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!
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!
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!
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?
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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 random.org. 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.
- 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
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9 by 13 inch pan, line it with parchment, and butter the parchment.
- In a small bowl, stir together preserves and apricots. Set aside.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.