Slow cooking for cold weather

-posted by Anne C.

This winter, I visited my aunt at her home in rural England. I love her old house, with its thick stone walls, but my favorite feature is the oil-fired aga in the heart of the kitchen. An aga, rare in the US, is a very efficient, unique kind of cast-iron stove that is used as both a cooking appliance and a source of heat. There are no temperature controls, but it works perfectly for everything from frying eggs to baking bread. It particularly excels at any kind of slow cooking. Entranced, I experimented with stew, crumble, and cottage pie during our short time there. Continue reading “Slow cooking for cold weather”

What a crock!

crockpot photo courtesy of tabbymom jen on flickrOn a brilliant blue and blustery day it hit me….the sun may be shining, but autumn is definitely here.  Leaves are starting to litter the ground and the wind bites right through my lightweight summer sweater.

I love the change in seasons except for the fact that my walk home from work will now have me arriving home cold and windblown.  Thankfully, I have a wonderful warm inviting and ready to dish up dinner waiting for me in my crock-pot. 

I received this old-school appliance as a gift last year and am quickly becoming a convert. Throw all the ingredients together, turn a switch, and walk away.  What could be better than this? Finding a whole new world of updated and gourmet recipes, that’s what!

Getting tired of the traditional meat and potatoes recipes I tripped off to the cooking section of SPL to see what might be found…and quite the bounty there is.  I found the expected volumes on Slow Cooking for Dummies, meals for pennies, and I was even excited about the options for vegetarian slow cooking.  But I was looking for more.  Below are three newer titles that I expect will help me enjoy my ’70s era appliance to the fullest this winter.  Check out all SPL has to offer for slow cooking cookbooks to weather you through this winter in style.

The Slow Cooker Cookbook by Gina Steer
Beautiful pictures and a variety of foods prepared; Steer’s book makes me want to use the slow cooker even on one on my days off so I can try one of the shorter cooking time options.  

Not your mother's slow cooker cookbook coverNot Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Recipes for Two by Beth Hensperger
A second version from her original Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Recipes, Hensperger’s focuses on smaller meals made my day!  Having recipes specifically geared for my smaller crock-pot filled me with excitement that not only would I not get tired of eating the same thing for a week, but I won’t inevitably toss out the leftovers.

cooking light slow cooker cookbook coverCooking Light Slow Cooker  by Terri Laschober
Cooking Light might just be my personal cooking bible. I love the manner in which the recipes approach keeping flavor while reinventing those not so healthy favorites.  

                       ~ Julie C., Central Library