Note about my Reviews

Dear Authors: The reviews in this blog are only personal opinions. I have absolutely no background in literature, writing or reviewing. I am a Librarian (actually a Library Technician for those who care OR know the difference) with a love for a good story. The opinions in the reviews are ONLY my OPINIONS. I am not commenting on the writers ability since well -- I am not a writer and never will be. If you are the author of any of the books reviewed here, my opinion is just that and not a judgment against you!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Weeknights with Giada by Giada De Laurentiis: Chef Jeff Reviews

Weeknights with Giada
by Giada De Laurentiis
Clarkson Potter Publishers (Random House)
ISBN: 978-0-307-45102-6
Buy From Indigo
Cooking Skill: Beginner to Intermediate Cooks

Description: Giada De Laurentiis is one of Americas most-loved culinary stars, adored for her Food Network hit shows and her New York Times bestselling cookbooks alike, both of which feature her fresh, flavorful Italian recipes. For the first time, Giada tackles weeknight cooking, sharing her favorite tips and go-to dishesall in her vibrant signature styleto get a delicious meal on the table in a flash.

After a full day, Giada, like most parents, wants nothing more than to sit down for a home-cooked dinner with her husband, Todd, and their daughter, Jade. Weeknights with Giada rises to the challenge, delivering soups, sandwiches, pizzas, pastas, and meat and fish dishes that come together quickly as stand-alone main coursesmost in half an hour or less: Rustic Vegetable and Polenta Soup, a hearty soul-warming one-pot dish, cooks in under twenty minutes; Lemony White Bean, Tuna, and Arugula Salad is a great meal thats quickly assembled from pantry and fridge essentials; Spicy Linguini with Clams and Mussels is a fifteen-minute-or-less spectacular pasta; and you cant beat Grilled Sirloin Steaks with Pepper and Caper Salsa, which are also ready in just fifteen minutes. From inventive breakfast-for-dinner dishes and meatless Monday vegetarian recipesboth weekly traditions in Giadas houseto picnic sandwiches and hearty salad recipes for reinventing leftovers, Weeknights with Giada reveals every secret in her repertoire. Even the desserts are quick to mix and bake, should a cravingor a last-minute school bake salestrike.

Here is Giada at her most inventiveand at her most laid-back. Flavor, freshness, and fun take center stage while cooking times, pots dirtied, and stress are kept to a minimum. With gorgeous color photographs and intimate home snapshots of Giada and her family, Weeknights with Giada is a welcome handbook of fantastic recipes and surefire Monday-to-Friday strategies for every home cook

The Good Stuff
  • The recipes are simple to make and use ingredients that most families have on hand
  • Not a lot of ingredients in each recipe 
  • We enjoyed the pesto pizza with friends and found the fresh toppings a very pleasant change from the usual pepperoni and cheese we always eat because of the kids
  • Jen and I thoroughly enjoyed the Asparagus Soup (The herbed goat cheese you make to add to the soup makes the soup taste heavenly!) but getting our 10 yr old to eat it was an exercise in frustration. He LOVES asparagus but he turned his nose down when we turned it into soup and refused to try it.  This ticked us off so much we made him eat some of it and 45 minutes later he had consumed maybe a 1/4 cup (FYI - we are usually you have to at least give it a chance and have one bite kinda parents but he had been so bloody frustrating all day we lost it)
  • This is such a fantastic cookbook for busy weekday nights so you can serve your family something healthier than getting take out
  • My wife who really doesn't enjoy cooking, like I do, enjoyed using this cookbook as it didn't stress her out with recipes that have hundreds of steps or involve too much prep (Jen's note: I made it sound nicer than what he wrote down - even good for lazy, impatient cooks like my wife)
  • Wife really liked making the cookies - not to mention eating them 
  • Nice variety of types of recipes - a little bit of everything
  • The Introduction was interesting and it was nice to read that she had a hard time getting her child to eat
  • Pictures make the food look mouthwatering (and see next comment) but wife wishes there were more pictures of the recipes and less of her and her family
  • Men will enjoy the picture of her breasts
 The Not So Good Stuff
  • Many of the recipes did not appeal to our sons which made it frustrating to find something the whole family would like
Favorite Recipes

Asparagus Soup with Herbed Goat Cheese - Pg 27
Arugula Pesto, Ricotta, and Smoked Mozzarella Pizza - Pg 65
Crispy Chicken with rosemary-lemon Salt - Pg 127
Peanut Butter Cookies with Blackberry Jam - Pg 215
Chocolate-Hazelnut Drop Cookies - Pg 224

Who Should/Shouldn't Use
  • Perfect for busy parents - well ones that don't have as picky kids as miine
  • Good for both the beginner and intermediate cook
  • Going to be buying this one for a couple people this Christmas

5 Dewey's (Plus 1 for her breasts from Chef Jeff)

We received this from Random House in exchange for an honest review

Pictures of Recipes

Chocolate-Hazelnut Drop Cookies
Asparagus Soup with Herbed Goat Cheese
Arugula Pesto, Ricotta, and Smoked Mozzarella Pizza


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