I would first like to start by saying that I have a huge girl crush on Giada De Laurentiis. I've seen her on "Behind the Bash" and watched her "Chefography," and she seems so fun and personable. Plus, she's drop-dead gorgeous and has a huge, beautiful smile. You can't help but love her as much as she loves the food she's cooking!
Anyway, I've never seen her cooking show, "Everyday Italian," but after watching some parts of "Chefography" where they show tapings of "Everyday Italian," and hearing more about what kind of food she makes, my interest was piqued.
Last week I got the book out of the SPL, and I've already made two recipes out of it. i haven't sat down and read it straight through, but I have flipped through it a couple of times. For the most part, everything is truly everyday — you don't need to clear two hours out of your evening to cook one of these meals, and she doesn't use weird ingredients you might not be able to get.
First, I made a dish that is basically tortellini in broth with cheese and basil (that is the entire ingredients list, I believe). So simple — but so good! I had it with some chicken piccata, which went well. The second is a pasta salad with asparagus, mozzarella and prosciutto, which has also proven to be delicious (even though I overcooked the pasta — apparently whatever brand I bought has reformulated their pasta to be "quick cooking" and they weren't lying).
These are the kind of recipes that really highlight good quality ingredients — you want the fresh basil, and a good bunch of asparagus, and some tortellini that aren't of the $1-a-bag-frozen variety. Personally, I like that — I'd rather stick with just a few things that are tasty on their own than have to combine a huge list of spices and ingredients. Given that, these are also the kinds of recipes that are really easy to make but I think would be very impressive when you serve them to other people. I love to cook, but I love it more when I can "whip something up" for somebody and totally floor them. (This is an especially useful skill when it comes to care and feeding of geeks. Not that I have a Master Plan or anything.)
Anyway, I might have to pick this up some time for keeps. If you enjoy Italian food I certainly recommend at least taking a look through it for inspiration.