November 14, 2014

Simple Scratch Cooking, the magazine

Simple Scratch Cooking: a homecook's journal for making easy, everyday meals

Print copies of the Fall 2014 issue have sold out, but the digital edition is still available. You can order it from my online store here. The Winter Issue is in production, and available for pre-order.

-Jennie

October 4, 2013

chestnut orange crisps

Chestnut Orange Crisps

There’s no need to wait until Thanksgiving to start enjoying chestnuts. The tree in my backyard is already shedding its little sea urchin-like shells. If I can beat the deer and squirrels to enough of them, I’ll be making my homemade chestnut spread to use for these crisps. Ready, set, go! Continue reading

September 14, 2013

cheddar & dried basil waffles

cheddar dried basil waffles

I’m a bit behind in the game of making savory waffles. One bite of these, though, and it was easy to forgive myself, using that “better late than never” excuse. My eternal thanks to Catherine McCord’s new cookbook Weelicious Lunches for inspiring me to make my own version using my All-Purpose Baking Mix.

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September 10, 2013

quick-fix, fluffy pancakes

pancakes egg whites

Crazy as it may seem, I found my cupboards sans baking powder this past weekend. Not willing to give up my plan to make pancakes, I took a moment to think my regular recipe through. Baking powder acts as the leavening agent to make pancakes rise nice and fluffy. I figured I could mimic that effect if I just separated the eggs, beat my egg white until it formed stiff peaks, and gently folded it into the batter. It worked like a charm! So, if you find yourself short on baking powder, or just forgot to add it to your shopping list, all is not lost if you’re craving some fluffy, hot pancakes for breakfast.

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September 6, 2013

brûléed apricots

brulee apricots 03

The other morning I woke up fully intending to just have some baguette with butter and jam for breakfast. Then I spied the apricots I bought at a farmstand sitting on the counter. My intention was to make preserves with them the night before, only to realize I was running low on sugar. I know, that sounds hard to believe, but all my summer vacationing has left my home pantry in need of restocking. Continue reading

September 4, 2013

all-purpose baking mix

all purpose baking mix 01

People often ask which recipe is my all-time favorite, to which I always answer “that would be like saying which one of my kids I like best”. I simply can’t do it. There is one recipe, though, which I am particularly proud of, and it came about while writing my cookbook Homemade with Love: Simple Scratch Cooking from In Jennie’s Kitchen.

What started as two recipes, one for a pancake & waffle mix, and another for a dry muffin mix, morphed into my All-Purpose Baking Mix. One mix is all you need to make cupcakes, muffins, pancakes and waffles, all at a moment’s notice. Since writing the cookbook, I’ve continued to work on developing new recipes using my All-Purpose Baking Mix as a base ingredient. I thought I’d share the master recipe for those of you who don’t yet have the cookbook. Please be sure to read the recipes through carefully moving forward, as some may call for all-purpose flour, and others my All-Purpose Baking Mix. Continue reading

September 3, 2013

how to make browned butter

brown butter 06

As I set out to make some brown butter fig waffles for breakfast this past weekend, it occurred to me that some of you might not realize just how easy it is to make browned butter at home. It’s a very simple trick to coax a nutty, toffee-like flavor from a plain ol’ stick of butter. In it’s basic form, you can toss it with pasta for a humble, and quite incredible tasting, meal. Taken a little further, say in a muffin, pie or those waffles I made, and you’ve got a new twist on an old favorite (see the links below!).

The waffle recipe will be along shortly, so for now I’m sharing this easy How-To as a way to ease into the post-Labor Day work week. Have a great Tuesday everyone! Continue reading

August 28, 2013

blueberry kale smoothie

kale blueberry smoothie

After an indulgent summer, and a few rounds of fried food between the OC Fair and the fish shacks along Route 6 in Cape Cod, this smoothie is the perfect energy booster. I can’t think of an easier, or tastier way, to get two cups of kale into my body in record time. Frozen blueberries are the trick to keeping this smoothie icy cold without watering it down, which is what plain old ice cubes would do. It does need a little liquid to help puree everything. I used some fresh squeezed OJ in an effort to keep it dairy-free, but you can use yogurt or milk if you want to add a protein punch to it. A spoonful of flaxseeds would be great too; I just didn’t have any in my vacation pantry.

If you want to make a vegan version, just swap in agave nectar for the honey. I’m thinking maple syrup might be nice too, but I haven’t tried that yet. I do recommend using some sort of sweetener, though, to temper the tartness of the berries and earthy taste of the kale. As-is, this blueberry kale smoothie was a homerun with my five-year old.

One last note—you don’t need a fancy high-powered blender to whip up this smoothie (though that’ll make the job faster, no doubt). I made this using a 350 watt Black & Decker blender I found in the vacation cottage we rented. No crazy motors, or bells and whistles. I did have to stop every minute or so, and push the ingredients down with a wooden spoon, but that didn’t discourage me in the least. Continue reading

August 28, 2013

easy homemade peach jam

just peachy jam

All you need are three ingredients to make this easy peach jam—peaches, sugar and lemon juice. A bit of patience is necessary too, but I’m taking that ingredient as a freebie, and not adding it to my count. A note about selecting your peaches—try to get freestone peaches, as the pits release easily with minimal coaxing from the tip of your thumbnail. Cling peaches work absolutely fine, but you’ll lose a little of the meat cutting the flesh from the pit. At this late point in the game, I say go with whatever peaches you’ve got, but thought I’d add that tidbit if you do have a choice when you’re at the market.

As for peeling the peaches, a very ripe peach usually sheds it’s skin easily. I get it started with the tip of a paring knife, and pull it away from there. If your skins are persistent, you can score them (cut an “X” in the bottom), and add them to a pot of boiling water for one minute, until the skins loosen. You’ll need to let them cool enough so you can handle them, before slipping the skins off. This means you’ll need more prep time for making your jam, but it’s not at all difficult—just plan accordingly.

The jams I’ve been making this summer, this one included, remind me a lot of Christine Ferber’s, in that they’re a little on the runny side when first made. They set up more, and thicken further once opened and chilled. I wanted to create a jam with a pure peach flavor, but feel free to experiment if you want to dress it up a bit. I can see vanilla bean, lemon thyme, mint, or a hint of cinnamon working very well. Continue reading

August 28, 2013

peach allspice muffins

peach muffins

Generally, I prefer pastries and baked goods the day they’re made, but decided to bake these muffins the night before, so we could wake up to a homemade breakfast. They held up perfectly, wrapped in parchment paper. All I had to do was get coffee brewing the next morning. This will no doubt be a go-to breakfast for us once school starts up again in a couple of weeks. Continue reading

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