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Mar 15, 2020

Need To Bake Bread?

Wholw Wheat Sandwich Bread

Where’s all the bread? The shelves are empty these days and most of us can’t buy bread. That’s why I’m here! 🙂 If you’ve never baked bread before, I’m here to say you can do it. My bread recipes are very popular because they’re easy. You’ll see a lot of comments like, “This is the first time I’ve ever baked bread and I’m never buying store bought again.”

To help first time bread makers, I’ve put together a list below of some of my easiest and most popular bread recipes. The silver lining in the bread shortage is that you might like your homemade bread so much, you may never go back! Everyone, take care and be well.

Simple Whole Wheat Bread (pictured above)

Simple White Bread

Faster No Knead Bread

2-Hour Fastest No Knead Bread

Easy Honey Wheat Bread

Easy White Bread

Faster No Knead Whole Wheat Bread

More Easy Breads

Kohl’s sells a Dutch oven from Food Network for around $60 (oven safe to 500°F). The ideal size, 5-quart, is on sale now (March 21) online for $48. THIS IS NOT A PAID ENDORSEMENT, JUST SHARING INFORMATION.

Mar 14, 2020

Boost Your Immune System

Foods To Boost Your Immune SystemNow more than ever we all need a strong immune system. I’m highlighting some important foods that can help keep us all strong and healthy. Although healthy when eaten fresh, red peppers, carrots, and spinach provide even more nutrients when cooked. Below you will find some specific easy recipes that each incorporate at least one of these immune boosting foods.

Almonds/Nuts: Granola Bars

Red Peppers: Chicken & Peppers, Sweet & Sour Chicken

Dark Chocolate: Chocolate Almond Clusters, Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownies

Garlic: Spaghetti with Olive Oil & Garlic, (+Most of my Main Dishes)

Mushrooms: Easy Chicken & Mushrooms

Olive Oil: Greek Salad Dressing

Tomatoes: Quick & Easy Spaghetti Sauce, Quick & Easy Tomato Soup, Spaghetti with Cherry Tomatoes

Black Beans:  Fast Rice & Beans, Mexican Black Bean Casserole, Rainbow Bean Salad,

Sweet Potatoes: Oven Roasted Sweet Potato Fries, Roasted Vegetables, Sweet Potato Chocolate Cake

Spinach: 15-Minute Veggie Pasta, Greek Spinach Rice, Spinach-Walnut Pesto

Salmon: Salmon Patties, Easy Broiled Salmon

Carrots: Sweet Creamy Carrots, Chicken Veggie Rice, Beef Sew, Roasted Vegetables

Sardines: Sardine Cakes

❤️ Take care, everyone. Eat well ~ be well. ❤️

Mar 1, 2020

Easy Crispy Focaccia Bread

Easy Crispy Focaccia Bread RecipeThis is no ordinary focaccia. It’s not the soft kind that you bake in a pan. This is focaccia the way I like it: thin and crispy. It’s like a slice of pizza without the pizza stuff. I have only been able to accomplish this using a baking stone and a pizza peel, and a very hot oven. That’s how they make those great pizzas at Italian restaurants. They use very hot ovens, and slide the pizzas in using a wooden peel like this.

Parchment paper is a must for two reasons. One, it makes pressing the dough into a circle easier because the dough sticks to the paper. And two, it makes it a breeze to slide the dough onto the hot baking stone. The parchment will turn dark from the high heat as you can see in the recipe photo. My focaccia recipe is quicker than most, taking only 90 minutes start-to-finish. As long as I don’t need my oven for cooking dinner, I can make this incredible focaccia and time it to be ready to eat with our salad.

You can make traditional rosemary focaccia or use a store-bought blend of Italian herbs. I actually use both. I mix them into the dough for lots of Italian flavor, and then put a little more on top. Some of the  spices on top fall off but the dough has enough flavor inside to make up for any of that. I like the result better with bread flour so that’s the only one I use.

Another good thing is that if you don’t eat it all (what are the chances, really?) you can re-crisp it the next day directly on the oven rack at 350 degrees for about 8 minutes. It has never taken me more than 90 minutes to make this fabulous crispy Italian focaccia. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Feb 28, 2020

I Made My Favorite Chocolate Cake

Sweet Potato Chocolate CakeI realize that my “Quick & Easy” chocolate cake is the most popular and I often make it when I need cake fast. Some days, we just need cake fast! But sweet potato chocolate cake is still my favorite. It starts with a whole sweet potato, which I cook and mash with a fork. I used to boil it but now I chop and steam the sweet potato. This way it retains more vitamins and I like that this is a dessert with some nutrition. And because sweet potatoes are so sweet, this recipe uses less sugar.

This chocolate cake always turns out moist and delicious. I frost most of my cakes right in the pan, only on the top. If you want to try my favorite recipe for sweet potato chocolate cake and get a little vitamin A in each slice, click here.

Feb 21, 2020

No Knead Whole Wheat Bread

No Knead Whole Wheat BreadIt seems like everyone in the world is making no knead bread and it’s no wonder. I make it all the time myself. I have my favorites like multi-grain and 10-grain but today I made a whole wheat loaf and it’s just so good and so easy. I often use the overnight method because it’s ready for baking first thing in the morning.

Whole wheat Dutch oven bread doesn’t bake as tall as the white version but it’s still delicious and hearty, like the farm breads I grew up on. If you haven’t tried it yet, I urge everyone to try some of my high fiber no knead breads, like this no knead whole wheat loaf. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Feb 12, 2020

I’m Always Learning

Jenny Can Cook Best RecipesThese are just some of the recipes that I have either improved or simplified since they were originally posted. I’m always learning and improving my skills so if anyone is using a recipe that was posted a while ago or if you printed it some time ago, please check the “Recipe Changes/Fixes” category in my blog.

So far I have made changes to about 100 recipes but many of the changes are minor, like increasing salt or reducing sugar but others, like my 15-Minute Veggie Pasta, now use an easier, faster, all-in-one-pan method. I’m always looking for ways to make something healthier or faster or to simplify the process so every time I cook, if I try a better way and it works, I adjust the recipe and share the exact changes I made in the blog.

I encourage all of my regular cooks to occasionally check the “Recipe Changes” category here in my blog to make sure you are using the newest and best version of each recipe. As I evolve as a better (& simpler) cook, I will continue to occasionally update my recipes. To see if any changes were made to your favorite recipes, click here.

Jan 31, 2020

Healthy Mexican Black Bean Casserole

Healthy Mexican Black Bean CasseroleI love casseroles. Cook once / eat twice /or three times. And casseroles are always flexible: a little more of this, a little less of that, and they still turn out. This is a little like my Spicy Mexican Casserole but made not spicy using an Anaheim pepper, with corn tortillas and added vegetables. I always try to include as many vegetables as possible in every meal, besides the salads I make every day.

Vegetables are the key to good health so besides lots of fresh tomatoes, I include antioxidant-rich bell pepper along with the Anaheim green chili pepper. Anaheim peppers (also called long peppers) are green and measure about 7 inches long.These peppers are great for anyone not liking anything too spicy but who does like a flavorful pepper. Of course you can use Jalapeño peppers instead but the Anaheim pepper is perfect for me.

This recipe is high in fiber from the black beans and corn tortillas. All corn tortillas are not the same, in fact they can be very different. I tried Whole Foods 365 brand and they were dry and disappointing. My preference is Guerrero brand if you can find them.

You can make lots of variations with this recipe, using cheddar cheese instead of monterey jack, pinto beans instead of black beans, and you can add spices if you like, but I do recommend staying with the fresh tomatoes. They add moisture and fresh taste to this easy casserole.

UPDATE June 3, 2020: I found myself using less and less tomatoes in this recipe and I now prefer it that way. It also means less chopping! 🙂 I suggest trying it with only about 1/2 pound of tomatoes.

Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Dec 21, 2019

Wrapping Christmas Presents

Caramel Corn for Christmas GiftsI’m wrapping Christmas presents today. It’s not Christmas yet but everyone is asking when I’m going to make my caramel corn so today is the day for making homemade caramel corn for Christmas gifts. My first batch is done and cooled.

To keep if fresh I pack it in a zip top plastic bag first and then wrap it with cellophane tied with pretty ribbons. This way it’s easy for people to snack on and save some for later but I hear that it’s mostly gone in the first pass.

Every Christmas I give a variety of gifts to everyone in my life but this caramel corn is the gift that gets the most raves. Sadly, no matter how much I make there never seems to be enough. That could be due to the constant sampling that goes on when my back is turned. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones