If you’re thinking it’s kinda random for me to be reviewing Alana Chernila’s first book after I’ve already written a review of her second one (The Homemade Kitchen)…don’t hate. I received this as a birthday present a couple years ago and didn’t have a chance to write about it til now!
There are affiliate links in here, but I was not sponsored for this post. I just wanted to share because it’s awesome. :]
If you’ve ever wanted to learn how to make anything from scratch, The Homemade Pantry should probably be your go-to guide. There are 101 different recipes in here to make your own dairy products, cereals, snacks, spreads, soups, pasta, frozen foods, crackers, bread, and even candy! 😀
Personally, I’ve always loved the idea of making things from scratch–as she also mentions, it;s usually healthier, tastier, costs less, and eliminates unnecessary packaging. (Go green!) She admits right off the bat that she doesn’t make all of these every week–on the super busy ones, she prioritizes, and makes the easiest and quickest recipes (e.g. yogurt, granola, snack bars).
She also goes through the kitchen contraptions that she owns and how to optimize freezer use! The book is divided into several different chapters, or “aisles” (:P).
In this section, you can learn how to make your own ricotta, crème fraîche, yogurt, mozzarella, butter, buttermilk, and cream cheese!
Cereal and Snacks
Learn how to make your own granola, instant oatmeal, popcorn, toaster pastries (with many different filling options–they’re like homemade poptarts!), car snacks/bars, potato chips, mixed roasted nuts, and jerky! (If on-the-go snacks are your thing, this chapter will be your favorite!)
Canned Fruits, Vegetables, and Beans
Ever wanted to learn how to can? This will be your go-to section! Be sure to take food safety seriously–use clean equipment and can from established recipes. If it smells funny or has weird stuff growing in it, please don’t eat it.
Learn how to can your own applesauce, jam, cucumber pickles, sauerkraut, cranberry sauce, tomatoes, and beans in this chapter!
Condiments, Spices, and Spreads
If sauces are your thing, b-bam! Learn how to make your own ketchup, mustard, salsa, hot sauce, salad dressings, mayonnaise, hummus, nut butter, and spice mixes here!
Make your own stock, lentil soup, pureed soups, and beef stew! :]
Baking Needs and Mixes
Nom nom nom…carbs, anyone? Learn how to make your own pancakes and waffles (or ready mixes!), cornbread, a basic pie crust or graham cracker crust, yellow cake, frosting, pudding, fruit gelatin, and even vanilla extract!
Frozen vegetables, pizza, veggie burgers, chicken nuggets, fish sticks, ice cream… I’m definitely going to be perusing this section to bulk-cook so that I’ll have good food to eat on my busier rotations in residency!
Pasta and Sauce
Learn how to make your own pasta dough and ravioli! If that’s not your thing, you can also make tomato sauce, pesto, macaroni and cheese, or lasagne from scratch!
Breads and Crackers
More carbs! Specifically, hamburger buns, sandwich bread (white or wheat!), tortillas (corn or flour!), graham crackers, breadcrumbs, breadsticks, crackers (wheat or cheese).
Mmm…lemonade, chai, tea (lavender chamomile, rose-scented tea), soda with rhubarb ginger syrup, herb syrup, or berry syrup, hot chocolate, coffee liqueur, amaretto…
Candy and Sweet Treats
Chocolates, peanut butter cups, caramels, fruit rollups, cream-filled snack cakes, fig bars (e.g. homemade fig newtons!), marshmallows, sandwich cookies…
A lot of the recipes in The Homemade Pantry involve the use of ingredients that you can also make from this book, but don’t feel like you have to do that. As she puts it, “Make what you like, and use what you have.” You gotta do what works for you!
Each recipe contains an introduction, the ingredients and instructions, portion sizes, variations, and storage instructions (e.g. room temperature/fridge/freezer/cannability, type of container, how long it’ll keep for), which I found really useful. Many of them are pretty simple, although there are definitely some that are more labor-intensive than others.
If you’ve seen my review of The Homemade Kitchen, or went through this review, you already know that the food photography’s gorgeous. <3
Wherever applicable, she also includes a box labeled “tense moments”–for if what you’re making seems different from how it should be, or something goes wrong and you need some tips on how to fix it. I’m pretty sure I’ll definitely be finding those sections super helpful!
- Have you had a chance to check out The Homemade Pantry?
- What’s something you like to make from scratch?