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Dinner Dates: A Cookbook for Couples Cooking Together    by Martha Cotton order for
Dinner Dates
by Martha Cotton
Order:  USA  Can
HarperCollins, 1999 (1999)

Read an Excerpt

* * *   Reviewed by Mary Ann Smyth

I happened on this book and instantly fell in love. My fella and I like to cook together and clean up together. Dinner Dates is a cookbook for doing just that. I hate to cook alone, so figured this has to enhance our eating experiences.

After you get past the necessary stuff like Atmosphere, Presentation, Equipping and Stocking Your Kitchen, and Cleaning Up, great dinner menus follow. Your First Dinner Date starts with Grapefruit and Avocado Salad, moves on to Mediterranean Chicken Breasts, Green Beans with Lemon and Shallots, and Basil Rice with Mushrooms. It finishes with Anjou Pears Poached in Sauterne. Now that's a meal. Dinner date themes range from A Celebration for Two or an Indoor Picnic to The Ultimate Valentine's Day Dinner.

Each date topic features a menu suitable for the occasion. Menus open on 'Marinating the chefs', suggesting an appropriate bottle of wine to soften the cooking chores. There are a numbered list of steps to take, with one side of the page for Chef Numero Uno and the other for Chef Numero Duo. No duplicating tasks. All that needs to be done is spelled out in the right sequence so that everything is ready at the same time even to an admonition not to forget the rolls.

I cannot wait to present this to my significant other. I anticipate a leisurely time fixing food, sipping a fine vintage, talking and laughing and ultimately enjoying a fine meal replete with wine, candles and music. A small book, but, to me, worth its weight in gold.

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