You may not recognize the name, Phyllis Good, but perhaps now you will. She’s a best-selling cookbook author with several books and 14 million of them sold. She has a bright smile and round glasses, the sort of person you wished you had for a grandmother. Well, maybe being your new best buddy in the kitchen is going to work just fine for you.

She was an early proponent of slow cookers and wrote books with hundreds of recipes in them. Over time, she has refined her style. The recipes have become more elegant and at the same time healthier. Phyllis has lots of fans and over the years they have contributed recipes back to her. Now, in this book, she offers 100 recipes submitted by her galaxy. She’s tested them all, refined them a bit I’m sure, and offers them here paired with striking photographs. If you’ve not yet acquired a slow cooker cookbook, now is the time. And she included another 200 variations on these recipes to support need like being gluten-free, paleo, or vegan. That’s a thoughtful approach to expanding the audience for excellent recipes that just need some tweaking for important audiences.

Oh, you don’t own a slow cooker? That would make you unusual. Most of us own them. Some of us use them. And some of use them a lot.

Until this book, Suzi and I have not been in that crowd. Why? Suzi has a cooking school and she’s always looking for recipes that you can do in about 45 minutes. That’s just the opposite of slow cookers. So, our four slow cookers have been sitting on the shelf. But now, I’m inspired.

One of the reasons people go to restaurants is to get food they can’t or won’t make for themselves. In our Twitter environment, many of us cannot stand in the kitchen for hours. That is the beauty of the slow cooker. You don’t have to stand around. You can go outside and rake leaves or take a swim. You can even leave it running as you go off to the mall. It’s a bit like having a kitchen servant really. It’s just a matter of becoming comfortable with having this assistance at home

This book has many ideas that do invite attention. I’m really interested in:

African Sweet Potato Stew with Pineapple and Curry

Chicken Tikka Masala

Crunchy Sweet Chicken Wings [and sticky with honey!]

Unforgettable Beef and Bean Chili

There’s a solid spectrum of ideas in this book with chapters for:

  • Soups, Stews, and Chowders
  • Vegetarian and Pasta Mains
  • Poultry
  • Fish and Seafood
  • Sides
  • Sweet Treats

Yes, Sweet Treats. There is a brownie recipe that, in the interest of culinary science, I must try. It’s the protein dishes, though, that have seized my imagination. Slow cooked pork, carnitas, tacos, and that chili, cooked for 4 hours! Meat, not always the best or priciest cuts, cooked long and slow until it finally falls apart. Engage that meat with great sauces and you are about to embark on meals of flavor and satisfaction.

Yes, this is a book about comfort food. Who wouldn’t want to sample:

Honey Baked Chicken

Sweet with Heat Beef Short Ribs

Cheesy Mushroom Risotto

Shrimp and Grits

Swedish Meatballs.

Warm Clam Dip

Easy Butterscotch Sauce

The seductive thing about the slow cooker is that your personal investment in time is minimal. You gather up the ingredients, do a little prep, and let the slow cooker do its thing. So, when one of these recipes strikes your eye and then pleases your palate, there’s a good chance that you return to it. Stock the Crock is sure to expand your personal portfolio of favorites. Isn’t that just what a fine cookbook should do?

Find that slow cooker, somewhere on the shelf. Get this book and take your time. Maybe you’ll make the brownies before me. Maybe you’ll top them with butterscotch sauce!