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
I 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
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
I’m so excited to share this way of making no knead bread even faster than my “faster no knead bread” recipe, which takes over four hours. And that was fast compared to the original overnight method, which took over 12 hours. But now, I am making it in two hours! This recipe uses the same ingredients as my original loaf but with more yeast. Instead of 1/4 teaspoon, I use 2 teaspoons (one packet) of instant yeast.
Most bread connoisseurs will agree that the longer the dough rests, the better flavor the bread will develop. This is true but I don’t care. Some days I want bread and I want it fast! Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
I made bran muffins today and was going to have one for breakfast. I had two. I’ve never been able to eat just one even thought they have a lot of fiber. There’s something so tasty about the combination of molasses, cinnamon, and vanilla, especially with a glass of cold milk. There are a lot of reasons to eat fiber. It can reduce blood pressure and inflammation, as well as the risk of type 2 diabetes. Fiber protects your heart, prevents constipation, and it keeps you feeling full so it helps with weight loss too.
But the best reason to eat these muffins is they are really delicious and easy to make. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
It pays to experiment. Today I decided to try making whole wheat no knead bread faster to avoid the overnight wait. I increased the amount of yeast and it worked! Most no knead breads use 1/4 teaspoon of yeast so I tried 1 teaspoon and let the dough rest for just three hours instead of overnight. I was so happy with the result. It’s a nice hearty loaf with a soft interior. This is not 100% whole wheat because that is a heavier, dense loaf. This is 2/3 whole wheat to 1/3 bread flour but it’s still a good source of fiber.
So now I have NINE different variations of no knead bread from Fruit & Nut Bread to Multi-Grain to No Dutch Oven at all. And I’m working on number ten! Keep in mind that any whole wheat bread will never be as soft and crispy as the white version but this is still a delicious, hearty, healthier whole wheat bread and it takes almost no work at all. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
In response to the many people who either do not have a Dutch oven or find it difficult to lift such a heavy pot, I decided to try making my no knead bread on a baking pan. Well guess what? It works. It makes a great loaf that’s soft inside with a beautiful golden crust. It’s not quite as crispy of a crust as the Dutch oven method but it’s close. It’s important to find a way to create steam in the oven because steam is what makes a crispy crust. But even without steam, it still bakes up nicely but with a softer crust.
For my ciabatta bread, which needs steam, I used a disposable foil 6-cup muffin pan, which you can place beside or just below the bread.
But I also found a small 9 by 5-inch baking pan for $3.50 and a restaurant supply store and it works well too. It’s what I used for this loaf.
It’s important to add the hot water right when you put in the bread and close the oven door right away. The steam is most effective right at the beginning. I use a metal measuring cup with a handle to pour the hot water. I hope my photos are helpful and that now, anyone without a Dutch oven can make this super easy, delicious, artisan bread. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones
This easy casserole just might become your new family favorite. I’ve been making it for years and everyone loves it. And I love it for two reasons. One: it’s delicious. Two: it’s easy to make. It takes just a few simple ingredients and less than an hour for some good homemade comfort food. By using lean ground beef and reduced fat cheese, I never feel stuffed after my second and third helping.
Much of the flavor comes from the sauce and you can use a homemade marinara but I use store-bought sauce. Two that I like, but can’t always find, are Silver Palate Low Sodium Marinara but this time I couldn’t find it so I used Terlato Kitchen Pomodoro, also lower in sodium and it was fantastic. Not all jarred sauces are the same so I encourage everyone to read the label for the least number of ingredients as well as sodium. Even with a low sodium sauce, this recipe doesn’t even need salt or pepper.
And don’t be tempted to use more pasta. It will seem like it’s not enough when you put it together but it’s just the right amount for this easy family casserole. 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
This is a light, easy supper that I love to make, depending what I have on hand. My favorite combo is this one with broccoli, baby spinach, bell peppers, and peas. But I have also made it with other vegetables, sometimes broccollini instead of broccoli, Swiss chard instead of spinach, or other subs like asparagus, shredded carrots, bok choy, or Chinese snow peas, so you see it’s just a great way to get a variety of cooked vegetables in one meal. But I always use at least four different veggies.
Cold cooked rice works best so I usually cook the rice the day before, and refrigerate it overnight. Mostly I use Uncle Ben’s converted rice but I have also made it with brown rice. Either way, if your rice is cooked in advance, this is a super-quick meal. Be sure to have everything ready before you start because a stir-fry means you don’t leave the pan once you start and it cooks in less than 10 minutes! So chop everything first and have everything in place before starting. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones