By Mary Engelbreit, Andrews McMeel Publishing, $16.99, 192 pages

10Mary Engelbreit’s Fan Fare Cookbook has all the clever, cute, and charming visual appeal that you would expect from this artist. She states: “If my family had to depend on me for food, they would starve to death in a really cute kitchen.” So the 120 slow cooker recipes in the cookbook are collected from her friends, family, and fans, tested in her kitchen and proved, according to her, to be delicious.

This reviewer cannot agree. These recipes, from all parts of the United States are, with few exceptions, simply combined canned and packaged goods recycled by way of a slow cooker. Fresh vegetables, when included at all, are only potatoes, carrots, celery, and onions. The current common wisdom is that fresh foods and even frozen foods are more nutritious than canned ones and considered tastier, too. Not that good quality canned goods are not useful sometimes, but one of these recipes, for instance, is entitled “Ten-Can Soup.” And the one recipe this reviewer tried did not bear repeating.

If the reader prefers this type of super short-cut cooking, I could recommend Mary Engelbreit’s Fan Fare Cookbook, but not otherwise.

Reviewed by Rosalie West