Friday, June 27, 2014

"The Great American Slow Cooker Book" by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough (book review)

My supper club (in which we freeze meals and switch at the end of the month for more variety) has slowly evolved from casseroles to meals in a bag (aka slow cooker meals). It's just so convenient to slop things into a crockpot, turn it on (which is an important part that I've forgotten a few times), and walk away for a few hours.

I've made tapioca, pasta, cobbler, roasts, soups, and maybe some other stuff in our crockpot. My newest recipe to try was from "The Great American Slow Cooker Book" by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough: biscuits and sausage gravy. I love me a good biscuit with some sausage gravy! And I love that I could make it during the week when we had a t-ball game so we could come home to a meal.
image via website
I threw all the stuff into the crockpot before we left. One feature of this cookbook I appreciate is that there are conversions in the ingredient list for different sized slow cookers. For instance, for these biscuits, if you were making this in a 2-3.5 quart slow cooker, you'd use 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons of flour. In a 4-5 quart cooker, you'd use 2 1/4 cups of flour, and in a 6-8 quart slow cooker, you'd use 3 cups plus 6 tablespoons of flour. I just think that's really helpful because slow cookers have such variances.

I actually left ours in the crockpot a bit too long (me not factoring in the time to and from and talking at the game) so it was a little bit overcooked. However, it was still very good. I didn't like the nutmeg used in the gravy; it made it too sweet. But the biscuits were delicious and I had leftover dough, so I froze them for later use. This recipe made enough to feed six of us, which was really handy because my mom and sister stayed for supper after the game!

This cookbook has 500 recipes that use fairly ordinary ingredients (chorizo is one that I am unfamiliar with). The authors say they live in the boondocks so they wanted to use ingredients that they could easily get. A lot of the ingredients, I'm sure I could get at our grocery store (we're not THAT rural), but are not things that are staples in my pantry. I had to try the biscuits and sausage gravy recipe because that's the only recipe in the whole book that I had all the ingredients for! There are so many I want to try - I really wish there were more ground beef recipes. I'm excited to try the carrot cake recipe or apple cake. I like the idea of dessert in a crockpot.

If you want to try some new recipes in your slow cooker, I'm sure that at least one of the 500 will fit the mold for you.

Disclaimer: I received this cookbook in order to write an honest review. All opinions are my own.

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