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The Complete Cooking For Two Cookbook

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  1,610 ratings  ·  79 reviews
The only comprehensive cookbook specially designed for a 2-person household--with more than 650 foolproof recipes scaled down for two, from America's most trusted test kitchen. From breakfast to dinner, sides to desserts, plus slow cooking, vegetarian and grilling, we include a wide range of cuisines. A perfect gift for newlyweds, small families, or empty-nesters.
Paperback, 440 pages
Published April 1st 2014 by America's Test Kitchen
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Anna
Dec 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
My boyfriend and I live together and use this book to cook our meals a lot. While we've found a few printed recipe errors that didn't turn out so well (stay away from the five-cheese skillet mac and cheese!), the majority of the recipes have been delicious. Our favorites include the gumbo, weeknight beef stew, and Chicken Vesuvio, as well as a couple of the pasta recipes. We obviously have to buy a slow cooker to be able to try out the recipes in the slow cooker section, and are looking forward ...more
Diane
Jan 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I am a huge fan of America’s Test Kitchen - I watch the shows on public television, I subscribe to the website and I own numerous ATK cookbooks. The problem following their recipes has always been the volume we end up with. It’s just the two of us and we aren’t big on leftovers, so I was constantly trying to cut everything down with varied results.

This cookbook was Heaven sent! All of the expert, test kitchen results, but built for two people.

The first section contained some great tips about sh
...more
Naomi
Apr 21, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This cookbook was fantastic. I found numerous recipes that were perfect for cooking for myself. I absolutely loved this cookbook. There was only a small handful of recipes that I wouldn't make for myself.

ETA (06/14/15) As I go deeper into this cookbook, my 5 star rating just keeps getting more solid. As someone who is really starting to watch calories, log foods/drinks and all that good stuff, there are not only plenty of light recipes, but the nutritional information to boot. I have made well o
...more
MaryAnn
Jun 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
Love it. Many of these recipes are scaled down versions of those in their other cookbooks with a few new ones scattered in, but it's nice to have these for the odd occasion that I don't want 3+ servings of leftovers. A general note - America's Test Kitchen portion sizes are pretty large. For many recipes, I can get 3 servings out of it, but that's just me. I'm still exploring this book, of course, but here are my thoughts on the recipes I've tried so far:
Banana Bread: Perfect use of the one lef
...more
Kirsten
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
I don't read many cookbooks... I don't do much cooking, really. I'm more a open the box and stick in the microwave type of girl. But I keep on meaning to do more. This book appealed to me since I live with my mom and there's just the two of us (plus our senior dog).

There are some really good recipes in here. Plus there's an interesting section in the front giving you tips of what to do with certain leftovers. I really liked this and am actually interested in purchasing it as I read the library
...more
Ginny
Mar 11, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2018, my-library
I am a fan of Test Kitchen, and used to get the magazine until I decided I really have enough recipes for a lifetime. This is the first cookbook I’ve bought in, possibly, three years. I bought it for two reasons, 1) it is recipes for 2, which suits my life, and, 2) I’m a fan of Test Kitchen. But, after buying the book and doing some recipes, I recalled all the things about Test Kitchen that aren’t good enough to make this a great (or even very good) cookbook.

The idea of this book - as advertised
...more
Aj
Oct 22, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Absolutely love this book. The layout is incredibly clean and neat, and am completely enamored of the various tips and tricks sprinkled throughout the book. I'm also quite pleased with the way the recipes are organized. Usually there's just a general "Meat" "Side-Dishes" "Breads" with some minor differentiation between various desserts and maybe chicken, beef, etc. But this narrows things down a little further and works really well for how I like things organized.

Honestly, this is a fantastic ba
...more
Manik Sukoco
Jan 01, 2016 rated it really liked it
This is a great cook book. The Cook's Illustrated/America's Test Kitchen make wonderful recipes that are not only extremely tasty but are incredibly easy to make. I love the variety of cuisines that this book covers and it makes it easy to try different foods at home. Plus, its nice knowing that someone trustworthy has already put in all the time and effort making sure the recipes are foolproof and delicious. There are also tips on how to use your leftovers in creative ways and instructive pictu ...more
Deborah Blanchard
Apr 25, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
These are delicious and easy recipes. I did manage to up the ingredients to feed 3 easily. Awesome cookbook! I loved it and loved eating the food also!
Paula Seabright
Jan 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cookbooks
I only wanted to rate this book based on what I've read in it so far. Page four has some great tips for shopping smarter which I believe is my downfall when trying to downsize my cooking. The best tip was the reminder that buying bulk perishables to save money means buying way more than you will need. I also liked the tip to consider pre-cut veggies and the salad bar (!) when you need very small amounts of produce for a recipe. I will update this when I actually make something from this!
Robyn
Jul 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Have the Annuals? There are still new recipes here.

I delayed getting this cookbook for quite some time, because I've been buying ATK's Annual Cooking for Two cookbooks since 2009, and couldn't find any reference to whether this Complete collection was exclusively reprints of those recipes. Once I picked up my copy of this Complete collection, I sat down with all five Annuals and this new one and started working my way through the indexes.

Yes, most of the recipes in this Complete cookbook are rep
...more
Hannah
Aug 06, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a little out of my normal reviewing range, but after my boyfriend referred to it as the Bible, and I had to agree, I thought it was worth a recommendation. We've made quite a few of the recipes in here, and they've all turned out really well. I like that they explain their methods in a little paragraph before the ingredients--it really cuts down on my "I'ma do what I want!" culinary impulses. And if you can ignore the smug married implications of the title, this would actually be perfect ...more
Robert Sweeney
Sep 15, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
I've recently started a cooking blog, mostly for my own purposes, and -- so far -- mostly recipes out of this cookbook. www.robertsweeney-food.blogspot.com

I've only made a handful of recipes out of this cookbook so far, and as I continue to work my way through it, my rating might go up or down. I definitely love the layout and approach of the book -- the only reason I have initially given it 4 stars instead of 5 stars, is that I haven't been impressed with the cookie and brownie recipes I've mad
...more
Sarahmarie
Jul 19, 2016 rated it it was amazing
my one quibble with this wonderful, wonderful book is that the section in the front that lists essential cookware with *brand names and current prices* will make it seem dated eventually. Otherwise I would keep a copy for the day, eighteen years from now, when my youngest child goes off to college and I start Cooking For Two :)
Katy
May 10, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I've already used one recipe from this cookbook and it turned out great. These recipes are very versatile, written for two people but can obviously be doubled for larger groups. Classic recipes with detailed and easy to follow instructions. A must have for any kitchen!
Jena
Jul 10, 2018 rated it liked it
3.5/5 stars. Good recipes and I loved the section in the beginning that offered ideas for what to do with leftovers like bread and garlic...more of that please! A lot of the recipes look simple to make but they still require a lot of ingredients, it would be nice to have more ideas on how to incorporate those leftovers into other dishes. For me personally not really useful since a majority of recipes use cheese, milk, tomatoes, and other ingredients I can't eat. There was also a huge lack of pre ...more
Nancy
Jun 23, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: cookbook
This is definitely a keeper! I loved the variety of recipes, they all seem easy to make with few steps, and most of the ingredients are ordinary items I have no problem with recognizing and buying if I don't already have. I love how these recipes are purposely made to create small amounts of food and they generally are quick to make. I gave this 4 stars instead of 5 because there weren't enough pictures, although I did really like the nutritional information for the light recipes located in the ...more
Amanda Knox
Apr 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Shelves: cookbooks
Meh. I've read enough of the Test Kitchen cookbooks now that I noticed many repeat recipes in here that are just adjusted for two. If you don't have other Test Kitchen cookbooks and want one designed for a couple, then this really isn't bad. The recipes are solid. However, the vegetarian selection is lacking and there are better cookbooks in this collection to draw from.
Erin
Nov 26, 2018 rated it really liked it
I'm pescatarian, so much of this book is not of specific interest.

However, the thought process behind the recipe down-scaling is universally applicable and will come in handy.
Adrianne Haugen
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good book, Through part of it i felt the instructions were too detailed. But a very good book. Even for someone who has been cooking for quite a few years. Finish rd the book February 3, 2018
Debby
Jun 13, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cookbooks
It's no secret that America's Test Kitchen is one of my most trusted cookbook/recipe sources. I have made (and blogged) so many of their recipes with success. I own many of their cookbooks, and subscribe to Cook's Illustrated and Cook's Country-- AND have online subscriptions to their videos and recipe library. So, yeah, I'm a fan.
I'm also a new empty nester. My grown son (who could eat the equivalent of two hungry people) moved halfway across the country. So, here I am, loving to cook-- and re
...more
Tracy
Sep 06, 2015 rated it really liked it
I've been cooking for one and then two people my entire adult life (over 20 years), but have still found this cookbook pretty useful. Lots of good tips under the Basics of Cooking for Two chapter. Most of the recipes I've tried so far have been...fine, not inspiring or anything but fine. Actually the Skillet Pizza technique is pretty brilliant, but Chef John from Food Wishes covered it a few days after we first tried it. I've only had it for the summer so far, but am looking forward to trying so ...more
Michelle
Feb 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: diet-health-food
The highly reputable ATK author-chefs present the best, though frequently not the simplest or easiest, version of hundreds of classic foods scaled perfectly to smaller families/couples. As with their other work, a scientific explanation of the "why" or science behind each recipe is appreciated and fun to read.

PROS: Thoroughly researched. Clear written instructions ensure successful cooking. Almost every recipe uses just basic ingredients, available at any supermarket.

CONS: Sample menus would hav
...more
Richard Larraga
Jul 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: cooking
So many recipes are for families of four or large groups. It's nice having a comprehensive cookbook where all the ingredients are measured out for two people. My wife and I use this cookbook often and have been very happy with the results. It also has useful little sidebars such as "Tips for Stir Fry Success" or "The Best Steaks for Two."

Highly recommended.
Leigh
Sep 22, 2014 rated it really liked it
I want this book. I want it right now.

All kidding aside, this is perfect for those who are tired of all cookbooks saying "serves 4..or 6.." Lots of great recipes. There is the usual guide to basic kitchen skills but if you are an experienced cook, you can skip that and get straight to the recipes. The book is expensive as heck, so one star knocked off for that. However, you could just buy this one and your "cooking for small groups" library would be complete.
Christine
Apr 23, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I love America's Test Kitchen, and this is one of my favorites so far!I love that I don't have a ton of left overs, or that I have to buy a ton of ingredients to make a meal that can feed a huge family. So far I have prepared about five meals and they were all great! This is a great cookbook if you are looking to cook for yourself or for two.
Bunny
Love this. Not only the recipes, which are fantastic (and don't serve 185 people). I always glance at the tips section, because I am such an incompetent cook. Not only are the tips useful, they're also re-posted throughout the books, in sections where you could conceivably need them again.

I will be buying this book eventually.
Rebecca Ann
Jan 09, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: adult, a-cooking
This should be required reading in college or at least upon leaving it. The recipies are pretty average but it goes over all the basics I wish I knew when I started cooking for myself regularly including how to cut and store various staples and techniques for basic dishes that are applicable to any variation on them.
Maria
Dec 05, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I tell everyone I talk to about food about this book. It makes a wonderful bridal shower gift.

I have probably explored at least 30 of these recipes and only one did I not enjoy. (Thai coconut soup? I should have known). These recipes are easy to follow and most of the time can be adapted for my super picky husband. Other times I cook new foods for me and my kids.
P.R.
Jan 05, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is fabulous. My husband doesn't like leftovers (a real pain to deal with) so this book is a godsend. The recipes are for two people, however the portions are not skimpy. I've made the chicken Vesuvius and mini meat loaves, both were delicious. If you cook for two people this book is perfect. I can't wait to try some of the baking recipes.
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America's Test Kitchen, based in a brand new state-of-the-art 60,000 sq. ft. facility with over 15,000 sq. ft. of test kitchens and studio space, in Boston's Seaport District, is dedicated to finding the very best recipes for home cooks. Over 50 full-time (admittedly obsessive) test cooks spend their days testing recipes 30, 40, up to 100 times, tweaking every variable until they understand how an ...more

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