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. ❤️
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. ❤️🤗❤️
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! 😍
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.
If anything good could come out of our current worldwide quarantine it’s that people are learning how to cook. It’s given us a chance to either learn or to teach our children this important life skill. That’s why my pick this week is this photo of 9-year old Svea, whose mother sent it in, showing Svea taking pride in this chocolate cake she made all by herself for her family in Minnesota. I hope this inspires other young people to discover the joy (and value) of cooking. ❤️
I am thrilled every time someone sends a photo of one of my recipes. My favorite this week is from Valerie, who staged a beautiful table to show off her quick & easy chocolate cake. Actually she made two, one with sugar and one with splenda and she noted that they, “seemed the same in texture and flavor.” Good to know. Thank you, Valerie.
To see more photos sent by home cooks all over the world, click here.
Now 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.
These 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.
I finally posted a new photo of myself on this website. I enjoy taking photos of my recipes but not so much of myself but I felt obligated to show my true and current self, un-retouched. The other photo was taken 5 years ago so it was time. I’ll soon be turning 73 and couldn’t put it off much longer. At least in this one I’m still only 72!
I wore my favorite apron and included the smiley spatula. My husband took the photo after I showed him which button to press. 🙂 He always said he would do anything for me so I took him at his word. Thank you, my precious! ❤️ (He doesn’t know it yet but there’s an apple pie in his future 🍏) Happy cooking, everyone!