As catchy as that new Taylor Swift song may be, sometimes belting out “cause baby, now we got bad blood” may not be the right thing to do when you’re patiently stirring your homemade mushroom risotto (or maybe it is, depending on whether or not you and the risotto are sworn enemies).
To make cooking even more fun, here’s a playlist of songs that are specifically catered to various steps of any recipe:
1. While Gathering Ingredients – “Foux du Fafa” by Flight of the Concords
You’re gathering the ingredients for your recipe. You can’t even pronounce half of the things you’re going to use. How do you handle all the accents in crème fraîche? Which pronunciation of Worcestershire sauce is right? Luckily, there’s an upbeat song featuring two linguistically challenged people that know your struggle.
2. While Mentally Preparing To Cook – “I Feel the Earth Move” by Carole King
At this stage in the process, your muscles aren’t sore from constantly stirring and your legs aren’t aching from standing up for too long. What better way to celebrate this than by having a catchy tune that highlights this joyful moment? Dancing is totally an appropriate action in the kitchen.
3. While Seasoning Your Food – “Shake It Out” by Florence + The Machine
Seasoning your food before cooking is an important step in the preparation of any dish. Shaking it out (whether it be cumin, paprika, or cardamom) is no easy task… Have you seen the size of those holes? Have no fear, Florence is here with a motivational song to help you through these trying times.
4. While Getting Affectionate With Your Prep – “Bella Luna” by Jason Mraz
A slow, jazzy love song to that beautiful braised beef stew that you’re making. You’re practically building a relationship with your dish. Everything in the kitchen should be made with love, and nothing says love like Jason Mraz.
#SpoonTip: The guitar break is a perfect time to sneak in a small waltz with your saucepan.
5. While Waiting For The Food To Cook – “I’m on Fire” by Bruce Springsteen
This one’s for the poor meats and veggies that are currently being exposed to extreme temperatures for the purpose of consumption. It’s quite magical how heat can have such a significant change on raw foods. Rest in peace, harmful microorganisms and bacteria – you won’t be missed.
6. While Craving Your Food – “If I Ain’t Got You” by Alicia Keys
Singing to your food is also a common thing to do. Somehow, Alicia Keys is able to convey the very definition of a craving: your friends desire things that are different from what you desire. Some people want it all, but you don’t want nothing at all if it ain’t those miniature baked brie bites you’re wrapping up at the moment.
7. While Getting Tired – “For The Longest Time” by Billy Joel
You’re starting to feel it. Your knees are giving in, your fingers are cramping from holding on to that knife for too long, and you’re starting to consider whether or not you should go to the gym a bit more. It feels like you truly have been cooking for the longest time. The remedy? A mild acapella song to reenergize yourself.
8. While Trying Not To Cry – “Hold Back The River” by James Bay
This song works in two ways. At this point in the recipe, the fumes that are slowly escaping your stockpot are torturing you. Perhaps James Bay meant to sing “hold back the hunger” – he knows you’re tempted to turn up the heat to reduce cooking time and ignore the directions that read “simmer slowly.” Or, in a more literal sense, the song is telling you to actually “hold back the river” – the river of joyful tears from knowing that your coconut black bean stew is nearing completion.
9. While Plating – “The Girl from Ipanema” by Stan Getz, João Gilberto, Antonio Carlos Jobim and Astrud Gilberto.
A timeless classic to usher in the final stage of food preparation: plating. Astrud Gilberto’s voice is almost as silky smooth as that chocolate ganache you’re drizzling over your plate. There’s just the right amount of rhythm to get your hips swaying in a victory dance. You’ve come so far with this dish. You deserve that dance.
10. While Admiring Your Hard Work – “At Last” by Etta James
You made it. After all the folding, whisking, and extra chocolate chips that weren’t supposed to make it in the batter, your masterpiece is complete, and boy is it the best chocolate lava cake you’ve ever tasted. There’s just something so seductive about flowing, melted chocolate.
#SpoonTip: This GIF pairs perfectly with the song, no matter how many times you start it over. Seriously. Try it. Etta must’ve sang the song for chocolate lava cakes…
11. While Eating – “Feeling Good” by Nina Simone
How do you get over how yummy your final product was? Quite frankly, you can’t. You can, however, admit that you’ve reached one of the happiest moments of your life. Stomach full, culinary skills improved… Maybe this whole “cooking at home” thing should become a regular occurrence. When was the last time you felt this good?
12. While Going Into A Food Coma – “La Vie En Rose” by Louis Armstrong
Because you deserve a nap after all the hard work, and this half-instrumental, half-crooning piece helps you drift into a peaceful snooze. Besides, you need to rest up for yet another battle in the kitchen in less than 12 hours. In the meantime, feel free to cuddle with your significant other with this song (and if your significant other is a jar of cookie butter, that works too).
And, to make things even more convenient for you, here’s the ultimate cooking soundtrack in Spotify form: