The great Stocked Kitchen experiment, week one

Whitney turned me onto the concept of the Stocked Kitchen before I ever set eyes on it. She told me that it’s a cookbook with a set grocery list and once you buy all the stuff you can make any of 300 recipes. So clever!

I totally admire the authors’ obsession with preparedness and list-making. Also great that the ones bossing me around are one curly redhead and one straight-headed brunette. I feel like you can really trust a pair of gals with a problem to solve.

Once Whit received the cookbook, she was somewhat disheartened that there were so many meat dishes, but that did not sway me. Bring it on.

When I received mine — they sent her three, so prepared! — I was bummed by the over-reliance on canned goods, but still I wanted to give it a true run. Rookie Dad Alec and I discussed waiting until Winter to test the book so we could continue to enjoy the fruits from the Farmers’ Market in the short-term.


Did I tell you that the cookbook includes a magnetized tear-off shopping list with spaces for checking off what you need? I couldn’t help myself.

$294 later I was stocked up. I bought canned foods that I had never even considered like (organic) mushrooms, crab meat, artichokes and still others that I had not seen since childhood like mandarin oranges and pears. Ready set go!

True to my fears, the canned foods were heavy and overwhelming. In fact, they sat on my counter-top for 2 full days before I undid and redid all my cabinets armed only with a sense of purpose and my label-maker.

The counter in my kitchen for two days

Because this was the first week of our experiment, I had some other food to purge eat before we could fully embrace the new system. I bought all the food and didn’t do a meal plan, confident in my ability to pull together any meal at any time.

This week, we ate:

  • Monday: from my own stash: Zachary’s pizza and Brussels sprouts
  • Tuesday: Chicken Fajitas (a little too heavy on the cumin, but I think that was user error that added 2T rather than 2t)
  • Wednesday: Italian Stew (with penne and sausage) and toast because I didn’t think to defrost the bread dough in time.
  • Thursday: from the stock: Asian Vinaigrette Coleslaw; from my own supply: frittata with real mushrooms and bacon, toast.
  • Friday: date night, no cooking.
  • Saturday: from the stock: Flank Steak, Glazed Carrots, and Chocolate Peppermint Bars (good, but too minty); from my own supply: Israeli couscous, Swiss chard, and pomegranate seeds.

Over the course of the week, we used up a few of the foods (of course) but I expect tomorrow’s shopping trip to be much much (much much) cheaper. I’m going to buy a few of my SK staples, a few lunchbox and breakfast favorites, and then see how the week goes.

This time next week, I may opt for more of a meal plan using the system so I don’t get stuck with heavy whipping cream and cream cheese (or pounds and pounds of coleslaw mix) if I’m not going to use them.

Speaking of getting dinner on the table…tomorrow, we’re starting a recipe series of fun, fresh, easy recipes for rookie moms by our friend Karen from off the (meat)hook. In the meantime, I’ll continue on for a month with my stocked kitchen and let you know how it goes!