I got some great recipe ideas for my crock pot from this cookbook. The recipes use ingredients you have around the house and rarely anything very expensive. I wouldn't say I found any surprises, but just some good solid dinner ideas for the family. I really liked the print size - good for glancing at as you cook. The hardback cover is the kind you can wipe off with a damp cloth. This could be a real mainstay cookbook for a busy mom and dad. Anyone can learn to cook the dishes in this book.