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Review: Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes

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Biggest Book of Slow Cooker Recipes
By Better Homes & Gardens
ISBN: 0696215462
Publisher: Meredith Books
Publication date: Aug. 2002
Format: Paperback
List price: $19.95 (Canada, UK)
Type: Single Subject: Equipment: Slow Cooker
Sample recipe: Favorite Beef Pot Roast
intended audience: novice advanced beginner good home cook gourmet professional
apparent goal: stocking stuffer sampler comprehensive Biblical stature coffee-table
competition: outclassed also-ran midrange strong challenger leads the pack
# of recipes: <50 <100 <200 <300 >300
practical recipes: <20% <40% <60% <80% >80%
# of ingredients: <3 <6 <9 <12 >12
ingredient hunt: 7-11 pantry supermarket online airfare required
recipe complexity: baby steps simple medium intense professional
instructions: inadequate bare bones full figured educational verbose
time conscious: outright lies speed of light fairly quick takes time takes all day
photos/drawings: skimpy adequate generous instructive glorious
recipe results: dorm food casual food family meals fancy food fit for royalty
flavor quotient: disappointing fair good delicious exceptional
layout: ick cluttered clean kind to cooks work of art
legibility: microscopic challenging adequate clear brilliant
production quality: cheesy questionable years of service gift-quality stunning
value: ouch! a little pricey on the money excellent worth splurging
Ease of Use
page numbers: invisible hard to find spotty adequate obvious
table of contents: missing frustrating passable useful helpful
index quality: none tragic adequate good excellent
page flipping: infuriating tedious acceptable rare never
writer: hack cook turned writer writer turned cook comedian auteur
cook: self-taught non-restaurant chef teacher celebrity
overall rating: fair good above average excellent Ochef Top 100
Comments: This is the kind of book that Better Homes & gardens excels at — hundreds of simple recipes for an appliance for which people are always looking for recipes, especially simple, quick recipes. Quick in this case, of course, refers to the preparation; the actual cooking time can top 12 hours.

Yes, the slow cooker is frowned upon by some, but for others, it is a lifesaver. And if you can carve out 15 or 20 minutes in the morning to prep ingredients and get them into the cooker, you can arrive home from a long day at the office to a hot, tasty meal..

The 400+ recipes offer a lot of variety, which counters the claim that the slow cooker is something of a one-trick pony. Recipes include dips, snacks, drinks, desserts, and vegetable side dishes, alongside the soups, stews, and meat-based main dishes that are the domain of the slow cooker. There is also a chapter on meatless main dishes, another on complete one-dish dinners, and — perhaps the chapter that may see the most use — 5-ingredient recipes.

Many recipes include suggestions for side dishes (often with packaged ingredients that speed preparation.) All the recipes also come with comprehensive nutritional facts per serving. 

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