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on November 17, 2005
Of the 400+ pages only 190 of them are of any use to me. I use a crockpot because it is simple and tasty cooking. So, I was expecting alot of main dish recipies. And I was also expecting them all to be for the crockpot. There is over 60 pages of recipes that do not use the crockpot. There is over 125 pages dedicated to beverages, soups, breads, and desserts. I have never met anyone who has made hot chocolate or apple bread in a crockpot. Of the 190 pages of worth. only 25 pages were the type of recipies that I was looking for. ie. the chop-it up and throw it in the pot type. everything else involved browning or braising or some other type of stove technique. I guess I'm just the kind of cook who doesn't want to screw around with browning anything. I bought this specifically because of the reviews on amazon. Hopefully this review will speak to those of you like me that are not chefs and are just looking for something easy and tasty to cook.
1111 comments753 of 777 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
When things are really hectic, the crock-pot seems to take on a life of its own, slowing simmering away while the garlic and artichoke chicken, or vegetable curry, or pork roast with apricot/mustard glaze do their own thing, unattended. And there's nothing quite like coming home after a busy day to the down-home aromas of a dinner already cooked and ready to serve!

The Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes, like most Better Homes and Gardens products, is full of reliable, well-tested recipes, but this book seems to have more interesting recipes than the stews one finds in the average crock-pot cookbook. I was surprised to see a dozen recipes calling for parsnips in place of carrots, for example, while nine include artichoke hearts and six suggest eggplant. Several recipes are enhanced by a variety of gourmet mushrooms--shiitake, crimini, and oyster mushrooms--while the pasta selections range from mostaccioli to orzo and tortellini.

The herbs and spices are well chosen, and most recipes call for more than one seasoning, giving interesting highlights to these dishes. I did find that I needed to use more of these than the recipes called for in most cases, though there are some curry recipes that call for a hefty tablespoonful of curry powder. Many of the recipes are heavy on tomatoes, tomato sauce, or tomato paste, and these sometimes seemed overpowering--in the Beef and Borscht Stew, for example--but adjusting downward to suit your own taste is not difficult.

Though the book calls its 59 pages of "one-dish" casserole dinners a "bonus," I was mystified as to why these were included here--none of them use the slow cooker at all! By contrast, only 24 pages of vegetarian main dishes for the crock-pot are included, despite the fact that beans, lentils, and chickpeas are at their best when cooked slowly. Over all, however, this is a tasty and unusual collection of recipes, many of which are sure to become family favorites. Mary Whipple
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on December 30, 2002
Most slow-cooker books offer recipes for food you would find in a diner. Chilis and stews abound. This book is different. It's for the busy gourmet, and it's for the person who likes to cook up a big pot of something yummy on Sunday and then heat up portions for lunches and dinner during the week. Yesterday I made the Indian Curry Soup, and today for lunch I heated up a delicious, spicy soup filled with garbanzo beans, red potatoes, tomatoes, and tantalizing spices.
The best part about this book is that it includes key nutrition info- fat, fiber, and calories... it's all there! Weight Watchers will love it, because calculating the point value of each dish is a snap.
In short, a must-have for the career person who wants a home-cooked meal. My crock pot had been left abandoned in a cabinet, but now it's back on the counter!
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on August 22, 2002
This book is the best slow-cooker cookbook I've come across yet! It doesn't have pictures (aww!) but otherwise the recipes are delicious, easy to make, and easy to follow. They also include nutritional values (yay!) so it's easy for those of us on Weight Watchers to plan out our points!
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on January 22, 2003
I have many crock pot cookbooks, and this by far is one of the best! Not only are the recipes new, but there is a prep time provided, a cooking time provided, and the required size of slow cooker needed. In addition, a nutritional analysis is provided with every recipe. This is a big plus since many of us are trying to watch our daily caloric and fat intake.
I am thrilled to find such a valuable cookbook since I need to use my slow cooker at least twice a week now. There are 400 recipes in this book.
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on October 29, 2004
When you open a Better Homes and Gardens cookbook, you expect to find delicious, easy-to-prepare recipes with readily available ingredients and that's exactly what you get with "Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes". With over 400 recipes, there are dishes to suit every occasion, from elegant parties to potluck dinners to meals for your family.

The book is organized by type of dish: Appetizers & Beverages, Soups & Stews, Side Dishes, Beef, Pork & Lamb, Poultry, Meatless Main Dishes, Five Ingredients, One-Dish Dinners and Desserts. The meals in the One-Dish Dinners chapter are not prepared using a slow cooker, which I found odd at first, but their convenience really merits their inclusion in a cookbook designed for busy cooks.

The variety of recipes is wonderful. The culinary style ranges from traditional slow cooker recipes such as Super-Simple Beef Stew and Country-Style Pork Ribs to more exotic, trendy dishes like Thai-Style Coconut-Chicken Soup and Spicy Chorizo Sandwiches. My family (including a picky toddler) became instant fans of the Brisket in Ale and Chicken & Rice Stew Gone Wild and we are looking forward to trying Decadent Raspberry Brownies.

Every recipe includes accurate preparation time, cooking time and number of servings. Comprehensive nutrition information is provided, making meal planning easy for people following special diets. There are tips covering topics such as purchasing and preparing ingredients and serving suggestions. The index is comprehensive and logical and the binding is extremely functional (the book stays flat when you open it and lay it on the counter).

Better Homes and Gardens "Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes" is a must-have for anyone who wants delicious home-cooked food but doesn't have a lot of time to prepare meals and, of course, owns a slow cooker (or will soon own a slow cooker).
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on January 4, 2003
This book is awesome! I was looking for a crockpot book with a variety of recipes...but none too bizarre that called for a lot of crazy ingredients and required a lot of prep time...I mean let's face it--do you want to have to cook in a saucepan first? That is why you are using a crockpot--to avoid that! This book tells you to "throw" stuff straight into the pot--lowering prep time! This book is easy to use AND has nutritional values included which is definitely a PLUS! The only thing that I can say that I thought was strange about this book is the section that calls for 5 ingredient recipes...none of these use the crockpot!?! Other than that, I would DEFINITELY recommend this book! In fact, I used it tonight! =o)
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on August 21, 2003
This is a beautifully presented book with a multitude of delicious-sounding, well-crafted recipes. They seem satisfying and are done in enough of a gourmet style that you'll be proud of yourself at the next dinner party, but the recipes are not intimidating or difficult to make because of ingredients that seem impossible to find. I like that very much. I also like the bonus section which gives wonderful recipes (many quick and easy) for more traditional cooking (stovetop and oven). My concern is that I have a 3 quart slow cooker. The recipes list the size of slow cooker needed for each recipe (that's very clever) and the smallest listed is always 3 1/2 quart. Most recipes in this book are meant for much bigger slow cookers. So now I'll have to take my chances with my cooker, or scale down the recipes. Readers should just be aware that the authors had families in mind, not single people with small slow cookers. That's a bit irritating, I must say.
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on November 4, 2006
I received this cookbook for Christmas last year after perusing my mothers and almost stealing it. Since then, I must have used this cookbook a hundred times for a hundred different recipes. It has everything from simple soups, delicious appetizers all the way to full course meals to feed a whole family.

My favorite chapter is the five ingredient recipes. This portion is perfect for those with very little in the refrigerator and not much time to boot.

I enjoyed this culinary directorial because it has alterations on usual recipes such as "Spicy Bean Soup", "Oriental Pork Sandwiches" and "Country Style Ribs & Sauce" as well as new things I have never heard of such as "Poached Pears in cran-amaretto Sauce". I think this book is perfect for anyone with a crock pot.

One thing I did notice was some of the ingredients are a bit hard to find, not in all the recipes but in some. That is the only reason I gave this book four stars instead of five.
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on January 7, 2004
As a vegetarian, I have had a horrible time finding slow cooker cookbooks with interesting recipes. This one is a winner! I have made four recipes and we have really enjoyed each one. Many of the recipes that call for meat products can be converted to non-meat. For example, I made the Cheesy Enchilada Chowder and substituted cream of celery soup for the cream of chicken and it was fantastic! (I also usually substitute vegetable broth if chicken broth is called for with excellent results.) If you are a lacto or ovo lacto vegetarian, or you're just trying to make one meal for a family that includes omnivores and veggies, try this book. It goes way beyond the regular anemic "Meatless Main Dishes" chapters in most slow cooker books with easy, delicious recipes that incorporate flavors from Indian, Italian, German and Mexican cuisines.
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