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Urban Pantry: Tips and Recipes for a Thrifty, Sustainable and Seasonal Kitchen

3.63  ·  Rating details ·  724 ratings  ·  54 reviews
A guide to stocking a small kitchen that explains the essential spices, ingredients, and equipment to have in order to create nutritious, easy meals, with more than sixty recipes to fit the urban lifestyle.
Paperback, 175 pages
Published 2010 by Skipstone
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Average rating 3.63  · 
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 ·  724 ratings  ·  54 reviews

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Oct 21, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: food, 2010
You know, I was doubtful that this book had much to add to the new explosion of food preserving books, but I actually like this a lot. There is a dedicated focus on small-space living (small pantries, tiny kitchens, no counter space, etc). Any good urban-focused book should recognize how small the footprints are inside the city limits. The recipes emphasize fresh, local, seasonal ingredients and good advice on sourcing them (ask your local farmers market producers for seconds to make pickles. th ...more
Feb 09, 2011 rated it really liked it
More than a cookbook, less than a comprehensive treatise on the subject, I got a lot out of this. Most of what I got is to-dos. For example:

I'll be preserving lemons. It just sounds worth doing.
I'm considering the idea of small-batch preserving.
I'm thinking that more of my hostess gifts will be homemade sauces and preserves and things, going forward. I enjoy making these things, I believe people like to get homemade items, and with the small-batch format, it shouldn't be the headache that full-
Sep 09, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
Normally, I wait until I’ve made several recipes out of a book before I review it, but this was just so lovely, I had to share it now. First of all the pictures of her pantry with all the food in jars totally won me over immediately. Put some polenta, or beans, or grains in jars and line them up in your pantry, and I am in love. Then take those simple, lovely ingredients and turn them into simple, lovely meals, I am yours forever.

She divides the book into chapters titled: Breakfast, Appetizers,
Jan 10, 2011 rated it it was ok
I thought this would be a fantastic read! I saw this on Amazon and wanted to purchase it immediately, but my instinct was to first check it out from the library before I spent hte money on it. I'm glad I did. I'm an urban organic gardener and I thought this book would be a fantastic compliment to my preserving and gardening, but in reality it wasn't. I'm a mom of four young children and I need speedy easy whole food things. This book is more of a cookbook for a foodie type person where unusual f ...more
Catherine Gillespie
Jun 09, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: cooking
The book is dedicated to recipes that pull from “a pantry full of new and interesting ingredients that come together quickly and inexpensively and turn out stellar, inspired meals.” Yes! That’s what I’m always aiming for. The recipes in the book sound like things I already make, but simpler or more interesting. I am looking forward to making Spiced Kibbe, Apricot Chickpea Salad, Spiced Yogurt Chicken, and several other recipes from this book.

{Read my complete review on A Spirited Mind}
Dec 17, 2010 rated it liked it
Amy Pennington is a food snob who would normally have gotten on my nerves, if it weren't for her descriptive writing and her recipe for preserving lemons. I have a hard time with her use of the word 'thrifty' in the title. While many items in her recipes can be found cheaply, some items she uses are definitely extravagant wallet-wise. I'm looking at you coconut oil.
Overall the few hidden jewels found in this book cancel out the aggravation and I was left....ambivalent. And hungry.
Jan 05, 2011 rated it liked it
The author's self-congratulatory tone is a little abrasive at points and kept this from getting a higher rating, but there was a ton of great material on exactly what the title promises -- a thrifty, sustainable and seasonal kitchen. Lots of interesting ingredient and storage ideas, and the recipes I've tried have been great. Looking forward to having it in my kitchen. ...more
Mar 03, 2012 rated it it was amazing
don't have caster sugar? icing sugar? make your own from raw sugar. full of now obvious tips, and details on how food is processed into other food, so I don't needs 10 types of sugar in my tiny pantry anymore. ...more
Esther Marie
May 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2017
Urban Pantry: Tips & Recipes for a Thrifty, Sustainable & Seasonal Kitchen is a 2010 book by Amy Pennington for Skipstone. Like other Skipstone titles, Urban Pantry has a lot of information presented in a beautiful yet economical way. Unlike other cookbooks, Urban Pantry has a few color photos but mostly relies on black and white images to accompany the text. Instead of being boring for the reader, this simplicity is inviting. Leafing through the recipes, I saw many quick and simple dishes that ...more
May 24, 2017 rated it liked it
Adding Stracciatelli Soup as a go to soup! I did add a hint of Italian seasonings and garlic to this basic dish and find it perfect and refreshing on a cloudy day. Side note, great use of farm fresh eggs!
Heydi Smith
I really appreciated the info in this book. It’s an easy read and very entertaining.
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
a must have for any pantry
Mar 05, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks, favorites
This is a great little book, with some great recipes, tips and tricks on how to be a little thriftier and yet have an amazing tasty pantry year round! It is definitely going to be one that I keep around forever. The author even provides a sample list of what to keep around in your pantry, fridge, etc and includes tips on storage (which I always need reminding of).

Since I have gone gluten free, I find that I am so much happier (and healthier) making my own food and this is just another way to en
Sep 15, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: cookbooks-2014
This is a unique cook book in that it is more than just a collection of recipes - it's a guide for stocking and creating a pantry that makes it easier to cook from. The author was inspired by a friend of hers who loved to eat her homemade food, but kept next to nothing on hand in his apartment. She started creating a list of pantry essentials for him that eventually turned into this book. Each chapter goes over a staple or staple category like whole grains, beans, eggs, etc. and each chapter has ...more
Soba noodles and almond butter and barley and sesame oil. These are all ingredients that the eco-friendly cookbooks are raving about, and yet for some reason I still fight against working with them, opting for spaghetti and peanut butter and rice and olive oil.

Maybe I'm just stubborn and anxious about working with unfamiliar ingredients that I don't know how to find in the grocery store...Maybe I'm just lazy and don't want to think how the different ingredients would work with different flavors
Jun 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: cooking
I noticed this book on our trip to Seattle and decided to read through it when I got home. It is definitely concise and a great book for a beginner (someone just going off to college, a new bride) as it helps you set up a pantry that will help you create great meals.

Recipes are included, which seem pretty healthy. Pennington is big on being eco-friendly and thrifty, which are pluses. I was hoping that this would expand my pantry organization/knowledge, but it is pretty basic info. I would love t
Jul 02, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: food
At first, I thought this book was more of a way to make your pantry more "cottage" and "simple". Then, I found myself referring back to this book several times for simple recipes as well and suggestions on what to do with and how to store specific ingredients. I hate to waste food and Amy offers suggestions on stocking the pantry with easy to find items that fit into the small urban kitchen. Buy in small quantities and use them up before buying more. Her dense whole grain bread recipe and Onion ...more
Apr 05, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
Nice tips and recipes. A lot of the information I already knew but I copied down the recipe for vanilla quinoa pudding and quick cucumber pickles, and I am interested in trying preserving this summer. A lot of the information seemed suited more towards the beginner who doesn't know what the essentials are in a well-stocked pantry. I would recommend this to people who are looking to eat fresh and seasonally. ...more
Oct 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cooking-and-food
I can't think why I picked up this book in the first place, because neither the title nor the cover is especially compelling. I'm glad I did, however, because some of the recipes inside are gold! As a vegetarian, I found a fair number of recipes that I could use or easily convert. I like the fact that there is an emphasis on thrift -- and full flavors -- in the kitchen. I can't wait to try peach-hibiscus preserves and cashew potato gratin. Mmmm. ...more
Nov 30, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: cookery
Very nice, with some great tips. Pictures make me want to go buy a hundred canning jars in which to store my entire pantry. Lots of use of sumac, which I've never cooked with. However, I feel like every cookbook makes canning sound really easy when actually I need a giant chapter on how not to kill people due to my novice canning skills. ...more
Jan Pliler
Dec 11, 2010 rated it liked it
Looking forward to trying some of the recipes. Great "little" tips throughout the book that make a "big" difference in the kitchen.
Easy read. Fun stuff. Even great for the suburban pantry. We could all use the efficiency techniques put upon urban dwellers to make our suburban living more manageable.
Dec 14, 2010 rated it it was amazing
To say I love this book in its entirety might be jumping the gun since I haven't made one recipe from the book. BUT I loved the core of the book. It gives your smart tips on how to create an efficient pantry/kitchen and live a sustainable life. I think this book needs to be part of my collection as in I need to buy it now. ...more
Jan 17, 2011 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: inspired novice cooks
Shelves: food
Urban Pantry has some nice ideas and some good looking recipes, but it kind of goes together in a strange way. Some things are very simple and seem aimed at people just getting into cooking from scratch, and then other things seem quite a bit more involved. I skimmed this book and most of my interest was in the section on small-scale preserving.
Mar 24, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Chock full of clever and inspiring hints and shortcuts for storing and preserving food. This author's approach fits with mine - I don't like the grocery store trip every night I want to cook something unique with flavor, but I'm not keen on weekly menu planning, either. I have a feeling this will become my kitchen bible! ...more
Mar 05, 2012 rated it it was ok
Not a bad book, however her tastes are so very different to my own that the tips and pantry items aren't something I have to begin with let alone would look at buying. I would suggest people get the book from their library (as I did) before committing to buy. I'm sure it has an audience, I'm just not it! ...more
Lisa Nolan
Aug 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
I love the concept of the book, but it didn't fit my needs. Many of the pantry items in the book were not what I have, or would want to have, or even really need. If you are a lover of all-things herbs, and grow them, and want to learn about other herbs, you'll love this book! Of course there are lots of other items in her pantry! ...more
Apr 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
This book has inspired me to rethink how to stock my kitchen. There is some really good and well-researched/tested information in here that I plan to implement this week. I borrowed this book from the library, but the recipes make me want to buy this for my kitchen. Some really great and useful information in here. One of the only "cookbooks" that I've read cover to cover. ...more
Feb 24, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
Not what I was expecting, but still rather nice. I was expecting more of a primer on cooking with limited ingredients, smart substitutions, cookware you don't need, but this was more of a collection of interesting recipes with some limited household-hints business. I'm still not sure how to make my kitchen feel bigger, but I am very curious about "Lentils with mint and beets." ...more
Jul 12, 2010 rated it it was ok
Again, not what I was looking for. :) This would be a great book if you were moving in to your first apartment. Lots of tips of different food staples to have in your kitchen, etc. Plus a lot of recipes. Not a lot of information on actual food.
Jan 01, 2011 rated it really liked it
Really loved this book. Loved the concept that your pantry can be your shelves, your cupboard, your fridge and freezer. Got lots of good tips and recipes from here. Found myself choosing to read this over my novel at night before bed!
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