September 11, 2010

Book Review: Fix-It and Forget-It Christmas Cookbook

It is pretty obvious that I love fashion, but there is a second passion of mine that I don't write much about on NY Spender (mostly because I like to keep the blog on topic): Cooking.

Being Italian means people expect me to be a good cook, and I hate to let people down... Fortunately I have a passion for cooking, as I've learned that without a passion for it (like with most things) you just can't be a good cook. And since having my baby I've been experimenting behind the stove even more, because I want to make sure she eats nutritious meals. 

So when I had the chance to review a "cooking book" instead of the usual "fashion book" I was very happy to do so.

Fix-It and Forget-It Christmas Cookbook

The book is Fix-It and Forget-It Christmas Cookbook by best selling author Phyllis Pellman Good and the latest in the Fix-It and Forget-It series. Other than the hundreds of mouth-watering recipes, what really made me want to read this book was the fact that it used a slow cooker.

I've always wanted to try cooking with a slow cooker, but it was never part of our family cookware, so I didn't grow up with one and to this day I still don't own one. But that is sure going to change soon! After reading this book, a slow cooker is on my to-buy list and this one from Hamilton Beach seems to have amazing reviews. Luckily, slow cookers don't cost a lot of money.

The idea of setting up this pot and let it cook for hours without having to even check on it is genius! To do this with a regular pot it would mean having to come around it every so often to stir the food and/or to add more liquids, and why would you want to do this for 8 hours straight? Instead, you can set up the slow cooker at night before going to bed and let it cook while you sleep. Just awesome!

As for the recipes, I can't wait to try A LOT of them, from the Onion Soup to Grandma's Chili, from the Christmas Meatloaf to the Sweet and Sour Ribs, from the Pork Chops Pierre to the Hot Cranberry Cider to the Caramel Apples, they all sound delicious!

And since this book doesn't hit the stands until October, here is a special preview for my readers (I didn't know you could cook "smells"!):

Christmas Smells:
Mary Kathryn Yoder
Prep Time: 10 minutes

4 cups water
rind of 1 lemon
rind of 1 orange
1-oz. box whole cloves
1-oz. box cinnamon sticks
2 bay leaves

Pour water into 2-qt. slow cooker so it's half to 2/3 full. Add all other ingredients. Stir well. Cover. Turn cooker to High until mixture boils. Remove lid. Reduce heat to Low. Let mixture simmer and fill your home with good smells. Add water as needed. Note: Do not leave your house with Christmas Smells cooking. 

Ah, I think I'm ready for Christmas...

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