Off the Shelf: Spring and Summer Baking Needs at the Library

By Sharon Saye on April 12, 2017 from Off the Shelf via

Since the weather seems to be rushing headlong into summer, everyone is hauling out their shorts and flip-flops and planning their outdoor activities.  One of the regular activities that literally moves to the backburner as the weather improves is cooking.  Everyone is busy and no one wants to heat up the house with baking.  The library has an extensive collection of cookbooks of every type from restricted diets such as gluten and sugar-free to kinds of food from meats to desserts to appliance cooking from toaster ovens to pressure cookers.  One cooking appliance is handy all year long, but is usually associated with the winter; yet most home cooks know just what a time-saver it can be in the summer months – the slow cooker.
Phyllis Good is known for her “Fix-It and Forget-It Cookbook” series designed primarily for slow cookers.  She has collected 450 of her very best recipes in “Fix-It and Forget-It Slow Cooker Champion Recipes.”  The recipes are collected from some of America’s best home cooks, tested in real-life settings and carefully selected from thousands of recipes.  It has sections on breakfast or brunch, stand-out roasts for your holiday meals, weeknight pasta dinners, quick or yeast breads, puddings or cakes, vegetarian specials of appetizers and snacks.
There is even a section on Every day From-Scratch Basics that includes Homemade Cream of Mushroom Soup, Easy Ketchup, Cheese Sauce, Homemade Yogurt and Homemade Cornbread Mix.  There is a section on punches including Hot Spicy Lemonade Punch and Viennese Coffee as well as recipes for Creamy Orange Cheesecake, Gooey Cookie Dessert, and Hot Fudge Sauce.
The bulk of the book is made up of recipes for the main meal of the day including Beefy Vegetable Soup which takes 4 steps and seven items, or Spaghetti Sauce with a Kick which also takes four steps and eight items.  There are recipes for Powerhouse Beef Roast, Middle East Sandwiches, Lasagna Mexicana, Layered Herby Stew, Cheesy Meat Loaf, Festive Meatballs, Herb-Roasted Turkey Breast, Thai Chicken and Apple Raisin Ham.  All of these recipes are relatively easy, do not take tremendous amounts of time to prepare nor contain strange ingredients that require a special visit to the grocery store.  They can easily be put together in the morning and are ready when you get home. 
Phyllis Good includes the number of servings, the preparation time, the cooking time and the ideal slow-cooker size at the top of every recipe.
So as the outdoors gets more enticing, remember to use your slow cooker to get food on the table so you can spend more time outdoors as well.  Ms. Good even has a “Fix-It and Forget-It Baking with your Slow Cooker” cookbook loaded with 150 recipes for breads, pizza, cakes, crisps, bars, pies, cupcakes and more.  So your house stays cool and your sweet tooth is satisfied.
Please remember that the library’s large collection of cookbooks offers something for everyone no matter the time of year.

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