Thursday, September 24, 2009

Favorite Comfort Foods Made Easy with Slow Cooker Comfort FoodsCookbook

Although comfort food means something different to each of us – a fact that is essentially clear in our increasingly diverse, globalized world - it always means a dish that is deliciously soothing and emotionally evocative, like the enticing aroma of chicken soup simmering on the stove or hot baked apples fresh from the oven. Best-selling author Judith Finlayson brings comfort and convenience to home cooks everywhere with her latest cookbook — SLOW COOKER COMFORT FOOD: 275 Soul-Satisfying Recipes (Robert Rose; September 2009; softcover/$24.95; ISBN: 978-0-7788-0224-2). Throughout the book, Judith demonstrates how the time-saving slow cooker can be used to create delicious, home-style recipes that are particularly warm and welcoming, often evoking a sense of nostalgia.

Food as a comfort and historical connector is, perhaps, most evident in immigrant communities, where traditional dishes function as a link with the homeland and increase the connection to a new environment. In writing SLOW COOKER COMFORT FOOD, Judith worked hard to "nail" exactly what comfort food is all about. “While comfort food is strongly linked with a person’s past, certain recipes have the potential to transcend time and place and work their way into our hearts,” she explains. “For instance, I discovered many of the dishes while traveling internationally, but over time they worked their way into my culinary repertoire. I’ve tried to capture all these essentials in this book, building the recipes around wholesome, robust dishes, many of which have retro appeal.”

As with any cookbook by Judith, the results are always tasty and innovative. And by adding a slow cooker to the mix, home cooks can be away from the kitchen all day and return to a hot, comforting, and satisfying meal. Because the holiday season can make us even busier than usual, Judith has included several make-ahead ideas, tips and techniques that will truly maximize the use of a slow cooker and ensure outstanding results every time.

Judith has provided a wide array of recipes to choose from, from everyday favorites to dishes perfect for an elegant holiday dinner. These include:

- French-Style Pumpkin Soup with Leeks
- Mom’s Chicken ‘n’ Dumplings
- Coq au Vin
- Poached Halibut with Dill Hollandaise
- Hot ‘n’ Smokey Brisket Splashed with Whiskey
- Viennese-Style Beef Paprikash
- African-Style Jambalaya
- Down-Home Shrimp with Okra
- Saffron-Spiked Squash Tagine with Couscous
- Cider Baked Apples with Cranberry Apricot Filling
- Upside-Down Pineapple Gingerbread
- Chocolate Bread-and-Butter Pudding

In 1977, Webster’s Dictionary broke new ground when it added a definition of comfort food as “food prepared in a traditional style having an usually nostalgic or sentimental appeal.” This idea is easy to grasp — most of us have a repertoire of cherished recollections involving food, from a favorite relative’s home-baked pie to the dishes served at special occasions and holiday meals. SLOW COOKER COMFORT FOOD brings it all together in one book where we can find new comfort foods to enjoy while indulging in old favorites.

About the Author

Judith Finlayson strongly believes that eating is one of life’s greatest pleasures and has spent significant parts of her adult life searching out memorable food experiences. She is a well-respected food writer, journalist, and best-selling author. Her slow cooker books, The Healthy Slow Cooker, 175 Essential Slow Cooker Classics, The Best Diabetes Slow Cooker Recipes, The 150 Best Slow Cooker Recipes, and Delicious and Dependable Slow Cooker Recipes, have sold more than 750,000 copies. Using her recipes, thousands of people have discovered not only how delicious and convenient food prepared in the slow cooker can be, but also how this handy appliance can be used to create an extraordinary range of dishes not typically associated with a slow cooker. She is also the author of 125 Best Rotisserie Oven Recipes, The Convenience Cook, and The Complete Whole Grains Cookbook. In addition to cookbooks, Judith is the author of four other books including The New Woman’s Diary: A Journal for Women in Search of Themselves. She has a long history of community involvement and has served on numerous committees and boards, focusing on the arts and social issues. Judith lives in Toronto with her husband and daughter.

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