City Girl Country Kitchen

city girl, country kitchen: spring 2016 {pre-order}

I’ve had a blast creating the content for the spring issue of City Girl, Country Kitchen. I just know you’ll all love it, too, as you flip through the drool-worthy pages. People often ask which recipes are my favorite, so I imagine that’s a question you may all have on your mind with this next issue. It’s hard to decide, like choosing between your children.

And speaking of kids, all of these recipes are 100% kid-tested and approved (well, except for the Margarita Truffles—they’re only mama approved since they have booze in them). I wasn’t quite sure how the whole grain pizza would go over with my girls. They have high standards when it comes to pizza, but it was a big hit (yay for me!). As Isabella said, “it’s different from your regular pizza, but still really good” (she went on to tell me three more times that day how much she enjoyed it).

This spring 2016 issue of City Girl, Country Kitchen is the biggest ever, too. It’s almost 30 pages—that’s 30 advertising-free pages. Ha, now I sound like an informercial! If you order in the next 10 minutes…just kidding. I do have a special offer, though, this being tax day in the U.S. Use the code TAXREFUND2016 through Sunday, April 17th, and get 50% off of past digital issues of Simple Scratch Cooking and City Girl, Country Kitchen.

That means you can get each issue for only $4. Use this link to order digital back issues.

Seriously, though, you’ll find 10 brand new, never before published recipes, along with features on the children taking the lead helping their peers as part of Interfaith Food Shuttle’s Back Pack Buddies, a 100%-volunteer supported program bringing much needed nourishment to food-insecure children in Raleigh, NC; tips for hosting a DIY Grilled Cheese Bar—perfect for entertaining; Bedside Manners—where I share what I’m reading these days, and the new Amuse Bouche column, highlighting entrepreneurs, products, and tips relating to my world inside and outside of the kitchen.

You know this crumbly, decadent muffins you enjoyed as a child? Well, these Old Fashioned Blueberry Muffins are all that, and more.

Crumbly, decadent, and super easy to make Old Fashioned Blueberry Muffins.

Click here to order the spring issue of City Girl,Country Kitchen.

On that note, I shall return to the final editing and proofreading stages, so we can get this baby off to the printer. The print issue, as usual, will be a limited edition run. Pop on over here to get your pre-order in before they sell out. Digital issues will be available in the coming weeks—stay tuned! And, thank you for all of your continued support. It means the world to have you all take this journey with me. I wish you all a wonderful weekend.—xo Jennie

This Mediterranean Pizza is made with a whole grain crust, including spelt and buckwheat flours. It's a new lunch time favorite of mine.

This Mediterranean Pizza is made with a whole grain crust, including spelt and buckwheat flours.

city girl, country kitchen

Happy Monday! This is going to be a quickie, so please forgive me. At the moment, I’m readying to make my way back to Maryland (again!). We came upstate for a Bar Mitzvah this weekend, and let me tell you something—I’m beginning to run on empty. Or maybe fumes, at this point. Coming up three weekends in a row means 2,000 miles of driving.  Continue reading »

hello june, it’s nice to see you

carrot fennel soup, coming to a cookbook near you in 2013.

I should not be here right now. I don’t mean the “being here” as in the bigger philosophical question of life. I mean really, there’s a book, a manuscript due today. So far there have been 93 pages written. Over 100 recipes tested, written and edited, with a lot more to come. 30,074 words have been strung together so far, in a coherent manner I hope, to form a cookbook.

There is still more to be done, but I found myself here this morning, watching and waiting. I woke up and felt thankful for the sun streaming in through the bedroom windows. I went down to the kitchen to start my writing day, and have been too pleasantly distracted by the birds singing in my neighbors’ backyards. I miss my own yard, the one we used to share back at our old place.

I remember when we started our apartment hunt 14 years ago. We saw over 40 places, and when we walked into the one that would become our home, the one to which we would bring our daughters to after they were born, though we had no idea we’d ever have children—well, the moment we walked in there we just knew. It was love at first sight, even with the living room walls painted pink—I’m not kidding. The kitchen had animal heads resting on the cabinets.

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about a boy {day 268}

Yes, I’m counting the days again. Panic set in last week, and I’m back to playing that number game. Soon it will be nine months. I know—it made me gasp for breathe too. It seems inconceivable. I find myself staring at his pictures lately, recalling memories, and they seem to have this blurry haze around them. I look at our wedding photo, and think “gee, that girl looks really happy”.

And yet that girl used to be me.

I used to polish my nails sheer white. Now I choose brooding, dark shades of bing cherry.

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a kiss to build a dream on

Navigating life without my sidekick is lonely. There’s no one who gets my Seinfeld references. I often feel alone in a crowded room. It’s easy to let this get me down, but I work minute-by-minute to temper my sad feelings with the memories of all the good ones.

Making pasta is one of those good memories. I’d never made it until I met Mikey. For a single guy, he had a relatively good collection of kitchen equipment. A blender, an assortment of pots and pans, a demitasse coffee maker, and an Atlas pasta maker. I don’t remember if he had ever attempted making it before we met. In fact, I don’t remember the first time I even made it. I do remember shedding many tears over the years of failed attempts though, mostly from not enough liquid in the dough.

Over my 16 years of making fresh pasta, I’ve learned three key things. First, room temperature eggs make a difference. They blend more easily with the flour. Pasta dough needs to nap, so once it’s kneaded, wrap it in plastic wrap and let it rest on the counter, at room temperature, for at least 20 minutes, and up to an hour if you have the time. My last trick is using some semolina flour. It helps add elasticity to the dough, making it easier to roll out.

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wake up, it’s spring

It’s been quiet here for a good reason.

51 pages.

17,201 words.

42 of 150 recipes.

They are in my editor’s hands right now at Running Press.

Those pictures above are just a tease of the recipes you can expect to make in your own kitchen next spring. They’re not the photos that will be printed in the book—just some shots I took with my iPhone.

And now, it’s time to get back into the test kitchen.

everyday banana bread

Yesterday was group therapy, which means it was time for a feelings check in. In reality, we should all do these check ins on a daily basis, regardless of suffering a traumatic loss. Understanding how you feel forces you to confront why you feel that way. It sounds simple, but how often do you find yourself juggling so many responsibilities that you ignore the symptoms?

A deep ache is settling in. Today is seven months since Mikey died. Seven months. The reality of what this means scares the hell out me. In so many ways day seven was easier than week seven. And week seven was no doubt easier than month seven. He is not coming back, and even worse is the life I was living just seven months ago seems so foreign. I watch that video of him dancing with Virginia, yet I feel numb, as if it was all a dream.

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and then there was soup…{day 179}

All I wanted to do at 7:51 pm on Wednesday was crawl under the dining room table and curl up in a ball. Yet another dinner alone with the girls. It was a lovely meal, complete with spinach & cheese ravioli with brown butter, creamy, fresh mozzarella, tomato salad, eggplant dip and a crusty baguette.

Can you guess what my kids ate? Yep, bread and butter. The morsel of ravioli Virginia nibbled at didn’t count. The three pieces Isabella forced down her throat meant nothing either. We’d just come off a major tantrum over her not wanting to do homework. She would’ve eaten a slab of cement to gain my approval at that moment.

The scene that played out perfectly sums up my answer to an exercise we did in group therapy this week. We had to write down a parenting challenge and parenting strength on slips of construction paper. I didn’t get to share mine with the group, as it’s pretty big and some people there are talkers.

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