alana chernila

the homemade pantry

Featured in Martha Stewart Living

"The Homemade Pantry is an important, beautiful work that can change the way people approach their food lives."  — Mollie Katzen, author of The Moosewood Cookbook

In her debut cookbook, now a beloved classic, Alana Chernila inspired us to step inside our kitchens, take a look around, and change the way we 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 your go-to source for how to make delicious staples in your home kitchen.  

Alana Chernila writes, cooks, manages her local farmers' market, and teaches cheese making. She created the blog in 2008. Alana is a graduate of St. John's College in Santa Fe and lives with her husband and two daughters in Western Massachusetts. Alana is the author of three books: The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start MakingThe Homemade Kitchen: Recipes for Cooking with Pleasure, which was nominated for an IACP award, and Eating from the Ground Up.

Published by Clarkson Potter in 2012.

More praise for The Homemade Pantry:

"Alana’s beautiful book shows you the way with an impressive range of homemade go-tos. She covers all the useful day-to-day staples here with understated style. Pancake and waffle mixes, granola, tomato sauce, and salad dressings bump up against recipes for crackers, soda syrups, sauerkraut, and spice blends. It’s the sort of book that makes you want to head straight for your kitchen.” — Heidi Swanson, bestselling author of Super Natural Every Day
"Alana is the real deal: A practically minded, thoroughly modern yet authentically old school homesteader. Ingeniously opting for quality over quantity, she strives for excellence, taste, and nutrition, and inspires her readers to do the same. She shows us the functional beauty in a frugal kind of cooking that’s nevertheless alive with luxury and abundance. Believe her and practice what she preaches." — Lucinda Scala Quinn, host of Mad Hungry with Lucinda Scala Quinn and author of Mad Hungry  
"Alana Chernila’s food is the sort of honest, natural, and down-to-earth cooking that I crave. On the top of my can’t-wait-to-make list are the toaster pastries, which I’m sure my own daughter will adore, and the cucumber pickles, which are right up my DIY-alley. Plus, Alana’s stories are engaging and fun to read. But what I really love about this book is Alana’s passionate approach to homemade kitchen staples, which I hope will get people to rethink the questionable goods that we all keep in our pantries. We can do better, and she shows us how. I would feel confident cooking any of her recipes for my friends and family, and that means a lot." — Melissa Clark, New York Times food columnist and author of Cook This Now 
"Alana Chernila has given us something incredibly special: a book both practical and inspiring, authoritative, and down to earth. Reading The Homemade Pantry, I feel as though I’m in the kitchen with her and her family, and that together, there’s nothing that we can’t do. Why not make my own hot sauce, mozzarella, or graham crackers? From now on, I know I will." — Molly Wizenberg, bestselling author of A Homemade Life


the homemade Kitchen

"Alana Chernila takes a realistic approach to cooking with pleasure... The fact that the photography is stunning, the layout elegant, and the recipes themselves somehow modern and rustic at the same time doesn't hurt... THE TAKEAWAY: Hearty, flavorful, and occasionally healthy recipes in gorgeous packaging that will put some pleasure back in your kitchen." —

Written as much for the reader as the cook, The Homemade Kitchen covers a globe’s worth of flavors and includes new staples (what Alana is known for) such as chèvre, tofu, kefir, kimchi, preserved lemons, along with recipes and ideas for using them. Here, too, are dishes you’ll be inspired to try and that you will make again and again until they become your own family recipes, such as Broccoli Raab with Cheddar Polenta, a flavor-forward lunch for one; Roasted Red Pepper Corn Chowder, “late summer in a bowl”; Stuffed Winter Squash, rich with leeks, chorizo, apples, and grains; Braised Lamb Shanks that are tucked into the oven in the late afternoon and not touched again until dinner; Corn and Nectarine Salad showered with torn basil; perfect share-fare Sesame Noodles; Asparagus Carbonara, the easiest weeknight dinner ever; and sweet and savory treats such as Popovers, Cinnamon Swirl Bread, Summer Trifle made with homemade pound cake and whatever berries are ripest, and Rhubarb Snacking Cake. 
In this follow-up to Alana’s wildly successful debut, The Homemade Pantry, she once again proves herself to be the truest and least judgmental friend a home cook could want. 

Published by Clarkson Potter in 2015.

More praise for The Homemade Kitchen:

"Massachusetts-based writer Chernila (The Homemade Pantry) approaches home cooking with a can-do attitude, and under her tutelage, tasks such as baking bread, making tofu, culturing kefir, and rolling sushi become approachable and entertaining. Never preachy or prescriptive, Chernila's most recent offering is sure to please anyone who loves unfussy, from-scratch cooking." — Library Journal, starred review
"Paging through Chernila’s comforting and satisfying book feels like having a cup of tea with a good friend. Equal parts narrative and recipes, her offering is as much a philosophy of life as it is a collection of dishes. This honest and beautifully told account of one family’s way of life will inspire readers to forge an equally delicious path." — Publishers Weekly

"There is a tender-hearted quality to everything about Alana, extending to her beautiful sense of what a cookbook should be. She nails it with this one—it is so compelling! As soon as you look at these pages, you’ll want to dive into the recipes, and everything culinary will feel fresh and new. You’ll also feel you have a wise and passionate new friend to guide you through." — Mollie Katzen, author of Moosewood Cookbook and The Heart of the Plate   

"If you want to discover—or be reminded of—why cooking is so pleasurable, if you want to be inspired to think of food as more than the lightening rod topic it has become…this is the book for you.  Read Alana's roast chicken recipe, and be assured that there are many right ways to do things and that there is a great joy in that. Both Alana Chernila’s food and her writing are honest and beguiling, and in The Homemade Kitchen she’s more than generous with her talents and her wisdom." — Katie Workman, author of Dinner Solved! and The Mom 100 Cookbook  

"I love how The Homemade Kitchen is much more than just a cookbook and actually teaches you how to cook. There is so much value in using ingredients you have on hand or adjusting a recipe based on your preferences and Alana uses her sensible approach to show you how to do just that." 
— Lisa Leake, #1 New York Times Best Selling Author of 100 Days of Real Food

"Alana’s is an intimate, connected way to cook, eat and live, infused with joy, layered with pleasure, and finished with a generous pinch of forgiveness as needed." — Margaret Roach, author of The Backyard Parables: Lessons on Gardening, and Life 


Eating from the Ground UP

"Alana Chernila, an author, teacher and blogger based in Massachusetts, starts her alluring new vegetable cookbook just the way springtime does, with radishes... Precious new potatoes with salsa verde, caramelized cabbage soup, soft zucchini on toast, and refreshing smashed cucumbers with soba noodles all tempted me." — Florence Fabricant, The New York Times

Vegetables keep secrets, and to prepare them well, we need to know how to coax those secrets out. 
"What is the best way to eat a radish?" Alana Chernila hears this sort of question all the time. Arugula, celeriac, kohlrabi, fennel, asparagus--whatever the vegetable may be, people always ask how to prepare it so that the produce really shines. Although there are countless ways to eat our vegetables, there are a few perfect ways to make each vegetable sing.

With more than 100 versatile recipes, Eating from the Ground Up teaches you how to showcase the unique flavor and texture of each vegetable, truly bringing out the best in every root and leaf. The answers lie in smart techniques and a light touch. Here are dishes so simple and quick that they feel more intuitive than following a typical recipe; soups for year-round that are packed with nourishment; ideas for maximizing summer produce; hearty fall and winter foods that are all about comfort; impressive dishes fit for a party; and tips like knowing there's not one vegetable that doesn't perk up with a sprinkle of salt. No matter the vegetable, the central lesson is: don't mess with a good thing.

Published by Clarkson Potter in 2018. 

More praise for Eating from the Ground Up:

"In her latest cookbook, Eating from the Ground Up, author Alana Chernila explores simple, intuitive ways to showcase the textures and flavors of vegetables, from root to leaf." — Food52
"If you haven't yet roasted a radish, prepare to be amazed. Cooking these edible roots, which have a punchy bite when raw, brings out their mellow side, says Alana Chernila, in her new book Eating from the Ground Up. She blasts them in a hot oven for a half-hour, then serves them with a lemon-feta-mint sauce. The result is a fabulous mash-up of hot and cool, sweet and tangy.” —

"Chernila makes you a better cook by showing how to coax the tastiest flavors from vegetables." — Cooking Light