I fully expect to see beautiful photos of food when I open a cookbook. I prepare to be inspired by new recipes that will have me running to the grocery store for ingredients. I do not, however, expect to be moved. It's a pleasure to spread the word about Homemade with Love, the new cookbook by Jennifer Perillo, which encompasses all of these elements.
Perillo, who lives in Brooklyn with her two daughters, has long written about the positives of cooking from scratch, buying local and eating at home with family on her blog, In Jennie's Kitchen. And while the term "from scratch" is enough to scare the spatula right out of my hand, I certainly love the idea of it. Thankfully, Homemade with Love provides shortcuts (like two homemade all-purpose baking mixes) to make eating well simpler and less time-consuming. From one busy mama to another, thank you, Jennifer!
I've tried several recipes from Homemade with Love so far, including the chicken pot pie topped with her fluffy drop biscuits... delicious! I also will never buy pasta sauce out of a jar again thanks to Jennifer's easy peasy recipe using fresh basil, garlic and whole peeled tomatoes. Yummy flavor without the added sugar of jarred sauce, and super easy (and fast) to create. We also tried and loved the Smoky Corn and Bean "Chili"... once again, EASY and tasty (you may see a trend here... I like easy recipes).
It is the story behind Jennifer's motivation to pursue her love of cooking and creating recipes that really brings Homemade with Love together, though. Jennifer's husband, Mikey, was a driving force in her life, a partner who never failed to believe in his wife's potential and talent. When he passed away suddenly in 2011, Jennie writes that "the thread that helped me keep it all together was cooking." Homemade with Love is more than a cookbook filled to the brim with amazing recipes that celebrate the art of scratch cooking, it's a lesson on love and commitment, moving forward after tragedy and recognizing the simple joys of every day life.