Author Stephanie O’Dea, the author of the foodie blog A Year of Slow Cooking, really used her crock pot every single day in 2008 just for the practical purpose and creative driving force behind her new cookbook, Make It Fast, Cook It Slow: The Big Book of Everyday Slow Cooking, published by Hyperion. I have been reading and enjoying Stephanie's blog for quite some time. Her recipes are creative, innovative and interestingly palate pleasing. This is a great guide for those hurried and harried Moms like me who might have been fresh out of ideas for dinner. Admittedly, I was in a rut and our meals were getting redundant and boring. The variety and versatility of the recipes and everything that one can effortlessly create with a Crock Pot is functionally fantastic! Stephanie's fun and creative recipes really convey a strong message that "your crockpot is not your mother's crock-pot anymore."
This book enlightens and enriches the reader in tried and true crock-pot favorites like; delicious soups, meats, side dishes, appetizers, dips, and desserts. I am actually beyond excited about using the crockpot for holiday appetizers, like the buffalo chicken dip described on page 25. It would provide a nice bite of competition in regards to the same old salad dressing dip. I love how this cookbook kind of breathes life into the Crockpot, and even family fun activities like creating Crock Pot caramel apples would make any Mom the coolest mom ever! There is even a recipe for recycling old candles to make new ones. Yes, candles, in the crock-pot!
Stephanie's wit and her willingness to try anything are what initially drew me in to her website in the first place. I was vapidly searching for Gluten-free recipes as my kids fare well on this type of diet. Stephanie also has a child with Celiac Disease, so all of her recipes are Gluten-free or have been tastefully adapted to be gluten-free.Well many of you might be thinking, What is Gluten? Gluten is a special type of protein that is commonly found in rye, wheat, and barley. Therefore, it is found in most types of cereals and in many types of bread. Not all foods from the grain family, however, contain gluten. Examples of grains that do not have gluten include wild rice, corn, buckwheat, millet, amaranth, quinoa, teff, oats, soybeans, and sunflower seeds. Gluten essentially helps make bread elastic, providing it with that chewy texture it has when eaten.
I also think that one of the best parts of her blog are the verdicts, and she incorporates them into her book as well. It's nice to know all the recipes have really been authenticated--tried and tested. This is an extremely useful tool in helping the reader easily pick out which recipes will work for their family. Some cookbooks have fancy and eye appealing photos, but it's difficult to discern whether or not its actually going to taste good.
I have been sending people to her website ever since I stumbled across it, and will highly recommend this book to friends and family. I plan on ordering multiple copies to give as Christmas gifts. Out of the vast conglomeration of slow cooker cookbooks that I own, this one is clearly a cut above the rest. IMHO, its the only one you'll ever need.
* The views and opinions expressed in this post are my own. I was not endorsed, compensated, or provided a product or service for my opinions stated herein*