6 Tips from Alana Chernila's The Homemade Kitchen

Clever Cookstr talks to Alana Chernila, the author of The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making, and The Homemade Kitchen: Recipes for Cooking with Pleasure. She shares her top six rules for her kitchen. 

Kara Rota
2-minute read
Episode #62

1) Do your best, and then let go. Don't succumb to perfectionism. Not every delicious meal needs to be photogenic, and not every dinner party will be perfect! We are real people who make mistakes and have kids who eat nothing but noodles. Learn to let go.

2) Don't be afraid of food. Food is about pleasure and nourishment, and it isn't the enemy.

3) How to cook with kids? Don't! Let them take the wheel. Even young children who are learning knife skills benefit from adults stepping back and letting them feel empowered and in control of the process. They'll feel more ownership over the food and experience the joy of creating it. Give them a stool and a cookbook, and then walk away. 

4) Make it yourself! Foods like yogurt, ricotta, bread, and even chocolate syrup are easy and more cost-efficient to make at home, and you can control the ingredients and customize the food to your liking. You'll save money on foods that are easy to make.

5) Know what to buy. Butter is cheaper to buy than to make. Chocolate-hazelnut spread is also more expensive to make, although it's delicious when homemade! Also, if something feels like a chore, it might be worth buying it instead of making it. Focus on the processes you do enjoy. 

6) There's more than one way to roast a chicken. You might be overwhelmed by the infinite variations and tricks for something as simple as roast chicken. Quality ingredients cooked well always make a good meal! There's no one 'perfect' version of most dishes. 

Alana's new book, The Homemade Kitchen, is available now for preorder. 

Check out this week's bonus recipes: Ginger Pumpkin Pie and Minestrone.

Remember to check out past Clever Cookstr episodes. For more great recipes, you can also follow Cookstr on FacebookTwitter, and Pinterest.

About the Author

Kara Rota

Kara Rota headed children’s programming at Chicago’s Green City Market and studied food politics at Sarah Lawrence College. Kara has been a featured speaker at numerous venues including Food Book Fair, the Roger Smith Food Conference, and the Brooklyn Food Conference. She has written about food for Irish America Magazine, West Side Rag, Recipe Relay, and Food + Tech Connect, and is the former Director of Editorial & Partnerships at Cookstr.com.