Homemade with Love

by Matthew Petrelis on June 3, 2013

in Cookbooks, Featured

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I am an unofficial member of the Jennifer Perillo fan club. And if there’s no official club just yet, let’s make it so. She’s a doll and her story, shared on her blog, In Jennie’s Kitchen, and in her new cookbook is bittersweet, sincere and delicious. I asked Matthew to provide his objective take on her new book and love bloomed there too. – Maggie

As soon as I unwrapped Homemade with Love, the newly released cookbook from Jennifer Perillo, I knew this was going to become one of my favorite cookbooks. Yes, I was absolutely judging this book by its cover, and I happened to be completely correct about it.

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Reading Jennifer’s story of how she came to her current place in life, the lines between cookbook and the start of a really great novel became slightly intertwined. I was not familiar with Jennifer’s blog or her story, but know now that I will be a reoccurring visitor to In Jennie’s Kitchen.

Homemade with Love could double as an owner’s manual for the self-sufficient kitchen. Providing both a list of must have pantry items, as well as recipes for easy-to-make basics – you’ll be off to making truly homemade meals and treats right away.

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After browsing the book and narrowing down to my top three recipes, I finally had to make a decision on what I would be making. I followed my taste buds on this one, and ended up here – baking Clementine and Pistachio Crumb Muffins – how could I not?

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Starting with the All-Purpose Baking Mix recipe from the Everyday Basics section, I then added in the additional ingredients which make this muffin unique. The smell of orange in the kitchen while mixing and baking this was just another added perk. To be totally honest – I couldn’t find clementines when buying my ingredients, but I took comfort in knowing that the In A Pinch section at the bottom of the recipe gives the okay to use oranges if needed.

The pistachio crumb mixture which bakes on top of the muffin is deliciously sweet and buttery, everything I was hoping it would be. The texture of the pistachios only adds to the perfection.

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Homemade with Love is filled with recipes for every time of the day, and is a friend to all palates. One other aspect of this cookbook which I enjoyed is that although it provides several meat-based main dishes, it does not neglect nor overshadow vegetable-based mains. I find this is not often the case with cookbooks – and the fact that it is done here, and done well, makes me even more of a fan.

I look forward to trying many more recipes in the coming weeks – and hope that you also get the opportunity to try some as well.

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Clementine and Pistachio Crumb Muffins

Ingredients for the topping:

  • 1/2 c unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 2 tbsp packed dark brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 c shelled, raw pistachios, finely chopped
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

Ingredients for the muffins:

  • 1/4 cup granulated natural cane sugar
  • Grated zest of 2 clementines
  • 6 tbsp cold, unsalted butter, cut into 12 pieces
  • 1 c milk
  • Freshly squeezed juice of 2 clementines, about 1/3 c.
  • 2 cups of All-Purpose Baking Mix (3-3/4 c unbleached all purpose flour, 1/4 c granulated natural cane sugar, 2 tbsp baking powder, 1 tsp baking soda, 1 tsp fine sea salt)

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. To make the crumb topping, add the flour, brown sugar, salt, and cloves to a small bowl, and whisk to combine. Add the pistachios. Pout the butter over the mixture and stir with a fork to mix well until it looks like a wet, pebbly sand.
  3. To make the muffin batter, add the baking mix, granulated sugar, and zest to a medium bowl. Whisk to combine. Scatted the butter pieces on top, and vigorously rub with your fingertips until it forms a sandy, pebbly mixture. Pour the milk and juice over the flour mixture. Using a wooden spoon, stir until the batter is just mixed and there are no visible traces of flour. Evenly spoon the batter into the cups of the prepared muffin tin. Sprinkle the tops with an even amount of the crumb topping.
  4. Bake until golden brown and skewer inserted into the center comes out clean, 25 to 27 minutes. Remove from the oven and set on a wire rack to cool slightly before serving.

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Photos styled and taken by Matthew Petrelis.

Eat Boutique  discovers the best small batch foods by boutique food makers. We share recipes, maker stories and city guides to eating boutique. We host tasting events and markets for food makers, cookbook authors and food fans. We craft seasonal, regional gift and tasting boxes and sell individual items that you can order in the Eat Boutique Shop. You can also follow us on TwitterFacebookInstagram and Pinterest.

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Matthew Petrelis

Matthew Petrelis, writer, photographer, living just outside of Boston where during the day he is a cardiac sonographer. A New England native, he enjoys traveling in search of food finds, antiques, forgotten buildings and inspiration with his husband and their pug. Matthew often writes about his adventures - culinary and otherwise - on his website The Things I Think About. You can also find him on Twitter (@petrelis) and just about any other social media platform.

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