simple scratch cooking, a new {old} blog

Two years ago, just before M passed away I started another blog, called Simple Scratch Cooking. I wanted a place to share recipes without the clutter of my personal life. I know, it sounds odd even writing that. I created this space for myself five years ago so I could write on my own terms. No deadlines, no schedules, no pressure except the self-imposed kind.

What I decide to share here is done so with a purpose, a selfish one at that. Perhaps this won’t come out right, but what I write here is more for me, than all of you. Can you understand what I mean in saying that? I don’t intend for it to come across as thankless. In fact, I feel incredibly grateful that so many of you have stayed with me on this journey, especially the last two years. The truth is, all my professional experience aside, publishers make decisions based on numbers and statistics these days. Homemade with Love was made possible because of the generous support, and interest, you’ve all shown in visiting me here.

A few days ago, something happened relating to the blog that has not sat well in my mind, and heart. Someone did not agree with my choice of words. They mistook something I said as coming off as being better than all of you. I’m not writing this in defense. In fact, that reader prompted me to do something I’ve been thinking about for a while. At the end of the day, this space is my space. I have no intentions of stopping what I do here, or how I do it. I question myself often as I press the publish button on every post.

This blog may be in the public realm, but the writing I do here is of the most personal kind. Crazy as it sounds, and I’ve said this in a few interviews during my book publicity, but each post I publish helps me free some space in a very crowded mind.  A mind filled with a mish mosh of happiness, fear, love and loss. What I’ve been doing here the last two years is leaving a trail of breadcrumbs in a sense of my past, to help get me through the present, and into the future. I can only see that now as I reflect back.

I take no offense to people who fast forward past the post, and go straight to the recipes. My intention with every recipe I create is to make cooking easier, and enjoyable. What I am going to try and balance, though, is a reboot of Simple Scratch Cooking, so you have a place to go if you just want recipes without them being weaved into the personal aspects of my life.

I think this proverbial fork in the road is a win-win, provided I can manage it all. I get to keep writing what, and how, I want. Simultaneously, I get to follow my other passion, which is to continue showing people how easy it is to cook from scratch. Sometimes you might see a recipe on both sites, if it’s one that has a backstory connecting to something that’s inspired me in a more personal way. At some point, I might decide to give the design an overhaul, and maybe this will be a short-lived experiment, yet again. The second book manuscript is due next February, so this will be a delicate balance.

In the case of the blueberry kale smoothie recipe you see above, well, that one is going to live over at Simple Scratch Cooking. It was one of those “let’s clean out the vacation kitchen” recipes, but is sure to be on regular rotation when I get back home. So, go whip yourself up a smoothie, and let’s say cheers to moving forward, and new horizons.


Get the recipe for my blueberry kale smoothie here.

Music Pairing: Come Together by The Beatles


  • Pauline E

    I started following your blog just after Mikey died. I came across it by accident, but I have continued to follow you not only for your recipes (which are great), but also to see where life is taking you on your journey to healing. I also bought your book because I enjoy the concept of simple cooking “Homemade With Love”. Keep up the great work.

  • Sandy T

    I like both aspects of the blog…so I just signed up for the other one as well. Having been through a similar situation, I like to hear what you are doing to make it every day and to hear that maybe what I was doing was fairly normal. Can the posts be heart wrenching, yes. But sometimes I need to hear that. More often than not they are inspiring and uplifting for me, and help make my day better. Thank you!

  • lori

    Jennie, I get the concept of the second blog, but I have to say what makes your recipes so much more appealing is that each one feels like a gift from a friend. I love how honest and true you are in your posts and it feels like I’m sitting in the kitchen with you as you cook. I hope you’ll be able to convey that same personal effect with simple scratch cooking.

  • Kathy

    Jennie, I subscribe to your blog because I love your writing, your stories, your honesty and your passionate love of food and family and sharing that openly. I am thrilled that you will continue and I’m a willing and grateful participant in reading about your life and moving forward all the while carrying such joy and pain. I am on the sidelines, cheering you on. You are composing a life and your symphony is unfolding daily. I admire your strength, your courage and your unique gifts. Thank you.

  • Bridget

    I have followed your blog since soon after you lost your husband – the raw posts are inspiring, especially to offer a glimpse into your personal grief and journey. Congratulations for having the courage to share. I’m sorry someone questioned your words – that has to be extremely disheartening. I look forward to visiting the 2nd blog. Congrats for having the courage to forge on.

  • Patsy

    I too, began following you by “coincidence” just a week after Mikey passed. I have cried, laughed and prepared countless recipes from your blog and your cook book! You are so inspiring AND brave! I look forward to finding you in my in box for years to come. Thank you Jennie. Stay strong and go forward.

  • Karin

    I found you sometime the summer before Mikey passed away, and loved your concept of simple scratch cooking. Sometimes google searches still lead me to recipes there. I think it is fantastic concept and I love that you share how easy it is to cook from basic ingredients. This idea that because you cook from scratch and share it with others as being “better than others” drives me nuts. I have come across that in my own life and it is frustrating. I am a dietitian and this is my main message to all of my friends and family that solicit (or don’t solicit) my advice. I don’t cook from scratch because I have tons of time being a stay at home mom. I do it because I actually do find it more simple. It’s a great word 🙂 It is easier, more delicious, less complicated and we love to eat that way. My girls really appreciate it as well and that is my major motivation, to teach them that simple food is good food. What others choose to feed their families is their choice but if sharing that it is simple for us to do it this way inspires someone else to do it then that is a success to me. When a friend says to me that I have gotten into her head and she thinks about buying something and whether I would approve then I know I have helped her think in a new way.
    So while I love your simple blog I also have followed this incredible journey you have taken and really appreciate you sharing it with all of us. I look forward to all of your posts and how your recipes weave through them.

  • Connie

    I love the concept of your food-only blog, but I love the stories that go with a recipe. I especially felt more connected after watching that video of you talking about how the best recipes always have a story behind them. I still haven’t made that peanut butter pie to share yet, but I know when I do, I will be reminded of how much a man loved his family, and how important he was to his wife and daughters. Thank you for sharing your story, your love and recipes.

  • Traca

    J – Press on. It’s difficult to imagine all the crazy things that happen once you put your work and your personal life out there publicly. While there have been many highlights, there are definitely some darker aspects I never thought I’d have to deal with. Like you, I write to free the clutter in my mind and work out ideas. It’s a “thinking out loud” process that is for my own benefit. The fact that you put that out there, and enable others to read it…is a gift, and it’s a shame when people don’t treat it that way. It’s truly a gift, and it’s unfolding every day….I’m glad you’ve found a way to embrace it. xoxo

  • Janice

    I love reading this blog. People can be overly sensitive to specific words or phrases. The recipes without the personal touch would not be the same. When I read what you write here it puts a peace and calm in my heart. Even when what you write is sad, there is a grace in it that touches me. There is such an intimate glance into your life that I often wish we could be friends because I would love to know even more of you. I hope the good comments can outweigh the hurtful ones. Xoxo

  • Adri @ Life Nourished

    Because for me too food is such an essence of life, I think I will certainly miss the stories behind the recipes, but will definitely keep an eye on the new blog.
    Guess I missed the “second book” part, but I am glad, I use your cookbook constantly. Please keep up the writing, I really enjoy it.

  • DamselflyDiary

    Sorry that someone’s comments brought you down a little. I am finding, for me, that I can be too eager to take things personally when they really aren’t. And I am trying to find forgiveness faster and easier for those that do intend to hurt. I figure they are more wounded than I.

    But I digress . . . could you add an RSS feed option for your Simple Scratch Cooking blog so it is easier for me to follow? Thanks much!

    And keep it up, I love your writing. I agree with other commenters, it is your stories that add the love to the recipes. That’s one of the reasons I also love Gluten Free Girl’s blog!

  • Lisa

    I, too, stumbled upon your blog just after your husband passed away….and I’ve been a follower ever since.
    The thing is, for many, cooking and baking *is* personal; which is why we weave stories into our blog posts. Most of what I have read here (and other blogs) is something I can relate to. Food is personal, and by extension, cooking/baking. Sometimes it’s nice to know there are others out there who have similar thoughts and experiences—even though, many of us will never meet IRL.
    That someone would take offense and hurl insults on the internet over a post of yours is ridiculous…and, while angering, should be ignored. (Obviously that person has deeper issues to deal with). You have WAY more people who enjoy your stories and recipes. Keep writing! Now I have another blog of yours to read. 🙂

  • Radhika

    No matter who reads who doesn’t, you have this lady’s support. Keep at it, girl! May happiness and love be yours again.

  • MaryLouise

    I am so impressed by your strength, determination, love of family, and your willingness to share this side of you with us.
    You are a very special lady. I also enjoy seeing what you find interesting to eat and your sharing these recipes with us.
    Hold fast to your beliefs as to what “breadcrumbs” you choose to share. It is all your “stuff”– do with it what you choose. I love coming to see what you have to share and I will keep you and your girls in my prayers.

  • Tracey A

    Hi Jennie, Good Evening,
    We do feel like friends that have traveled with you (somewhat ) through the trials and tribulations. Some of us have gone through very similar things too! (as you know). I appreciate your candor in your writings.
    Our society often thinks they can say anything they want, in response, without thinking of the repercussions or feelings that may be affected. I try to encourage positive, build up, and not to be negative in regards to these personal matters. You are going through YOUR journey and many have not even come close to encountering such a journey or tribulation. A spouse, with children is a whole new ballgame.
    Carry on in your own way, your own style and to hell with anyone else.
    WE love you!
    Wishing you sunshine, miracles, upbeat inspiration. You deserve it!
    XXXX Tracey

  • Laurie


    I too found your blog by accident, but I have been following you mostly for support for you and inspiration for me. I love the way you write from your heart and it touches mine. I will check out your old new blog for your delicious recipes and will continue to be here waiting to see what comes next for you. You’ve come so far already.

    Much love to you and the girls.

    Laurie, Conroe Texas

  • SuzyMcQ

    I don’t think that anyone who has followed this blog for two years or more is surprised by anything you have written today, Jennie. I believe all of us would admit to having felt as though we were peeking in through your kitchen window as well as your damaged heart at times. We have felt the rawness and silently sent you strength and hopes for better days ahead.
    As always wishing you all the best.

  • Jenny Ramsey

    Your blog is one of the few that I actually read instead of skipping down to the recipe! You write with such heart and soul. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us!

  • Miranda

    So delighted by all of this — another JP site to bookmark, the promise of more of what we love here, and good heavens, a second book??? People, we are so lucky!!! I am happy for you and appreciate all that you are doing. This is seriously good. You totally buried the lead about the book, though 😉