Browse Category by Kitchen Snapshots
Cookbook of the Month, Kitchen Snapshots, Writer In The Kitchen

Cookbook of the Month – Homemade with Love

Welcome to a new feature here on my blog, Cookbook of the Month. I’ve been wanting to add this for over a year because I love, love, love cookbooks but you know…life happens combines with publishing deadlines collides with book promo and things get pushed to the side. Well, for 2022 I’m committed to changing that. Yes, I still have deadlines, yes life is still throwing things my way (seriously, it’s like a dodge ball game on steroids), and yes I’ll have book promo to do but I really want to do something that I enjoy and love. Okay, that list is a little long because so many things got pushed to the side last year and they year before. So, as not to overwhelm me, I’m taking on new commitments slowly and I’m starting with Cookbook of the Month.

I’ll be sharing with you one cookbook each month along with my thoughts on it and some photos of the food I cooked from it. Now, some of the cookbooks will be from my library and may not be easily available for purchase, while others will be brand new. Psst…one just arrived yesterday! Can’t wait to dive into it. I hope that these monthly posts will entertain you and inspire you to try something new in the kitchen. But mostly, I hope these posts will give you and me a few minutes each month to sit and chat about food.

To begin Cookbook of the Month, I’m sharing with you today one of my favorite cookbooks.

I discovered the blog, In Jennie’s Kitchen, when I was starting my own food blogging journey. I truly enjoyed her blog and then when her cookbook was published, I immediately ordered it. Jennifer Perillo has given us a very special book filled with recipes that will make you want to stay in your kitchen for days and stories that will tug at your heartstrings and then have you smiling from ear to ear.

By Jennifer Perillo
Hardcover: 240 pages
Publisher: Running Press (March 26, 2013)

Ms. Perillo writes in the introduction for her French Onion Cheese Buns (BTW, yum!), “People often ask how I create new recipes. I wake up thinking about food and it stays on my mind all day long as I pass shops and farmer’s markets. New ideas always seem to be infiltrating my subconscious.” I hope new ideas keep popping into her head because her recipes are delicious.

This cookbook is everything I hoped it would be. The writing style is friendly, warm and clear, making the book a straight forward and easy read. The photography on matte paper is beautiful and inspiring. The recipes are a great combination of basic to more complex dishes and the ingredients are easily found in my local grocery store. Ms. Perillo managed to combine attainable recipes with inspirational recipes so the home cook is always successful and challenged.

There is a warmth to this book that I haven’t experienced with any other cookbook. Perhaps it’s because I’ve been reading her blog for years and I’d come to admire Ms. Perillo’s strength and talent as a cook. Through her blog she had shared a personal tragedy and journaled her life with such grace and perseverance without losing focus of her passion for food and cooking. In her book she shares glimpses into her life and the stories behind the recipes. In the intro for Drop Biscuit Chicken Pot Pie Ms. Perillo shares how the recipe came to together, how special it was and it will leave you teary-eyed and realizing just how important food and the simple act of cooking is to all of us.

Her stories will have you smiling, laughing and maybe reaching for the tissue but I’m certain that by the time you close this cookbook you will have a very long list of recipes to try. A nice feature of the book is how the recipes are coded for easy reference.

Enough with the words, lets get to the food.

Roasted tomatoes. This recipe spoke to me. Warning – these roasted tomatoes are highly addictive and they barely lasted while I cooked the pasta I served them with. If you manage somehow not to eat all of the tomatoes, you can toss them with pasta and grate some fresh Parmesan cheese. Simple, quick and perfect for a weeknight meal.

Looking for a recipe to wow your guests? Onion rolls is a recipe to try then.

Lets take a look at the making of this recipe.

Cook the onions.

Prepare the dough and add onions.

Roll, slice and form in pan to bake. It doesn’t look like much, but trust me. They taste delicious.

Hot out of the oven. Heavenly.

I wish I had more photos to share with you but we ate before I could snap pictures. Sorry. My bad. I promise to do better next month. I hoped you enjoyed this look into Homemade With Love by Jennifer Perillo.

Happy Cooking!


Coffee & Chat, Kitchen Snapshots

Callie’s Kitchen Mysteries Cookbook

Culinary-themed cozy mysteries are a long-time favorite among readers. This is something I’m very excited about since I write a culinary-themed series. One of the perks of reading these books is that they almost always include recipes along with a smartly plotted mystery. Every now and again, an author of this type of series will branch out beyond the novel and write a companion cookbook. That’s exactly what Jenny Kales has done with her Callie’s Kitchen Mystery series.

There are four books currently in the mystery series, which is set in a fictional town in Wisconsin and features a Greek-American owner of an eatery, Callie’s Kitchen. In the cookbook, Callie’s Kitchen Mysteries Cookbook, some of the most popular recipes from the series are included along with never-before published recipes. In total there are 47 of Greek with a mid-western twist recipes for you to whip up.

Because of the twist on what are traditional Greek recipes, I think they have a broader appeal to home cooks who normally wouldn’t venture out into international cuisine. As I read through the recipes, I found them to be uncomplicated, a nice balance of flavors and included ingredients easily accessible. As I cooked through the recipes I found myself having more than one helping.

The recipes range from appetizers to beverages to salads to main dishes and of course, desserts. Jenny has you covered for any time of the day you want to add some Greek flair to your cooking. The only thing I was disappointed in was the absence of photographs. So, I decided to provide you with some. These are the recipes I’ve made so far from the cookbook. Ready to be inspired?

On a Sunday afternoon I made a Greek Olive Oil Cake. It was supposed to be a lazy afternoon but instead I found myself running unplanned errands so rather than make the glaze that’s included with the recipe, I dusted powered sugar over the cake. The moist texture of this cake is divine. This cake will be made again.

On a weeknight I wanted to make a side dish for our steaks and I decided on the Greek Roasted Lemon Potatoes. Adding the lemon and oregano was a new twist to my tried-and-true roasted potatoes. The verdict? My husband gave them a thumbs up so it looks like these potatoes will be a regular side going forward.

Now for what led me to the treadmill ASAP. Blueberry Greek Yogurt Scones. Need I say more? Delish. These scones are packed with flavor and they are tender. But be warned, You’ll be tempted to reach for a second one. Trust me, I know from experience.

I’ve enjoyed this cookbook as much as I have enjoyed reading the mystery series and it’s certainly going to be cooked from often. Now as much as I love this cookbook, I do have one teeny-tiny complaint. Okay, not really a complaint but something I did miss in the book and that was photographs. I know we all love photos of food in our cookbooks but please don’t let that stop you from checking out this cookbook because you’ll love the recipes and you can snap a few of your own photos. If you do, be sure to share them and tag Jenny.

Happy Cooking,


Cook’s Notes:

I didn’t have Greek olive oil in my pantry but now it’s going to be a staple. Here’s a similar olive oil to what I purchased. For the Greek Olive Oil cake I used my trusty bundt pan. Here’s a similar one if you need to add one to your kitchen.
Baking, Christmas in July, Cookie Recipes, Kitchen Snapshots

Double Chocolate Crescent Cookies

Merry Christmas in July!!!

Today is July 25th and I thought I’d bring a little merriment to the day and share a cookie recipe I bake at Christmas. I bake several types of cookies for Christmas but this one is a favorite.

I’m not going to waste time. It’s like a zillion degrees today with matching humidity so I’m going to get right to the recipe.

What’s your favorite holiday cookie? Stay cool & bake on!

Kitchen Snapshots, Writing Updates

Kitchen Snapshots

Happy Friday! I’ve had an uber-productive week. The outline for book 3 of the Food Blogger mystery series was finished and set aside until next week to polish it up (right now it’s a heaping 26 pages of messiness but it tells the story), I began the outline for book 2 of the Resale Boutique mystery series (I now know who the killer is and who the suspects are, so it’s a start) and I’ve wrapped up a few promotion tasks for the release of The Uninvited Corpse. I also debuted as a monthly contributor to the awesome group blog, Writers Who Kill. Didn’t see the post? Click here and you’ll be taken right to it. I wrote about my journey from food blogger to author and later in the month I’ll expand on that post here with some more details (no word count limit here).

Since I got all caught up on my work, I decided to spend some time in the kitchen working on a cookie recipe for The Hidden Corpse (out April 2019).Here’s a pic of the finished product (sorry, no details, I know, not fair but I have to save a few things for the release). My house did smell heavenly from the lemony fragrance of these adorable and utterly delicious cookies. Turns out they’re like potato chips – you just can’t have one and that’s why I packed up containers quickly and delivered them to my neighbors.

Earlier in the week I made a big pot of Butternut Squash soup and I have been enjoying it since for lunch or dinner, I even froze a couple of containers. Since I’m the only one here to loves this soup, I cut the recipe in half and if you’d like to try the soup you’ll find the recipe here.

Today I’m diving into the chapters of Murder Wears a Little Black Dress that I just got back from my critique partner. In just a few weeks I’ll be turning the manuscript into my editor. It’s kinda sad, I love this book and I’m going to miss working on it. Oh, well, there’s always the next adventure for Kelly, right?

Have a great Friday!


Kitchen Snapshots, Life

Kitchen Snapshots

Today I’m sharing a peek into my kitchen of the goings on this past week. The temps here in Connecticut hit the mid-90s for three days. A heat wave. I’m so not ready for summer. Actually, I’m never ready for summer. I’m much more of a cool-weather type of gal. Give my sweaters and boots any day over flip-flops and humidity. Since today is simply beautiful I’m not going to dwell on the two icky days. Instead, I’m going to focus on the kitchen successes I had this week. Come on, take a look.

This week I worked on a recipe for soft & chewy chocolate chip cookies that will appear in the Uninvited Corpse. I do love this perk of writing.

A pile of shredded sharp cheddar cheese left over from making mac’n cheese.

I know what you’re thinking. What the heck? This is a new purchase and I’m now wondering where this bad boy has been all my life. This power spinner is life changing. Seriously. I’ve only used it a few times but now I can’t imagine not having it in my cleaning arsenal. This handy little gadget paid for itself when it kicked butt on my slider door’s track. Oven door? Awesome. And the list goes on and on. I got it from QVC and if you click here you can read more about it. I’m going to be ordering some new cleaning heads. I want a set for outside and for the bathroom.

Rhubard season! There’s a batch of rhubard-ginger muffins waiting to be baked.

What went on in your kitchen this week?