How many times had that happened to you that 3.30-4.00 p.m. rolled around and you had absolutely no idea what is for dinner? You aimlessly flipped through your favorite cookbooks just to find that you don’t have half of the ingredients to make some of those deliciously looking meals that peek back at you from the colored photographs. This happened to me way too many times. If you like to eat and you enjoy delicious and simple meals, this cookbook will be your best friend in the kitchen.
The Stocked Kitchen captures a simple and brilliant idea: fill up your pantry from the grocery list found in the back of the book and you will be able to make any of the 300 delicious dishes presented in this collection of receipts. Easy-peasy! I have a repertoire of meals and dishes I make over and over – don’t we all? – but this book encourages me to expand and still stay on the quick, affordable and delicious side of feeding my family.
The book starts with a simple and easy way to stock your kitchen – first get rid of what you don’t need, or items you haven’t used (and wasted your money on to use for one dish 6 month ago). Then clean, organize, shop and cook away. So I am a cook and I think my pantry is well stocked for success (and I still encounter the question of ‘what’s for dinner?’ more than 3 times a week). So to put the book to the test I went through the shopping list and surprisingly found that I have more than 90% of the Stocked Kitchen ingredients in my pantry right now. The list is simple enough to accommodate dietary restrictions such as low-fat, low-sodium, organic choices (or my little guy to has multiple food allergies) by purchasing the regular items you always buy.
An extensive glossary at the beginning of the book will allow you to understand your ingredients if you are a rookie or even a good old cook who needs a refresher. The book features the following receipt categories:
· Appetizers (like Hot Stuffed Mushroom Dip)
· Salads (like Mediterranean Rice Salad)
· Soups, Stews, Chilies, and Breads (like Roasted Red Pepper Bisque)
· Pastas and Pizzas (like Lemon Dill Seafood Pasta)
· Chicken, Meat, and Seafood (like Moroccan Roll-Up)
· Beans, Potatoes, Rice, and Veggies (like Spicy Bell Pepper Boats)
· Desserts (like Ginger Pear Crisp)
· Breakfast or Brunch (this is a super interesting section with amazing sweet and savory ideas like coffee cakes and delicious bakes)
The cooking instructions are easy to follow and each page has a communication box, providing cooking or serving suggestions. This is a really handy addition to the receipts that will help you to gain confidence and even venture out into the open sea of improvisation (one of my favorite kitchen skills). I like the personal touches to the book as the authors share their experiences and practices.
Yes, this cookbook is for you:
· If you are a beginner cook and you want to have a cooking and shopping system to get you off to a great start
· If you are looking for a quicker easier way of putting dinner on the table – by getting organized
· If you don’t go to the grocery store more than once a week.
· If you like simple meals without the fancy ingredients
· If you like to improvise – this book is a great source of ideas
No, this cookbook is not for you:
· If you like unique ingredients and flavors
· If you are a visual person and you need a picture of every meal in the book before you want to make it (there are some pictures grouped in the middle of the book but not on every page)
· If you mostly prefer fresh foods over canned and frozen options
The book is for purchase at Barnes and Noble and Amazon.
We received a sample free to us to facilitate this review.
Orshi is a teacher at UCIC where she works daily with children. She shows a great love for children as she has three of her own. She also loves Facebook, gardening and baking. She was born and grew up in Hungary and now lives across the street.