Homemade Kitchen by Alana Chernila

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About the book:

“Start where you are. Feed yourself. Do your best, and then let go. Be helpful. Slow down. Don’t be afraid of food.”

Alana Chernila has these phrases taped to her fridge, and they are guiding principles helping her to stay present in her kitchen. They also provide the framework for her second book. In The Homemade Kitchen she exalts the beautiful imperfections of food made at home and extends the lessons of cooking through both the quotidian and extraordinary moments of the day. Alana sees cooking as an opportunity to live consciously, not just as a means to an end.

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.

My Review:

You know when a cookbook is like a beautiful story? This cookbook is one of those. You feel inspired to make real food when reading this book. It is not limited to the normal “real” or “whole” foods. There are easy sounding recipes for cheeses, goldfish crackers, animal crackers, desserts among the many main dishes, and breads. It is an amazing experience  for the palate and the eyes to read through this book. As I was reading, I kept thinking, “I want to buy one for this person, no, this person, oh, maybe that person as well.” There are so many people that will enjoy this book. It has amazing pictures throughout, stories of how she developed the recipes, as well as family stories. I loved this book!

This book was provided for me for review. The opinions contained herein are my own.

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