This post was brought to you by In a While, Crocodile.
Here in the New Orleans area, we eat a little differently than the rest of the country. Slow cookers were popular in the 70s and 80s, but my mother never used one. Back then, the recipes involved cream-of-something soup and weren’t the French and Creole dishes that she learned to make from her mother. So, when I got married, it never even crossed my mind to register for a slow cooker. A good set of cookware for making a roux, sure, but not a slow cooker.
And then, life happened, twins happened, and Pinterest happened, and I found myself the owner of a slow cooker, thinking it would save me so much time. But, even with all the recipes on the internet, I found myself wanting to make my local favorites, rather than the Pinterest recipes and the slow-cooker went mostly unused.
Enter In a While, Crocodile: New Orleans Slow Cooker Recipes by sisters-in-law Patrice Keller Kononchek and Lauren Malone Keller. Faced with busy lives and less time to cook, the authors decided to combine the convenience of a slow-cooker with our local flavor by adapting their favorite recipes. I’ve often wondered if I could adapt some local dishes for the slow-cooker but, was wary of recipes online written by non-locals. So, when I got the opportunity to review In Awhile, Crocodile, I was ridiculously excited to read the book and try some recipes written by people who know what NOLA food should really taste like.
The book itself is gorgeous. Divided into categories for appetizers, soups and stews, entrees, sides an desserts, each recipe features beautiful photography and clear, concise directions. The recipes are simple and call for fresh, whole ingredients, just like you’d be making it the traditional way.
So far, I’ve made both the Jazzy Jambalaya and the Rex Roast and they are just fantastic. I cannot wait to try more of them. All the soups and stews are just perfect for the fall and winter and cooler weather. There’s even a gumbo recipe that doesn’t require making a roux, so you can observe gumbo weather without spending your afternoon over the stove. I think next on my list is either the Corn and Crab Bayou Bisque or the Orleans Oyster and Artichoke Soup.
If you’re looking for a gift for a busy mom, a cookbook collector, or homesick NOLA expat for Christmas, this would be perfect. It’s a beautiful book full of fantastic recipes and local flavor. Or, just pick up a copy for yourself. It’s available at Fleurty Girl in Mandeville (giving you the chance to support two locally owned businesses at once!) or, if you’d like an autographed copy, it’s available through their website at www.cooknola.com.
I am such a huge fan of this book and I am so excited that the authors are working with Northshore Parent to give away a signed copy to one lucky reader! You can enter below and, we’ll run the contest for a week. And, we’d really appreciate it if you’d check out In Awhile, Crocodile’s Facebook page and website and help us thank them for sponsoring such a great giveaway. Good luck and happy (slow) cooking!