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47 of 53 people found the following review helpful
on June 4, 2004
I don't recommend this book at all. So many of the recipies sound unappetizing, are high in fat, and call for a can of condensed cream of mushroom soup.
This cookbook doesn't promise to deliver much, and it lives up to this promise. First, there's a disclaimer that the recipies haven't been kitchen tested by the editors. Second, it promises numerous recipies that vary by only one ingredient. How many chili and baked beans recipies do you really need? Well, this book has over 30 for chili and almost 60 for baked beans. The rest of the book is stews and other dishes that would go perfectly with a side of Wonder Bread, like this sample recipie:
Ham Bar-B-Que
1 lb boiled ham
1 cup of cola
1 cup of ketchup
Cook on low 8 hrs.
What kind of cookbook is this?
Of course, not all the recipies are this poor, but only 1 of the dozen or so dishes I've tried is worth making again. If you're looking for a good slow-cooker recipie book, try Betty Crocker.
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37 of 41 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2004
I first saw this book at an aquarium gift shop in Oregon (yes, its true). I decided to check it out from the library before purchasing. I am glad I did! The continued repetition of the same recipe is boring. Most recipes used processed, high fat and sodium foods (velveeta being a favorite). My favorite recipe??? "Perfection Hot Dogs". "Place hot dogs in slow cooker. Cover and cook for 1-2 hours."
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on August 3, 2004
For the small price you'll pay to purchase this book, I think you should buy it and TEST the recipes. Because tastes matters a lot when cooking for someone else...especially kids. And I have yet to cook something out of this, that my kids didn't love. And the repeats in recipes helps, because you can choose from what you have on hand.

I'm buying this again, because I keep giving my copy away...something my friends have been doing as well.

As for healthy cooking or not...that's a relative thing. The heart association is changing its stand on low fat...because they have to admit they're wrong in what they taught us. Different types of foods are better for different types of bodies. And a hot meal, cooked from scratch, will always be more healthy for the kids after school than cookies, or ice cream or what ever other processed food they can grab easily and quickly. Then later at night, snack on fruit or light salads. The body doesn't need a heavy meal at night anyway.

So for working moms trying to do the best they can, this is a lifesaver...a little extra work in the morning and you can be having quality time with the kids after work...helping with homework or just getting to know them. These recipes are easy...for real people with busy lives and finicky taste buds.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on February 18, 2002
...I bought it thinking there HAD to be some recipies I would like and use often. My big complaint about crock pots is that it seemed to me that no matter WHAT you cooked, it all came out tasting sort of the same. Not too tasty, sort of blah.
When I got the book I thought "These are all the same recipies I already have from the internet and magazines, just with 10 variations of each". But, upon closer inspection and some trial and error, there are truly some unique, good, usable recipies here.
If you're a cook book user and need some variety in your slow cooking repetoire, this is well worth the money. You just have to be willing to try a lot of the recipies to find the best ones.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on September 5, 2001
If you are like me your most precious commodity is time. Given my busy schedule, my only alternatives are: 1) take the family out to eat or 2) fix a meal quickly! This book saves me both time and money by giving recipes and an abundance of tips on how to efficiently use that old crock pot of mine.
Know someone in your life too busy to eat right. This book is for them. My best cookbook buy in a long, long time!
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23 of 25 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon March 30, 2005
Since over 100 people have posted reviews I won't dissect it. However, I'd like to say my family did not like the recipes in this book. We are used to fairly spicy, complex flavors and while the recipes were nutritious and easy, we just picked at them because they were too bland for our tastes.

My Mother-in-law gave me this book because she loves it. Which is not surprising because she likes her food bland and not challenging. Undoubtedly some families will like the recipes but I'll give my copy away.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
on September 27, 2002
I found this book when searching for a solution to over-spending on eating out and breaking the fast-food cycle. It's a great solution.
THE GOOD: Thanks to the comb-binding, you don't have to worry about the cookbook closing and losing your place while you are trying to prepare the ingredients for the recipes. The recipes are easy (almost all are 12 ingredients or less), delicious and many are the comfort foods from my Midwest childhood. I didn't realize you could cook meatloaf or bread in a crockpot, but thanks to this book, I know it now! The recipes are economical, in part to the crockpot's love of inexpensive cuts of meat. There is a great variety of recipes as well. The index is pretty standard and there are great tips sprinkled throughout the book.
THE BAD: I agree with what someone else said: there are a lot of repeated recipes with just slight variations...I think that they could have listed the recipe once and added the variation below it; but that is no reason to pass up this great book. I would have liked to see the main dish section divided into beef, pork, chicken, seafood. As it is, they are just all together. I would also have liked to see nutritional summaries for the recipes. Someone mentioned that the lack of creativity in the titles bothered them---that doesn't really matter to me. I can rename it anything I want!
Overall, although a bit disorganized, this is a fantastic find and a must for anybody that doesn't have time or energy for cooking but still wants eat good.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on February 12, 2003
I bought this book and I am not sure I would again. There are about 800 recipes in the book. There are 4 major drawbacks to this book. First -- A vast number of them do contain a LOT of cheese and fats (1 to 3 cups per recipe) and preprepared soups and soup mixes. Definitely not the healthy meals I try to prepare. Second -- There are multiple variations of the same recipe. How many times can you vary beef stew and beef vegetable soup and still call it a different recipe? This book does it about 50 times. Third -- the table of contents isn't detailed enough. You have to sift through 200 main dish recipes at a time. It would have been nice if there was some grouping such as 'beef main dishes, chicken main dishes, vegetarian main dises' etc. Fouth -- It could use a better overview section on the principles of slow cooking to cover such things as safety, keeping the crockpot at least 1/2 full, etc. Having said that I did go through and highlight the recipes that I would cook -- reasonble in fat and salt content. I found that there were only about 10% (excluding the repetitive ones) that I would use. Because of the 800 recipes to start with this still leaves me about 80. I tend to think of the value of a cookbook in how many recipes I get for the value. So this one ended up being 80 recipes for the cost of the book. That's not unreasonable. I do prefer Rick Roger's book. I compromise on both books. Roger's book is long on techinique and preparation, but much better on nutritional content and flavorings.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on February 4, 2011
I am an avid cook, and love to use my crock pot. I prefer to cook everything from scratch to avoid all the things that are in processed foods and "mixes". A crockpot is a great device to cook simple, healthful food for the ones we love, and I think this cookbook defeats that purpose. Almost every recipe in this book relies on processed foods (velveeta, canned soups, etc.) or mixes (taco seasoning, dried soups, etc.). Even if you do cook with/eat these foods, you may be disappointed in this cookbook. There are no pictures (so you are forced to read thru hundreds of recipes for inspiration) and many, many of the recipes are just the same recipe over and over with one tiny difference. For example, the appetizer section has 37 recipes, 16 of which are some minor variation of velveeta, salsa and beef or beans. The soup section is the same - lots of repeats. I stopped reading it at that chapter. I agree with another reviewer that this cookbook reads more like a church fundraiser cookbook - even tho 10 people turned in the basically same recipe, you don't want to offend, so you include them all. I have no gripe with "compilation cookbooks" - I have some great ones. However, I don't appreciate a book touting "700 recipes" when at least half are basically the same recipe over and over. I also don't like a cookbook that relies so heavily on ingredients that really aren't good for you (too high sodium, fat, preservatives, artificial this and that). You can do better for your family!
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on January 20, 2006
I have mixed feelings about this cookbook. Its good points:

1. The recipes are easy. For most of them, you just dump the ingredients in the slow-cooker before you go to work, and when you come home, dinner's ready! This is a plus for busy folks.

2. The recipes are great comfort food - lots of things like beef stew and chili.

3. Decent sized section of vegetarian recipes - slow-cookers are a great way to cook beans.

The bad points:

1. As I said, most of the recipes are comfort food, but (sadly) comfort food isn't that healthy. If you have to watch your cholesterol or sodium intake, this book isn't for you. There's a Fix It and Forget It Lite, but I can't comment on that book because I've never used it.

2. There's no indication as to what size cooker is best for each recipe. I have a 3.5 quart model and I would sometimes be midway through a recipe before realizing, "oops, half these ingredients won't fit in the cooker!"

3. No pictures!

In sum, this is a good book to have around, but it won't be to everyone's taste. If you're looking for adventurous slow-cooking, look elsewhere. If you just want to get dinner on the table without a lot of fuss, give this a try.
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