cookbooks: simple scratch cooking

simple scratch cooking

I was telling my husband on Sunday afternoon how refreshed I was feeling after the Thanksgiving break. It’s surprising, in a way. I spent much of last week cooking and baking, and I spent a fair amount of time organizing and cleaning. Putting on a Thanksgiving feast for 8 adults and 5 children is hard work, despite the fact that I loved every minute of it.

I should have been worn out, both physically and mentally. Instead, I felt inspired and rejuvenated.

Being totally immersed in a creative project — and cooking is definitely that for me — seems to have a snowball effect. The more I create, the more I want to create. And so, despite having a PowerPoint presentation that I needed to work on over the long weekend (which doesn’t count as the kind of creativity I was going for), I found projects to keep my mind and hands busy.

One of those projects that I dove into this weekend was cooking from Jennifer Perillo’s first edition of her new quarterly journal, Simple Scratch Cooking: a homecook’s journal for making easy, everyday meals. The issue is a beautiful 13-pages filled with recipes and essays written in the style of Jennie’s blog, In Jennie’s Kitchen. I’ve been reading In Jennie’s Kitchen for several years now, and it’s one of the handful that I go back to regularly.

Because my family loves the combination of peanut butter and chocolate, I baked the peanut butter swirl brownie recipe on page 16 of Simple Scratch Cooking, Fall 2014. The brownies were so good that the first batch disappeared within 24 hours. The kids blamed each other for eating more than his or her fair share, and they both blamed their father for eating too many. (I’m pretty sure they were right, on all counts.)

To appease the household, I baked another batch before the weekend was over.

The brownies were incredibly easy, and we were eating them warm out of the pan within an hour. My swirls weren’t as pretty as those in Jennie’s photographs, and I should have sifted the powdered sugar to eliminate lumpiness in the swirl, but by the time I started baking the second pan of brownies, I knew that no one in my home cared what they looked like, only that they tasted amazing.

I’m so excited about this project of Jennie’s. I love the journal and its concept: reliable from-scratch recipes and personal essays are what I’m drawn to. This is one of the main reasons that I’ve been a long-time reader of In Jennie’s Kitchen, of course, and it’s why I bought the first issue of Simple Scratch Cooking. It’s also why I pre-ordered the Winter issue.

Of course, I also pre-ordered because I have a recipe being featured in the new issue. (Thanks, Jennie!)

Jennie has graciously offered a discount code to you, dear readers, so that you can receive 10% off of your first order on any in-stock Simple Scratch Cooking items, including the preorder of the next issue, Winter 2014 (vol. no. 2). The discount code is MG2014.

Happy shopping!

peanut butter swirl brownies | the merry gourmet

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