Giada de Laurentiis Interview and Cookbook Giveaway

Giada de Laurentiis Interview and Cookbook Giveaway

This giveaway is CLOSED!

I bought Giada’s latest cookbook forever ago to giveaway to one of you.  But then I had this crazy idea.  I thought maybe I could do an interview with Giada.  I told you it was a crazy idea.  So I tweeted her a couple times to no avail.  Then I sent in a request form on her website, which led me to her agent.  Her agent’s assistant was incredibly kind and helped me get in contact with Giada’s publicist.  After a lot of back and forth over the course of a month, Giada agreed to answer a few questions over email.  OMG!  Giada was going to answer my questions.  Little ol’ me.  It wasn’t as good as a phone interview and certainly not an in-person one, but come on, this is one of the coolest things to ever happen to me.

I found Giada’s answers so interesting and I hope you do too!  It was great to get some insight into why she wrote this cookbook and where she finds inspiration.  I also don’t think I’m the only one who wanted to know her secret to staying fit.  And her advice really inspired me . . . I am definitely taking it to heart.  Without further ado, check out the interview!

Apricot Jam


What is your favorite recipe in Weeknights with Giada?

Sweet Corn Lasagna and Thai lettuce cups!!

Why did you write this cookbook?

I found myself getting in a rut when it came to weeknight meals so I started coming up with fun and creative themes to keep Jade interested in dinner time. Breakfast for dinner is her fave!! (ie: Pancakes for dinner)! And I figured there would be lots of other parents who might need some fresh ideas….

How do you make time to frequently cook for and eat with Todd and Jade?

Like every busy family, some nights are tough….but we make the time…for instance Sunday, Wednesday, Friday we keep Jade up a bit later to make sure we all have a proper sit own dinner together. Jade looks forward to family night!!

Do you enjoy cooking from different cuisines?

Yes….helps me get my creative juices going and takes me out of my comfort zone!

Do you ever eat in restaurants or do you always cook?

I like to cook and eat at home during the week generally but go out on weekends and when I travel ( which lately has been A LOT!)

Does Jade frequently cook with you?

Yes…she enjoys the kitchen. She can work a mean measuring cup 🙂

Where do you find inspiration for recipes?

Everywhere! I can get inspired about a new recipe idea while traveling or just waiting to pick Jade up from dance class! I love thinking about food!

You have a great sense of style.  Do you work with a stylist or choose all of your own clothes and accessories?

Both..,I know what I like and what fits my body, and I realize that I can’t always follow the fashion trends because it isn’t always the most flattering on my frame. I usually try to wear my own accessories…  I do have a lovely stylist who helps me…not a lot of time these days for me to shop.

How do you stay in shape with your busy schedule and a job that always involves food?

I eat a little of everything and not a lot of anything- And yoga!

Could you offer advice for me and others like me trying to make their mark in the food world with blogs and hopefully cookbooks one day?

Follow your passion and figure out what makes you unique. The rest will come with hard work and dedication. But most of all HAVE FUN along the way!

Apricot Oat Bars

Giada seems like a super cool lady, and I have to say she sounds pretty normal and just like the rest of us with busy schedules, trying to balance everything.  I was a Giada fan before, but now I am a superfan.  She did not have to do this for some little blogger trying to make dreams come true, but she did.  I owe a huge, huge thank you to Giada for making this possible.  I am incredibly grateful and will be a fan forever!

I also made a recipe from her awesome cookbook.  Baking is where my heart lies, so I headed straight for the dessert section and fell in love with the Apricot Oat Bars.  I couldn’t wait to whip them up.  I am so glad I did.  These are an amazing, and pretty healthy treat, not to mention easy to make.  Oats, walnuts, and cinnamon enhance the crust and topping greatly, while chewy dried apricots and sweet apricot preserves make the filling irresistible.  I love them for dessert, but they’d be a great snack or even breakfast and have become one of my favorite treats.  I can’t wait to make more recipes from the book!

Apricot Oat Bars

Onto the giveaway.  I have two copies to giveaway.  The first winner will win a copy of Weeknights with Giada that I purchased.  The second will win a copy autographed by Giada that I was provided with by her team.  The winners will be chosen in that order to keep things fair.  Yay!  Two winners!  I know you’ll fall in love with the cookbook like I did.  Make sure you make these apricot oat bars too!  Good luck!

To enter, answer the question: What is your favorite Italian food?

To earn additional entries:

Follow @piesandplots on Twitter.  Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional and entirely separate comment.

Like Pies and Plots on Facebook.  Come back and let me know you’ve liked me in an additional and entirely separate comment.

Follow Pies and Plots on Pinterest.  Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional and entirely separate comment.

Follow @piesandplots on Instagram.  Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional and entirely separate comment.

Subscribe to Pies and Plots via email using the form at the top of the page on the right hand side.  Come back and let me know you’ve followed in an additional and entirely separate comment.

Important:  In order for each of your entries to count, you must leave entirely separate comments.  Meaning it is possible for the first six comments to all have been left by one person.  If you leave all of this information in one comment, you will only be entered in the giveaway one time.

The giveaway ends Sunday, December 2, 2012 at 11:59 pm EST.

The winners will be chosen via the Random Number Generator on  The winners will be notified by email and will have 24 hours to respond.  If the winners do not respond, a new winner will be chosen.

Disclaimer: I was provided with the autographed copy of the book by Giada de Laurentiis Foods.

Apricot Oat Bars

4.9 from 8 reviews
Apricot Oat Bars
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 24
  • 1 ¼ cups apricot jam (I used Sarabeth’s Apricot Peach and American Spoon’s Apricot Preserves)
  • 16 dried apricot halves, diced
  • 1 ¾ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 ¾ cups old fashioned oats
  • 1 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 2 sticks unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13 inch pan, line it with parchment, and butter the parchment.
  2. In a small bowl, stir together preserves and apricots. Set aside.
  3. In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, oats, and walnuts. Add the butter, egg, and vanilla, and mix until all the dry ingredients are coated.
  4. Press half of the dough into the bottom of the prepared pan. Spread the jam mixture over the crust in an even layer, leaving about a ½ inch boarder around the crust. Spread the remaining crust over the top of the jam, covering it pretty much completely. Press down lightly on the bars.
  5. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until light golden brown, rotating halfway through if necessary. The bars will still be quite soft to the touch, but will harden as they cool. Cool completely in pan before cutting into bars. May be stored at room temperature for up to 3 days or frozen, wrapped in parchment and foil and placed in a zipper bag for up to 3 months. Thaw at room temperature for about an hour or in a 350 degree F oven for about 10 minutes.
Recipe adapted from Giada de Laurentiis


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  1. That is so amazing that you were able to interview Giada! Congrats girly 🙂 <3

  2. my favorite Italian food is raviolis with a marinara sauce.
    I also love Tiramisu so it is a toss up.

  3. Way to be persistant! What an awesome person to interview!

  4. My favorite Italian food is eggplant parmigiana

  5. My favorite Italian food is manicotti, and like Maureen my favorite Italian treat is Tiramisu.

    By the way – congratulations on the interview! That is so exciting – it must have been really hard to pick just what questions you would ask. Also, the Apricot bars are just delightful 🙂 I am so excited to try and make them. I am not usually an apricot fan but there is something different about them in this recipe. Very good!

    • Thank you so much, Jessica! It was hard to come up with the perfect questions. I hope you do make the bars! Let me know how it goes.

  6. I like you on Facebook

  7. I subscribe to Pies and Plots via email.

  8. I follow you on Pinterest.

  9. Debbie Eccard says:

    I love apricot! These do look really good and as you say, healthy. I may try these this week while in Baltimore…. Congratulations on your great interview with Giada. Great questions.

  10. Debbie Eccard says:

    I liked you on Facebook…

  11. Debbie Eccard says:

    I subscribe to Pies and Plots via email…..

  12. Debbie Eccard says:

    My favorite Italian dish is Lasagne…..

  13. I am linking up a recipe in a post tomorrow that’s made with apricot jam! I made it a year ago already! Your bars remind me of those and love the interview!

    What is your favorite Italian food? = caprese salad

    • Apricot has always been one of my favorite jams. Of course, I love everything apricot. Can’t wait to see your recipe!

  14. How cool that you got to interview Giada! Great job on getting that done! I’d love to get her cookbook! So, my favorite italian food is ravioli, I have a special ravioli mold and love to use it!

  15. My favorite food is lasagna with extra cheese & pepperoni..

  16. Gnocchi!

  17. Marnely Rodriguez-Murray says:

    I love lasagna!

  18. Heather Beckler says:

    My favorite Italian food is manicotti.

  19. Heather Beckler says:

    I followed you on twitter.

  20. I can’t believe you got to interview Giada de Laurentiis! I really enjoyed reading her answers, very interesting and informative.

    My favorite italian food is lasagna.

  21. twitter follower

  22. liked you on Facebook

  23. pinterest follower

  24. Debbie Eccard says:

    I follow you on Twitter…..

  25. I like spicy mortadella.

  26. Debbie Eccard says:

    I love your makeup pins on Pinterest…

  27. well of course there are many but,i have to put penne pasta with sausage,artichokes and sun-dried tomatoes as one of my most favorites.

  28. My favorite Italian food is Lasagna

  29. I like you on Facebook

  30. I following you on Twitter

  31. My favorite Italian food is Parmesan Chicken. (Specifically the dish from Andiamo’s with Zip Sauce) 🙂

  32. I follow you on Twitter!

  33. I Follow @piesandplots on Instagram

  34. bret weigel says:

    my favorite would be shrimp alfredo

  35. I love polenta, pure comfort.

  36. Great interview.

  37. I really like tiramisu, it’s so rich and creamy!

  38. Delores in Arizona says:

    My favorite Italian food is Lasagna. I made it over Thanksgiving when we had a big group. It’s a lot of work to make, but it’s sooo good, and everyone loves it! A friend made these Apricot Oat Bars, but used pecans instead of walnuts. They are delicious. They stayed nice in the refrigerator for a few days, but they didn’t last long. I will be making this recipe for sure. Thank you for sharing the interview with Giada. I’m a big fan too.

    • Glad to hear you liked the bars, Delores! They are super yummy! Let me know if you make them and how they turn out.

  39. My favorite Italian food is spinach & mushroom ravioli, and for dessert, cannoli.

  40. Liked you on Facebook!

  41. Mary, and the rest of the fam says:

    My favorite italian food is spagetti with meatballs. I make it at least twice a month. I freeze the leftover sauce and send it to my son in college who then makes spagetti for his housemates!

  42. My favorite Italian dish would have to be Ricotta-stuffed shells with meat sauce. As for the interview it was just right ; you kept it simple, interesting, and open-ended. Great Job.

  43. I love Frutti de Mar! or I’ll take a really great tomato sauce 🙂

  44. Hard to choose just one favorite Italian food but I suppose if I had to narrow it down it’d be between lasagna and spaghetti and meatballs. Thanks ofr the oppoturnity.

  45. I follow on twitter as @southerncooker

  46. I like you on facebook as Joan Osborne

  47. I follow on pinterest.

  48. chicken marsala

  49. Favorite Italian food? There are so many!! Chicken Parmesan with cheesy garlic bread would be number one. Canolis for dessert!! 🙂

  50. Pizza! it’s simple and yet so versatile, classic and reinvented all the time. although lasagna is a close second.

  51. I’m following @piesandplots on twitter!

  52. I love gnocchi with tomato and basil sauce!

  53. my favorite italian food is pasta in red sauce

  54. These are the easiest, yummiest bars. I’ve made them before (or something really similar), but I used strawberry preserves. Mmmmm. I’ll have to try them with apricot at some point.

  55. stan the man says:

    my favorite Italian food is veal marsala


  1. […] Don’t forget to enter the giveaway for an autographed copy of Giada de Laurentiis’ cookbook! […]

  2. […] to giveaway, I also requested an interview with Tyler.  You might remember that when I gave away Giada de Laurentiis’ cookbook, she was kind enough to do an interview with me, even if it was only via email.  I was immediately […]

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