As a longtime home cook who tackles the weeknights with stir frys and one-pot pastas and spends the weekend on slow-simmering projects, I was anxious to get my hands on Carla Lalli Music’s latest book That Sounds So Good: 100 Real-Life Recipes for Every Day of the Week.
While other cookbooks tend to be organized by season, dish type, or ingredient, Music arranges this one in a way that makes sense to my style of cooking: “Monday through Thursday,” with stovetop suppers and big salads, and “Friday through the Weekend,” with lazy lunches, grilling, and Sunday soups, stews, and sauces. It helps me answer the questions: What am I whipping together on a Tuesday night, and then what am I looking forward to lingering over on Sunday?
I already live by Music’s motto of “always be cooking” but even with some of my ways set in stone, Music turned me on to a few new ways of doing things in her “How to Win in Your Kitchen” section, like say, ordering bulky items like salt, oils, and flours online and reserving grocery store time for finding what’s really fresh, enticing, and in season. I’m also a fan of her Spin It section listed with every recipe, where she offers ways (or better yet, permission) to add in substitutes—so, you don’t have hot paprika, or sherry vinegar, or hazelnuts, that’s ok! She tells you what to use instead.
Music mentions that her great joy in writing cookbooks and recipes comes when she hears that her recipes give readers “a way to connect with the most important people in their lives.” With this solid new collection, made for home cooks looking to make mealtime just a little bit easier every day, she’s allowing for exactly that.
COOK THE BOOK: COOKING ALONGSIDE CARLA LALLI MUSIC IN THAT SOUNDS SO GOOD
I’m always looking for ways to be efficient in the kitchen, so one of my favorite things about the way Music writes her recipes is that she drops the prep instructions right into the method, right when it makes the most sense, timing-wise. So, during this long-cooking sheet-pan meal, she tells you when to peel and cut the onion or tear the tomatoes. Also, the long, slow roast on this chicken, as she promises, results in an almost confit-like texture and super concentrated flavor.
I wish I were a master at salads but I’m so not. I enjoy them so much more when other people make them. But looking for one I might be able to pull off on a semi-regular basis, I turned to this incredibly simple, seven-ingredient option. The dressing, made sharp with grated garlic, is one I’ll turn to again and again.
Made for a Tuesday night, this simple, flavorful burger hit all the high notes for me: They came together in less than 30 minutes; everyone in the family enjoyed them; and served without the bun, made a great option for the ones in my house who avoid gluten. I also appreciate proper sandwich construction and this one, to me, felt close to perfect. I will now regularly construct my burgers this way: bun, slaw, burger, slaw, bun.
Exciting Announcement for South Carolina-based Readers:
- by Erin Byers Murray
- by Jennifer Stewart Kornegay
- by Emily Havener
- by Hannah Lee Leidy
- by Beth D’Addono