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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 273 customer reviews

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Make It Ahead: A Barefoot Contessa Cookbook by Ina Garten
"Make it ahead" by Ina Garten
Clear instructions for what you can do ahead of time, and how far in advance, so you can cook with confidence and eliminate last-minute surprises. Learn more | See related books
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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 (273 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #43,394 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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 Verified Purchase
I've been following Stephanie's blog for longer than I can remember and have had this book pre-ordered for longer than I can remember. :-)

I have made the Pumpkin Spice Latte, more than one fondue, and the Moroccan Lentil Soup, just to name a few. They were all extremely tasty, and I have been waiting so long for this cookbook to come out so I can browse through the recipes in print rather than online.

Stephanie's wit and her willingness to try anything are what initially drew me in, and I was concerned that maybe the book wouldn't replicate her recipes and style completely. However, I am happy to say that everything in the book lives up to my highest expectations. I am now going to order multiple copies to give as Christmas gifts because out of the several slow cooker cookbooks I have, this one outshines them all. It's honestly the only one you'll ever need.

Plus, you've really gotta try the Lentil Soup. My husband and I love it so much I've made it several times and have been waiting on the fall weather to make it again. It's time! :-)

Buy this book, and I promise, you really won't regret it!

Update on March 19, 2010: More recipes to try: Brown Sugar Chicken; Chicken Parmesan; Turkey Breast with Onion, Butter, and White Wine; Chicken and Brown Rice Casserole

Also, I bought 8 additional copies of this book and gave them to friends as gifts. So far, each friend has come back to me and told me how much they love this book. They especially recommend the Chicken Parmesan, the Chicken and Brown Rice Casserole, and the Moroccan Lentil Soup. Happy Cooking!!
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