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Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  5,816 ratings  ·  94 reviews
You probably own a slow cooker - 80 percent of American households do. For more than thirty years, its unbeatable convenience and practicality have made it a staple of busy families, enabling anyone to return to a home-cooked meal at the end of a hectic day. Many slow cooker recipes, however, have relied on less-than-healthy convenience products. Now, Beth Hensperger and J ...more
Paperback, 520 pages
Published December 21st 2004 by Harvard Common Press (first published January 1st 2004)
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Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  5,816 ratings  ·  94 reviews

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May 20, 2011 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cookbooks
I was excited to get this book but it didn't live up to my expectations.

I use the slow-cooker a lot when I'm working during the week so I've mainly only tried the recipes that take 8+ hours. There are some interesting ideas in the book - I had no idea you could make ribs in the slow cooker and they actually turned out pretty good! However, most of the recipes I tried were just not that good and there are only two that I would repeat. As many others have pointed out, there are no pictures but I t
Sep 24, 2007 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: people who want hot, cheap, & healthy food
Shelves: cooking
Having finally used this cookbook, oh man. Indespensible.

While the "Fix it and Forget it" crock pot cook books are cheaper to buy, they rely on pre-made sauces and soups (with tons of fat & sodium!) for almost everything.

Not only are the recipes in here healthy, they taste awesome and they're not complicated. I made my own enchilada sauce in 15 minutes and for the first time in my life, it was actually a sauce instead of a soup!

Hensperger & Kaufmann did a beautiful job of explaining beyond the
Mar 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, cookbooks
I checked this out from the library last January and renewed until I had to return it....then decided I should just buy it!

Full of healthy, tasty recipes. Mostly fresh ingredients--very few canned or prepackaged items.

One commenter disliked the fact that they included recipes that could be made in less time on the stove or oven. I liked these recipes, because as a mom with young ones, the "dinner hour" is synonymous with the "witching hour" throwing stuff in the crockpot during happy play
May 08, 2012 rated it liked it
For me, one of the greatest parts of a cookbook are the pictures, I tend to read with my eyes and stomach before I look at the ingredients and the techniques so I am psyched up to try something new. This book was a big letdown. Other than the cover, there are no pictures. Not even a center section where you can go back and search out the recipes when the picture entices you.

Darn, I was hoping for so much more.

I did come across a couple recipes that sound good, but now the dilemma lies in cookin
Oct 13, 2011 rated it it was amazing
This is a great cookbook if you like the crock-pot but hate the thought of throwing in a bunch of cans of condensed soups and calling it home cooking. Some of the recipes do require more effort than what some slow-cooker enthusiasts would prefer, but I think it's worth it for the end result. There are also a few recipes that are complete misses but that hasn't happened often. I also think that perhaps the slow-cookers the authors used weren't as new or varied as the current models available--ano ...more
Lisa Topp
Feb 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: love-to-cook, busy moms
Shelves: cookbooks
This is just what it claims - not the easy, throw in canned ingredients - slow cooker book. Although some prep work may be needed for some recipes, the results are worth it. The potato soup got rave reviews from my family, and I'm setting up the macaroni and cheese to plug in before going to work tomorrow. I love being able to put things in the "pot" ahead of time and letting it cook while I'm away or busy with after school activities/homework. This is one of the better cookbooks if you are look ...more
Oct 23, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: in-library, cookbooks
A nice departure from the endless soups, stews and roasts common in slow cooker cookbooks. Not all the recipies are my taste, but I give them credit for stretching my ideas of what a slow cooker can do.
May 15, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: food, cookbook
This is my favorite cookbook. Of my large collection, this is the one I use the most. More than Bittman, more than ATK, more than Joy of Cooking. Why? Because every single recipe in this cookbook is delicious. It is hands-down the best slow cooker cookbook on the market. It's not one of those "dump some crap from a can into your slow cooker and walk away" books (and we all know how those recipes taste). It focuses on whole ingredients, lots of fresh components and getting distinct flavors from y ...more
Oct 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
Until I discovered Judith Finlayson's slowcooker cookbooks, I thought this was quite a good one. The recipes aren't as refined as Finlayson's. These are good weekday meals. I wouldn't serve any of these recipes as part of a dinner party.

I rarely use this cookbook anymore, but there are quite a few decent recipes in here. If Finlayson doesn't have a recipe in her book (for example jerk chicken), I look here. Good backup cookbook.
Feb 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cooking
After many years of wondering whether to get a slow cooker, I took the plunge, and was interested in finding recipes that did not include a can of "cream of whatever" soup. This book delivers, and has many delicious and easy to prepare recipes for almost any occasion - even cakes and beverages. It also has a lot of good information on how the cooker works and what techniques work best for the machine. ...more
Feb 05, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is almost a perfect cookbook for me. Tons of slow cooker recipes, fairly easy to prepare. They give lots of tips, backstory and ideas for pairings. There's even a chapter on non- slow cooker sides. This is great for family meals.

There are some duplicate recipes within this series, and some of the tips and suggestions are also duplicated. Last, I'd really like to see some nutritional information and serving sizes.

If you use your slow-cooker regularly, this is a must-have.
Dec 31, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: chcpl, hardback, cookbook, 2016
I've been looking for slow cooker recipes that will satisfy my entire family. This book isn't going to suffice. I w/could be happy with this book, but my fussy eater (DH) wouldn't be happy. Too many "foreign" ingredients. ...more
Jul 27, 2019 rated it it was ok
It extremely informational and has a lot of tips on using your crockpot.I'm not saying it's a bad cookbook , it's just not for me. There are a lot of ground turkey and tofu recipes in there and my family would refuse to eat both of those. ...more
Dec 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Love this book! Different because it helps you to make crockpot recipes that taste good...not like chalk.
Feb 06, 2018 rated it really liked it
Good and slightly unusual recipes, we tried about 10 at our library "cook the book" club. Some were bland, so check and season more if needed. ...more
Mar 18, 2019 rated it it was ok
Not impressed. Had to fix every recipe I tried.
Rebecca Gauche
Mar 28, 2019 rated it it was amazing
So many good recipes!
Barb Hegreberg
Feb 02, 2021 rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction, cookbook
Perfect recipes for a cold winter day.
Sep 24, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cooking
When I originally checked this book out of the library, my life was very different. Like many reviewers I used only the recipes that took eight or more hours to cook. Three years later, what I want in a recipe is to do all or most of the prep work in the morning. Because in the evening my children will be nearing total meltdown. And we will be returning to the house after hours of activity, hungry.

After checking the book out a second time, I decided to buy a copy of it. And I use it regularly.

Feb 13, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: cookbooks
Weird food ingredient combos in this; I wasn't impressed. I only use two recipes out of this. I'm fairly certain this book is headed for donation to the library. ...more
Dec 13, 2007 rated it liked it
Recommends it for: anyone with a slowcooker of any vague type.
Though the title may be a bit hokey, the recipes in this book are a bit more interesting, edgy, and international than your average crockpot cookbook. I did end up adding and replacing things in some of my favorite recipes, but I tend to fudge around with stuff like that anyway, and it gave great ideas.

Some things I learned:

A la French cuisine: beef & vegetables + red wine + rosemary = super delicious

Thai curry - coconut milk, curry paste, vegetables and bamboo. It works.

Oatmeal - steelcut oats
Nov 22, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Full of things I can't wait to try. For instance, she claims you can bake potatoes in a slow cooker. Cook steel-cut oatmeal overnight. Caramelize onions! Make meatloaf!

Actually, the slow cooker is kind of an awkward fit with my lifestyle -- I don't want to make dinner in the morning, nor do I want to make two dinners the night before. (Mostly I use mine to do two things: (1) make broth, and (2) reheat an enormous vat of made-yesterday mashed potatoes to streamline my Christmas dinner.) But on t
Elaine Nelson
Nov 30, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbook
Didn't get a chance to make too much from this. My one quibble just from skimming recipes is that most of them fall into 6 hours or so (many quite a bit less) of cooking, which doesn't work for me on weekdays. That, and if I'm using the slow cooker, it means I'm feeling LAZY (and/or are trying to cook before work), so I can't handle a whole lot of pre-prep.

All that said, I made chili, and it was DELICIOUS. Also appreciated the tip of "poaching" frozen chicken for use later. (Would cook a little
Jun 10, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: informative, 2008, food
I was looking for a book that didn't have lots of cream of whatever soups, velvetta cheese, salad dressing and onion soup mix and this book didn't disappoint me. I was having trouble finding good recipes that use what I consider 'real' ingredients. I have tried a few recipes and they have been very good. And I look forward to trying many more. Basically if you want make recipes using non-processed, healthy ingredients then this is the book for you. If you want a cookbook for that dumps things in ...more
May 15, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cook
I would have given this book five or even six stars for the very creative recipes except there are no photos. For an experienced cook there are almost five hundred pages of recipes.Also a James Beard cookbook award winning author. The first chapters of the book, with so many variations on whole grains won me over. And she doesn't just add nuts and call that a different recipe- There are lots of optional add ins to many of the recipes, Checked this one out from my library but am now buying for my ...more
May 26, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: food-and-health
Looking for a few non-traditional slow-cooker recipes? Before you add this to your cookbook collection, check this out from the library or borrow it from a friend first to make sure it merits that much space on your shelf versus a couple handwritten recipe cards.

I'm happy with the book, but for some reason, I can't get past Zunni Stew and Moroccan Chicken Thighs. Maybe it's because I don't keep pearled barley and a basket of summer vegetables on hand.

Feb 19, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
Though I haven't actually tried any of the recipes, yet I have plenty bookmarked. This was just what I was looking for... a crock pot cookbook that uses Real Ingredients (not the seventies throwback, "semi-homemade", throw in a can of Campbell's and a carrot type). The vast array of bean and chili recipes is enough to keep me happily fed for winters to come.

(pssst... it's at Costco right now for 11.99)
Jun 22, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cooking
I'm obsessed with the slow cooker since our house has no cooling system - no summer oven dishes for us. I was thrilled to be able to make a cake, Banana Cake with Pineapple. It was excellent. I'll come back and give the book a star rating as soon as I try a few more recipes.

One thing I don't like is the avocado-green print in parts of the book. I like to use a highlighter in my books, and the print is so light that it's harder to read if I highlight it.
Nov 30, 2009 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
I was surprised to find so many interesting things to make in a slow cooker. This book gives details to make everything from spicy almonds to wasasil... oh yeah and main courses, soups, sauces and more. I really found them interesting and looking fairly easy to make. I have a crock pot and I must say that I have not given it much use but after reading this book I am going to get it out- dust it off (oops)- and start cookin'. ...more
Nov 08, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cooking
So far, the best slow cooker recipe book I've read. A large variety of recipes offsets the minor annoyances of no photos and the fact that some of the recipes split across pages (particularly annoying if you have to flip the page while prepping and have messy hands!). The best thing is that these recipes use few, if any, prepared foods, which helps with salt content and other chemical nastiness you might want to avoid in your dinner. ...more
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Beth Hensperger is a passionate professional- and home- baker who is both extremely creative and extraordinarily prolific as an author and developer of quality recipes. Her training included a ten-year apprenticeship as a restaurant and hotel pastry chef as well as having her own custom wedding cake business and attending classes given by some of the top bakers in America. Though restaurant traine ...more

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