"THE MAGICAL SLOW COOKER: Recipes for Busy Moms," by Sarah Olson, Front Table Books, $19.99, 224 pages

As a full-time mail carrier and mom, Sarah Olson struggled to find time and motivation to cook meals for her family each day. After one too many last-minute pizzas, Olson decided to give the world of slow cooker recipes a try.

Now, with years of slow cooker experience, Olson has published a cookbook loaded with her favorite finds for the Crock Pot. “The Magical Slow Cooker” is a compilation of Olson’s treasured recipes available to time-constrained families everywhere.

With dozens of recipes and full-color pictures, this book is a guide to perfect slow-cook foods for any taste. Sprinkled with meal ideas for breakfast and brunch, party foods, side dishes, soups and stews, chilies, main dishes and desserts, this book has a little of everything.

Olson also includes tips on using pasta and beans, chopping and storing guidelines for night-before prep and a measurement equivalency section.

The recipes are simple and easy to follow. Most of the dishes use ingredients available at any grocery store. This book is a good prepare-ahead companion for any family on the go.

*****

Buffalo Wings

Makes: 6 servings

You won’t have to worry about dry wings with this recipe; the wings turn out juicy and tender.

3 pounds party chicken wings, thawed

1 (12-ounce) bottle Frank’s RedHot Original sauce

3 tablespoons salted butter, sliced

Chunky blue cheese dressing

Carrot sticks and celery sticks for serving

In a 4-quart or larger slow cooker, add the chicken, sauce and sliced butter. Cook on high for 2½ hours.

Heat the oven to broil at 500 degrees.

Cover a cookie sheet with foil. Using tongs, place the wings on the foiled cookie sheet. Place in the oven for about 10 minutes, until browned, turning the wings halfway through the cooking time. Return the wings to the slow cooker and stir them back into the sauce. Serve with blue cheese, carrots and celery.

— “The Magical Slow Cooker,” by Sarah Olson

*****

Cheesecake

Makes: 10 servings

Cheesecake in the slow cooker? Yes! It turns out creamy, and it doesn’t crack on the top!

About 17 golden Oreos

3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature

3 eggs

2⁄3 cup sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla

Line a 6-quart oval slow cooker with two large pieces of foil, crossing them in the middle. Spray the foil with nonstick spray. Lay out the Oreos in an even layer on the bottom of the slow cooker.

In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, eggs, sugar and vanilla with an electric hand-held mixer or a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; blend the cream cheese mixture until smooth. Pour this over the Oreos in an even layer.

Cover and cook on high for 1½ to 2 hours, until not jiggly in the center. Turn off the slow cooker and let the cheesecake set up for 10 minutes. Carefully pull out the cheesecake by grabbing the foil, and place it on a cooling rack.

Place the cooling rack in the refrigerator and let the cheesecake chill for 2 hours before cutting.

— “The Magical Slow Cooker,” by Sarah Olson

Melissa DeMoux, Deseret News

Melissa DeMoux is a stay-at-home mother of six young children who lives in West Valley City, Utah. Her email is mddemoux@gmail.com and she blogs about her adventures in motherhood at demouxfamily.blogspot.com.

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