I received two copies of the 1973 red-cover edition for wedding gifts, and ended up lending one to a cousin, who after using it begged me to let her keep it. I did but later regretted the decision a little, as mine wore out and fell apart from so much use. I eventually found a good used copy here on Amazon, which I still use. This cookbook is great for new couples, roomies, and empty nesters, or anyone else who has to cook for two.
Its format is unusual for a cookbook in that the pages are laid out in complete menus, from entree to dessert. There are also five chapters: When Minutes Matter, Everyday Favorites, More Dimes Than Dollars, Planning Ahead and Two's Company. The introduction to the book talks about smart meal planning, and at the end there are tips on stocking the kitchen, tools and cookware to get, and grocery shopping. Interspersed throughout the book are pages with tips on quick desserts, carving meat and poultry, budget meat purchases, making yeast rolls, salad ideas, and table decorating ideas, among other things.
The first chapter of menus is quick meals that take 30 minutes or less to prepare. The second is about standard American fare from that time frame. The third is economical meals for tighter budgets. In the fourth chapter, there are menus that could work for a big holiday meal, featuring a large meat or poultry purchase, then recipes for using the leftovers from that meat. The fifth chapter has more expensive menus that are suitable for special occasions and entertaining more elegantly.
For a new cook like me (when I was married almost 30 years ago), this book was a great help in teaching me how to lay out an interesting meal. It has a great spice cake recipe that is my husband's favorite, along with creamy scalloped potatoes, German potato salad, and Coq au Vin. None of the recipes has ever been a major disappointment; however, this is a book from over thirty-five years ago, so the recipes may seem somewhat dated in some places. There are also some products used that are no longer available, though often a suitable substitute can be made from among existing products.
All in all, this is a cookbook I enjoy and still use almost three decades later, and for those who want to cook just enough for two people, it is a great book. I recommend it, and have given copies of it as gifts to people over the years who've fallen in love with the recipes from it.