Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Gluten Free Cookbook Review: Make it Fast, Cook it Slow (and a giveaway!)

I have been slightly obsessed with my Crock Pot lately. And I have a very good reason. THIS cookbook was just published by none other than Stephanie O'Dea, author of the highly popular gluten free cooking blog, A Year of Slow Cooking. I like to pretend that Stephanie and I are really good friends and she lives next door.


You don't pretend things like that when you find a gluten free cookbook author that you absolutely adore?

You will LOVE this gluten free slow cooker recipe book. Stephanie is a completely down-to-earth, un-snobby, un-foodie mom, wife, and home cook. Her writing is easy, friendly, and welcoming. Her first priority is her husband and children and slow cooking meals is simply a delicious bonus.

Stephanie took on the challenge of slow cooking a meal every day in 2008. She wanted to provide healthier meals for her family by cooking at home. She accomplished this goal by chronicling it on her very popular blog, "A Year of Slow Cooking." Stephanie's clever, honest remarks (the "Verdict") about every recipe she tried is what makes her blog and her book so compelling. There were many amazing recipes... and there were also bombs... and each one was really fun to read! Stephanie was honest about each and every recipe and also shared the reactions of her entire family: which could range from everybody LOVING the dish, to her kids not being willing to even touch a meal because of the aroma!

(But no worries, the cookbook contains absolutely NO bombs!)

Stephanie doesn't pretend to be a master chef. She admittedly says she burns anything in the oven and the slow cooker offered her a way of cooking that allowed her to prepare foods easily, cook foods without burning them, and a way to be more organized in her kitchen.

The recipes in this gluten free cookbook run the gamut of very easy to advanced. Many recipes have a short ingredient list with items that can be found in any local grocery store. Even if you are NOT gluten free, you can buy this book. Stephanie adds gluten free notes because her family eats gluten free, but this book is for any family and any cook!

I've tried 5 recipes so far from Stephanie's book:
  • Butternut Squash Soup = My verdict: Amazing... a smooth creamy soup without any butter or cream and it was so easy to make overnight in my crock pot! I've had it for lunches this week!
  • Bread Pudding = My verdict: My first attempt at "baking"something in the crock pot.. and you better believe I'll be doing it again... like maybe tonight, or tomorrow, and this weekend... but sometime soon because this stuff was GOOD!
  • Black-Eyed Pea Soup = My Verdict: I made a vegan version of this recipe and it was really delicious! I've always loved cooking beans in the crock pot and this soup is one reason why!
  • Chicken Parmesan = My Verdict: Nope, I didn't taste one bite of this since I'm still doing the vegan diet thing, but my husband and my inlaw's LOVED LOVED LOVED this dish. They said it was fantastic and there were absolutely NO leftovers. So obviously it was really good.
  • Homemade Chicken Broth = My Verdict: I made this last night for my husband. He LOVES homemade chicken soup, and honestly I probably haven't it made it in a few years. This was a simple way to make homemade broth and it felt very domestic! I love learning how to make things myself! Michael ate two bowls for dinner last night and took another huge container for lunch today. I'm assuming that means it was pretty darn delicious. I had Amy's Black Bean soup (the whole vegan diet thing again)... and no leftovers for lunch *sigh*

Other recipes from Stephanie O'Dea's "Make it Fast, Cook It Slow" I plan on trying REALLY soon:

  • Pumpkin Spice Latte
  • White Bean and Pesto Spread
  • Sun-Dried Tomato Dip
  • Baked Oatmeal
  • Breakfast Risotto
  • Hash Brown Breakfast Casserole
  • Broccoli Casserole
  • Green Bean Casserole
  • Refried Beans
  • Enchilada Casserole
  • Tamale Pie
  • Cabbage Rolls
  • Lobster Bisque
  • Cioppino
  • Cedar Planked Salmon
  • "Fried Chicken"
  • Sloppy Joes
  • Ratatouille
  • Rice Krispies Treats
  • Chex Party Mix
  • Cheesecake
  • Blueberry Buckle
  • Apple Crisp
  • And the list just goes on and on and on... seriously!

My copy of this cookbook already has so many dog-eared pages, food stains, and creases in the binding that I know it will hold a permanent place on my very limited counter space!

I honestly cannot say enough good things about this cookbook. This book is incredibly fun to read and it will encourage you want to cook more things at home!

It also just so happens that I have two copies of this book. Hyperion, the publisher, contacted me several months ago and offered to send me a copy of the book to review. That was fine, but I told them that I had already pre-ordered my copy! As soon as I heard that Stephanie was publishing a book, I pre-ordered! I knew already that I would love this book. Hyperion sent a copy anyway, so now I have this lovely extra copy of an awesome, gluten free, best-slow-cooker-recipe-book ever...

Would you like it?
I promise I won't send my food-stained, dog-eared copy!

Here's how you can enter yourself in the "Make it Fast, Cook it Slow" Giveaway:
  1. If you haven't already, sign up to receive Ginger Lemon Girl by email:

Enter your email address:

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2. AND leave a comment below and tell me your favorite slow cooker recipe!

3. If you are already a subscriber, leave a comment below anyway and tell me why you'd love a copy of this book!

You have until October 31, Halloween 2009 to register for this giveaway!

And then it will be time to get slow-cooking!

Carrie's Disclaimer:

Honestly, I really just wanted to write:
This is seriously an awesome cookbook. It's the best gluten free cookbook ever. Hands down.

NO, I wasn't paid by Hyperion.. I didn't even want the free copy...

I WANTED to BUY a copy (which I did) because Stephanie is such a cool person and we food bloggers have to support each other...

Now go and buy a copy of this cookbook RIGHT now, because you need it and everybody in your family needs one for Christmas.

I wonder if Rivel would pay me to endorse their Crock Pots, I could use another one... that I might just be willing to do! ;-P

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