Now that you've made waffles—or at least considered making them—now is your opportunity to win a copy of the book that inspired the waffles, The Homemade Pantry: 101 Foods You Can Stop Buying and Start Making by Alana Chernila.
You may know Alana from her blog Eating from the Ground Up (writers will want to read this post in particular). Perhaps you've waved to her from the Pike on your way through the Berkshires. But if you don't know her, it's about time you do. Her cookbook is simply delightful with charming stories about her family and the role food plays in making her home a happy place. Her recipes are imbued with a near-childlike excitement, and that enthusiasm is contagious. Am I really going to make homemade yogurt instead of buying it at the store? No. But maybe! She sounds so damn excited about it!
Included are recipes for homemade butter, ricotta, and mozzarella, as well as toaster pastries, pizza, macaroni and cheese, whole wheat bread, lasagna, graham crackers, and pesto: so many things that come up in the family snack or meal-time rotation. I have her cornbread and granola earmarked, but I'm also really interested in trying out her recipes for coffee liqueur and amaretto. Instead of throwing out your spent vanilla beans, she suggests rinsing them well and storing them in a little bottle with some cheap vodka to make your own vanilla extract. The book is a genuine, down-to-earth collection of some simple ideas for things you can make at home that might be worth the effort and save you money.
Clarkson Potter is offering one copy up for raffle. To enter, comment below by Monday, July 2 at 10 p.m. EST about the one thing in your pantry or fridge that you'll never, ever make yourself, no matter how easy it is. I'll start. I will never, ever make my own hot dog buns. Eff that. By the time I get to hot dogs, I've already given up. I don't care how good your recipe is, I'd rather eat the hot dog and its ample condiments out of my cupped hands than bake a hot dog bun. There, I'm glad I got that off my chest. Now you go.
(And, no, you will not be disqualified if you happen to mention something that's in the book. There are still 100 other recipes, after all!)