About Jo

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jo-at-the-stampede-1-2My name is Joanna, Jo for short, and I am the brains behind my personal food blog Jo Cooks. I love to bake and cook and on this blog you’ll find all kinds of recipes, from super healthy to not so healthy. I’m the photographer, the recipe developer and the writer. I do it all here and love every minute of it. I’m a former software developer and through my love for cooking was able to change my career and focus on what I love doing the most.

I’ve been sharing my kitchen endeavors with my readers since 2011. Through the development of this blog, I have discovered not only my passion for cooking and baking but my passion for food photography. All the pictures you see here on jocooks.com have been taken by me and my husband.

My family and I moved to Canada from Romania when I was just a child, so some of the recipes you will find here are recipes that I’ve learned from my mother and mother in law and I’m more than happy to share them with you. Romanian cuisine is not very well known, so I hope to change that a bit here and hopefully turn some foodies onto enjoying Romanian cuisine.

Although I love my Romanian recipes, those are not the only recipes you will find on this blog. I love to try cuisines from all over the world, so if you’ve tried any of my recipes I’d love to hear from you.

Occasionally, I will bore you with pictures of my dog, whom I love dearly and is just my best friend in the world. Her name is Mia and she is a 10 year old beagle, who is the cutest beagle in the world. She is the biggest fan of my cooking and will pretty much eat anything you put on her plate. She watches me cook every single time and waits anxiously for food bacon to make its way on the floor. You never have a dirty floor with her around, that’s for sure. She’s a great cleaner upper.

If you’re looking for a recipe you may not find easily, please use the search bar in the top right hand corner or click on Recipe Index in the top menu.

Feel free to email me at info @ jocooks . com with any questions, or post a comment here or on any of the recipes.

If you love my recipes, feel free to use my images however you want. You do not need to email me for permission. The only thing I would appreciate back in return is to give me credit  for any work of mine that you would use, and ideally, link back to the original. 

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  1. says

    Jo, your Buttermilk Fried Chicken recipe is THE best! Honey, I have tried to make good fried chicken for years but all of the recipes I tried failed. Being from the south, that was an embarrassing failure 😉 But you have redeemed me in the kitchen, and I give you credit with every batch I make. …making some tonight. Thank you for sharing your recipe!

  2. says

    Hi Jo!,

    I found your website through Pinterest and made your chicken enchilada rice casserole this past Sunday. It’s so amazing, I’ve sent the link to my grandma, mom, and coworker! Any time I make a recipe of yours, I will also tag you on my Instagram (_missbloodymary) to be sure you get the credit you deserve! LOVE all of your colorful photos and recipes!!

  3. Connie says


    I am trying to subscribe to your site, and I keep getting this new page opening saying it needs to confirm my email, but I am not receiving an email to confirm? I am positive that it has not gone into my trash or spam folders, so I guess I’ll just wait to see if one comes because when it didn’t I tried to force it by trying 2 more times, and now I’m getting a page saying too many attempts.. :(

    • says

      Hi Connie,
      I just checked and your email is in, so you should be fine, let me know if you don’t receive an email tomorrow. :)

  4. Dolly says

    Hi Jo… I was searching for Spinach Pasta and that’s when I came across your CREAMY AVOCADO AND SPINACH PASTA recipe and ventured thru ur blog!

    Your website is very interesting with full of colors! Lovely description and can imagine your passion for cooking just by reading your blog.

    Best wishes and Keep the good work going! :):)

  5. Susan D says

    I had to stop by and compliment you on your blog and fabulous recipes! I too live in Canada (Calgary AB) and can’t help but wonder, was your photo taken at the Calgary Stampede? I have a passion for food & bread and think your recipes are wonderful!! The magic cakes are one of my faves ♥ :) Thanks for all your hard work!

  6. says

    Hey Jo!!
    I had to stop by and say hi, I LOVE your blog…. and every time I see an amazing picture on Pinterest I have to stop and see whose it is, and it’s almost always one of yours! You do such a great job and your recipes are fantastic, I can’t wait to start making some. Your food blog tips are also extremely helpful, I love the Pinterest tips. Thanks for all that you do! Happy Easter!

  7. Maria D. Aponte says

    I came across your blog today and find your pictures so inviting.I will make your Magic Cake this weekend,I know my family will love it.I will be glad to receive your book.Thanks a lot

  8. Jean says

    hi – I’m just curious. How come the bread isn’t allowed to rise again after forming it into a ball? Doesn’t it get pretty dense?

  9. says

    Hi Jo! I came across your blog and am about to try your Chicken Fajita Quesadilla. I see that you are an Albertan as well. :) Your blog looks fantastic! I am also a blogger but mine is mostly scrapbooking.

  10. Jenni says

    Your recipes look so good but do you have any for diabetics – I will however be naughty and make some of your fab recipes.
    South African from Edenglen JHB

    • says

      Hi Jenni,
      I’m sorry, not sure if I have any for diabetics as I’m not sure what’s needed for a diabetic diet. Please feel free to search the healthy recipes, you might find something there that qualifies.

  11. Maria Silveiro says

    Hi Jo
    I’ve come across your website and blog today. I’m very happy to see that I’m not the only one that loves her dogs. I have 2 beagles and they are just like Mia always in the kitchen with me and waiting for something, they love food.
    I also love baking and cooking very much. I spend a lot of time in my kitchen. My husband has a bakery & coffee shop and I love giving him new ideas with cakes and bread and food. I’m going to try your magic cake as many years ago I had something similar and lost the recipe so I’m going to see as it looks very much the same. W would like to receive your free e-book but I’m not on facebook, is it possible to access it another way.
    I’m all the way in South Africa
    Thank you very much for the interesting ideas and recipes

  12. Marta says

    Hi Jo! I have to agree with everyone else, your blog is fantastic! Your recipes are delicious and the photos are beautiful! This might seem like an odd question, but I wanted your opinion on purchasing a Kitchenaid mixer! I currently have a Thermomix, I’m not sure if you know what that is but its a kitchen wonder from Germany. I’m Polish and all my polish and Portuguese relatives have one of these puppies. However, I think the Kitchenaid mixer can do certain things the Thermomix can’t do when it comes to baking. I’m debating the Artisan to the 600 Pro. I would appreciate your thoughts when you have a moment. TIA

    • says

      Hi Marta,
      Thank you so much for your kind words. I have the the KA Professional 5 Plus and I absolutely love it. I used to have the artisan before and while it’s still a great mixer, I had a hard time with it making dough for breads. So I guess it just depends what you want to do with it, if you do a lot of baking and make a lot of dough, I would recommend by going with one of the professional models otherwise the Artisan will work just fine. Hope this helps :)

  13. says

    Hi Jo! I think your website is absolutely wonderful! I was browsing and everything looks so delicious! I’ve never liked so many recipes on a food website. You seem to have the same food palate as me, loving a variety of flavors from different cuisine, especially Asian (My favorite). So I said to myself I need to find out more about Jo and I found out you are Romanian! I am also Romanian (both parents immigrated here 30 years ago) I was born in Canada (1st Canadian born of the family).
    Your website is amazing, the recipes look so good. I will definitely be using your site weekly for my meals. Keep it going and Thank you!!

    • says

      Hi Christina! You know this is why I love to blog, because I meet so many great people, like yourself, people I have lots in common with. We’ve also been here for 30 years now, time flies. I’m so glad you’re enjoying my recipes. I have quite a few Romanian recipes too, in case you miss Romanian food. :) Hope you stop by again!

  14. Deborah says

    I just found your rustic bread made in the dutch oven pan. Oh my word are they the BEST and the EASEST recipes EVER!!!! Thank you soooooo much. I have made a lot of your recipes and I have NEVER been disappointed. Thank you sooo Much!!!!!

  15. Diane Armstrong says

    A very important question: (!!!) what pickle do you use in the beef salad? dill? sweet? bread and butter (I think not); some arcane mixture? SO important! I have tried to find this recipe for many YEARS…beef salad, chopped (I remember with awe the hundreds of uniform little blocks…tiny, tiny, tiny…of beef, of potato, of veg, of pickle) and only today did I think if adding the word Roumanian. A Roumanian woman, trying to remain permanently in the US made it for me and in memory, it is one of themost delicious dishes I have ever eaten… I hope my preparation will love up to that memory.
    Since I am aiming for perfection, whose mayonnaise, whose mustard, whose horseradish do you use?
    I am so happy to have found you!

    • says

      Hi Diane,
      I use dill pickles in the beef salad. As far as mayonnaise and mustard I use store bought now, but growing up my mom always made her own mayonnaise for this salad, all you need are eggs and lots of oil. :)

  16. Helen Davis says

    I subscribe to your blog but an UNABLE TO SAVE your recipes, lately. At one time there was a “SAVE” icon.

    • says

      Hi Helen,
      Yes we used to have a Save button in our recipes and that was through ZipList. Unfortunately they closed their services. We are currently looking at exploring other options. Sorry for the inconvenience for now.

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