Friday, August 28, 2009

Giada, Giada, Giada

Giada At Home with Giada De Laurentiis

Dig in for a Cause

Smoked Salmon BLT

Pecorino and Bean Salad

Ginger-Tea Lemonade

WHAT is going on with Giada?

Just for the record, let me say, I love Giada. How could anyone NOT? She’s the sweetest, most beautiful, probably nicest person in the world AND she’s a talented cook, who brings a wealth of life experience and incredible family richness to the table.

But WHY is Giada dumbing down her cooking so much? I just don’t get it. I have to believe it’s 100% the evil Food Network, telling her she has to appeal to every ninny, who claims to have no time to cook.

Anyway, this was the deal on last Saturday’s show:

Giada is doing good works today. She's meeting friends at a community garden and bringing along a homemade picnic.

We see Giada planting and I have a feeling that guys are going to start to flock around her, because her cleavage is making a major reappearance after a little bit of new-mommy modesty.

Back at home in the kitchen, Giada starts by making a ginger tea lemonade. She adds 3 black tea bags (English breakfast) to 2 cups of boiling water and turns off the water. She makes a simple syrup to sweeten it by adding 1 cup of sugar to one cup of water and heating it up. She adds peeled and roughly chopped fresh ginger. I LOVE ginger simple syrup! She turns it off and lets it steep together.

This is kind of weird. She pulls a Contessa move and calls her friend Brian to make dessert. She takes so long setting it up that it feels really fake. With Ina, you can really see her calling Susan Stroman or TR…at the last minute…and asking them to grab some meringue shells or whatever.

There just happens to be a camera in Brian’s house, as he’s having his morning coffee. Oh, it’s tea. And WHY is she not making dessert? Then Giada proceeds to tell Brian exactly WHAT to make and HOW to make it. And she actually TEXTS him the recipe! Have you ever TEXTED someone a recipe?!! In the time that that nonsense took, she could have made dessert herself. Strange.

Giada squeezes 2/3 cup of lemon juice for the tea. She takes out the teabags. She adds simple syrup to the tea, pouring it through a strainer. Hold on a minute. I’m not wasting your time OR mine, giving you a blow by blow on how to make ICED TEA. Here’s the recipe.

Why is she acting like this is all so difficult and that this is what is preventing her from making dessert?!!

We see Brian making the granola bars. He has a bit of cleavage going on too.

Giada is sautéing thick cut bacon for the smoked salmon BLT’s. She says the bacon is very hardy and that it “will keep Jenna, Brian and I working hard.” Giada!

Would you say “It will keep I working hard”?!! No! It’s ME, ME, ME. You live in Lala land, so you should understand the concept of ME.

Giada seems slightly scattered, as if draining the bacon and mixing up a bit of jarred mayonnaise with other stuff is too hard for her. Why is she turning around, looking every which way and, just in general, seeming unfocused? I haven’t seen her for awhile and I don’t like what I’m seeing. She manages to do the heavy lifting to get the bacon onto the plate. WHEW! That was a challenge. Even getting the pan from the stove into the sink seemed arduous.

Giada should remember the old rule of never letting anyone see her sweat. That’s as true with cooking shows as anything else.

Back to the mayo. She zests some lemon rind into the mayo to “brighten” the flavor. I’m with her on that. She adds the juice of the lemon too with some freshly chopped dill. She loves the flavor and color. She slices tomatoes “kind of thin”. She’s really breathing kind of hard after that onerous task.

Giada assembles the sandwiches. She takes whole grain bread and spreads on a little mayonnaise. She tells us that she puts the mayo on BOTH pieces of bread. Wow! Really? I’m not sure I would have figured that out. She adds one piece of smoked salmon and then 1½ slices of bacon and arugula. She presses it down and cuts it in half Gee, thanks. I really needed to see that.

For the bean salad, Giada heats 2 tablespoons of olive oil with 2 cloves of chopped garlic just for 10 seconds. She leaves it to infuse. She chops 2 teaspoons of rosemary into the garlic and lets it cool completely.

Giada drains and rinses a can of cannellini beans. Do we really have to see that? They go into a bowl with 2 cups shelled edamame. Giada tell us they contrast well with the creaminess of the cannellini. She adds ¼ cup chopped parsley, salt and pepper and stirs in the infused oil WITH the garlic. I would SO have strained that. And no lemon juice? She breaks pecorino into chunks with the tip of her knife and adds that.

Next scene…Giada is digging in the dirt. Gosh, her cleavage her full-on. Brian arrives and they plant arugula seeds. They garden for 2 minutes and Giada is hungry for lunch. Okay, that’s definitely my style. They have the iced tea. Giada serves the salad and the sandwiches. There are other folks eating just down the way from them. Can’t she share? They have Brian’s granola bars. Okay, okay, great. They finish up the planting.

This was a remarkably unremarkable show. ANYONE with NO cooking experience would have had an easy time doing what Giada did. She made tea, sandwiches and mixed some beans together. Aside from the boiling water (and hot oil), a 3 year old could have made these recipes. I know that having a kid changes things and that multi-course banquets aren't a nightly affair, but the Food Network’s “Giada at Home” shouldn’t literally be Giada AT HOME!


meleyna said...

I don't watch as much FN since my son has become mobile (over a year now), but I manage to catch my favorites here and there. I watched this episode and all I can remember thinking is that one slice of salmon that doesn't even cover the bread hardly seemed like enough. I think I may have said something like this before, but I definitely am not a fan of Giada at Home. I miss the old school days of Everyday Italian!

LK- Healthy Delicious said...

hahah... I actually have texted people recipes! my youngers siblings and cousins have taken to texting me asking me how to make things. just last night my little sis wanted to know how to make pesto!

Sue said...

Hi Meleyna,
This certainly wasn't the best show. I'm with you about Everyday Italian.

You're obviously much more with it than I am. It's okay that they texted ASKING you for the recipe. But to expect you to text it back? NO!

Ashley said...

I've actually been trying to find the granola bar recipe she texted. It looks so good. Do you happen to know it?

Anonymous said...

I've been looking for the granola bar recipe from this episode as well!! I sent an email to Food Network hoping someone there can forward it along. If I'm able to get it, I'll pass along the info.

Emily said...

Wow, that granola bar recipe does sound good. I wished we could have watched Giada making it. So this guy was showing some cleavage, huh? :D

You've made some excellent points. Maybe they'll be changing the format of the show soon.

The Short (dis)Order Cook said...

She's been dumbing down her recipes for a while now. I noticed in the old show she was using more shortcuts like boxed mixes and such.

Either it's the FN execs telling her to dumb it down, or she's just running out of ideas.

Michelle from Taste As You Go said...

Can you believe I'm still a month behind in Google Reader? I should just clear out and start over... SERIOUSLY.

Anyway, it saddens me that the quality of Giada's recipes are on the decline. There are too many shows out there that "dumb it down" to appeal to the masses. Where's the challenge in recipes like that?

Anonymous said...

My cousin is the Brian you're refering to in this show. I unfortunetly missed it and have been trying to find it on the internet to watch. It might not have been the most interesting episode, but I'd love to see Brian, he's a great guy even if he's not a good actor. I'll send him an email to see if I can get him to forward the recipe text. I'll put it on here if I get it.

Sue said...

Hi Anonymous!
I take back anything bad I said. That's incredibly cool that he's friends with Giada. Have you gotten in on any of the food action? I would love it, if you could get the actual recipe. Folks seem to want it.