Quick & easy pierogi? There is no such thing. But if ever a recipe was worth the time, it’s homemade pierogi. I only make potato & cheese pierogi because that’s what I grew up on. My dad taught me how to make them and I’m so glad I shared the recipe because I wasn’t sure if anyone would want to put in the effort. It turns out a lot of people do. There are hundreds of comments and over a million people have watched the video.
There are two things to make: the dough and the filling. The mashed potato filling is easy to make but the dough takes more time and it’s important that the filling stays inside the dough when they are boiled. Before boiling, the pierogi must be kept apart on a floured towel because if they touch each other they will likely stick and create an opening in the dough. That would result in them breaking apart when they’re boiled. I line a baking sheet with a dish towel and sprinkle it with flour and place them on the towel, not touching.
I boil mine in a medium saucepan so I only boil 4 or 5 at a time, making sure at first that they don’t touch each other in the water. Pierogi take about 3-4 minutes to cook and when they’re done I remove them to an oiled baking sheet and put the next few in the boiling water. (By the way, “pierogi” is plural – one is called a “pierog” but people often use “pierogies” as the plural).
Once they’re cooked I still keep them mostly separated. There are two ways to enjoy these Polish treasures. One is to eat them right after boiling when they are soft and tender, served with sour cream and bacon bits. I rarely eat bacon but that rule goes out the window when I make homemade pierogi.
The other way is to pan fry them in a little oil or butter until they’re lightly browned and serve them with (big surprise…) sour cream and bacon bits. They are also often served with fried onions. Well I have to go now. We have leftovers. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
I 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
Look what I made! It was just an experiment but it turned out to be amazing! Anyone can make no knead bread without a Dutch oven. It helps to create steam inside the oven just like it’s created inside a Dutch oven. Steam is what makes a crispy crust and it’s really easy. What you do is put a small pan in the oven before you preheat it and then when the oven is hot and you put in the bread to bake, you also pour some hot water into the small pan and it creates steam. Then you quickly close the oven door to keep the steam inside and after 30 minutes, you will have an fantastic loaf of ciabatta bread with a soft interior and a beautiful golden crispy crust.
You can use a variety of pans to create the steam (do a google search for ideas if you like) but that process is not easy on the pan. I have used a small flat pan as pictures as well as a small 6-cup disposable foil pan. But if it does not fit on the same rack as your baking pan, just place it on a rack below. You may have to remove a rack to make room but whether beside the bread or on a rack below, keep it off to the side and don’t put it directly under the bread. And be sure to keep it close to the front for easy access. Here is how I place mine and how you can place it below if your oven is smaller.
I pour about 3/4 cup of hot or boiling water into 3 or 4 of the muffin cups or into the small pan. It’s good to use an oven glove when you pour the hot water because it creates steam right away and be sure to close the oven door immediately so the steam can’t escape. You can re-use the muffin pan, although it will turn dark. So there it is. I hope my photos help and now everyone who does not have a Dutch oven will be able to make this fabulous no knead, easy, homemade ciabatta bread. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
Roasting vegetables is just about the easiest way to cook them. I love this dish so much, probably because roasting brings out the sugar in vegetables so they are sweeter, and in many cases, have more nutrients than they do raw. Today I used red potatoes, sweet potatoes, red & yellow peppers, green beans, Brussels sprouts, red onions, and carrots. I added some olive oil, salt & pepper and roasted them at 400 along with my pork tenderloin. Here they are after roasting…
This may look like a lot but between the two of us there was not one piece of vegetable left on this tray. We usually save some of the sweet potato slices for dessert because they are so sweet after roasting. With all these beautiful colors, the antioxidants here are enormous. I have two recipes you might like. One is just the roasted vegetables as a side dish. The other is what I made tonight, my fabulous pork loin dinner. (there’s no pork left either!)
Pork is one of the leanest meats you can find, and so delicious! Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
Not all chicken meatballs are soft but these are. The secret is to cook them right in the sauce. Ground chicken breast is very lean and healthy but since it contains so little fat, it’s easy for chicken meatballs to become dry. But when they’re cooked in the sauce, they are beautifully soft and even more flavorful from absorbing the sauce.
Using fresh bread crumbs also helps with their beautifully soft texture. Fresh crumbs are made by using fresh bread, in this case whole wheat bread, and running it through a food processor. Since I always bake my own simple whole wheat bread, that’s what I use for the crumbs so it’s important to use a soft whole wheat bread for these fresh crumbs. Click here for my recipe and video on making bread crumbs.
You can put this meal, with sauce, together in about 1/2 an hour if you use myQuick & Easy Spaghetti Sauce. In fact, you can follow myQuick & Easy Spaghetti & Meatballs recipe and just swap the beef meatballs with my chicken recipe. Both of these sauce recipes are exactly the same. If you don’t want to use sauce and would prefer to pan-fry or oven-bake these chicken meatballs, you can do that. They won’t be quite as soft, and not as pretty, but they still taste really good.
I experimented with both pan-frying and oven-baking and here’s how you would do that. To pan-fry, heat a little olive oil in a large pan and cook the meatballs for about 10 minutes, gently turning to brown all sides. They won’t be meatballs any more… more more like meat triangles. To oven-bake, place the meatballs on a greased baking sheet and bake in a preheated 400° F oven for about 20 minutes. The meatballs are done when the inside reaches 165° F. As I said, they won’t be as pretty as the sauce version and here is the proof:
I told you they weren’t pretty!! Of the two options, the pan-fried meatballs tasted better, probably because they were browned. So now you have options, but I highly recommend cooking these chicken breast meatballs in sauce for the best result. – Jenny Jones
I’m posting my new simpler way to make one of my favorite one pan meals. This no-fuss dinner cooks in one pan and it takes almost no work. Plus the whole house smells divine with all the spices as they cook. Both the chicken and the potatoes are coated with a mixture of aromatic spices & olive oil and as they’re cooking along in the oven, you have plenty of time to make a salad or cook a side vegetable.
What I like most about this recipe is that the two foods can be separated at the end if either the chicken or potatoes need a few more minutes. Chicken thighs come in all sizes – sometimes I get four in a pack and sometimes six. So smaller pieces will cook faster. And depending how big you cut your potato wedges, they may need more or less time. So at the end, you can separate the chicken from the potatoes and cook just one of them a little longer if needed. I only had to do that once.
The broiler-type pan is important because chicken thighs have a lot of fat and all the fat cooks off and stays in the broiler pan, not touching the chicken, and not spreading onto the flat part of the pan where the potatoes cook and that keeps the potatoes crispy.
I had posted this recipe before when I used to cook asparagus on the same pan but it was too much trouble so now I just cook my green vegetable separately. This chicken dinner goes really well with asparagus and I’ve had it with broccoli and brussels sprouts, too. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
I’m spoiling myself by creating so many quick and easy recipes that I’m no longer willing to take all day to make a good meat sauce. So I changed my recipe from 2 1/4 hours to 45 minutes and now I’ve decided even that was too long. So I just posted a new, simpler, faster recipe for a delicious meat sauce and here’s the best part: Thirty minutes! And it’s delicious!
I didn’t give up any flavor with my new meat sauce recipe. Mainly, I eliminated the carrots, the celery, and the extra liquid which needed all that cooking time. I love the new simple meat sauce. It leaves me time to make my homemade gnocchi to have with it. This recipe is perfect for beginners with simple ingredients and hardly any work. Click here for the new recipe.- Jenny Jones
This recipe is so simple I hesitated to post it. It’s not fancy, or exciting, but I find myself making it so often, on those days when it’s suddenly time for dinner and I haven’t shopped for groceries and I’m hungry… I thought someone else has probably been there too. This simple rice and beans uses canned beans and chiles and long grain rice, all pantry items you can easily keep on hand. And most cooks have onions and garlic in the house – that’s all you need to make a healthy vegetarian meal.
Last night was just such a night. I was starving and wanted something easy and luckily I had canned beans and chiles… I was home free! I love this easy recipe. I didn’t even have chicken stock so I used plain water and it was still good. While it was cooking I had plenty of time to make and eat a big salad. By the way, I tried this rice & beans once with the “hot” chiles – OMG!! Too spicy for me!!
My favorite rice for this is Uncle Ben’s and I like Ortega brand fire roasted chiles. I usually find S&W black beans and I never used to rinse them. The rice got dark brown but I didn’t mind since it didn’t affect the taste but since I was taking a picture, I rinsed them and the dish looks much better.
This dish is not spicy at all. Don’t be scared off by the “fire-roasted” chiles. I use the mild ones and there is no heat at all.
I know this is not a fancy dinner but it’s quick and easy, filled with protein & fiber and it’s economical too. By the way, black beans have the highest antioxidant level of all beans and they also provide the same heart-health benefits as red wine. With black beans you’ll also be getting fiber, calcium, folate, iron, potassium, and protection against cancer, heart disease, and diabetes.
You won’t need teeth to eat this soft and tender manicotti made with crepes. And these are whole wheat crepes! I’ve tried stuffing manicotti pasta – you know, the ones that break when you boil them, and slip and slide when you try to stuff them. It’s easier and faster to make homemade crepes and just roll them up with a simple ricotta cheese filling.
This recipe uses two of my other recipes: Crepes and Quick & Easy Spaghetti Sauce. I make the crepes with whole wheat pastry flour. You can use all-purpose flour but trust me, they are beautifully soft and tender made with w.w.p. flour. The best part is that you can make the crepes and sauce a day or two in advance and when it’s time to make dinner you only have to put the easy filling together, roll up the crepes, and bake. You’ll have just enough time to make a salad and some steamed broccoli on the side.
The stuffing is a simple combination of part skim ricotta and mozzarella cheeses with parmesan, parsley, and an egg yolk. You can cover them all over with sauce or sometimes I leave the sides bare and put sauce down the center. I’m a big fan of my homemade spaghetti sauce but you certainly can use a bottled sauce if you like.
When stuffing and rolling the manicotti, you can tuck in the ends to seal in the filling but I like to leave the ends open and let a little cheese show itself. Plus it’s less work just to roll them up, no tucking. Remember it’s important to have vegetables at every meal so while this bakes for 30 minutes, be sure to take time to make a salad and a cooked vegetable on the side.