Posts tagged ‘Giada De Laurentiis’

July 5, 2012

Oatmeal Cookies with Giada

I’m always suspicious of TV chefs who spend their show cooking and never take a bite. I want them to convince me it’s delicious! Make me want to cook that dish! Have me thinking I can actually smell the food through my television, because it’s so intoxicatingly scrumptious. I enjoy watching chefs like Giada, Laura Calder, Anne Burrell and Nigella, who by the way, under the cloak of darkness, goes for late night seconds at the end of every show. These chefs happily steal an olive before they hit the salad, taste the sauce as it’s cooking and I’ve even seen them take a swig of the wine (not from the bottle) that they’re cooking with. I’m not saying TV chefs should be swirling their fingers through the sauce or licking the spoons. At least take a bite at the end of the show to let us know it’s good stuff. Can you honestly cook an entire meal without scarfing a little taste here and there?

Moving on to cookies… there’s nothing Italian or typically Giada about these cookies. I’ve confessed to owning all her books and was thrilled when my Aunt brought me “Weeknights with Giada.” Like her other books, this is filled with recipes that you would like to make for your family. I love her section called “Breakfast for Dinner” and she also includes a chapter titled “Change of Pace,” where she strays from her Italian roots and includes recipes like Thai lettuce cups, Greek meatballs and vegetables in red curry. Rather than jump into making a savory dish, I found these cookies and decided they would be my first go from her book. Loaded with rolled oats and dried cranberries, I’ve convinced myself they’re healthy. I’m obviously ignoring the stick of butter and cup of sugar found in the list of ingredients.


Adapted from Weeknights with Giada

Giada recommended using a 1/4 measure to scoop the cookies, so I thought I’d show you what they looked like before they hit the oven. I thought they looked so pretty.


  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 stick unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 1/2 cup light brown sugar
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 large egg, room temperature
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 – 4oz bar 60% cacao bittersweet chocolate bar, chopped into 1/4″ pieces (I used Ghirardelli)

Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Combine the flour, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a bowl and set aside.

Cream the butter and sugars in a stand mixer using a paddle attachment until they are light and fluffy. Add the egg and the vanilla, mix until combined. Add the flour mixture slowly until incorporated. Lastly, add in the oats, cranberries and chocolate and run the mixture until they are just blended through the dough.

Using a 1/4 cup dry measure, scoop the dough into little towers on parchment lined baking sheets.

Press them down slightly…

Giada says to bake the cookies for 13-15 minutes until they are slightly golden on the edges. I bake cookies using the convection setting on my oven. These were done in 10 minutes. Leave the cookies on the baking sheets to cool for 20 minutes before removing them to a cooling rack. A really hearty, delicious cookie.

* I wonder if these could be made using whole wheat flour? Or use half whole wheat and half all-purpose? I’m not enough of a baker to figure this one out. Are you?

March 22, 2012

Seriously Good Turkey Meatloaf

I have to confess, I own all of Giada’s books. I think Giada at Home is her best book since her first, Everyday Italian. I’ve made about half a dozen of her dishes, and all have been really delicious.

Her turkey meatloaf is incredible! If you immediately get a flashback to something inedible from your childhood when you hear the word meatloaf, I understand. There’s a lot of bad meatloaf out there. When we add the word turkey, that might make you think dry, tasteless and inedible. I grew up with my mother making the best meatloaf, hands down. But now, as I look for more healthful options, I’ve found this turkey meatloaf from Giada at Home to be a fantastic alternative to the traditional beef version many of us grew up with. Full of amazing flavors from the feta and sun-dried tomatoes, it’s always super moist. I’ve made this many times and it’s always well received.

I use a glass Pyrex baking dish for this meatloaf, and just rub a little olive oil on the bottom of the pan. As the feta cheese oozes out of the meatloaf while it cooks, you’ll want a little of that delicious gooey stuff stuck on the bottom of the pan. Then you can pick it off and eat it when no one is looking.

Recipe adapted from Giada at Home


  • 1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs
  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes packed in oil, drained
  • 2 tbsp oil from the sun-dried tomatoes
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)
  • 1 pound ground turkey – 93% lean (most packages are 1.3lbs, which is fine)
  • Kosher salt & pepper

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Rub olive oil in a glass Pyrex baking dish, or you can use a loaf pan.

Combine the all the ingredients, except the turkey, in a bowl. Add a little salt and pepper. Remember the feta is salty, so don’t use too much salt.

Put the turkey in a large bowl and add the bread crumb mixture. Using a fork, or better yet, your hands – combine all the ingredients. Don’t overmix the meat. Transfer to the pan in a loaf form. Bake for about 45 minutes or until an instant read thermometer reads 165 degrees.


* I know it’s not a surprise to hear that I double this recipe. In fact, I’ve never made it with only one pound of meat. It’s so good, we just eat it the next night for dinner, too. The leftovers are really good either reheated, or you can make meatloaf sandwiches on crusty bread. Yum!

I’ve also made her grilled asparagus and melon salad. So pretty. A light and refreshing complement to the turkey meatloaf. This was a good dinner!

* Giada has a new cookbook coming out on March 27th called Weeknights with Giada: Quick and Simple Recipes to Revamp Dinner. Very exciting! I will definitely be back with a complete review.

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