Friday, October 19, 2012

Autumn Giveaway: Slow Cooker - The Best Cookbook Ever

This giveaway is now closed - thank you to Chronicle Books, and to everybody who participated and made it so much fun!!!  Like our Facebook and never miss another giveaway! 

This is the first giveaway in a series of book giveaways - click here to see what is in the lineup!  

I received a free copy of this book from the publisher.  They did not pay me for my review.  As some of you know far too well, the opinions expressed herein are most definitely my own! 

Dear hungry readers,

It's that time of year again - that time of year when we have to make dinner.  a.k.a. Every day of the year.

Auntie Jessie came for a one-week visit - such fun! 
With a new little one, I still have time to make dinner - but that time is not, unfortunately, all concentrated around dinner-time, in one huge chunk.  No, no.  I have little time-slots all throughout the day.  When Mr H gets home from work at 7:30 in the evening, we head straight out the door with the jogging stroller for a tandem evening run, and come back and eat dinner.  So I find myself needing one of two things:  a) a maid who could cook for me, or b) a really sturdy, solid book on slow-cooking that would provide me with lots of recipes for a long time to come.

I'll give you a hint as to which one we chose to feature on the blog: we are NOT giving away a maid today!

It's too hot to be in the kitchen!  We need to be at the beach! Mrs H (L) and
Auntie Jessie (R) head out to take a dip in the waves
Sometimes you're just too tired to cook! 
Plumb wore out ... 
Perhaps you are in college, and you leave in the morning and get back at night hungry (please don't stop at McDonalds!).

Maybe you have kids going back to school or starting up their homeschool classes for the fall, and it would be convenient to have dinner prepared in the morning before the day gets busy.

Maybe it's hot where you live, and something that can cook on the back porch (we snaked an extension cord through the dining-room window!) sounds better than turning on the oven.

Or could be, you know somebody who needs a new book, and you want to win it for them!

Slow Cooker: The Best Cookbook Ever with more than 400 easy-to-make recipes, by Diane Phillips

What's funny is, they aren't exaggerating in the title.  This is the best slow cooker book I have ever laid my hands on, and I've laid hands on a few.

From the day I got it, I couldn't stop making recipes - my slow cooker hasn't even gone back in the cupboard yet!  The book is well-organized, cleanly laid out, and easy to read.  Divided into twelve topic chapters, including soups and chilies, casseroles, vegetable dishes, a chapter for the primary meats (fish, beef, pork, lamb, and poultry), dessert - and a most delightful chapter called Party in a Pot, which covers drinks, appetizers, dishes for entertaining ... and more devastating items.

One of my favorite features is that many of the recipes, whenever they are able, offer two cooking times: one for a low heat, and one for a high heat.  So on my organized days, I'll start the dinner in the morning and let it slow cook all day... When things are a little more hectic, I can start it in the afternoon, turn up the heat and have it slow-cook a little faster!

Great reading material for the kids

Most slow cooker books will cover the basics - white chicken chili, spaghetti sauce, beef stew, macaroni and cheese, blah blah blah.  That's great, because sometimes we just crave familiar dishes like that!  And those are all here - the artichoke dip, the snack mix, all the things we know and love about slow cookers.  But what I love about this book is that it takes things a little farther than the familiar ... Try a few of these titles on for size:

South-of-the-Border Halibut, Penne Lasagna, Vegetarian Confetti Split Pea Soup, Boneless Buffalo Chicken for Sandwiches, Potatoes Boulangerie (Mr H loved this rich, meaty dish - and I loved how quickly I assembled it and promptly forgot it until evening!), Potatoes Baked in the Crock, Spinach Parmesan Strata, Hot Fudge Upside-Down Cake, Down East Indian Pudding, Spicy Crocked Nuts, Hot Dill and Swiss Dip ... and take things up a notch with elegant dishes for entertaining like Stuffed Lamb in Ratatouille Sauce, Shaved Brussels Sprouts with Pancetta, Ginger Cheesecake, or Pumpkin Maple Bread Pudding!

This book will satisfy your desire for an endless variety of recipes, variations on a theme, tips and tricks to enjoy with your slow cooker!  I am thrilled with my copy, and I am doubly thrilled to be able to give away a copy to one of my wonderful readers, courtesy of Chronicle Books of San Francisco!

Enter the Giveaway!  

Step 1. Leave a comment below (use an email address that I can reach you at, providing you win!) and let us know your favorite crock-pot recipe or tip!  Winner will be selected at random.

Step 2. You know you want to ...Just for fun, Like our Facebook page so you'll always be kept up-to-date on giveaways, or share this giveaway with a friend!  Help us spread the word and share the love!  The more popular a giveaway or posting is, the more giveaways we are privileged to hold in the future ... so everybody wins!

Contest ends Wednesday, October 31 and will be promptly followed by the next book giveaway...

May the hungriest cook win!

Mrs H



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