Fix-It and Forget-It Christmas Cookbook, by Phyllis Pellman Good
Good Books: 2010
Guest reviewer: Valerie Phillips
Crock pots and busy moms go together like peanut butter and jelly, so I was happy when the publisher offered Dan a review copy of Phyllis Pellman Good’s new slow cooker cookbook called Fix-It and Forget-It Christmas Cookbook. Over the past few weeks we have enjoyed sampling several of the 600 recipes.
If you are familiar with Ms. Good’s other crock pot cookbooks, you already know what to expect from this addition in the series. It is a compilation of recipes from cooks all over the country. There are several recipes for chili; multiple recipes for vegetable beef soup; and an entire section on turkey! It’s very handy when you are short on ingredients – just read over the next column or two and you’re bound to find a similar recipe that fits the contents of your pantry. Recipes are laid out in a columnar fashion with three to a page. Titles are in bright Christmas-y red with little green slow cookers above. Many pages have holiday anecdotes or tips from contributors.
The book’s categories are: Appetizers, Snacks and Spreads; Breakfast and Brunch Dishes; Soups, Stews and Chilis; Beef Main Dishes; Pork Main Dishes; Chicken Main Dishes; Turkey Main Dishes; Meat and Bean Main Dishes; Other Main Dishes; Vegetables; Beverages; and Desserts and Sweets.
Something I especially liked in this cookbook was the addition of the “Ideal slow cooker size” to each recipe. Having inherited 2, 4 and 6 qt. crocks, it helps me know which one to pull out of the cupboard. My 1st edition Fix and Forget-It didn’t have that information or the general guide to slow cooker cookery that opens the book.
While this is called a “Christmas Cookbook”, the majority of the recipes are suitable for everyday sorts of meals. The book has recipes for wassails, sweet potato casseroles, artichoke dip, stuffing, “Christmas smells,” and other holiday favorites. The section on Breakfast is disappointing for a Christmas cookbook. I was expecting breakfast casseroles that I could assemble the night before and serve Christmas morning. It does have a few recipes of this sort, but mostly recipes for oatmeal, whole wheat, grits, applesauce, etc.
But guess what? All these ingredients were found in my test recipes. The boys thought I was going to poison them with the Ham n’ Cabbage Stew the other night, but in the end everybody thought it tasted much better than it was making the house smell. Not a one ran gagging from the room. That’s a high endorsement!
I assembled the recipes per the instructions and didn’t add or subtract, in order to get a true idea of their yummyness. OK, I did add cheese to the top of the mashed potatoes in the Hamburger/Green Bean Dish and I didn’t have apple juice, so I substituted chicken broth in the Apple Chicken Stew. The consensus was that the recipes ranged from good to scrumptious. The one I least liked, my DAOD loved. Dan, the boys and I all raved about the Salsa Chuck roast, the Scalloped Pineapple, and the Caramel dip for apples.
Having one of Ms.Good’s slow cooker cookbooks, I’m not sure if I would have purchased this, but it is definitely a wonderful resource and the recipes are tasty. If you need a crockpot cookbook, this is an excellent compilation. Buy, eat, enjoy!