Frittata excerpted from In Praise of Home Cooking: Reasons and Recipes by Liana Krissoff. Photography by Chaunté Vaughn.

In Praise of Home Cooking: Reasons and Recipes by Liana Krissoff

Trusted cookbook author Liana Krissoff is back. Previously, she showed you fresh, clever canning recipes; modern slow-cooker recipes; and easy vegetarian crowd-pleasers. Now, Krissoff brings you In Praise of Home Cooking—fit for anyone looking to perfect the staples, parents who want to whip up something tasty, curious kids who want to learn grandma’s secret recipes, and everyone who has gotten tired of those absurdly labor-intensive recipes.

To Krissoff, developing resourceful habits and perfecting uncomplicated dishes––a pot of fluffy rice and one of creamy beans, a seared steak and a colorful salad––are integral to living with great pleasure, and so she shows us the way. Krissoff explores these simple but vital subjects—ranging from how to start a fire in a clearing in the woods to making a simple but celebration-worthy layer cake, and even remembering to make a mug of hot cocoa just because it’s the first cold, gray day of fall—reminding us that appreciating these moments is key to a life well-lived.

In this cookbook infused with memoir, there are charming step-by-step illustrations that demystify key kitchen skills, vibrant food photographs, and short essays that reveal keen insights gleaned from a life as a recipe tester, cookbook author, and mom interspersed among the recipes. The more than 85 recipes in this book are Krissoff’s essentials, perfected for your ease. They represent a chronicle of how she learned to cook but also of ongoing efforts to help her daughter develop a level of competence with improvisatory home cooking. From kneading your own yeasted bread dough to refining your classic tahini dressing, Krissoff brings you all the foolproof recipes you always wished you had, while offering insight into the meaning and beauty behind these simple moments.

In Praise of Home Cooking: Reasons and Recipes by Liana Krissoff  is available at, and   

Frittata Template

Here’s an opportunity to improvise and for kids to make a dish the whole household can enjoy.


Cracking eggs

Shredding cheese

Moving a baking dish in and out of the oven

For the baking vessel: A glass baking dish like a pie plate is best so you can gauge doneness by peeking at the bottom of the frittata. Coat the inside generously with olive oil. If you’d like, sprinkle some breadcrumbs on the bottom and up the sides.

For the bulk: Find some leftover cooked vegetables in the fridge—braised kale (page 80) is great (drain the liquid off), spinach (you can just thaw some frozen spinach and squeeze it dry), baked potatoes (peel and slice them), steamed or sautéed zucchini or yellow squash (drain any accumulated liquid off). For a pie plate–sized frittata, you’ll need about 2 cups’ worth, or enough to fill the dish halfway. Distribute the vegetables in the oiled baking dish.

For the binding agents: Eggs, 5 or 6 of them. Crack them into a bowl and whisk well. Add a few handfuls of shredded semi-firm cheese—cheddar, Monterey Jack, Swiss, or Gruyère will do—and a few tablespoons of a grated hard cheese—Parmesan, pecorino Romano, or cotija, for depth and saltiness. Grind in some black pepper and maybe grate in a little nutmeg. Chopped fresh herbs are nice here too.

Pour the egg mixture over the vegetables in the baking dish, nudging the vegetables with a fork to let the egg run underneath.

Bake at 400°F (205°C) for about 25 minutes, until browned at the edges and set in the center. Let cool for at least 5 minutes before slicing into wedges and serving.

Recipe reprinted with permission from ABRAMS Books.

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