Disclosure: I received a product to facilitate this post. All opinions expressed are my own.
I’ve been looking around for more recipes to use in my Crock-Pot slow cooker for awhile. Several afternoons have been spent perusing online stores or spent in the aisles of Barnes & Noble flipping pages and scanning the Tables of Contents to see what recipes are included in the cook books.
I just have had a hard time settling on one book over any other. This indecision can be maddening. I am excited, therefore, to give 175 Essential Slow Cooker Classics cook book a try in my home.
This book offers some excellent slow cooker tips to assist you in understanding how your slow cooker works. One tip in particular that I found interesting is that author, Judith Finlayson, states that she personally will brown meat and soften vegetables before adding them to the slow cooker. Browning meat first on your stove top adds color to the finished dish as well as beginning the process of caramelization, breaking down the fat and sugars which release extra flavor. Softening vegetables and adding spices to them before adding to the slow cooker allows better integration of flavor. There are several other tips and tricks included in this section as well. The subsection about leftovers was new to me and of particular interest. I’ll leave that tidbit a mystery, though. Just one of the many insights for those who are interested in learning how much slow cooking in a crock pot can make our busy lives easier while still preparing hearty, filling meals for our families.
There are many recipes included in this cook book that I am interested in trying. I have never tried to cook a dessert, to my recollection, in my slow cooker. I have pinned plenty of yummy sweet recipes to my Pinterest page over the years and I would estimate that about 1/4 of them are for desserts. Being that I have recently decided to commit to utilizing my crock pot more, I have begun going through some of them and identifying the ones I most want to try.
Buttermilk Lemon Sponge is described in the book as a creamy, light dessert with sponge layers and lemon curd at the bottom. It sounds delicious! This would be the perfect finish to a relaxed Sunday supper. The dessert can be topped with whipped cream and candied lemon curls (as pictured), though the directions for preparing this dish do not describe these toppings.
What I like about this kind of recipe is that it can be personalized any way you want to make it. You could make it as pictured. But, you could also make a version for chocolate lovers with a chocolate drizzle and either shaved or curled chocolate on top (either with or without whipped cream). Or, another delicious option might be to sprinkle sugar over sliced strawberries and let them break down the fruit to make a sweet strawberry topping to spoon over the top. So many options!
My husband and I used to frequent a local restaurant that offered the most delicious Cheesy Spinach Artichoke Dip we’ve ever had. Sure, other restaurants offer this dish, but it’s just not the same. I’ve bought commercially made versions at the grocery store, and none of them has compared, in our opinion, either. I’ve moved on to trying recipes to make it at home. No luck, yet, finding the perfect recipe yet. But, I’m not giving up. Finger’s crossed when I try this one on game day to snack on while we yell at the tv. I’m hoping this will be “the one.”
An additional plus (in my book) is that vegetarian and vegan recipes in the book are clearly identified. This will be especially helpful as my youngest daughter became a vegetarian about six months ago and has an interest in cooking. She often helps me prepare dinner in the evening. We have scoured local grocery stores for meal options that will work for her. We have found fantastic meatless meatballs, meatless chicken strips and veggie burger items for her to try. This would be a great way to introduce her to slow cooking as an option to perhaps infuse more flavor options and different types of foods to try.
Connect with this brand: Robert Rose, Inc.-Publisher
Disclaimer: I was provided with a free copy of the cookbook featured in this review for purposes of review. No other compensation was received. All opinions are 100% my own.