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Everyday Italian...Giada De Laurentiis

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I love her approach to cooking, good quality food with flavor for *everyday* meals. Reviews for her food are always very high (foodtv.com).

LOTS of her recipes are on my "to make" list. Has anyone made any of her recipes, and if so, which are your favs?

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  1. We have been talking about her on the Not About Food board...general concensus so far is that she is too skinny, has a big head and her correct italian pronunciations are annoying.

    I will be interested to know what recipes you use and how they turn out. I don't cook Italian because I find pasta boring, but I know I am alone on that one. Anyone find anything spectacular that might change my mind?

    17 Replies
    1. re: Cyndy

      Anyone who whould stoop so low as to discuss the size of her head or her waistline is shallow beyond belief and should be banned for life from Chowhound.
      Having said that, I think her show is terrific and I will sometimes try to get home in time to catch her show, 4:30 pm Eastern. My wife and I have made both her chicken piccata and her chicken saltimboca, and look forward to trying many of her other recipes.
      She is the only decent thing on Food Network.

      1. re: Tee

        Giarda apparently inherited her cooking talent as well as her good looks from her grandmother Silvano Mangano, star of the 1949 movie "Bitter Rice" (Giarda is a ringer for Silvano).

        We love her show because its not a 'show' - its someone wanting to share her love of cooking. good receipes too.

        1. re: Zoe

          her grandfather is dino de laurentiis

          1. re: Zoe

            Her mother and father are both very good looking and physically fit people. They are also very nice, friendly, generous people.

          2. re: Tee

            I agree that her weight and head size(?) are off limits. But her Italian pronunciations are truly annoying. I'm not the only person I know who finds her show difficult to watch because of them.

            I guess they serve a point - to tell us that she's actually from Italy, and thus by implication knows what she's talking about.

            But those pronunciations have got to go. 'Spaghetti,' for example, is no more an Italian word than 'ballet' (or 'garage,' for that matter) is a French one. Any French-American Bob Vila who talked about the "gaa-haazh" on tv would be rightly scoffed at and complained about.

            And whattaya mean Giada's the only good thing on the Food Network? I love Barefoot Contessa!

            1. re: GGG

              Ina is a fine show except when she drapes herself all over her husband or makes cutsy remarks about the dinner she is making for him. Seems excess.

              1. re: Zoe

                If only she would drape her big-headed self all over me. I worship at the altar of Giada. And her Italian pronounciation is no more affected than Mario's. Newsflash... she's Italian and grew up in Rome.

                1. re: Hoyt Pollard
                  c
                  ColeSlawHeaven

                  Ina is obviously a much more talented cook than Giada, whose techniques and recipes are boring (as some people have already pointed out), often bordering on childish: for instance, boiled broccoli with olive oil?...and who boils tiny pieces of broccoli for TEN MINUTES? That's vegetable murder.

                  Maybe this is a larger FoodTV trend, but the shows seem less and less to do with food:

                  -- On one episode of Barefoot Contessa, they show Ina Garten in a bubble bath (thank you, obscuring bubbles!) It was so nasty. She had one toe poking out of the bubbles and the tub and even that was too much. Why Why Why?

                  -- And what's with Giada's experimenting with camera filters everyday? One day it's that fuzzy, hazy South Dakota sunset look as if gauze were golden draped over the lens; other times, it's that live, camcorder look. But whatever the filter, everything is so golden and heavenly that the vegetables/fish/meats are bizarre colors. (Sandra Lee has this same lighting -- sometimes you can't distinguish her from the background -- as does Paula Deen and Michael Chiarello). Obviously Giada is obsessed with how herself more than her food and it shows: the soft porn music and extreme close-ups for pointless moments (e.g., washing hands, sitting on the couch explaing summarizing her complex boiled broccoli dish), her low cut shirts, her ridiculous insincere smile that comes at the wrong moments.

                  And last thing, you ever notice that besides her overcompensating, over-the-top Italian pronunciation, she just sucks at describing tastes? She speaks in junior high school essay style, and can only describe foods in combination of two or three adjectives: "Thyme is lemony and nutty"; "Mmmm! This is crunchy AND juicy!"; "Prosciutto is velvety and salty."

                  Her recipes are marginally more enticing than those on Calorie Commando and Low Carb Commando (which consistently look inedible) and that means she really needs to start using whatever is encased in that giant head of hers, and coming up with creative, non-catering-rubber-chicken style dishes. Any one who lives in NYC and knows those Korean delis with the pay-by-weight lunch buffets can find all of Giada's "italian" dishes there.

                  1. re: ColeSlawHeaven

                    If you hate the shows so much, why watch them?.

                    1. re: commonsense

                      Okay, this confirms it...I am SOOO grateful I am not a tv personality~you guys are brutal. All I can think when I read these threads on Giadia and Rachel Ray is what if they were reading??? To think I used to envy Rachel's job-travelling and eating, what could be better to get paid for?? NO MORE! Thanks Chowhounds.

              2. re: GGG

                I enjoy both shows b/c the dishes seem accessible. At this stage of my cooking journey (about two years), shows like Molto Mario are fun to watch but the dishes just don't seem like something I can put together w/ my lifestyle- maybe when the kids start school :-) Anyway, my husband and I find her use of Italian more entertaining than annoying. As for Ina, I like her overall but sometimes the way she says things can be a little grating... "How easy is that?" "Is there any thing better than...?" "Who doesn't like...?" And the way she goes onto her expansive property, surveys the bushes of herbs, and tells her audience something to the effect of, "There's nothing better than fresh herbs; you really should grow your own." I wouldn't argue with the statement, but the context it's given in is not my favorite.

                1. re: twinmommy

                  I think if we were able to get the correct subtitles on Ina's show they would actually say - "There's nothing better than fresh herbs; you really should have your garderner grow you some" and "Fresh flowers are absolutely essential for a beautiful table, everyone should have a stable of florists who make housecalls". I like Ina, but it's been a long time since she's lived in the real world (but she does mix a mean drink).

                2. re: GGG

                  I will have to give Barefoot Contessa another try. And I could not care less about Giada's pronunciations. Come on, the show is about THE FOOD, not learning English as a second language!

              3. re: Cyndy

                Spee-ghee-tee? That's correct Italian pronunciation? Huh.

                She's skinny, big-headed, and all that. Plus she does that weird teeth baring grin all the time. But her recipes are good. That's what matters.

                1. re: Kimm

                  I like her braciole with simple tomato sauce.

                2. re: Cyndy
                  c
                  Caitlin McGrath

                  "I don't cook Italian because I find pasta boring"

                  While it's true that North Americans often equate Italian food solely with pasta and pizza), there is much, much more to Italian cuisine, much of it wonderful. Remember, pasta is neither a main course nor a side dish in Italy, but a separate course that you can certainly skip if you find it boring.

                  All that said, I have no experience with Giada de Laurentiis's recipes, and in fact have never seen her show or looked at her book.

                  1. re: Cyndy

                    Giada's recipes probably won't change your mind about 'boring' pasta, but check out Mario Batali's recipes on Food TV or in his "The Babbo Cookbook". The chapter on pasta (along w/ the rest of the book) should help you see the light...

                  2. Do you have to over pronounce the recipe ingredients just like she does? "Pr-O-sh-U-tt-O" Reminds me of the "Enchilada" skit on Saturday Night Live w/ Jimmy Smits a long time ago....

                    The food looks good, but hearing her talk while she cooks makes me cringe.

                    4 Replies
                    1. re: redglass

                      i can't hate on any of the other food network people while sandra lee exists. i once saw her make truffles by mixing a can of chocolate frosting with confectioners sugar. because mixing chocolate and cream is so hard. she made pizza by opening a boboli putting on some jarred tomato sauce and preshredded cheese. if you are too retarded to figure that out should you be around knives and fire and stuff? by the way, try that bobli recipe! i could tell it was yummy by the way she mmm mmm mmmed when she tasted it.

                      1. re: yum

                        [ can't hate on any of the other food network people while sandra lee exists.]

                        I can understand when a company wants to expand its appeal to a wider audience and everything - but a cooking show by and for people who hate and fear raw ingredients is just wrong. (I saw that "truffles" episode too - it made me angry and sad, but not at all hungry.)

                      2. re: redglass
                        p
                        Pius Avocado III

                        One of these days her skull is going to break through her face as she contorts to oleaginously overenunciate each word but, alas, I won't be there to see it because her recipes are dull so I don't watch.

                        1. re: redglass

                          Her smile makes me cringe. If teeth were bricks she'd have a housing project in her mouth. Maybe if she lost about half of them she'd be able to pronounce Spa-Gee-Tee properly....

                        2. PLEASE stay on the food.

                          (Frankly, how you think she looks or speaks is of absoulutely no interest to me--go elsewhere for high school gossip-type discussions.)

                          Thank you.

                          1 Reply
                          1. re: Funwithfood

                            You just can't control what will come out of the mouths of the general population at any given time. I suggest you suck it up and ignore what you don't like, because it's never going to change. If you want a specific kind of answer you should only pole people who will give you that kind of answer. When you open it up to the world, you have to take what you get.

                          2. I've made a few of her dishes and have had good results:

                            1) Chicken Saltimbocca - easy and relatively light. Passed the boyfriend test.

                            2) Winter Minestrone - Was quite rich tasting for what amounted to soup with quite a bit of swiss chard and just a little bit of pancetta. I enjoyed it.

                            3) Eggs with Orzo and Smoked Mozzarella - Great Sunday brunch and the boyfriend went crazy over it.

                            As for the superficial idea that her food must not be very good if she's skinny - well, Emeril is rather plump and I'm not sure if I would make any of his food.
                            I'm not looking at Giada, I'm looking at the food. And, I've had good results with making her recipes.

                            3 Replies
                            1. re: Sourmango

                              (I'm looking at Giada.)

                              1. re: Sourmango

                                I also pull quite a few weeknight recipes from her, wifey loves the hanger steak recipe she did recently.

                                As far as looking at her goes, she doesn't do it for me but that is a matter of taste. I do find it amusing that when she has the low cut tops on she seems to have to reach awfully far over the counter towards the camera to get ingredients.

                              2. I have made stuff by her. Tuna and White Bean Salad, Italian Style baked Beans. I like her greens, I think it was with Pine nuts and raisins. I have had desserts that she makes but instead of ricotta, I use cottage cheese(She makes simple ones like toasted pound cake with lightly sweetened ricotta or mascarpone with apricot preserves on top)