Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Slow Cooker Round Up #3 & Book Review

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It's already Wednesday and I feel like my 'staycation' is flying by already! Lately the weather has been cloudy, cold and craving for comfort food. One thing I enjoy this time of year is using my slow cooker/crockpot. I've included some favorites below but first, what about those with small households? How does slow cooking differ when scaling recipes down? That's where I thought this book, Slow Cooking for Two came in handy. It was a great resource to help prepare slow cooker meals for a handful of people and not a huge group, like many slow cooker recipes tend to feed. The recipes were delicious and I even learned some great tips and tricks to use my big slow cooker for smaller meals and some cool techniques to really maximize my slow cooker!

A slow cooker is a perfect kitchen appliance for today's fast-paced lifestyle. For large meals, a slow cooker can be fast and economical.  But what if you are single or there are only two of you? How can a slow cooker work for you? Award-winning cookbook author, Cynthia Graubart answers that question with a new cookbook that creates easy and delicious meals designed specifically for two people using a 3 ½ quart slow cooker. Slow Cooking for Two: Basic, Techniques and Recipes (August 2013 Gibbs-Smith), is perfect for busy people on the go, newlyweds, empty nesters, small apartment dwellers, and for use in unusual spaces where a slow cooker might be the only appliance available for cooking (i.e., vacation cabin, boat, RV).  This must-have cookbook shows home cooks how to create low maintenance, effortless meals using a smaller slow cooker with recipes running the gamut from soups and appetizers to main meals and desserts. Cynthia’s recipes do not call for browning or other additional preparation steps requiring another appliance such as a stove, oven or microwave. Each recipe is designed for two with a little leftover for lunch or perhaps a second light meal or a third drop-in diner. All of the ingredients can be found in local grocery stores, without an extra trip to a specialty store. Cynthia has also included basic instructions for slow cooking and creative methods for 100 recipes, plus tips and techniques. Recipes found in COOKING FOR TWO include: Lime Pot Roast, Cornish Game Hen in Port Wine and Fig Preserves, Mozzarella-Stuffed Meatloaf, Kale and Kielbasa Soup, Foil Pouch Lemon-Dill Salmon, Orange-Glazed Carrots with Tarragon, Spinach Lasagna, Chocolate SoufflĂ© Cake, Banana Bread, Lemon Curd and many more.  And Cynthia debuts a ground-breaking method of recipes using slow cooker liners as cooking bags to cook two different meals in the same slow cooker. She’s calling them Double Dinners – a meal for tonight and a meal for later in the week, or for the freezer. Meals for two have never been so easy, convenient or delicious. Cynthia Graubart turns a 3 ½-quart slow cooker into a multi-use cooking convenience.

 Here are some favorites to share if you're looking for an easy, no fuss meal with your slow cooker/crockpot. I can't get enough of these, simply for the ease of assembling and how great they are with little effort!

Chipotle Lime Carnitas





Chili con Carne







Slow Cooker Spaghetti Bolognese










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