I think that you should get to have a second wedding shower about 10 years in. Ok, probably not really. But it does seem that a great deal of the sturdy kitchenware we were given as wedding gifts is starting to get tired all at once and faster than we can keep up with replacing it.
Which is why I was thrilled when my mama got me a new crockpot for my birthday. "It doesn't seem like a very good gift," she apologized as I opened it. But I assured her, "No it's so awesome!" And when I got Giada De Laurentiis's new book, Happy Cooking, in the mail on nearly the same day, well that seemed positively providential.
Unfortunately that's where the happiness ends.
First, I usually love Giada. Back when we had cable, her show was one of my favorites. Her recipe for pasta with eggplant puree is one of my small list of fail-safe crowd-pleasers.
That being said, her new book is...well, disappointing.
First, the recipes are really crammed together, and the photography is not great. In Giada's previous cookbooks, there's a light, open feeling that this one is really missing. The cover is nice, but the insides are cheap looking.
Then, the recipes. Having a new crockpot to try out, I thought I'd try the "Slow-Cooker Saffron Rice with Chicken Sausage".
From the get-go I was a little disgruntled with the recipe, because it only needed to be in the crockpot on low for 4 hours. When you work 8 hour days that sort of defeats the convenience of using a crockpot.
But no matter, I decided I'd make it the night before and reheat it. I dutifully added the required ingredients, and had the whole thing bubbling away by 7 p.m.
At 11 p.m. the rice was still crunchy and both Sweet Husband and I were exhausted. Because the recipe was still very much not-cooked, we made the executive decision to add some extra liquid and leave it overnight.
Early the next morning, we had mush. It was good smelling mush, but not at all edible. Like, not even salvageable with sprinkle cheese. We ended up ordering pizza for dinner.
I should probably try another recipe to give this cookbook a fair shake, but honestly, with a first failure that was that epic, I'm afraid this one is going straight to the used book store.
[I received a copy of this book from Blogging for Books.]