This week as I participate in ‘s Menu Plan Monday, I am also returning to blogging after a two week break as well as offering a brief review of a book. Aren’t I talented?

SO, this new fascination with a book, as usual, started at the library. Yes, yes… I know. Government money. I’ve never called myself independent of the government and no, I do not believe public libraries are a necessary government expense. What I do know is that most, at least where I have lived, libraries are nearly fully funded by the communties in which they exist. Yes, they do receive some state and federal money, generally through grants. Mostly, however, the county and city governments fund them. And this is how the “extras” (including welfare hand outs) should be – decided by and funded by the communities served by the extra. Not by those miles and miles away. So, in short, if our public library were to shut down tomorrow, I would not be upset. Disappointed, sure. But not upset. And I *do* believe individuals would/will work out their own lending library system much like several homeschool communities already have.

Oh, look… I digressed into public policy. How’d that happen? Wow. So…anyways…
We were at the library and I like to check out the “new” books shelves. And, because I *do* judge books by their covers, I saw this almost monochrome spine with the words “The Stocked Kitchen” on it. Well, I do like a stocked pantry, so I picked it up. And began a love affair.

The Stocked Kitchen by Sarah Kallio and Stacey Krastins is 300+ recipes for appetizers, breakfast/brunch, soups, side dishes, main entrees, and desserts ALL made from a single grocery list that does not contain a lot of obscure ingredients. So the concept is that a person keeps the grocery list (it even comes with tear-out grocery lists) on hand and then can make a lot of different recipes on the fly. And it’s true. The recipes are easy, quick, and simple. The 10 – 15 I have tried thus far required few ingredients, and were so quick to make, that I actually had to THINK of ways to stall the process so that I could use the crock, or prepare ahead. And let me share… They even have a FREE iPhone/iTouch app with the list in it. No kidding.

Here are the recipes we have tried and the feedback from the family:

  • Italian Stew (sans pasta), a new family favorite.
  • Spinach Lasagne (I have a recipe, but I tried theirs), good, but not Momma’s
  • Ham and Cheese Bites, “Can we have the ham and cheese things again?”
  • Sweet & Sour Stew, a new family favorite
  • Cream Cheese Coffee Cake, yum!
  • Cinnamon French Toast Bake, best french toast bake I’ve ever made AND kids ALL ate it.
  • Asian Lettuce Wraps, made with lettuce from our garden, delicious!
  • Bacon-Wrapped Ranch Chicken Salads, very popular and often requested
  • Pigs In a Blanket Pancakes, curious, probably won’t try again
  • Cheesy Chicken Chili, kid favorite, Husband and I think it’s “OK”
  • Black Bean Strata (a breakfast dish), a favorite of Husband, kids think it is “OK”
  • Cinnamon Roll Loaf, yummm!
  • Hummus, better than any I’ve ever made
  • Empanadas with Cajun Aioli, Must.Have.Again.Soon.

And there are a few others, but they are not recorded for some reason.

Now, I am not an “all-in-one” kind of gal, so I cannot abandon all my other goods for this one system alone. And I won’t switch from dried beans to canned beans, etc… What I can say, though, is that I did buy this book from Amazon (for$16.15, it retails for $24.99) and it is no doubt going to be worth it. And I don’t even BUY cookbooks anymore. There’s already so much online already. So… This book is worth every penny for me. It certainly makes meal planning easier because I know I will have MOST Of this stuff on hand because these recipes are made without expensive-hard-to-find-one-use ingredients like tahini. And I can handle that.

Oh, and no. I am not being paid to write this review. This is my honest opinion. I have marked all of The Stocked Kitchen’s recipes with TSK after the name. So, see if your library has this book and give some of these recipes a whirl.


breakfast – flop and eggs

lunch – mac-n-cheese

dinnerChicken Jafrezi wtih Naan and basmati rice



breakfast – cereal

lunch – Asian Lettuce Wraps TSK

dinner – Cheesy Chicken Chili TSK (in the crock) with Cheddar Chili Roll-Up Bread TSK


breakfast – rosemary eggs, biscuits

lunch – sandwiches, fruit

dinner – Ham, Potato, and Corn Chowder TSK (in the crock)


breakfast – Potato Pancakes TSK (prep the night before)

lunch –Peanut Noodles TSK

dinner – Asian Black Bean Chili TSK (in the crock)


breakfast – cinnamon raisin roll-up bread TSK

lunch – sandwiches

dinner – homemade pizza!


breakfast – ham biscuits

lunch – Curry Tomato and Rice Soup TSK

dinner – grilled chicken sandwiches, chips


breakfast – pancakes, bacon, eggs

lunch – sandwiches, leftovers

dinner – homemade pulled pork BBQ, slaw