Archives for dessert

Host a Coloring Party

I host a cookie swap every December that everyone swears is their favorite, but I am cognizant of the fact that they could be just being nice! I’d like to say that it is my charming hostess skills and/or my goodies, but I really think that the women in my life enjoy the opportunity to connect. In our crazy busy world it’s easy to get swept up into the minutia and put aside our own connections for those of our family and/or children. When was the last time you scheduled a playdate for yourself? With the cookie swap as a

Zucchini Cupcakes

I am always trolling the “day old” section at the grocery store in the produce department.  They typically put out things that aren’t perfect enough to sell at the going rate, but still completely useable.  My favorite items to look for are brown bananas that I freeze for smoothies and banana “ice cream” and then zucchini.  The zucchini can be used for these decadent cupcakes that seem healthy in concept, but deliver on their dessert promise.  And then also my zucchini pancakes or zucchini bread–both family crowd pleasers!  These can also be made with any of the summer squash and/or with shredded

Top 10 Posts of 2015

I love retrospectives.  If you haven’t checked out our video retrospective, chock full of bloopers, from 2015.  You must! Looking back at the year lets you see how much you did accomplish.  Because even if you felt like you came up short–believe you me, my list of potential posts is WAY longer than what actually got posted, you can see that you actually rocked it all things considered!  So I did a bit of analytics sleuthing to see what you enjoyed most at Just Jennessa in 2015.  And here it goes…working backwards! 10. The Container Queen Sharing all of my

Loaded with Ginger Snaps

December is my favorite month when it comes to food.  I love to bake…mostly because I LOVE to eat sweets.  Everyone needs a vice…right?!?! Growing up I was not a fan of gingersnaps.  Likely because they truly were snaps.  Or would cause you to snap a tooth!  My gingersnaps are soft and chewy, not hard and brittle.  Enough said!   They are great in the fall wrapped up with raffia for gifts, and great with a cup of tea, anytime really.  And you can also sandwich two with vanilla ice cream, which makes them the most “year round” cookie around.

Oreo Bon Bons

Need a go to item for the holidays that take under an hour and no baking?  That’s what I thought. Every year I host a cookie swap (click on the link to read all of my secrets) in December and these are the most sought after item that I serve.  I rarely put them into the swap because everyone wants to eat them on the spot!  They are far more assembly than baking, so they are great ones for in a pinch.  The hardest part is the dipping, which is more confidence than skill.  Plus, once you put on the contrasting drizzle,

Smores Toffee

I bought my husband a fire pit for Father’s Day two years ago with visions of smores dancing in my head along with campfire songs and family bonding. Needless to say, he envisioned hours of assembly, reams of newspaper, drying out wood and tons of blowing…and thus we’ve used it twice since! So for those of you that yearn for the taste of smores sans the campfire, this is the recipe for you!! This is a variation on cracker toffee, if you’ve ever had it. The difference being, in the “regular” recipe you use saltines instead of graham crackers, chocolate

Dover Pound Cake

I’ve noted this in my very first post on this site (Full Transparency) and it bears repeating.  When I post a recipe it’s because I just made it, or when I did make it, I took a quick snapshot of it before we devoured it.  This is no exception.  I’ve made this recipe twice of late, and both times it got eaten so quickly, that I wasn’t able to do a posed photo.  Actually, this photo is of me holding my portion that I’m about to down, as my uncle Rod took a quick shot from his phone and then

Date Cake

One of my mom’s favorites was date cake, which I always avoided.  Growing up, dates seemed nasty–like in the same category as raisins (just giant ones at that).  But man, was I missing out.  I didn’t make this recipe until I was married to my husband who is originally from Pakistan and LOVES dates!  Seriously, he can’t get enough of them.  So this has become one of the frequently requested recipes from all of our Muslim friends, especially at Ramadan, which we are celebrating right now.  While it’s definitely in keeping with Southeast Asian cuisine, it’s 100% Midwestern! At Ramadan

Monster (Truck) Cookies

This is a recipe that I got from the Des Moines Register when I was in middle school.  At the time, my brother and I were on our own for the summer, and this recipe was from an article on “How to keep busy in the summer.”  One of the suggestions was to watch TV without the sound and try to lip read.  Yeah–it sounded just as ridiculous 30 years ago!  In any case, these are one of my favorites since it combines oatmeal and peanut butter–one of my favorite combinations and then throw chocolate chips and M&Ms into the

Surviving a Road Trip

Here is the next installment of episodes from our webisode series.  This month is all about surviving a road trip–or thriving as it were!  Here is the teaser to get you started! So the first step to “surviving” a road trip is to ensure that everyone is entertained.  The key is spreading out the entertainment over the life of the trip–don’t show all your cards from the beginning, so that they don’t get bored too quickly. The license plate game is a must!  Here is a downloadable version and here is the Melissa and Doug game that I mention in