This birthday cake, which was made by Tina in Texas, touched me in many ways. Tina and her husband are both physicians. He is on the front lines daily in the hospital while she is seeing her patients via telemedicine. “I’ve been trying to juggle seeing my patients, oversee distance learning for my kids, and manage my household chores,” she wrote, “and my escape has been trying your recipes in my kitchen (which is my happy place).”
Tina surprised her newly pregnant baby sister on her 33rd birthday with a decorated version of my chocolate cake and 2 minute frosting. She says, “I just topped the cake with a few homemade chocolate covered strawberries and drizzled dark and white chocolate sculptures.” How she found the time and ability to make those beautiful decorations (and the cake) is beyond me! As busy as she is with kids, her own practice, and a husband working in a hospital, she put this wonderful birthday cake together. Tina, the kitchen is my happy place too. ❤️
I’m always looking for easier ways to cook and bake and now my blondies are even easier to make, and a little healthier. I’ve been replacing chocolate chips with dark chocolate chunks in most of my baking because dark chocolate (70% cacao) has health benefits. I chop up some of a dark chocolate bar and they are now my chocolate chunks for baking. (I like Lindt 70% bars)
My blondies are now super easy to make, using only 3 tablespoons of butter, lots of dark chocolate chunks & toasted nuts, and you can even use some whole wheat pastry flour (if you can find it!)
Here is my choice for photo of the week. First of all, it’s pierogi! Anyone who’s Polish knows what a treat they are to eat and how much effort they take to make. I haven’t had them myself in months and this photo of the pierogi, browned in a pan with either bacon bits or fried onions, is exactly the way I had them growing up. Diane sent in these pictures along with her own photo and this touching note: “Just a Polish girl fighting cancer during a pandemic with people like you and the grace of God. ? Thank You.”
Diane, I hope my recipe brought you the same comfort it always brings me and I wish you the very best in your journey. ❤️?❤️
I was craving a good hamburger so I made sesame seed buns from scratch and they were ready in an hour. I can’t find whole wheat flour right now so I used my white bread with egg recipe. Just before baking, I brushed the buns using beaten egg yolk with a little water and sprinkled on the seeds. You can brush with egg white, egg yolk or even a beaten egg. Let me tell you, these were some awesome burgers! I used lean ground beef and I cooked the patties in a hot cast iron skillet. I seared them first so they were beautifully browned and tasted like they just came off the grill. (I should have taken a picture but I was hungry ?)
I had all the trimmings on hand, including lettuce, tomato, onion, pickle, mustard, mayo, and ketchup. WOW! I may never cook a burger on the grill again. I also made oven fries since I had a russet potato. I peeled and sliced it into fairly thin wedges, tossed them in olive oil, salt & pepper, and roasted them in a 425 oven on a baking sheet for about half an hour. Next time I make this classic American meal (and there will be a next time) I will post it as a recipe so everyone can enjoy delicious hamburgers at home. I never made a burger in a skillet before so I even surprised myself.
Meantime, if you want to make the best and easiest sesame seed hamburger buns, click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
This picture brought me so much joy last week. Mike here is from Virginia and just baked his first cake ever at 86 years old. His daughter, Carol, sent in the photo saying, ““My dad, first cake he’s EVER EVER made! I baked your single layer chocolate cake last week, then sent your site link to my mom (sharon). they watched the cake video, then my mom walked my 86-year-old dad (mike) through baking this cake. she said it turned out great ? he mixed the cake, baked it, and frosted it all by himself… they cut half and froze the other. we’re from coastal virginia. ? thanks jenny!!!”
This photo is sure to motivate other people who think they can’t bake, How about some of you “youngsters” in your seventies?? You can do this! ?
I love these soft, whole wheat buns. This is the exact same recipe as my simple whole wheat bread but it’s shaped into buns and it’s faster than the loaf. If you’re a fan of my whole wheat loaf, you must try making these buns. It’s a quick and easy recipe that takes only an hour from start to finish. With summer coming and burgers about to be made on the grill, you can now have a healthier option for hamburger buns. As for sandwiches, it’s always a healthier sandwich when you use whole wheat bread.
These rolls are so soft, you might forget they’re whole wheat but if you’re not a fan of whole wheat… no problem. These turn out just as well using my simple white bread with egg recipe. Either way, these are quick, easy and delicious buns for healthier sandwich and burgers. Click here for the recipe.
And here are my hot dog buns, made from the same recipe, only made into long buns. They are also soft, whole wheat buns for a healthy alternative to store bought buns. I tried store bought whole wheat hot dog buns and they were terrible – dry and heavy. These are light as a feather but again, if you want to make them white, just use my simple white bread with egg recipe. But since my soft whole wheat loaf is so popular, I hope you’ll try these healthier whole wheat hot dog buns. Click here for the recipe, – Jenny Jones
I like these brownies just as much as my regular and very popular chocolate brownies. I was surprised how well gluten free flour works in brownies, both my lemon brownies and these dark chocolate ones. I think it makes them even more fudgy and chewy. The only gluten free flour I could find was Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 gluten free baking flour and it works really well. I’m hoping if someone makes this recipe with a different gluten free flour, they will report back on the result.
I make them with avocado oil but you can also used melted butter. Surprisingly, I prefer the ones made with oil and saw no improvement in flavor using butter. That may be because there is so much rich chocolate flavor in these decadent brownies. I use a whole 3-ounce dark chocolate bar and Dutch process cocoa, which is very rich and dark. I also use dark chocolate chips so that would make them triple chocolate brownies that just happen to be gluten free. Click herefor the recipe – Jenny Jones
Being Polish did not sway my choice this week… well maybe just a little. This photo is from Claire in Ottawa, Canada. (Wait! I’m from Canada too! ??) This photo of my Polish Pączki made my mouth water and shows how light these jelly doughnuts are. Claire said, “Unbelievably delicious, they didn’t last long and the kids enjoyed licking the jam off their fingers!” Thank you, Claire.
Good news for gluten free cooks! I was finally able to get the flour some people have mentioned in their comments and I tried it out with my lemon brownies. They turned out great – I saw no difference in taste or texture. This recipe is exactly the same as my regular lemon brownies only with swapping the regular flour for Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 gluten free baking flour. (This is not a paid endorsement, just a way to share a good recipe that’s gluten free.)
I have only made this recipe with this particular flour and can’t say how it will work with other gluten free flours so it you try it with a different brand of gluten-free flour please comment here on your results. I’m really happy to be able to share this very easy and very popular recipe for lemon brownies (some people call them “yellowies” ?) for everyone who has asked for more gluten-free baking. Click herefor the recipe. – Jenny Jones
I grew up in Ontario, Canada but that’s not the reason I chose this photo from Gail in Ancaster, Ontario. This picture made me realize, “I need to take a better picture of my beef stew!” ? This stew is so tantalizing that I put the ingredients on my shopping list to make it again myself. Gail wrote, “Hi Jenny, Really enjoy your style of cooking. Simplicity married to nutritious makes perfectly delicious foods. Love it! Here is a photo of your Beef Stew recipe made in my cast iron pan with a heavy lid. It is great comfort food during the lockdown. Blessings to you and yours! ~ Gail Albanese. (Ancaster, Ontario Canada)” Thank you, Gail. ??
These photos are my favorite thing. I still can’t get over seeing my recipes all around the world! ???