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A modern approach to cooking at home, with more than 70 innately flexible recipes. The indispensable recipes and streamlined cooking techniques in Where Cooking Begins are an open invitation to dive into Carla Lalli Music's laid-back cooking style. The food director at Bon Appetit, her intuitive recipes are inspired by the meals she makes at home for her family and friends A modern approach to cooking at home, with more than 70 innately flexible recipes. The indispensable recipes and streamlined cooking techniques in Where Cooking Begins are an open invitation to dive into Carla Lalli Music's laid-back cooking style. The food director at Bon Appetit, her intuitive recipes are inspired by the meals she makes at home for her family and friends and the joy she takes in feeding them. Here, too, is her guide to the six essential cooking methods that will show you how to make everything without over-complicating anything--and every recipe includes suggestions for swaps and substitutions, so you'll never feel stuck or stymied. Where Cooking Begins is also the first recent cookbook to connect the way we shop to the way we cook. Music's modern approach--pick up your fresh ingredients a few times a week, and fill your pantry with staples bought online--will make you want to click on a burner and slide out a cutting board the minute you get home. The no-fail techniques, textured recipes, and strategies in Where Cooking Begins will make you a great cook.


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A modern approach to cooking at home, with more than 70 innately flexible recipes. The indispensable recipes and streamlined cooking techniques in Where Cooking Begins are an open invitation to dive into Carla Lalli Music's laid-back cooking style. The food director at Bon Appetit, her intuitive recipes are inspired by the meals she makes at home for her family and friends A modern approach to cooking at home, with more than 70 innately flexible recipes. The indispensable recipes and streamlined cooking techniques in Where Cooking Begins are an open invitation to dive into Carla Lalli Music's laid-back cooking style. The food director at Bon Appetit, her intuitive recipes are inspired by the meals she makes at home for her family and friends and the joy she takes in feeding them. Here, too, is her guide to the six essential cooking methods that will show you how to make everything without over-complicating anything--and every recipe includes suggestions for swaps and substitutions, so you'll never feel stuck or stymied. Where Cooking Begins is also the first recent cookbook to connect the way we shop to the way we cook. Music's modern approach--pick up your fresh ingredients a few times a week, and fill your pantry with staples bought online--will make you want to click on a burner and slide out a cutting board the minute you get home. The no-fail techniques, textured recipes, and strategies in Where Cooking Begins will make you a great cook.

30 review for Where Cooking Begins: Uncomplicated Recipes to Make You a Great Cook

  1. 5 out of 5

    Célèste

    I’m not sure I’ve ever given a cookbook five stars before because I reserve five stars for books that leave me in awe, and that’s exactly what this book did. When I first heard Carla Lalli Music describing the concept of it on the Bon Appétit Fooodcast, I thought, “This book will be life-changing if it’s really that good, but how could it be?” Well, it is. This is the perfect resource I have always wanted for cooking the way that I cook. I want to give this book to everyone I know and make them I’m not sure I’ve ever given a cookbook five stars before because I reserve five stars for books that leave me in awe, and that’s exactly what this book did. When I first heard Carla Lalli Music describing the concept of it on the Bon Appétit Fooodcast, I thought, “This book will be life-changing if it’s really that good, but how could it be?” Well, it is. This is the perfect resource I have always wanted for cooking the way that I cook. I want to give this book to everyone I know and make them read it. What I Learned: Morton kosher salt is “saltier” than Diamond. You can confit veggies, too, and it’s a great way to preserve them for a few weeks. You can make corn stock with a corn cob. The answer of what to do with a chicken breast is, steam it!

  2. 5 out of 5

    Gretchen Alice

    I adore Carla and I want to make a majority of these recipes. Her casual, wry attitude comes across in the text, as does her love of super fresh ingredients. I can't wait to try these out. (Sidebar: I do feel weird about her idea of buying most of your dry ingredients online. It makes sense from a New York or other high-density city perspective, but in Texas, I think it makes more sense / is better for the environment overall to buy in bulk from stores and save on the packaging and shipping foot I adore Carla and I want to make a majority of these recipes. Her casual, wry attitude comes across in the text, as does her love of super fresh ingredients. I can't wait to try these out. (Sidebar: I do feel weird about her idea of buying most of your dry ingredients online. It makes sense from a New York or other high-density city perspective, but in Texas, I think it makes more sense / is better for the environment overall to buy in bulk from stores and save on the packaging and shipping footprint.)

  3. 4 out of 5

    Karie

    Usually I can find one or two recipes in any cookbook that spark my interest, but not this one. I'm honestly surprised because I love Carla's YouTube videos for Bon Appetite. I'm also not a fan of the recipe layout. Usually I can find one or two recipes in any cookbook that spark my interest, but not this one. I'm honestly surprised because I love Carla's YouTube videos for Bon Appetite. I'm also not a fan of the recipe layout.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Cami Fussey

    Perfection. I’ve long been a viewer of Carla’s on YouTube, and, more than the mountain of delicious recipes she offers in this book, I was inspired by the premise that cooking begins when you shop. This cookbook is unlike any other, combining cooking, shopping, and pantry-maintaining techniques that teach you to use what you have, what you know, and what looks fresh and good at the market to cook daily for those you love. Or yourself. And, as per a note from her editor at Bon Appetit, Carla writ Perfection. I’ve long been a viewer of Carla’s on YouTube, and, more than the mountain of delicious recipes she offers in this book, I was inspired by the premise that cooking begins when you shop. This cookbook is unlike any other, combining cooking, shopping, and pantry-maintaining techniques that teach you to use what you have, what you know, and what looks fresh and good at the market to cook daily for those you love. Or yourself. And, as per a note from her editor at Bon Appetit, Carla writes how she talks, which makes for entertaining, charming, and honest instruction. Bonus points for her regular eat-with-your-hands advocacy. If you want to be a better cook, get this book and read it from beginning to end.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Maggie

    Starting a cookbook shelf to track all the cookbooks that I flip through, admire, and never cook a single recipe from!!! I'm an ENORMOUS fan of the Bon Appetit test kitchen's Youtube channel and a subscriber to the print magazine, so any cookbook from that crew is one I have to check out. This one is very beautiful - Carla rules. Recipes tried: 0 Starting a cookbook shelf to track all the cookbooks that I flip through, admire, and never cook a single recipe from!!! I'm an ENORMOUS fan of the Bon Appetit test kitchen's Youtube channel and a subscriber to the print magazine, so any cookbook from that crew is one I have to check out. This one is very beautiful - Carla rules. Recipes tried: 0

  6. 4 out of 5

    Luke Hillier

    I came cross Carla's videos from the BA Test Kitchen in late 2019 (so, before the reckoning that's now upended the channel and led to her halting her contract with CNE) and always appreciated her warmth, wit, and humble expertise as she coached the viewers, as well as celebrities with their backs to her, on different recipes. Spurred by the channel, I started to take more interest in cooking myself, and opted for her book to start off my collection, which I think will prove to be an excellent ch I came cross Carla's videos from the BA Test Kitchen in late 2019 (so, before the reckoning that's now upended the channel and led to her halting her contract with CNE) and always appreciated her warmth, wit, and humble expertise as she coached the viewers, as well as celebrities with their backs to her, on different recipes. Spurred by the channel, I started to take more interest in cooking myself, and opted for her book to start off my collection, which I think will prove to be an excellent choice. Reading through it, Carla's friendly personality and familial orientation comes through surprisingly clearly, without it ever feeling hokey or gimmicky. This isn't a book about her or her brand, it's decidedly about the food and how to cook it, but it was nice to see her uniqueness still shine through. If I'm honest, I'm not entirely sold on her philosophical approach to shopping (which is essentially to shop often and small, letting the ingredients available catch your eye and inspire your meal), largely because I've spent the past 3 years without a car or an affordable market in walking distance, so big bulk trips have been my MO to get by. However, that's borne out of practicality and a desire to streamline my shopping, so I can totally see the merits of her take and now that I own a car I'm curious to try adopting them more. As a more reticent culinary beginner, I will say that a number of the recipes here feel a bit intimidating, but there are still plenty that I'm eager and excited to try right away! And, in fact, that feels like one of its strengths; as I grow more comfortable with more challenging or expensive ingredients, I'll look forward to returning to this book over time and adding more and more of its recipes to my repertoire. Also, the photography is really gorgeous, which if we're being honest is a huge draw to cookbooks!

  7. 4 out of 5

    Claire

    I knew I liked Carla's cooking (and personal) style from her videos on Bon Appetit, and this book did not disappoint. I especially appreciate the care she takes to demonstrate several key cooking techniques, as well as the accompanying (and mouthwatering) images so you can tell what say confit will do to a wide array of ingredients. Overall her philosophy on cooking is one I'll take with me, encouraging "spin it" variations in ingredients to make her recipes accessible and your cooking more holi I knew I liked Carla's cooking (and personal) style from her videos on Bon Appetit, and this book did not disappoint. I especially appreciate the care she takes to demonstrate several key cooking techniques, as well as the accompanying (and mouthwatering) images so you can tell what say confit will do to a wide array of ingredients. Overall her philosophy on cooking is one I'll take with me, encouraging "spin it" variations in ingredients to make her recipes accessible and your cooking more holistic. I began the year with a goal to cook more *new* recipes, but that became a challenge between a global pandemic of food shortages and also some big personal life changes. I was worried I couldn't achieve recipes with complicated techniques and long grocery lists. However this book and Lalli Music's mentality on cooking what you have has made my goal seem a little more approachable lately. I especially appreciate the section of her recipes which segment the ingredients by where you can snag it: fresh ingredients from the market or pantry staples found at home. I already have a long list from this book of recipes I want to try this year, and heartily recommend you do the same.

  8. 4 out of 5

    Hannah

    While I wanted to love and champion this book, Lalli Music and I take the opposite view on how to approach cooking. I'm a fastidious planner, she prefers being inspired at the farmers market and letting what appeals dictate what she cooks. I'd much rather sit down and browse my (many) cookbooks, plan the weeks meals and write up my grocery list (which is kept on the fridge, easily accessible should I use something up during the week). In fact it's one of my favourite things to do each week, and While I wanted to love and champion this book, Lalli Music and I take the opposite view on how to approach cooking. I'm a fastidious planner, she prefers being inspired at the farmers market and letting what appeals dictate what she cooks. I'd much rather sit down and browse my (many) cookbooks, plan the weeks meals and write up my grocery list (which is kept on the fridge, easily accessible should I use something up during the week). In fact it's one of my favourite things to do each week, and I always feel more inspired by that than I ever have wandering around an overcrowded farmer's market. She also says "shop small, waste less" but I've always found the opposite to be true. I've chosen to learn about seasonality - to be honest unless you have a very good market there's a fair chance that produce isn't as fresh as you think, and realistically most people shop in supermarkets which are largely devoid of the seasonal approach. I buy only what I need when I need it, and check the fridge, freezer and pantry before planning the week. Each to their own, but if you lean towards a more prepared approach to cooking this book won't be for you. I did like the focus on prep, basic skills and technique. This book doesn't assume prior cooking knowledge, but it doesn't treat you as incompetent either. I also loved the 'spin it' note attached to each recipe that offers up easy ingredient substitutes. I'd describe this as less cookbook more cooking manual with recipes as case studies. Its certainly a fresh approach.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Lucinda

    The one recipe I tried (Steamed Sweet Potatoes) took much longer than described and the sauce was awful (but fixable), so I'm not sure I can recommend this cookbook even if on the surface the basic techniques seem sound. I do like the idea of "start simple, add sauces and extras" (her basic techniques all involve only salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice with other flavorings being add-ons). I also like that she provides alternative "spins" for when you don't have the specific ingredients li The one recipe I tried (Steamed Sweet Potatoes) took much longer than described and the sauce was awful (but fixable), so I'm not sure I can recommend this cookbook even if on the surface the basic techniques seem sound. I do like the idea of "start simple, add sauces and extras" (her basic techniques all involve only salt, pepper, olive oil, and lemon juice with other flavorings being add-ons). I also like that she provides alternative "spins" for when you don't have the specific ingredients listed. If you're not familiar with the basics of Sauté, Pan-Roast, Steam, Boil/Simmer, Confit, Slow Roast you can read about them here, but it's unclear how many of the recipes are going to work out.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Alex Can Read

    I love Carla Lalli Music on the Bon Appetit channel on youtube. She can convince you to try and love almost anything. She has this amazing, bright, supportive and encouraging presence about her (which you can see in back to back kitchen episodes) and that same personality comes through in her book. All of the recipes seem both doable and delicious - and in many cases, endlessly riffable. I had initially checked this out from the library, but after paging through I immediately put in an order for I love Carla Lalli Music on the Bon Appetit channel on youtube. She can convince you to try and love almost anything. She has this amazing, bright, supportive and encouraging presence about her (which you can see in back to back kitchen episodes) and that same personality comes through in her book. All of the recipes seem both doable and delicious - and in many cases, endlessly riffable. I had initially checked this out from the library, but after paging through I immediately put in an order for my own copy. I can't wait to get started cooking my way through every recipe in the book.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Janet

    I was not initially impressed with this one, but it grew on me as I read it. I'm not a novice cook, so most of the intro did not apply. Then I was thrown off by a lot of odd "high end" that few novices would likely start with. But at some point the simpler recipes won me over--Cosmo's Power Pancakes, Rack-Roasted Chicken, Caprese Mac and Cheese--and I love the author's voice, lively and conversational. I was not initially impressed with this one, but it grew on me as I read it. I'm not a novice cook, so most of the intro did not apply. Then I was thrown off by a lot of odd "high end" that few novices would likely start with. But at some point the simpler recipes won me over--Cosmo's Power Pancakes, Rack-Roasted Chicken, Caprese Mac and Cheese--and I love the author's voice, lively and conversational.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Gillian

    This book completely changed the way I think about cooking for myself, and I could not be happier. As a single person who almost always cooks only for herself the concept of shopping small and often is almost too obvious. And now I love cooking veggies that look good to me and deciding how to cook them later. I feel like I’m a better cook because of it plus I am enjoying more fresh produce! I already loved Carla and this book only deepens the love.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Katie Shields

    A lot of people rave about this cookbook. But I have a feeling that most who raved, did not cook from it. More like they raved about it because they've been told that it's good. I believe it's for a very specific audience. It was too basic for me, but I also think it would be too advanced for the beginner. A lot of people rave about this cookbook. But I have a feeling that most who raved, did not cook from it. More like they raved about it because they've been told that it's good. I believe it's for a very specific audience. It was too basic for me, but I also think it would be too advanced for the beginner.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Grace

    I liked Carla's writing more than the recipes probably. Will need to read again to try more of the food ;) I liked Carla's writing more than the recipes probably. Will need to read again to try more of the food ;)

  15. 5 out of 5

    Bonnie

    I love Carla! This James Beard award-winning book lives up to its title. Reading about Carla's meal preparation methodology is a glimpse into the mind of an uncomplicated master. Her routine of shopping small and getting inspired by fresh market ingredients makes planning dinner exciting. I especially appreciate the flexibility ingrained in Parts 2 and 3. The "Dozen to ___" spread for each technique introduced in "Salt and Pepper Cooking" made me feel confident enough to cook any piece of produc I love Carla! This James Beard award-winning book lives up to its title. Reading about Carla's meal preparation methodology is a glimpse into the mind of an uncomplicated master. Her routine of shopping small and getting inspired by fresh market ingredients makes planning dinner exciting. I especially appreciate the flexibility ingrained in Parts 2 and 3. The "Dozen to ___" spread for each technique introduced in "Salt and Pepper Cooking" made me feel confident enough to cook any piece of produce before stepping foot in the kitchen. And later, the "Spin It" section of each ingredient list makes every recipe highly accessible. My only gripe: Carla's online-shopping strategy that she *continuously* insists on feels more costly and wasteful (in terms of packaging/delivery) than I'd like. Likewise, her some of her staple ingredients get expensive (for a good reason, but still).

  16. 5 out of 5

    Jodi Geever

    A note on how I review cookbooks: I review for ease of use, aesthetic pleasure, and general value as a resource. I have not (yet) tried the recipes or techniques given in these pages. This book blows me away. It is positively beautiful. Don't read it while you're hungry or you might make a multi-dish feast for 10 despite you yourself being single. The book takes the reader through various cooking techniques such as pan-roasting, slow roasting, and confit cooking through a series of vivid step-by A note on how I review cookbooks: I review for ease of use, aesthetic pleasure, and general value as a resource. I have not (yet) tried the recipes or techniques given in these pages. This book blows me away. It is positively beautiful. Don't read it while you're hungry or you might make a multi-dish feast for 10 despite you yourself being single. The book takes the reader through various cooking techniques such as pan-roasting, slow roasting, and confit cooking through a series of vivid step-by-step photos. After each photo tutorial, there are a collection of recipes that help the cook master the new technique. Each looks mouth-watering. I believe this book will be of great value to the novice cook, and I am excited to get cooking!!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Natasha Kotecki

    I love Carla’s down to earth yet expert level cooking methodology. This cookbook is fantastic and I can’t wait for her next one. Can we talk about the Fazool? UNREAL! Best Pasta e Fagioli I have ever had. Used Rancho Gordo beans which only amplified this gorgeous dinner. It feels like it should be illegal that we have this recipe because it’s a treasure. I really should sign up for her Patreon because I love supporting good people who also happen to be experts in their field.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Mary

    Despite the name, this book does not seem to be a beginners cookbook. Recipes are long with lots of ingredients (mostly common though some may throw readers like nutritional yeast, for example) though they are not complicated. The philosophy is more of a hook, I think, than necessarily anything new, but this doesn’t detract from the recipes. This hook, if you will, is the prepping for cooking that emphasizes shopping twice a week at least for fresh foods, buying dry ingredients online and switch Despite the name, this book does not seem to be a beginners cookbook. Recipes are long with lots of ingredients (mostly common though some may throw readers like nutritional yeast, for example) though they are not complicated. The philosophy is more of a hook, I think, than necessarily anything new, but this doesn’t detract from the recipes. This hook, if you will, is the prepping for cooking that emphasizes shopping twice a week at least for fresh foods, buying dry ingredients online and switching out flavors you don’t like for substitutes. None of this is really necessary to enjoy the cookbook, though perhaps for some these ideas are helpful. The book starts with introductory step-by-step techniques, each followed by a page of a dozen alternatives to the original technique. This section seemed to be missing quantities and times that might vary across these ingredients. For example, the roasting section features butternut squash and then the dozen alternatives include salmon, scallops, chicken. These are all roasted differently and for different times. Does not seem like a beginner can just dive in here. After this section the book focuses on fully developed recipes and this is where the book shines. These are good, flavor forward recipes with clear instructions and full page pictures. If I had to locate the flavors I’d say Mediterranean though the sub suggestions encourage diversity.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Nicola

    I LOVE YOU CARLA

  20. 4 out of 5

    Kristin

    4.5 stars. I checked this out from my library and immediately purchased it for myself. I like to put tabs and notes in my cookbooks so I had to have it on my shelf since there were so many recipes I wanted to try. The recipes are, as marketed, laid-back, streamlined, and delicious. I LOVE the spin-it idea with tons of substitutions for each recipe - that is the way I like to cook - on my terms, not beholden to a recipe. The photos are great, techniques approachable, and ingredients easily source 4.5 stars. I checked this out from my library and immediately purchased it for myself. I like to put tabs and notes in my cookbooks so I had to have it on my shelf since there were so many recipes I wanted to try. The recipes are, as marketed, laid-back, streamlined, and delicious. I LOVE the spin-it idea with tons of substitutions for each recipe - that is the way I like to cook - on my terms, not beholden to a recipe. The photos are great, techniques approachable, and ingredients easily sourced. My only fault is that, living in the midwest, I don't have the access to fabulous farmer's markets year-round that she recommends to initiate recipe-inspiration, thus I am frequently stuck with crap supermarket produce or bulk Costco produce. Nevertheless the recipes still work out just fine. I also don't buy my dry goods online or agree that MSG is an essential home spice - but this is easily overlooked and nonessential to the use to this book.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jessica

    I don't consider myself a professional chef, but I guess I'm not quite a beginner either because this book was a little too basic for me. The first section is about planning and preparing for cooking, the second section illustrates various cooking techniques like steaming, pan-roasting, making pastry dough, etc. The third section is the actual recipes using the techniques described earlier. One thing I did like is that each recipe has "spin it" options that give other ways to use that recipes ei I don't consider myself a professional chef, but I guess I'm not quite a beginner either because this book was a little too basic for me. The first section is about planning and preparing for cooking, the second section illustrates various cooking techniques like steaming, pan-roasting, making pastry dough, etc. The third section is the actual recipes using the techniques described earlier. One thing I did like is that each recipe has "spin it" options that give other ways to use that recipes either with different ingredients or ways to use ingredients you already might have on hand. There just weren't any recipes that jumped out at me that I really wanted to try. I do think this would be good for someone who is a VERY beginner because the photos of the cooking techniques would be very helpful.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Ryan Fohl

    Lots of great info! The theory of how to shop and the technique sections are very helpful. I think my food is going to get yummier and there will be less food waste. I enjoyed her conversational writing, and most of the photos were good. I really loved the “spin it” innovation with the recipes, it makes the recipes more accessible, especially if you hate fennel like I do. What I learned: How to get out those pomegranate seeds. What a confit is, preserving in oil. So canned sardines are a confit? Lots of great info! The theory of how to shop and the technique sections are very helpful. I think my food is going to get yummier and there will be less food waste. I enjoyed her conversational writing, and most of the photos were good. I really loved the “spin it” innovation with the recipes, it makes the recipes more accessible, especially if you hate fennel like I do. What I learned: How to get out those pomegranate seeds. What a confit is, preserving in oil. So canned sardines are a confit? Why does she store nuts in the fridge? Some new yummy ideas for radishes, cucumbers, and chickpeas. Get a nice nozzle for your olive oil. Always have lots of lemons! The Swedes have pancake parties.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Leah

    I love Bon Appétit and Carla’s email and video dispatches (if you haven’t seen her cooking with drag queens, you’re missing out), so I’ve been so excited to check this out. It’s great – conversational and user-friendly. Her premise is one that all cooks know: Cooking starts when you’re shopping for food, when you find an ingredient that revs you up and makes you impatient to get back home to cook it. I liked a lot of her ideas, tips, and tricks, and I learned a few new things I’m excited to try I love Bon Appétit and Carla’s email and video dispatches (if you haven’t seen her cooking with drag queens, you’re missing out), so I’ve been so excited to check this out. It’s great – conversational and user-friendly. Her premise is one that all cooks know: Cooking starts when you’re shopping for food, when you find an ingredient that revs you up and makes you impatient to get back home to cook it. I liked a lot of her ideas, tips, and tricks, and I learned a few new things I’m excited to try out (like confiting vegetables!). I was chuffed to find that I already do a lot of the things she recommends, so 😏. I’d recommend this book if you want to get a handle on the basics in a low-pressure way, or if you’re an experienced cook looking for fun recipe inspiration.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Liz

    I love how Carla wrote these recipes the way that I, and I would imagine many other people, actually cook--with readily suggested substitutions for the major components. Maybe it's summer the farmer's market had so gorgeous radicchio that you're jazzed about using. Or maybe it's November and you're home for Thanksgiving in rural NWCT and you have driven to three grocery stores only to find some limp and overpriced radicchio that just makes you sad. Maybe you have a great boyfriend who goes by hi I love how Carla wrote these recipes the way that I, and I would imagine many other people, actually cook--with readily suggested substitutions for the major components. Maybe it's summer the farmer's market had so gorgeous radicchio that you're jazzed about using. Or maybe it's November and you're home for Thanksgiving in rural NWCT and you have driven to three grocery stores only to find some limp and overpriced radicchio that just makes you sad. Maybe you have a great boyfriend who goes by himself to a fourth grocery store and finally finds acceptable radicchio. Or maybe you just call it a day and settle for the red leaf lettuce. Either way, Carla reassures you that it will all be okay.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Carolyne Gibson

    Yeah, OK, it’s a cookbook. But if you have even the most ephemeral interest in feeding yourself well from the abundance of excellent foodstuffs that surrounds us, it’s a worthy read. In her highly approachable style, Lalli Music distills cooking into six basic techniques using a small repertoire of tools and a straightforward inventory of ingredients. Casual cooks, experienced cooks, reluctant cooks, adventurous cooks, exhausted cooks all will find new ways of focusing their efforts on delicious Yeah, OK, it’s a cookbook. But if you have even the most ephemeral interest in feeding yourself well from the abundance of excellent foodstuffs that surrounds us, it’s a worthy read. In her highly approachable style, Lalli Music distills cooking into six basic techniques using a small repertoire of tools and a straightforward inventory of ingredients. Casual cooks, experienced cooks, reluctant cooks, adventurous cooks, exhausted cooks all will find new ways of focusing their efforts on delicious, satisfying meals without unreasonable effort or wasteful over-shopping.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Jessica Hendricks

    Maybe it’s crazy to give a cookbook five stars but I don’t care. I already have a strong girl crush going from the BA podcasts and videos, and in this lovely book Carla just continues to be her funny and smart self while educating people about food and providing good shopping and cooking advice. The technique part at the front especially instills confidence, like “whoa, I might actually be able to do this.” And not like “do a recipe,” but “transfer the understanding of cooking one thing to cooki Maybe it’s crazy to give a cookbook five stars but I don’t care. I already have a strong girl crush going from the BA podcasts and videos, and in this lovely book Carla just continues to be her funny and smart self while educating people about food and providing good shopping and cooking advice. The technique part at the front especially instills confidence, like “whoa, I might actually be able to do this.” And not like “do a recipe,” but “transfer the understanding of cooking one thing to cooking some other thing.”

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tori

    I really like this cookbook. (But I’m stingy with my 5 star reviews!) I love how it encourages the reader to consider many different options when cooking. I think Lalli Music’s method of beginning cooking at the store, and making multiple trips to the store each week for the freshest ingredients, is a great idea. However, as someone who lives in a very rural area, that is less relevant to me. Even so, there are many recipes that I can’t wait to try, especially when it’s CSA time again!!!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Jenn

    The value in this book is the "spin it" concept where you can sub certain types of similar ingredients in for others in the recipes provided. She also has great sections on the basics behind sautéing, pan roasting, making comfit, etc. where she explains how each technique works and then provides 12 items to make with each technique. Great book, great narrative voice, and interesting recipes in the second half of the book with strong vegetarian and dessert sections. The value in this book is the "spin it" concept where you can sub certain types of similar ingredients in for others in the recipes provided. She also has great sections on the basics behind sautéing, pan roasting, making comfit, etc. where she explains how each technique works and then provides 12 items to make with each technique. Great book, great narrative voice, and interesting recipes in the second half of the book with strong vegetarian and dessert sections.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Laura B.

    this is the first cookbook i've actually just sat down to read, and left it feeling like i'd learned something beyond just bookmarking a recipe. lalli music gets the way that working outside of recipes actually feels, and onto the page. finished this wanting my own copy (to revisit for that galette tutorial) and to hand a copy to everyone i know. this is the first cookbook i've actually just sat down to read, and left it feeling like i'd learned something beyond just bookmarking a recipe. lalli music gets the way that working outside of recipes actually feels, and onto the page. finished this wanting my own copy (to revisit for that galette tutorial) and to hand a copy to everyone i know.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Kayla

    I rarely read all the words in a cookbook, but I binge read this one in one sitting. The actual recipes are a bit intimidating right now, but her system for suggesting improvizations was genius. I would have given it 5 stars for the pantry and techniques section alone.

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