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This is a preliminary review of Beth Bensperger’s “Not Your Mother’s Slow Cooker Recipes for Two”, as I haven’t made any of the recipes in it yet, but I have read the book and have some comments on it as an e-book. First, it loses a star for the index; it’s almost useless, lacking page numbers or active links. You’re better off highlighting things you want to refer back to. There are also an inordinate number of typos: words split into two, “1/2” rendered as “1.2,” and so forth. I found myself using the “Report an error” feature on my Kindle more than I liked. This is indicative of an OCR scan that wasn’t properly edited afterwards, which should be unacceptable with e-books. Thus, another star lost. And I believe her recommended internal temperatures for poultry were high at 180 (Kindle location 1940) as against USDA recommendations. This could reflect older practice, though.

On the other hand, many of the recipes do look good, particularly for someone who doesn’t want to spend all day in the kitchen or the weather is just too hot to be dealing with an oven. And this book is perfect for one or two people, a boon to those of us who live alone.

Recommended on a provisional basis. I look forward to actually making the recipes.

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While Italian isn’t my favorite cuisine, I do enjoy it, and there’s nothing like a plate of pasta with a spicy tomato sauce on a cool night. (With wine, of course) “Laura in the Kitchen” by Laura Vitale presents recipes meant to be easy for the home cook, quick to prepare on weeknights, taking a little longer on weekends, but none of them hard to make or requiring obscure ingredients. The dishes are of a variety of cuisines: Italian, Italian-American (“Bring on the cheese!”), and a smattering of others. I haven’t made them all, but I particularly liked the “sauteed garlic & lemon zucchini, ” a very tasty side dish. I’ll have to toss it with pasta as the author suggests.

I also like her writing style: Laura doesn’t waste time with her philosophy of cooking, unlike some celebrity chefs who’ve let their egos get away with them. Instead, there’s a brief introduction, the obligatory pantry-stocking pages, and then it’s “Let’s get cooking!” This is a book by a woman living her dream and happy to share it with us. Highly recommended.

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