Top positive review
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Great slow cooker recipes you won't find in the manual
on February 12, 2003
Nourishing, mostly gourmet slow-cooker recipes and a few new tricks for your crock pot. You never knew your crock pot could be so handy!
"Everybody" knows that slow cookers are good for pot roasts and chili con carne. But did you know that your slow cooker could produce chocolate cake, chicken and dumplings, and rice pudding? I didn't, either. The wonder of it is, your crock pot can make all these wonderful dishes and many more with less prep time and inconvenience than the traditional versions in most cases. Mable Hoffman's Crockery Cookery is just what I needed to dust off my slow cooker and get started with the rest of my life.
Regarded by many as The Standard for crock pot cooking, this revised and updated recipe book has all of the basic favorites and quite a few more sophisticated dishes. To date I have only tried 13 in all, a mere fraction; and a few standouts like Flank Steak in Mushroom Wine Sauce and the Nostalgic Chicken and Herbed Dumplings, have made this purchase totally worthwhile. I would have stopped at entrees, but no - there are also some great soups, vegetable side dishes, party appetizers and desserts. Yes, you can bake cakes and breads in crock pots that have at least 4 and ½ quarts capacity, but be warned that they do come out on the soft side, without that top crust. I found the banana bread pleasant enough, however.
The real surprise for me was in how perfectly suited my crock pot was for steamed pudding recipes. Bread pudding is a natural here. But get ready for a heavenly Grandma's Rice Pudding - light, fluffy, just the right amount of sweetness and no more. The best I have ever tasted, bar none.
I should hasten to add that Mable Hoffman puts an emphasis on preparing recipes from fresh, wholesome ingredients, and very few of them involve opening cans. You will end up with nutritious, lower-than-average-salt dishes that will take a little more prep time than frozen dinners, but greet you with a delightful aroma when you walk in after a hard day's work. Most of the recipes are even thrifty when compared to a fast food diet. I don't remember how I ever managed to cook for my family 6 days a week before I discovered this cookbook!
My only complaint is that I have used mine so much in the last 4 months that a few pages escaped from the softcover binding. No problem: I am getting my copy spiral bound at a local copy center. I intend to keep this one around for many years to come.
-Andrea, aka Merribelle