I recently sat down to look over a copy of MAKE IT FAST, COOK IT SLOW: The Big Book of Everyday Slow Cooking by Stephanie O’Dea (Hyperion 2009). This is not a book about gourmet cooking with tiny, cleverly arranged dabs of food on a big plate, often sprayed or drizzled with swirls of some sort of exotic liquid for artful effect. This is a great book for us regular cooks who want quality meals with less fuss that can be eaten and enjoyed by all, from kids to the fussiest of palates.
In 2008 Stephanie O’Dea vowed to use her slow cooker every single day for a year, reporting highlights and disasters on her blog at http://crockpot365.blogspot.com. Amidst her spectacular discoveries: crème brûlée! Have you ever imagined you create anything beyond a good stew or roast, or maybe a soup, in a slow cooker? This success led to a guest spot on The Rachael Ray show. Stephanie was inspired to expand her efforts even more imaginatively and, with the input of a growing following and many experiments (both duds and delights), this cookbook was born. Visit her blog for a sneak preview of what’s in store.
I’m amazed at the range of offerings, from beverages, breakfast, baked goods, casseroles, seafood, and meatless mains to snacks and fondue, desserts, and nonfood fun stuff. All recipes are gluten free and have been tested on her own family and friends.
If you constantly wake each morning wondering, “What am I going to fix for dinner,” this cookbook may be the answer. It’s timesaving without resorting to fast food takeout; you just throw a bunch of ingredients in the pot, then walk away to tend to your day’s bigger challenges, sitting down at meal time to something guaranteed to appeal. I can’t wait to try it!
Happy eating and cooking in 2010!
-- Rosemary Carstens
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