Stocked Kitchen report, week two

I continued on with my Stocked Kitchen experiment to see if I could settle into more of a groove. The answer was kinda YES and kinda NO.

We had two preschool potlucks and a multi-family camping trip and I didn’t have to go to the grocery store one extra time. How flipping awesome is that? Super duper shmuper awesome!

So why kinda NO? Well, my need to be on top of things in my life includes my desire to plan meals. While I love having the ingredients on hand for a classic cheesecake should the obligation arise, I want to know if we’re going to use that whipping cream before it turns chunky.

Because chunky whipping cream is a real tragedy.

For the second phase of my experiment, I was especially aggressive in using up the ingredients I wouldn’t normally buy (such as canned crab and blue cheese).

The weekly report
My grocery bill was less than half of the obnoxious sum of last week ($127) but pretty high because I stocked up on a huge maple syrup. The other extenuating circumstance was that Milo’s preschool just outlawed peanut butter so I grabbed almond butter, tahini butter, and sunflower seed butter so we could have some options.

Our menu:

  • Sunday: leftovers from last week’s experiment.
  • Monday: I made Vegetable Tortilla Roll-ups to get through some cream cheese (Alec liked, the rest of us not so much) and marinated a steak using one of the book’s marinades. Steak was good. The boys didn’t eat very much. I suggested that Alec choose tomorrow’s dinner.
  • Tuesday: Success! We had Beef Tacos with side of Feta Peas; the boys wouldn’t eat their taco meat IN the taco but ate it right next to their tacos. Instead, they made tacos with avocado, cheese and strawberries (not on the sk* list)
    Taco night
  • Wednesday: Fail! Out to eat for me (Paisan, nice) but I confess that I unearthed some veggie burgers that have been frozen for more than 2 years (when we were last Costco members). The failure was not due to the cookbook per se, but without a plan, I floundered.
  • Thursday: Success! Crab Cakes were loved by all. Unfortunately, I only had one can of crab so I had to halve the recipe. Also, Holden forgot eating his and asked if it tasted like cake. Everybody liked these deep-fried goodies. I’m going to buy more crab for next time.
  • Second success: Holden had a “Happy Goodbye” celebration at his preschool and we brought the remaining Peppermint Chocolate bars to share with the kids. No baking, no extra buying.
  • Friday: Dinner potluck at the preschool. I brought the Vegetable Tortilla Roll-ups (eww) and Asian Coleslaw (yum).
  • Saturday: Hooray for the camping trip. I pre-made Mediterranean Pasta and Gazpacho. Both were great! By virtue of the bounty of a potluck camping trip, we discovered that the Pasta was tasty with sliced spicy Italian Sausage.
  • Sunday: All from my Stocked Kitchen: Bleu Cheese and Pear Chicken (Holden and Alec loved, Milo and I would barely touch it, but since I loathe bleu cheese, I was just happy to get it out of the house), Baked Potatoes (everyone loved!), Gazpacho (Alec and I loved, Holden ate with enough goldfish crackers and Milo… well, Milo ate his potato). What I did like about the chicken recipe is that I could bake all the ingredients from frozen with four minutes of prep. And it was a thoroughly creative recipe as compared to what I usually serve.

Next Steps:
This coming week, I’ll plan ahead my meals based on my weekly plans and the Stocked Kitchen cookbook and (maybe, just maybe) not purchase some of the ingredients I don’t like (sorry cream cheese!).

For the fourth week, I will take Annie’s advice and shop for some non-can alternatives to the Stocked Kitchen staples (like jarred artichokes and olives) and start working in my own favorite foods into the cycle.

Related links about meal planning and other experiments:

*sk means on the Stocked Kitchen list.

Disclosure: I was sent a copy of this book and I am letting it guide my life for a month because I think the authors are list-writing geniuses!