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

3.93  ·  Rating Details  ·  5,250 Ratings  ·  286 Reviews
“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 starvatio ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published April 3rd 2012 by Clarkson Potter
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Jun 27, 2012 Elizabeth rated it really liked it
Shelves: foodies
This cookbook is the shit! I am pretty sure I have NEVER read a cookbook before. I have perused and flipped through, been inspired by the pics, and appreciated a good index. But read? Nope.

This cookbook, though? Read it cover to cover.
I plan to make most of the recipes.
True story.
Sep 17, 2012 Darla rated it it was amazing
Love, love, love the quirky little stories, her down to earth manner, and all the recipes look delicious... I'm already gearing up to make some fantastic treats!

This may be the only cook book I have ever (and will ever) read cover to cover - great ideas, layed out well, and fun - a great book for the chef in your life.
Apr 26, 2012 Vikki rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2012-reads
yes, i'm adding another cookbook to my 2012 reads shelf...but it counts, trust me! this is no small book, and i read it cover to cover (ok, i scanned most of the recipes, but there's an essay accompanying almost every one, and some substantial chunks of text in between). i can't comment yet on the recipes; there's vanilla pudding chilling in my fridge right now, but it's only the second one i've had a chance to test drive. it's a beautiful book, though, with personal stories that place it somewh ...more
Oct 11, 2012 Terri rated it liked it
A friend house-sat for us a few years ago. when we returned, she commented that we didn't have anything to eat. we told her, "we have ingredients."

As someone who's been cooking from scratch all my life, I didn't learn a whole lot new from this book. However, if you've been eating fast food and frozen dinners, this book is for you.

I laughed that she left out so many obvious things, too. Like, bottle your own water, cut up your own salad greens, etc.
Kasey Jueds
Jun 11, 2012 Kasey Jueds rated it really liked it
I'm not sure I've ever read a cookbook cover-to-cover, the way I did with this one (very happily, on the train to CT to visit my in-laws). I did skim some of the recipes, but otherwise read every word--each recipe has a warm-hearted, thoughtful, often funny mini-essay that accompanies it, so really this is part cookbook, part memoir, part treatise on eating sustainably and mindfully (and with pleasure). So it's several of my favorite genres and topics rolled into one. Occasionally the writing ge ...more
Aug 10, 2012 Laura rated it really liked it
This is a beautiful DIY book. What really separates it from other, similar books is the photos of the author and her family. She's also incorporated a small essay about each recipe - where it came from, why she loves it. It's a very personal book, and you feel like she is sharing a part of her life with you.

This is a great general DIY intro - the recipes are pretty general, and include lots of things you'd use every day. Some things, like pasta, aren't that original. However, I can't wait to mak
Julie Davis
Jul 20, 2012 Julie Davis rated it liked it
Yet more birthday book-a-liciousness. This one's from Rose who knows a cookbook is always a safe bet for me. Over the years I have come across many foods we usually buy from the store but that we can also make at home. Beginning with my parents who routinely made butter, tomato paste, pasta, and other delicious comestibles in the 1960s and 70s. (We won't even get into raising their own chickens and pigs ... but I can tell you there is nothing like a duck egg for breakfast. It beats a chicken egg ...more
I think of myself as a terrible cook. Probably because I once set salmon on fire in the over. I don't know; don't ask. I have assisted others and with the use of an alarm, handily purchased by my wonderful significant other, I can stay focused enough to cook on my own. But to can? To make mayonnaise? I live in a city. We have delis for that kind of thing. For the same reason, I never have too many tomatoes or zucchinis. Or an excessive amount of fall squash. And yet, and yet, for some reason I d ...more
Jul 13, 2014 Jackie rated it really liked it
This is about so much more than just stocking the pantry with wholesome, non-industrial foods. It's a love story and a very charming one at that. Warm, friendly and delicious... totally enjoyed it and read it like a novel : )

If you are looking for an approachable way to eat better & healthier and save money, this book gives you the foundation for simple basics that will change your entire system of provisioning.

I can't wait to try the twinkies!
Dec 14, 2012 Nicole rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food, cookbook
I love, love, love this book. Oh, sure, I wanted it, I asked for it as a gift... I thought I would like it well enough but I didn't expect to love it like I do. The author's voice, the glimpses into her life and the creation of each recipe struck just the right chord and went straight to my heart.
Feb 19, 2013 Kat rated it it was ok
Shelves: foodie2
So, I have to say...this was a major disappointment. I was SUPER-excited about this book but it just didn't live up to my expectations. Usually, when I read a cookbook, the darn thing is just filled with paper scraps to mark all of the recipes I want to copy/use. This time...three. I marked three measly recipes (two of which are syrups for soda and the third was the adorable toaster pastries from the cover). That's pretty pathetic.

My main complaint is that The Homemade Pantry is too basic and, w
Mar 28, 2014 Sara rated it liked it
Shelves: cookbooks, 42-in-2014
More than one person suggested this book to me, and I was curious but uncertain. The idea of homemade Oreos or Twinkies or Poptarts didn't really appeal to me; that's not why I cook/bake. There are recipes for all these things , but making favorite super processed food isn't really the focus. In fact, once I read the toaster pastries recipe, I didn't think Poptart, I thought of using up that extra raspberry jam I made and of making turnovers when I don't have puff pastry on hand.

Alana Chernila
Apr 27, 2012 Kathryn rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
I much prefer homemade to store bought. This book is so well written, it's as if she is talking to you. I'm now following her blog. She teaches you how to make butter for goodness sake!!!! This cookbook is fantastic.
Apr 11, 2013 Kate rated it liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
For someday when I have more hours in a day.
Sarah Eiseman
Jul 28, 2012 Sarah Eiseman rated it it was amazing
So I’ve been reading a lot about homeschooling recently, as it’s something that my husband and I are considering for our family. On one of the blogs I follow fairly regularly, this book by Alana Chernila was listed. This book has the potential to be an amazing resource for many years to come, and not just because it’s a cookbook. All cookbooks fall into the category of being useful beyond the initial purchase. That’s actually one of the things I love about cookbooks. But this cookbook teaches re ...more
Jul 17, 2012 scc101 rated it it was ok
The author freely admits in the beginning that she doesn't always have time to make everything herself. Some weeks she does, but other weeks she just can't because there are too many things going on. And it's important to remember that you're not a failure or a sellout just because you can't meet your own super-high standards all the time.

Most recipes don't seen overly complicated with uncommon ingredients. There is use of a stand-mixer in multiple recipes, which I don't have but ma
Jun 30, 2012 Melinda rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this cookbook. Written to encourage all cooks to make from scratch the foods that you normally pick up already made. I have made my own biscuits for years and have told any and all that it is easier and tastier to make my own rather than use canned biscuits. This cookbook follows up on that and gives recipes for basic packaged staples many families buy.

Make a real cake instead of a boxed one. Make real icing instead of canned icing. Make our own ketchup. Your own mix for pancake
Jul 19, 2012 Traci rated it really liked it
I'm sad that I didn't end up having the time to actually make something from this book, so I really can't give it 5 stars if I didn't try the recipes.

The author is a woman after my own heart (we even have the same yogurt maker!) and I could only wish that I had the energy to make everything she details in this book from scratch, but I can at least try. I found a lot of inspiration from reading her blurbs. Also, I definitely appreciated that she added "tense moments" to her recipes because I have
Oct 29, 2012 Lea rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks, reference, food
This cookbook fits right into the DIY movement by providing (as the title suggests) recipes for foods that you could be making yourself instead of purchasing pre-prepared.

I already cook from scratch a fair amount and have a sizeable cookbook collection with recipes. So I already have recipes aplenty for many of the foods featured in The Homemade Pantry. I still appreciated this book, because its emphasis on the "pantry" was a useful reminder for how I could be putting my time in the kitchen to
Mar 19, 2015 Sheila rated it it was amazing
I took this book out of the library a couple of days ago and already I have wheat bread rising in the fridge, hamburger rolls waiting for the oven to finish preheating and lemons to be made into lemonade. I read a lot of cook books and I've never been as excited for one as I am for this book. My only problem is that I don't know what to make next...and that it is due back to the library in 3 weeks. (And since I was #40 on the wait list I don't think I'll be able to take it out again for awhile.) ...more
RH Walters
Jun 01, 2012 RH Walters rated it liked it
I'm not ambitious enough to make homemade pop-tarts or oreos, but I'm excited by Chernila's easy recipes for vanilla extract, hot sauce, mayonnaise, mustard, chai and chocolate candies. I was in a fever to make yogurt, but lack a cheese thermometer; likewise for the crackers, I don't have a kitchenaid mixer with paddle attachment (husband thinks I can use my little hand-mixer, really wants homemade crackers). Cookbooks are the new memoir and Chernila writes about being a young stay-at-home mom, ...more
Aug 10, 2013 MichelleCH rated it really liked it
A nice intro to making things that you would ordinarily buy at the store. The photography is beautiful and I eventually will buy this book. The recipes also seem doable and there aren't lists of difficult-to-find ingredients.
I also appreciated her stories and it's probably one of the first times that I actually read a cookbook cover to cover. As time goes on, I am also much more picky about the food I cook and what is in the food my family and I eat. Chernila really has me thinking about a lot
Sep 23, 2012 Marilyn rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. It's inspirational in terms of how easy the author makes it seem to create so many items (cook/bake) that one wouldn't normally think to make on one's own -- it's just a habit to head to the supermarket nowadays! Instructions are clear. The writing and pictures have a "homemade"/homey feel to them too, which made it a joy to peruse. Bought it and read it a few months ago and it's one I reference often as I grab various cookbooks (I own close to 300!) to figure out how to go ab ...more
Mar 06, 2013 Heidi rated it really liked it
Shelves: to-buy, food-cooking
The concept isn't new: homemade food is better, and it's not that hard to make your own pop tarts and salad dressing. And none of the recipes is new, either. Sure, the author modified some things to her own tastes, but they're hardly novel. I can easily find similar recipes and instructions online.

BUT... I still want to buy this book because nowhere have I seen so many great recipes in the same place and so beautifully illustrated. Each recipe has commentary from the author about why she decided
Sally Barnett
This book called to me from the new nonfiction shelves of the library. The essays, the photos and the recipes all combine to create a book that cries out to be read. I felt like I had met a new friend who shared my love for "real" foods. I have tried to limit processed foods in my diet for some years because of my blood pressure problems but some things are hard to avoid. No more excuses with this title. I liked it so much I have ordered copies for me and for one of my nieces. I guess I could sa ...more
Nov 09, 2012 Heidi rated it it was amazing
Alana's not only a great cook, she's a fantastic writer. Each little recipe has an opening blurb that's just delightful to read. So is hearing about her family. (Confession: I know her mother, and have met Alana and Joey and they're honestly as fantastic as they sound). The recipes are simple, but may include things you wouldn't normally try: graham crackers, peanut butter cups, pop tarts, sauerkraut, and cream cheese. But you're also buying this book for the enchanting photographs, those storie ...more
Dec 29, 2012 Lori rated it it was amazing
Of all the cookbooks I own - and I own quite a few - this one is by far the one I reference the most. Mostly, though I just love to sit with a cup of tea and read it. Alana Chernila makes feel good about my obsession with good, homemade food.

I very much appreciate her telling you what food can easily be made ahead and put into the fridge or freezer. In our very busy household, this makes the weeknights go that much more smoothly.

If you are looking to make more homemade in your life, this is the
Aug 29, 2012 May rated it really liked it
Might up this to 5 stars once I've actually tried the recipes, but the book is so beautiful and so pleasant to read and the recipes are all so EXCITING that I have to give it four stars right away even if all the food actually sucks. I just got this book today and spent several hours reading all the little stories and exclaiming to myself "Ooh, I want to make this! Oh and this sounds good!" and so on. You know, instead of doing my tons and tons of reading for school tomorrow. That's how fun this ...more
Jan 02, 2015 Lee rated it it was amazing
I borrowed this book from the library in the interest of stepping up my game when it comes to eating fewer processed foods and more homemade...and after reading it from cover to cover, I found myself not only even more committed to that goal, but encouraged and inspired. The recipes - ranging from basic kitchen staples to delicious snacks - seem approachable and possible; and it was fun to read the lovely reflections or memories that accompanied each recipe.

Also, I greatly appreciated the author
Rebecca Van Wagner
Oct 04, 2015 Rebecca Van Wagner rated it it was amazing
This was such a beautifully written and produced book. I dog-eared so many of the recipes! And more than that, I know I'll actually be making a lot of them! Alana really understands that each recipe has a story, and shares both in such a way that makes you want to dive in.
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“Life is too short to eat food that doesn't taste good.” 5 likes
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