A Night With Giada

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Spicy Linguine with Clams and Mussels, Grilled Sirloin Steaks with Pepper and Caper Salsa, Rustic Vegetable and Polenta Soup … is your mouth watering yet?  If you, like me, think these dishes sound amazing, but complex and time-consuming, think again.

Giada De Laurentiis’ new cookbook, “Weeknights with Giada: Quick and Simple Recipes to Revamp Dinner,” teaches you how to make these tantalizing dishes and many more, and with a few exceptions, they all come together in 30 minutes or less!

Even better, you can get tips from Giada herself, when she visits Williams-Sonoma in South Coast Plaza on May 5.

De Laurentiis will be visiting to sign copies of her new book, which was written with busy families in mind.  As a mother, she understands the need to get a tasty meal on the table, as well as the time constraints that make doing so a challenge.

Thus was born “Weeknights.”  In this volume, Giada fans are treated to family recipes that work in the De Laurentiis home.  She includes many vegetarian dishes that her family enjoys for their “Meatless Monday” meals, as well as several “breakfast for dinner” options – another weekly ritual in their home.

Cooking enthusiasts need not worry that this is a catalog of  “kiddie food,” however.  While the recipes are designed to work for harried mamas, the offerings are sophisticated enough in nature that they will work well for those with a more refined palate.  In fact, they are just as appropriate for a soccer mom as a career woman who enjoys a glass of wine and a good meal after kicking off her heels.

Most recognized for her cooking show on Food Network, De Laurentiis was born in Rome into a large Italian family for whom food was a major part of life.  She grew up tinkering both in the family’s kitchen and in her grandfather’s restaurant.

Upon graduating from UCLA, Giada found that her passion for cooking hadn’t cooled, and began her culinary training at Le Cordon Bleu in Paris, where she specialized in both cuisine and pastry.

After completing her stint in France, she held positions at the Ritz Carlton Fine Dining Room and Spago in Beverly Hills.  She also founded her own catering company, GDL foods.

These days, of course, she can be seen on both the Food Network and the “Today” show, as well smiling from the packaging of her own line of cookware and Italian grocery staples sold in Target stores.

In addition to “Weeknights”, De Laurentiis has authored “Giada at Home”, Giada’s Kitchen”, “Everyday Pasta”, “Giada’s Family Dinners”, and “Everyday Italian”

Admission to the Williams-Sonoma signing is limited to ticketed guests, and De Laurentiis will only be signing books purchased from the store, so be sure to call or visit prior to the event to secure your spot.

I know my family would appreciate a couple of new dishes thrown into my repertoire, and I can’t resist the promise of a healthy, delicious meal on the table in under and hour.  The fact that the recipes are designed to be stress-free and keep dishes to a minimum sweetens the deal even more.

While  “Weeknights with Edie” probably won’t be hitting the shelves any time soon, the dishes I learn to prepare will definitely be hitting our table!

For more information about the event, please visit www.williams-sonoma.com or call (714) 751-1166.  For more information about Ms. De Laurentiis, please visit www.giadadelaurentiis.com.

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