Cookbook ideas for Newlyweds
Some dear friends of mine are getting married, and I want to give them a couple of wonderful cookbooks as a present. I am in love with Nigel Slater, so I was thinking about something of his, but his recipes either seem to stodgy (British) or too adventurous for this particular couple. The couple is quite different, so it is a bit of a challenge. The Mr. is from a hungry farm family, and the Mrs. is from a family of health conscious females. So, I am looking for a beginner cookbook, with healthy but filling and relatively simple fare; but, ideally something more exciting than The Joy of Cooking. Thanks, Hounds!
Your post actually got me out of my chair and into my kitchen to look through cookbooks. Given the couple you've described, I'd recommend "Learning to Cook with Marion Cunningham," and "The Way To Cook" by Julia Child. Both provide really interesting, varied recipes, but in language even a cooking novice can understand (Cunningham's book was actually inspired by a friend of hers who loved to cook, but didn't understand terms like "quenelle"). But while they're simple to understand, they're not boring or "how to boil water" type primers.
I've found that the Gourmet cookbook (from Gourmet Magazine) to be an excellent general cookbook. It covers just about everything, and it's a little more up-to-date and modern than the Betty Crocker cookbook that was my old standby.
I second Bostonbob3's recommendation of "The Way to Cook." Would also suggest "Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking" by Marcella Hazan.
I'm a fan of the "The Best....." series from Cooks Illustrated. If your friend is health concious, I'd try "The Best Light Recipe" book. I have to watch my weight and use it a fair bit. It's got good recipes and explains the process used to create the recipe. For that matter, you could always get them a subscription for CI. We got one at our wedding.
Also, check out the books by Alton Brown.
My basic point here is go for books that aren't just full of recipes (and pretty pictures) but tell you why food does what it does. From there they can learn to branch out on their own.