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Cookbook review: '101 Things to Do With A Slow Cooker' is simply fun

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(A cookbook) 101 Things To Do With a Slow Cooker by Stephanie Ashcroft and Janet Eyring


This digest-sized cookbook with a frosted plastic cover is inexpensive, but it is full of simple slow cooker recipes, many with only three or four ingredients. "101 Things To Do With Ramen Noodles" almost looks like a little cookbook for the Easy Bake Oven. A quick flip through the pages promises every bit of the same enjoyable cooking experience.

You have probably seen these little plasticized "101 Things To Do With...." cookbooks in magazine racks at dollar stores, grocery stores or other venues. "101 Things To Do With Ramen Noodles" and "101 Things To Do With Jello" are two very common ones. "101 Things To Do With A Slow Cooker" is the best in this genre of books so far. If you can't find the little gem in a store, it is available online at

Some of the recipes are easy, almost magical ideas for using the slow cooker that you seldom see in a cookbook due to their pure simplicity and brevity. These are the unusual slow cooker "formulas" that women began to share among themselves when slow cookers, or crock pots, were introduced. These recipes use familiar ingredients in unfamiliar, imaginative ways.

The boneless chicken recipes are often the most sought-after ideas for everyday cooking. The Lemonade Chicken is an intriguing example. It uses four boneless chicken breasts cooked in a sauce made of a can of frozen lemonade, three tablespoons of brown sugar, a tablespoon of vinegar and a 1/4 cup of ketchup!

Anyone who truly loves and collects cookbooks knows that it is not just about a recipe book that you pull out and throw down on the counter when you want to prepare a certain dish. It is about what the cookbook looks and even feels like. It is about being able to sit down in a comfy spot with a cup of tea and browse through the cookbook or even take it to bed as nighttime reading! It is about pulling it out to show a friend. And, of course, it is about the new, different recipes inside.