Archive for the ‘Nifty Notes’ Category


Book Review: Betty Crocker’s Slow Cooker CookBook

January 27, 2009

Book Review: Betty Crocker’s Slow Cooker Cookbook

OK, so I know this is a departure from what you’ve been getting from me. Be patient.

The fact of the matter is, while God has been feeding my soul, recipes from this cookbook have been feeding our stomachs. As I sit here and write this review, I’m eating a bowl of the Vegetable Beef & Barley soup. I altered the recipe a little (I’ve altered many of them a little, either because I couldn’t find the exact ingredients listed, or because I know our tastebuds, and the little alterations would suit us well), but at its heart, this is the soup from the cookbook. I’ve discovered several recipes in here that are outstanding and have become new favorites: this soup, the beef stroganoff, the Irish Stew (made with beef, not lamb), the potato & double corn chowder…

It makes planning meals easy, and that’s been really important while I’ve had little energy. Some of them take a little more prep time than others, but most of them are set them and forget them suppers that are so easy and so tasty you’ll be thrilled you tried them. The cookbook is a little more than $15 at Amazon, and if you shop right (even without coupons) you can prepare these meal with little or no added preservatives and at an excellent budget. You couldn’t eat out for less than you can prepare many of these meals, and because they take so little prep in the morning, and so little to serve in the evening, you couldn’t ask for an easier solution for a busy family. Even if your family doesn’t have time to come together and all eat at the same time, many of these meals are such that everyone can serve themselves from the crockpot as they’re ready, especially if yours has a “keep warm” setting on it.

I will note two life-savers that make crockpot cooking even easier for me: Crockpot bags, and a timed crockpot. Ours is a crockpot brand slow cooker with a timer on it. You set it for high or low heat, how long at that heat, and at the end of that time, it will switch itself to keep warm. There are others, too. No more worrying that I won’t be home in time to switch off the crockpot… I can set a stew working in the morning before I leave around 8 and know it will be ready for me when I’m ready at 7 that evening. Also, Reynolds makes crockpot and turkey bags. These little bags tuck into your slow cooker and you put all your food in the bag. Clean up afterwards is just a matter of tossing the bag and wiping out the crock. Even if it makes a mess by leaking or spilling, the mess is MUCH easier to clean up than it was before.

Chances are, my next post will be back to your (ir)regularly scheduled musings. I just had to share the joy of my crockpot & my new cookbook. 😀