December 20, 2010
I recently had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Giada De Laurentiis at a holiday event showcasing the new additions to her line of cookware, foods, kitchen tools and appliances for Target (coming in Jan ’11). Because I only accept invites and products from companies that I’ll consider writing about, I go to a relatively small number of these events. And I was really excited about this one. Giada is, after all, the genius behind Honey Ricotta Cheesecake, a favorite Christmas dessert that is fast becoming a tradition on my Christmas menu.
Let me start by answering what is surely your most burning question: yes, Giada is even more gorgeous in person than she is on television. I mean… seriously:
But, more impressive that that, Giada is a warm, smart, thoughtful cook. Her deep knowledge of food, strong connection to family tradition and respect for simple cooking with whole ingredients is evident in everything from her recipes to the designs of her cookware, a piece of which I’m giving away. Happy holidays to you!
Giada showcased her product line for Target while making some of her favorite holiday goodies including her Cheese Stuffed Dates with Proscuitto (recipe below). She asked folks attending the event—including me—to help. Look!
(Note to self: learn how to use the photoshop airbrush tool.)
Giada really wanted us to get up close to her products. To give them our own test run.
The verdict? I’m totally impressed with the intention and thoughtfulness of the designs. Giada takes cookware seriously. She refers to kitchen tools as jewels because you should care for them as such. (Amen!) It’s because of this seriousness that Giada used to use Le Creuset, the gold standard, on set. The only problem is that Le Creuset is super pricey. So, Giada is on a mission to offer quality, attractive cookware at affordable prices.
The line has a lot of nice touches that come from Giada’s mission and also her personal kitchen experience. The engines of her coffee maker and food processor are made by the same company that make motors for Cuisinart. She offers a super handy pasta scoop because Giada once watched her mother scald her arm while straining pasta.
And—the best detail—Giada designed the handles for her cookware with women’s smaller hands in mind. Unlike most cookware, designed for male cooks, the handles feel just right and have little divets to give grip. Because god knows that I need a good grip while cooking with two rambunctious little boys running around.
I’m a lucky girl and got to go home with a few products. One in particular, her 2 QT ceramic baker, has become an instant favorite. I’m a sucker for monochromatic color schemes and instantly fell for the look of this off-white-on-the-outside, stark-white-on-the-inside piece. Very sleek and pretty, it can easily go from oven to table. I love it, and know that you will, too. That’s why I’m giving one away!
To win your very own Giada for Target 2 QT ceramic baker:
1. Leave a comment telling me one of the many things you’d like to cook in your new baking dish.
2. Tweet the following message and come back and let me know you’ve done so.
Enter to win!! @OneHungryMama is giving away bakeware from the new line by @GDeLaurentiis for @Target #GDLbakewaregiveaway
The giveaway ends on Monday Dec 27th at 11:59 pm EST
While you wait to find out if you’ve won the big holiday gift from Giada, accept this small one: a killer app recipe that’ll surely get your holiday meal off to the right start. You can also get an amazing holiday breakfast recipe from Giada over at The Family Kitchen: Pancetta and Cinnamon Waffles. O. M. G!
Cheese Stuffed Dates with Proscuitto*
recipe by Giada De Laurentiis
1/4 c (2 oz) goat cheese, room temp
1/4 c (2 oz) mascarpone cheese, room temp
1/4 c finely chopped basil leaves
salt and freshly ground pepper
16 Medjool dates
8 thin slices of prosciutto, halved lengthwise
1. In a small bowl, mix together the cheeses and basil. Season with salt and pepper.
2. With a knife, make a lengthwise incision in each date, gently open the dates slightly and remove the pits. Spoon about 1/2 teaspoon cheese mixture inside each one. Close the dates around the filling. Wrap a piece of prosciutto around each date and secure with a toothpick. Arrange on a platter and serve!
*Note from OHM: If you would like to share these bites with young eaters, please be sure to use pasteurized goat cheese. Also keep in mind that dates are quite high in sugar and very sticky. Be sure to cut into age appropriate bite sizes and know that prosciutto might be stringy and hard to manage for small teeth.