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Make It Fast, Cook It Slow: The Big Book of Everyday Slow Cooking Paperback – October 13, 2009

4.3 out of 5 stars 266 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Stephanie O'Dea's first book, Totally Together: An Organizational Journal for the Busy Household, will be published by Running Press in March 2009. Throughout 2008, O'Dea developed a following of over 20,000 daily readers on her blog, "A Year of CrockPotting" (crockpot365.blogspot.com). O'Dea has a background in child development and psychology, and holds a degree in English Literature from San Francisco State University. She currently lives in the San Francisco Bay Area with her husband and two daughters.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Hachette Books; Original edition (October 13, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1401310044
  • ISBN-13: 978-1401310042
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 1.2 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (266 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #132,302 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Stephanie O'Dea is a New York Times best selling author, award-winning blogger, and a mom of three.

O'Dea likes shortcuts. A LOT. Her websites and books have reached more than 20 million people from all over the world.

She shared her number one cooking shortcut in 2008 when she made a New Year's Resolution to use her Crock-Pot slow cooker everyday for a year and write about it on the Internet.

Her award-winning blog resulted in three cookbooks: 365 Slow Cooker Suppers, Make it Fast, Cook it Slow and More Make it Fast, Cook it Slow. Due to a family allergy, all of the recipes happen to be completely gluten free.

O'Dea compiled her housekeeping, parenting, and meal planning shortcuts in Totally Together: Shortcuts to an Organized Life.

In this book/organizational guide, O'Dea tackles how to organize a busy household so anyone can have a "tidy and tranquil home in just minutes a day". The format for this book is a weekly planner (with checklists!) that can begin anytime during the calendar year.

In The Mommy Blogger Next Door (e-series), O'Dea's conversational style is warm and welcoming as she shares her own blogging success story along with helpful and practical how-tos for the beginning blogger.

Stephanie has appeared on Good Morning America, The Rachael Ray Show, featured in Real Simple Magazine, Woman's World, and Oprah.com. She is a contributing editor to Simply Gluten Free Magazine and is featured in the infomercial for the Ninja Cooking System. For a more comprehensive press listing, please visit her online home at stephanieodea.com.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I stumbled across Stephanie's cooking blog and ordered myself her book for Christmas (as a gift from my husband!) I was really excited about trying out her recipes--and especially thought it was cool that she writes a verdict after many of the recipes stating her opinion. I found her writing to be witty and appreciated her sense of humor. On Christmas day I scoured through the book, selecting some recipes to try--I chose recipes based off of my taste preferences as well as her positive reviews of them.

I tried the Brown Sugar Chicken (pg. 244) which she raves about. My family ate it, but didn't particularly enjoy it. It was very sweet (which she says it is)--but there wasn't really any depth of flavor (maybe it needed a couple bay leaves or some other herbs?) it tasted just like sugary chicken. I realize that taste is very subjective and many people may enjoy this dish, we however did not.

Next up I tried the Breakfast Risotto (pg. 48). She also raves about this dish. I will agree that the aroma was delectable. The spices were a very good combination, my complaint was that the texture was goopy. I made the recipe exactly as printed and I also got a little curdling (from the 2% milk???) which looked unappealing. This dish may actually work out if cooked on the stove top, but I don't think the recipe fared well in the crock pot.

Then I decided to try out the Hot and Spicy Artichoke Dip (pg. 30) to bring to a New Year's Eve party. Again, her verdict on the recipe is very positive. I made the recipe exactly as printed (there's only 4 ingredients!)--when it was done and I give it a taste it was BLAND. Blah. I attempted to salvage the dip by adding some black pepper, Worcestershire sauce and garlic.
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Format: Paperback
I wanted to love this cookbook. I'd read Stephanie's blog and had tried a couple of her recipes. In retrospect, they weren't great enough to remake, so I should have realized that her wonderful writing style didn't equate to culinary ability.

Other reviewers have mentioned that the recipes are really rough--they definitely are for me. Every single one I've tried has been off--cooking time, spices, consistency. I've used our crock pot quite a bit over the years, and usually things turn out if I follow the directions in the recipe. Stephanie's directions, even if followed exactly, don't necessarily mean I'll have something edible for dinner. When I get a recipe from a cookbook, I'd like to think it's been tested at least a couple of times and produced consistently good results. Things I've tried:

Broccoli Casserole (p. 81)--watery, bland, my son (who loves broccoli and cheese) wouldn't touch it
Beans and Rice (p. 121)--bland, nothing special--the crockpot kindof zaps the flavor I get on the stovetop with a similar dish
Taco Soup (p. 135)--one of her favorite recipes, but when I tried it last week, my husband asked, "Isn't this the same not-so-good soup you tried off her website last year?" Oh yeah. We love Mexican food, but the mesh of flavors just is not good.
Apple, Cheddar, and Turkey Meatballs (p. 238)--This one I cooked on high, and everything that touched the sides of my crock burned even though it was well within the time frame she'd specified. Pretty sure she didn't test her recipes for low _and_ high settings. I did appreciate that they were gluten-free meatballs, but we didn't even like the middle ones that weren't burnt.
Applesauce Chicken (p. 239)--This is not that good, and it is not tender. It's just blah.
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Format: Paperback
I've never been a "crock-pot" person, although I've always liked the idea of crock-pots - leaving a whole meal in the crock in the morning and returning to a complete meal in the evening - so easy, so good, so convenient. The problem, though, was that my family is not big on stews, which is what I thought crock-pots were for, so I left my crock-pot in a drawer and that is as far as the relationship has gone. Those days are over.

Stphanie O'Dea has taught me that my crockpot is not my mother's crock-pot anymore. The crock-pot can be used used to make a traditional beef stew, yes, as described on page 211, but the crock-pot can also be used to make delicious soups, meats, side dishes, appetizers, dips, and desserts. The woman has a recipe for making banana bread in the crock-pot for goodness sake! All kinds of ideas are whirling around in my head. I can use the crockpot to prepare a new, sexy appetizer for the holidays, like the buffalo chicken dip described on page 25, instead of the same old stuff. I can use the crockpot to impress my friends with the delicious and fragrant chai tea latte like the one described on page 8 at the next Bunco meeting. I can also use the crockpot to help my children create caramel apples and look like the coolest mom ever! The sky is the limit with this book. It even has a recipe for recycling old candles to make new ones. Yes, I said candles, in the crock-pot!

Excited, yet? There's more. There are 454 pages of easy to understand recipes with easy ingredients in this book and they all look delicious.
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