I love my job!! Yesterday while I was unpacking some boxes of new books for the library, I came across three shiny new recipe books. Talk about perfect timing: they were all slow cooker recipe books! Must be a trend. Anyway, I couldn’t wait to bring them home and devour them.
Slow Cooker Revolution
by the Editors at America’s Test Kitchen
“One test kitchen. 30 slow cookers. 200 amazing recipes.”
That lasagna on the cover sure looks tempting. There are some intriguing recipes inside too, like Loaded Baked Potato Soup, Lamb Vindaloo for you Indian food lovers like me, and even some jam and marmalade recipes. Not to mention some yummy desserts and fondues.
Slow-Cooker Quick Fixes
by the Editors of Southern Living Magazine
“15 minutes, ready to cook”—so the cover of this colourful, eye-appealing volume claims. I love the Slow-Cooker Secrets that are sprinkled throughout the pages—handy little tips like: don’t add dairy products till near the end of the cooking time, or else they will curdle. And did you know that browning ribs in the oven first will help make your sauce thicker? That’s news to me! I’ll have to keep that in mind the next time I make ribs in the slow cooker.
More Make It Fast, Cook It Slow
by Stephanie O’Dea
I enjoyed Stephanie O’Dea’s first slow cooker recipe book, Make It Fast, Cook It Slow. I loved the conversational way she described her recipes and her family’s reactions to them. At work, we have little coloured stickers for the staff to stick on our favourite books, so library patrons will know what we’ve enjoyed reading. Mine are purple and say, “Leanne’s Picks.” Well, let’s just say that Make It Fast, Cook It Slow got a purple sticker on its cover! I’m sure this second volume will deserve one too.
Planning your Easter menu? If you want to serve the traditional ham and scalloped potatoes (I shared my recipe in a previous post), here’s a simple and delicious version. It gets its great flavour from the juicy sweet pineapple chunks and Dijon mustard glaze. Enjoy some quality time with your family while it simmers on your countertop. And feel free to serve it any time of year, not just on Easter.
Slow Cooked Ham With Pineapple
1 ham (approx. 1 kg / 2 lbs.)
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. Dijon mustard
1 can pineapple chunks with juice
Grease the inside of the crockpot or spray with nonstick cooking spray. Place ham inside.
Combine brown sugar, honey, and mustard in a small bowl; spread over ham. Add pineapple with juice. Cover and cook on low for 5 to 6 hours. (Ham is done when its internal temperature reaches at least 160 F.) Slice the ham and serve hot with the pineapple and the liquid from the slow cooker as a sauce.
Whoever invented the slow cooker, I would like to shake your hand. Being able to cook delicious meals without physically being in the kitchen, or even in my house for that matter, is truly marvellous, especially when I’m at work all day. In April, I’ll share a few of my favourite slow cooker recipes. For now, here is a great book to whet your appetite!
Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Recipes for Two
by Beth Hensperger
I found this unique cookbook at the library. It has some delicious-sounding ideas, like salsa chicken, ginger-plum pork, and chicken mole (which I’ve never tried before, but which my sister-in-law informs me is an amazing Mexican dish). You can even make overnight oatmeal for breakfast. (Now that sounds a lot better than my usual bowl of cold cereal!)
The cauliflower soup with leeks in it sounds tempting. Hopefully it’s as good as the leek and potato soup my grandma used to make. Honey barbeque ribs — my husband will definitely love those. And watermelon salsa served alongside pork tenderloin — I’ll have to try that one this summer.
Now excuse me while I go copy some of these recipes and add them to my can’t-wait-to-try pile!