In recent years, she's moved away from the Italian-themed and now cooks a variety of cuisines in her current show, Giada at Home. Once she moved away from the Italian focus, I haven't felt as connected to her food. When her show was Everyday Italian, I would say a majority of the recipes I gleaned from Food Network came from Giada. But once she started moving away from her Italian roots, I just wasn't feeling her food as much as I did before. The show and the food just didn't have as much heart and soul to me
Weeknights with Giada was a great reawakening and reminder as to why I loved her food in the first place. In her latest cookbook, DeLaurentiis is now a busy mom with the task of feeding, not just her and her husband, but her daughter Jade. And as we all know, kid palates can be picky to say the least. So not only does she take the task of creating quick and easy meals in this book, but many of them are kid-friendly as well. I personally do not have children myself, but I appreciated the quick, easy, and yet innovative approach to the food she presents in this book.
As someone who is always looking for something new to learn and try in my own home kitchen, I have found that not many cookbooks can offer much that excites me anymore. I feel like I've hit a plateau in what I can learn in the kitchen. So when I find a cookbook with great recipes that have me trying something new, I feel like a kid in a candy store. Not only does Giada deliver on the new and exciting, but she also manages to make good on her promise that the meals will be quick and easy.
|Caramelized Onion, Sausage and Basil Pizza|
So if you're looking to get out of a weeknight meal rut and want to try something new and different, yet will be on the table in less than an hour, I highly recommend giving this book a try. I always check out cookbooks from the library to "test drive" them first since they can be so expensive. I want to know I'm going to use a cookbook before I buy it. This one definitely delivered in what it advertised and now has a place of honor on the bookshelf in my dining room (when it's not being used, that is).
Grilled Cheese with Spinach and Pancetta
Adapted from Weeknights with Giada
In the following recipe I used prosciutto instead of pancetta because, well, I had prosciutto in the house. To make it more pancetta-like, I crisped it up in a non-stick pan before adding it to the sandwich.
Vegetable oil cooking spray
6 oz pancetta, sliced 1/8 inch thick
1/2 stick (4 T) unsalted butter
2 cups (8 oz) shredded Monterey Jack cheese
2 cups (8 oz) shredded mild Cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
2 packed cups (2 oz) coarsely chopped baby spinach
16 slices country-style white or whole wheat bread
1. Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat to 400.
2. Spray two baking sheets with vegetable oil. Lay pancetta in a single layer on the baking sheets and bake for 12-14 minutes. Drain on paper towels. Cool for 5 minutes, then crumble.
3. In a food processor, combine the butter, both cheeses, salt, oil, and 2 tablespoons water. Blend until smooth, adding a little more as needed, until the mixture is smooth. Add the spinach and pulse until just combined.
|Ooey, gooey, and oh so yummy!|
Weeknights with Giada: Quick and Simple Recipes to Revamp Dinner by Giada DeLaurentiis
Published: March 27, 2012
Publisher: Crown Publishing Group
Disclosure: Library and Purchased Copy