About Jo

jo-at-the-stampede-1-2

Oh hi there! Grab a cup of coffee and have some fun while surfing through my blog.

Many moons ago my family and I moved to Canada from Romania. I always enjoyed cooking and baking as a kid and I was always in the kitchen with my mother helping her out. That’s where I learned how to make most Romanian dishes that you will find here. I’m not a trained chef, I just enjoy being in the kitchen and trying to cook new recipes. I try out all my recipes on my poor husband, who is quite a picky eater and has no choice but to try my food.

Through the development of this blog, I have discovered not only my passion for cooking but my passion for food photography. All the pictures you see here on jocooks.com have been taken by me and by my husband.

I wanted to create this blog to share my love for food with friends and family, because life should be delicious and there’s nothing better in the world than cooking with friends and family and watching your loved ones faces light up as they enjoy your food. These are the recipes that my family and I have enjoyed over the years, so share them with your friends and family as you choose. Romanian food is not a very well known cuisine, so I hope to change that here and hopefully turn some foodies onto enjoying Romanian cuisine. Please leave your comments if you have tried any of the recipes and have enjoyed them, I love reading to see what people think.

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 here you will find a lot of different recipes, from healthy to really bad for you, from sweet to spicy or any of the above.

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 in her plate. She watches me cook every single time and awaits 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 them 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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Comments

  1. says

    Jo, I need a Romanian soup recipe. Take a look at my blog. I am relating a food story. I have written 3 short parts for Beer and Jalapeno Nachos. If you have time to read it, you will see why I need a recipe. I will of course give you full credit. I don’t want pictures—just the recipe and the okay to use it. If you are game, email me. If you don’t want to, which is fine, could you let me know that too. I will have to start rooting around somewhere else. Smiles—–Carol

  2. Amy Lomas says

    Hi Jo,

    I’m trying to figure out how to add recipes to a recipe box, but I don’t see the little heart icon to like them.

    Also, I did the chicken enchilada rice bake last night, with a few more veggies added and it was SO good.

    Thanks!
    Amy

    • says

      Hi Amy,
      You need to click on the save button under the image in the recipe, and that will save the recipe to your recipe box. Glad you liked the chicken enchilada rice bake, can’t go wrong with that dish. :)

  3. Cristian Ilisiu says

    Foarte bune si apetisante retete ai aici Jo.
    Ma bucur ca am dat peste site-ul tau.
    O sa incerc pizza breakfast.

  4. Ana Munford says

    I am so glad I found your blog Jo, I love your recipes and how your explain them so well. All the best for you. Sincerely, Ana.

  5. Donna Traverse says

    I found you on Pinterest with Crockpot Chinese Port and it looked so delicious I followed you home..lol. I am newly single so looking for new things to try. I love seeing Canadian blogs for recipes simply the ingredients are easy to find. You have so many choices I’m not sure where to start. I have made cabbage rolls with the sour cabbage but something was missing, so I am hoping our local grocery store in Port Hardy BC, will have them again. Keep up the great food. Thanks for the great ideas

  6. Andrew Driscoll says

    I made you utterly delicious Easy Chicken Enchilada casserole two nights ago! OMG OMG OMG! Just amazing, and for an aging Aussie, dead easy! We can’t get Monterey Jack Cheese in Oz, so I substituted a soft cheddar, your times were absolutely spot on!
    I took liberties, I made my own Enchilada sauce and put a couple of tea spoons of Chipotle in the mix. Must say, I am now a great fan Jo, and like you, Mexican food just does it for me!
    My Warmest Regards,
    Andrew

    • says

      Andrew first of all I’m so happy to see that I have guys looking at my recipes and trying them and second of all way to go, this is how you make a recipe your own. I’m so glad you enjoyed it. :)

  7. says

    I finally ordered and received Vegeta…what else do you use it for beside the Crockpot Chicken Soup? The order was for 3#+ of the stuff…I had never heard of it prior to reading your blog!

    • says

      I use it for seasoning in pretty much anything, any kinds of soups and stews. Take a little bit and taste it and see if you like the taste, if you do you could season literally anything with it.

  8. Holly says

    Hi Jo, I love hot wings with blue cheese dressing but for some reason I cannot get the preparation instructions for your recipe that is on the Yummy website to pull up. Could you send it to me?
    Thanks.

    • says

      Hi Holly,
      I’m revamping some recipes on my blog and that’s one I removed and was going to post later. I believe you just mix the dressing ingredients together, it’s really simple to make. :)

  9. JuneC says

    I have been subscribed to your blog for awhile now and have made one recipe with delicious results, and I plan to make quite a few more. My one complaint is the search feature. I can never find a recipe again, even if I know the exact name. I wanted to look at the recipe for the strawberry, banana cookies and it took me a very long time to find it. I like to post my results after I have tried a recipe. If I can’t find the recipe then I can’t ask questions of give my results. It may be months before I actually make a recipe I have printed.

    I don’t see a place to check for follow ups on posts. I posted a question about a recipe, you answered it, but I received no notification that a post had been done to the thread, is there a place I should have checked so I could have been notified when a new post is made in a thread I did find your answer but it took more time than it should have

    • says

      Hi June,
      There is a search, if you look in the top right corner, you’ll see 3 tabs, connect, subscribe and search. You just have to click on search and then enter the name of the recipe just like you typed it strawberry, banana cookies and you’ll see the cookies come up in the search results. I also have the recipe index where you can browse by category. I’ve also installed a new plugin to email you when there are replies to your comments. Hope this helps. :)

  10. graeme hedley says

    Just found your site Jo .Cant wait to make your chocolate magic cake.I will let you know how it goes.I will be trying a lot more of your recipes also.So excited.

  11. Jane says

    I WAS CRUISING THE WEB AND STUBBLED ON THE 2 INGREDIENT LEMON BARS. I CAN’T WAIT TO MAKE THEM.MY HUSBAND WILL EAT ALMOST ANYTHING I PUT IN FRONT OF HIMAS LONG AS IT IT FOOD. I’M UNDER DR’S ORDERS TO LOSE 60 LBS.HUSBAND HAS HIGH CHOLESTREOLAND NEEDS TO LOSE AS WELL.HOPE I CAN FIND SOME RECIPES WE BOTH LIKE. I CAN’T EAT GARLIC,ANYTHING SPICY AND OLIVE OIL DOES NOT AGREE WITH EITHER OF US.HE LOVES IT WHEN I BAKE THE GOODIES.

  12. Gladys says

    Hi Jo, I am so excited to try as many of your recipes. Your recipes are so very refreshing to read & I will be trying your scone recipe today, using blueberries & lemon juice & lemon zest. Your website is a keeper in my favourite’s files :).

    Thank you for having an awesome recipe website. I am so happy you moved to Canada. My ancestors came to Canada from Ukraine & Poland in the earlier 1900’s. Have a wonderful day :)

  13. Ginny says

    Jo,
    So glad to find your blog, I have been on Weight Watchers for a little over a year and have lost 80 pounds and I’m happy to find some more “light” recipes. Will be trying several of them soon.

  14. Chantal says

    “Jo” looks a dutch name to me, so I tought you came from Europe, my husband name is also “Jo” (we are Belgians).
    I saw your food blog and want try out some of your recipes, they look yummy!
    Too funny you wrote: “I try out all my recipes on my poor husband, who is quite a picky eater and has no choice but to try my food.”

  15. says

    I literally stumbled across your website by accident. May daughter calls me am a “food nerd” because my leisure reading is cookbooks – lol! I am always looking for new, interesting and inspiring recipe/food blog websites. I am SO impressed with yours. Am planning on making your Slow Cooker Teriyaki Chicken this weekend! I am really excited to try your recipes.

  16. Daphne says

    Hi Jo, I too found you through the Magic Cake recipe on Facebook. I can’t wait to try all 3 versions. I was so excited to see your quinoa recipes. My husband (unlike yours!) loves the stuff. I’m always looking for healthy recipes to try to improve our diet. Like you, I love to cook, but baking is my passion. I just can’t lay off the sweet stuff!

  17. georgia says

    Hi Jo, Just found your blog and I am loving it. The recipes look delicious and can’t wait to try some of them. I am always looking for healthy, delicious recipes that show nutrition info. I cannot click on your Popular Healthy Recipes. Would love to see what you have under this section. Thanks
    Georgia

    • says

      Hi Georgia, Thank you so much, if you click on recipe index here or in the top navigation scroll down a bit to Healthy Recipes you will see them there, and then just click on See More for more recipes. :) Hope this helps.

  18. Lynne says

    How big are the portions for the Magic Cake’s nutritional information. In a good world, it would be the whole cake!! How many pieces are you cutting that 8×8 cake into?

  19. Janette says

    16/2/14 ~ I cooked the Cuban Style Pork Tenderloin for Sunday dinner & it was delish. The very strong ingredients all blended during the cooking into the most tasty sauce which complimented the pork perfectly. I usually make an apple, Calvados, cream sauce with pork but this dish was edgy & I will definitely use it again, you said ‘Enjoy’ & we all certainly did…
    Thanks

  20. CAROL OLIVIER says

    JUST FOUND YOUR BLOG A FEW MINUTES AGO, ALREADY HAVE DINNER PLANS FOR TONIGHT!!!!
    I’M SURE I WILL BE BACK SOON, VERY VERY SOON, YOUR RECIPES LOOK GREAT

    BYE FOR NOW FROM SUNNY SOUTH TEXAS, ON THE GULF COAST, CURRENT TEMPERATURE 78 DEGREES, EXTENDED FORECAST 76-80 daytime h ighs, low 59-60 nighttime,….. just saying :)

  21. Lorein says

    Hi Jo,

    congrats on the blog! Like many others, I got here via your magic cake recipe from Pinterest. I must say that many recipes got my eye :) Right now my whole house smells like the magic cake, can’t wait to try it!

  22. Fiona Mitchell says

    Hi Jo, a friend on Facebook posted a magic cake recipe of yours and linked back to your blog. It’s fantastic. Thank you so much for taking the time to compile it for the rest of us to enjoy. I am from Australia and love to cook. I also had a beagle called Eddie for 15 years and he was a dearly loved part of our family. I now have a Border Collie who does not sniff or eat anywhere near as much!

    • says

      Hi Fiona,
      Thank you so much for stopping by and leaving me a comment. So I have a question for you, do you miss the sniffing? :) I love my beagle, couldn’t imagine my life without her, it’s amazing how attached we get to our animal friends. :)

  23. nnnnn says

    Am dat de blogul tau oarecum accidental (stateam la calculator mancand niste poale-n brau de la covrigaria din oras si ma gandisem sa caut o reteta asa ca se la pot face si eu), dar trebuie sa spun ca m-am bucurat enorm cand am vazut cate delicii ai tu pe-aici. E foarte frumos (si util!) ceea ce faci, deci o sa tin minte sa mai trec pe-aici cand mi se face pofta de ceva mai special.

    Salutari din Romania…!

  24. Dana says

    Hi Jo!
    My name is Dana and I was born in Bucharest, Romania but now I live in Michigan. I love your blog. A lot of times, when people hear about romanians, they hear only the bad stuff, but it is so refreshing to see romanians that excel at what they are doing.
    I loved your recipes, your notes and your comments. Very well done. It made me proud to be Romanian!

  25. simone says

    Hello, Jo:

    Came across your website because of a reference to your grisini recip that was mentioned in the WiseBread blog. I’ve been looking for a recipe for a flatbread CRACKER that I had at a hotel reception. If you have such a recipe, I’d love to have a copy. The bread was similar to a flattened grissini covered w/ coarse salt and a light sprinkling of cheese. It was VERY crispy. Thanks for your help. Really like browsing your recipes.

    • says

      Hi Simone,
      I don’t have the recipe, I think I’ve had something similar, I’ll have to search and see if I find it, because it sounds yummy!

  26. says

    Hi, I just wanted to admire you for the great blog that you have created. I am only 17, but i also have a culinary blog, and I hope that after time it will look as professional as yours. By the way I am from Bulgaria ^^ . Again great blog :)

  27. Bonnie Pruett says

    Dear Jo, I was born and raised in Northern Minnesota about 2.5 hours below the Canadian border. I’ve now been transplanted to Georgia 4 yrs ago. I have two grow. sons and 3 grandsons. I was married 26 yrs then divorced. I’m still a newlywed of 3 yrs. The internet is a wonderful thing that’s how I met my husband and since he has resided in Georgia for 31 yrs, he’s basically a native.. I found you through myhoneycakes.com. May I say, it was a treasure to find you. I love food. My figure shows it. Always has, probably always will. I saw your magic Cake recipe. I am going to try it. You seem to be the kind of cook my late Mother-in-law was,bshe could take leftovers from the refrigerator and make them taste like a fresh meal. I see you’re a dog lover too. Beagles are wonderful dogs and I can see how much you love her. We have a daschshund. He’s about 6 yrs old. His name is Butterscotch, that was his name when we got him. We love our hand-me-down dog. We are at least thebthird family who has had him but thisvis his forever home. He’s our 4 -legged Hoover, anything that hits the floor is first inspected and if edible disappears. My hubby claims not to like him, but it’s just a front. I’m not sure who he’s trying to convince, his son and I, Butterscotch or himself. None of us fall for it. I have a wonderful recipe for Corn Chowder. It goes well at church gatherings and doesn’t last long at home either. I’ll send that another day. Thank you for creating your blog and sharing with us. A new friend, Bonnie

    • says

      Hi Bonnie,
      It’s a pleasure to virtually meet you and learn a bit about you! The internet is indeed a wonderful thing, I can’t imagine life without it! I’m so glad you found my blog, I really hope you take a look around, I have hundreds of recipes here, I’m sure you’ll find others that you may like. I’d love for you to share with me your corn chowder, I might just make it and post here. :)

  28. Christa says

    Hello fellow Calgarian!
    I am also wondering if Summer will really come, or if we had our week of summer in April!
    My mother was born in Rumania … I am a ’70’s-born-and-raised-Calgarian. I am really enjoying your blog and am gonna’ try your Magic Cake tonight. Also looking forward to trying some of your Rumanian recipes! ~Take good care~
    ~ Christa

  29. says

    Hi, Jo!
    Just came across your web-site via Pinterest. I love so many of your dessert recipes- I have to try them all very soon! I love baking and have a blog called 4 goodness bake!, so I will have to check out your tips for food bloggers too:). I was also born in the 70’s only not in Romania, but in Bulgaria- I feel like we are neighbors. :) I came to the US in 2001 and have been super busy ever since: I now have a family with three kids under the age of 8. :) My baking adventures usually happen at night, after they go to bed. :)
    Loved the picture of your cute dog, Mia! If you were the photographer- wow! I am making my baby steps with the DSLR camera I have and really appreciate good photography, as I now know it doesn’t happen easily. I will keep checking back here, as I have now bookmarked your blog. I will be sure to link back to you if I blog about any of your recipes, as I try them out.

  30. Sandi says

    PS… a dump cake is simple, simply southern… melt a stick of butter in a 9X13 pan, and after coating the pan, reserve the butter. Pour your choice of pie filling in the bottom of the pan. We like apple or cherry pie filling. Top with cake mix, usually yellow or white, right from the box into the pan, then drizzle the butter on top. You can use chopped nuts on top too, if you want. Pecans are good. After baking in a medium oven for about 45 minutes, just serve it up with a large spoon and top with ice cream or whipped topping. Warm is good!!!!!!

  31. Sandi says

    I am glad I ran across your blog while grazing Pinterest! What caught my eye are your boards “TexMex”, “Cajun” and “Southern”… as I am a Cajun raised in Texas! I was just sure you were from my world, so I was surprised to see you are in Canada. Then I presumptuously thought you must have been a transplant from the south… only to learn you are originally from Romania! No matter…. I have read your recipes and you are a southern cook nonetheless. I will enjoy following your pinterest boards!

  32. Anca says

    Hi Jo,

    I am so happy I found your blog. I am also Romanian, also born in the 70s and my family also moved to Canada in the 80s. Today, I was looking for an alternative to the good ol’ stuffed peppers recipe :) Thanks for sharing and keep them coming!

  33. Wendy says

    So glad I found this website…I printed off almost every recipe!! Love all these different ideas, but was most excited about the Antojitos!!!! Thanks again!!

  34. shoop exhale says

    Hi, it’s me once again! I just want to say “Congratulations” for your nice website. I’m sorry that I’ve tried a dozen of your recipes first before doing this. This morning I opened your website to make scrambled egg in puff pastry, which by the way lasted in the table for only 10 minutes, and I’ve got orders of doubling them next time, when I saw the new collection of desserts that you posted. It looks all delicious and my only problem now is which one should I try first. I’ll be keeping in touch! Thanks and God bless!

  35. Julie says

    Jo – thank you so much!, I love your site and I very much appreciate your new project. I’ve thought of creating a blog for quite some time and your tips have been so helpful. I’ll write back with the website info once I get it up and running.

    • says

      Hi Julie,
      I’m glad you found it helpful. Come back often because there will be a lot more information. I’m looking forward to seeing your website once it’s up and running. :)

  36. Samantha says

    Hello Ms. Jo!
    I’m currently in the process of making your croissants. Is there any way you could post a video of you showing how to fold them? I’m kind of confused when it comes to rolling out the dough then folding it again.
    Thanks!!

  37. Lorna Woyciehouski says

    Hello Jo,
    Well isn’t this an exciting find!! A Fellow Canadian who has, by the quick glance I just did has a catalog of amazing recipes! And to top it all off she a fellow Albertan too! Am I in heaven!?! Not only will I be able to find recipes but I will have a greater chance of finding ingredients. I can’t begin to express how frustrating it is trying to shop for a recipe and not being able to find an ingredient….Grrrrr. I live in Grande Prairie so we have shopping choices but not a great deal of ethnic choices other then the isles in Superstore and Safeway. I am so excited, I love to cook and try new things……my family and I can’t wait to try some of these recipes. Nice to meet you JO, I’m Lorna I think this is going to be the beginning of a long and tasty friendship!! Well I’m hoping! Wait my family and I are overweight……….never mind we will walk the dog more……..were good to go!!

    • says

      Hi Lorna,
      I’m so glad you found me and to make you feel better we only shop at Superstore and Safeway, so you’re bound to find the ingredients I use there. I hope you stop by often and try some of my recipes. Thank God for dogs, eh?

  38. Laurel Anderson says

    Nice website! I just had to comment saying that I too was born in Romania, moved to Canada (Alberta), have a very hungry 14 year old Beagle, and love to cook. So many similarities I just had to share!

  39. Cindy says

    Hey Jo!
    I am online a lot looking for new recipes, and after a while I realized I kept coming back to your site! So I have it bookmarked, and love love love many of your recipes! And I have a small request, could you play around with portobello mushrooms? I find them interesting and want some new ideas! Thanks!
    PS: I’m from Sask!

  40. Dee says

    Do you have a recipe…I think it was called Dump Cake….and you can use frozen mixed berries instead of fresh fruit? I think you also use a cake mix.

    Thankyou.

    .I am making your Baked Penne with Italian Sausage tonight, as it sounds very good!

    • says

      Hi Dee!
      Great choice on the baked penne, it’s very good. I have never heard of dump cake, is that similar to a cobbler or an upside down cake? If you have mixed berries, you can always do a trifle, if you have some whipped cream, cream cheese or mascorpone cheese, some vanilla pudding you could mix these 3 ingredients together and make a nice trifle with it. Or for the grandkids I really recommend you make that sex in a pan dessert, you can call it something else for them, but they would love it. Let me know what you end up doing.

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