Have you noticed it? The sudden resurgence of the slow cooker – or by the most common brand name, Crock Pot? Maybe it’s just because fall is here or maybe its just another stage in the back-to-basics movement. Didn’t slow cookers make their big debut during the recession of the 80s?
Either way, I’m embracing a cooking style that I’ve always dabbled in but never really understood. Since it’s still pretty warm here, I’m trying to make a slow cooker meal once every week or two. Once we get into winter I’ll probably crank it up to twice per week. There’s something about the convenience of starting supper in the morning, when I actually have energy, that appeals to me. Maybe it is the ability to check one more thing off of my to-do list before noon.
I was recently provided the opportunity to review a new cookbook titled The 150 Best Slow Cooker Recipes by Judith Finlayson. I am a foodie and somewhat of a cookbook collector. The thing is, I’m pretty picky. I have preferences and a book that doesn’t follow them will likely stay on the shelf collecting dust, rather than on my kitchen counter collecting saucy fingerprints.
Let me just say that I love this cookbook.
- It’s just the right size. It fits on my shelf upright and has enough recipes to provide variety but not rival Julia Child. My applause to anyone who has cooked through all 524 recipes in Julia’s first book.
- It has good pictures. I hate to offend, but anyone who publishes a cookbook without pictures isn’t to be trusted.
- It balances information for a newbie and an expert. Just a few intro pages give the reader tips on how to choose a slow cooker, how to use it for a party, and how not to give you family food poisoning.
- It gives you everything you need in an organized format. Most cookbooks do this to some degree. I really just appreciate how this one highlights the serving sizes and provides tips on how to tweak the recipes.
Something I found pleasantly surprising about this cookbook was the broad range of recipes – American, Asian, European, etc. This isn’t your standard slow cooker routine; these recipes are innovative. If you think that slow cooker food is boring mush that your mom forced upon you a few decades ago, I recommend giving this new book a try.
Tonight I’m making Mexican Style Beans and Grains. The recipe is easy to follow and vegetarian-friendly. Of course it will take me a while to go through all 150, but I think next on my list might be a few that are outside of the traditional slow cooker repertoire: Steamed Brown Bread…Chocolate Mocha Custard…Sumptuous Spinach and Artichoke Dip…Mellow Chicken Curry… Hungry yet?
The 150 Best Slow Cooker Recipes by Judith Finlayson is available wherever you prefer to purchase books, including Amazon.com.
Disclosure: I was provided a copy of this cookbook to facilitate my review. Additionally I have an affiliate partnership with Amazon and may be compensated for purchase made through my site. All opinions expressed here are my own.