Feb 25, 2024

Photo of the Month (February)

Best Recipe Homemade RollsThe world needs more people like Rhonda! She made my recipe for white bread into dinner rolls, but look how she shared these rolls and how much good she did in her community…

Rhonda wrote, “I prepared four batches for a total yield of 36 rolls. We made them to share with residents in the 55 and older mobile home park we live in for our first “2nd Friday Soup Social” held this February.  My son suggested we do this dinner event a few months ago as a way of sharing and getting to know our neighbors. He moved here a year ago and has since realized many of the residents are well over 55 years old and don’t socialize much. We posted our invite in the monthly newsletter that is distributed to all 155 homes in our park. Everyone was invited with us knowing the usual turnout for activities is less than 12 people. We provided two homemade soups to choose from – Minestrone and Chicken Noodle – with a homemade roll.

We made enough soup for 24 thinking some might take some home to their neighbor. We provided cardboard soup containers with lids so they could transport their soup easily if they chose to take their soup home to eat or to share. Eighteen people showed up! All 18 stayed to eat their soup and socialize! Several had seconds and a few took soup to their neighbors. We also took soup to a couple of neighbors we knew were convalescing. We had a great time preparing the soups and rolls. We enjoyed socializing with neighbors we knew and met some new people, too.

We plan to repeat this event in March and April, at least. Given the thanks and the compliments we received, we anticipate needing more soup and rolls. Thank you for a delicious and simple recipe for the best rolls. After trying several recipes, your’s delivered the easiest, tastiest and most versatile rolls for our crowd.”

Rhonda is a gift to her community. I’m so proud that my recipe was a part of this generous and welcoming event. Isolation is common with seniors and can lead to numerous health problems. Bringing their neighbors together is such a wonderful thing she and your son are doing. Homemade food is a gift from the heart and by simply bringing people together, she might also be saving lives. I hope others might be inspired to share food and kindness with those who need it.

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Feb 28, 2023

Photo of the Month (February)

Easter Bunny Buns Recipe

Easter is just a few weeks away and this photo of my bunny buns makes me smile every time. Jane, from Kansas City, Missouri is an artist. She made a cat and a dog too! How cute are those?  “I made your bunny buns and added cat and dog buns,” she wrote. “Our grandchildren loved them!” I can only imagine how any children or grandchildren would love these adorable buns. It makes me wonder what other animals can be made? Please send a photo if you make some “fun buns.” I’m going to try a frog. 🐸

p.s. This is one of dozens of photos that were lost in my spam folder for a year but finally found. (from Feb. 2022)

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Feb 24, 2023

I’m sad, no I’m glad, but I’m mad!

I’m sad but glad, and mad (at Google!). When I started seeing less and less photos coming in to my “Your Photos” sections, I was sad. I was always excited when someone took the time to send a photo so I posted them myself with a personal note. But oh well, I thought, other websites are popping up and my recipes won’t be popular forever. Then last week, a nice person named Ann Marie posted that her photo was returned.

I let my administrator know and after a lot of checking, it turns out that a new Google algorithm update has been marking most of the photos as spam… for months… maybe longer! When I looked in the spam folder, I found so many pictures there I cried. I was sad but glad because people still cared enough to send me their photos. Then I got mad at Google for doing this update. I thought about boycotting Google but decided against it because I sold my Encyclopedia Brittanica. 🤓

I’m so sorry if anyone felt that I ignored them. The photos were lost but only for a while. I’ve been posting them and will continue as long as it takes. I still can’t count them all but it’s well over 100, maybe 200 pictures. If your picture didn’t get posted, please check back.

I’m so happy to see all of these photos, but I’m still kind of mad at Google. I won’t boycott them but I might call and ask to speak to the manager. 😀

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Dec 23, 2022

Photo of the Month (December)

Easy Christmas Bread

All I can say is,”Wow!” This gorgeous Christmas Wreath was made by Beth in Canada and it’s post card perfect. “It turned out beyond my expectations,” she wrote. “I used raisins, dried apricots and cranberries and added some orange zest and of course the xtra egg yolk as you suggested.” Beth said she is baking during a “frigid blizzard event today in south western Ontario” and I remember many blizzards growing up in the same area. We always hoped for a white Christmas but maybe not this white!

Merry Christmas to everyone and Happy Baking!

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Nov 1, 2022

Photo of the Month (October)

This photo brought me so much joy! It was sent in by Beth in Canada, whose adorable granddaughter made my chocolate pudding. How cute is she? Beth said her granddaughter was watching my chocolate pudding video while eating lunch and then she made it for a treat. “After making chocolate pudding in the sandbox,” said Beth, “she asked to make the real thing.”

Its always makes me happy to see children take an interest in cooking and I encourage everyone to involve young family members in the kitchen. Let them be your “helper” and encourage them to try to make their own creations. It can be really fun to play in the kitchen and be learning at the same time. This little angel made her own pudding from scratch! Thank you, Beth, for sharing your photos and please tell you granddaughter I said, “Great job!”

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Oct 28, 2022

❤️ The Power of Sharing Food ❤️

I was so  moved by a recent comment from “Lisa” I just have to share it here with everyone, especially with the holidays approaching. It’s a beautiful story of love, loss, family, and the healing power of food.

Lisa first wrote:

Made these (Lemon Brownies) for the first time last year as part of my massive christmas cookie platters for family. Huge hit! So good that I wanted them all to myself but I took the high road and added them to the platters. Just made these again for my Uncle who traveled from Colorado to NY to see family for the first time since he lost both his parents and his wife all within 3 months. I wanted to bring him some comfort as his wife (my Aunt) was such an amazing baker. I brought these to him and he just kept smelling them and then dove in. He LOVES lemon and he told me that these were an absolute blessing! It made him open up and talk about memories of his wife. How wonderfully healing is that? Jenny, just wanted you to know how much of an impact this lovely space you’ve created and your recipes that are shared with so many loved ones across the planet. Thank you so much!! Family is everything.

I responded:

Lisa, your letter brought me to tears. You are so kind to share this with me and I’m so very sorry for the losses endured by your uncle. To think that this simple recipe brought comfort and healing to someone who is suffering means so very much to me. We all know that foods can heal the body when we’re sick but you reminded us that when you cook from the heart for someone in need, there is no better gift. Thank you for sharing this with us and for showing your uncle how much he is loved. ❤️

Lisa wrote back:

Jenny, thank you so very much for your kind words. By leaving my story here in this wonderful space you’ve created, I was planting a tiny seed of hope, sprinkled with love, wishing the message would find it’s way to you and others and continue it’s journey across the world to inspire ways of keeping us all connected. I thought that with the high volume of comments here, you might not see it – but then again, you just might – and you did & responded. In this busy world, that’s a testament to your beautiful heart and a reminder that we should never lose hope. You are absolutely right about the power behind reaching down within ourselves to help others who are hurting, especially if we, are hurting as well. The smallest kindness (a tray of lemon brownies) can spark a wave of healing. How many family stories are anchored by people gathering and the sharing of food? It can also bring complete strangers together – creating a new bond over common ground – and can be so very healing to the giver and receiver.

The other end of my Uncle’s story (his wife and he had been together since the 8th grade, married 54 yrs) was that he was traveling to NY to stay and visit with his sister (my Mom). So, she also had lost her parents (my Grandparents, married for 74 years, my Grandmother from Alzheimer’s, my Grandfather from being 92 and the completely-at-home caretaker to someone with Alzheimer’s) and a very dear sister in law (my Aunt from cancer) and then, a few months later, her husband (my step Dad to Alzheimer’s). So, when I brought your simple lemon brownie recipe to my Mom’s home, for her and my Uncle – it was anything but a simple recipe – it was also for my Grandparents, my Aunt, my Step Dad and, lastly, myself. We were all burdened by loss but continue to look around us to see the precious connections that remain and by sharing our family memories while sitting there enjoying your lemon brownies, we fed our souls with the beautiful journey that is life and celebrated the connection to those who we have lost in this world but will remain forever connected to. After I left my Mom’s that day, she told me that my other Uncle (their other brother who had also lost both parents) stopped by to visit with both of them that same day. She sent him home with some of those healing lemon brownies to share with his family.

I also want to mention that I was extremely close to my Grandmother and some of the best memories were baking with her. I had her handwritten recipe for dinner rolls – that she always made for family gatherings – put onto a tea towel and gave as gifts to family members after she passed. I spoke of this at her funeral and afterwards, extended family members came up to me and asked for her recipe to share with their families. I turned my spare room in my tiny house into a baking room, filled with family photos on my Grandparent’s hutch that moved from house to house with them that now resides with me, my Grandmother’s baking apron hangs on the door, her old pyrex dishes and rolling pin, not only displayed but still very much in use. I am surrounded by memories and love in that baking room and I definitely feel like I am baking with my loved ones there.

And so, the tiny seed, sprinkled with love, continues its journey, ever upward and outward, in it’s never-ending journey to connect us all. Thank you, Jenny. You are a gift. You are that seed.

Here’s my Grandmother’s dinner roll recipe – in her hand writing that I had added to a tea towel to gift to family members. (as well as my Grandparent’s wedding photo that lives in my baking room):

I wanted to you to have it as a tangible reminder of the power of sharing recipes and stories with each other, although I know I’m preaching to the choir on that point. In one of the photos (the middle one) your one bowl lemon brownies recipe is in my go to recipe book in the left hand back part of the photo). I should make another batch of lemon brownies and put this tea towel next to the goodies and your recipe & take another photo and send that to you. (Sadly, I found the empty lemon brownie dish sitting in my sink this morning. My hubby who’s not a sweets kind of person – and who usually saves the last of something good for me – told me how great those lemon brownies were! Emphasis on ‘WERE.”) 😉  He said “Oh Wow! So moist! So light!” Back to the store for lemons!

Lisa, you’re an inspiration. Thank you again for sharing your story. ❤️ jenny

Lisa’s Orange Brownies:

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Apr 12, 2022

Photo of the Month (March)

Cinnamon Raisin BreadEaster Sunday is just days away and I am craving my cinnamon-raisin bread. This gorgeous picture was sent in by Tabitha from Knoxville, Tennessee, and I can almost smell the tunnels of cinnamon just looking at it. It’s my photo of the month and my photo of Easter week. Thank you, Tabitha, and I want to wish everyone a Happy Easter. For the recipe, click here.

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Jan 4, 2022

Photo of the Month (Nov – Dec)

Cinnamon Rolls Jenny Can CookThis photo sent me into my kitchen to set out the cinnamon and all the ingredients needed to make cinnamon rolls. That’s why my photo of the month(s) is this one from Barb in Ontario, Canada.  She and her husband both lost their jobs in the past year so she’s been making everything at home, including all of my breads. Hubby has a sweet tooth and was craving cinnamon rolls. “I was reticent about cinnamon rolls,” she said, “I thought they’d be too tricky for me!  BUT I watched your video, taking note of the tips for not rolling too tight and using dental floss for slicing. It was easy!” And they must have been delicious because they were all gone by the next day. Thank you, Barb, for your tasty photo. My cinnamon rolls didn’t last long either. 😋

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Dec 22, 2021

🎄Merry Christmas🎄

❤️ Sending Christmas wishes to everyone. ❤️

~ I hope all your holiday baking turns out and you have a wonderful Christmas & New Year. ~

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Nov 1, 2021

Photo of the Month (October)

Jenny Can Cook BreadsThis was an easy choice. Seeing this young man embrace baking made me so happy, and he is not just a baker, he is an artist! Just look at what he made in the October photos section. His grandmother, Jeannie, wrote that “since Covid started and my grandson being home with me quite often, he has found a new passion; bread baking.” To know that my recipes played a small part in a young person’s passion for baking and seeing how skilled he is already, I can only imagine what the future holds for this talented young baker. I look forward to seeing more of his creations.

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