By Alana Chernila
Clarkson Potter, $25
Some years ago, motivated by tight finances and abundant curiosity, Alana Chernila decided to kick the packaged-food habit. Convinced that homemade fare would be better-tasting, better for her family, and better for the planet, she tried her hand at making the kitchen staples she’d come to rely on, and created a blog, Eating from the Ground Up, to document her endeavors. In this, her first cookbook, she shares 101 of the homemade versions of everyday supermarket essentials she created along the way—from yogurt and mozzarella to breakfast cereal, vanilla extract, and tortillas—along with charming stories that capture the hilarity and, yes, the messiness of it all. This is a wonderful starter cookbook for a novice looking to upgrade from store-bought granola, hummus, and pizza. And for the seasoned cook, it’s a welcome invitation to try something new, like making crème fraîche, liqueur, or candy.
|Homemade Ricotta||Homemade Vanilla Extract||Homemade Peanut Butter Cups|
Best Frosting (page 157) She’s not kidding—this unfussy cream cheese frosting is awesome stuff, and it’s not too sweet because you add the confectioners’ sugar to taste.
Pancake and Waffle Mix (page 143) With this ready-to-go dry mix stashed in my cupboard, I can serve fluffy, tender buttermilk pancakes or waffles for breakfast on any day of the week.