baked Ziti (Aug. 15, 2014) – Changed amount of ziti pasta from 8 oz. to 10 oz. Noted that after adding sauce,  add 1/4 cup water  jar, shake, and add what’s left in the jar to the pan.

Easy Pan Pizza (Aug. 8, 2014) – Added new option for eliminating the overnight wait and starting the pizza the same day.

Easiest Granola Ever, Seriously. (July 8, 2014) – Simplified the instructions to mix everything right in the baking pan.

Cabbage Rolls (May 20, 2014) – Notated that mushrooms in the filling are optional.

Beef Stew (May 6, 2014) – Eliminated the dredging of stew meat before browning.

Skinless Chicken Drumsticks (May 1, 2014) – Eliminated the step of rubbing drumsticks with oil before baking – it really wasn’t necessary.

 

Aug 8, 2014

Easier Faster Pan Pizza

Best No Knead Dough Pan Pizza

Good news! After the success of my faster no knead bread I wondered if the same concept would work for my pan pizza. It does. The original easy pan pizza recipe, which is the most viewed video on my youtube channel, is a really easy recipe but you have to start the dough the night before and let it stand overnight. The result is an amazing crust that everyone has raved about but now, you don’t have to start it the night before. All you do is use hot tap water instead of cold water (the original recipe calls for cold water) and you can start the pan pizza the day you want it. I’m so excited about this.

Simply by switching from cold water to hot tap water (not boiling), you reduce the overnight rest of 12 hours to only 3 hours. Here’s what to do: Use the same exact recipe but use hot water instead of cold, and instead of letting it rest overnight on the counter, you let it rest for 3 hours on the counter.  After 3 hours, you proceed with the original recipe from step #2. There it is. My faster easy pan pizza.

The main thing to remember is that instead of starting it the night before, you can start this easier faster pan pizza about 5 hours before you want to eat. Click here for my original recipe. – Jenny Jones

Aug 5, 2014

Easy Baked Ziti

Easy Recipe Baked Ziti

If you like lasagna you will love this easy casserole. Baked ziti is a classic Italian dish and my version is light and healthy, made with lean ground sirloin and part skim cheeses. If you’re tempted to buy pre-shredded mozarella for this dish you may be disappointed. Any cheese that is pre-shredded will never melt as well as real cheese that you shred by hand. That’s due to the stabilizers that are added to packaged shredded cheeses. It takes about a minute to shred your own cheese so just do it. You’ll be rewarded with a creamy, melty dish that’s as close to lasagna as I’ve ever had.

Homemade marinara sauce is great if you choose but for this dish, bottled sauce works really well. Ziti is not always available so you can use other shapes of pasta with penne being the closest. The man in my life recently had a birthday and I offered to make him anything he wanted for dinner and for his birthday cake.  He could have had anything that I make and guess what he wanted? He asked for baked ziti for dinner and my fresh strawberry cake for dessert. Good call, since I was eating here too. To try my Easy Baked Ziti click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Aug 4, 2014

Watercress Wins

A new study was just published  by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control)  listing the top 41 nutrient-dense “super foods” scored by their content of fiber, potassium, protein, calcium, folate, vitamin B12, vitamin A, vitamin D and other nutrients, all considered important to our health. Guess what’s number one? Watercress! Who knew? I’m not surprised that the top 16 foods are greens. Here’s the list:

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Sounds like a good time to make my delicious Spaghetti with Chard.  Click here for the recipe.

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To read the Washington Post article, click here.

Jul 31, 2014

20-Minute Pizza Dough

Best Pizza Dough RecipeWhat do we want? Pizza! When do we want it? Now! Homemade pizza is easier (and faster) than you think. It used to take hours to knead and rise the dough but not any more. My quick & easy pizza dough is made from scratch and is ready to use in less than 20 minutes. I takes longer to heat up the oven but that’s okay because the dough can continue to rest until the oven heats up… or the grill. Yes! I have made pizza on the grill, on a pizza stone on the grill, in the oven on a stone, in the oven on a pan with holes, and even in a cast iron skillet on the stove. You can see that a pizza lover like myself needed to find a way to make pizza dough as quick and easy as possible. And I have.

This recipe is flexible too. You can use either bread flour or all-purpose flour. The difference is subtle but I find the crust a little crispier with the bread flour. And… you can use either instant yeast or regular active yeast, the only difference being the temperature of the water. If you read the package of yeast you’ll see that instant yeast calls for hotter water (120° F) while active dry yeast requires water at 110° F. Did I say flexible? There’s even more. Once you put this dough together, you can also choose to let it rest for an hour or more. It will puff up and double in size. Or… (wait for it)… you can refrigerate it for pizza the next day, or the next 2 or 3 days. Refrigerating pizza dough does result in a better crust but I don’t always plan my dinners ahead. Here’s my typical pizza-making schedule:

An hour before dinner, I preheat the oven. Then I put the dough together and let it rest. While I wait for the oven I prepare my toppings and make a salad. I shred my own cheese because the pre-shredded kind does not melt the same. I slice toppings and try to remove some of their moisture for a crispy pizza. Once the salad is made, I roll the dough, put on the toppings, and put the pizza in the oven, which has had time to heat up by now. (don’t put pizza in until the oven is hot enough) While the pizza cooks, we have our salad. As soon as we finish the salad, the pizza is done, hot, crispy, and ready to eat.

I seriously don’t know anyone who doesn’t like pizza. And once you start making quick and easy pizza at home you will never want to get delivery again. It simply will never compare. Besides, you can make your own pizza healthier, with reduced fat cheese, healthy toppings, and a crust the way you like it. Thin crust? Just roll it thinner and make two. I hope this easy recipe motivates more people to make healthier and faster pizza at home.

UPDATE (June 17, 2020) Since posting this recipe I find myself more often refrigerating the dough overnight. The flavor does get better with time and the edges of the crust seem to puff up more when it cooks. My favorite method these days is using a wooden paddle and pizza stone. But no matter what, any kind of homemade pizza is the best! ?

Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jul 28, 2014

Eat more cheese. Really?

What? Eat more cheese? And meat? It’s not a joke. In case you missed the latest news about saturated fat and heart disease, it’s about to challenge all your nutritional beliefs. After decades of being told that saturated fat causes heart disease, now experts are saying it’s not so. The new findings were published in the Annals of Internal Medicine and included 72 studies in 18 countries involving over 600,000 people. There is no connection, they say, between eating saturated fats like the ones found in meat and dairy products, and heart disease. And that’s not all.

They also found no evidence of benefits from other kinds of fats like canola and olive oil. Trans fats, however, were still linked with a higher risk of heart disease. Even more surprising is that a type of saturated fat in milk and dairy products actually reduced the risk of heart disease! The biggest threats now? Sugar and excessive carbs.

Even Dr. Andrew Weil says his thinking on saturated fat has evolved. He writes, “Given the results of these studies, I no longer recommend choosing low-fat dairy products. I believe the healthier choice is high-quality, organic dairy foods in moderation. My personal choice would be high-quality, natural cheese a few times a week. I don’t advise eating saturated fat with abandon, because the foods that are full of it (salty bacon, conventionally raised beef, processed cheese) are often not the best for our health. Try to limit it to about ten percent of daily calories. You may choose to use your “budget” of saturated fat calories on ice cream, butter or high-quality natural cheese, or even an occasional steak (from organic, grass-fed, grass-finished cattle, please).

I still recommended skinless chicken and turkey because poultry fat (concentrated just beneath the skin) contains arachidonic acid, which promotes inflammation. I also still recommend strictly avoiding foods that contain chemically altered fats (such as hydrogenated vegetable oils found in many prepared foods), as these do appear to raise cardiovascular disease risk. Continue to emphasize fruits, vegetables and whole grains, and limit sweeteners and other high-glycemic-load carbs.”

Wow! I need time to absorb this. For decades the accepted wisdom has been just the opposite and I’ve spent my adult life avoiding saturated fat, eating the leanest of beef and always reduced-fat cheese. And even then, it was in moderation. My cholesterol has always been elevated but I assumed it was hereditary. Now I don’t know what to think. I don’t even think full fat cheese would taste good! And I like cookies. Should I bake them with butter? Should I stop baking cookies entirely? I need time to figure things out.

Filed Under: Nutrition
4 Comments
Jul 25, 2014

Rice with Kale

Rice With KaleWhy cook plain rice when you can cook rice that makes a difference? Kale is called the “Queen of Greens” because it’s one of the healthiest vegetables on the planet. Even spinach doesn’t compare.  Kale contains a lot of beneficial minerals and some powerful antioxidants with huge amounts of vitamins A, C, and K.  It can help protect you against cancer, heart disease, and inflammation. It’s good for your eyes, your skin and hair, I mean really! Eat some kale!

I prefer Dino kale (also called Lacinto kale) because it’s easier to clean and cut and it’s not so curly. But any kale is a super food so use whatever you can find.

KaleMangoOrangeSmoothie_leavesLately, I never cook plain rice any more. Rice is the perfect vehicle for transporting health-building veggies into your body, but of all the other veggies I have added to rice, kale and broccoli are the most beneficial. As for the rice, I often use brown rice in this recipe but honestly, brown rice is not pretty to photograph and I didn’t want to post an unflattering photo that might not motivate you to make this healthy recipe.  So I made it with Uncle Ben’s converted rice for this photo. It is quicker to make the white rice but it’s definitely  healthier with brown rice, which has more fiber but it also takes longer to cook. So if time permits, use brown rice but either way, this is a delicious and healthy side dish.   Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jul 23, 2014

Faster No Knead Bread

Even if you’ve never baked before, you can make this amazing bakery-style crusty bread at home. It has a beautiful golden crust and it’s soft inside with lots of nice holes. In the video I used all-purpose flour but I also make the same loaf with 100% whole wheat flour and it’s fantastic.

No-knead bread isn’t new. The idea was invented by a baker named Jim Lahey and it originally was a much longer process than mine. You would mix up the dough the night before using cold water, let it rest overnight for up to 18 hours, and bake it the next day. The whole process took more than 20 hours. I know. I did it many times.

Sometimes, though, I didn’t think to start it the night before and I wanted homemade bread the next day. Now I can make it the same day and the only difference is instead of cold water, you use very warm water. It speeds up the process and you can have this amazing artisan bread any time you want without having to start it the day before.

This easy recipe is foolproof. All you need is a Dutch oven and about five minutes of hands-on time. There is no kneading. A pair of oven gloves is helpful because the pot gets very hot and an oven thermometer is also helpful because you need a very hot oven.

I used to buy bread from a bakery but not any more, not when I can have it fresh and hot right out of the oven. And it’s the only bread I use for my delicious garlic bread too. Anyone I have served this no-knead bread to says, “Wow! This is the best bread I have ever had. Where did you get it?” They can’t believe I made it myself. And you can too. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

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