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Best Alana Chernila books

Eating from the Ground Up: Recipes for Simple, Perfect Vegetables

Alana Chernila

Best price for this book: $ 18.3

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.

The Homemade Kitchen: Recipes for Cooking with Pleasure

Alana Chernila

Best price for this book: $ 10.97

This book is a map for how, day in and day out, food shapes my life for the better, in the kitchen and beyond it.
—from the Introduction
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.

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.

The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making

Alana Chernila

Best price for this book: $ 12.49

“This is my kitchen. Come on in, but be prepared—it might not be quite what you expect. There is flour on the counter, oats that overflowed onto the floor, chocolate-encrusted spoons in the sink. There is Joey, the husband, exhausted by the thirty-five preschoolers who were hanging on him all day, and he is stuffing granola into his mouth to ease his five o’clock starvation. There are two little girls trying to show me cartwheels in that miniscule space between the refrigerator and the counter where I really need to be.”
In her debut cookbook, Alana Chernila inspires you to step inside your kitchen, take a look around, and change the way you 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 the go-to source for how to make delicious staples in your home kitchen.

Little House Living: The Make-Your-Own Guide to a Frugal, Simple, and Self-Sufficient Life

Merissa A. Alink

Best price for this book: $ 11

From the immensely popular blogger behind Little House Living comes a motivational homemaking book, inspired by Laura Ingalls Wilder’s Little House on the Prairie, featuring creative, fun ways to live your life simply and frugally—perfect for fans of Ree Drummond’s The Pioneer Woman.

Shortly after getting married, Merissa Alink and her husband found themselves with nothing in their pantry but a package of spaghetti and some breadcrumbs. Their life had hit rock bottom, and it was only after a touching act of charity that they were able to get on their feet again.

Inspired by this gesture of kindness as well as the beloved Little House on the Prairie books, Merissa found that a life of self-sufficiency and simplicity could be charming and blissful. She set out to live an entirely made-from-scratch life, the “Little House” way, and as a result, she slashed her household budget by nearly half—saving thousands of dollars a year. She started to write about homesteading, homemaking, and cooking from scratch, and over the next few years developed the recipes and DIY projects that would one day become part of her now beloved website,

As whole foods became staples of the family diet, Merissa realized the dangers of putting overly processed ingredients not only into our bodies, but on or near them as well. In addition to countless delicious, home-cooked meals, she developed natural, easy-to-make recipes for everything from sunscreen to taco seasoning mix, lemon poppy hand scrub to furniture polish. With their simple ingredients, these recipes are allergen friendly and many are gluten-free.

With over 130 practical, simple DIY recipes, gorgeous full-color photographs, and Merissa’s trademark charm in personal stories and tips, Little House Living is the epitome of heartland warmth and prairie inspiration.

The Tanglewood Picnic: Music and Outdoor Feasts in the Berkshires

Gina Hyams

Best price for this book: $ 11.5

The Tanglewood Picnic: Music and Outdoor Feasts in the Berkshires by Gina Hyams celebrates the eight-decade tradition of picnicking on the lawn at Boston Symphony Orchestra's summer home in Lenox, Massachusetts. This gift book includes 150 photos of Tanglewood picnickers from the 1940s through the present from the Boston Symphony Orchestra Archives and audience members' family scrapbooks; a dozen classic picnic recipes (summer corn pudding, lobster sliders, brownies...); the ultimate Tanglewood picnic checklist; and foreword by best-selling cookbook author Alana Chernila.

When you ask people to describe Tanglewood picnics, more often than not, the first word they say is magic. The experience of picnicking on the lawn clearly adds up to something that's greater than the sum of its parts.

To picnic at Tanglewood is to participate in a grand tradition. Since 1937, music lovers have there to picnic during concerts. The 526-acre campus is a picnicker's paradise of sweeping lawns, woods, and a formal garden. Both the Koussevitzky Music Shed (a.k.a. the Shed ) and Seiji Ozawa Hall are open sided, designed so that the music pours out of the concert halls to be shared with patrons sitting in the cheap seats on the grass.

The place is imbued with a brilliant sense of artistic history and, for many, a poignant feeling of personal legacy. The tradition of picnicking at Tanglewood is passed down through generations like a beloved family heirloom. There's a profound sense of tranquility on the Tanglewood lawn. You might battle a little traffic to get there, but once you get situated on your picnic blanket, everything seems right with the world. You slow down and connect with your companions or, as the case may be, with the New York Times crossword puzzle, surrounded by the bucolic Berkshire landscape and breathing in the fresh country air.

Tanglewood picnics celebrate artistry both on stage and off. The joyful spectacle of picnics scattered across the lawn is dazzling. In addition to the glorious music, the grounds hum with the creative energy of audience members drawing and painting, knitting, reading, and playing all sorts of games. Tanglewood picnickers have a certain joie de vivre about the weather, too -- be it basking in sunshine or huddling together under tarps to picnic in the rain. And, well, there's a lot of sleeping. What could be more relaxing than napping outdoors while the world's greatest musicians serenade your dreams?

The Tanglewood Picnic: Music and Outdoor Feasts in the Berkshires is a collective love letter to a beloved tradition. It serves as both a tribute to past picnics and as inspiration for future ones.

The Tanglewood Picnic was named a finalist in the 2015 USA Best Book Awards Cookbooks: Regional category and Christopher Hixson won the Graphic Design USA 2015 Book Design Award for his work on the book.

The Tanglewood Picnic: Music and Outdoor Feasts in the Berkshires by Gina Hyams (June 15,2015)

Gina Hyams;Alana Chernila

Best price for this book: $ 0