Welcome to the first installment of Cookbook of the Month! For September 2019, I cooked from Now & Again by Julia Turshen.
Now & Again is proof that I don’t always know best what I want or need in a cookbook, but Julia Turshen is helping me learn. When I initially paged through this book I thought the recipes looked really good, but many were also things I had made some version of previously. Did I really need more versions of these dishes? I ended up purchasing the book because of a few standout recipes that hooked me, and I am so incredibly glad I did. This has become one of my most trusted books and is so perfect for the stage of life which I find myself in right now.
The book is organized seasonally, something I always appreciate because it helps guide my browsing and planning. Within each season, Julia shares five menus with all the recipes to pull it off. For example, the Card Night Enchiladas menu includes: garlicky shrimp with tequila + lime, chicken + roasted tomato enchiladas, kale salad with pepita dressing, and toasted coconut cake. But here’s where it really gets good…after each menu, she includes a handful of ideas of ways to repurpose the leftovers with the adorable heading It’s Me Again. As a busy working mom, leftovers are an important part of my strategy for feeding my family, and she has tons of brilliant and unique ideas in this realm.
Not only that, at the back of the book she has seven lists of seven things. Seven things to do with typical takeout leftovers, seven things to do with leftover snacks (my pretzel chicken recipe came from this list), seven things to do with not-so-new produce, and so on. Tons of practical wisdom and ideas that we can all learn from.
Overall, I think Now & Again is an absolute gem of a cookbook and one everyone could use in their repertoire. Julia shares her wealth of smart kitchen strategies and methods, as well as genius recipes that are as simple as they are delicious. When I find myself repeatedly saying, “Wow, that’s so smart!” or “Oh my gosh, so simple!” and then receiving rave reviews from the entire family, I know the book is a keeper.
I would be remiss if I didn’t mention Julia’s wonderful podcast Keep Calm and Cook On. I highly recommend it! It has become one of my top three favorites and I eagerly await each new episode.
Scroll down to see the dishes I made from Now & Again this past month, as well as a list of all the recipes I have made since owning it and the list of those I’m most anxious to try next. That list is long but I swear, it’s only the highlights!