about me

I’m Alana Chernila, a mother of two girls, one stubborn and one dreamy, and wife to an artistic preschool teacher. Having become a mother about as soon as I threw my cap at college graduation, it’s now time to figure out what I want to do when I grow up. In between mothering, I have fallen into many jobs. I have taught classical geometry and modern dance. I have worked in international publishing rights, architecture and design, and film. And for many Saturdays over the last few years, I have worked at our local farmer’s market for Indian Line Farm, where my family has a CSA share, which has been hands down my favorite thing on the list.

In the summer of 2008, having a bit of a crisis over the whole life profession question, I came to the realization that I absolutely lived for my Saturdays at the market. As people came up to me and asked me about escarole and garlic scapes, I not only found that I had an answer for all of them, I felt myself come alive as I got to give advice on what they should make for dinner. And so I decided that whatever the future would bring, it should have something to do with me and a pot of soup. And so I started this blog, so that I could get my recipe giving fix during the week too.

Over the last few years, I have started to make at home many of the basic foods that I once thought only the supermarket could provide. I’ve chronicled those adventures here, and so you can find many recipes for homemade staples on this site. My book, The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making, was published by Clarkson Potter in April of 2012. I’m currently at work on a follow up, also for Clarkson Potter, that should hopefully make its way onto shelves in 2015. I find that food spills out into most of the other areas of my life too, so in addition to recipes, I write about kids, marriage, road food, politics, and whatever else might make an appearance in the day. The site has a combination of my own recipes and those from books and websites that inspire me. I’ve also written for Martha Stewart Living Magazine, Gilttaste.com, Booktrib.com, and I’m a contributor to Food52s Small Batch series.¬†Thanks so much for visiting, and please say hello! Comments make me happy, and I’ll do my best to answer any questions. If you’re shy, you can also contact me directly at


Full disclosure: I am an Amazon affiliate. Sometimes, I link to Amazon, and sometimes I link to other sources, in the case of Amazon, I do get a tiny cut of the money you spend there when you click through. It helps me keep this site afloat- thank you!