22 Quick and Easy Recipes in 30 Minutes (or less) + 5 Chef Secrets To Make You A Better Cook!

On a Personal Note…

Tested & Perfected Recipes

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Dear Readers,

After two years of sending you only recipes, I wanted to reach out on a personal level to thank you, share my goals for this blog and ask for your help. 

When I tell people that I’m a food blogger, they often ask me why I do it. The simple answer is that I just love it. I’m passionate about teaching people how to cook, and blogging is a great way to do that (without having to speak in public, which completely terrifies me!). I also enjoy dreaming up new recipes. It's challenging and fun, and keeps me from getting in a cooking rut.

But the best part of all is the wonderful feedback I get from you. When you leave a comment or send an email, especially to tell me your family loved one of my recipes, it puts a big smile on my face – each and every time. So, please, don’t be shy…I love hearing from you!

One of the measures of success for a blog is a large readership. I’d like to ask for your help in growing mine. This can be as simple as a short email to your friends and family encouraging them to subscribe, sharing a link on facebook or just forwarding my recipes along from time to time. I know many of you have done this already and, for that, I am very grateful.

Thank you so much for reading my blog and welcoming me into your kitchens, and a special thanks for any new readers you send my way.






  • When I started using your recipes, I became a “real” cook. For over 40 years, I rarely spent time in the kitchen. I had a few go to dishes I would make, but for the most part, my wife did all the cooking/baking. For the last two years, I’ve had a ball in the kitchen using your recipes for soup to desserts. Today I made gumbo, tomorrow it’ ll be chili. My wife is thrilled and I’m 5 pounds heavier. Thank you for your weekly emails.

    • — Stephen on November 1, 2023
    • Reply
    • So happy to hear you’ve upped your game in the kitchen (and I’m sure it’s making your wife very happy)!

      • — Jenn on November 2, 2023
      • Reply
  • Just wanted to say that I too am a Professionally Trained Chef (Classic French). Your recipes always inspire me and I love that you teach all the correct techniques. I have shared your recipes many times with family and friends and you never cease to impress which your perfectly written recipes. You inspire me to try new recipes and I wanted to say how much I appreciate your knowledge and talent. Thank you for what you do ..

    • — Noreen Resnick on April 2, 2022
    • Reply
    • Thanks for your incredibly sweet words! 💗

      • — Jenn on April 2, 2022
      • Reply
  • Jen, I tell so many people about your blog and recipes! I make so many of your recipes and inevitably get compliments, so I send them to your site and cookbooks! Your recipes are standards in our house and I got my daughter hooked, too. Over the holidays, I always make your beef tenderloin and many other sides and desserts. Family is coming over this weekend and I have your classic lasagna made, as well as your new cream of broccoli soup and the pimento cheese spread. And the blueberry cobbler from your new cookbook is in the oven, smelling delicious! BTW, I had an abundance of frozen blueberries that I picked last summer, so hope the recipe turns out since I didn’t have fresh ones. 🙂
    Thanks for all your hard work, Jen

    • — Lynn on February 25, 2022
    • Reply
    • You’re welcome, Lynn! So happy you enjoy all the recipes. 💕

      • — Jenn on February 25, 2022
      • Reply
      • The frozen, unthawed blueberries worked beautifully in the cobbler recipe from your new book! Had to bake a bit longer. So delicious!!

        • — Lynn on February 26, 2022
        • Reply
  • Hi Jenn! Just want to tell you that I baked your Blueberry Cobbler over the weekend and it was wonderful! Also, last night I had a few ladies in and made your Sheet-Pan Roast Chicken and everyone loved it! I had some Cobbler left from Sunday so everyone also got a slice of it, heated, and topped with homemade vanilla ice cream! They were still talking about it as they were going out the door! Thank you so much! I am loving the Weeknight/Weekend Cookbook and have already marked a lot more to try! You are the BEST and my always go to first! I now have scones in my freezer ready to bake all the time!!
    Also…..you are correct about the frozen artichoke hearts! So much better than the ones in the jar! I am hooked!

    • — Nancy Norris on February 16, 2022
    • Reply
    • ❤️

      • — Jenn on February 16, 2022
      • Reply
  • Hi Jenn

    I discovered your blog last year and it’s the only one I follow and subscribe to. Love your recipes, made many of them several times, they are always a big hit. When I tell my husband I’m making something from the blog, he smiles because he knows it’s one of your recipes 😀. I purchased your cookbook on Amazon Canada last summer as a birthday gift to myself 😀 I also shared your blog with friends, I know some have subscribed because we talk about recipes and one lady received your cookbook for Christmas from her family.

    My absolute fav recipes are the moroccan grilled chicken, buttermilk pancakes with blueberries, southern peach cobbler and plum galette. So yummy! 😋
    Cheers from Canada!

    • Hi Kinga, Thanks for your nice words about the recipes and for spreading the word about the blog — so glad you like them enough to share them with others! 💗

  • Hi Jenn,
    You are definitely one of my ‘go to’ recipe sources on the internet. I’m not sure if I will live long enough to try all your delicious dishes. Drive about 8 hours north of you and you will be near where I live (Guelph, ON) but you have to cross the border first which is a bit of a problem right now. Are your cook books for sale in Canada? For now your blogs will have to do.

    • — Ken Richardson
    • Reply
    • Hi Ken, Thanks so much for your kind words and for inquiring about the cookbook! Yes, the book is available on Amazon Canada. 🙂

  • HI Jenn, I put a link on my Facebook account today. I am very impressed with your blog, your recipes and you! I hope people will subscribe as a result. Folks that don’t know about your blog are definitely missing out on a great experience!

    • Thanks so much for spreading the word about the blog! 💗

  • Hi Jen,
    I’ve been receiving your weekly Once Upon A Chef emails; suddenly they stopped coming. Please, please put my name and email address on your email distribution list. I am a fan and have told numerous friends and recipes about you. I have made so many of your recipes. Always a hit. Your Spinach quiche is a hit. Your brisket recipes are all sensational, your salads, cookies, brownies and blondies are delish. Last night I ma your restaurant Style Pan Seared salmon and your Bulger salad with cakes, red peppers, chickpeas lemon and dill. It’s my favorite meal. I have many favorites, Southwestern cheeseburger sliders. Your cocanut cream pie is a favorite as well as the chocolate cream pie (your dad’s favorite). I could go on and on. I sent your cookbook to my daughter and daughter-in-law. Oh, your potatoes au gratin are the best. Tonight’s dinner is orecchiette pasta with sausage and broccoli. We love your chicken spinach meatballs. Please add my name back to your weekly email list.
    Libby Levinson
    Marlborough MA.

    • — Libby levinson
    • Reply
    • Hi Libby, So glad you like the recipes and sorry to hear you stopped receiving the newsletter! I just looked in my system and see that you have re-subscribed so that should do the trick. If for some reason you don’t start receiving the newsletter, please let me know! ❤️

  • I don’t know how to build sites but I just tried to pin your orange balsamic salad to pinterest (which I believe would get you a lot of traffic) but pinterest can’t see the images on your website.
    Best of luck to you!

  • Your maryland crabcakes are all over pinterest, that’s how I found you and I am so glad that I did!

  • Hola Jenn,
    I am not really a blogger, though I do find myself checking them out once in a while. I went to your sight, because it was featured in a newsletter from typepad. I gave up cooking 20 years ago, when my husband said he loved to cook. so, after going to your blog site, I first made the chocolate pecan blondies for an opening, and recently again for a large studio tour. last night we made the grilled Salmon and cre4amy cucumber dill….YUM! I now am cooking again and loving it! I have printed out three other recipes I will be trying over the next week. I have foody friends that I am very happy to send to your site.

  • I’ve started “pinning” (on pinterest) some of my favorite recipes of yours. I’ve already had a couple of “likes” and “repins” of your recipes. Thanks for writing this blog!!

  • Hi Jenn! Just wanted to say I used two of your recipes (sun dried tomato dip and apple cake) for a cocktail party last week. They went over fabulously!! I love reading your blog and your simple, delicious recipes. Perfect for a busy Mom to follow – even on my most sleep deprived and hectic days I can find something. Thanks for what you do!!

  • Jenn,
    Your food blog reminds us of all the joys of cooking and eating great food.
    Thank you for sharing!!

    • — Katie (Montreal)
    • Reply
  • I love all of your recipes, and your blog has made me much more comfortable in the kitchen. I will continue to tell everyone about you! Thanks so much, Jenn!! 🙂

  • I cannot even count the number of times the words, “I want to eat everything this woman makes!” has come out of my mouth. Every recipe I’ve tried has been truly amazing and you break everything down so simply anyone can follow them! Your posts are the ones I most look forward to in my Google Reader. Bless the day I found you on tastespotting!

  • I’m so glad you requested feedback, because it made me realize I’ve been raving to everyone about your recipes, except to you! The first recipe you emailed after I signed up was also the first one I made, AND the one that blew me away and continues to elicit the most superlatives: your Asian BBQ Chicken. It’s quite simply fabulous! It’s my family’s favorite dinner and my number one go-to dish when entertaining. Every single guest who tries it demands the recipe and is now a devotee of your website/blog/emails. Also love (and rotate regularly through our weekly dinner repertoire): the Chicken Tacos, Chicken Marbella, “Perfectly Grilled Chicken Breasts with Lemon Zest, Garlic & Herbs” and Homeade Caesar Salad Dressing. Your flavor profiles are amazingly well-balanced and sophisticated, and I always feel like a pro when I cook from one of your recipes. Thank you, Thank you, Thank you!! I will now make it a habit to post comments to each of your wonderful recipes that I try.

  • I have been reading your blog for about 4 months. I have made many of the recipes. I am always looking for great recipes for my family, they deserve the best ones. I have found many of them here! You are the only cooking blog I follow others are just idea recipe sites.I look forward to all new posts from you and add them to my grocery list. I have you liked on my fb and hope you get others to like your from seeing it there. Keep up the great work and your photography pictures are great as well! I love the fact that most of your recipes are not too many ingredients I stopped using some places because 25 ingredients for a meal is not appealing to me with a family of 5 to feed.

  • Whenever friends ask for food blogs to follow, yours is always on my recommendation list! Your pumpkin bread is a go to for the holidays…I’ll be making it soon! I will keep passing along your blog and recipes, and I always look forward to your next creation. Thanks!

  • Hi Jenn
    I just sent this to my mom…. who has about 4000 friends (some one forgot to tell her that it was time to slow down in life !!)

  • I always look forward to your next post. I read a lot of blogs; some are more special than others. Your blog is at the top of my list. Thank you!

  • I always pass along your recipes to friends and family. They are family friendly, simple, and above all reliably delicious. I also post them to share on my facebook wall. Keep em coming!

  • Jenn, You may want to connect your fab and twitter profiles, so that your posts also go out as tweets and drive traffic to your blog…

    • — nina sadjadpour
    • Reply
  • keep on choppin’… MOLTO BENE!!!

  • Dear Jenn,

    I love your blog! I should have commented earlier as your presence on my fb page has been very comforting to me. My two daughters have recently left the nest (college & grad school) and reading your blog and recipies reminded me of our time all together in our kitchen. It reminds me that while they are grown up and away living great lives, they will always come home and share in preparing great meals with me. Being in the kitchen together and then relaxing while “breaking bread” is such a peaceful way to spend time together. Your wonderful recipies and youthful spirit reminds me of them. Your flavorful recipies and great ideas are enjoyed by us all. Thank you,
    The Montys

  • Consider it done! I am guilty of not pushing your sit like I should but boy have I loved just about every recipe you have posted! You are a gifted and talented cook; thank you so much for sharing your expertise with the rest of us!
    Linda Isaacs
    (fellow food nut!)

    • — Linda A Isaacs
    • Reply
  • I find this blog quite useful and attractive!

  • I would like to make a recommendation. School has started and this means many bake sales in our DODEA school in Stuttgart Germany. We are about to have a huge bake sale through the German and American Spouse club right here in the city of Stuttgart. The Germans loved your pumpkin and banana bread last year and the club is wanting more. This along with the tennis team bake sale means a lot of your recipes are being eaten. I would like to add your website to the baked goods. Could you please make a printable logo with your website address on this page. I could download it and tag it to baked goods. This will spread the word about your wonderful recipes. I thank-you for your time and wish you great success. PS. I forgot to tell you my French neighbor took your pumpkin bread recipe back home to share with her family. She is from Paris.

    • — Tamyla Abraham
    • Reply
    • I forgot to tell you my French neighbor took your pumpkin bread recipe back home to share with her family. She is from Paris.

      • — Ana LinkerDots on May 1, 2023
      • Reply
      • 💗

        • — Jenn on May 1, 2023
        • Reply
  • I am a blogger too and get very little comments. I know how you want them after working so hard. Just to let you know, I have ‘pinned’ many of your recipes on Pinterest!! I hope that spreads the word!
    I have a craft blog but I started something on Sunday, where I share recipes or something from my life over than crafting. The past two weeks I shared recipes I have tried, so I will try one of yours and then blog about you, sometime soon!!!
    Barb aka http://www.snowmanlover.blogspot.com
    Thank you for your blog, I enjoy it!!

  • Longtime reader..longtime lurker. Just wanted to say how much I enjoy your blog, and to tell you that your pumpkin bread recipe is the only one I make. Thanks so much!

  • Just shared this blog on my FB page to over 2,000 friends. Hope you see some results. I continue to love your blog and make the recipes which my family have loved….every single one I have made has been a winner. From one foodie to another…you rock, it is that simple. Keep up the amazing work!

    • — Melissa Allison-Lee
    • Reply
  • Your black bean, corn, avocado and red pepper salad is all over pinterest, which is how I found your lovely blog. The nice photos you post make it easy to pin recipes. Are you posting recipes on pinterest? That’s one way to increase traffic.
    And everyone who has eaten the salad has wanted to make it and been directed to your site too :).

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