Designed to be given as an engagement, shower or wedding gift, Our Newlywed Kitchen encourages you to add personal messages to hand down family traditions, recipes, and more.
The book is focused on a traditional husband/wife marriage from a Christian perspective. The author promises no outdated ideals. She focusses on a way to “cultivate the timeless value of gathering friends and family to your table”.
The two main sections in the book are divided into several chapters:
Before You Say I “Do”
- Cultural Shift
- Registry Pre-Shop
- Kitchen Essentials Checklist
- Secret Weapon
After Your Nuptials
- Something Borrowed
- Recipe Collection
- Cooking Simple
- Test Recipes
- 21-Dinner Rotation
- Down The Aisle
- from The Table Up
Before You Say I “Do”
With the first section, Cultural Shift, the author discusses the focus in the past on home versus work. She notes how more people are choosing to focus again on the home these days. She encourages a discussion to determine what kind of a work/life balance will work best for the happy couple.
The Registry Pre-Shop covers what to look for in a gift registry and encourages questioning what kind of items you will need. In order to make the registration less painful for the groom, a Registry Date page offers several tips on how to turn it into less of a chore and more of a date.
The Essentials Checklist covers everything you’ll need to consider for your kitchen and dining room. This section touches on everything I could think of and provides several excellent questions you should ask yourself. These questions will help to determine which type of item under each category will work best for you.
The groom is the object in the section Secret Weapon. This section encourages discussion on sharing duties and determining what his strengths are in the kitchen.
After Your Nuptials
The second part of the book starts with Something Borrowed. This Something Borrowed tradition is borrowed happiness, not a borrowed object. This section offers shared thoughts and memories to share the happiness.
In Recipe Collection the author shares recipes she has collected from friends and family members. She also includes information on various websites and other sources for good recipes.
With Cooking Simple the author provides information that can make cooking easier for the less experienced. This is followed by a brief two pages of information on menu planning and pairing.
Next comes Test Recipe with a very few basic recipes. 21-Dinner Rotation is next with a three-step system which helps you plan nightly dinners. It uses the test recipes provided in the previous chapter and encourages you to use some of your own. The information provided is an excellent source of inspiration for creating menu plan in a very simple way.
Down The Aisle refers to the grocery aisle, not to the wedding ceremony. It provides information on how to shop efficiently and on how to avoid purchasing mistakes. The author even discusses markets and pre-portioned dinner deliveries.
The section From The Table Up covers the table settings, both casual and formal. Gathering discusses how and why we get together. Traditions covers discovering and maintaining traditions where appropriate. And also how to create new ones.
A Unique And Valuable Reference
Throughout this book are several sections where you can input your own information to pass along. Whether it be a recipe, a tradition, or just a story, these personal touches would make the book very special to the recipient.
With most wedding keepsake books, when the wedding is over the book is no longer used. The book is just kept for sentimental reasons. This book, however, contains a lot of information which could be very useful when party planning.
If the recipient or the giver choose to complete some or all of the personalization throughout the book, the value would increase tremendously. But even blank, there is enough information in this book that it would be an excellent reference to keep on hand.
It was somewhat disappointing that the book is entirely (and heavily) Christian oriented. The book also doesn’t consider a couple other than a man and a woman. I would have been happier if the book were a little bit more inclusive but I still feel that there are a lot of ideas and information of value.
For the included recipe I have chosen one of the Test Recipes, Caprese Salad as a quick satisfying delicious appetizer. Enjoy!
- 3 tomatoes, vine-ripe
- 16 ounces mozzarella, fresh
- 16 basil leaves, fresh
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil, EVOO
- Balsamic vinegar glaze , or reduction
- Use a serrated knife to slice mozzarella into even rounds.
- Place tomato on its side. With the same knife, slice off stem and bottom of the tomato, then parallel cut the remaining tomato into five or six uniform rounds.
- Arrange mozzarella and tomatoes into preferred display and layer with basil leaves.
- Drizzle EVOO and balsamic vinegar reduction over top.
- Salt and pepper to taste.
- Serve chilled.