I met Jennifer Perillo of In Jennie’s Kitchen a few years ago at the Yahoo! Motherboard get together in California. She was sitting with our mutual friend, Vanessa from French Foodie Mom, discussing food blogging and how much flour and butter she’d go through while developing recipes. I liked Jennie instantly, and was in awe that someone who had her recipes regularly featured in magazines like Working Mother, Saveur, and Bon Appetit was hanging out with us lowly food bloggers.
So when the folks at Role Mommy offered me a chance to review Jennie’s new cookbook, Homemade with Love: Simple Scratch Cooking from In Jennie's Kitchen, I jumped at the chance to do so! You see not only is it a collection of Jennie’s work, but the photography is by Penny De Los Santos, whose work I admire immensely. (My only complaint about Homemade with Love is that there are not enough of Penny’s photographs!)
Now, I’ll be the first to admit that while I love Jennie’s blog and Homemade with Love, she and I cook somewhat differently. I’m not much of a baker and rarely make desserts for my family. Instead, I’m a healthy foodie who has to cook around my food sensitivities such as being gluten free and avoiding whey. Jennie doesn’t have that issue and makes gluten and whey laden, yummy desserts like Chocolate Tres Leches Cake and dishes like Drop Biscuit Chicken Pot Pie. Luckily for people like me, she includes symbols in her recipes to let you easily know if something is vegan, vegetarian, gluten or egg free as well as if it’s a recipe you can make ahead of time or prepare in 30 minutes or less.
What Jennie and I have in common is that we believe in cooking from scratch and making it easy for other cooks to do so. For example, in Homemade with Love, Jennie writes about how to set up a homemade kitchen. This includes showing you how to stock your pantry with the dry goods you should have on hand, to what to stock in your fridge and freezer. Jennie also covers the everyday basics and offers shortcuts like recipes for homemade baking mixes and recipes for homemade necessities like mayonnaise, chicken stock, marinara sauce, and yogurt. She also covers canning and making pickles. (I can’t wait to try her Jalapeno Picked Watermelon Rinds once watermelons are back in season!)
While there are lots of decedent recipes for tarts, cupcakes and cake, there are also healthy ones like Sweet Potato, Leek and Ricotta Soufflé, Chickpea, Parmesan & Fennel Salad, and Baked Sole with Lemon, Olives & Herbs. If you’re looking for a cookbook that will inspire you to cook simply, deliciously, and easily from scratch, Jennifer Perillo’s cookbook, Homemade with Love: Simple Scratch Cooking from In Jennie's Kitchen is it!