My heart was pounding. My palms were sweaty. And I could feel my face getting flushed. I’ll admit it… I was nervous. Afterall, I’ve spent countless hours watching this Food Network star cook deliciously simple food, and had countless foodgasms in the process. I’m talking about the Italian SuperMom, Giada De Laurentiis, who has been on a whirlwind East Coast tour promoting her new cookbook, Weeknights with Giada. And who I had the absolute pleasure of meeting at her book signing in Connecticut. Although I was a bit of a wreck, she was just as relaxed and gracious as I imagined she would be.
Giada might be a household name on TV screens across America, but when you take away all the glitz and glam, she’s just like the rest of us. She listens to music while she cooks (like Foster the People, Kate Perry, and Coldplay); she has guilty food pleasures (like buttery, cheesy croutons, and chocolate); and she struggles to balance a successful career with quality family time and feeding her family good food. But the one place it all comes together effortlessly for this one-woman show is around the dinner table.
Sprinkled with pictures of her daughter Jade and husband Todd, Weeknights is “For everyone who comes home after a long day and wonders what to cook.” Serving up a veritable buffet of quick and healthy meals, it is a glimpse inside De Laurentiis’ kitchen…a virtual seat at her table. From soups to pizza to fish to desserts, most of her recipes can be whipped up in less than thirty minutes, which makes it the perfect tool for busy parents.
One of Giada’s secrets to weeknight dinnertime success is planning ahead. On Sunday, figure out what you are going to make during the week. Then make sure you have your go-to items stocked in your pantry, fridge or freezer. Take help from the store with pizza dough and pre-cooked brown rice.
And her advice for getting your picky little eaters to broaden their palates? Get them involved! Let them help you pick out recipes, like she does with Jade. And make dinnertime fun with themes like Breakfast for Dinner (there is a section of Weeknights dedicated to this theme) or Meatless Mondays (a movement Giada has joined in an effort to eat more mindfully).
While there is a definitive Italian flavor swirled throughout her newest cookbook, De Laurentiis has spiced up Weeknights with Giada with a little International flair, and fare, like Chicken with Peruvian Chile Sauce and Sweet and Spicy Greek Meatballs. Despite the variety, Jade’s favorite is still the Wagon Wheels with Pancetta and Peas- an Italian classic with a modern-mom spin. Just like Giada.
CONTEST: Sharing is caring. And I care about my readers. That’s why I’m sharing my loot with you.
I am giving away a SIGNED COPY OF WEEKNIGHTS WITH GIADA to one lucky reader. Could it be you?
Here’s how to enter for your chance to win…
1- Comment on this post telling us why you love Giada; your tips for getting a healthy meal on the dinner table during a busy week; OR why you desperately need help from Giada’s new cookbook.
2- Sign up for our Fresh Take newsletter. Then leave a comment here letting us know you did.
3- Like Simplicious on Facebook. Then leave a comment here letting us know you did.
4- Follow Simplicious on Twitter. Then leave a comment here letting us know you did.
5- Like Giada on Facebook. Then leave a comment here letting us know you did.
6- Follow Giada on Twitter. Then leave a comment here letting us know you did.
Multiple entries allowed. Winner will be chosen Wednesday, April 4th. Good luck, and happy cooking!!