Several years ago I purchased a cookbook entitled Slow Cooker Magic by Linda Rehberg and Lois Conway. You may know them from Bread Machine Magic, but since I don’t own a bread machine (can you believe that?), I do not have that particular book in my library. I have used the slow cooker one often and will be sharing from it today.
It’s not a particularly pretty cookbook…no slick photos with lots of food styling, but it is easy to use and should be of interest to all levels of cooks from the novice to the experienced. One of the reasons I like it is because they use very few processed foods and they offer adaptations and serving suggestions. If you are like me, you have to be careful not to get in a rut with dinner time.
The book is broken down seasonally which may be helpful to you. There are also lots of helpful hints for cooking in the slow cooker. If you want to adapt your own recipes for use in the Crock Pot, you should keep these hints in mind:
“1. Avoid rice, fish, dairy products and pasta.
2.Reduce the amount of liquid in your recipe by about one half.
3. Season both before and after cooking, if necessary.
4. Test for doneness after 4 hours, and then every hour after that.
5. Most soups, stews and casseroles take 6 hours to cook on low.
6. Meat will usually be done in 8 hours.
7. Poultry will usually be done in 4 hours.”
This cake recipe is very easy to do and is one we enjoy. I hope you do as well. What’s not to love about a pineapple upside-down or a carrot cake? Why not enjoy them both at the same time!
Pineapple Upside-down Carrot Cake
1 tablespoon butter
1/4 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 cup brown sugar
1 (8-ounce) can pineapple slices, drained
1 (10-ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained, with stems removed
1 (18-ounce) box carrot cake mix
1 cup water
1/2 cup oil
Cooking Time: 4-5 hours on low
Butter the bottom and sides of a 4-quart slow cooker. In a small bowl, combine the 1/4 cup melted butter and brown sugar. Spread in the bottom of the slow cooker. Place pineapple slices on top of sugar mixture and scatter cherries in the open spaces. In a bowl, combine the cake mix, water, oil and eggs. Pour batter over pineapple. DO NOT STIR. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours, until it tests done in the center with a toothpick. Remove the pot from the slow cooker and allow the cake to cool for 10 minutes. Run a thin rubber spatula around the outside of the cake to loosen it. Place a large plate on top and carefully invert the cake onto the serving plate. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Variations: Add 1/2 cup chopped nuts, shredded coconut or raisins to the cake batter. Also, you can vary the cake mix. Rehberg and Conway suggest trying spice, yellow or white cake mix using the ingredients on the box to replace the water, oil and eggs in this recipe. I have only used the carrot cake mix.