Fix-it and Forget-it Holiday Dishes and Sides by Phyllis Pellman Good

Cover Fix-it and forget-it Holiday Dishes and Sides by Phyllis Pellman

Cookbook for the crockpot lover

My thoughts: 

Meat and crockpot lovers will like this book. Being a vegetarian I didn’t get too much out of it, as all main dishes, except two (Arroz con queso and Minestra di Ceci), are with meat or seafood.

From what I understood Phyllis Pellman Good collected those recipes from other people and edited them for this book. Every recipe has a name and town at the top, so I assume that is the person who contributed the recipe. A good sign, as those meals tend to be more “real life” as some you can find in the cookbooks from professional cook book authors. All ingredients are common and easy to find, no recipe has an impossible amount of ingredients and all you do is put them in the crockpot and let it do its magic.

Some recipes come with a photo and those also look like real life pictures taken in a real environment – not the kind where the food stylist has created a “dish” that nobody will ever be able to produce.

If I were a meat eater I’d cook several of the recipes. Here are some that would have appealed to me in my previous life.

  • Barbecued Ribs
  • Ham with sweet potatoes and oranges
  • Garlic with lime chicken
  • Turkey Fajitas

The veggie factor

Recipe ratio (non.veg./veg) 40/60. Almost all main dishes are non veggie, the sides are without meat.
Worth it? No

Product info and buy link :

Title Fix-it and Forget-it Holiday Dishes and Sides
Author Phyllis Pellman Good
Publisher Good Books
ISBN 9781453276969
I got this book from Netgalley
Buy link Buy Fix-it and Forget-it Holiday Dishes and Sides for Kindle

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.

This post is part of

Weekend cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads. For the other weekend cooking posts please go there.


In my mailbox


Only one non-fiction book this week that I discovered in the Netgalley Christmas newsletter. As I am always on the lookout for new crockpot dishes I had to get this one. It is not exclusively vegetarian, but I am sure I can adapt some recipes. I just saw on Goodreads that the author has written tons of other crockpot cookbooks, one of them a veggie one. Maybe something to think about.

For review

Cover Fix-it and forget-it Holiday Dishes and Sides by Phyllis Pellman

What was in YOUR mailbox recently? 


Weekend Cooking: The Indian Slow Cooker by Anupy Singla

Cover The Indian Slow Cooker by Anupy SinglaI bought this soon after I got my slow cooker, but unfortunately I haven’t used any recipes from it, even though they all sound great. Just another one of those things.

The Indian Slow Cooker is a great book for curry lovers. Anupy Singla says she is the first one to combine Indian cuisine with slow cooking. According to her nobody ever thought of it before because Indian cooking normally includes very hot oil to which spices are added. This step is being left out when slow cooking (unless – like some of her friends do – you add this spice infused oil afterwards).

The book starts with a chapter on how to get started cooking Indian and then moves on to slow cookers in general, spices, tools of the trade, pantry staples, beans, bread and how to eat Indian food.

The recipes are divided into recipes with lentils, beans & peas, vegetables and meats followed by a chapter on side dishes and desserts. Except for the meat recipes, all recipes are perfectly suited for vegetarians. Out of the 80 odd pages only 16 are covering meat dishes, so the recipe ratio is great. Funnily enough, even in the meat section (and I almost missed that one) there is a vegetarian recipe called “Mock Keema”, which is made with “vegetarian crumbles”, which I suppose is soy mince.

Before you start cooking and you haven’t got a kitchen already equipped with all the spices, you better go shopping to your local Indian/Asian grocery store to stock up. The recipes need a lot of different ingredients that are no kitchen staples, at least not for me.

 Spices and beans Spice jars

Round labels from Cathe Holden’s site Just something I made. Lovely handwriting by my son.

Recipes range from Simple split chickpea curry, Goan black-eyed peas, Simplest of simple yellow lentils to Spiced cauliflower and potatoes, Butter chicken and Lamb Biryani. The last chapter covers chutney, rice, naan yoghurt and other side dishes.

Especially helpful for metric people: Right in the ingredients list it gives the American system (what is the name of it? I have no idea. spoon and cup system?) along with the metric measurements.

If you like Indian food and want to use your slow cooker more, you might want to give this book a try.

    The veggie factor

    Recipe ratio (non.veg./veg.) ca. 7/43
    Worth it? Definitely

    Product info and buy link :

    Title The Indian Slow Cooker
    Author Anupy Singla
    Publisher Agate Publishing
    ISBN 9781572841116
    I got this book from I bought it
    Buy link Buy The Indian Slow Cooker

    If you click on the buy link above you will be taken to The Book If you buy the book through this link I will earn a small commission. You can find my general affiliate links to The Book Depository, and here.

    Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.

    This post is part of

    Weekend cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads. For the other weekend cooking posts please go there.


Weekend Cooking: 1001 delicious soups & stews


Today I am talking about a cookbook that has been standing on our shelves for years. I have never made a recipe from it. I have no idea why, because I really like soups. This has to stop!

Especially with my crock pot it should be pretty easy to create a stew from that book, don’t you think? 1001 recipes, I am sure I can find something.

The book has a whopping 850+ pages and has no photos. It starts with a chapter on making stocks from scratch and then offers – among others- chapters on chowders, melting-pot soups, seafood soups, vegetarian soups (62 pages), quick-and-easy soups, meat stews, poultry stews, vegetarian stews (52 pages), bread and accompaniments and so on.

With 62 veggie soups and 52 veggie stews I would say it is pretty good for vegetarians. The ratio might be a bit off, but then again, a total of 110+ veggie recipes sounds ok. I particularly liked that the vegetarian dishes are in their separate chapters, so no going through the whole book to look for the veggie ones like for a needle in a haystack.

The veggie soups range from Gazpacho, creamed corn soup, garlic vegetable soup to white bean and sweet potato soup with cranberry coulis. There is something for every taste. This also goes for the stews. It offers recipes for quick stews as well as stews that need to simmer longer. The book doesn’t mention recipes being especially suited for the crock pot, but I assume I can just adapt them a bit and try them out.

A lot of the dishes are low in carbohydrates and all of them are low in fat and calories. Every recipe also gives nutritional information per serving as a guideline, as well as exchanges, so you immediately know where you stand.

Also, for metric people, it comes with metric guidelines that convert oven temperatures, gas stove marks, volume, weight and length. Plus it gives you some general benchmarks. Quite handy!

The Veggie factor

Recipe ratio (non.veg./veg) ca. 890/110
Worth it? We had it from our non-vegetarian times. Now I probably would not buy it any more. I have no use for almost 900 non-vegetarian recipes.

Product info and buy link :

Title 1001 delicious soups & stews
Author Linda R. Yoakam, Sue Spitler
Publisher Surrey Books
ISBN 1572840684
I got this book from We bought it
Buy link Buy 1001 delicious soups & stews

If you click on the buy link above you will be taken to The Book If you buy the book through this link I will earn a small commission. You can find my general affiliate links to The Book Depository, and here.

Have you read this book? What did you think of it? I would love to hear other opinions.

This post is part of

Weekend cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads. For the other weekend cooking posts please go there.


Weekend cooking: Apple butter in the crock pot

Did you notice that cool new button? I got that one from Caite at a lovely shore breeze. Her niece made it and I love it.

As you all probably know by now I am the new owner of a slow cooker and am pretty enthusiastic about it. The other day my mom gave me cooking apples from a relative’s garden and I was looking around for ideas what to do with them. I found this recipe for apple butter in the crock pot. USA-kulinarisch, by the way, is a great site for people in Germany, who are looking for information about US food. It gives you tips on where to order it online, how to convert measurements, how you can substitute products that you can’t find, offers recipes etc.

apple_butter I am sure you all know apple butter, but I didn’t. I had never heard of it and only a search on the net revealed that it actually IS known in Germany under the name “Apfelkraut” (ugly name, that!). It seems to be more popular, however, in the Netherlands and Belgium.

From the pictures I found on the net apple butter is normally smooth, but mine turned out quite chunky. I suppose I could have used a blender afterwards, but I like chunky, so I left it that way.






Apple butter in the crock pot


  • 1.5kg apples, peeled, cores removed and cut into slices
  • 400g sugar
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/4 tsp allspice
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 200ml apple juice or cider
    Fill the crock pot with apples. Mix spices with sugar, add to the apples and mix thoroughly, add apple juice. Cook on “low” for about ten hours. If the apple butter is a bit too liquid , cook a little longer on “high”.


Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads

Image from flickr user stetted, frame N Rowe Janitz 


Weekend cooking: Crock pot, first experiences

A few weeks ago I asked about what crock pot to buy since I am a total newbie when it comes to slow cookers. After taking to heart everything you told me and after carefully balancing expenditure and required features I went for a British make, Morphy Richards. I ordered it in the UK since the price there was, even with postage, much better than in Germany.

It is large, oval, has three settings and a removable pot. The only thing I didn’t get was the digital thingy, but it just was not worth the added expense in my eyes.

This is my new baby:



And this is it in real life (and bigger):


First experiences:

  • Inaugural dish was Beans Bourguignon (spelled wrongly, but that didn’t matter).  It was quite nice, but I think I need to know more about the amount of liquid in a dish. Somehow it was a tiny bit too much for my taste.
  • The next day it was Vegetarian Crockpot Layered Dinner. Can you tell I am excited about my new baby? The family ate it and liked it but I was not at all pleased with the soy sauce taste. Somehow it didn’t work for me. Next time the soy sauce has to go.
  • Then I felt I needed a timer to try out the oatmeal. Not that we couldn’t make porridge really quick after getting up, but I wanted to see what it’s like in the slow cooker. And, of course, I didn’t want to get up at 5 am to turn the thing on. As it turned out, the timer worked fine (cheapest thing in the shop, cost me €4,00) and the porridge was OK, but gooey and somewhat rubbery. Porridge made fresh at 8am on the stove is definitely better.
  • Now my favourite so far…Slow cooker vegetable curry from BHG. I had to adjust the recipe quite a bit because, believe it or not, I had no curry powder, but I had kurkuma, garam masala and what not, so I just tossed a few of those Indian spices in there. The second time I added some ginger and cardamom, also fine. The tapioca I left out, this is no pantry staple over here, so it goes without saying I didn’t have it. I didn’t have green beans, so I took zucchini instead, and I didn’t use tomatoes, but tomato puree. So, in fact, this is a completely different recipe. But it worked out well.

Since I liked the curry best I went and bought The Indian Slow Cooker by Anupy Singla. That book is going to be the topic for another weekend cooking post though.

My verdict

All in all I am more than pleased with the slow cooker concept. It is time saving and practical; you can do other things all day, smell your dinner getting ready and then sit down and eat without slaving over the stove. Perfect! Thanks everybody for your advice!


Weekend Cooking is hosted by Beth Fish Reads


Weekend cooking: Crock pot – what to buy?

This week I have no ideas or recipe to share, but rather have some questions. In the last months I have read quite a few posts about crock pots or slow cookers.

I must admit that I had never heard of slow cookers before and nobody else I know has one. They are not too popular or common in Germany (or maybe I just know the wrong people).

It seems a very convenient way to cook, so I decided to get one for myself. The first (and only) source – apart from some dubious sellers – is amazon. I looked around and found a rather small selection. crockpot_amazon

There are only two brands, it seems, that are worthwhile looking at, Morphy Richards and Crock Pot. Never heard of any before. Do you know them? Which brand do you have? Which do you prefer? Are there any differences at all (except maybe the price)?

Then there is the size. There are 3.5l (3.7 quarts) and 6.5l (6.87 quarts) pots available. 3.5l sounds small to me, is that big enough for a family of four? If I want to cook to freeze some on top of what is being eaten right away, do I need a 6.5l one?

I am clueless as to what to buy! Can anyone help me out and give me a few tips?

Your advice is much appreciated.

Weekend cooking is hosted by Beth Fish reads.