When we moved from log house to city apartment, I downsized my large cookbook collection, and kept fewer than 100 cookbooks. What made the cut, and why?
Why I've kept it: In the house where I grew up, there were no slow cookers. My mother's cookware arsenal -- frying pan, roasting pan, and a set of blue-and-white nested CorningWare pots in totally impractical sizes -- covered all of her cooking needs. Though she was a working mom, she never had a slow cooker. I can't imagine how she managed without one.
My own adventures in slow cooker cooking began just a few years ago, with a $19 four-quart cooker purchased at a discount store, and though I've upgraded my slow cooker since then, I still consider myself a neophyte when it comes to the whole range of things these machines can do. The success of my earliest experiments, lemon-garlic chicken stew and adobo chicken (and, well, all things chicken), emboldened me to branch out to soups, beans, and lasagna. A well-worn copy of Slow Cooker Comfort Food, with notes scribbled in the margins, has been my guide on the journey.
Every recipe specifies the size of slow cooker to be used, and for me, that's one of the most useful features of the book. When you're just starting out, it's great to know this (and I include this information in all of my own slow cooker recipes). Recipes from starters to dessert feature basic comfort foods with a wide range of ethnic influences, and plenty of vegetarian-friendly dishes.
Bookmarked, to try next: lentil shepherd's pie with sweet potato topping, chile-spiced short ribs.
Do you have Slow Cooker Comfort Food on your cookbook shelf?
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