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on January 16, 2008
We previewed several slow-cooker cookbooks from the library before buying this one and another of Finlayson's. So far, every dish we have made had been delicious and tasted like real cooking.

Many other cookbooks feature food that is easier to prepare. And many others feature recipes that are harder to prepare and require more exotic ingredients.

Finlayson strikes a happy medium with easy-to-find ingredients that combine traditional preparation with the time and energy savings of a slow cooker. You can prepare elements of meals ahead of time and, if you plan several meals during one week, prep all the ingredients and store them until you are ready. Then, cook for a few minutes in the morning and come home to a hot -- and delicious -- dinner. What a relief.
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on January 28, 2007
175 Slow Cooker Classics by Judith Finlayson is a very good book for slow cooker users. It shows that the list of things you can make in your slow cooker is almost infinite. Using the recipes in this book you'll create meals that will soon become family favorites. Better still, producing such outstanding results requires a minimal amount of your attention.

In addition to producing great-tasting food, a slow cooker is an extremely effective time-management tool. Finlayson offers suggestions to maximize convenience and to get the most out of your slow cooker such as partially preparing a dish up to 2 days prior to cooking; do any additional chopping and slicing the night before you intend to cook to keep work to a minimum when it's less convenient; or cook a recipe overnight and refrigerate it until ready to serve.

You'll find recipes to satisfy everyone in your family in this book, for example: Minestrone with Garlic-Flavored Crostini, Easy Chicken Paprikash, Santa Fe Style Ribs, Risotto and Maple Orange Pudding with Coconut. All the recipes include make-ahead notes and tips.
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on December 8, 2008
I got this book as a gift along with a new slow cooker. All of the recipes that I have tried turned out to be fantastic tasting, however most recipes require that you do a little pre-cooking the food before you put the ingredients in the slow cooker - kind of seems to defeat the purpose?? The first time I "pre-cooked" my veggies they turned out too mushy after the pre-cooking and then spending all day in the slow cooker. I decided to save time and ignore that step in all the recipes. So far it has not made a difference - everything I have tried has turned out perfectly cooked and tasty without all that. The only thing I have done is to brown the beef, like suggested in some recipes, but other than that I just throw all ingredients into slow cooker and let it do it's thing.
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on April 1, 2013
I'm pleased with the selection of recipes provided. The basics are covered and more creative dishes are included, though most of the ingredients are reasonably found in markets. There are exceptions, like Yucatecan-Style Ribs, which call for banana leaf and bitter orange juice. I've tried many recipes and like most home cooks, I put my own spin on things, based on available ingredients and family preferences. The color photos are a nice addition. I tossed my old, and I mean old, "crock-pot" cookbooks since this is more updated and inspiring and the only one I need.
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on June 28, 2010
I am new to the slow cooker method of cooking and was hoping for a cookbook with recipes filled with classic comfort food. However, many of the recipes in this book did not sound appetizing to me. There were a number of pot roast and other beef recipes that sounded pretty good, but I found the idea of the Dilled Veal, Texas White Chili (made with chicken) and a number of other selections (e.g., I am not a fan of lamb and there is a large section devoted to lamb) extremely unappetizing. However, there are recipes in this book that I think I will like, just not a bunch of them. What I did like about this book is the binding: it has a hard cover and lies flat when opened. There are lots of pictures and the recipes are one to a page, so it is very easy to read and is visually pleasing. Another thing is that each recipe comes with a crockpot size recommendation (i.e., how many quarts), which was extremely helpful. The recipes are also uncomplicated and easy to prepare.
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on February 17, 2014
What I like most about this recipe book is the use of fresh vegetables. I've made two of the soup recipes; both were OK, I would tweak both recipes a bit in order to get bolder flavors. I'm looking forward to trying some of the other recipes.
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on February 23, 2010
After visiting with friends in the States over a particularly cold set of days, I fell in love again with slow cooking. Crockpot chili should be a winter staple!

Crockpots are not as easy to find in Germany (no idea why), but Amazon.de did come through where the stores did not. (I'll review my fabulous crockpot later.) I ordered a cookbook to be delivered with it, but also brought one back from the States while browsing the shelves at a Barnes & Noble. That book, 175 Essential Slow Cooker Classics, is a keeper. The other, a title from Betty Crocker, was returned. (Thanks Amazon for being so rockin' cool.)

Thus far, we have made just 4 recipes: the corn chowder, the split pea soup, a whole pork roast, and a spicy beef. The recipes are DIVINE - absolutely well-spiced dishes, well-written instructions, and tips on substitutions and variations. Almost every recipe comes with "food porn" -- perfect pictures that not only tempt you to try the recipe but also well-represent the in-home results (which makes it not like porn, but I digress).

The author states that she's written a number of slow cooker cookbooks. Great, because I will track them down too. In the meantime, not only can I heartily recommend this to other slow cooker fanatics, I can recommend this for newbies who want to understand the slow cooker hype (this will make a believer out of you).

To which, my German partner had never heard of a slow cooker. My thanks for the author for backing up my "just wait until you try it" claims!

Edited: we've now made many more recipes with this cookbook, including for guests. The results continue to be impressive. HIGHLY recommended!
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on February 2, 2009
I've made one recipe from the book so far and it was to die for. I love the way the book has rings on the side. Makes it so much easier to use while cooking.
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on January 17, 2009
I loved this book so much I ordered more for gifts. Fantastic recipes and great slow cooking methods. Pre-browning is key. You'd never know the final product is from a crock pot. Rich and tasty flavors. You have to be willing to spend a few minutes in preparation, but it is worth it. You may need to experiment with the times and heat settings.
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on January 6, 2009
This is a good book for your collection, altho I certainly wouldn't have only this book as a reference. It has a nice selection of dishes for you to make, including some you wouldn't immediately think of being suited for a crock pot. Be that as it may, if you can find it on super-sale, I wouldn't hesitate to buy it, read it, and use it when you are so moved.
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