Monday, September 25, 2017

The Complete Cooking for Two Cookbook: 650 Recipes for Everything You'll Ever Want to Make Paperback – April 1, 2014 by America's Test Kitchen ;( America's Test Kitchen);(#IBRCookBooks)

This cookbook is a life saver for a struggling cook like myself. It's not that I can't's just that cooking doesn't come natural to me. I rely on recipes because I don't intuitively know how to just throw a bunch of ingredients together and end up with a tasty meal. The problem with recipes is that the servings are designed for a family of 4-6. Not anymore! These recipes are easy to follow and at the beginning of each recipe, there is a brief intro that explains why the recipe works. At the end of recipes, there are suggested variations that allow you to change a few ingredients to get a different flavor. My first attempt was the chicken chowder, and I used the variation that made it cajun chicken chowder with corn. The smells were very aromatic and the taste was A+. I cooked with ingredients that I've never used before (I had no idea what a shallot was, LOL). And I love that the cooked portion is more in line with my family needs. This is a great gift for a new couple or for a young adult living on their own.

There are many  things I really like about this cookbook. First off, many of these recipes are scaled down version of ATK recipes. This is convenient for a college student like me. Also, when ATK scales recipes it isn't simply reduce every ingredient by 1/2 or 1/3; ATK will make substitutes to more convenient products that make sense for two people. This is the case with many stews. Instead of requiring a readers to find a 2lb chuck roast (not easy) they will substitute steak tips.

I also enjoy that this is a complete cookbook. This means that the cookbook features a wide variety of dishes for almost any occasion (breakfast, dinner, lunch, dessert, holidays, and even some ethnic). After reading the cookbook I am grateful for some of the designations provided by the editor. Certain recipes are indicated as light or fast to prepare. I have a feeling that I will be turning to these recipes in the future when I don't know what to cook.

I received this cookbook as a birthday gift. I had never really considered recipes for two since the offerings are so limited, but since there are 650 very usable recipes I am excited to be using this cookbook for many years to come. As a single college student I find that cooking for two is a nice way to enjoy a hot meal and have the right amount of leftovers for lunch the following day. This is the perfect solution for those who are struggling to cook for anything less than a large family.

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