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Congratulations! Best wishes for a long and happy life together! Now, what's for dinner?
There's nothing more romantic than dinner for two, prepared at home and served over candlelight. But how realistic is that these days? The fact is, many couples consist of two working people and dinner isn't exactly a priority. That's a shame because some of life's funniest moments and fondest memories happen over a pot of simmering sauce.
Before the big day, I'm sure you enjoyed registering for lots of new toys at your favorite store. There you were, drooling over the multi-function blenders, heavy-duty mixers, coffee makers with the espresso/cappuccino options and shimmering pots and pans. Now that your kitchen is stocked, what are you supposed to do with it?
I realize you can't be bothered with lengthy recipes, discouraging ingredient lists and intimidating cooking techniques. If preparing the meal seems daunting, you're likely to skip it altogether. The result? The fabulous new cookware never gets used and you both survive on a diet of take-out pizza, Chinese food, and ready-made meals from the market.
Now for the good news, The Newlywed Cookbook can change all that. Perfect for couples and cooks of all levels, this collection of more than two hundred recipes features meals that are simple to prepare, yet unique in composition. You may recognize some of the dishes as meals you ate as a child. The rest were developed to give you countless, innovative solutions to the inevitable "What's for dinner?" question every night of the week. The selection is vast--from bread and pizza to pasta, chicken, beef, seafood, side dishes, desserts and special occasions--and all the recipes were created with clarity and simplicity in mind. Although the meals are easy to prepare, they boast complex flavors, vibrant colors and contrasting textures. Believe it or not, extraordinary meals require just a handful of ingredients.
It's time to christen those gifts. Ideally, each gadget, saucepan and casserole dish would come with a fool-proof recipe. Since they don't, I've included a comprehensive guide at the back of this book called "Equipment." For example, learn how to use your stand mixer to make a perfect chocolate cake, your blender for creamy basil pesto and your food processor for quick pastry dough.
On to the pantry. With our growing fascination for international ingredients and cross-cultural cuisine, aromatic herbs and exotic spices have become pantry staples. Knowing how and when to use them is critical. In "Herbs and Spices," you'll find a description of each herb or spice, its inherent flavor and what sweet and/or savory dish it's most suited to.
What if I told you to make a slurry, whisk it into the coulis in the Bain-Marie and then finish the dish with a chiffonade of basil? You're not off and running? You soon will be after you check out the "Cooking Terms" chapter. It's not advanced Latin, it's simply translating unfamiliar cooking terms into plain, workable English.
Party day is every day. The "Special Occasions" chapter includes fantastic ideas for menu planning, whether entertaining two or twenty-two. These special times include New Year's Eve, Valentine's Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas, One-Year Anniversary, Sunday Brunch, Super Bowl Sunday, Picnic for Two, Breakfast in Bed and When In-Laws Come for Dinner.
The recipes for each occasion are extremely versatile, so feel free to use them anytime--Cinco de Mayo, Columbus Day, 4th of July, your best friend's birthday, election day or whenever the urge to cook something fabulous strikes you.
Rip off those bows, tear away the wrapping paper and get cooking...together.