why we cook {food.curated. series}

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From the get-go, I knew promoting a book would be more challenging than writing one. That theory is proving to be true. It’s not to say that publicity is more work, it’s just that it’s a different kind of work, and one with which I’m trying to find a comfort-level. I’m incredibly shy, and don’t like talking about myself, which I realize sounds odd to say for someone who has shared so much of her life in a public manner. Sitting behind a screen, clacking away at a keyboard, it is easy to feel anonymous, when the reality is so far from that.

Being in front of a camera is not an easy task for me, and yet when I watch this video my friend Liza created for her James Beard Award-nominated site, food.curated., I’m blown away at how she managed to capture me in this loving story as part of her new series, Why We Cook. My heart skipped a beat when I saw the footage of me laughing. Sometimes I get caught up in the frenzy of juggling motherhood, work and trying to carve out time for myself emotionally, and personally. I’m crossing the line into babbling now, so before I get lost in my own thoughts, I’m going to zip my lips, and let you sit back and watch it for yourself.

Hope everyone’s week is going well. I’m off to North Carolina tonight, and very excited to meet some more of you at Quail Ridge Books & Music this Friday night, and at Southern Season on Saturday afternoon.



  • Flavia

    I have watched the video twice already and love it. It is so evident that you love cooking for others and are passionate about being in your kitchen creating. You deserve all the success coming your way. I have been enjoying your cookbook since the day it arrived in the mail. Safe travels and hope to meet you in person someday. Bravissima!

  • Amanda

    Oh! I’d never heard your voice, so strange after feeling like I’d glimpsed parts of you heart and mind that you’d shared. But your voice, this was just so wonderful.

    Worth fighting through the shyness to share this side, flavors the blog 😉

  • Andrea

    The video was beautiful. Congrats again on such a wonderful book. My copy arrived yesterday and I’m ready to be inspired. Looking forward to meeting you on Friday! Safe trip down to NC!

  • Denise @ Creative Kitchen


    I LOVE this video!!!! It really does capture your essence, energy and heart. I’m grateful for your work and sharing of yourself with the world. You’ve touched many lives.


    P.S. now that our juice fast/feast is over I’m excited to start cooking out of your book. SO thrilled to have it in my kitchen.

  • Liz

    I laughed, I cried a little, but mostly I felt such joy – at your words, your actions, your kitchen…the children, the photos – it was wonderfully done. Thank you for sharing yourself as well as your recipes. I have learned a lot from both.

  • Tammy

    Hello!!!!! Jennifer your essence is fearless and beautiful. So inspiring and lovingly done. What a treasure. Xoxo. tammy

  • Marisa P

    This video was absolutely amazing. I loved it, it captured you so beautifully!

  • Sharon@Cheesy Pennies

    Jennie, I’m new here, and cannot tell you how much I LOVED that video. You expressed exactly how I feel about blogging, and your warmth and spirit came shining through. Congratulations on the cookbook! I clearly have a lot of catching up to do on this wonderful site. Cheers!

  • Stephanie

    Beautiful, and perfect. All of it. The story, the laughter, the music, the images, seeing you interact with your daughters, and of course the food. Thank you.

  • Glenda

    Loved this video. Loved hearing your NY accent. 🙂 I was born and raised in NY. I go back once a year. I miss it! You remind me so much of my mother. I am one of those that come here not so much for the FOOD but for your story. My dad passed when I was 13 and my younger sister was 9. My mom always LOVED to cook. Thank you for putting that perspective about cooking and love. I didn’t realize as a kid when she was in the kitchen she was in her element just with her memories of my dad. She’s since passed in 2004 and so now I have a double hole in my heart. I’ll be picking up your book today.

    Best to you and your girls.
    Thanks for sharing your life with all of us.

  • Courtney

    This is my first visit to your blog, was referred over from Mommas Gone City. I have to say after watching that video, my first impression is that you are just the cutest person ever! You’re personality and passion are so magnetic. You are the epitome of the person whose kitchen I’d love to visit!

  • Loretta

    Oh my gosh. What a joyful video! Tears are welling up, but you are emanating such a peaceful joy and centered excitement that I can see you in love with your life again.

    My passed away 6 months ago – at 87. Most people think that losing a mom at that late age, a healthy mom, was a “blessing” since she didn’t suffer and went in her sleep. And of course it is. But underneath that blessing is this gaping hole where my role as a “daughter” used to be and a place across the holiday table that will remain forever and ever empty.

    Food has always been the language of our Italian family, so of course, on Sundays now I retreat into the kitchen to make gravy, with pork and beef, and there has to be seeded Italian bread to dip into it. I think that is what they mean when they say that we all grow up to become our mothers.

    Thank you for all you have put out there, all the rawness and honesty. I am off to buy your book and wish you and your beautiful daughters lives as full of spirit and memory as what you have put out into this world.

  • anna

    Thank you so much for all you are. For me, like you said in the video, as a regular reader, the recipes *are* secondary, not because they’re not wonderful. I always come because I know your posts will have substance. Not just another post about the texture, fancy restaurants, or seasonal eating, it’s connected to your life, and that’s what we all love about you and your recipes, Jennie.

  • bren

    I also have watced the video twice and so nice to hear the voice of the blog i have read for so long. It was so good to see you smiling and the beautiful little girls you have. Thanks for all you have shared jennie. I always look forward to your next post as well.

  • Renee {The Way to My Family's Heart}

    I knew I loved you as a blogger- I can’t wait until the newest posts shows up on my blogroll. I devour them as if I were eating my favorite dessert. But having watched your video, I realize why I am so smitten by your writing. Your approach to cooking and writing about your food is exactly how I think about food as well. I read cookbooks for the stories, not the recipes. When you said that your story is the headnote is that extra ingredient that makes the recipe better, I couldn’t agree more. Thank you so much for sharing your story, Jennie. I can’t wait to get the book and discover what the sprinkling of your life will do to an already great recipe.

  • Steph c

    You are the real deal ! Now when I read your blog or recipes, I will hear your voice . Thank you! I’ve been carrying my “Homemade with Love” everywhere … Upstairs , downstairs , to work! I have made about 6 recipes so far, one better than the next!! And always when my family sits to eat, we say EVERYTHING tastes better when you put a little love in it!
    Thank you again for sharing with us!

  • Tracey Alvernaz

    Morning Jennie,
    How you have blossomed ,grown and endured. Lovely video and great to see you smile.
    Wishing you smiles, strawberries in season and a lovely day. May you sell many books in the days ahead,
    Tracey A.

  • Cathy

    Loved, loved, loved it! To see you in person after reading your blog for the past 1 1/2 years was fantastic. You are truly inspiring! Thank you!

  • Jody

    Dear Jenny,
    I have been following you, well not literally, that’s creepy, since your peanut butter pie post I think on Tasty Kitchen around the time of your sweet hubbys passing. This video is so good and it encouraged me to buy your cookbook. I’m forwarding this to my 24 year old daughter who is just getting started in her own very small apartment kitchen. While watching this video I was thrilled to see you don’t need a huge kitchen to make great food, just fresh ingredients, a few great appliances and a big dose of love. Thanks for sharing your life.

  • Patty Jensen

    Just a short, quick note to let you know that your video was amazing!! Inspiring!! Thought-provoking. I have followed your blog since August 2011, when I made “a pie for Mikey”. You’ve made me laugh, cry, sigh and be less fearful. My copy of your book is at the book store just waiting for me to pick it up. Leaving now to do so and will stop for the ingredients for the pot pie for dinner tonight. Thanks!

  • Brandi

    Oh Jennie! I am just sitting her with tears streaming down my face–just like the day the UPS man delivered your cookbook. I have been reading your blog for years, celebrating your triumphs and grieving for your loss. How happy I was to hear your voice–and to hear you laughing! That was absolutely wonderful. Thank you for sharing this.

    And, oh you aren’t lying about that food processor! Holy Cow, that thing is huge!

  • Lorette Lavine

    Loved the video…so poignant and I feel much the same about the kitchen.
    I composed a family cookbook with a family history with my mom before she died 12 years ago. It was so nice to get to review my moms life with her when she was 89 years old and we did through food and family photos.
    Enjoy your publicity tour and meeting so many new people…xo

  • Maria in NJ

    ahhh girlfriend…I love it!!! it is so well done. It is so nice to see you laughing in that video…a short little story, when I was a young bride (you know when dinosaurs walked0 I used to call my mom and ask her, how do i make this, how do I make that…and she would tell me in DETAIL how to make it and then she would add…”when in doubt add garlic” now that is an Italian mom talking isn’t it? so excited for you enjoy NC… if everything goes right Marty and I are retiring there…m

  • Sally

    You’re a gem! What a wonderful video. I have followed you since August 2011 and it warmed my heart to see you smiling and laughing. Congratulations on your book. It sits on my kitchen counter with pages marked for recipes I want to try. I’m really happy for you and your girls.

  • leila

    Hi Jenny,
    congratulation for your wonderful book! I love reading your blog, it is really really really inspiring. Leila

  • Jacqueline Atlas

    Hi Jennie, I really enjoyed chatting with you this evening. Thank you so much for coming to North Carolina. I loved your talk and am really looking forward to cooking lots of your delicious recipes. Have fun at Southern Seasons tomorrow.

  • Dawn

    Loved the video!! Again I thank you for having the courage to share your life. There have been many times your posts have been just what I needed to read……whether happy or a little sad.
    I am so proud of your bravery and wish you much success and happiness!

  • Gina

    Jennie, you inspire me over and over again on so many levels. To cook better, to love harder, to hit publish, to keep moving, to be graceful under pressure, to dream big. Thank you for sharing. It has never been ‘too much’.

  • Annie

    Loved meeting you through the video. It is so great to see you in action working in the kitchen. You look like you are in your element. We just bought your cookbook and dog eared almost every page! Everything looks amazing. I can see why you have a dedicated Pizza Night. That crust is unbelieveable. It is amazing what a difference a little love makes. Thank you for starting a new tradition in our home.

  • Paula

    Loved watching you & hearing your thoughts. It’s that special thing that all of us cooks enjoy. Thank you for inspiring me in my quest to nourish my family & myself by cooking with love & passion. I can’t wait to get your book. Keep doing what you do Ms. Jennie & reminding people to dream big!

  • Rayna

    Congrats on your cookbook! I’ll be sure to buy it…I’m a longtime reader and lover and your recipes are just fantastic!

  • The Healthy Apple

    YOU are amazing; I LOVE this video and love how we have a mutual friend, Liza. Miss you and hope to see you in the city soon!
    Your book looks absolutely incredible.
    Have a great week in Cali!!

  • Sara

    BRAVO!!! What a beautiful video and what a testament to all you’ve been through. I look forward to the cookbook!

  • Lori Stilger

    Jennie, I first found your blog when someone on FB shared a link right after you lost Mikey. I’ve cried over your broken heart, and now I’m smiling at your beautiful smile. 🙂 Thank you for being YOU, and sharing YOU and your love for life, for food, for Mikey, and for your girls.

  • Melissa Reece

    Jennie, I know I’m really late watching this video. I have really tried to stay up to date on all your post. I LOVE reading how you are making it and how you, Mikey, and your girls inspire yourself and everyone who reads your post. I LOVE the video and I’m so Happy to watch it. Yes, I Cried the whole way through but I LOVE being able to hear talk about your book, life, and recipes and being able to see you and your girls. Mikey is helping you make a Big impact on others.
    My thoughts and heart go out to you.
    I don’t think it Ever really goes away or gets easier after the loss of someone so Special and Important to you (Someone that helps you understand life, Someone who completes you in ways you didn’t know was there, Someone who makes you Smile without trying, …. )(Almost 13 yrs later and I still have Bad days, times, & moments stop me in my tracks.). I think we learn to keep going and sometimes we have good days then there’s day that for no reason seem to feel like the 1st day all over again. We have to give ourselves a break sometimes, We are Human and we are going to Need days that we can fall apart. We can’t ALWAYS be the Strong person (These are the hardest for me. I feel that No One Wants or Needs to see me fall apart, that I’m suppose to be the one that holds everything together.) . Just Hang in there and Know you have ALOT of Support and Love here for you Always.