Your questions answered…

Can I share your recipes?

Absolutely! Feel free to share any of my recipes with your friends. First, choose the recipe you want to share and make sure you have that recipe page open.  Second, if you are on Pinterest, Facebook, or Twitter, just use the handy links at the top of each recipe page and click away. If you are not on social media and want to share a recipe by email, just copy the link in the address bar at the top and paste the link into an email. Then send the email and the recipient can use the link to access the recipe. It’s that easy.

Why aren’t you on the food network?

They haven’t called but if they did, I would have to pass. I prefer to cook in my own kitchen at my own pace. Besides, they don’t seem to focus much on healthy foods and meals so I prefer to share my recipes on the internet. Doing it on TV might seem too much like work and then there’s the makeup and the hair and I hate Spanx!

Is there anything you can’t cook?

Oh yes there is… pork chops! I’ve tried so many recipes and they always turn out tough and dry, so I’ve decided I can live without pork chops. I have too many other healthy meals to choose from, like my marinated pork loin, which I love.

How old are you?

I was born in June of 1946.

What’s your worst recipe disaster?

Pork chops.

What would you eat every day if you could?

Concord grapes… or homemade bread! I do focus on eating healthy foods and meals but when I have something I really love, like freshly baked bread, I eat way more than anyone should.

What are your favorite recipes?

Oh boy! There are so many that I just love and of course that’s why I post them – because they are what I love making for myself. I will try to list my favorites but it’s not easy. Here goes… Breakfast: Buckwheat Pancakes or Cheese Blintzes & I love my Breakfast Cookies. Breads: Any No Knead Bread and Sesame Seed Breadsticks. Snacks: Granola Bars. Dinner: Cabbage Rolls, Chicken Veggie Pasta, and my Chicken Kabobs. Sides: Roasted Vegetables & Greek Lemon Potatoes. Desserts: Sweet Potato Chocolate Cake, Marble Loaf Cake, and Rice Pudding.

How did you learn to cook?

My dad was the cook in the family so I grew up eating his healthy meals, mostly Polish cooking. I started learning by helping out with simple recipes like mashed potatoes or salad. I learned how to make some Polish recipes like cabbage rolls but my favorite was desserts. I love sweets so as I got into my teens, I taught myself some dessert recipes, simple ones like pudding and jello. My love for sweets and my desire to stay healthy motivated me to find the best dessert recipes and make them healthier. Today, my focus is on turning those healthy recipes into simple easy recipes that actually have some health benefits. Imagine that – cookies that are good for you.

Did you ever work in a restaurant?

I did, but not as a cook. I worked as a waitress when I ran away from home at the age of eleven. I later worked part time as a waitress again at sixteen. I know what a challenging job this is – that’s why I’m a good tipper.

Where do you like to go out to eat?

You might be surprised. I don’t like fancy restaurants with menu items I can’t pronounce but prefer small, family-run hole in the wall places that serve healthy meals. I like a good burger, Chinese food that’s not batter-fried, and sometimes, I have to go out for Mexican! I’m working on a couple of Mexican recipes.

Are you a vegetarian or vegan?

No. I’m sure it’s good for you but I enjoy food too much…. everything in moderation.

How can your recipes be healthy when you bake with sugar?

I don’t claim to be a health food nut, I’m just doing the best I can to make my recipes as healthy as I can and still want to have seconds. I love sweets and have tried baking without sugar but never liked the result. So I use as little sugar as I can and enjoy my delicious dessert recipes, managing to stay in good health.

What’s your favorite dessert?

You’re killing me! How can I choose? I love sweets and eat dessert every day but only when I make them myself because I bake mostly without butter and as little sugar as I can. If I have to choose (and I don’t want to!) it would have to be my sweet potato chocolate cake. Everyone asks for the recipe! No wait… let’s add my rice pudding to the list. I love comfort foods. Oh. And my tapioca pudding.

Why do you use canola oil when they say it’s bad for you?

With a family history of high cholesterol, my biggest concern is saturated fat, and canola oil, like olive oil, was always recommended as being heart-healthy. Extra virgin live oil is the best choice so I always use it on salads and in cooking but when I’m baking and need a flavorless oil, today I have switched to avocado oil.

Do you have a cooking philosophy?

I guess I do. It is to realize that eating healthy foods and meals can have a huge impact on how you look and how you feel. And I find it very hard to eat healthy meals at restaurants so knowing how to cook is an important life skill. I would choose the most simple recipes that are homemade, like rice & beans, over most restaurant meals. Cooking your own food is not only personally rewarding, but you have the power to control exactly what’s in your food. You might order a restaurant item that seems healthy but you really have no idea how much butter or saturated fat or salt is in it. That’s why it’s important to know how to cook.

Do you ever eat fast food?

No. I care too much about my health to eat fast food. I believe that many diseases, like heart disease and diabetes, are preventable by eating healthy foods and meals and not fast food and junk food, and the best way to get those healthy foods and meals is to cook them yourself.

Where do you get these recipes?

I don’t get them anywhere. These are all the things I cook for myself at home. I am not a recipe developer and I don’t do this to make money or sell anything. I’m just sharing all of my own home cooking with whoever wants it.

Do you really take all your own food photos?

Believe it or not, it often takes longer to take the pictures than to cook the recipes. I’m not a professional photographer so my pictures are done by trial and error. The reason I take the photos is for full disclosure. I want people to see exactly how their recipes will turn out if they follow my directions.

Why don’t you answer more questions?

I feel terrible that I can’t answer all the questions but it is simply impossible. With the whole world quarantined and cooking, my website  is averaging 35,000 visitors a day (used to be 10,000)  and my youtube channel now receives over 300,000 visitors a day! I never expected that. The number is questions is overwhelming.

Any last words of advice for struggling cooks?

Yes. If I can do it, anyone can cook delicious, healthy meals – it’s just a matter of how much practice you need. It took me years to become the cook I am today and the time I spent was the best investment I could have made in my health. I believe in the power of good nutrition and I just want to share my healthy recipes with the world.

Jenny Jones