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142 of 170 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2010
I bought this book for 2 reasons, never having watched the TV show. First, diet Italian food, who wouldn't like that? and Second, the wonderful little section on Italian herbs and spices. That alone is worth the price of the book.

The recipes are simple and easy, but far too few to make a good cookbook, let alone a diet cookbook. Everything I've cooked from it, has turned out. That lemon chicken is excellent. But there isn't much there! What is in there is pretty good in flavour, ease of preparation and relatively inexpensive.

The diet advice is sketchy at best. A little on portion control, a good comment on Italian American food as served by such popular joints like the Olive Garden. Basically pointing out that the way food is eaten in Italy is much different, pasta is a side dish, not a main dish, and it isn't usually swimming in cholesterol. BUT as diet advice goes, this isn't enough for most people to lose weight on. As a guide to the reason why Mediterranean diets work for health and weight loss, this is lacking.

However the nutritional analysis; calorie counts, fat, carb and protein grams at the back was EXCELLENT and I wish more cookbooks did that!

Edited to add: I've tried: Italian salad dressing page 41, Basil Lemon Drizzle p 48 which is very nice over chicken or fish, I did the swordfish recipe from page 51 using salmon and it was great. Garlic shrimp page 54, Pork chops on page 66, Chicken in lemon thyme marinade page 70, veal piccata (using chicken) page 189 and skinny snapper page 219. I also tried several of her tomato sauces, and found them good although success with the Quickie sauce depends on the quality of canned tomato and paste that you use because the only other things are basil--which really needs to be fresh or its a waste of time as she correctly points out in the herb section, and top quality olive oil. The guide to canning tomatoes in chapter 9 is excellent, she uses a technique similar to one my grandmother taught me. Regardless of this author's life her cookbook is an excellent introduction to home style Italian cooking. The recipes are not at all intimidating and they are easy to complete as written which can't be said about most Italian cookbooks written by chefs or restaurants. I upgraded this to a 5 star, because those recipes earned it.

back to my original review:

Now to my more serious complaints.

I was completely repulsed by Joe's sidebar on the behaviour of some other woman on that TV show. Yes the actions were dreadful, but to stick them in the cookbook? Too much information! The author actually names a dish after this Danielle character, likening her to a prostitute. Again, extremely inappropriate in a cookbook.

I was completely turned off, not on, by the constant references to sex. Even she is a little stumped for explanations when she names a fish dish sexy! It feels like a grade 6 class of little boys who just discovered dirty jokes. Sexual innuendo and references abound as the author blends both food with sex in a crude and very inappropriate manner. I really don't care that she thinks her husband is juicy, nor do I want to know why!

I think this book has some very good recipes, that wonderful herb guide in particular, and could have used more good recipes, perhaps a bit more to explain why each was a "diet" food beyond the nutritional composition at the back of the book. She had a golden opportunity to explain the advantages of a Mediterranean diet, and include a wider variety of recipes.

In the end she wasted a lot of space on personal complaints and attacks, and WAY too much on sexual innuendo. Not everything is about sex all the time and it gets tiresome when her only superlative is whether or not a food is "sexy".
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168 of 220 people found the following review helpful
on August 15, 2010
I have actually tried two of the recipies which I think is more important than just basing the book on your personal opinion of Teresa Giudice. I made the Farfalle con Piselli and followed the recipie exactly. It calls for a chopped medium onion and 1/3 cup light cream, which, once put over heat like instructed to, the light cream evaporates and you are left with a pile of barely coated onions that you have to add to pasta. I had to add almost the entire pint of light cream to get it to a consistency that can be added to pasta, then, it was bland so I added nutmeg to give it flavor. Next up, Old World Pizza Dough. Not too bad, but tasted EXACTLY like what you can buy in the grocery store. No point in buying the ingredients for the dough when you can buy a $2 bag and it tastes and bakes the same. The next day, I was at my dad's and my stepmom was making pizza dough and using the recipie that comes with the Cuisinart food processor, which I just got. Her dough looked great, so I went home and made it and it was so much better than Teresa's! Not only did it taste better, but this book that is supposed you help you get into your skinny jeans calls for 1/4 cup olive oil compared the the Cuisinart one which calls for 3 teaspoons! Pasta Cacio e Pepe and Skinny Pasta Al Burro are almost the same dishes, the only differences are that one uses spagetti and one uses fettuccine, and the skinny pasta has an addition of two ingredients, butter and oil! Why make a cookbook where two of the recipies are almost identical? Not to mention the fact that those two recipies are pasta with grated cheese on them, that's it. Not exactly an intricate italian dish. I have a lot of better, tastier recipies that I have found by simply googling around.

I give this book two stars because it does have a lot of information on oils and herbs and spices and the drinks look good (although I didn't try them, I don't think you can mess up a bellini too bad). I don't get why Teresa (or Heather) didn't write a cookbook with better Italian recipies and drop the whole weight-loss aspect of the book. Just give some good full-fat Italian recipies that taste good-not every cookbook has to be a diet book. Unless you are a big Teresa Giudice fan, not worth the money as I don't feel it's a real cookbook, more of a component to the Real Housewives of NJ show.
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26 of 32 people found the following review helpful
on May 10, 2012
I bought this book for the recipes, but I had seen several of these recipes on free recipes site. That being said when I buy a cookbook its for recipes, not funny little stories about people that I don't know. Sorry to say this is one book that will sit in my kitchen but not get used.
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54 of 73 people found the following review helpful
on August 23, 2011
This so-called cookbook has more talking in it about the author's thoughts on "Italian culture" than it did recipes. The Author drones on and on about what "Italian" really is. If you want an Italian cookbook, buy it from Lydia, Mario or Giada! This is just smoke and mirrors.
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47 of 64 people found the following review helpful
on September 25, 2010
I hoped this book would give me a new batch of recipes to use. I was really disappointed. It seemed that she reused recipes that have been written over and over in other italian cookbooks. The dessert section is a long commercial for Nutella. Don't waste your money buying this book. Personally, we love the show. As far as the book goes - fuhgetaboudit. Sincerely, Exit 16E.
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86 of 119 people found the following review helpful
VINE VOICEon May 20, 2010
Teresa's heart and humor shine through on each page. She gives you insights into real Italian cooking with delicious recipes that are easy make and not only does she share some of her family's treasured recipes, but also she offers up some helpful tips and advice on how to stay in shape while living a fulfilling life.

The one and only thing that kept me from giving this book 5 stars were the references to Danielle. Skinny Italian is filled with sweet stories about the Giudice family but the negative remarks about Danielle don't fit in with the love of family Teresa displays through out the book. If all references to Danielle had been excluded I think this book could have been a great resource for those looking to learn how to cook authentic Italian food, especially to those who don't watch the show and have no idea who Danielle is.
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16 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on May 4, 2011
I give this book 2 stars for the recipes only.The recipes are good! The rest of the book is Teresa trying to convince the world of her perfect life and perfect husband,which anyone familiar with this family,knows is not true. It is quite obvious when Teresa is knowledgable abt cooking and where she is not,you can tell the difference between Teresa and the co-author! This book did not need "Juicy Joe's Tidbits". This book is just a personal effort to embarass the people she does not care for and promote her so called perfect life. If it were just the recipes,it would get 5 stars,the rest is uneccessary!"
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2013
Even though I dont think Theresa is a very nice person I was seduced by the title and photos of this book. I have to say that while the tagliatelle with pancetta and peas has become a favorite (I make it at least once a month!) there aren't any other really interesting recipes in the book if you are even slightly familiar with Italian cooking. I think this is a good one to borrow before you buy unless you just like to collect cookbooks. I prefer to keep my collection small and don't find this one usable enough to keep.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on July 1, 2014
Im normally not one to write a negative review unless it is necessary. I skimmed through the book in one day and mostly because I was like "okay I understand that she is thoroughly explaining everything, but where are the recipes?" Talking about prostitutes, B rated porn movies people made and such does not belong in a cookbook. Especially if you are trying to make a name for yourself outside of your reality show. Talking about your personal life and family is great. But all the extra is so distracting from the actual meaning of this book. I will not buy another book again and am disappointed that she stooped that low to sell books by gossiping.
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22 of 30 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2011
This book was given to me as a gift; at first, I thought it was a great idea and was glad to have received it ... then I stated reading it. The 'stories' in the book are rather mean-spirited and gossipy and just not very nice at all. Recipes are ok. From the very quick turnaround of these recipes from preparation to table, they are not very challenging at all, and somewhat reflected in their 'average' taste.
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