It is hard to practice what you preach. I firmly believe in the authenticity of walking the talk, but when you are actually faced with the opportunity to do so, can I just be real honest and say it can be down right frustrating. Today I want to tell you a story of how I am learning to embrace the idea that fearless living means being willing to learn new things! Let me start by sharing the story about this red balloon.… Read More »
“Anchor yourself in my love.
I am preparing you to release the Kingdom on mission.
Rest in my love.
Delight in Me.”- God
These words were spoken over me through the power and grace of Holy Spirit. I know I’ve been quiet over here for a while, and let me clue you in on what’s been going on. I am in a season of transition.
What does that mean?… Read More »
Click here for the video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vnfo6Hik28c
Sometimes we have an off day.
We are tired.
We are surrounded by BIG emotions.
We don’t see eye to eye on everything.
We get in the weeds of the wilderness of our own thoughts.
I feel compelled to encourage you today: Don’t let the MESS hinder your performance. Don’t let the stress keep you from moving forward.… Read More »
Frittatas are all about a technique that’s hard to screw up and are easily customizable. I like to follow this simple formula to make the perfect frittata. Eggs plus meat plus veg plus cream plus cheese. You can substitute as you see fit but this is literally all you need. I have prepared a special gift for you, a free printable/wallpaper featuring the Frittata Formula. Now the power is in your hands whenever you crave this eggy goodness! CHEERS!
Frittata Formula Phone Wallpaper
Frittata Formula Desktop/Printable
If you’re curious about the 12 Things I learned in 2020, you can check it out here in our “Fearless Living” thoughts for this month! I would love to hear what you have learned this year in the comment section!
8 to 10 small waxy potatoes (about 1 ounce each), scrubbed and quartered
1 cup vegetable or another broth or use salted water if you don’t have on hand
1/4 cup olive oil
4 slices of bacon, cooked till crisp and crumbled or finely chopped
8 ounces (usually 1 bundle) broccoli, trimmed and sliced into thin florets
1 small red or white onion, thinly sliced
8 large eggs
1/4 cup of heavy cream
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1.) In a medium size bowl, whisk together the eggs and cream. Salt and pepper to taste. If you need some guidance I would start with a big pinch or about ½ a tsp of salt. Same with the pepper. You want to make sure that you pepper the eggs till you can visibly see the pepper grinds in the egg cream mix when whisked together. Add in about half of the grated parmesan cheese and mix until incorporated.
2) First step is to prepare veggies. Turn the heat on to medium in a 12 inch, oven proof frying pan. Once the pan is warm pour in your cooking liquid (chicken or veg broth…or salted water) and add in your potatoes, cut side down. Bring the liquid to a boil, then turn it down to a simmer. Let the potatoes simmer for about 10 minutes or until most of the liquid has absorbed and potatoes are tender.
3) Add olive oil, broccoli and onions to the pan and saute over medium heat. You want to make sure everything gets tossed in the oil. Then cover your pan with a lid or a piece of aluminum foil, turn the stove down to medium low and let the vegetables cook for 4 minutes till the broccoli gets crisp (or fork) tender.
4) If you’re using bacon, now is the time to evenly sprinkle bacon bits into the mix of vegetables. Then you’re going to take your egg mix and pour over the vegetables. Go ahead and use your spatula to move things around gently so that everything is evenly distributed. Make sure your heat is medium low. Now we are going to recover the mix with our foil and allow the egg mixture to bake on the stove top till it is mostly set. WHat do I mean by “mostly set?” I would monitor every 5 minutes or so and take a peak. Give your pan a jiggle and watch the center. If it looks liquidy then I would let sit covered a little longer, but if if only wobbles slightly then we’re ready for the broiler. (**See the video for a visual**) While you’re eggs bake on the stove, pre heat your broiler and set the oven rack about 6 inches away from the top of the stove.
5) Sprinkle the parmesan cheese on top and place in the broiler. Keep a sharp eye on it. If you don’t, things could go south real fast. This will take about 5 minutes, but what you are looking for is a beautifully golden brown top and the eggs to be set all the way through. Once you’ve achieved this, it’s time to take the pan out of the oven, turn off the broiler and set on a cooling rack or trivet to cool for a bit. Once cool you can use your spatula to remove the frittata from the pan onto a serving plate and cut into quarters or eighths like a pizza. Enjoy immediately or at room temperature, Chef’s choice!
The year of our Lord 2020 was a doozy and I’m sure I speak for most when I say that I am ready to see it leave. There is also a nudge from the spirit within that reminds me that 2020 isn’t a lost cause. Suffering is a side effect of this broken world that we endure. Lament is a spiritual practice that reminds us of God’s goodness. It’s like the movie “Inside Out.” You can’t know true joy without sadness.… Read More »
This is the recipe that jump started my love of cooking. It’s a simple recipe, but it introduced me to new ingredients that I was afraid to use and opened my mind to the possibilities of experimenting in the kitchen. If you’re looking to grow, it’s ok to start small. When we start small, we grow in grace! If you want to read more thoughts on small beginnings, click here! Otherwise…
Fire up the griddle…we’re making quesadillas!
BBQ CHICKEN QUESADILLAS
1 Burrito size flour tortilla
1 Boneless, skinless chicken breast- cooked and sliced into 1/4″ slices or shredded
1 Jalapeno pepper- veined, seeded and finely diced
1/4 cup BBQ sauce – your choice, we like “Sweet Baby Ray’s”
1/2 cup Shredded cheese- I used half a block each pepperjack and extra sharp cheese. You could also use a Mexican cheese mix that is pre-shredded or whatever meets your taste preference.
1/4 cup Cilantro, roughly chopped (optional: ok, I know this ingredient has a polarizing taste depending on your genetics. If you like it, definitely use it. If you don’t like it, don’t use it. If you’re not sure you like it, try it!)
Butter or spray oil for pan greasing
1) Preheat pan over medium low heat. Lay one flour tortilla flat on a clean work surface.
2) ASSEMBLE: On the lower half of the burrito lay out 5-6 slices of chicken leaving a one inch border to the edge of the burrito. Sprinkle the diced jalapeno over the surface of the chicken to your taste preference. Drizzle your favorite BBQ sauce over the chicken and pepper evenly and then sprinkle your cheese on top. *If you’re using cilantro you would sprinkle on top of the cheese. Fold the empty top half of the burrito on top of the layers you just built and lightly smoosh down.
3) GRILL: Melt a tablespoon of butter OR lightly spray a 12″ pan with oil. Once melted place assembled quesadilla into the pan. Allow to toast over medium heat till golden brown (about 5 minutes). Using a spatula or tongs, gently flip quesadilla to the other side and toast until the bottom is golden brown (about 5 minutes) and the cheese is melted all the way through. Keep your eye on this so it doesn’t burn.
4) EAT: Once toasted, remove from the heat and place on a cutting board. Allow it to cool til you can touch the surface of the tortilla with your fingers. Slice the quesadilla into wedges (about 3-4). Serve immediately alongside sour cream and salsa for dipping. And if you’re feeling extra saucy- try it with guacamole and a couple dashes of hot sauce! Enjoy!
Have you had a long day? Let’s make a sweet and salty snack that pairs great with an adult beverage to unwind! The world calls it “Saltine Crack” our family calls it “Nan’s Surprise!” (Thanks Aunt Nan!)
No matter how you slice it, this is the perfect late night snack after a long day of adulting! Here’s what you’re going to need:
Saltine Crack (aka “Nan’s Surprise!”)
1 sleeve of saltine crackers
1 cup (2 sticks) of unsalted butter
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
Salt- to taste (NEVER OPTIONAL)
1 1/2 cups of semi-sweet or bittersweet chocolate chips
1 cup slivered almonds or other chopped nuts (optional)
Directions: Pre-heat oven to 350 degrees Farenheit. Line a 9×13″ pan with foil and a lightly greased piece of parchment paper. Do not skip this step. While it may seem excessive, it makes a difference! You will thank me later.
Line the pan with your crackers so that it forms a single layer. This is the foundation of your snack. In a medium sized sauce pan, melt the brown sugar and butter together. Bring the mixture to a rolling boil. Allow it to boil for about 3 minutes. Keep your eye on this because if you don’t it could either boil over the edge creating a terribly sticky mess that is almost impossible to clean up (speaking from experience) OR it could burn creating another disappointing mess that will cause frustration and angst in the midst of your hanger. After 3 minutes of boiling, turn off the heat and pour the mixture over your crackers as evenly as possible.
Place the caramel covered crackers in the oven and allow to bake for 13-15 minutes. The mixture will be bubbly and look toffee like (don’ touch!). Keep a close eye during this step to make sure it doesn’t burn.
Remove from the oven and carefully sprinkle the chocolate chips over the surface of the caramel crackers as evenly as possible. Allow the chocolate chips to sit for 5 minutes then using an offset spatula, spread the melted chocolate evenly across the caramel till it is completely covered. If using, sprinkle the slivered almonds on top of the wet chocolate. Sprinkle coarse kosher or Coarse Sea Salt over the surface of the chocolate…THIS IS NON-NEGOTIABLY LIFE CHANGING!
Allow your saltine crack to set by placing in the freezer. Your snack will be done when the surface of the chocolate is hard. Once it is ready, take the caramel crackers out of the pan and place on a clean, hard surface good for cutting. Break it apart using a sharp knife or cooking mallot- choose your own adventure. Enjoy immediately with a glass of wine or coffee or tea!
These keep best wrapped up in the freezer for about a week, if it lasts that long!
Be sure to check out the video on my Janie-Jean YOUTUBE channel!
Truth #1 We have totally mastered the art of the Rice Krispie Treat.
So I think it’s time we up our game a bit. Dad works hard every day and he deserves a home made treat filled with all of his favorite snacks like potato chips and beer and pretzels and Beer and chocolate and BEER and…you get the picture!
So what if we made a beer infused treat with the essence of a rice krispie treat but instead of the cereal we load it up with the snacks…sweet, salty, malty and oh so delicious! Thanks Serious Eats for the inspiration!
In my research for today’s post, I came across this article from serious eats and found the technique the author used to create their own marshmallow mixture (instead of store bought) so she could infuse the beer flavor into the treats without adding extra liquid.
If the thought of making your own marshmallows intimidates you, don’t let it! Time to take this challenge head on! Here’s what you’ll need- Guinness, unflavored gelatin, sugar, light corn syrup, salt and vanilla extract
First things first, pour the Guinness into a bowl and refrigerate uncovered for at least an hour so that it can be cold yet flat. If there is any trace of carbonation in your beer, it could make a sugary hot mess when you make your candy. When the beer is nice and flat pour about ½ cup of beer into the bowl of your stand mixer and sprinkle the unflavored gelatin over the beer, set aside so the gelatin has a chance to bloom.
Meanwhile, in a large sauce pan combine your sugar, corn syrup, salt and ½ cup of the Guinness. Set the mixture over low heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved completely. Crank up the heat to medium-high to bring the mixture to a boil. WARNING- it will get bubbly so don’t freak out! It’s all going to be just fine!
Using a candy thermometer allow the mixture to boil until it reaches 240 degrees Farenheit or the soft ball stage. Take your hot mixture off of the heat and pour immediately over the gelatin, Guinness mixture. Using the whisk attachment on your stand mixer, beat the marshmallow mixture until it has tripled in size (about 10 minutes).
The final product should be thick and sticky. Beat in some vanilla and melted brown butter and there you have it…a brown butter, beer infused marshmallow mixture ready and waiting eagerly to be intermingled with rice crispy treat mix-ins.
Except this time we’ll leave the crisp rice cereal for the kids breakfast…Daddy wants chips, pretzels and chocolate!
Mix in small additions potato chips and pretzels until the mixture reaches your desired ratio of mix-in to marshmallow. I used an entire bag of each potato chips and pretzels. When it’s reached the desire consistency press into a prepared 9×13” dish. Any additional or leftover snacks can be pressed in on the top. Allow to cool completely.
Cut into squares or whatever shape you like. Before serving, melt an additional ¼ cup of Guiness with some milk chocolate in the microwave and drizzle your “ganache” over the treats so Dad knows he’s special! Once the chocolate is set feel free to dive in with reckless abandon.
We’re totally doing this right!
- 1 ¼ cup Guinness Beer, divided
- Nonstick cooking spray
- 3 packets unflavored gelatin (.75oz total)
- 1 ½ cups granulated sugar
- 1 cup light corn syrup
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and browned
- 3+ cups ruffled potato chips crushed
- 3+ cups miniature pretzels, crushed
- ½ cup milk chocolate, chopped
- Pour the Guinness Beer into a bowl and allow it to sit uncovered in the fridge for at least an hour. This way the beer is cold and flat and ready to be caramelized.
- Prepare a 9x13 dish with the nonstick cooking spray. In the bowl of a stand mixer pour ½ cup of the flat Guinness. Sprinkle the surface of the beer with the gelatin and set aside to bloom.
- Meanwhile, in a large (6-quart or more) saucepan, combine the sugar, corn syrup, salt and ½ cup of Guinness. Cook it over medium, stirring until the sugar is completely dissolved.
- Increase the heat to medium- high and bring the mixture to a boil. Allow the mixture to continue to boil until it has reached 240 degrees on a candy thermometer (also known as the softball stage). Quickly remove the pot from the stove and pour into the bowl of the stand mixer with the bloomed gelatin. Using the whisk attachment, whip the candy mixture until it has tripled in size. This should take about 10 minutes. When the mixture becomes very thick and sticky it’s time to beat in the vanilla extract and brown butter. Whisk in till thoroughly combined.
- Fold in your chips and pretzels gradually. You’ll want to work in quickly as I found the marshmallow mixture starting to set quicker than I thought it would. Stir in as many mix ins as you desire till you reach the consistency you love. Press into the prepared 9x13 dish and set aside to cool completely and set.
- Once cooled completely, combine in a separate bowl the remaining ½ cup Guinness and chopped milk chocolate. Heat in the microwave using 30 second increments until melted completely. Drizzle the chocolate over the treats, allow to set. Cut into squares and enjoy!
They say smoking is bad for you, and I believe them. But whoever THEY are hasn’t had a SMOKED Potato. Now I’ll admit that I am a new comer to this concept. I honestly never heard of a smoked potato until I started my research for the perfect “Father’s Day Menu”. A dear friend of mine said that her husband loved smoked potatoes…
I was like…smoked potato?! WHY NOT?!
If you’re like me and a little intimidated by using the grill let alone adding the smoking process to the mix let me reassure you, you are in good company. I can’t remember the last time I grilled something…in fact, truth be told a family of wasps (my favorite) has found it to be a nice home…SMH!
So forget the grill! Forget the fancy smoker accessories! Today I am going to teach you how to smoke inside your very own home using a stove top, a wok, a rack and some handy dandy aluminum foil! I feel like MacGuyver…or maybe more realistically like Clinton Kelly in his craft corner…LET’S CRAFT!
INDOOR SMOKING 101
STEP 1: Line the bottom your wok with a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil that extends over the edges by at least three quarters the total width of the wok.
STEP 2: Place your smoking medium (ie: wood chips, tea leaves, sugar, rice, spices, etc) on the bottom of your wok.
STEP 3: Set a rack on top of the wok.
STEP 4: Place the wok on medium-high to high heat to allow the smoking medium to begin to smoke and smolder.
STEP 5: Place food you desire on the rack. Take another long piece of heavy duty aluminum foil to cover and crimp both edges of the aluminum foil (top and bottom) together to form a pouch trapping the smoke inside.
Depending on what you are smoking, your smoke time will vary. In this case we will only be partially baking the potatoes by smoking for an hour then we will finish off in the oven so they will be completely cooked through…totally manageable!
While we wait for our taters to get smoked let’s prep the toppings so they can get loaded later…see what I did there? (wink!)
I want these to have every essence of the grill as possible so let’s go ahead and broil some jalapeno peppers…cuz daddy likes it spicy!
Crisp up some bacon and chop them into bits…this is the real stuff ladies- your husband does NOT deserve bacon bits…correction NO ONE DESERVES BACON BITS!!!!
And cheese makes everything way better so I’ll just set this cream cheese and shredded cheddar cheese right here…do you see where I am going with this…if you’re thinking jalapeno poppers then you’re headed down the right track!
Once our potatoes are tender enough to easily insert a skewer to the center we know that it’s time to get stuffing. Slice each potato in half the long ways and scoop out the insides leaving a half an inch border.
Toss the innards with our jalapeno popper goodness topping.
…then go ahead and pile it high and deep back in the potato carcasses!
Pop our smoked loaded potatoes back in the oven for another round until they are cooked through and browned on top.
Let me just say I did not realize how ridiculously tasty a smoked potato could be. Crispy, smoky skin, spicy, salty, and cheesy filling in one bite! These should be illegal…but they’re not and Pops is going to want some! I guarantee this recipe will have your Dad singing your praises bite after bite after bite!
Who knew smoking food could be so approachable and fun? Since we are in project mode, I thought Friday we could try another new project involving infusing, homemade marshmallows with a delicious libation all Dad’s will love…
…and yes it will be boozy!
See you Friday!
- Special Equipment:
- Heavy Duty Foil
- Smoking Chips (I used Hickory chips)
- 4 Russet Potatoes
- 4oz Cream cheese at room temperature
- 2 scallions thinly sliced
- 4-5 strips of thick cut bacon
- 1-2 Jalapenos
- 8 oz extra sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- Milk (only as needed)
- Set up your smoker by lining the bottom of your wok with a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil that extends over the edges by at least three quarters the total width of the wok. Place a couple handfuls of smoking chips in the wok. Set a rack on top of the wok. Place the wok on medium-high to high heat to allow the smoking chips to begin to smoke and smolder. Prick the potatoes all over with a fork and place on the rack. Take another long piece of heavy duty aluminum foil to cover and crimp both edges of the aluminum foil (top and bottom) together to form a pouch trapping the smoke inside. Smoke the potatoes for one hour.
- Carefully remove the potatoes from your stovetop smoker and place on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake in a 400 degree oven for about 45 minutes to an hour until you can easily pierce the potatoes with a metal skewer. Remove from the oven and allow to cool long enough so you can handle the potatoes by hand.
- Slice each potato in half length-wise. Carefully scoop the innards of the potatoes leaving a ½ inch ring of potato in each half.
- Meanwhile, preheat the broiler. Place the jalapenos on a rimmed baking sheet and allow to char on all sides. Place the hot peppers in a zip lock bag and allow to sit on the counter for about 10 minutes so that the steam loosens the skin of the peppers making it easy to remove. Remove the skins and roughly chop the jalapenos. Cook the Bacon strips till crisp in a large skillet. Roughly chop the crispy bacon into bits.
- In a large bowl mix the jalapenos, potato, bacon, cheese and cream cheese till mixed well. Season with salt and pepper. If the mixture is stiff add a little bit of milk (a tablespoon at a time) to loosen it a bit.
- Spoon the filling back into the potato shells. Bake again in a 400 degrees Farenheit for 25-30 minutes until cooked through and golden brown.
- Serve immediately and ENJOY!
“You never know what could come of this. You just have to try.”
Wise words spoken by my pretty sweet husband encouraging me to take a leap. Some would say risky. Others don’t seem to understand. But who cares? This is my leap. My chance to risk…I just hope I don’t fall.
About a year ago I entered a competition. A competition that I was pretty sure I wouldn’t win. But for me the point wasn’t to win, but to put myself out there for the world to see. I wanted to be risky. To step outside my comfort zone. I want to share my gift of cooking and baking with the world.
So I did.
Not many people knew about it until later in the story. You see, I didn’t want to share because I didn’t want there to be pressure to win or fear of losing. This was my thing I wanted to try unbeknownst to some of my closest friends and family. Just my husband by my side.
Fast forward a few months…I didn’t win.
I was fine with it.
Maybe a little disappointed but hey nothing had changed so no harm, no foul. Life went on. Then one day, something marvelous happened.
I got an email from a local station in town asking permission to air my video via their social media during the Christmas holiday.
Someone noticed! Someone deemed it worthy of the public! Someone ignited a spark…an opportunity had arisen.
So what now? You may ask…does this mean more videos?
Is there a future Janie-jean youtube channel in the works?
Are you going to try out for the “Next Food Network Star”?
I’m taking things one step at a time. There is a potential new video in the works, but in the meantime, I’m going to enjoy these Cornflake Crunch Treats featured in this video and allow the creative process to flow all year round!
Enjoy these babies at home with the detailed recipe below and seize those opportunities…you just never know where it can lead!
Love you guys!
- Cornflake Crunch (Recipe by Christina Tosi's book Momofuku)
- 2 cups corn flake crunch, plus extra for sprinkling
- 4 cups Rice Crispy cereal
- 1 stick unsalted butter
- Pinch of salt
- 10 oz bag of marshmallows
- 16 oz bag of chocolate chips
- In a heavy bottomed pan over medium high heat melt the stick of butter and allow to cook until golden brown in color. Take the browned butter off the heat and stir in the marshmallows. Stir until the marshmallows are completely melted ( you can turn the heat on the stove if needed to help them melt completely). Sprinkle in a pinch of salt over the surface of the melted marshmallows then stir to distribute evenly. Make sure the heat is completely off and stir in the cornflake crunch and rice crispy cereal. Stir until the cereal is coated evenly then transfer the mix to a greased 9x13 pan. Press cereal mixture into the pan using a greased piece of parchment paper or the back of the spatula you are using until it is an even layer. Allow to set for an hour.
- Once the treats have been set, divide into 16 bars. Melt the chocolate in the microwave or over a double boiler. Dip the tops of the cereal bars in the melted chocolate and then sprinkle the remaining cornflake crunch on top of each bar. Allow the chocolate to set in the fridge. Enjoy immediately. Treats will keep for at least 3 days at room temperature in an airtight container.
- **Cornflake Crunch recipe by Christina Tosi of Momofuku Milk Bar- Heat an oven to 275 degrees Farenheit. Pour 5 cups of Cornflake cereal into a medium bowl. Crush the cornflakes with your hands till the pieces are about a quarter of their original size. Using your hands, stir in ½ cup milk powder, 3 tablespoons of sugar and a teaspoon of kosher salt till it’s mixed together well. Then using a spatula, stir in 9 tablespoons of melted unsalted butter folding it over the ingredients so that they stick together well. The butter is the glue that holds them all together. Pour onto a parchment lined baking sheet and bake in the oven for 20 minutes or until the mixture is nice and toasty. Cool the crunch down to room temperature before using or storing.