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on August 17, 2000
My mom had this book, and every recipe I make from it has that nostalgic taste of home. I especially love the breads and beverages -- things that other slow-cooker books leave out.
However, I find myself using these recipes mostly for weekend entertaining rather than on work nights. A substantial number of these dishes aren't designed for the dump-it-in-and-run-to-work crowd; they require six hours on low heat or the addition of extra ingredients halfway through the cooking time.
Devoted cooks looking for tasty long-simmered flavors will be delighted, but there just aren't enough dishes here that can be made on the working-family schedule for me to give this the rating that the flavors deserve.
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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
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on March 16, 2001
When I got married a couple of years ago, I was given a crock pot as a gift. Since we didn't have one in my house when I was growing up, I really had no idea how to use it. I found 'Crockery Cookery' on a fluke one day while shopping. Little did I know, then, that this cookbook would become one of my best friends! Mable Hoffman has created a book full of concise, easy to follow recipies that are easy to prepare, and HARD to mess up! Most of the recipes have a cooking time of 6-8 hours or 8-10 hours, so whenever you get home is O.K.... it won't burn! And you do have to add a thing or two at the end of some recipes, but you can do that when you get home, set the table, and then sit down to eat! This book was a God-send for a new bride who was still a bit nervous about her cooking skills! I must admit I haven't tried all the recipes yet, but every time I make the 'Favorite Pot Roast', my husband thinks I'm a genius in the kitchen...and I've become a little famous because of the 'Traditional Apple butter' recipe. Now everyone in the family EXPECTS it as a Christmas gift! If you have a busy lifestyle, you will LOVE this book! It is soooo wonderful to set the pot when you leave for work, and come home to dinner ready and waiting! The whole house smells like someone has been slaving away all day in the kitchen... and only you know the secret! I know if you buy this book, you will enjoy it immensely!
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on March 13, 2002
I am a homeschool mother of four children. With all I have to do during any given day, I found spending two hours in the kitchen every evening was wearing on me. I'm not the type to give my family chicken nuggets and french fries all the time. My crockpot had always been a seldom used item in my cupboard. Since childhood, I had only known one recipe: meat, carrots, celery, onion, potato, cr. of mushroom soup. Not a bad recipe but if it's the only one you ever use, it does get old. I felt all crockpot food had one flavor. Enter this cookbook! Since I purchased it in January, I have used it non stop Monday through Friday during our week. On weekends, sometimes, I go back to regular cooking. The recipes in this book are so good, my family doesn't mind them every night. We can't tell the difference from oven or stovetop cooked food.In most cases it's actually better and that's saying alot as I enjoy cooking and don't do half bad. Many of the recipes do call for wine. That has never bothered me as my parents cooked with wine on occassion. The alchohol does cook off leaving only great flavor,no alchohol taste.But I add this because I know the use of alchohol in any way will offend some and you should know ahead of time. These recipes come out tasting like meals from a fine dining restaraunt. We rarely ever feel any desire to eat out anymore. Not when at four or five o'clock in the evening, instead of feeling like I don't want to cook tonight, I'm smelling wonderful aromas instead. Now, instead of being closed up in the kitchen , away from my family, I am relaxing in the living room with them.Dinner's almost ready and now all we need to do is set the table and eat! Now, if only someone would invent dishes that wash themselves!
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on October 28, 1999
So many people think "the only thing you can make in a crockpot is stew" or "everything I make in my crockpot tastes the same". Obviously, they haven't read this book! From Kowloon Chicken to Steamed Chocolate Dessert, it all tastes different and it all tastes good. Before I got my copy, I had no idea you could bake bread in a crockpot. Hoffman has over a dozen breads and cakes, which, of course, inspired me to get creative and substitute ingredients to make hundreds more varieties. In fact, the idea of having Mulled Cider to go with the beef stew at a Super Bowl party inspired me to buy a second crockpot so that we could do just that. If you've never owned a crockpot, have this book on hand when you bring your first one home and you'll be an instant convert. If you already own a crockpot, Hoffman will give you hundreds of new ideas for tasty dishes to supplement your old favorites. A crockpot, and this book, are a working woman's best friends.
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VINE VOICEon September 16, 2001
I enjoy my crockpot. The easiest way to cook a dinner!
I can't say enough about how wonderful crockpot cooking is. This book is the main reason I love my crock pot.
The recipes are easy, use on hand ingredients, and the results are wonderful. I particularly like the stuffed chicken recipe that is in this book. However, every one I have tried has been a success. I also like the fact that she includes breads, desserts, and beverages. These are things that many crockpot cook books leave out.
If you have a crockpot and are not sure what do cook with it, consider buying this book. IF you use your crockpot and are looking for new recipes, this is the book to get.
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This book is a wonderful collection of crockpot recipes and ideas. It begins with 100-page introductory section with information on menu planning, use and care of your crockpot, and a consumer's guide to crockpots, detailing differences between crockpot brands. Next come the recipes, with chapters for beef, other meats, poultry, vegetables, appetizers and beverages, soups and sandwiches, main dishes, beans, breads and cakes, and fruits and desserts. You name it, if you can eat it, Mable will tell you how to prepare it in your crockpot.
I've tried a number of these recipes, and none have ever gone wrong. There's nothing like tossing a roast in the pot in the morning with some onions and fruit, and coming back in the evening to the wonderful aromas of slow-cooked meat. At first, I was a little unsure of how to begin with crockpot cooking, but with Mable's guidance, everything has turned out just fine.
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on April 7, 2003
If you order the Mass Market Paperback version of this book, keep in mind that it is the size of a small novel and pages are 'dark' (recycled) paper -- not very efficient in the kitchen. I only looked through the book briefly before returning it for the above reason. Recipes looked good, but probably not for the quick-fix, ingredients-on-hand meal.
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on January 13, 2003
I am very disappointed with the recipes in this book. I love to cook, love to try new recipes, and bought this book on the strength of others' reviews. I've tried 6 recipes straight out of the book with no adaptation. 2 of them were OK, but had little flavor. The other 4 were barely edible, with strange flavors. Another reviewer said this book is a good spring-board for crockery cooking. I would definately say that you need to be experienced enough with the crock pot, and spice usage in general, to adapt these recipes to taste, in order to enjoy recipes from this book.
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on December 25, 2001
I was given an old copy of this book years ago, and wore it out so badly the pages were falling out. I had to purchase a new copy. I have made at least 25% of the recipes in this book and they have almost universally been delicious. The only reason I haven't made more of the recipes is that I keep making some of our favorites repeatedly. This past Thanksgiving we made a turkey breast recipe for the first time that turned out incredibly moist with Mable's tip for putting cheesecloth soaked in wine over the turkey. I have 4 other crockpot recipe books and while I use 2 of the others occaisionally, if I could have only one recipe book for crockpots this would be it.
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