Skip to main content

Homemade with Love, Simple Scratch Cooking from in Jennie's Kitchen, book review

Homemade with Love, Simple Scratch Cooking from Jennie's kitchen,
By Jennifer Perillo
There are a handful of cookbooks on my bookshelf that I turn to a few times a year. I'd like to say I use them every day, but that is not reality. I've got a pile of recipes I cut out of magazines, or printed out from web sites, but the truth is I cook the same old meals most of the time. The funny thing is that I enjoy reading recipes, especially recipes that are easy to follow, don't require special ingredients I have to track down, and meals my family will actually eat.
Homemade with Love, is a cookbook, a guide, and a resource. And it's not going on the book shelf-because it's one I want to use, read, and explore.  Her book is heartfelt. I like her approach to cooking from scratch, buying local, visiting farm markets, and spending time with family and friends in the kitchen. 
Jennifer's husband passed away in 2011, she is a parent of two, a working mother, and writes on her blog; Jennie's Kitchen,
 In the introduction of the book: Returning to Our Roots, Jennifer writes about her childhood, her cooking role, and her husband's death. She writes about family time at the dinner table, and that it is more than feeding our bodies, it is feeding our souls.
Chapter 2 title is "Setting Up a Homemade Kitchen", "The Perfect Pantry", "For the Fridge" "Dry Goods", and "For the Freezer". In this chapter she shares the basics for cooking and what you should keep on hand to make homemade meals for your family.  My pantry is a mix of basics, and I'll admit a handful of boxes of rice mixes, baking mixes, and noddles that are quick and easy to prepare. Jennifer's book is full of recipes for making your own "mixes" so you won't have to buy them or run to the store when you run out, you can make your own!!!
From scones to pasta, to meats, to doughnuts to jam, to chocolate syrup, there are recipes for tasty meals, deserts, beverages, salsas, and more that are easy to read and understand. The ingredients are easy to find in your local market,, and the meals are pleasing to your eyes and taste buds! The book is full of beautiful photographs of delicious looking food. You'll want to start cooking and baking before you finish reading the book.
The cook book reads like a story of family, love, and life. I am off to make a list of my pantry, fridge, dry goods and freezer to get back on track of homemade meals and homemade family time.

Look for her book in April 2013. It makes a wonderful Mother's Day gift for your mom, sister, friend, or yourself. I read the book as a book, not as a cookbook. It's a book you'll want to read cover to cover, then start cooking homemade meals for your family. Bring your family to the table for homemade meals, sharing, and memories.  
More on the book:
Simple Scratch Cooking from In Jennie’s Kitchen
by Jennifer Perillo
Photography by Penny De Los Santos
Melissa d’Arabian, host of the Food Network’s Ten Dollar Dinners, calls Jennifer Perillo’s HOMEMADE WITH LOVE: Simple Scratch Cooking from In Jennie’s Kitchen “more than a cookbook.  It’s a love song; an ode to family and life on life’s terms, and the nourishing and healing power of food prepared with joy in the heart,” while Heidi Swanson, author of Super Natural Every Day, calls it “a beautiful book celebrating the power (and importance) of the homemade meal as an integral part of the fabric of a home.” And with its delectable recipes and charming girl-next-door tone, it’s sure to be a welcome addition to the kitchens of longtime readers of Jennie’s popular blog, In Jennie’s Kitchen (, and newcomers alike.
The need to cook for some people is exactly that: a NEED, something essential, necessary. For professional food writer, seasoned recipe developer, and veteran blogger Jennifer Perillo, cooking from scratch, buying local, and eating a home-cooked meal with family and loved ones is as essential as the air she breathes. HOMEMADE WITH LOVE, available this April from Running Press, shares Jennie’s pioneer lifestyle in the middle of a big city, and proves that cooking from scratch doesn’t have to be a chore. 
Jennie has been dishing out culinary advice for the busy working parent and time-strapped cook on her food blog since 2006, extolling the pleasures of cooking from scratch, buying local, and eating at home, and after the sudden death of her young husband, Mikey, in 2011, cooking would come to play an even bigger role in her life, aiding in her recovery and healing process. As she’ll tell you, “Cooking became my savior, and offered not only nourishment, but a sense of control in a world that seemed to no longer make sense.”
In HOMEMADE WITH LOVE, Jennie shares with readers how to set up a homemade kitchen, including creating the perfect pantry—from the dry goods you should always try to have on hand, to what to stock in your fridge and freezer. From there she covers the everyday basics, offering shortcuts with homemade baking mixes to use as the base for all the yummy treats you’ll want to make for the family—
think Clementine & Pistachio Crumb Muffins – as well as other homemade necessities like nut butters, ricotta, chicken stock, marinara and yogurt.
Recipes range from Slow-Roasted Tomato & Fresh Mozzarella Panzanella, perfect in the summertime when tomatoes are at their peak flavor, to Drop Biscuit Chicken Pot Pie, Beef Spezzatino, French Onion Cheese Buns, Crispy Spinach-Ricotta Latkes, Rosemary & Pecorino Popcorn, Cherry Chocolate Chip Friendship Cookies and Roasted Rhubarb Jam. From sweet to savory and back again, Jennie’s recipes for every meal of the day are simple enough for novice cooks who want to start cooking more from scratch, yet with flavor combinations and profiles so sophisticated they'll entice veteran cook
as as well.
About the Author:
Jennifer Perillo is the consulting food editor at Working Mother magazine. She has worked in some of New York City’s top restaurants including Gramercy Tavern and Alain Ducasse at The Essex House. Jennie’s recipes and writing have been featured in Parenting, Kiwi, and Relish magazines, and online at

About the Book:
HOMEMADE WITH LOVE: Simple Scratch Cooking from In Jennie’s Kitchen
by Jennifer Perillo
Running Press; Hardcover; $27.50 US/$30.50 CAN
240 pages; 8 x 10; ISBN: 978-0-7624-4723-7
E-book ISBN: 978-0-7624-4834-0
Full-Color Photographs throughout
Publication Month: April 2013
Disclosure: I received a copy of Homemade with Love, Simple Scratch Cooking from In Jennie's Kitchen for this post. The comments and views are my own.

Popular posts from this blog

Giveaway of New Soft Scrub® 4-in-1 Toliet Cleaner to three lucky winners.

  Let's talk about cleaning toilets. Hmm, I'd rather not talk about that, or clean them. However, I don't want dirty toilets in our house, so I have to clean all three of them. I'd clean four or five because I really would like two downstairs bathrooms in my next house. We have one powder room on the first floor and two full baths upstairs.I'd like three full baths upstairs. Why in the world would I want to clean all that? Who knows, but having a product that can help out cleaning the three we currently have in my house is greatly appreciated. Soft Scrub ®  is honestly amazing me with their new and improved products. I've learned about them in the past few months from trying them out and writing reviews. My kitchen sink has never shined so much, the bathrooms are cleaner, and now Soft Scrub 4-in-1 Toilet Care is now here! It is new, it smells nice, and it is so easy to use. Just clip it on the side of the bowl, make sure it is in the flow of water when the toil

Win an Ultimate prize pack from Betty Crocker Ultimate Meals and Mixes

So, how's the dinner time prep going? The kids are back in school, and  then after school is sports, band practice. Do you have the taxi light on top your car on? Sound familiar? I can relate. Those nights of soccer practice and games kept us moving. I am the late afternoon here on the East Coast, and glad to have my dinner thoughts together. How did I do it? The ultimate way, with new Ultimate Hamburger Helper from Betty Crocker ®, that's how. I whipped up, I'm calling it that, because it was easy to prepare and cook. I made Ultimate Hamburger Helper Three Cheese Marinara. Easy to understand directions are on the back of the box, and don't forget to cut out the Box Tops For Education Label before you toss the cardboard into your recycling bin.   How to make this warm hearty meal for your family: open a box of Ultimate Hamburger Helper Three Cheese Marinara Brown 1 pound ground beef in a skillet. I used organic ground beef. In that same skillet, add and stir in: 1 cup o

Giveaway of Three Copies of Les Misérables on Blu Ray DVD combo Pack

You know that part of a DVD that prompts you to select play, scenes, bonus, set up while bits of the movie play? I did not get past that for several plays through the song "Do you hear the people sing" with  people of France waving their flag, and singing about they will not be slaves again.  The song is so moving, so powerful. It can stir up your the strength within your soul, it can remind you of the freedom of being an American, and it can bring you to tears of sadness, happiness, and joy. Now on to select play: I saw Les Misérables at the preview screening last year and was captivated, motionless in my seat. The DVD has the same effect. You'll be taken back to another place, another time. The cast is perfect, the singing is moving, and the scenery is real old world "Paris". As I watched Les Misérables it's a reminder to myself, a wake up call for us all to be humble, be better. To forgive each other, let go of our egos, help each other at times of need,