The Homemade Kitchen by Alana Chernila

Homemade Kitchen cover

Most days, sushi is the answer, even if you don’t know the question.

Remember that scene in the Breakfast Club? When Claire (or, Cuh-laire, aka Molly Ringwald) whips out that sushi in detention? THEN she gets teased by Bender…and she ignores him and keeps on eating it, because #GIRLBOSS.

When I first saw this movie, I was kind of siding with Bender on this one (mercury poisoning! gross smelling fish!). But what did I know of sushi? Raw fish? By now, I’ve had lots of time to sample the wonders of sticky rice and wasabi. Vegetarian sushi is so delicious, but I’ve always wondered how to make it myself- some veggies, rice, and nori- can’t be too pricey, right?

Alana Chernila’s book to the rescue! She includes a sushi rice recipe in her “grains” section, along with a general recipe for maki rolls (wet fingers with the sticky rice = magic). It tasted DELICIOUS and made for some nice giggles in the kitchen when I attempted to wrap the sushi into delightful, photogenic rolls (muahahaha, I laugh to myself).

Aside from showing this girl how to make sushi from scratch, Chernila focuses on the building blocks of good cooking and baking. How to Keep Fresh Herbs, Basic Pizza Dough, Reuseables in the Kitchen, Tools That Help Food Last Longer-don’t these headings sound amazing? Truly, this would make an amazing gift for a new college student, or a newlywed couple looking to build their cookbook collection (I will be coming into my marriage with multiple cookbooks, already!). Did I mention the photos are breathtaking?

However, the book is not just focused on foundation cooking. The recipes are build on from the basics.For example, Chernila shows the recipe for pie crust, followed by multiple filling recipes to fill up aforementioned crust, maximizing the pages of the book for full ideas. Chevre Cheesecake with Mint and Berries? Sounds complicated, right? Only if you make the chevre cheese from scratch. It’s optional, but the recipe is there, first, if you want to try it.

My favorite part of the book? This quote:

“Do Your Best, Then Let Go” 

My sushi became a sushi burrito- but I’m not going to take myself too seriously. I did my best, and I’ll do better next time.

side angle photo homemade
oy vey sushi

Rating: 4/5 stars

Further Reading:

A copy of this title was provided to me by All opinions are my own. This review is based on the print version of the book.


  1. Reading your food blogs makes me want to try new things! And I love the quote: Do your best, then let go.
    (And you may be on to something with sushi burritos!!)

    1. Kathy, that is so sweet of you! 🙂

      I should make a cake that says “Do Your best, then let go.” Maybe next blog post?

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