I have used a slow cooker before, but it has been neglected lately, so I thought I would request this recipe book from NetGalley (for an unbiased review) to inspire myself to start using it again.
I buy organic vegetables direct from a farm, so the first thing that appealed about this book was that it was organised by season. This means the correct vegetables are grouped together and I can make efficient use of my veg box.
On the downside, the majority of the recipes are not vegetarian, which reduces the number that I can use, although I'm generally pretty good at substituting alternatives, these are definitely heavy on the meat.
I did find a few delicious recipes to sample - lentils with garam masala, coconut, and pomegranate seeds (P22) and tartines with roasted garlic, white bean spread, fresh spinach, and radishes (P90). The deserts are also vegetarian, but I don't make a lot of deserts so I haven't tried any of these yet.
The advice at the beginning of the book applied to all slow cooking though. I was not previously aware that frozen food should not be added as it brings the temperature down into the danger zone, ditto opening the lid any more than necessary during cooking.
I was also interested to learn that slow cooker sauces need to be quite thick to allow for the liquid that comes out of the foods during cooking and for the lack of evaporation through the closed lid.
On balance, this is a great book for non-vegetarians who want inspiration to start using a slow cooker, sadly, it is less practical for those of us who prefer to eat vegetarian.
What a cute story this was!!
Neil Kelly, the younger computer programmer with his red curls and his fair skin and his case of ‘diarrhea of the mouth’ whenever he meets face to face with Ted Freeman – whom he has been having a crush for the past three years – just seized my heart immediately. I thought he was frickin’ adorable. I loved his friendliness, his outlook towards life and opportunities. I loved how Neil was able to make Ted realize that he needed to readjust his life’s expectations. Neil was the kind of character that just charmed me one hundred times over.
On the other hand, Ted was rather distant to me… although I couldn’t really blame him. Being a couples counselor whose partner left him, most definitely shook Ted to the core. Wondering what went wrong with his relationship. I could totally understand how he wanted to brood and think instead of socializing with this younger man.
But I thought their relationship progressed nicely. Neil didn’t push and he let Ted have the space and the time needed. So the relationship felt like it was moving at the right pace for me to enjoy – starting from friendship to the hopeful beginning. None of that instant-love that I dislike.
Oh, another kudos for Ms. McAllister was that she didn’t exactly portray Ted’s ex in black and white, meaning that he was the only one to blame. I thought there were definitely complicated reasons behind everything. There were signs for both Ted and his-ex on why it didn’t work between them. So I appreciated that.
Definitely a heartwarming and wonderful holiday novella!
So my apologies to the author because this really is a wonderful, sweet holiday read worthy of the time spent reading it. I thoroughly enjoyed it and to be honest would be more than a little happy to see another story about these two men and how things are going for them.
Unfortunately due to the time of year and the acquisition of an early Christmas present (that's right hubby got me a new toy, a sweet little laptop which hooks up to a 24 inch monitor when I'm using it in my office) anyways, my time is running out as I have much to do today and my patience with technology is wearing thin after having locked myself out of my laptop for most of the morning.
So given the circumstances the best I can say is it's worth reading and I really enjoyed it...oh yeah and there's a ginger involved if that scores points with you ;-)
This was such a treat to read! The author, Dina Cheney, does a fabulous job of preparing even the most novice of slow cooker users to make the best meal.
The highlights of her book over others would be the usage of her tips for cooking and ingredients. She has a really good way of explaining the safety and temperature concerns. I was also impressed that she touched on the water vs. excess water issues that are so common with slow cooker cooking.
The best part of the book, to me, was the way Cheney divides the book into seasons and gives excellent recommendations to the seasonal foods. She makes it simple for someone who gardens, or who loves fresh food and ingredients.
I was totally won over by the list to stock my pantry with and ways to thicken my sauces at the beginning of the book. She also has terrific kitchen practices that make for logical and more efficient cooking.
The book has (YES -really has!) 100 recipes to cook or draw from to make your own. The author does a good job explaining uses of ingredients and why. She also helps you understand a lot of the cooking steps you must take prior to the slow cooking process,
I found it to be a handy book that I would recommend on any cooks shelf, if they have a slow cooker in their home. This may well end up as a Christmas gift to those I love this year.
***I received this ARC copy free from Netgalley.com, in exchange for review purposes. This did not influence my opinion toward author or said book.