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Cristofori's Dream
Robert Italia
Your Inner Fish: A Journey Into The 3.5 Billion Year History Of The Human Body
Neil Shubin, Marc Cashman
The Enchanted Wood
Enid Blyton
The Sparrow
Mary Doria Russell
The Ghosts Of Evolution Nonsensical Fruit, Missing Partners, And Other Ecological Anachronisms
Connie Barlow

Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Family Favorites

Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Family Favorites - Beth Hensperger I didn't really like Hensperger's first slow cooker cookbook because she tended to ruin lots of the recipes with ingredients like ketchup, mustard, and vinegar. However, the recipes in this cookbook are much, much, much better. One thing that I appreciate about her cookbooks are that she tends to call for whole foods rather than processed foods as ingredients for the most part. This cookbook also has quite a variety of recipes that aren't just a hunk of meat in a slow cooker with a different sauce than the page before.

The book has sections for ....
*Hot drinks (like buttered mulled apple juice and fresh gingerale)
*Appetizers (like slow-steamed artichokes with red pepper aioli and butterbean hummus)
*Breakfasts (like breakfast couscous with dates & nuts and tortilla egg casserole)
*Salads (like thai beef and pasta salad and curried chicken salad with raisins & apples in pitas)
*Sandwiches (like french dip sandwiches with sauteed green peppers and mini turkey meatball sliders)
*Soups (like creamy tomato basil soup and vegetable lentil soup with cumin, coriander, & lemon)
*Roasted Meats (like old fashioned meatloaf with fresh tomatoes & two cheeses and garlic-rosemary leg of lam with tabbouleh mint salad)
*Roasted Poultry (like thai-style ginger chicken thighs and whole chicken stuffed with rice and golden raisins)
*Stews (like spiced vegetable stew with almonds & currants and chianti & cherry beef stew)
*Veggies & Sides (like spinach & cheese soufflé and lynn's green enchilada casserole)

In addition to the recipes, she offers helpful tips about how to convert regular recipes for the slow cooker, what healthy sides and toppings to serve with slow cooked meals, how to make quick slow cooker meals out of simple things in the pantry, and other nice ideas.

The recipes I've made so far have been these:
*Oatmeal With Cranberries & Apples -- This cooks overnight using steel cut oats which have a nice texture the next morning, but it would have been better if the apples hadn't turned to mush. I didn't add cranberries.
*Black Beans -- A simple recipe for black beans that requires a little help from a jar of salsa. Quite good and easy.
*Barbecue Burgers -- These were amazing. I'd never thought of cooking burgers in a slow cooker before, but it worked great. I'll certainly make them again.
*Pork Roast With Sweet Potatoes -- The crystallized ginger and sweet potatoes really made this recipe amazing. Now I'm convinced that sweet potatoes always belong with roast.

I think, though, that in the future I'm going to cook with the slow cooker mainly when I can be there to turn it off in the shortest amount of time suggested by the recipe. Overcooked meat can so quickly turn from tasting great to tasting like canned dogfood. There's so much in this book I'd like to try, so maybe I'll make them on the weekend when I can supervise the timing more closely.

Note: While I critique both purchased and free books in the same way, I'm legally obligated to tell you I received this book free through the Amazon Vine program in return for my review. Blah blah blah.