Recently I had an opportunity to attend a preview of Target’s new grocery products, which included Giada De Laurentiis for Target Kitchen. Giada De Laurentiis did two cooking demos for us, using her food and culinary products. I am such a Target fan , plus I worked in production at the food network from 94 to 99 (3 years before she joined the channel), so I was so curious to see if she was as warm as she was on TV.

Giada showed us how to make Linguine with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives and Lemon and Mini Caprese Burgers using the products she developed with Target.

I had a front row view and had a great time watching her cook and hear how she worked with Target. As she did her cooking demo, she chatted with us about kids and dealing with picky eaters (something that I deal with everyday with my oldest child). We found her to be warm and welcoming- plus the food she made was delicious.

Giada told us she prefers to strain her pasta by using a pasta scoop – not just draining a whole heavy pot into a strainer in the sink. She showed us the one she developed with Target called the Giada De Laurentiis for Target® Scoop and Strain Stainless Steel Colander ($14.99). We were given one to take home and it’s my new favorite kitchen tool. I don’t burn myself with the steam anymore by draining a whole pot of pasta — and since I make pasta for my children just about every day, it’s getting a lot of use. She also showed us her Panini Press and Mezzaluna Knife, as well as her Dutch Oven (which at $89.99 is pretty reasonable). As a mom who cooks every night, her tools (which were affordable and quality) are going to inspire me to create even more fun dishes for my family.

For dealing with picky eaters, Giada recommended making a few pasta shapes together to keep kids interested and to have my oldest child help me in the kitchen. We sampled her new specialty foods — note: you’ve GOT to check out her Charred Tomato Vinaigrette ($2.99) and her Pesto! New for 2011 is Bucatini, Galleti, Fuscilli Corti and Gobetti Pasta. The pasta has fun shapes and is organic. Prices range from $2.49 – $2.79.

I couldn’t possibly mention all the great Giada De Laurentiis for Target Products we saw, plus all the amazing Archer Farms and Target branded foods, but we love the selection and all the different specialty items we saw. One theme was rampant– they were affordable and still had quality ingredients. As Giada told us, “Only Target could have the resources to make her pasta sauce $2.99 and not skimp on good ingredients!”.

Thank you to Target who hosted Giada De Laurentiis’ Cooking Demo. We were given a samples of Target Grocery items to take home.

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