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Happy Cooking: Make Every Meal Count ... Without Stressing Out Hardcover – November 3, 2015
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About the Author
GIADA DE LAURENTIIS is the Emmy Award-winning star of Food Network's Everyday Italian, Giada at Home, and Giada in Paradise; a judge on Food Network Star; a contributing correspondent for NBC's Today show; and the author of seven New York Times bestselling books. She attended the Cordon Bleu cooking school in Paris and worked at Wolfgang Puck's Spago restaurant before starting her own catering company, GDL Foods. Born in Rome, she grew up in Los Angeles, where she now lives with her daughter, Jade.
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Top Customer Reviews
So, it bothers me just a bit that I'm going to go against the grain here and not agree with all of the reviewers who are gushing over her latest book, Happy Cooking; I'm just not wild about it. I wanted to like this book, I really did, but despite my wants, I found it disappointing. Perhaps it's the small text. Perhaps it's the small pictures. Perhaps it's the glaring lack of white space resulting in everything being crammed together giving it the look of a cookbook from the sixties. Add matte versus glossy photos and this weighty tome, despite its newness, looks dated. The food pictures seem secondary to the big pictures of Giada. Giada having a cocktail, Giada preparing food, Giada and her cleavage, Giada looking left, Giada looking right, Giada in front of the American flag.
There are some big pictures of food, but none of these pictures beckon or make me want to actually make anything that's pictured. Yes, I have probably become as jaded as the annoying film critics who pick apart even the best of films because they have seen so many that their standards have become tightened over the years so that few films can measure up. I have reviewed a lot of cookbooks this year and most of them have been gorgeous, stimulating, inspiring, and had me wanting to lick the pages because the food looked that good. I think, is it not, that this is what cookbooks are supposed to do?
Okay, all of that said, here's what is right with this book. First of all, Giada fans will love it because it has a lot of her in it, not just pictures, but tidbits, tips, suggestions, helpful hints, and tiny looks into her life with her adorable daughter.
Second, there are a lot of vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free recipes in this book, all of which are easy to find, thanks to boldly placed icons at the beginning of each recipe.
In addition, there is a nice section on making bone broth that should send everyone to their stoves to do this because it makes a world of difference in both flavor and nutrition in recipes that call for stock.
There is a nice instructional section on pasta along with, as one might expect, taste tempting pasta recipes, including a short rib lasagna that sounds delicious. The book is comprehensive in what it offers with a wide variety of recipes in all categories (including snacks and small plates, and eating clean).
Entertaining ideas and tips will come in handy during this time of the year, with ideas offered up for appetizer-only parties, the best cocktail party foods, cookie exchange parties, crostini bars, along with holiday strategies and stress relievers.
Desserts look sumptuous and the section on gifts from your kitchen is a nice addition that includes her Chocolate Dessert Salami that I know first-hand is decadent. Other gift ideas include Smoky Fennel Salt, Citrus Lavender Hand Scrub, a Moscow Mule Kit, and Peanut Butter Dog Bone Treats.
The recipes that I have tried have been good - Creamy Spinach and Mushroom Lasagna and Brown Butter Tortellini. Still, I'm giving this book 3-1/2 out of 5 stars because, unlike other cookbooks that send me immediately to the kitchen, this one just didn't do it.
Disclaimer: I received a complimentary copy of this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.
This book is jam packed with recipes, tips, photos, and information about recipes, health, food and other things. Sometimes it gets a little too busy, with several recipes, and side bars on one page. Other than that little thing I'm loving this book. I love the chapter on breakfast as I'm always looking for healthy and interesting breakfast ideas.
I made two of the breakfast recipes and enjoyed them both. The first was Ricotta Toast with Strawberries. Since strawberries aren't in season at the moment I took her tip to use seasonal fruit and substituted apples. I ate this several times and can't wait to try it with other fruits.
Next I made Eggs Cacio e Pepe. Eggs, Pecorino Romano, Black Pepper and Greek Yogurt on toast made for a delicious and filling breakfast.
I was delighted to see a spiralizer recipe for Zucchini Spaghetti with Sun Gold Tomato Sauce and had to try it. I did omit the star anise since I'm not partial to it's flavor. I used the option giving to use cherry tomatoes instead of sun gold. Giada says while she'd never give up pasta this is a good alternative to use occasionally and she's right it was delicious.
Not only are there many recipes for clean and healthy eating but she also includes recipe for weekends and holidays as well as some sweets and treats. I see many more great recipes from this book in my future.
I received this book from Blogging for Books for my honest review.