What I Cooked Today

Nov 30, 2018

Spaghetti & Meatballs & Cookies

Easy Spaghetti & MeatballsI can never get enough spaghetti and meatballs. It’s really one of the best comfort foods. Most people think you have to cook sauce for hours but I will never do that when I can make delicious marinara sauce (and meatballs) in half an hour. I always use canned San Marzano plum tomatoes for my sauce.

And people think you have to brown meatballs first before putting them in your sauce but I don’t do that either. By cooking the meatballs totally in the sauce they come out super soft and delicious. We had this tonight with a salad and breadsticks. I made cookies too.

For dessert I made soft & chewy oatmeal raisin cookies – super easy. I’ll be posting that recipe soon. Meantime, if you want to try my quick and easy spaghetti and meatballs recipe, click here.Jenny Jones

Nov 12, 2018

I Made Ribs

Best Baby Back Oven RibsI made ribs this weekend with my own rub and sauce and I can see why the video has 5 million views and 35,000 comments on youtube and why my recipe has garnered over 800 comments here on this website. They are fantastic! I always make them in the oven now because I don’t like cleaning the grill. And this time I couldn’t find the silver skin on the back to remove and they were still just as tender as ever.

In case anyone has not tried this easy, foolproof way to make the most delicious fall-off-the-bone-ribs, try this recipe. Use my rub and sauce and you won’t be disappointed.

I went to bed early last night, planning to have the leftovers for dinner tonight but this morning, two of the ribs are missing. Apparently, my husband decided he needed a midnight snack. 😋 Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Nov 4, 2018

Custard Filled Pączki – Polish Doughnuts

Oven baked custard filled donutsSomebody please stop me from eating five! These oven-baked Polish doughnuts are so light and so delicious and filled with homemade custard, well….. I can only make these a few times a year. It’s too easy to eat five. Pączki are most often filled with jam but custard is my favorite by far. These Polish doughnuts are light and airy and really simple to make.

Filling them is the hardest part and a pastry bag does make it easy. I used to use a long, slender pastry tip but I find it easier to use a wider tip, something like these:

Pączki are traditionally fried but I avoid eating deep fried food – nobody needs that. Besides, I could never eat five fried doughnuts without requiring medical care. Oven-baked is the way to go. Fill them with jam or custard. Either way you will love these delicious pączki (pronounced potnch-kee). Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Oct 15, 2018

I Made Apple Pie

Easy Apple Pie Oil Crust

Autumn is here and that means it’s apple pie time. I always make it with an oil crust because if nothing else, it’s just easier. You can pat it into the pan but I find that rolling it between sheets of wax paper is the best way to use an oil crust, especially for the top. My apples of choice are granny smith 🍏 and my thickener of choice is tapioca but flour works too.

Homemade apple pie is something special. We were at a social gathering last night and when desserts were set out, I told some friends I had just made an apple pie and it was cooling on the counter at home. If they wanted to, we could skip the prepared desserts and go to my house for apple pie. “Homemade apple pie? Let’s go!”

That’s the power of homemade apple pie. My husband’s two favorite desserts are my Fresh Strawberry Cake and Homemade Apple Pie. Nothing compares. I love this delicious pie and I must admit I like the power. I think I hear him in the garage right now cleaning things up. 😍 Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Sep 23, 2018

Sunday Dinner

30 Minute MealsI wanted something easy to make for dinner so I picked my 30-minute spaghetti with meat sauce and spinach. It’s a complete meal and it all cooks in one pot. Yes. The spaghetti cooks in the sauce along with the beef and spinach. I love that it makes a thick, meaty and delicious spaghetti and the spinach adds lots of nutrition. The recipe calls for 5 ounces of spinach but if I can cram a little more under the lid I always do because it looks like a lot, but spinach cooks down so much it almost disappears – not a bad thing for those who are not fans of this nutritious green. I have made it with baby spinach and also regular spinach, whichever one looks fresher in the package. I love this easy dinner. I went back for two more helpings, it’s that good. Click here for the recipe.

Healthy Cinnamon RollsOh, and I made cinnamon rolls with breakfast. Notice I say “with” and not “for.” That’s because cinnamon rolls FOR breakfast is a no-no. But once you have your eggs and whole grain toast and a little fruit, you’re allowed to have a cinnamon roll. At least that’s the rule around here because it’s my kitchen and I am in charge! 🙂 This is an easy one-rise recipe that I make without butter but you can use butter in the filling if you like. It’s one of my most popular recipes. Click here for my cinnamon rolls recipe. – Jenny Jones

Sep 5, 2018

Easy Multigrain Artisan Bread

Easy Mulitgrain Artisan BreadI never knew such a healthy, hearty bread could be so good and so easy to make. It’s probably the no knead bread I make the most because it’s just so easy. I haven’t bought bread in years. All of the bread recipes I post here are ones I make at home and it’s usually the Dutch oven breads because they are so easy to put together.

The prep is barely 5 minutes as you just combine the oats and flour(s) with yeast, salt, and water in a bowl. You cover the dough and let it rest overnight and the next day you fold the dough over a few times, let it rest a while, and bake in a Dutch oven. It’s foolproof. And you get a hearty, crusty loaf of bread you could never buy anywhere that’s so fresh and delicious. This multigrain no knead loaf is usually part of my breakfast and I also love it with a bowl of vegetable soup.

I started the dough last night but I was impatient this morning and didn’t wait the full 2 hours before baking. It was actually 1 hour and 15 minutes so I saved 45 minutes off the resting time. I will try it again with the shorter resting time and if it works once more (and was not a flook) I will adjust the recipe so you can make it faster. To try my multigrain no knead artisan bread, click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Aug 30, 2018

Carrot Cake with Chocolate Frosting? Yes!

Carrot Cake with Chocolate FrostingI didn’t have any cream cheese. But I wanted carrot cake. My husband said, “How about your chocolate frosting?” (He loves chocolate!) Once I stopped laughing, I decided to make my whole wheat carrot cake with chocolate frosting, knowing once he had a taste, he would agree to never make a baking suggestion again. Well after I ate some of the cake, I had to eat crow. It was delicious!

Homemade carrot cake is a real treat and worth the effort of shredding a big carrot. I’ve simplified my recipe so it works with or without crushed pineapple and this time I didn’t have pineapple either and this cake is really delicious without it, especially with chocolate frosting. I used my 2-Minute Chocolate Frosting and frosted only the top of my cake right in the pan.

Mine is a healthier whole wheat carrot cake make without butter so the only butter here is in the frosting. I sometimes double the frosting, split the cake and make it a 2-layer treat. If you want to try something different and delicious, make homemade carrot cake with chocolate frosting, or use the traditional cream cheese topping.  Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Aug 7, 2018

Whole Wheat Chocolate Chip Cookies

Chocolate Chip Cookies from ScratchI always look for a healthier way to make all the favorite things we like to eat and chocolate chip cookies are at the top of my “favorite things to eat” list. I posted my recipe some time ago but when I baked them today, I made a couple of small improvements. I reduced the oil and salt a little and I prefer them the new way. (the changes are noted in the recipe).

Anyone looking to bake with whole grains can make my version that uses part whole wheat & part all purpose flour. But these healthier cookies can also be made using only all purpose flour but honestly, there’s not much difference so I say go with the whole wheat version.

While most chocolate chip cookie recipes start out with a stick of butter, my recipe uses only three tablespoons of butter. I’m still not convinced we should be eating lots of butter as some people believe but when I use butter, I’m going with the grass-fed kind.

I always put nuts in these cookies and whether you use walnuts or pecans, I highly recommend toasting the nuts first. Toasting intensifies the flavor and it will add a lot to these delicious cookies, especially pecans. For chocolate chips, the darker the better for some health benefits.

To try my whole wheat dark chocolate chip cookies, just click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jul 22, 2018

Sunday Breakfast

I want to remind everyone how easy it is to make pancakes from scratch. How easy? Twelve minutes. Yes, it takes just 12 minutes to make my whole grain oatmeal pancakes. It was our Sunday breakfast, served with a little butter and a lot of real maple syrup.

These easy, healthy pancakes are made with buttermilk, oats, and whole wheat pastry flour so they are 100% whole grain. Buttermilk really makes the best pancakes! My usual breakfast is a hard-boiled egg, a slice of my homemade bread, a little fruit, and a cup of tea, but Sunday is the day for special treats – I should have called it Sunday brunch because we didn’t eat until after 11:00.

I found these pretty plates at Walmart so I took a new picture. Next Sunday, or maybe tomorrow, if you want a healthy whole grain breakfast that’s fun and easy, click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Jun 22, 2018

Apple Pie Bars Without Butter

Apple Pie Bars RecipeI was too lazy to make apple pie today but I needed an apple pie fix, so I made some healthier and easier apple pie bars. My simple recipe uses an easy oil crust and two pounds of apples and bakes in an 8 by 8-inch square pan so it makes nine servings. These did not last nine days, or even four days. Somebody around here thinks it’s okay to have one with breakfast because it has… you know… fruit.

To me, Granny Smith are still the best baking apples but I also use them because they are available almost everywhere. I use extra light olive oil or non-GMO canola oil for the crust so this recipe has not butter. This time I lined the pan with parchment paper so I could lift the whole thing out and cut it into bars on a platter. You’ll never miss the butter with these easy apple bars. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

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