Thursday, 29 October 2015

Review - Happy Cooking

Happy Cooking
by Giada De Laurentiis
Publisher: Pam Krauss Books
Pub. Date: November 3, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-8041-8792-3
Pages: 320
Buy Link: Amazon

Being released in bookstores just in time for Thanksgiving is the cookbook Happy Cooking: Make Every Meal Count ... Without Stressing Out by Giada De Laurentiis, featuring nearly 200 recipes, time-saving tips and healthy eating strategies for the holidays.

Probably almost everyone has heard of the Italian Chef  Giada De Laurentiis who has had a cooking show on the Food Network since 2003. Happy Cooking is her 8th published cookbook. Why is it called Happy Cooking? Well, the author says she is happiest when she's in the kitchen.

While Italian meals are always tasty, many of them come with a high calorie count, so Giada is compiled together the best recipes that healthy and delicious. She kicks off the book with "First Things First: #breakfast, featuring recipes ("Nutella" Milk; Greens Eggs, and Ham Wrap; Caprese Frittata; Carrot and Apple Muffins, etc.) that will give you just enough energy to start your day.

Find the perfect snack in "Snacks & Small Plates,:" such as The Only Bean Dip That You'll Ever Need; Soy Citrus Turkey Jerky; New, Improved "Puppy Chow;" Warm and Spicy Popcorn; Pumpkin Spice Latte Popcorn; Italian Lemonade; Mediterranean Chile Chickens Wings; Goat Cheese Toast, etc..

It's important to eat many greens each and every day, but it can get a little boring. In "Salads & Seasons," Giada puts several new spins on salads, eggplant and zucchini with recipes such as Better Wedge Salad, Hummus Salad and Herbed Cucumber Salad.

With winter not too far away, it would be the perfect time to find new "Soups & Stews" recipes. Giada has come up with several unique recipes, like Child Watermelon-Basil Gazpacho and "House" Soup; Slow-Cooker Black Bean and Pork Stew.

For those who do like their Italian meals, Giada features an entire chapter on "Pastas & Risottos." A few of the dishes are Brown Butter Tortellini, Pasta e Fagioli with Mussels; Parmesan Marinara; Short-Rib Lasagna; and Pasta Pizza.

To all the health nuts, Giada has a whole chapter dedicated to eating healthy, titled "Eating Clean." A few of the recipes are Detox Soup; California Lettuce Cups; Tuna, White Bean, and Bitter Green Salad.

Coming up with the perfect meal during the week can be difficult, but Giada is helping us out by creating many intriguing meals in "Weeknight Warriors." A few of the recipes are Yogurt-Marinated Chicken; Chicken Sausage and Mash; Stuffed Chicken Parmesan; Pan-Seared Salmon Burgers with Fennel Slaw; and Make It at Home Fried Rice.

Every main dish needs something to with it. In "Vegetables & Sides," there are plenty of healthy delights, such as Corn Fritters with Cherry Tomato Salsita; Smoky Candied Carrots; Creamy Polenta; and Caesar-Roasted Broccoli.

There is a small chapter called "Weekend & Holiday," featuring great recipes, such as Roasted Chicken and Potatoes and Leeks; Sunday Pot Roast; Fourth of July Pizza; Turkey Breast "Porchetta;" and Monte Cristo Sandwiches.

Lastly is "Treats & Sweets," which should satisfy anyone's sweet tooth. A few of the recipes are Pumpkin Ginger Chocolate Muffins; Lemon Ricotta Cookies with Lemon Glaze; Orange Cream Butter Cookies; Espresso-Peanut Butter "Better" Cookies; and Cupcake Shake.

While I've only watched a handful of Giada's cooking shows, my grandma is a big fan of her (and everything else on the Food Nework), so I thought I would give Happy Cooking a try. The cookbook is nicely put together with pictures that go along with the recipes as well as pictures of Giada and her daughter. There are also cooking tips and neat introductions to every chapter/section. I've only had time to try out a few of the recipes, but the ones that I did are simple to make, thanks to well-written directions. Overall, Happy Cooking would make a great addition to anyone's kitchen.

*Disclaimer - I received a complimentary copy in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are my own.

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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