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on August 21, 2003
This is a beautifully presented book with a multitude of delicious-sounding, well-crafted recipes. They seem satisfying and are done in enough of a gourmet style that you'll be proud of yourself at the next dinner party, but the recipes are not intimidating or difficult to make because of ingredients that seem impossible to find. I like that very much. I also like the bonus section which gives wonderful recipes (many quick and easy) for more traditional cooking (stovetop and oven). My concern is that I have a 3 quart slow cooker. The recipes list the size of slow cooker needed for each recipe (that's very clever) and the smallest listed is always 3 1/2 quart. Most recipes in this book are meant for much bigger slow cookers. So now I'll have to take my chances with my cooker, or scale down the recipes. Readers should just be aware that the authors had families in mind, not single people with small slow cookers. That's a bit irritating, I must say.
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on December 27, 2003
I can't believe people would write a review of this book without trying any recipes or even after just attempting one or two. My children and I are cooking our way through this book - we plan on trying every recipe and we are having a wonderful time! Each recipe is voted on and given a 1-5 star rating, and so far almost every recipe has 4 or 5 stars, with the exception of a few 3's. There are several recipes that have become family favorites such as the Spiced Beef Brisket, Brisket in Ale and the Mushroom Sauce Pork Chops. In my opinion this is the easiest and best slow cooker cookbook on the market.
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on March 19, 2003
The recipes in this book were just ok. I wanted a book on slow cooking and there are several chapters on cooking without the slow cooker. I have better recipes for things like that. I guess I will continue my search for a good slow cooker cookbook.
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on December 3, 2002
When things are really hectic, the crock-pot seems to take on a life of its own, slowing simmering away while the garlic and artichoke chicken, or vegetable curry, or pork roast with apricot/mustard glaze do their own thing, unattended. And there's nothing quite like coming home after a busy day to the down-home aromas of a dinner already cooked and ready to serve!
The Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes, like most Better Homes and Gardens products, is full of reliable, well-tested recipes, but this book seems to have more interesting recipes than the stews one finds in the average crock-pot cookbook. I was surprised to see a dozen recipes calling for parsnips in place of carrots, for example, while nine include artichoke hearts and six suggest eggplant. Several recipes are enhanced by a variety of gourmet mushrooms-shitake, crimini, and oyster mushrooms-while the pasta selections range from mostaccioli to orzo and tortellini.
The herbs and spices are well chosen, and most recipes call for more than one seasoning, giving interesting highlights to these dishes. I did find that I needed to use more of these than the recipes called for in most cases, though there are some curry recipes that call for a hefty tablespoonful of curry powder. Many of the recipes are heavy on tomatoes, tomato sauce, or tomato paste, and these sometimes seemed overpowering--in the Beef and Borscht Stew, for example--but adjusting downward to suit your own taste is not difficult.
Though the book calls its 59 pages of "one-dish" casserole dinners a "bonus," I was mystified as to why these were included here--none of them use the slow cooker at all! By contrast, only 24 pages of vegetarian main dishes for the crock-pot are included, despite the fact that beans, lentils, and chickpeas are at their best when cooked slowly. Over all, however, this is a tasty and unusual collection of recipes, many of which are sure to become family favorites. Mary Whipple
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on February 16, 2003
I have yet to find a great crockery cookbook, and I've tried many. I had high hopes for this one, but so far I've tried 3 recipes and they all have fallen flat.
The first recipe I tried was for carmelized onions & potatoes. It sounded great, but the end result was really bland. The second recipe was for a main dish - chicken with wine. My husband, who loves chicken, didn't finish it and said it wasn't very good. I tried it and while it wasn't inedible, it wasn't anything I'd make again. My last try was for a raisin pudding cake that sounded delicious. We had friends over and while they said it was good, both my husband and I thought it was way too sweet, and ended up throwing the rest away (and there was a lot).
While I have found many cookbooks that have wonderful recipes for cooking using the stovetop or oven, my search continues for a slow-cooker/crockery book that delivers recipes for delicious (or even "make this again") meals.
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on July 16, 2003
Well, the reader from Texas was quite right to expect recipes for slow cookers, given the title of the book and the picture on the cover. I just received it as a gift and I haven't cooked from it, but I've read it cover to cover (that's just what I do with new cookbooks). I was pretty dismayed when I turned to the one-dish dinner chapter to see that none of the recipes involved a crock pot in any way. I actually thought it was a printer's error or something, but now I'm thinking they just threw it in to live up to their claim to be the "biggest."
When you've read and used as many cookbooks as I have, you can almost taste the recipes just by reading through them. There doesn't seem to be anything special about them - they're not interesting or authentic enough for me, but I'm sure they would be perfect for a hard-to-please group. I do plan to try some of them and I could envision these types of recipes to come in handy when I don't feel like doing anything special or the pantry is getting bare.
On the plus side, I thought they did a good job with the little hints at the top of each page, usually suggestions on what to serve with the dish. That's something I wish more cookbooks would do.
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on December 30, 2002
Most slow-cooker books offer recipes for food you would find in a diner. Chilis and stews abound. This book is different. It's for the busy gourmet, and it's for the person who likes to cook up a big pot of something yummy on Sunday and then heat up portions for lunches and dinner during the week. Yesterday I made the Indian Curry Soup, and today for lunch I heated up a delicious, spicy soup filled with garbanzo beans, red potatoes, tomatoes, and tantalizing spices.
The best part about this book is that it includes key nutrition info- fat, fiber, and calories... it's all there! Weight Watchers will love it, because calculating the point value of each dish is a snap.
In short, a must-have for the career person who wants a home-cooked meal. My crock pot had been left abandoned in a cabinet, but now it's back on the counter!
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on January 4, 2003
This book is awesome! I was looking for a crockpot book with a variety of recipes...but none too bizarre that called for a lot of crazy ingredients and required a lot of prep time...I mean let's face it--do you want to have to cook in a saucepan first? That is why you are using a crockpot--to avoid that! This book tells you to "throw" stuff straight into the pot--lowering prep time! This book is easy to use AND has nutritional values included which is definitely a PLUS! The only thing that I can say that I thought was strange about this book is the section that calls for 5 ingredient recipes...none of these use the crockpot!?! Other than that, I would DEFINITELY recommend this book! In fact, I used it tonight! =o)
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on January 22, 2003
I have many crock pot cookbooks, and this by far is one of the best! Not only are the recipes new, but there is a prep time provided, a cooking time provided, and the required size of slow cooker needed. In addition, a nutritional analysis is provided with every recipe. This is a big plus since many of us are trying to watch our daily caloric and fat intake.
I am thrilled to find such a valuable cookbook since I need to use my slow cooker at least twice a week now. There are 400 recipes in this book.
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on March 8, 2003
This cookbook is my favorite slow-cooker cookbook. The recipe selection is varied, and the recipes are neither too difficult/strange, nor too simple. I appreciate that each recipe tells you what size cooker it is for, and there are enough different recipes for each size of cooker to keep you busy no matter what size cooker you have. I have a 5-quart, and some of the recipes for the 3-1/2 quart cookers look so good that I am considering buying a smaller cooker as well.
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