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The One Wedding Present That Never Fails To Please My Engaged Friends

The way to anyone's heart is good food (and a cookbook).

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When the first of my friends got engaged three years ago, my first thought was, Fuck, we're old. My second thought was, I should probably get them a present, huh?

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I was 24 at the time, so that first thought makes me both laugh and cry in retrospect. Anyway, engagement presents are a weird thing. They're technically not required or expected; there is no engagement-present registry, and tbqfh there is usually a very nice ring involved in an engagement anyway, so who needs extra gifts?!

But this was for a very close friend, a former roommate, someone who I was very excited for who also lived far away, so I figured I should send her and her fiancé some kind of gesture to let them know since I couldn't get drinks with them to celebrate. It didn't need to be anything fancy or expensive, but I wanted it to be something somewhat personal that they'd both enjoy. It turned out to be harder than it sounded, but I eventually came across the perfect present.

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That perfect present was The Newlywed Cookbook by Sarah Copeland for $19.60.

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I'm a firm believer in presents that are experiences, like show tickets, so this is the best of both worlds. My friend and her now-husband love food and cooking (they actually talked about it at length in their vows), so this was the ideal find.

I didn't get a chance to see the book in person before I sent it (I had it shipped to them directly from Amazon), but I happened upon it at a bookstore shortly after, and I was so happy I took a chance on it based on the title and subtitle alone (Fresh Ideas and Modern Recipes for Cooking With and for Each Other). The pictures are so crisp and pretty, and there's a really cute description of how the author met her husband in the beginning. Plus, it includes a good variety of vegetarian recipes, to satisfy everyone.

Not only did my friend love the cookbook, but she texts me every time they make a recipe from it — so it was kind of like a present for me, too. And I love presents for me.

Terri Pous

It's like a continuous little thank-you note! I've requested that they send me the finished result of their efforts all the way from Chicago, though I'm still waiting on that. But that's not the cookbook's fault.

Since then, more of my friends have gotten engaged, and it turns out, the book has been a great gift for them, too. And I'm not the only one who feels that way!

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Promising review: "This book is simply adorable. It's super trendy with great pictures and recipes inside. It teaches the newlyweds how to find the best ingredients, prep and of course how to cook. The beginning of the book provides recipes for cooking for 2, then how to cook for a small group and finally entertain a large party. What a great find, and I will consider purchasing it for another young couple in the future." —Teresa


Promising review:
"I bought this for my newly married friends but I wanted to keep it for myself!" —Claire B.

Promising review: "It's the only resource I display in my kitchen. The recipes are ALWAYS crowd pleasers and make me appear to be a far better cook than I am trained! The photography and personal stories that accompany many of the recipes make it like a beautiful coffee table book with a romantic touch. This is my 'go to' gift for brides, showers, and empty nester couples cooking for two. My absolute favorite recipe in the book is Oatmeal-Yogurt Pancakes with Blackberry Crush." —SalesPro

That's nice, Terri, but I don't know any engaged people, you might be thinking. Well, I have news for you, dear reader. Engagement season (aka Thanksgiving through Valentine's Day for the uninitiated) is on the horizon, and I'm not saying everyone you know will get engaged, but it's highly possible.

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Of course, you don't have to get a present for them, but isn't it nice to have something in mind just in case? A little token of your joy for them that'll always make them think of you when they use it? Even if your friends don't like cooking, this book includes enough simple recipes that make for a fun ~bonding~ activity. Better yet, the cookbook (and its price point) are a great off-registry wedding gift, whether or not you RSVP yes.

Reviews in this post have been edited for length and/or clarity.

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