A home cooked meal is more than just food, Homemade with Love by Jennie Perillo, review

I like to cook. Actually I like to watch cooking shows and read cookbooks. What I have found is that a well written cookbook tells a story. The recipes aren't just a how to or a list of ingredients. Each recipe reflects a moment, conveys a feeling or creates a memory. The best cookbooks I find myself returning to over and over again.

 Recently, I was given the opportunity to read Homemade with Love, Simple Scratch Cooking from In Jennie's Kitchen from Jennifer Perillo. The biggest theme that I took from this book is that life isn't one size fits all. Everything from recipes to my kitchen pantry must make sense to my lifestyle. Life is about choices. From using local ingredients to expanding your palate, each decision must be appropriate for your family's lifestyle.

Jennie Perillo is the author of In Jennie's Kitchen. Honing her skills in some of New York's top culinary establishments, her recipes have been featured in several magazines and online.

The biggest item that hit home for me was the family stories intertwined within the book. Some recipes start with a story about the recipe, a specific memory or why a particular recipe was created.

Since I like to read cookbooks like a fictional book, I read the book the whole way through before I even tempted a recipe.  The chapter introductions gave a real sense about how and why Ms. Perillo cooks. From memories about her late husband to tips on buying fish, these stories tell about her as a person. Understanding her gave me insight on how to cook her recipes.

While I have tried some of the recipes, I definitely have many more to accomplish. So far, my favorite recipe was Vanilla Blueberry Waffles. This simple, yet delicious recipe was a huge hit with the kids. As Ms. Perillo's antidote states, these waffles are just like the frozen ones, but better. The recipe has few ingredients and is easy to prepare. My kids were ecstatic the Sunday morning when we served these waffles. They have asked for them many times since.

Homemade with Love will become a well-worn cookbook on my shelf. I can only hope that my meals will inspire lasting memories for my family.

Disclosure: I received this cookbook to review. All opinions are my own.


  1. I love to read a story behind the recipes! I will have to check this book out! It sounds like something that would interest me!

  2. Sounds like an interesting book. I agree that specific foods bring out specific memories. Looks like a fun read. :)

  3. I don't do much scratch cooking but definitely agree about memories tied to foods. I would love to learn some more great scratch recipes!

  4. Oh, I think I'd really enjoy this!!! Thanks so much!

  5. This looks like a great cookbook. The donuts on the cover alone is making me want to get it.

  6. Those donuts look divine! Sounds like a great cookbook.