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

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

by Alana Chernila


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“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.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780307887269
Publisher: Potter/Ten Speed/Harmony/Rodale
Publication date: 04/03/2012
Edition description: Original
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 287,025
Product dimensions: 7.46(w) x 9.80(h) x 1.12(d)

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.

Read an Excerpt

The Homemade Pantry

101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making
By Alana Chernila

Clarkson Potter

Copyright © 2012 Alana Chernila
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9780307887269

Makes 6 cups
• 5 cups water
• ¼ cup roughly chopped unpeeled fresh ginger
• Three 4-inch cinnamon sticks
• 3 whole cloves
• 4 cardamom pods
• 3 black peppercorns
• One 1-inch circular slice unpeeled orange
• 4 black tea bags, regular or decaffeinated
• ¼ to ½ cup honey, to taste
• 1½ to 2 cups milk (low-fat or whole), to taste
1. Combine the water, ginger, cinnamon, cloves, cardamom, peppercorns, and orange slice in a medium pot. Partially cover the pot, bring the mixture to a boil, reduce the heat, and simmer for 15 minutes.

2. Take the pot off the heat, add the tea bags, cover, and steep for 5 minutes. Put a strainer over the bowl and strain the liquid. Add the honey to taste. To store the chai in the refrigerator or freezer without milk, do so now. Otherwise, return the tea to the pot, add the milk, and reheat.
Fridge • covered container, with milk, 5 days; without milk, 2 weeks
Freezer • freezer-safe container, without milk, 6 months (thaw in refrigerator and reheat with milk on the stovetop)


Excerpted from The Homemade Pantry by Alana Chernila Copyright © 2012 by Alana Chernila. Excerpted by permission of Clarkson Potter, a division of Random House, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Customer Reviews

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The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 23 reviews.
BeachGirlAtHeart More than 1 year ago
Beautiful pictures, great explanations, exciting recipes that are actually useful in day to day life- I am in love with this book! My husband and I just made the ravioli recipe tonight- sooo delicious and fun to make! I love the stories along with the recipes and Alana's down to earth attitude toward cooking, I am inspired and encouraged! My list of recipes to try from this book keeps getting longer and longer! I definitely recommend this book :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am not a cook and absolutely LOATHE the kitchen - give me a spreadsheet any day. That beiing said, this book has challenged me to put aside my preconceiced ideas that people who stay at home are simple - which imaginw my surprise when I traded the corner office and the safety of spreadaheers to become an inept SAHM! Great respect for women on both sides of the divide has resulted but I still would not...could not cook. Since reading this book i have cooked every night - 14 nights now and have found a new passion. This is by far the most inspiring and empowering book I have read. Thank you so much!
KitDreadlow More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed this book! Some recipes are a bit complex, but she does a wonderful job of explaining them in a simple way. She even includes 'tense moments', you know, that point where everything seems to have gone wrong. She walks you thru how to avoid them and what to do if they happen. The pictures are beautiful as well as all the stories about her family. I really enjoyed this cover to cover.
readmorecapote More than 1 year ago
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE IT! Bough this book last week. Would consider myself a decent to advanced cook. I usually rock the Martha Stewart recipes pretty hard, and don't usually buy cookbooks. This one is so different though, that it is a must for anyone looking to get away from constantly opening preservative-laden prepackaged food/snacks for their family. I am slowly getting away from the lure of the chemical filled food that lines our grocery shelves, but would in no way consider myself diehard, organic, gluten-free, or vegan or whatever other buzzwords are out there right now. In other words, this cookbook is a perfect stepping stone to simply feeding yourself and your family healthier and more naturally. For example, my two little boys and I made our own brown sugar this week (only two ingredients and super fun), and our own butter (pretty much just turn on the mixer, no sweat), homemade instant oatmeal, and our own granola. My older son has already lined up what to try next week (snack bars, homemade mustard, homemade ketchup and homemade Twinkies!) and I have my eye on the homemade cheese and the lasagne. There is something for everyone in this little treasure of a cookbook, and everything we've tried has been amazing. We can taste the difference between what we have made and the store bought versions, and my pantry is getting stocked up with these new delectable versions. We love it! Thanks, Alana!
Kaelha More than 1 year ago
I am totally making the toaster pastries today. I can't wait to try the other recipes as well. I enjoyed the background stories and quirky writing style of the author. This is a great resource for those who like to have pantry staples that are not filled with chemicals and additives. The "tense moments" are very helpful. That said, the author uses a few (and one very distracting IMO) profanities. I think most people tend to overlook these words, but there are some who don't and that should be respected, especially when the word takes the Lord's name in vain. So you might want to use consideration when purchasing this book for a friend or family member...or use a black sharpie on p. 207 before wrapping!
louieML More than 1 year ago
We, as hoousewives and Mothers, have become lazy cooks. This book will take you back to good, healthy eating. Clean your cupboards, start from scratch and get cookin'.
ceaker More than 1 year ago
I wish I could remember where/how I heard about this book. I really enjoy it. I will admit that I'm a cookbook-aholic. :) But we are trying to make as many staple items as possible for ourselves and buy/eat less processed foods. I made granola for cereal/snacks and can't wait to try the instant oatmeal. Great photos and interesting stories behind each recipe.
Erickson_and_Co More than 1 year ago
I love this book! The recipes are pretty simple foods yet wonderful, delicious, and things that most people eat in their everyday lives. The recipes range from pantry basics to foods that I never would have thought about making homemade (such as cream filled snack cakes, marshmallows, or peanut butter cups). And after making many of the recipes, my family has determined that they like the Homemade Pantry version better. And not a single recipe has failed me; everyone has turned out wonderful and delicious. This book is great for beginners due to the easy to follow instructions and tips but also good for people that are experienced at cooking like me. I already make most of my family’s food from scratch, but this book added more grocery store alternative products to our kitchen. My family loves the recipes for the sandwich cookie (almost like an Oreo only better and healthier), hamburger buns, lasagna, macaroni and cheese, pesto, vanilla extract, pudding, stock, salsa, roasted tomatoes (a great way to preserve any leftover tomatoes that are going ripe too fast), all three car snacks recipes, toaster pastries, granola, instant oatmeal, maple popcorn, homemade butter, and more. I want to make the mozzarella cheese, crème fraiche, and ricotta; and we can’t wait to try hot sauce, cucumber pickles, and ketchup once our garden is ripe this fall! I love that the recipes are so much healthier than store purchased alternatives; no artificial flavors/colors or preservatives here and every ingredient is one that I can pronounce and that I know what is. There are also recipes that cover almost every aspect of the pantry from dairy products, soups, condiments, snacks, candy and sweets, to pasta and everything in between. I love that instead of saying “buy xxx packaged food” or “xxx mix” as many recipe books do Alana made sure to add the ingredient recipes. So instead of just saying use graham crackers, pie crust, buttermilk, or cream cheese, etc she tells you how to make your own; but at the same time if you don’t want to make your own cream cheese or graham crackers, you can always purchase them at the store and the recipes will still turn out great. This book feels like it was written by a friend. I received a complementary book for review purposes. However this did not influence my opinions.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is going to be a game changer. The recipes aren't super complex, they don't require lots of ingredients for the most part, and I know exactly what's in the stuff I'm eating! I am a fan.
EireSilvermist More than 1 year ago
I have made the Wheat Sandwich bread and the sandwich cookies and my family loves them! I've been a canning nut and baking nut for ages and this book was just an answer to all my wishes in a book! I highly recommend!!
MissReeRee More than 1 year ago
I adore this cookbook, we have made the choice to make as much homemade as we can to try to eliminate wasteful packaging as well as the chemicals present in most prepackaged food (especially kids snacks! Yikes!) The photography is stunning, the author makes you feel as if you are sitting down in her kitchen, and she really showcases simple but appealing recipes. I plan to cook my way through this book and may even try canning, something that has always intimidated me!
Storen More than 1 year ago
This is an absolutely fantastic cook book. I would say I am a more advanced cook, and none of these recipes caused me to break out in a cold sweat, except hand made bread (why does yeast have to be so touchy?). I made the cheese cracker recipe a couple of weeks ago and I got rave reviews. I also made the ricotta cheese recipe over the weekend and it was delicious. Like many people I have decided to stop purchasing processed food and I am focusing on making food/snacks from scratch. It is really important to me know exactly what is in the food I serve my family. Alana makes it easy by providing recipes with ingredients that are local or easy to get, she breaks it down to easy steps, and makes it fun! I totally recommend this book to anyone trying to make a lifestyle change or just trying to cut out the junk.
Greeny74 More than 1 year ago
She absolutely loves it....
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book has inspired me to find more ways to prepare things for my family rather than buy them. Beautiful to look at. Can't wait for the next addition.
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I love this book! Not only does it appeal to me because I'm a writer, and the personal stories attached to each recipe are fantastic, but it such a simple book to use. I cannot wait to get cranking on these recipes! This book is definitely a must-have!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've read through the whole book. I've only tried a few recipes, but they were easy to follow and tasted great. I'd definitely recommend this to anyone trying to cut out processed food!!!
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