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The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making [Paperback]

Alana Chernila
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 3 2012
“This is my kitchen. Come on in, but be prepared—it might not be quite what you expect. There is flour on the counter, oats that overflowed onto the floor, chocolate-encrusted spoons in the sink. There is Joey, the husband, exhausted by the thirty-five preschoolers who were hanging on him all day, and he is stuffing granola into his mouth to ease his five o’clock starvation. There are two little girls trying to show me cartwheels in that miniscule space between the refrigerator and the counter where I really need to be.”
In her debut cookbook, Alana Chernila inspires you to step inside your kitchen, take a look around, and change the way you relate to food. The Homemade Pantry was born of a tight budget, Alana’s love for sharing recipes with her farmers’ market customers, and a desire to enjoy a happy cooking and eating life with her young family. On a mission to kick their packaged-food habit, she learned that with a little determination, anything she could buy at the store could be made in her kitchen, and her homemade versions were more satisfying, easier to make than she expected, and tastier. 
Here are her very approachable recipes for 101 everyday staples, organized by supermarket aisle—from crackers to cheese, pesto to sauerkraut, and mayonnaise to toaster pastries. The Homemade Pantry is a celebration of food made by hand—warm mozzarella that is stretched, thick lasagna noodles rolled from flour and egg, fresh tomato sauce that bubbles on the stove. Whether you are trying a recipe for butter, potato chips, spice mixes, or ketchup, you will discover the magic and thrill that comes with the homemade pantry.
Alana captures the humor and messiness of everyday family life, too. A true friend to the home cook, she shares her “tense moments” to help you get through your own. With stories offering patient, humble advice, tips for storing the homemade foods, and rich four-color photography throughout, The Homemade Pantry will quickly become the go-to source for how to make delicious staples in your home kitchen.

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The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making + Make-A-Mix: Over 300 Easy Recipes for Every Meal Of the Day
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“Alana is the real deal: A practically minded, thoroughly modern yet authentically old school homesteader. Ingeniously opting for quality over quantity, she strives for excellence, taste, and nutrition, and inspires her readers to do the same. She shows us the functional beauty in a frugal kind of cooking that’s nevertheless alive with luxury and abundance. Believe her and practice what she preaches.”
LUCINDA SCALA QUINN, host of Mad Hungry with Lucinda Scala Quinn and author of Mad Hungry

“Alana Chernila’s food is the sort of honest, natural, and down-to-earth cooking that I crave. On the top of my can’t-wait-to-make list are the toaster pastries, which I’m sure my own daughter will adore, and the cucumber pickles, which are right up my DIY-alley. Plus, Alana’s stories are engaging and fun to read. But what I really love about this book is Alana’s passionate approach to homemade kitchen staples, which I hope will get people to rethink the questionable goods that we all keep in our pantries. We can do better, and she shows us how. I would feel confident cooking any of her recipes for my friends and family, and that means a lot.”
MELISSA CLARK, New York Times food columnist and author of Cook This Now
“You can work culinary magic on a whim when you keep a well-stocked, mindfully edited pantry. Alana’s beautiful book shows you the way with an impressive range of homemade go-tos. She covers all the useful day-to-day staples here with understated style. Pancake and waffle mixes, granola, tomato sauce, and salad dressings bump up against recipes for crackers, soda syrups, sauerkraut, and spice blends. It’s the sort of book that makes you want to head straight for your kitchen.”
HEIDI SWANSON, bestselling author of Super Natural Every Day
“Alana Chernila has given us something incredibly special: a book both practical and inspiring, authoritative, and down to earth. Reading THE HOMEMADE PANTRY, I feel as though I’m in the kitchen with her and her family, and that together, there’s nothing that we can’t do. Why not make my own hot sauce, mozzarella, or graham crackers? From now on, I know I will.”
MOLLY WIZENBERG, bestselling author of A Homemade Life
“Alana Chernila not only understands the power of food, she understands the power of food and family. She understands the comfort and security a bowl of creamy soup brings on a winter day; she understands that a lasagna from scratch can bond a family in ways that the boxed kind can’t; and perhaps most importantly, she understands that a warm homemade toaster pastry will go a long way in easing any brand of maternal guilt. I think that recipe in particular is going to be a keeper in my house.”

The Homemade Pantry is an important, beautiful work that can change the way people approach their food lives.”
MOLLIE KATZEN, author of The Moosewood Cookbook

“A gorgeous collection of recipes for making fresh, healthier versions of store-bought packaged foods like Pop Tarts, pizza, and more. Good for your waistline, your wallet, and the environment.”  

About the Author

ALANA CHERNILA writes, cooks, sells fresh vegetables, and teaches cheese making. She created the blog EatingFromTheGroundUp in 2008. Alana is a graduate of St. John’s College in Santa Fe and lives with her husband and their two young daughters in western Massachusetts, where she is a selectman.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
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Front Cover | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index
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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
4.5 out of 5 stars
Most helpful customer reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great book but check the recipe list before Aug. 7 2012
By Hélène TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is a great book, I enjoyed reading it immensely because for every recipe there's a story about the author (and althought this will be a minus for some readers, I love hearing about others lives). There's great recipes in that book and what I tried (ricotta, breadsticks and ravioli) was delicious. There is a lot of recipes in there that I already knew ; indeed, if you are like me, this may not be your first attempt at making from scratch things you could buy pre-made from the store. So my advise, check the recipes in there first. See how many you haven't tried yet. If you already tried most of them, this may not be the book for you.

Another thing, some of the recipes need you to be a good cook, not a beginner. For example, making ricotta could have turned up to make a real mess (and possibly some burns on the arms too), but because I'm more experienced, I could avoid that. One of the things I appreciated was that the timing and instructions in this book are top notch (for me at least, you may not have the same results) and that made the cooking way easier.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great simple recipes Oct. 3 2012
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I love this cookbook. I've made the crackers and they turned out beautifully. I'll probably roll them out a little thinner next time but my 6 year old loved them. I also love all the stories for each recipe. This is a cookbook that I might try all the recipes.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Will be using it for a long time April 26 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really love this book.
First, we get some explanation as of what to expect and what we need. The book divided by aisles at the supermarket (dairy, bread, etc).
Then, you get a short text description of how or why the recipe was created. It is always personal and kind.

Finally, you get the recipes. Some of them are fantastic.
I made at least 4 of them in the first week (starting with the sandwich cookie of course)
By the end of the month, I tried half of the recipes. I can't wait to try some of the cheese recipes.

What is really useful is that for every recipe, the storage is indicated. How long in room temperature, can I freeze the recipe and for how long? It's all in the book.

When my sister in law came to visit, she was so excited by all the recipes, I ordered one for her.
It makes a great gift either for the new cook or for those who like to try something new.

Once you know you can make some of these things yourself, you won't look at a supermarket aisle the same way.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love this book! Jan. 10 2013
It has helped us prepare school snacks, meals, and basic cooking ingredients without preservatives. Lots of fun to see what you can actually make for yourself!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very Happy! Nov. 21 2012
By Mary
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'm very happy with the purchase. It's a very useful book. I always hate buying things that I can easily make at a home, at a store. I recommend this to any new home.
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5.0 out of 5 stars My daughter is delighted with this book... May 19 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was so impressed with this book that I gave it to my daughter for her birthday. THEN :)).. I ordered another one for myself.
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