jenny can cook

Sep 21, 2016

Soup That Heals

Wound Healing SoupIf you know anyone recovering from an injury or surgery, make them soup using these vegetables: carrot, potato, sweet potato, red pepper, broccoli, spinach and add some lima beans. By researching, I learned that there are certain nutrients that can help heal the body from an injury, a wound, or surgery. The most essential are vitamins A, C, and E along with zinc, calcium, potassium, and protein. So I created this recipe using ingredients highest in these nutrients for a powerful healing soup. It’s also a delicious vegetable soup and any vegetable soup will have health benefits, but using these specific ingredients provide the best concentrate of what is needed by the body to heal.

I make this soup using my own homemade chicken broth. Chicken broth has its own health benefits and it’s the best liquid to use. Vegetable broth is also a good choice but even if you use plain water, all the wound healing benefits will still be there. If someone is not able to eat due to a closed jaw or dental surgery, this soup can be pureed to drink, or pureed and thinned to drink with a straw.

One more food with excellent healing enzymes is fresh pineapple (not canned – only fresh has enzymes). So the most beneficial meal to help recover would be a big bowl of wound healing soup with some fresh pineapple for dessert.

By the way, even if you’re not trying to heal, this is an incredibly healthy vegetable soup full of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. If you want to use my chicken soup as a base, click here for the recipe. You can make the stock the day before and after it’s refrigerated, remove the fat from the top and proceed with this vegetable soup. Once you have the stock, my wound healing vegetable soup takes just 30 minutes to make. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Sep 17, 2016

How To Measure (& Aerate) Flour

Flour must be aerated before measuring because it often settles in the bag or container making it heavy  and compact, resulting in too much flour being measured. Aerating basically means fluffing it up and is not the same as sifting. Flour should not be sifted before measuring unless the recipe states to do so. Otherwise sifting will result in too little flour being measured.

If you dip into flour without aerating, you will be getting too much flour and your dough will be too dry. To aerate flour you simply stir it around with a spoon before measuring. To measure, be sure to use a flat-topped dry measuring cup. You can see how I aerate flour in my Quick and Easy Chocolate Cake video at the one minute mark: Click here to see it.

After aerating, there are two ways to measure the flour: 1) Scoop & Level – Gently scoop the flour up with a spoon and sprinkle it into your measuring cup until it’s mounded above the rim. Do not tap the cup or the container of flour. Finally, level off the excess flour with the back of a knife. 2) Dip & Level – Gently dip your measuring cup into the flour until it’s mounded above the rim and level off the excess flour with the back of a knife. In my kitchen, a cup of flour weighs 4 1/2 ounces (130 grams).

How To Aerate Flour

Sep 11, 2016

I Made Apple Muffins

Whole Wheat Apple MuffinsThey are low in sugar with as many diced apples as I could squeeze in. The top is the best part because I sprinkle it with a little cinnamon & sugar before baking. I used a mix of Granny Smith and gala apples and I was out of buttermilk so I used a mixture of milk and plain yogurt (about 1/2 & 1/2) and it worked great.

There’s no butter in these lightly sweet, delicious muffins, but they don’t need it. Anything baked with apples is always going to be good. It’s apples!  Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Sep 5, 2016

Whole Wheat Blueberry Muffins

Whole Wheat Blueberry MuffinsBlueberries were on sale yesterday so I made muffins. These are part whole wheat, part white, and I followed my lemon-blueberry muffin recipe but without the lemon. (I forgot to buy a lemon!) So no lemon peel and no lemon glaze and instead of the glaze I just sprinkled the tops with a little sugar for a nice, sweet, crispy top. Oh, and I was out of buttermilk so I mixed up some milk and yogurt, about 1/2 and 1/2 and it worked great. Imagine if I had some lemon yogurt!

We had these delicious whole wheat blueberry muffins as part of our breakfast and I’m planning another one for dessert after my beef stew. Blueberries are called “brain food” for all the antioxidant benefits they provide to help protect against Alzheimer’s and other diseases. So while they’re still affordable, I recommend eating blueberries any way you can… like my blueberry pancakes, coffee cake, or my fancy lemon-blueberry  bundt cake. To make these easy whole wheat muffins or the lemon-blueberry muffins, click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Sep 1, 2016

My Top Ten Favorite Recipes

Easy Orange Sesame Chicken RecipeI made one of my top ten favorite recipes today: Orange Sesame Chicken. It’s fast, healthy, and so much better than restaurant orange chicken, which is usually batter fried. My lean chicken is stir fried in 2 teaspoons of oil and made with freshly squeezed orange juice and toasted sesame oil. If you haven’t tasted (and smelled!) toasted sesame oil, it’s unbelievably fragrant. And bonus: this recipe takes 20 minutes. But that’s not even why I like it so much. It is deeeelicous!

If you’re wondering, here is the entire top ten list of my own personal favorite recipes, the ones I make the most:

  1. Granola Bars
  2. Tortillas
  3. Chicken Pot Pie
  4. Multigrain No Knead Bread
  5. Giant Breakfast Cookies
  6. Orange Sesame Chicken
  7. Spaghetti & Meatballs
  8. Cabbage Rolls
  9. Pork Loin Dinner
  10. Deviled Eggs

Happy Labor Day weekend to everyone and if you want to try my orange sesame chicken, click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Aug 27, 2016

Lemon Brownie Update

Best Lemon Brownies RecipeI made lemon brownies today and decided to experiment with a larger pan, using a 9 x 9-inch square instead of the 8-inch square. Well, this recipe is indestructible. The brownies turned out great, even a little fudgier than the original. Even an amateur baker can’t mess this up. I’ve made these easy lemon brownies with all purpose flour, with whole wheat pastry flour, once when I was out of yogurt I used sour cream instead and no matter what, they always turn out. And it’s one bowl!

It’s one of my most popular recipes because they are so easy to make. There is no mixer, almost no cleanup, and they are so darn delicious. If you haven’t tried it yet, or even if you have, you can now make it in an 8 by 8 or 9 by 9 pan. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Aug 14, 2016

Remember Tapioca Pudding?

Recipe for Homemade Tapiolca Pudding

Light and fluffy tapioca pudding was my favorite dessert growing up. I still make it today and it’s so easy to make.  Classic old fashioned tapioca pudding is plain, flavored only with vanilla but I have also made a butterscotch version as well as chocolate and coconut. But plain old vanilla childhood tapioca is still the best. Thank goodness they still sell Minute Tapioca in the red box.

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It’s easy to forget but you should shake the box before measuring. I actually keep my tapioca in a jar so I just stir it before measuring. Tapioca is naturally fat free and sodium free. I make my pudding with low fat 1% milk and it’s a very light dessert. I hope this takes you back to your childhood too. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Filed Under: Sweets
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Aug 12, 2016

Weekend Snacks

How to Make Rolled Sandwiches

There’s always something to snack on over the weekend in this house. Sometimes it’s my skinless chicken drumsticks but today it’s my Italian sub pinwheel sandwiches. Today I skipped the cheese and made them with sliced roasted turkey breast, nitrate-free ham, and light salami. The salami is what give them an Italian sub flavor. So here’s what’s inside my lavash bread…. mayo, mustard, Italian seasoning, diced peperoncinis, turkey, ham, salami, and lots of lettuce.

I rolled them up, wrapped them tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerated them for about 3-4 hours. Then I sliced them, covered the plate tightly with plastic wrap, and now they are in the fridge, ready for the weekend.  Some people add cream cheese or other different meats so you can make them your own. It’s the perfect TV snack if you’re watching the Olympics this weekend. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Aug 5, 2016

Blueberries are on Sale – Make a Cake

Fresh Blueberry Coffee Cake

Blueberries are on sale so it’s the perfect time to make my blueberry coffee cake. I have simplified my recipe so it’s pretty easy and if you like baking without butter, I’m your girl. This lovely and delicious cake has no butter, not even in the streusel topping. It’s an easy buttermilk cake and I use a heaping cup of blueberries. The streusel is crispy from the toasted pecans. You can use walnuts but I think pecans, especially when they are toasted first, are much more fragrant.

My streusel can be made with softened butter or a trans fat-free spread, but it’s perfect the way I make it, just using oil. I used to make this easy cake in a 9-inch pan but I like using the 8-inch round pan because the cake is taller. Inspect your blueberries and remove any bad ones and make sure they are not wet when adding to the batter. I toss the berries with a little flour before adding so they don’t sink to the bottom.

This blueberry coffee cake, like all coffee cakes, is best served warm. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Aug 3, 2016

Easy Granola Bars

Homemade Granola Bars RecipeIf you’ve ever wondered which one of my recipes I make the most, it’s granola bars. I make them almost every week. Granola bars were never my favorite thing to eat but I would occasionally buy one when I was away from home and getting hungry because it’s a healthy choice but the ones from the store never left me wanting more. These days I crave granola bars because homemade bars are infinitely better… and easy to make.

I make sure we always have these delicious bars at home and as soon as we run out, I make more. They are full of protein and fiber and they are incredibly easy to make. Everything mixes in one bowl and you bake it.

How To Line a Pan for Granola Bars (with Parchment Paper).

The hardest part is lining the pan with parchment paper because it won’t always stay in place, but I found an easier way to do it… with binder clips. You can get them at a stationery store and since they’re metal, they can go right in the oven.

Cut two parchment paper pieces a little bit wider than your 9-inch pan and lay them in, criss-crossing each other, clipping the ends down as you go. It will keep the paper in place, like this…

Parchment1000_1685Now that you know how  easy it is to make your own granola bars, try them and see if you don’t wind up like me, making them every week.  Every time I go out the door, I take one with me. You will too. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones