Ja cię kocham…

….simple, healthy, and with lots of love.

Whole Wheat Soft Pretzels

February 07, 2010 By: kristi Category: Appetizer, Bread, Snack

I woke up yesterday morning to find 2 feet of snow at my door step.  That’s a lot of snow, at least for people in my area.  Noodles, on the other hand, had no issues with it.  She was in her glory. (Probably because she didn’t have to shovel!)

For some reason massive amounts of snow bring on a baking bug for a lot of us.  So many of my friends told me that they were baking this weekend because of the snow.  Being cooped up causes us to get ants in our pants!  Since the superbowl is this weekend, I decided to make something that would go with the beer that the husbands will be consuming.  I’m not a beer drinker, but I do love my pretzels!

They were super simple, but a little time consuming.  Anything that needs to be kneaded then rise, then rolled, then risen again will take time so make sure that you have the day to relax and enjoy making your pretzels.

They were bland in my opinion (probably because I didn’t put the huge chunks of salt on them – the huge salt makes me cringe), but this is easily remedied by putting that salt on them, sprinkling some cinnamon sugar on them or dunking them in salsa con queso!  Mmmmmmm….

Whole Wheat Soft Pretzels

Source: Delicious Wisdom
Yields: 12 small pretzels

Prep Time:  About 2 Hours (mostly inactive)
Cooking Time:  15 Minutes

1 Cup Warm Water
1 Package of Dry Active Yeast
1 ½ Cups + 1 ¼ Cups Whole Wheat Flour
2 Tbsp Olive Oil
3/4 Tsp Sea Salt
3 Cups Water
2 Tbsp Baking Soda
Course Sea Salt (optional)

In a large bowl, stir yeast into warm water and set aside to dissolve for 10 minutes.  Stir in olive oil, sea salt and 1 ½ cups of flour.  Once well combined, add remaining flour and knead for about 5 minutes.  Place into a dry bowl, lightly cover with a kitchen towel and let rise for 1 hour.

Divide dough into 12 equal portions and roll into balls.  Roll each ball into a long snake-y piece and form into pretzel shapes.  (See below.) Let them rise for about 30 minutes.  Preheat oven to 475 degrees F.  Bring water and baking soda to a simmer in a deep pan.  Simmer pretzels in simmering water for about one minute, flipping halfway through.  Place pretzels on a lightly greased baking sheet, sprinkle with sea salt, and bake for 10-12 minutes or until golden.

Try to eat them the day of baking that’s when they are the best!

Whole Wheat Cranberry Bread

November 09, 2009 By: kristi Category: Bread, Breakfast, Fruit

cranberry bread

I know, I know… I can’t get enough of fall flavors!  It’s too much fun.

Now that I’ve started a new job, I’m out the door in a hurry every blessed day.  Typically I have a banana, a granola bar, and coffee, but I’m in the mood for something a little different this week.  I actually had a free moment this afternoon and decided to whip up some bread.  This bread was far from high maintenance… I love recipes that are incredibly easy.   And it was just sweet enough to satisfy my sweet tooth but also just tart enough to keep things interesting.  It was perfect!!  Eat it warmed with a little butter and honey – it is delicious!

Whole Wheat Cranberry Bread

Source: Adapted from Blue Ridge Baker and Martha Stewart Every Day Food

Serves 8


4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted, plus more for pan
1 cup all-purpose flour, plus more for pan
1 cup whole wheat flour
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1 large egg, lightly beaten
3/4 cup milk
1 bag (12 ounces) cranberries
1 tablespoon turbinado sugar, for topping (optional)


Preheat oven to 350 degrees; butter and flour a 9-by-5-inch loaf pan (8-cup capacity), and set aside. In a large bowl, whisk together flours, brown sugar, baking powder, baking soda, and salt; set aside. In a medium bowl, combine butter, egg, and milk. Add wet mixture to dry mixture, and whisk to combine; fold in cranberries.

Pour batter into prepared pan; sprinkle top with turbinado sugar, if desired. Bake until a toothpick inserted in center of loaf comes out clean, about an hour. Transfer pan to a wire rack; let bread cool 30 minutes. Invert onto rack, then immediately turn right side up to cool completely.


Happy 100th Post! Peanut Butter Banana Doggie Cookies

August 17, 2009 By: kristi Category: Cookies, Dessert, Food for Thought

PB Dog Cookies

Happy 100th post, Ja cie Kocham!  This blog was started merely for me to keep track of my own recipes.  I’m notorious for cooking something and not being able to find the recipe for future use so this blog was initially meant to serve as a private food diary for me.  Well, that lasted all about a month when my friends and family kept asking to see it.  So I gave in and made my Ja Cie Kocham visible to the public.  And here I am 100 posts deep.

To make this post even more special it happens to fall on my beautiful puppy’s 1st Birthday.

Nosie Bean

We don’t have children of our own (yet) so Noodles gets all of our energy and love.  We HAD to celebrate her birthday!  What kind of parents would we be if we didn’t?   I know it sounds corny and quite frankly even ridiculous – I have seen those crazy Dog Moms on Oprah and Dr. Phil that treat their dogs like humans and even chew their food for them – but rest assured that we’re not THAT crazy.  We just love any excuse to celebrate.  And yes, we love our Bean!

Noodles and PB Spoon

And Bean loves her Peanut Butter!  (I let her lick the spoon after I was done scooping the peanut butter…)  She also loves getting presents…  she waits patiently… well, as patiently as a birthday puppy can!

Waiting for Toys

When we first got Noodles, she was so little and had lots of black hair.

Baby Noodies

More baby


As you can clearly see in her more recent posts, her dark black hair has turned a whitish-gray.  She’s half Maltese and half Yorkie so I guess the Maltese in her is coming through!


So let’s talk about these dog cookies.

More PB Dog Cookies

  1. They are so simple to make.
  2. You can’t screw them up.  It’s impossible.
  3. The original recipe CLAIMS to yield 10 “biscuits”, but mysteriously I ended up with 36!
  4. And you can eat them, too.  They are not sweet at all so I added some chocolate

Noodies wants mommy's cookie

Please note that Noodles is watching Mommy partake in a cookie….

Peanut Butter Banana Doggie Cookies

Source: Allrecipes

Yields A LOT of cookies…

**Feel free to make the cookies really thick to cut back on the amount and to appease your larger doggies.  My dog is little (10 lbs) so I made the cookies thin so she could easily consume them.**


1 egg
1/3 cup peanut butter
1/2 cup mashed banana
1 tablespoon honey
1 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup wheat germ
1 egg white, lightly beaten, for brushing


Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C). Lightly grease a baking sheet.

Stir together the egg, peanut butter, banana, and honey in a medium bowl; blend thoroughly. Stir in the flour and wheat germ; mix well.

Wheat Germ

Turn dough out onto a floured board and roll to 1/4 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes with a cookie cutter, place on prepared baking sheet, and brush tops with egg white.

Rolled out PB Cookie Doug

Cookie Cuts Stars

Cookies on Sheet
Bake biscuits in preheated oven until dried and golden brown, about 30 minutes, depending on size. Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

Lemony Zucchini Goat Cheese Pizza

August 08, 2009 By: kristi Category: Main Dish, Vegetables, Vegetarian

zucchini pizza

If someone told me that I was only allowed to eat one type of cheese for the rest of my life, as painstakingly awful as this would be, I would definitely choose goat cheese.  When I go out to dinner, if I see something with goat cheese on it – a burger, a salad, a veggie sandwich – I order it.  No questions asked.  Goat cheese is the bomb.

See my Grilled Vegetable, Herb and Goat Cheese Sandwich or my Roasted Rainbow Pepper Sub for other fun things to do with goat cheese.

What I didn’t realize about goat cheese is its low calorie and fat content in comparison to other cheeses – 70 calories per ounce as opposed to 100+ calories per ounce.  Gotta like that!  Another thing that I didn’t realize about goat cheese is that you can put it on PIZZA.  So yummy.  FYI – if you aren’t a goat cheese fan, by all means use YOUR favorite cheese on this pizza.  It doesn’t have to be spreadable; it just needs to be delicious to eat.

If you are going to use goat cheese the only recommendation that I have for this pizza is to spread A LOT of it on the dough.  I don’t think that I had enough because the cheese cracked a lot in some places by the time it was done baking.  It still tasted good, but it could have looked better.  That’s just me.

At first, you may be put off by using a large quantity of goat cheese because of its expense.  If you’re fortunate enough to have a local Trader Joe’s (I know… I’m giving them yet another shout out), you can buy 11 ounces of goat cheese for a few bucks.  In a typical grocery store 4 ounces costs $7!!  I can get almost three times that at Trader Joe’s.   This is also where I get my pizza dough.  For $0.99 I get a big ball of dough!!  Although, I recently discovered a recipe on Oven Love (a food blog of one of my sister’s best friends…) for a quick and easy pizza dough that doesn’t take hours.  I’ll have to try it one of these days!

Lemony Zucchini Goat Cheese Pizza

Source: Smitten Kitchen

Serves 4


1 batch  store-bought pizza dough that will yield one small (approx. 11 to 12 inches across), thin pizza
1 lemon
4 ounces goat cheese, at room temperature
Few leaves of fresh basil, cut into thin slivers
1/2 medium yellow zucchini, sliced as thinly as you can pull off with a knife or your mandoline
1/2 medium green zucchini, sliced as the same as above
Drizzle of olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste


Preheat your oven to 450 degrees. Roll your pizza dough into a thin 12-inch circle and lay it on a tray or stone that has been dusted lightly with cornmeal.

In a small bowl, stir together the goat cheese with the juice of half your lemon. Season it with salt and freshly ground pepper, and spread it over your pizza dough. Scatter fresh basil slivers over the cheese.

Arrange your zucchini coins in concentric circles over the goat cheese spread, overlapping them slightly.  Squeeze the juice of the second half of your lemon on top of you zucchini, then drizzle with olive oil and finish with more salt and freshly ground black pepper.

zucchini slices

precooked pizza

Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 15 minutes (your baking time will vary, so please watch carefully), or until the edges of your pizza are golden brown and the zucchini looks roasted and a little curled up at the edges.

pizza slice