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Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook

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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 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 Julie Kaufmann's Not Your Mother'sr Slow Cooker Cookbook takes a completely fresh look at cooking with this popular appliance. This comprehensive collection of 350 recipes combines the ease of slow cooking with the fresh, wholesome ingredients and exciting flavors of today's kitchen. For days when there's just no time for prep, there's Orange and Honey Chicken Drumsticks or Country Ribs with Onions, Apples, and Sauerkraut. For (slightly!) less hectic days there's Tangy Tomato Brisket or Lentil and Red Pepper Soup. Stay out of the kitchen when guests arrive with Duck Breasts with Port Wine Sauce or wake up to breakfast with Hot Apple Granola Oatmeal. Hensperger and Kaufmann offer dishes for every time frame, without compromising on taste, quality, or variety. And Not Your Mother'sr Slow Cooker Cookbook showcases the best of home cooking while taking advantage of a global melting pot of flavors - so cooks can serve Chicken and Shrimp Jambalaya one day and Japanese Beef Curry Rice another. All the classic slow cooker recipes are here, plus many more adventuresome and innovative dishes. There is also practical information on the different types of slow cookers, their latest accessories, and what sizes are best for what purposes.

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30 review for Not Your Mother's Slow Cooker Cookbook

  1. 4 out of 5

    Rachel

    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 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 think that's because most food is not that appetizing looking when it gets out of the slow-cooker. My biggest problem with the book is that there are so many recipes I would never use. If i want oatmeal, I'll make it on the stove, not in the slow cooker. Real oatmeal (not instant) cooks pretty fast anyway (~20 minutes?) so why use the slow cooker? Why cook hotdogs in the slow-cooker for 2 hours when you can cook them other ways in 10 minutes? There are too many similar recipes overall. I don't need 10 recipes for oatmeal, 5 chili recipes, 2 french onion soup recipes and 2-3 corned beef recipes.One really good recipe for each would be better than several mediocre ones. Too many recipes in this book are just not useful. I think the authors were aiming to show what you can do with a slow cooker but they didn't think about why most people use the slow cooker in the first place. I can make a grill cheese with an iron but that doesn't mean I want to.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Deb

    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 be 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 recipe so that you're grounded in the basics of cooking as well, and they do it at the front of the chapter so that you aren't bogged down with excess information when you're just trying to cook. There are a bunch of bread recipes that I can't wait to try out! Some of the recipes call for short cooking times of 2-3 hours while others cook 5-8 hours, so having a delayed timer on your crock pot is terribly useful. The other solution I've found is to cook things overnight, pack them away in the morning and re-heat for dinner that night. For instance, right now I'm a walking fajita because I was shredding chicken for dinner and accidently spilled some sauce on my pants.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    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"...so throwing stuff in the crockpot during happy play 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"...so throwing stuff in the crockpot during happy play time in the afternoon makes dinner prep a breeze when everyone wants my attention! Similar with overnight oatmeal...I fresh roll my own oats. After playing around with the overnight oatmeal recipes in this book I was inspired to throw the whole groats in the night before. Waking up to oatmeal that can be scooped and served (and a yummy smelling kitchen!) when little ones will soon by clamoring for my attention is a busy momma's dream come true!

  4. 5 out of 5

    Nancy

    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 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 cooking times. What I need are recipes that I can quickly throw together in the morning before work and eleven hours later when I return, the food is ready. Many of these recipes have cook times of two to three hours. That sounds more along the lines of something that you would put together after school and before you rush out to sports practice. Short cook times are not practical for me. The cookbook covers the usual soups and stews with a couple breakout dishes. Most recipes call for usual pantry and freezer fare, so in that regard, there is no stress in the slow cooker recipes mentioned in this book. The quantities are small since this is a cookbook designed for two, so make sure that you have a 1 ½ - 3 quart slow cooker. Long story short, if you are looking for small quantities with short cook times, then check out this book. If not, do as I do and keep looking. There has to be something out that that solves all of my slow cooker issues.

  5. 5 out of 5

    May

    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 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--another friend of mine has this book and she agrees that some of the cooking times are actually too long if your slow cooker gets very hot (even set on low). Otherwise, it's been a wonderful resource for me and one of the most-used cookbooks on my shelf.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Lisa Topp

    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 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 looking for lots of veggies/whole foods.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    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.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Christina

    You know you have a great slow cooker recipe book when the first recipe says to turn your oven to 300°f.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Erin

    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 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 your slow cooking. My personal favorites are the White Bean Soup with Bacon, which probably gets made two or three times a month in my house, it's so well liked, and the Thai Pork (the cover recipe). We also make the Pork with Apples a lot, as it's very simple but completely delicious. Really, you can't go wrong here. It's all tasty.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Pam

    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.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Laura

    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.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    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.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Linda

    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.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kym

    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.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Grete

    Love this book! Different because it helps you to make crockpot recipes that taste good...not like chalk.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Christine

    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. S 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. Some pros and cons: --Most recipes do require browning or some effort. So this isn't a just pour it in the pot book. I like that because there aren't a lot of processed food ingredients. --There are many recipes that I do not use because they require attention just prior to serving, rather than at the beginning of the process. The ones I've tried do taste good. But I don't typically have time to cook those recipes. --The tips for food safety, and make ahead advice are very helpful. --No pictures. This is a great cookbook for people who have time to cook early in the day. But, probably not those who intend to be out of the house for eight to twelve hours at a time.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Emerald

    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.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Res

    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 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 the rare occasions that I bestir myself, it is so nice to open that door after work and smell dinner already cooking. ETA: Two thumbs up to the first recipe we tried, Poached Chicken In Tomato Broth. The 9-year-old, who isn't a big fan of either chicken or rice, ate two servings.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Steph

    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 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 can slowly simmer away all night, presenting you with a fruity, hearty oatmeal in the morning. Add dried fruit, raisins, cinnimon, nutmeg, brown sugar, etc. for extra deliciatude. You can actually bake stuff in a slowcooker, too. That's on my list of stuff to try.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Elaine Nelson

    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 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 less time (was almost overdone at 6 hours), maybe add some Johnny's Seasoning Salt to the broth.) Definitely want to get my own copy to try out more recipes.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Darby

    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 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 without any or little prep then this probably isn't the book for you.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Marian

    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 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 personal collection.

  23. 5 out of 5

    GoldenjoyBazyll

    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'.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    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.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Sue

    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.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Greta

    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.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Kerri

    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)

  28. 4 out of 5

    Jennifer

    FINALLY a slow cooker cookbook with appetizing recipes that are made from mostly fresh ingredients. I try to stay away from canned soups and other sodium filled packaged foods and most recipes I find online mainly feature those items. I've only made one recipe in this book and it was fabulous. Can't wait to make some more.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Matt

    good stuff. Both of us work and it's nice to have a crock pot cookbook around to take the pain out of making a meal. Nothing is better than coming home to a house filled with aroma of an already cooked and ready to eat meal. Saves time, money and headaches. Several good recipes make this book worth a browse through.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Peggy

    I only tried 3 recipes in this book, so I can't really give it a fair rating. But we didn't like any of those three. Also the cooking times turned out to be different than in the book. One required two more hours than it said, and the other two were done early. I was frustrated, so I decided not to try any more recipes in the book.

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