Julia Turshen has done it again with Now & Again: Go-To Recipes, Inspired Menus + Endless Ideas for Reinventing Leftovers, a cookbook I immediately read straight through — and one in which I instantly wanted to cook every recipe.
In fact, I can safely call it my new favorite cookbook.
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I’m a longtime fan of Julia’s cooking in general (Small Victories: Recipes, Advice + Hundreds of Ideas for Home Cooking Triumphs and Feed the Resistance: Recipes + Ideas for Getting Involved are also worth a read) in part because her ingredient lists are always so accessible for regular families, and not at all exhausting.
As in, she uses fresh, seasonal ingredients, but she’s not afraid to add in canned goods or store-bought peeled garlic (yep).
Julia is clearly an expert but she approaches food as a home cook, not a fancy chef, hitting that sweet spot for parents between inspirational and achievable.
In Now & Again, Julia smartly organizes her recipes by season and by menu, providing a fresh take on meal planning. She inspires everyday cooking with menus like Card Night Enchiladas, Steakhouse Dinner for Vegetarians and Middle Eastern Dinner Outside.
Then there are the holiday menus, like No Stress Thanksgiving or A Not-Kosher Jewish Christmas, all packed with recipes that are celebratory, but not so complicated that you break out in hives just thinking about preparing them.
I especially love her tribute to leftovers after each menu with a repeating section aptly called, “It’s Me Again.” These ideas reach way beyond just reheating; they’re a careful consideration of how to repurpose leftovers into new, delicious recipes, and frugal with both money and your precious time – music to my mothering ears.
She even has helpful info throughout the book like seven ideas for what to do with leftover wine, seven things to do with cooked rice, seven things to bring when you’re invited to dinner… you get the idea.
If you want to give a recipe a test run before purchasing the cookbook, I highly recommend you check out her recipe for Sheet Pan Bread Stuffing with Sausage and Spinach which she’s shared on our site.
Not that you’ll need a test run. This cookbook is magnificent.
But before you get to the recipe — I want to give a shout out to the short section in the book, Give Back + Do Good. In the same spirit as her cooking, Julia offers simple – realistic! – ideas that each of us can do to support others through the medium of cooking. And many of the ideas don’t require picking up a knife.
Her list of food businesses that have a positive social impact is a great reminder that our everyday dollars can stretch even farther when we consider what we do with them. She encourages us to go to an ethnic restaurant and order a dish we’ve never heard of. Or distribute food at a local food pantry. Or you know, vote.
It’s all this, and so much more that makes Now & Again inspiring in the kitchen, as well as out.
Find Now & Again: Go-To Recipes, Inspired Menus + Endless Ideas for Reinventing Leftovers by Julia Turshen with photos by David Loftus from our affiliate Amazon, or your local indie bookseller.
All photos © David Loftus for Now & Again used by permission