Thursday, December 1, 2011

"Weekends with Giada.." by Giada De Laurentiis ~ Quick Delicious Food=More Reading & Loving Time!

"Weeknights with Giada: Quick & Simple Recipes to Revamp Dinner"
Published by:  Crown Publishing Group
Pages:  240
Illustrations: 95 with color photos

This book will not be released until March 2012
but is available for pre-order

Giada De Laurentiis is beautiful, and she hasn't let that stop her. She has a simple spirit that places its center firmly in love of family, home and food. Bravo, Giada!

With this new book, Giada offers only recipes that can be put together after coming home from a long day at work, when time is of the essence, and special moments spent with the ones you love are most important.  I found the recipes refreshing!  It was especially gratifying to know that I could use some otherwise "cheat" methods and still come up with gourmet meals that were quick, easy and drop dead delicious.

Versatility is the name of the game in this cookbook.  What I found surprising was the ease with which Giada slips into her mommy mode, giving us go-to ingredients that we can easily keep stocked for quick make up meals.  I've always been afraid to admit I use canned and frozen goods to plump up my gourmet dinners!  But, in this cookbook, Giada claims them proudly as time savers, and tells us how to use them to the best advantage, reassuring us all the way that every one's going to adore the results!  I have to love that girl for this affirmation alone.

Another thing I thought Giada blazed the trail on is recommending a "Meatless Monday" menu.  Her point is that it's an effort toward health; however, I'm taking it a step further in saying that it's an effort toward extending the food we share with our planet.  Giada recommends using "quinoa" as a main ingredient on these nights saying, "it's a nuttier texture than rice, higher in protein and works beautifully with "purple Peruvian" potatoes (who knew!), green peas, black olives, fresh herbs, lime juice and a little grave." Hmmmm   We can try, right?

What I mostly want to share with you about this book, which you absolutely must, must have in your cookbook collection, is that Giada doesn't skimp on the richness of her meals.  The flavors are there, the herbs, the cheeses, the sausages and seafoods, sauces, the thick breads and the gorgeous fruits and veggies...and the way she combines them is genius. Wait 'til you see these recipes.

I suggest a tall glass of beer and a couple of thick slices of sourdough bread smeared with EVOO and Feta (that's just me talking, of course) before you sit down to read this cookbook.  And have some back ups to go along with that; possibly some very choice salami and kalamata olives, because you're going to be hungry just looking at the pages of this book.

I appreciated that Giada's recipes are made to serve 4-6, which is about the right number of people in today's small family. Such easy recipes allow for doubling them if necessary. No matter how you choose to make them, these will result in gourmet meals that you and your family will keep forever.  Also, do you have an indoor grill pan? If not, better get one.  :]

Highly recommended.

5 so succulent stars


My favorite recipes:

Antipasto Calzone
Asparagus with Herbed Goat Cheese Soup
Shrimp and Sausage Cioppino Soup
Caramelized Onion, Chicken and Pink Grapefruit Salad
Couscous with Watermelon, Arugula (Watercress) and Feta Cheese
Grilled Pork and Fontina Sandwiches
Fried Smashed Potatoes
Black Forbidden Rice w/Shrimp, Peaches & Snap Peas
Pirate Pasta
Sweet & Spicy Greek Meatballs

I warned you!  :]