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Cooking Light: Slow Cooker Hardcover – September 1, 2006
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It should be noted that the first chapter of this book, which is entitled "essential slow cooker", contains recipes which actually belong in other categories ("dessert", for example). Be sure include it when you're browsing for recipes.
Like other reviewers, I mostly cook for just two people these days. Since each of the recipes I've marked as to-be-cooked can easily be downsized for a smaller slow-cooker, I'm good to go.
So far, I've tried a few recipes which have been delicious. However, my hopes of stuffing the crockpot as I headed out the door were a bit naïve, as the ones I've tried have all required at least 30-60 minutes of preparation time. As a result, I've adjusted my methods and have begun preparing the meals on the weekend for reheating and serving during the first part of the week. Another alternative might be to measure and chop everything the night before for assembling the next morning. It's not that these recipes are complicated or difficult - it's simply that when I last used the crock-pot, my repertoire of recipes was quite limited and confined to only those that featured few ingredients and were extremely simple. An example is the one with boneless pork chops that you toss in the crockpot and throw a can of cream of mushroom over. Not exactly gourmet fare, but it doesn't get much easier and was quite tasty, believe it or not.
Most of the recipes are for 6 servings and since there is just the two of us, I freeze the rest in two serving containers to enjoy at another time. For the most part, the ingredients are those that are easily found in the grocery store or even in your pantry -nothing exotic or expensive. The crock-pot size indicated in all the recipes I've encountered so far is either a 3 or 4 quart. I recently replaced my crock-pot with a Hamilton Beach model that comes with 3 different quart size crocks - 2, 4 and 6 - which has proven to allow a lot of flexibility and perhaps even doubling the recipes.
For those wishing to watch the bottom line, the book provides the per-serving count of calories, fat, protein, carbohydrate, cholesterol, fiber , iron, sodium and calcium for each recipe that includes the side dish - such as rice or noodles - that they suggest serving with the entree.
We're fairly big eaters and the sad reality is that what some recipes consider a serving is about half of what we'd actually like to eat. So far, we've found the portion they've indicated to be a serving is adequate. Knowing how many servings each dish is supposed to provide helps us with portion control, which is our downfall.
I've enjoyed the results of this cookbook and am having fun trying different recipes and having most of the work done up front with little clean-up afterward.
I gave the last one to the husband of a friend of mine - she will be incapacitated for awhile and knowing his absolute lack of prowess in the kitchen, I figured between the great pictures as well as the simple ingredients and directions, he'd come out smelling like a rose ... or a Rosemary Chicken! She thanked me profusely!!