Happy Cooking with Giada De Laurentiis

Friday, November 20, 2015

I have to tell you, this cookbook is right up my alley. Happy Cooking Make Every Meal Count...Without Stressing Out is full of all the great things I look for when evaluating wether or not a cookbook is worth my money or not: brilliant photographs of the recipes’ end products, LOTS of said photographs, a wide range of recipes and recipes that are vegan or dairy free (or can be altered to accommodate). I’m a huge lover of Italian food, but I appreciate that Giada’s cookbooks are rarely pigeonholed into a specific cuisine. She fuses modern food with traditional, American ingredients with ethnic flavors and  completely elevates normal meals and snacks. 

The categories in Happy Cooking are pretty straight-forward: Breakfast, Snacks & Small Plates, Salads & Seasons, Soups & Stews, Pastas & Risottos, Eating Clean, Weeknight Warriors, Vegetables & Sides, Weekends & Holidays, Treats & Sweets. I feel like each one of these chapters could be a book in and of itself, but Giada does a great job of pulling in what is surely the best for each section. One thing I greatly appreciate about this cookbook is, when applicable, the recipes are visibly denoted as gluten free, vegetarian or vegan. Of course there are plenty of wheat and cheese filled dishes— don’t fret! This is Giada, after all. But it is nice to have options for those of us with dietary restrictions. Additionally, I found the chapter on Eating Clean really fascinating. I’ve never tried a cleansing diet, but this chapter offers up some excellent suggestions on how to incorporate healthier eating into your every day life. 

Sprinkled throughout the cookbook are morsels of valuable information. Pages such as Name Your Shape (p. 122) regarding pasta shapes (and pronunciations, thank you Giada), Benefits of Going Part Time Vegan (p. 127), Party On! (p. 58) tips for hosting a cocktail party and Citrus Primer (p. 268) tips for buying, storing and prepping citrus fruits are great additions to an already enjoyable book. Overall, this is one of the best cookbooks I have seen this year. There are not always step-by-step photographs of each recipe, but every page is full of colorful, delicious, inviting photographs that just seem to shout “Yes, you really can make me! Just try it! I’m delicious!” Giada herself is as cheerful and perky in the pages of this cookbook as she is on the screen of Food Network. We can’t all be friends and neighbors with the world’s prettiest and greatest Italian chef, but maybe cooking from this cookbook is the next best thing. 

Christmas is right around the corner! Happy Cooking would make a great gift for the chef in your life-- or buy it for yourself and have something new to serve at your holiday party this year! You can buy it HERE on Amazon. 

I received this book from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. 

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