Saturday, August 20, 2016

Dinner for Two - Cookbook Review + Recipe

Table for Two is one of the first food blogs I followed.  I love her mix of fresh but easy to find ingredients and family friendly recipes with a twist to keep things interesting.  So when I saw that Julie Wampler had a cookbook coming out called Dinner For Two: Easy and Innovative Recipes for One, Two, or a Few I just knew I had to try it out.  The title pretty much sums up what's in the book - it's basically all dinner recipes.  Since this is usually what I'm looking for I was not sad to discover this! She does have a chapter that focuses on Breakfast for Dinner but the bulk of the recipes are for main courses.  There is such a variety that I think I could just cook my way through the book and never get bored.

They're lighter quick food like Shredded Chicken Caprese Couscous Bowls, Chicken Lettuce Wraps, and Slow Cooker Curry Quinoa Turkey Bowl.  Then there's pizza and burgers but with a twist with a Pesto Chicken Salad Sandwich, Buffalo Chicken Pizza, and Ranch Chicken Burgers.  If you want something a little bigger there's Rustic Pot Pie with Biscuits, Slow Cooker White Bean and Kielbasa Soup, and Beer Braised Roast with Polenta.  If you're feeling more in the mood for breakfast you can whip up Banana Pecan Bourbon Flapjacks, Ham and Gruyere Stuffed French Toast, or Chorizo, Kale and Sun-Dried Tomato Frittata.  There really is something for everyone here - except vegetarians as most of the dishes do have a meat element.

As I would expect from the blogger behind Table for Two the recipes are clearly laid out and don't have any over-complicated steps.  The ingredients are all easy to find and most are actually already in my pantry.  This week for dinner we had her Holy Yum Chicken Kebobs which is a take on her hugely popular Holy Yum Chicken.  

Holy Yum Chicken Kebobs

2/3 cup Dijon mustard
1/4 cup + 1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 tablespoon plain white vinegar
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 lbs chicken breasts, diced into 2 inch cubes
Rosemary sprigs for topping

Soak five wooden skewers on a baking sheet filled with water just enough to cover the skewers.  Set aside.  (I skipped this part because I had metal skewers)

Preheat oven to 425 and line a 9 x 13 inch oven safe casserole dish with two layers of foil.  Set aside.

In a small bowl, whisk together mustard, maple syrup, vinegar, salt and pepper.

Spear 5 or 6 chicken cubes on each wooden skewer

Place the skewers into the casserole dish.  If the skewers are too long, cut or break them to fit the casserole dish. (Since mine were metal this obviously wasn't an option.  I balanced mine on the top of the casserole dish and it worked fine.  I also probably had more like 10 chicken pieces on one skewer)

Pour half the sauce on top of the chicken skewers and, using a pastry brush, brush the sauce to coat the chicken.  Set leftover sauce aside.

Place in the oven on the top rack and bake for a total of 45 minutes, uncovered.  Flip the chicken skewers every 15 minutes and brush the chicken with a liberal amount of the leftover sauce until the chicken is cooked fully through - internal temperature of 160 F.  (I only needed 30 minutes)

Set oven to broil, and broil chicken for 5 minutes, watching carefully as not to burn it.

Remove and let cool for 10 minutes before serving.

Note: If you have leftover sauce use it as a dipping sauce!

My Results:  I really liked the cooking method for this and will definitely be trying kebobs this way again.  If I make this again I'll cut the salt by half.  While normally I like a good bit of salt I thought it conflicted with the mustard and brought a bitter note.  

This is definitely a cookbook I could see getting a lot of use out of and one that I think most people would as well.  The recipes are for about 2 to 4 servings but could easily be halved or doubled.

I'm linking up with Weekend Cooking hosted by Beth Fish Reads


  1. I'm going to try that recipe and also look for the cookbook. Sounds like quite a few great recipes i would like.

  2. I am a cookbook lover and this looks like something I could fall for. Especially since there are only two of us now.

  3. Oh this sounds awesome. I am almost always just looking for dinner ideas and the list you have all sound really good.

  4. Oh I need this! I always have to adjust recipes for just the two of us. Nice that it would already be done for me. This is a new to me blog too, so I'll go exploring.

  5. I definitely need this cookbook. Cooking for two is harder than I thought it would be, and I'm not a leftover fan.

  6. I'm not familiar with the blog or the cookbook but I like books where smaller portions are built in and the light and quick recipes appeal too. ;-)

  7. Yay for no over-complicated steps! This sounds great. Great review!

  8. I've now ordered this from the library. Thanks! Have a great week. Cheers from Carole's Chatter

  9. We love couscous bowls. If the library has this I think I will check it out. :)

  10. The recipe, cookbook and blog all sound great, Katherine. I'm going to take a look at her blog and try to find the cookbook! I love all the recipes and cookbooks you try. I keep thinking I'll start connecting with Weekend Cooking. Maybe someday!

  11. After cooking for a family of five for years... I'm surprised how difficult it is to find satisfactory recipes for just the two of us. I will definitely check out this book as well as the blog.

  12. We're down to my husband and me so this sounds like a cookbook I need to check out. Thanks for telling us about it!