I’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
I’m loving my easy one pan meals, especially now around the holidays when there’s lots to do so recipes like this are just what I need. Everything cooks in the pan and it couldn’t be any easier. The marinade is simple… just olive oil, fresh lemon juice, lots of garlic, oregano and salt. Did I mention it’s Greek style? (oregano = Greek!).
There’s no fuss with this easy sheet pan dinner. I marinate the chicken and potatoes while the oven heats up and then when they bake in the marinade, they soak up all those wonderful flavors. It bakes all by itself so you can do other things, like make a salad. You only stir it once when you add the beans.
Speaking of beans, I don’t know what happened to regular green beans lately but they are terrible, usually dry, full of dark spots and sometime even hollow inside. I actually stopped eating green beans until I discovered French ones. French green beans usually come in a bag with no preparation needed and they are smaller, more tender, they cook faster, taste better, and they definitely look better.
If you’re as busy as I am this month, try this easy one pan Greek Lemon Chicken, Potatoes, and Green Beans. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
Everyone is making these easy Christmas cookies but it’s not even Thanksiving yet! What gives? I guess you’re all just testing them out to make sure they’ll turn out during the holidays. The only way to know for sure is to test out the recipe in advance and eat as many as you can because, you know, you can’t be too sure. I’m “testing them out” today and I can report that they did turn out really well. It’s just a public service I thought I should provide for everyone. 🙂 I can confirm that this is the easiest recipe ever for Christmas pecan balls, so easy that even amateur cooks are making them. “I didn’t know they were so easy to make,” they say.
And there’s more. These delicious little Christmas treats keep really well so you can make them in advance, and they freeze well too. It just keeps getting better. They are sometimes called pecan balls, snowballs, or Mexican wedding cookies. I’ll just call them easy. Click herefor the recipe. – Jenny Jones
I only make this holiday bread once a year (okay, maybe twice ?) because it may be called bread but let’s face it… it’s dessert. Here are a few progress photos of how to make my Spiral Chocolate Cinnamon Christmas Bread. First, you divide the dough in half, roll & press each half into a rough 9 x 9-inch square, and spread the chocolate/butter mixture all the way to the edges.
Next, you cover each half with the brown sugar/cinnamon/cocoa mixture, all the way to the edges.
Now roll each of them up, starting at the right and left edges, rolling them towards each other. It’s a little messy but that’s okay. Oh, one more thing. You can also scatter about 2 tablespoons of chocolate chips on each half before rolling them up.
The fun part is twisting the logs into a loaf. Bring the logs together (it doesn’t matter where the seams go) and twist them together 3 or 4 times (like you’re wringing out a towel) to make a spiral, but messy, loaf. Tuck the edges under and plop it into your parchment paper-lined loaf pan.
Bake for 30 minutes but after 15 minutes, put a foil tent on top to avoid over-browning. I hope these photos are helpful. For the recipe click here. – Jenny Jones
What can I say? This is not a dessert to have every day but for holiday baking, pecan pie is a must. But I prefer pecan pie bars because the bars can be cut into smaller pieces than a round pie and no one should eat big pieces of pecan pie! I always use an oil crust and my oil of choice is cold pressed avocado oil. I tried using maple syrup in the filling but did not like the result so I went with the traditional corn syrup, which, by the way, is not the same a high fructose corn syrup.
I only make pecan pie or pecan pie bars twice a year for Thanksgiving and Christmas and it’s a good thing because holiday recipes can be dangerous to have around. This recipe is really simple with just the basic ingredients so it comes together quickly. What I can’t figure out is why my pecans sometimes rise to the top and sometimes don’t, but these easy pecan pie bars are always so gooey and sweet and delicious. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
My thanks to Annie Y. for sharing this terrific helpful hint. I tried it myself and loved it, especially with my no knead crusty rolls that make a sticky mess on the counter. She said, “I don’t have a large wood board, so I taped a piece of waxed paper to the counter top and floured it, allowing me to work and form the dough easily and making clean up a breeze.” Thank you, Annie.
Every time I run out of these delicious crispy top oatmeal bars, I need to make more. They are one of my all time favorites and for lots of reasons. There is no white flour, lots of dark chocolate chunks, and the recipe is easy to put together. The crispy top is the best part, made with pecans, brown sugar, and coconut. I have made the top with avocado oil and with melted butter and there’s not much difference to me.
I like something sweet after every meal, even breakfast, and this is my favorite breakfast dessert. Well, between the fig bars and these oat bars, maybe it’s the fig bars, no,,, the oat bars… oh well. I just love sweets so I have to keep finding ways to make them healthier. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
Some days, the faster I can make dinner the better. Today is one of those days and this easy one pan spaghetti with cherry tomatoes and broccoli takes 18 minutes, including prep. I mean it. I’ve even made it in 16 minutes!
This is one of my easy one pan meals where everything cooks in one pan, including the spaghetti. I use thin spaghetti because it cooks in 9 minutes but if you use regular spaghetti you will have to add a little extra time. Stirring is important to keep the spaghetti from sticking so stir it vigorously to separate the strands.
I rarely drain pasta any more. I’m making more and more one pan meals and besides being less work, there’s less cleanup – Bonus! Cherry tomatoes and fresh broccoli are always available so if you keep them on hand, you can always make an easy, healthy dinner in less than 20 minutes.
I was surprised how well these turned out. I never thought I could make cookies without flour but for anyone looking to reduce carbs, or wanting gluten-free cookies, you can still make delicious healthier cookies at home. These really are chocolate chunk cookies because I rarely use chocolate chips any more, preferring to use a healthier dark chocolate bar. To get the health benefits of dark chocolate you need a bar with at least 70% cacao and that’s what I use for chocolate chips. I just take a 70% bar and cut it into strips and then the strips into chunks.
I’m also reducing sugar in my baking these days so these low carb cookies have less sugar and I don’t miss it at all. The texture of cookies made with almond flour is a little more chewy, but I really like it.
I’m planning to try more baking with almond flour and reducing carbs wherever I can so I’ll be posting anything I make that turns out. And these easy almond flour dark chocolate chunk cookies did turn out. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones