Thursday, March 13, 2014

Wrapping Up, and Up Next

I declare The Epicurious Cookbook to be solid. Everything except for the spice-bomb lettuce wraps, which were practically inedible, ranked at least an "okay,"with the majority (13 out of 18 recipes) being in the "liked" or "loved" category. Not too shabby.

Usually, by the time I've cooked 18 recipes from a book, I'm antsy to move on. In this case, there's a ton I still want to cook, but I'm switching books to afford myself a better chance at losing any weight during the 3 months of Weight Watchers that I paid for. I've gained four pounds since I signed up in January. ARGH! Anyway, I have one month left included in what I've already paid for, so I'm going to try really hard to make it work.

I unenthusiastically claim my next book to be Giada's Feel Good Food, because a) they're healthy recipes, and b) each recipe provides the nutritional breakdown per serving, so I can just plop that into WW's points calculator and be done with it, rather than having to build recipes one ingredient at a time to figure out how many points the meal will be. I hate that crap.
I'd pre-ordered this book when I heard about it, because I'm compulsive like that. It arrived, and bummed me out. It's totally uninspiring. Almond Butter Strawberry Toast? Smear bread with almond butter. Add strawberries and a drizzle of honey. Really? This is a recipe?? Very little sounds appetizing to me. You can be damn sure I won't be cooking a Strawberry-Mint Omelet for breakfast. Sugar in my eggs? I just threw up in my mouth. I will not eat Detox Broth for three meals a day. One of her dinner recipes is Grilled Herbed Tofu with Avocado Cream. As dinner? Really? It even looks sparse in the book's photo.

I've made a recipe or two since I got the book. The Chewy Granola Bars were weird and gross. I had the adorable idea to make them and cut them into heart shapes for Valentines Day. No one ate more than a bite. The Oatmeal with Olive Oil was not exactly delicious, but it was somehow more satisfying and kept me full longer than oatmeal with a smashed banana or applesauce, which is how I usually eat mine. Maybe I ate it slower because it was savory/bland. I don't know. So that recipe was okay. Still, I don't have high hopes for this book.

I know it's meant to be helpful, but the personal stories in this book make me jealously hate Giada a little. My  main thought is, "Well la-dee-dah for YOU." The only other time a cookbook evoked this feeling in me was when Ina Garten recommends that everyone have two dishwashers in their kitchen, for easy clean-up. Lady, I don't even have one dishwasher in my kitchen at the moment. I AM the dishwasher, so shut up. So Giada's pretending to be normal and cute too much, and it grates on my nerves. Regarding her weekly manicure, she says "I'll embellish my ring fingers with something a bit special. I stay in the same color family so it's a little hit of fun but nothing too crazy!" SMACK. Her favorite things to freeze so they're ready to cure a sweet tooth are "chocolate chips, grapes, mini peppermint patties, sliced banana, and berries." If frozen grapes were sufficient to cure my sweet tooth, I wouldn't need your damn book. Every three months, Giadia, her aunt, and her sister "head to the same Korean spa for a head-to-toe scrub." SMACK. She wears concealer, because "Between being a mom, working, and traveling, I dont' often get to catch up on my beauty rest!" SMACK SMACK. Maybe I'm surly, or maybe it's her excessive use of exclamation points, but the tone is so sappy and annoying. As I said before, I'm jealous. She's so perfect in her white house with her white shirt. Giada at Home made me worry that, if I knew her, I'd spill something in her squeaky clean house. This book makes me fantasize about smearing pasta all over her couch. She's pushing an image of being a normal person, but includes pictures of her gorgeous self washing her face, as if this brings her closer to us.
See? Jealous.
Pictures like this make me feel worse about me, and for that, Giada gets another SMACK SMACK.

All will be forgiven if the food turns out to be tasty. I'm not holding my breath.


  1. Um, Eileen, having a little angst right now? Also, I am disturbed that when you scroll down the page to leave a comment the only part of the picture you see if Giada's wet boobs, which feels indecent. If you don't have the strength to make it a month with Giada, I have a Gwenyth cookbook (which I believe you recently mocked me for) which is surprisingly good and healthy too. (And another WW if you want to go that route.)

    1. I did scoff at Gwyneth, didn't I? Sorry about that. Can I look at the book next time I'm over?

  2. Ei, I totally get your feeling re: her... but alas, I too understand that I will never approach her pedestal of perfection, which is why I continue to watch the Real Housewives. I'm ready to French Market whenever you are <3 P

  3. Oh honey, sounds like it is time to move on to a new book already :-)
    I don't think I could have sugared berrified eggs either. I'd much rather saddle up to a croissant.

  4. This made me laugh. I have one Giada book, Everyday Pasta, and I only bought it because a friend told me that I absolutely had to. I grudgingly admit that I like the book and find myself referring to it for quick weeknight meals. But the fact that she has more picture in there of herself (or, more specifically, her cleavage) than the food is one of the reasons that I had to be convinced to buy the book. Sometimes the personalities of these celebrity chefs gets in the way of their food.