Review: Make It Fast, Cook It Slow by Stephanie O’Dea

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Make It Fast, Cook It Slow by Stephanie O'DeaWe’ve had a slow cooker in our kitchen repertoire for several years now and in that time we’ve made fewer than a dozen dishes in it. For those keeping score at home, that’s about one every three or four months. The reason we don’t use it as much as we probably could has to do with our lack of creativity in the slow cooking department. Our cooking is very much dominated by our ideas. We think of things we enjoy and we try to make them, or dishes similar to them, which leads us to a lot of stews, which take just as long to cook, but never to stews in a slow cooker. I chalk it up to having not grown up with a slow cooker (it’s not prominent in Chinese cuisine) but the reality is I’ve had no inspiration, since I love plenty of things I didn’t grow up eating.

So when I had the opportunity to check out Make It Fast, Cook It Slow by Stephanie O’Dea, I took it. O’Dea’s book is more than just a collection of recipes, which you can find by surfing online, it goes the extra step of categorizing her dishes by not only the actual food type (fish, poultry, side dishes, vegetarian, appetizers, etc.) but also by price – $7 and under, $10 and under, and $15 and under. That’s perfect for the budget conscious cook who has to feed an army. With each recipe she shares the “verdict,” which is what her family thought of the dish, as well as little tips and tricks that help preparation and cooking go a little faster.

Added bonus, every recipe in the book is gluten free.

If you’ve been looking for ways to use your slow cooker, as we have, this book is a great way to start. Not only are the recipes simple and fast, they give you a better idea of what can be done with a slow cooker since it’s filled with all sorts of recipes, from breakfast dishes to desserts. It really runs the gamut and shares tips on how to cut down on costs in preparing them. Best of all, they’re all set it and forget it type recipes that take 6-8 hours to make. It’s perfect for people who can’t cook because they are ultra busy – set it when you leave and your meal is ready when you get home.

{ 9 comments, please add your thoughts now! }

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9 Responses to “Review: Make It Fast, Cook It Slow by Stephanie O’Dea”

  1. fairy dust says:

    I love her blog and I love her slow-cooker recipes! There is something in every single recipe that always makes me laugh out loud because she’s often injecting side notes into the review portion of the recipe (and being totally honest about how each one turned out), and she has a wonderful sense of humor. [her twitter tweets are worth signing up for, too]

    Whenever I have ingredients X, Q, and F, I know I can go to her index and find a recipe that will work in the slow cooker and be wonderful!

  2. Dave says:

    My wife uses the slow cooker 2-3 times a week. It is amazing how great the food comes out with almost no real work. The meals usually consist of frozen chicken, vegetables and some sort of “liquid”. For example, the best one she makes is a bunch of frozen chicken, a jar of salsa, a can of black beans and a bag of corn – whammo, chicken tacos with about 5 minutes of prep time…

  3. Shirley says:

    I also read her blog daily. Her recipes are simple and delicious, the instructions are always clear, and her comments are hilarious. Her blog is a great way to start the day.

  4. zapeta says:

    We love our slow cooker but I hadn’t heard about her blog or book. We could always use more ideas for our slow cooker, but its great to just load it up when you leave for the day and come back to great food.

  5. Joe says:

    Wait, slow cooker breakfasts? How does that work?

  6. skylog says:

    thank you for the review. i think that after hearing the praises of the slow cooker for what now seems like ever, i think it is finally time to add one to my kitchen. it took me forever to add my rice cooker, and i can’t now live without that, so i am sure i will like it.

  7. Carol Wakefield says:

    I made a recipe for the first time today from Make It Fast, Cook It Slow and the one I chose was the Coconut Cake on page 67. I cooked it for 2.5 hours and it is delicious. My comment and concern is that the bottom of the cake burned. Anything I can do to prevent this?


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