If you’re like many of the people who take my online workshops, meal planning is on your “get organized” to-do list. That’s why I was super excited when I was contacted about the book the stocked kitchen by Sarah Kallio and Stacey Krastins. The concept behind this book is brilliant. Every single one of the 300 plus recipes in the cookbook can be made from a single list of ingredients—the stocked kitchen grocery list. So, not only will this book simplify getting dinner on the table, but it will also simplify grocery shopping and keeping your pantry organized. (Love that.)
The book includes recipes for appetizers, so you’ll never have to stress-out about what to prepare for a last minute get together. And of course it is also loaded with yummy breakfast, main course and side dish recipes, plus really delicious sounding deserts like carrot cake, lemon bars, and peanut butter brownie sundae. (Yum, I’ll take one of those now, please.) Last week I tried the tomato–artichoke pasta with ingredients I had on hand in my own pantry. It was super fast and simple to make, and very tasty. (The publisher provided a download of the tomato-artichoke pasta recipe if you want to give it a try!)
I was also thrilled to see that many of the recipes in this cookbook have the meat listed as an optional component. The recipes are made from real, basic ingredients, so you’ll avoid buying an exotic ingredient for one recipe only to find the mostly full bottle in the back of your pantry months later. The book doesn’t just share recipes, you also get advice on how to “get stocked,” with ideas on organizing your kitchen and stocking up on the essential pantry items. And if all of this weren’t enough, the book comes with tear-out shopping lists, which means it will be simple to re-stock your stocked kitchen.
The two things I wish the book had are nutrition information for each of the recipes and more photos of the prepared dishes. But all in all, for me the pros of this book and the organized approach to meal planning outweigh those two missing ingredients. (Pun intended.)
Last but not least, the two ladies behind the stocked kitchen are from my home state of Michigan. In fact, they live in Grand Haven, a place we try to visit every time we visit Michigan in the summer because of the incredible beach. (In fact here’s a photo of me with my Dad in Grand Haven last summer.)
For some reason, the fact that these two ladies are from Michigan (and one of them went to Michigan State) just adds to my excitement about the book. If you’ve ever moved away from “home”, maybe you understand how anything that connects you to your home state is just…well…a notch more fun.
So if you’ve been looking for an organized and simplified approach to getting yummy dishes on your table, check out the stocked kitchen. This book will be available starting July 5, 2011.