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Sep 15, 2015

I made apple pie without butter

Apple Pie2_1200_7652

Any time I make apple pie there’s an air of excitement around here. Has it cooled yet? How long before we can taste it? Don’t tell the neighbors – they’ll come over for sure and I want it all for myself. Homemade apple pie never loses its appeal and let me tell you this was delicious.

I used three pounds of granny smith apples and my popular oil crust and it made dinner more than just a meal… it was an event. That may be because I made my orange-sesame chicken, one of my favorite quick dinners. The picture may not show it but this easy chicken stir fry is really really good. And it’s fast. When dessert takes a little longer, like apple pie, I usually opt for a quick and easy dinner.

So anyhoooo… I’m just sharing what I cooked today. Click here for my homemade apple pie recipe. – Jenny Jones

Sep 11, 2015

Caught Again

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Sep 10, 2015

Dark Chocolate Fudge Brownies: How-To Video

“Why don’t you make more videos?” That’s what they say but here’s the problem. I’m retired! I should be lounging along an exotic beach somewhere sipping something in a tall glass with a little umbrella on it. Instead I’m in the kitchen and that’s because… well, I’d rather be in the kitchen than Cabo!

Call me crazy but they always said do what you love. And I’m doing it. So here is another video. It’s my dark chocolate fudge brownies and I’m pretty proud of myself for this easy recipe. You’ll see that by using foil and wax paper, you only have to wash one pot. And it’s another super easy, healthier than most, recipe and again I’m baking without butter.

When they said dark chocolate is good for you I celebrated by having some dark chocolate. It should be at least 70% cacao and that’s what makes this brownie so rich and fudgy. If you love chocolate you will love this simple recipe. These dark chocolate brownies are a big hit around here. In fact, my man wants chocolate chips in everything, but I draw the line at meat loaf. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Filed Under: Videos 15 Comments
Sep 9, 2015

My Homemade Pot Holders

IMG_6263-copyCooking is more fun when you have great toys to play with, like colorful bowls and kitchen tools but pretty pot holders are nowhere to be found — except in my kitchen. Because I made them. I went to Jo-Ann fabrics, got 1/4 yard of quilted fabrics, some binding and made my own. All these quilted fabrics have a different design on the back so here are the backs of my pot holders…

IMG_6267-copyHere’s how I made them: There was no pattern to so I just cut the fabric into 7 by 8-inch shapes and rounded the corners. I used two thicknesses per pot holder so before adding the binding, I first connected the pieces together to keep them flat. I did that by sewing two seams – each one diagonal from corner to corner. Then I used Double Fold Bias Tape (extra wide) for the edge. I used an old existing pot holder to see how to secure the “loop.”  I love how they turned out.

A safety note: I used two thicknesses but when I baked a cake at 350 degrees and used my new pot holder to remove the pan, a little heat came through by the time I put the pan on a rack so when I make more, I plan to use 4 thicknesses instead of just two and I suggest that if anyone makes them, to make them thicker or just use them as decoration. Next time I plan to use some leftover plain quilted fabric for my extra filler and save my fancy fabric for the outside.

Hey, with those colors I could turn these pot holders into a bikini. All I need is some colorful string and voila! Coverage for the beach! Of course, men would have it easier. All they need is an oven mitt! – Jenny Jones

Filed Under: General
5 Comments
Sep 4, 2015

Caramelized Apple Oven Pancake

Weekend breakfasts are the best because there’s more time to make things like my caramelized apple oven pancake. It only takes 30 minutes and boy, is it good! You need a 9-inch cast iron skillet and lots of apples. I use two huge apples, weighing 1/2 pound each and I’ve used both Granny Smith and gala, cut into 1-inch chunks.  There’s more apple than pancake in this delicious breakfast but that’s a good thing.

First you melt a little butter and brown sugar in the skillet and cook the apples on the stove top over medium-high heat for about 5 minutes until they get caramelized. After 5 minutes, they should look like this.

IMG_6633_1200Now you just pour the batter right on top of the apples. The batter is really light and super easy, made with milk, eggs, and flour basically and you just whisk it by hand – no mixer. As soon as the batter is added, using an oven glove, you put the hot pan in the oven (preheated to 400 degrees F) and fifteen minutes later, it’s done. Then you carefully, with oven gloves, invert in onto a big serving plate and it will look like this…

Car Apple Pancake1200_7610The edges of the pancake are caramelized just like the apples, which are soft and sticky sweet. You don’t need any topping like syrup but you can sprinkle it with a dusting of powdered sugar if you like. If this is all you’re eating, it will serve two but if you have some eggs and toast and this on the side, it will serve four. And if you’re starving and you make this easy apple pancake, someone I know actually ate the whole thing in one sitting. It wasn’t me. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Aug 31, 2015

Simple Meat Sauce in 30 Minutes

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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

If you still want the older 45-minute version, click here.

Aug 27, 2015

Easy Fudge Brownies Without Butter

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When they say dark chocolate is good for you they mean dark. Like 70% dark. So that’s what I put in my easy fudge brownies. I start by melting a dark chocolate bar and it makes the most intense brownie! With no butter!  And wait ’til you see how easy this recipe is. Dark chocolate bars are available in most grocery stores and they sell them at World Market (they’re cheaper there). To get health benefits, it should have at least 70% cacao.You can find bars from 68 to 72% that will work great but I try to keep it at 70-72%. I’ve used Scharffen Berger and World Market brand and there’s no difference in the end result.

Here is what I learned making these delicious brownies: You do not need butter to make rich-tasting, gooey, fudgy brownies and baking without butter is always my priority. I even did a taste test at home and asked my man to try one that had butter and one without and he could not tell the difference. Besides making desserts without butter I always try to use whole grains when possible but that did not work here. I tried and was hopeful but they turned to mush.

So the best I can do is no butter and lots of heart-healthy dark chocolate. Most brownie recipes use a stick or two of butter so if you need a brownie, this one is a better choice than one loaded with saturated fat. My recipe uses extra light olive oil instead of butter but you can use any vegetable oil you choose. And the nuts are optional but nuts are nutritious and full of protein and healthy fats so include them if you can. And toast them first – what a difference! The extra chocolate chips, well… that’s up to you and the darker the better.

One thing about melting chocolate: Chocolate is delicate and burns easily so I melt it in a saucepan but with oil added and over very low heat so it doesn’t burn. It takes about 2-3 minutes to melt but needs to be stirred because chocolate tends to hold its shape when melted and you might not know it’s ready until you stir it. The other options for melting are the microwave (which I have never done) and a double boiler (too much trouble).

This is the second brownie recipe I’ve posted. The other whole wheat brownie is not as fudgy but still nice & chewy and also made without butter, but it’s 100% whole wheat. Both my brownies are easy to make but this simple recipe is good for beginners because it uses just a few ingredients and no mixer is needed. In fact, this batter should only be mixed by hand and not over-mixed.  Oh, and don’t over bake the brownies! They should feel a little soft in the center when they’re done so don’t bake any longer than 20 minutes! Okay, that’s all. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Aug 21, 2015

Fast & Easy White Bread

White Bread Blog1200_5357Sometimes, you gotta have some white bread. And if you want it fast, from scratch, I’m here for you. This is another one of my quick and easy one-rise bread recipes, just like my whole wheat bread, but this one makes a soft, old fashioned white sandwich loaf. It’s such and easy and flexible recipe. You can…

~Use all purpose flour or bread flour.
~Use vegetable oil or butter.
~Use instant yeast or dry active yeast.
~Use a mixer or make it by hand.

It takes about 90 minutes from start to finish to make this easy bread. And I have a couple of helpful tips. First: Aerate your flour before measuring. If you don’t your dough will be dry. See my flour basics: http://mobiledev.jennycancook.com/flour-basics/  Second: The best size loaf pan for yeast bread is 8 1/2 by 4 1/2 inches. If you use a wider or longer pan, the dough won’t rise up and be tall like mine. Third: When rising your bread it will rise faster if there is moisture but if you cover it with plastic wrap, it can stick and be hard to remove without damaging the dough. The solution? A shower cap!

Shower Cap1200_6418I love this! A clean shower cap is perfect because the elastic will hug the pan and it’s a thicker plastic so you can pull it up to keep it from touching the dough. Before rising, make sure you pull up the plastic high enough to allow the dough to rise an inch above the pan. I don’t eat white bread very often but when I do, this is how I make it. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

Aug 14, 2015

Simple Yellow Cake Without Butter

Yelow Cake on Blue1200_6310Baking without butter has become my specialty and I like cake. So this is my go-to yellow cake with no butter, less sugar, and you can make it from scratch in 40 minutes. Try it with my 2-minute chocolate frosting. What I like the most is all the things you can do with this cake.

For a fast dessert, I make this easy cake and frost it right in the pan with my 2-minute chocolate frosting. It’s a healthier dessert I feel good about and it really satisfies my sweet tooth.

I have also doubled the recipe and made two cakes using two cake pans and used it for my fresh strawberry cake so now you can make my wildly popular strawberry cake with no butter at all!

The one I really love is my Boston cream cake that I make with just one 9-inch cake, which I slice across in half, fill it with homemade custard and top with a chocolate glaze. I’ll be posting my Boston cream cake soon. (why do they call it Boston cream pie? – it’s not pie!)

One thing of note: this is a much better cake when you use a cake strip. See in the picture how the cake is perfectly flat and the edges are soft and not over baked? I highly recommend using a cake strip, also called a baking strip, whether you buy one or make your own. Click here to learn about cake strips.

If you want a healthier cake that’s low in sugar and saturated fat, try my recipe. You can use my frosting or do your own thing with this simple, easy recipe. My yellow cake low in sugar and any time I can make a cake without butter or any dessert without butter, I’m a happy cook. Click here for the recipe. – Jenny Jones

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