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Everyday Italian in Little Big Head's Kitchen


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#7291

Ms Chicklet

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Posted Nov 25, 2012 @ 4:55 PM

Those pork skewers looked interesting. That would probably work with a whole pork tenderloin, then serve it with the sauce on the side.

Darren's quite the impressive artist. I hope he gets some good sales from this.

OK, Todd. Fauxhawk? SRSLY?
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#7292

grisgris

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Posted Dec 9, 2012 @ 1:41 PM

Did anybody catch Giada's show yesterday? I thought that was a rather bizarre combination of foods. First, there was that rice stuffing. Stuffing for what? To me, it looked like a rice salad. Then she kept adding and adding and adding ingredients to it. The seafood salad looked OK, but it was just a pile of clams, shrimp and cod on top of blanched veggies and dressing. The chocolate/chestnut cookies looked pretty good and a welcome departure from Nutella. In all, it didn't seem like a meal that kids would care for very much. (Some of the adults didn't looked thrilled either.) I love watching Jade and her little cousins.
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#7293

jcbrown

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Posted Dec 9, 2012 @ 4:03 PM

I watched and I agree it was an odd combination of foods. Giada's crowing "it has bacon so I know SOMEONE will like it" at the end accompanied by creepy joker grin was way over the top.
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#7294

grisgris

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Posted Dec 9, 2012 @ 4:55 PM

The bacon was about the only ingredient in the "stuffing" that looked good. I now remember at the very end of the show that Giada reached across the table with a fork and speared a piece of cod or something off one of the guest's plate. This was one time where I think she actually made too much food as people were taking the smallest portions possible without appearing rude!
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#7295

Sandman

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Posted Dec 14, 2012 @ 5:54 PM

As someone who is continually bugged by her over-pronunciation of Italian words ...

All right, I'm just going to say it: Giada mispronounces Italian words! It's not over-pronunciation. (Maybe "spagheeetee" is a regional pronunciation that she inherited from her family) but, sufferin' succotash! My Italian teachers would spit at the woman's mangled, fussy, wrongheaded diction!

Between that and her eccentric description of the flavours of fresh herbs and other seasonings (parsley is "lemony"? Parmesan is "buttery and nutty?") Basil has a spicy undertone, I'll grant her, but the rest? Boh! Drove me away from the show entirely.

Phew! Glad I got that off my chest.

Edited by Sandman, Jan 2, 2013 @ 10:40 PM.

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#7296

Gia322

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Posted Dec 19, 2012 @ 12:05 PM

I usually don't like her but her Aspen, CO episode was actually really cute! She was so much less obnoxious and actually pretty nice to Aunt Raffi. The food looked really good, besides that hazelnut and fried dough dessert. I hate biting down into nuts when I think I'm eating a fluffy dessert, and everyone's hands had to be all sticky from eating that mess. I wish she would stop saying she "indulges for the holidays." She cooks the same sugary fatty foods ALL the time. Maybe she means she only actually eats them on the holidays and on her usual days she just eats a bite!?
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#7297

Leshyn63

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Posted Dec 19, 2012 @ 11:25 PM

Sandman: Co-sighn - with the addition of her repeated assertion that thyme is "lemon-y." Well, yes, LEMON thyme is lemon-y. French or English thyme? Not in the slightest! There may be more recent palate perversions that she presents as truth, but I can't watch her, and haven't since she started the maniacal teeth-baring that passes for smiling. Not a fan. (can ya tell?)
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#7298

Leshyn63

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Posted Dec 19, 2012 @ 11:25 PM

Sandman: Co-sighn - with the addition of her repeated assertion that thyme is "lemon-y." Well, yes, LEMON thyme is lemon-y. French or English thyme? Not in the slightest! There may be more recent palate perversions that she presents as truth, but I can't watch her, and haven't since she started the maniacal teeth-baring that passes for smiling. Not a fan. (can ya tell?)
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#7299

Leshyn63

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Posted Dec 19, 2012 @ 11:25 PM

Sandman: Co-sign - with the addition of her repeated assertion that thyme is "lemon-y." Well, yes, LEMON thyme is lemon-y. French or English thyme? Not in the slightest! There may be more recent palate perversions that she presents as truth, but I can't watch her, and haven't since she started the maniacal teeth-baring that passes for smiling. Not a fan. (can ya tell?)
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#7300

Leshyn63

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Posted Dec 19, 2012 @ 11:26 PM

Sandman: Co-sign - with the addition of her repeated assertion that thyme is "lemon-y." Well, yes, LEMON thyme is lemon-y. French or English thyme? Not in the slightest! There may be more recent palate perversions that she presents as truth, but I can't watch her, and haven't since she started the maniacal teeth-baring that passes for smiling. Not a fan. (can ya tell?)
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#7301

whitepepper

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Posted Dec 20, 2012 @ 11:09 AM

Between that and her eccentric description of the flavours of fresh herbs and other seasonings (parsley in "lemony"? Parmesan is "buttery and nutty?") Basil has a spicy undertone, I'll grant her, but the rest? Boh! Drove me away from the show entirely.

How we perceive flavors can vary and is completely subjective, so I don't understand the criticism. While I'd never consider thyme or parsley to be particularly lemony, parsley to me does have a freshness and brightness that is similar to lemon. And I would agree that a good parm has nutty and buttery notes... perhaps not as much as some other cheeses I've tasted, but I can understand why she would describe it the way she did. Giada is not my favorite for many reasons (over-/mis-pronounciation, talking while eating, what have you), but I can't really fault her for food descriptions.
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#7302

grisgris

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Posted Dec 20, 2012 @ 11:50 AM

I know that I've taken a swipe or two at Giada in the past for numerous reasons and I have criticized her for her descriptions of some flavors, but only because they were completely off-the-wall. I would have to agree that how one would describe a flavor is subjective. I know that if somebody asked me to describe a flavor, I'd probably be hard-pressed to come up with something accurate or made sense to others.
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#7303

apricot2

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Posted Dec 20, 2012 @ 1:07 PM

LOL, how about parsley tastes like parsley? Really, how else could you describe the taste of lemon?

For many foods, it really is pointless.

Edited by apricot2, Dec 20, 2012 @ 1:10 PM.

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#7304

Leshyn63

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Posted Dec 22, 2012 @ 10:50 PM

Parsley has a bitter, herbaceous flavor. No citrus undertones at all, as opposed to cilantro, which does have that back flavor (at least to those who don't taste it as being soapy).

Thyme: earthy, herbaceous, slightly minty (they are in the same family).

Granted, there is a certain amount of subjective interpretation to flavors, but tasting citrus flavor in herbs that have none - and passing that interpretation along as fact! - is troubling. New cooks get enough bad info from the Food Network without this nonsense.


Sorry for the multiple posts above, BTW. TWoP moves in mysterious ways.
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#7305

ToothbrushFence

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Posted Dec 23, 2012 @ 1:54 AM

How we perceive flavors can vary and is completely subjective, so I don't understand the criticism. While I'd never consider thyme or parsley to be particularly lemony, parsley to me does have a freshness and brightness that is similar to lemon. And I would agree that a good parm has nutty and buttery notes... perhaps not as much as some other cheeses I've tasted, but I can understand why she would describe it the way she did.

Agree. Describing some of the flavors is like describing a color - the flavor is such a building block that it difficult to describe it without sounding silly, redundant, or subjective, etc. I agree with all the points you made above. Parsley certainly has a fresh, astringent taste that could in that sense be reminiscent of lemon. A lot of FN hosts seem to do this, I don't know if it is to fill time or if it is a point of emphasis for FN lately?

Parsley has a bitter, herbaceous flavor. No citrus undertones at all, as opposed to cilantro, which does have that back flavor (at least to those who don't taste it as being soapy).

Thyme: earthy, herbaceous, slightly minty (they are in the same family).

Granted, there is a certain amount of subjective interpretation to flavors, but tasting citrus flavor in herbs that have none - and passing that interpretation along as fact! - is troubling. New cooks get enough bad info from the Food Network without this nonsense.

I feel like this is an example of just as how you wrote, interpreting flavors can be subjective.

IMO, to say that parsley and thyme are "herbaceous" while technically correct is at least a bit redundant, and I could imagine people saying that is an obvious description, like when Giada says sugar adds "a bit of sweetness." Thyme - I honestly don't get the mint there.

Overall, I feel like the exercise is generally pointless and a waste of time for cooking shows, especially for common ingredients like parsley.
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#7306

Sandman

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Posted Jan 1, 2013 @ 1:51 PM

Of course, sensory description is always necessarily subjective, but I'd feel more at ease if I found any common ground with how Giada describes the flavours she's working with; 9 times out of ten, I just don't know what she's talking about. And sometimes the combinations of flavours she puts into a dish strike me as outlandish - a panini made with brie, chocolate and basil sticks in my memory as a particularly ill-conceived combination.
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#7307

grisgris

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Posted Jan 1, 2013 @ 2:26 PM

I agree that it's very difficult to describe how a herb or spice tastes. For example, I don't think that regular thyme doesn't remotely taste lemony (I guess you could use lemon thyme.) My worst Giada recipe flop was for her thyme lemon brownies. Those were just awful.
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#7308

vera charles

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Posted Jan 1, 2013 @ 3:16 PM

I made this recipe for Salmon Baked In Foil for Christmas Eve a few years ago, except that my husband doesn't like salmon, so I made his with cod instead. It turned out that the cod actually tasted a lot better than salmon in this preparation, so I am making Cod Baked In Foil for dinner tonight. I hope it's as good as I remember, because I think we really liked it.
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#7309

Ms Chicklet

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Posted Jan 5, 2013 @ 2:35 PM

Spa day episode. I don't see why she bothered with the pastry bag for the chocolate avocado mousse. The mousse was still too runny to hold its shape. She should have chilled it first, then piped it, if she wanted a pretty look. I like the idea of the swiss chard roll, but I hate curry, so that was a no-go for me.
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#7310

grisgris

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Posted Jan 5, 2013 @ 4:25 PM

Of course, sensory description is always necessarily subjective, but I'd feel more at ease if I found any common ground with how Giada describes the flavours she's working with; 9 times out of ten, I just don't know what she's talking about. And sometimes the combinations of flavours she puts into a dish strike me as outlandish - a panini made with brie, chocolate and basil sticks in my memory as a particularly ill-conceived combination.


Let's see, today she described rosemary as tasting "minty" and again, thyme was "lemony." Rosemary has such a unique flavor and most people have eaten it, so I saw no reason to even have to describe it. But, I guess what Giada said was more appetizing than saying that rosemary has a "piney" fragrance. I don't want to think of my pizza sauce as tasting like a Christmas tree. But, as I've said, it's probably difficult to try to describe certain flavors and I'd be hard-pressed to have to do it on the fly in front of a TV camera.

That bizarre panini recipe was something Giada came up with when she was expecting Jade, so I shrugged it off as some type of pregnancy craving. It did sound truly awful. I like brie paired with something sweet like a fruit spread, but not chocolate. Something like brie, strawberry jam and the basil might be OK.

Today's menu turned my stomach. Giada just kept adding and adding and adding ingredients to that filling for the Swiss chard rolls. There was just too much going on. I kept shouting "Stop" at the TV. I hate avocados, so the mousse was an instant turn-off. The little pizzas looked OK, but I would describe them more as small open-face sandwiches instead of pizzas.

I see that cute little Jade is venturing in "The Little Drummond Boy" territory with her remark today about "You're such a good cook." I think she's hilarious and I'd love to see a show with Jade cooking with great Aunt Raffi. Jade could assign Mama to cheese-grating duty for a change.
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#7311

Sandman

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Posted Jan 6, 2013 @ 11:53 PM

That bizarre panini recipe was something Giada came up with when she was expecting Jade, so I shrugged it off as some type of pregnancy craving.

I hadn't even thought of that! Okay, she can have a bye on that one, heh.
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#7312

High Tea

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Posted Jan 7, 2013 @ 9:28 AM

I see that cute little Jade is venturing in "The Little Drummond Boy" territory with her remark today about "You're such a good cook." I think she's hilarious and I'd love to see a show with Jade cooking with great Aunt Raffi. Jade could assign Mama to cheese-grating duty for a change.


For me, this one of the few shows that has done such a lovely job of incuding family members. I adore the episodes with Jade!
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#7313

grisgris

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Posted Jan 8, 2013 @ 5:50 PM

For me, this one of the few shows that has done such a lovely job of including family members. I adore the episodes with Jade!


I have to agree! In fact, I'm disappointed when Jade isn't on. I also like Julian and Ava.

I always wondered if the kids on those shows are given lines to memorize or just sort of ad lib as promoted by either the parent or producer. It seems like some of them are too young.

Jade's lines seem pretty spontaneous. I know that sometimes Giada has to prompt her, but she's a smart little thing and literally grew up in front of the camera. She knows what to do. I know that we all rag on Giada for numerous things, but I have to admit that she seems like a loving and devoted mother.
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#7314

whitepepper

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Posted Jan 13, 2013 @ 2:06 PM

Giada took on Meatless Mondays this weekend, and I kinda have to say I was slightly disappointed.

Now, all of her dishes looked pretty good, although maybe not the potato salad but I'm not a big potato salad fan. The lentil burger looked intriguing, although I would imagine they would be a bit dry or dense, but perhaps not? If anyone tries it, let me know! The tostada needed cheese or refried black beans or something to adhere the vegetables to the tortilla. Otherwise, I foresee a very messy dish as you're eating. And count me in on the avocado hummus with pita chips, although my concern would be the arugula and beans would either overpower or mute the flavor of the avocado.

My main complaint is that all of her dishes seemed rather unsatisfying. As someone who is trying to eat (and trying to get her spouse to eat) more meatless meals as part of a healthier lifestyle, I can appreciate her approach with these dishes, but being married to a meat and potatoes man, if I put down a veggie tostada or a lentil burger he'd just say "you're kidding me, right?" and then raid the cookie jar. I think one of the biggest hurdles people face when trying to eat vegetarian dishes is trying to achieve the same fullness or satisfactory nature that meat dishes have, and her recipes today didn't really seem to have that. JMHO.
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#7315

grisgris

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Posted Jan 13, 2013 @ 3:10 PM

I was semi-intrigued with Giada's recipes. I think that what would have helped is if she had made a complete meal, as opposed to making random dishes. At the very least, she could have offered suggestions on what to serve. She could have paired the lentil burgers with that potato salad (I'm with whitepepper, and I'm not into potato salads (except German) and I detest sweet potatoes.)

She could also have suggested vegetarian refried beans with the tostada. Giada also has shown some interesting looking desserts that are gluten/dairy free, so she could have made one of those.

Doesn't Giada always make reference that Todd is a meat and potatoes man, too? I've sure he isn't thrilled with some of those concoctions. I always had the impression that she kept a repertoire of vegetarian recipes on hand because her mother is a vegetarian. Veronica is never on the show anymore, so who cares?

Edited by grisgris, Jan 14, 2013 @ 7:19 PM.

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#7316

JTMacc99

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Posted Jan 14, 2013 @ 3:43 PM

Giada made a 947 ingredient veggie meatloaf a long time ago that was really good.<br>
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#7317

grisgris

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Posted Jan 27, 2013 @ 3:32 PM

I'd NEVER go to a Super Bowl party at Giada's house. In the previews, she was scolding Todd for taking more than one fried mushroom. I never saw that on the actual show because my DVR mercifully cut it off.

This was another party with all men and Giada. Either Todd's friends are all gay or single, or their wives and girlfriends can't stand Giada. Or, they have the good sense to have a girls only party or go to a sports bar and pig out.

For starters, she made pork tenderloin sliders. The meat was in an Asian-inspired marinade and actually looked very good. I might try that for Chinese New Year with some rice and snow peas. Well, she had a 1 1/2 pound tenderloin and each sandwich had one very small piece of meat on it.

Then she made sweet potato string fries and roasted beets to add to ketchup. Ugh. Beets are a PITA to begin with, so why go to all of that trouble to doctor up bottled ketchup. Oh, wait, she added some balsamic vinegar for that "Italian twist.)

Then she fried crimini mushrooms. She made some kind of mayo-based dipping sauce to go with them.

Finally, for dessert, she combined a chocolate stout with some raspberry flavored beer and raspberry liquor. When she started playing the guessing game about what was in the beer, My recording cut it off. I know that Todd loves raspberries and Giada is always very sweet and mindful about that, but... GAG.
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#7318

Mlle Poilane

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Posted Jan 27, 2013 @ 4:12 PM

For some reason, the combination of beer, raspberry beer and raspberry liqueur is really distasteful to me. There is, though, a combination of raspberry and beer in Berlin, called Berlinerbier, that is loved by the locals and fascinates the tourists. I'm not a beer drinker and don't care for the taste of it, but I rather liked the Berlinerbier. It doesn't include raspberry liqueur, and if I were making it, I'd leave it out. I feel a little bit sorry for Todd because Giada loves being inventive (sometimes to my distress!), and sometimes I think he must long for a plain old burger like his mom made! :)
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#7319

Paxton

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Posted Jan 27, 2013 @ 8:30 PM

I don't care for Giada but I did happen to catch her show yesterday and thought the pork looked good. I generally love a pork and coleslaw combination but I probably would do it open face to minimize the bread (or just skip the bread altogether). It kind of bugged me when she was frying the mushrooms that she used the same skimmer to stir the frying mushrooms that she had used to take them out of the batter, so the batter on the tool was cooking. I would have used two different tools but I guess it wasn't a federal offense or anything. It just seemed odd when she's normally so prissy about everything.
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#7320

iguessnot

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Posted Jan 27, 2013 @ 10:42 PM

I actually caught most of Saturday's episode. At the end I was confused because I had sworn she said it was supposed to be some kind of dude function, yet she came up with this rather girlie menu and played chaperon to all the dudes sitting around the cocktail table having to answer 20 questions about ingredients.
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