Book's Cover

Title: Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook Revised & Updated
Author: Phyllis Pellman Good
284 pages; Softcover 15.95 US
Publisher: Good Books Intercourse, PA 2010
Reviewed by, Chef John Vyhnanek, May, 2010

The review--- In 2005 Good Cooking reviewed one of the first "Fix-It and Forget-It" cookbooks, a cookbook for diabetics; another was reviewed in 2006. Like those, this revised edition of the original "Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook" is geared to please slow cooker cooks. The recipes contained within the book are real life recipes submitted by real people. They have been served to families and friends with great success, so there isn't the hazard of the recipe not being tested!

An example of the type of slow cooking in this book is the Greek Chicken on page 189. The recipe is really simple with potatoes, chicken pieces, onions, garlic, oregano, olive oil and salt and pepper. Cook on high for 5 hours or on low for 10 hours and you'll have chicken as good as the Greek Corner Restaurant. Really it's that simple! You'll find recipes for spaghetti sauce to rice pudding and more. There are many recipes for soup including a half dozen for pea soup alone. I tried Kelly's Pea Soup on page 57. How can you beat " put all the ingredients in the pot and cook on low for 8-9 hours” as instruction? Just be sure to measure your ingredients with some accuracy and you will be just finethe soup was!

The principle to this "Crock-Pot" method of cooking is known to a chef as stewing or braising. Some ingredients maybe browned or partially cooked before combining all ingredients in a recipe and turning the device on to cook at a low temperature of about 185 degrees F. for several hours with a liquid. It's a good method for cooking less expensive cuts of meat such as beef chuck, bottom round or even brisket. In fact anything from baked beans (that's what the original cooker was meant for) to chili con carne and chicken goulash can be simmered until done in a slow cooker.

So what's the scoop with a "Revised Cookbook" you might wonder? Well the book has added 100 recipes, an indication of prep time which is very helpful and a section of extra information pertaining to slow cooking. A new substitute for ingredients and equivalent measurements pages really help as well: after all, not every cook has a pantry full of ingredients like a chef. I like the easy to follow index which made looking for recipes very simple.

In the world of home cooking, perhaps the invention of the crock-pot has done more for the busy cook than any other utensil. The principle is that you put your ingredients in, and turn it on. Anywhere from 5-8 hours later it’s done with no stirring or burning. Great for many reasons, especially if you work because you can come home after a day’s work and have a hot meal waiting for you. You set up the crock-pot in the morning or night before, and refrigerate overnight, before putting the crock in the heating device and turning it on. Whether you work outside the home or at home, it has many advantages and it’s easy to clean too. Recipes and cookbooks abound, either on the Internet or at bookstores, and every serious crock-pot cook has them, but none as good as these.

The bottom line is that for a list price of $15.95 THE BOOK IS A BARGAIN! Let's face it, most slow cookers come with instructions and a few recipes, but the recipes can't possibly be as good as the ones the Phyllis Pellman Good has included in 10 cookbooks she has penned. She is doing something right; after all over 9.8 million copies have been sold! So, likes this book and feels that just about anyone who is into slow cookers will have many happy results. The book may certainly spur interest in buying a slow cooker it you haven't cooked with this method before!

The author Phyllis Pellman Good
Recipes Kelly's Split Pea Soup
Kelly Evenson
Pittsboro, NC

Makes 8 servings
Prep. Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 8-9 hours
Ideal slow-cooker size: 4 1/2-qt.

2 cups dry split peas
2 qts. water
2 onions, chopped
2 carrots, peeled and sliced
4 slices Canadian bacon, chopped
2 Tbsp. chicken bouillon granules, or 2 chicken bouillon cubes
1 tsp. salt
1/4-1/2 tsp. pepper

1. Combine all ingredients in slow cooker.
2. Cover. Cook on Low 8-9 hours.

For a creamier soup, remove half of soup when done and puree. Stir back into rest of soup.

Greek Chicken
Judy Govotsus
Monrovia, MD

Makes 4-6 servings
Prep. Time: 10 minutes
Cooking Time: 5-10 hours
Ideal slow-cooker size: 6-qt.

4-6 potatoes, quartered
2-3 lbs. chicken pieces
2 large onions, quartered
1 whole bulb garlic, minced
3 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. salt
1/a tsp. pepper
1 Tbsp. olive oil

1. Place potatoes in bottom of slow cooker. Add chicken, onions, and garlic. Sprinkle with seasonings. Top with oil.
2. Cover. Cook on High 5-6 hours, or on Low 9-10 hours.