Wouldn’t Mr. S be happy? When I made the announcement that Giada de Laurentiis had arrived at the mansion, the boys ran into the kitchen…to find FOOD, and ME! With a smile on my face, a twinkle in my eye and a toss of the head – I became Giada as I opened bottles of olive tapenade, sun dried tomatoes, dressings, and more…poured my self a cup of her fabulous coffee and got to cooking.
The disappointed look in their eyes was quicky replaced with “Hey, this stuff is good, where’d you learn to cook like this?” … and that’s what Giada does. Oh yes, I’ve tried before, watching her cooking shows, attempting to recreate fabulous dinners, but now I have a secret that helps me fake it, rather than make it. Giada de Laurentiis for Target helped me to create a pasta dinner extraordinaire, put tapas out on the table for the holidays, and even gave me the courage to whip up a little something of my own.
No one’s the wiser, having used her Marinara Sauce with Artichokes over Giada’s hearty semolina based pasta. Just remember to bury the jar DEEP under all of the other bottles in the recycling bin before they walk in to the kitchen. In all seriousness, I actually have moments that I enjoy cooking and using her kitchen gear – like the set of mixing bowls that come in 3 useful sizes, and the heavy ceramic cookware that feels like it came from that store in the mall.
Which leads me to the price, because I’m always in the mall – so I figured that I’d do a little price comparison at one of my favorite cookware stores (the one with two names hyphenated). The fabulous ceramic baking dish from the Giada de Laurentiis line is priced at under $20 – the equivalent at the mall store was $150 (on SALE from $200).
It’s may be just the two (and now three) of us at the mansion, but I love relaxing with tapas and some fino or other finger foods and wine at the end of the day. It makes me feel like I really do live in luxury (even IF the laundry is piling up behind closed doors). I’ve discovered that Giada’s grocery line offers me products that I’d otherwise have to go to a gourmet shop for, and can enjoy every day…like a jar of tapenade for UNDER $3!!! While I love it slathered straight on to some crostini or crackers, here’s a recipe straight from Ms. de Laurentiis herself that’s easy (and impressive)
Tomato Basil Tartlets
Recipe Courtesy of Giada De Laurentiis
- 1 (10-by-9-inch) sheet frozen puff pastry, thawed
- 1/3 cup Giada De Laurentiis for Target Black Olive Tapenade
- 1 cup (2 1/2 ounces) shredded fontina cheese
- 8 cherry tomatoes, quartered
- 6 basil leaves, chopped
- Fleur de Sel or other large flake sea salt
*Special equipment: a 2 1/4-inch round cookie cutter
- Place an oven rack in the center of the oven. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Place the pastry on a lightly floured work surface. Using the tines of a fork, prick the pastry all over. Using a 2 1/4-inch round cookie cutter, cut out 16 rounds of pastry. Place the pastry rounds on the prepared baking sheet. Lay a piece of parchment paper on top of the pastry rounds. Place another baking sheet directly on top of the parchment paper to keep the pastry even while baking. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until golden. Remove the top baking sheet and the top piece of parchment paper.
- Spread 1 teaspoon of tapenade on each pastry round. Place about 1 tablespoon of cheese on top. Arrange 2 pieces of tomato on the cheese. Bake for 5 to 7 minutes until the cheese has melted. Sprinkle the chopped basil on top.
- Transfer the tartlets to a platter and garnish with a pinch of Fleur de Sel.
Yield: 4 to 6 servings
Prep Time: 16 minutes
Cook Time: 15 to 19 minutes
If you’re like me, you’re always running to Target for something. I’ll be heading in prior to our New Year’s celebration at the mansion stocking up on more Black Olive Tapenade, some Marinated Mushrooms, her delish Pepper and Eggplant Tomato Spread and more.
I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Giada De Laurentiis for Target and received product samples to facilitate my review.