I really, really have fall on my mind lately – I have even dragged my slow cooker back out. Receiving a review copy of Best of Bridge Slow Cooker Cookbook: 200 Delicious Recipes was perfectly timed with the cooling of our mini-heat wave. My first impression was a good one, it is spiral bound. This style of binding doesn’t get enough love, they are so easy to use while cooking. I know, I know…they look more “homey”, are more expensive to print and take up more shelf space….but darn it, I have a soft spot for the style. The book boasts larger font, that is easy to read, along with a smattering of lovely photos.
It covers breakfast, nibbles, dips, drinks, soups, meat dishes, meatless dishes (16 recipes in that section), side dishes and desserts. The recipes are interesting and appealing, with plenty of ethnic touches. Most of the recipes are ‘from-scratch’ with minimal processed foods (and have options to avoid things like canned beans). To top it, quite a few are vegetarian and can be adapted to vegan.
I picked three recipes to try. First was something simple – from scratch applesauce. I had a ton of apples begging to be used and Walker loves it, win-win.
Unattended Applesauce (From page 36)
- 3 lbs apples, peeled, cored and cut into small chunks (used organic)
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar (used organic)
- 1 cup unsweetened apple juice (used organic)
Combine the ingredients in a 3½ to 4 quart slow cooker. Cover and cook on low for about 4 hours. Using a potato masher, mash apples. Taste and add more sugar, if desired.
Serve warm or cold, store for up to a week covered in the refrigerator.
Makes quite a bit – and you can freeze or can it as well.
The second choice was a dessert I hadn’t tried before, an upside down pudding. Oh. Wow. I knew after one bite this is why slow cookers had to have been invented. Oozy, gooey chocolate cake and sauce? Drooling. You know it is good when your teen son comes in, smells it and has to be told to quit eating it – and to eat his dinner first. While the recipe called for all-purpose flour, white whole wheat works fine.
Upside-Down Chocolate Fudge Pudding (From page 329)
- 1 cup all-purpose flour (white whole wheat flour works well instead)
- ¾ cup granulated sugar (used organic)
- 3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa flour
- 2 tsp baking powder
- ½ cup milk
- 2 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Fudge Sauce –
- ¾ cup packed brown sugar
- ½ cup unsweetened cocoa powder
- 2 cups boiling water
Grease the insert of a 3½ to 4 quart slow cooker with additional butter.
In a bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, cocoa and baking powder. Make a well in the center of the flour mixture. Add milk and butter. Stir until a stiff batter forms. Spoon into the prepared slow cooker insert and level the top.
In another bowl, whisk together brown sugar, cocoa and boiling water. Pour slowly over the batter. Cover and cook on high for 2 to 2½ hours, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean (only go through the cake layer on top to check). Scoop out the cake, divide the fudge sauce over and around, it thickens up as it cools.
Third was another pudding. I love lemon pudding and this was great – tart, puckering and it reminds you of lemon curd!
Lemon Pudding (From page 328)
- 1 cup granulated sugar (used organic)
- 2 Tbsp all-purpose flour (white whole wheat works)
- 2 large eggs, separated (used local raised)
- 1 cup milk
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon zest
- ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
- 3 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
Grease the insert of a 3½ to 4 quart slow cooker with a little butter.
In a large bowl whisk sugar and flour, whisk in egg yolks, milk, lemon zest, lemon juice and butter.
In a separate bowl, beat the gg whites until stiff peaks form. Gently fold egg whites into lemon mixture.
Transfer to the slow cooker insert. Cover and cook on high for 2½ hors, turn off, remove cover and let sit for 30 minutes.
Serve warm or chilled.
FTC Disclaimer: We received a copy for potential review.