my new celebrity crush

her name is giada
ive been hearing about her for a long time now from my youngest sister, the food network addict.
i dont even watch that channel
that is until earlier this year when rachel was still unemployed and used to come visit me when bennett was taking a nap.
and we started watching giada.
not only is she a terrible pain to look at {i mean GAH some things arent fair}
but the lady can COOK

so, when my first trimester "side effects" took a leave of absense, i re-entered the Danger Zone {aka my kitchen} and started cooking dinner again.
and very quickly got bored with the "normal stuff" {aka cooking light - which is also actually a really good resource, but i wanted something different}
so for about three weeks i only cooked giada.  not once did she disappoint.

back in the early days of our marriage i tried some rachael ray dishes, but honestly stephen and i both were not big fans.  our tastebuds didnt agree with her choices of combinations.
dear giadas on the other hand are fabulous.
here is a little list of a few things i have cooked recently of hers that were definitely worth mentioning: {and the starred ones were extra-amazing}
  1. beef burgers with mushrooms and aioli
  2. chicken tetrazzini
  3. pizza with fresh tomatoes and basil
  4. asian chicken salad *
  5. turkey meatloaf with feta and sun dried tomatoes *
  6. ravioli with arugula, tomatoes, and pancetta
and then just recently a friend sent me the recipe for her roman style chicken which was also delicious.
so if there is ever a night/week that you are just tired of the same ole same ole, browse through those free recipes online and you will not be disappointed!
that girl can COOK!

oh, and here is a quick and easy recipe for you to try that i came up with a couple nights ago:
i shall call it the "use what youve got chicken casserole" bc, well, i didnt know what i was going to cook that night so i just used what i "got".
its really easy and straight forward, but sometimes thats what tastes best {"comfort food" as my family calls it}
oh, and bennett loved it :)

use what youve got chicken casserole
  •  six boneless skinless chicken thighs {or four breasts, whatever you have on hand}
  • half of a small onion, chopped {i used leftover purple}
  • can of cream of mushroom soup {i would think cream of chicken would work as well}
  • can low sodium chicken broth
  • 1.25 cup instant rice
  • 3/4 cup salsa
  • shredded cheese {i had a blend of cheddar and mozzarella, any would work}
  • salt and pepper
in a skillet over medium high heat, saute trimmed chicken thighs sprinkled with salt and pepper a few minutes until browned on both sides and nearly cooked through.  remove from pan and chop into bite sized pieces.  saute chopped onions in olive oil in same pan until cooked.  add cubed chicken back to pan and cook a couple more minutes until chicken looks cooked through.
transfer to mixing bowl.  add soup, broth, rice, and salsa.  season with salt and pepper.  mix.
pour into greased casserole dish {i used an oval one, not as big as 9x13}.  sprinkle with cheese on top.  go ahead and be generous with the cheese if you wish. {i was}{but hey im pregnant and i use any excuse right now to eat things i dont usually eat :)}
cook at 350 for 40 minutes or until bubbly and heated through.

notes: if you dont have instant rice, i would think regular rice would do just fine: just cook it as directed prior to adding it to the other ingredients, and then dont add as much chicken broth..maybe only about 1/4 can if any.





  1. oh em gee the asian chicken salad was a MUST!! didnt get to try the others, but i mean, COME ON, it's giada. and everything she touches turns to gold :)

  2. And can I also add I think I read somewhere that her husband designs for anthropologie? The unfairness continues!

  3. My sister LOVES Giada! And has several of her cookbooks. I guess I need to borrow one.

  4. I've been 'planning' to try her recipes...I must! I've watched with Rachel too, and saw a simple take on ravioli in a light sauce (which looked divine) and I recently found and bought the tool to cut/make the ravioli. I am going to hit your list and YOUR recipe next week!

  5. I love Giada too. Made the Asian Chicken Salad last night and it was divine. Thanks for the suggestion.

  6. I like her a lot too! Have you seen her stuff at Target??? Glad you liked the Roman Chicken. :)

  7. okee dokee... printing ALL those recipes off now to add to my "to be cooked soon" pile :)


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