Monday, December 13, 2010

The Last Supper...

So here we are! 365 days and just over 100 recipes. The Julie/Giada Project has come to an end.

Last night I made "Beef" and Cheese Manicotti and Chocolate Amoretti Cake for Jared and me. I used my trusty Morningstar Farms Veggie Crumbles in place of the beef but the dish was just as meaty and warm and comforting. During our meal, we talked about this year - the meals, the move, the memories.

When I started this project, I was almost 400 miles away from my boyfriend and 200 miles away from my family and a million miles away from what anyone would call a good cook. I feel like I got to know Giada De Laurentiis pretty well and at the same time, got to know myself.

Apart from cooking, Giada has taught me to be brave. I remember a more timid me in my small Connecticut kitchen in January, nervous to even attempt infused olive oils. I cautiously made casseroles, I nervously boiled noodles and before I knew it, I was accepting a new job and moving my growing stock of kitchen supplies (and the rest of my belongings) to Virginia.

I had found a signature dish (Orecchiette with Spicy Sausage and Broccoli Rabe), I made Easter Dinner for my Richmond Family, I recreated meals during the week with no effort at all and prepared Thanksgiving like a pro.

Maybe I'm not queen of the boardroom yet (yes, I'm still reluctantly living in a cubicle from nine to five each day!) but I rule my kitchen and I have Giada to thank for that.

For anyone that has been reading be it relatives or strangers (I'm sure there's more of the former than the latter) - thank you. Thank you to Shane and Jamie for being such good friends listening to me bitch about Polenta. Thank you for anyone who's clicked on my blog making it the number one Google search when googling "Julie Giada" or "Julie Everyday Italian." And to Jared- you are the olive oil to my crostini, the breath to my life and I love you.

And finally... Ms. Giada De Laurentiis, if you ever happen to stumble upon my little blog please know that I've spent one crazy carb-filled year with you. I've laughed, I've cried, I've learned to cook and most importantly, I've learned the importance of taking chances in the kitchen and in life. Grazie Giada, grazie!

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