NEW RECIPE:By popular demand, here is the vanilla version of my hugely popular quick & easy chocolate cake. As simple as the recipe is, it was not easy to get it right. I finally came up with a version that always turns out for me. I know it has a lot of sugar but every time I tried to use less, it did not turn out. With this “wacky” style cake, the sugar is needed for structure.
I also tried different pans, a square 8 x 8 pan and a round 8-inch pan, and was disappointed in both results. A 9-inch pan was the perfect size for a consistent cake. I suggest sticking with the recipe as written and you won’t be disappointed. It’s a light and delicious homemade cake that anyone can make, even amateur cooks. During the coronavirus quarantine, it’s good to have a dessert that does not use eggs, or even butter except for the frosting.
I’ve also just posted my new 2-minute vanilla frosting, made with just 2 tablespoons of butter, although this cake is really good with chocolate frosting too. I usually cool the cake in the pan and only frost the top.
If you plan to remove the cake to a platter, I suggest greasing the pan and lining the bottom with parchment paper. You can buy packages of parchment paper rounds or cut our own. I hope everybody likes this simple yet delicious cake and I’ll be waiting for the first photo! 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
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.
Alright, I’ll say it. I need more fiber. We probably all do. And we all need a good, healthy breakfast with protein, fat, and fiber so here it is… my new high fiber granola. It’s similar to my other granola recipe with just a couple of small changes, mainly by replacing half of the oats with wheat bran. This gives my granola two kinds of fiber: oats, which are soluble and bran, which is insoluble and we need both.
I like to use extra thick oats in my granola for more crunch and I find them at Whole Foods but when I run out, I just use regular rolled oats. For nuts I chop up almonds, walnuts, and pecans and I also add raw sunflower seeds. I mix everything right in the pan so there is virtually no cleanup. I bake mine until it’s very toasted and brown, about 35 minutes, because toasting brings out the flavor in all the nuts and the oats. The wheat bran makes nice little clumps which I really enjoy.
Who knew that adding fiber to your diet could be this easy? Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
This is such a refreshing salad to serve in the summer and now is the best time to get crisp, fresh Persian cucumbers. If you can find organic cucumbers, you can just scrub them and leave the peel on. If they’re not organic, it’s best to peel them for this salad.
I slice the cucumbers very thinly, no more than 1/8 of an inch thick, and for the onion, the thinner the better as well. The dressing uses a good amount of sugar but remember that most of the dressing is not eaten. You serve this salad with a slotted spoon and leave the liquid behind so don’t fret about using a tablespoon of sugar.
If you serve this cucumber salad right away it will be quite crisp, and if you refrigerate it for an hour or more, the cucumber slices will soften and absorb a little more dressing. They are good either way but it’s best to serve this salad on the same day.
I wish everyone a fun summer with lots of good, healthy, homemade food, including this cool and crisp, cucumber salad. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
Isn’t everything better with chocolate? Today I made my incredibly easy peanut butter cookies but upped the game by adding dark chocolate chunks and extra peanuts. Oh My! They are so good and so easy. These peanut butter cookies have no flour so they’re even gluten free. This is a simple one bowl recipe and I just added some chopped up 70% chocolate bar and some additional chopped salted peanuts. I don’t think I’ll ever make them plain again.
You could use chocolate chips but using a plain dark chocolate bar is a healthier choice. Just use my original recipe for peanut butter cookies and add about 1/4 cup of chocolate chunks or peanuts or 1/4 cup total mixture of both. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
How can something so easy be so good? I love haluski so much I just can’t get enough. My mother used to make it and I never asked her for the recipe but I finally figured out how to make it like she did and it’s so good! It’s basically a Polish stir fry of cabbage and onions that is quick and easy so you need to prep everything in advance. It only takes 20 minutes to make. I slice the cabbage by hand and then rough chop it after that.
Most haluski recipes use lots of butter but you don’t need to. This whole pan has only 2 tablespoons of butter and some of that is stirred in at the end for a great flavor and finish.
Now about the sauerkraut: I LOVE the addition of sauerkraut but I know it’s not for everyone (except us Poles 🇵🇱) but I do recommend trying the kraut version for a true Polish experience. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
I don’t make plain rice any more. Why would I when it’s so easy to add a vegetable to rice while it cooks? And Brussels sprouts make a really good (and healthy) addition. They are a cruciferous vegetable that can protect you against cancer and heart disease. They also benefit your eyes and provide lots of minerals, vitamin C, fiber, and even protein!
My rice of choice is Uncle Ben’s converted rice, which cooks beautifully in 20 minutes, just enough time for the Brussels sprouts to turn soft and tender, and kind of sweet.
There is no meal in this house without at least one cooked vegetable, and always a salad, and this is an easy way to get people who may not like steamed and cooked vegetables to have them mixed into a tasty rice. This easy side dish goes really well with my salmon patties or lemon chicken cutlets. This is a really easy, simple recipe that anyone can make. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
I just found a better and simpler way to make pasta with vegetables. Everything cooks in one pot and you don’t even have to drain the pasta. With a small amount of water the pasta and vegetables all cook in the same pot. I love it.
I make it with two of the most important vegetables for health: broccoli and spinach but it also works with just broccoli. This super fast vegetarian meal takes just 15 minutes and here a couple of tips:
Be sure to keep the water boiling (not too high or too much water will boil away).
If too much water boils away, you can add a little more water as needed.
A timer is really helpful so you can set it for the pasta cooking time and then keep an eye to know when to add the veggies.
When you add the broccoli, just open the lid briefly, toss the broccoli on top, and quickly close the lid. The broccoli will steam right on top.
Add more or less parmesan. I like it with three tablespoons.
This can be a side dish or main dish. I plan to try it next with whole wheat pasta and will share my results. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
I consider this the healthiest meal I make. My one pan chicken and roasted vegetables is quick and easy and healthy. Vegetables are the lifeline to good health and roasting them brings our their sugars so the browning combined with their sweetness makes them super delicious. Then the chicken is lean and low fat because I use skinless, boneless chicken breast. The chicken provides high quality protein and all those veggies? Well, it’s like taking a vitamin pill only better because vitamins from real food are much better absorbed than any pill.
Every meal I make starts with whatever vegetables I have on hand. That’s because vegetables are loaded with antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals essential to good health. Each color of veggie has its own set of benefits so when you mix and match the colors, you get a huge array of nutrients. I make roasted vegetables at least once a week, sometimes served with just a can of sardines, sometimes with pork loin, but this is my favorite way to serve them.
The chicken comes out moist and tender every time. I only use oil, salt, and pepper on it but you can add some dried herbs if you like. I just serve the chicken breast whole with a big side of roasted veggies. This may seem like a lot of roasted vegetables for two people but I can tell you that there may occasionally be a piece or two of chicken left over, but by the end of the meal, every single vegetable is gone. And if you roast sweet potatoes, they are so sweet they can even be dessert. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones