on April 25, 2010
I have started borrowing cookbooks from the library to make sure they are worth purchasing. After getting this book, I found I did not want to return it. One warning for ultra gourmet foodies... you may find the recipes too simple... some ingredients called for are store bought. For those of you who love food and want to cook well even with limited time, this book is for you!
Recipes are identified in two ways, showing which lean toward classic Italian flavour and which include more of the modern Californian fusion Giada is known for. Some of the antipasto that appealed to my taste were the Cheese-Stuffed Dates with Prosciutto, the Whole-Wheat Pita chips with Mascarpone-Chive Dip, Tomato basil Tartlets and The Smoked Salmon and Apple Carpaccio. My two year old loves the Butternut squash soup with Fontina cheese crostini. The grilled vegetable, herb, and goat cheese sandwiches make a tasty lunch! Want a gourmet tuna melt? Try the Open-faced tuna sandwiches with Arugula and sweet-pickle mayo. My husband and son are huge pasta fans and they loved the Rigatoni with Creamy Mushroom Sauce and the Pasta Ponza. I'm a fan of the Brown Butter Risotto with Lobster. We love the zipped up old favourites too... like Turkey meatloaf with feta and sun-dried tomatoes. I could go on ... and on. There are wonderful photographs of most of the food (not every recipe is photographed. I also like how you can find all the ingredients at a well stocked grocery store. All I can say now is enjoy!
Those who follow Giada De Laurentiis on her Emmy Award winning TV program (and there are jillions of you) know just how delicious, healthful, and beautifully presented her dishes are. Her four previous cookbooks have all topped bestseller lists, however, for this Giada fan GIADA AT HOME is something very special because not only are there a multitude of tasty recipes, but it is also a warm affectionate look at family, friends, and her adopted state of California.
I cannot remember seeing a cook who took so much pleasure in the preparation of food - perhaps it is because she's preparing for those she loves. Whatever the case, the recipes included in this book are family recipes form Italy and California. Some are generations old recipes (identified by being set in orange type), while others are new family recipes (set in green type). Readers will find that Giada has been happily influenced by what she finds at her local farmer's market - beautiful seasonal fruits and vegetables. Thus, she prepares dishes that spotlight these flavors. Delightful offerings!
GIADA AT HOME begins with Appetizers followed by Soups & Sandwiches, Pasta & Grains, Meat, Poultry & Fish, Vegetables & Salads, Desserts, and Brunch.
Photographs of the dishes by Jonelle Weaver are so real that one is tempted to take a bite. Relaxed candid shots of family and friends allow readers glimpses of the happiness engendered when loved ones gather to share a meal.
For this reader Brunch is one of my favorite chapters, especially as described: 'In Italy weekends are all about the leisurely lunch, a meal that can start any time after one-thirty in the afternoon and might well stretch on into the early evening.' It is the day's 'main event.'
It's so much more than a main event, it's a dreamed of libation if it begins with Limoncello and Blueberry Cooler and includes Mozzarella, Raspberry, and Brown Sugar Panini plus a Strawberry and Rosemary Scone or two.
Enjoy - I know you will!
- Gail Cooke