Cookbook review: Cooking strategies for every situation

"That Sounds So Good: 100 Real-Life Recipes for Every Day of the Week" by Carla Lalli Music (Potter, $35)

Credit: Handout

caption arrowCaption
"That Sounds So Good: 100 Real-Life Recipes for Every Day of the Week" by Carla Lalli Music (Potter, $35)

Credit: Handout

Credit: Handout

‘That Sounds So Good: 100 Real-Life Recipes for Every Day of the Week’ by Carla Lalli Music (Potter, $35)

I no longer plan my meals around the calendar like I did when I clocked in at an office. Yet, I still fully understand what is meant by “weekday” and “weekend” cooking:” last-minute, low-hassle dishes for harried days versus recipes that require a bit more time and effort. Carla Lalli Music provides a balance of both in “That Sounds So Good: 100 Real-Life Recipes for Every Day of the Week” (Potter, $35).

“Some people Rollerblade, some people foster puppies, some people live life through their travels, some people make music,” writes the former food director for Bon Appetit, YouTube star, and James Beard Award-winning author of “Where Cooking Begins.” “But everything in my life comes back to food, and I am inspired by making whatever sounds good in the moment I’m in.”

ExploreCookbook reviews

For Music, those moments tend to revolve around her close-knit extended Italian-American family in Brooklyn. Monday-Thursday meals mean stovetop suppers (Gingery Ground Beef with Lime and Herbs), big salads (Charred Broccoli with Spicy Avocado Sauce), and quick, healthy fare (Spicy-Tangy Green Beans and Tofu).

Weekends are for lazy lunches (Cold Sliced Steak with Arugula and Parm), cookouts (Grilled Squid with Blackened Tomatoes), and slow-simmered, crowd-pleasing feasts (Black Bean Soup with Topper Whoppers) complete with dessert (Lemon Polenta Sheet Cake with Cream Cheese Frosting).

Each recipe includes a section called “Spin It,” where she offers ideas for swapping ingredients to accommodate individual palates, pantries and priorities. No fermented shrimp paste for Steamed Lemongrass Mussels? Use anchovies instead. Not a fan of raisins? Dried apricots will inject a burst of sweetness into Extremely Green Grain Salad just as well.

Through her carefully laid out techniques and thoughtful suggestions for improvising, Music shows us how “even a completely ordinary day can accommodate a few tasty pauses.”

Susan Puckett is a cookbook author and former food editor of The Atlanta Journal-Constitution. Follow her at susanpuckett.com.

ExploreMust-try recipes
ExploreOur favorite dishes in Atlanta right now

Sign up for the AJC Food and Dining Newsletter

Read more stories like this by liking Atlanta Restaurant Scene on Facebook, following @ATLDiningNews on Twitter and @ajcdining on Instagram.

About the Author

Editors' Picks