Cookbook review: 'That's a Lot of Crock' offers slow cooker tips

By Tara Creel

For the Deseret News

Published: Tuesday, July 30 2013 4:35 p.m. MDT

"THAT'S A LOT OF CROCK," by Brenda Stanley, Front Table Books, $12.99, 129 pages

In her latest cookbook, "That's a Lot of Crock," University of Utah graduate Brenda Stanley provides many delicious slow cooker recipes that will save the busy chef any day of the week.

With an easy-to-follow format and plenty of slow cooker user tips, this cookbook is for the beginner and for those who have been using their slow cooker for years.

The cookbook begins with Stanley's own reasons to use a slow cooker, as well as the history of the cooker and tips on using and cleaning it.

With cleverly named chapters (Patiently Pining for Pork) and pop world quotes intermittently throughout ("Slow but steady wins the race" — Aesop), the cookbook is useful and entertaining.

The chapters are divided by the type of meat that is used in the recipe, or by sides, chilies and stews and desserts.

Each recipe clearly states how many servings it makes, the ingredients needed and the time that it needs to cook in the slow cooker.

Stanley includes recipes tried and perfected in her home kitchen, recipes she desperately needed when she was raising two sets of twins born 20 months apart. Each recipe is adjusted to each ingredient to ensure that the texture of the recipe is preserved and the taste is excellent. Users will appreciate many of their favorite oven recipes in slow cooker format. No need to use the hot oven on summer days.

While some may not appreciate the use of condensed soup and canned foods, the recipes hold up as hearty and healthy meals for a small or large family. The recipes range from using four to more than 10 ingredients, from simple to complex, giving multiple options for your slow cooker meal.

There aren't pictures accompanying the recipes. There are a few pictures on the cover of the cookbook, but the interior of the book lacks the visuals needed to make the recipes more appealing.

Otherwise, the recipes are well-written, easy to follow and taste as good as she says they will. Whether you are new to slow cooker cooking or a not, you will find tips and recipes that may help add something new to your dinner menu.

APPLE CRISP CRUNCH

Serves: 6

4 medium apples, peeled and sliced

1/4 cup honey

1 teaspoon cinamon

2 tablespoons butter, melted

2 cups granola cereal

Place apples in a lightly greased slow cooker. Mix together honey, cinnamon, melted butter and cereal. Spread on top of apples.

Cook on low 6-8 hours.

Tara Creel is a Logan native and mother of three boys. Her email is taracreel@gmail.com.

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