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

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3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  2,533 ratings  ·  258 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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Darla
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.
Elizabeth
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.
Kasey Jueds
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
Laura
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...more
Vikki
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
Julie Davis
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
Charlotte
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
Terri
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.
Jackie
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!
MichelleCH
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...more
Sara
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...more
Nicole
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.
Kathryn
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.
Kate
For someday when I have more hours in a day.
Kat
Feb 19, 2013 Kat rated it 2 of 5 stars
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...more
Sarah Eiseman
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
scc101
WHAT I LIKED:
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...more
Melinda
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...more
Traci
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...more
Lea
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...more
Sheila
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
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
Marilyn
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
Heidi
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...more
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
Heidi
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
Lori
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...more
Stacie
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
Heather
This is a really cool book, and although there are several things I don't think I'll try to make, there are alot of things I think I WILL try!

One thing I like about this book is that it has alot of information about freezing and storing what you make, and also sections of 'tense moments' - what to look for in case the recipe might not be turning out the way you think, and how to fix the problem if there is one.
Amy
Can't wait to try some of these recipes!! This book has all kinds of ideas; mustard, salad dressings, pop-tarts, vanilla extract and some great tips... my favorite is how to keep milk from scalding on the bottom of a pot (take an ice cube and put in bottom of pot, let melt moving the pot around so the cube/ice water touches entire surface; then add milk or cream as recipe states) I am ordering a copy for the Library ASAP!
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“Life is too short to eat food that doesn't taste good.” 4 likes
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