Monday, February 20, 2012

A Luxe Luncheon and Cooking Demo with Giada De Laurentiis

We’ve made everything from carrot and zucchini mini muffins, egg and garlic crostini, peppermint cookie sandwiches, Spanish-inspired mac & cheese, and a hazelnut crunch cake we sometimes still dream about. All delicious, and all a blast to try! You may notice that half of our cooking excursions involve recipes by one very charismatic celebrity chef – Giada De Laurentiis.

Well, we were lucky enough to have an extra-special cooking session with Giada herself in New York! Foodie editors joined Giada for a step-by-step cooking demonstration on mastering an easy, healthy, gourmet meal – linguine with sundried tomatoes, olives and lemon. Not only did editors get a hands-on cooking lesson from a pro, they got to taste her gastronomic genius. Not a bad workday.

“It’s a very simple dish that I think is a great weeknight meal for anybody,” said the Italian-born chef. “You can top it with pretty much any protein you want: grilled shrimp, steak, fish, chicken or salmon.”

It was delicious, and tasted even better knowing that Giada cooked it for us. We were in foodie heaven. Of course, all the pastas and sauces she used were from her collection – Giada De Laurentiis for Target.

Her entire line helps families make authentic Italian meals every night, without all the fuss. Just last year, her traditional tomato basil pasta sauce was rated the best celeb-chef pasta by Consumer Reports magazine! We love the dipping oils and vinaigrettes, but her cookware has a special place in our hearts (and kitchens).

After whipping up a scrumptious meal, Giada shared a few of her favorite kitchen staples.


Giada’s Top Kitchen Essentials

1. “A great knife. I love my Mezzaluna Knife because it’s a slicer and chopper all in one. It’s stylish and light enough for a woman but cool enough for a guy, so everyone can use it. The sharp blade allows you to finely chop all of your fresh ingredients by rocking the blade back and forth.”

2. “My parmesan-garlic vinaigrette is a favorite of mine. I love it! You can use all the vinaigrettes in so many different ways. You can toss it with pasta, use it as dipping oil, or drizzle it over a baked potato. That’s how versatile all vinaigrettes are.”

3. “Coarse Hand Grater: these are fantastic to use for anything – from cheese, chopped liver, lemon zest or zesting of any kind!”

4. “Dutch Oven – it’s so beautiful you can put it right on the table. The design and color makes it look great in the kitchen, even if you don’t have anywhere to store it.”

5. “Of course, measuring cups and mixing bowls are essential pieces for any recipe. A quality set made of stainless steel can both make a great present.”

6. “And another kitchen staple is definitely my pasta scoop which lets you serve up pasta, rice or veggies right from the pot, while reserving enough water to complete your recipe. I always tell people to save some water, and a lot of people forget – this makes it easy. The best part is that it’s super easy to clean.”

Click through the gallery below of the event:

Disclosure: I did not receive any products nor was paid for this post. I was provided info and access to images and recipe from the PR firm to share. Thanks to A Bullseye View. Any expressed opinions are my own and personal thoughts. No other compensation was given.

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