Sunday, March 4, 2012

Nadia G's Bitchin' Kitchen: Cookin' for Trouble by Nadia Giosia

Nadia G's Bitchin' Kitchen: Cookin' for Trouble is a cookbook featuring seventy-five recipes from Nadia Giosia, the star of Bitchin' Kitchen on Food Network Canada. Besides the recipes, there's also tons of "Nadvice" as well as snippets from the other Bitchin' crew members: The Spice Agent, Panos and Hans.

This is such a fun cookbook. The recipes are unique and beautifully presented. The photography is outstanding. The organization of the book is a little different from other cookbooks in that the recipes are grouped by outrageous themes (Student Shkoff-Fest, Bitchin' Booty Camp Xtreme, etc.) rather than conventional ones. If you are at all familiar with Nadia, this won't be unexpected.

Each chapter starts with an introduction and a photo of Nadia in some outrageous outfit. No doubt about it, she's hot. Each recipe has an ingredient list ("grocery list") and equipment ("gear") to complete the dish. It's also written in Nadia-speak, as in "Shkiaffing it together". Don't worry if you that word is foreign to you, the book also includes an Italian slang dictionary that should help decipher some of the terms used.

The last chapter of recipes is a community chapter featuring recipes from fans selected in a nationwide contest. I like this community involvement angle. I wouldn't buy the cookbook just because of it (unless it contained my recipe, of course), but I think it's interesting.

Both the index and table of contents look good and should be helpful in finding recipes.

Both my husband and I watch the Bitchin' Kitchen on Food Network Canada and enjoy it. I love that I recognize a few of the recipes from that show.

I do have a few complaints about the book. My one major complaint is the lack of page numbers on every page. I like using the index and it's considerably less helpful if it's hard to find the page it lists. That's not cool.

My second complaint is about one of the recipes. I was planning on making "Chana Dhansak" on pages 31-33 for the purposes of this review. As it so happens, the episode (Veg Head Extravaganza) featuring this recipe was on not too long ago and I decided to watch it to get some additional tips. However, the episode left me confused. For the dhansak spice blend, the recipe in the book calls for 1/2 teaspoon of 7 different seeds and spices (plus varying amounts of other ones). However, on the TV show, Nadia used 1 tablespoon of those 7 seeds and spices. That's a *huge* difference. I also noticed some slight variations in the procedure as well, but that's not as concerning as the ingredient amounts. [By the way, the recipe on the Food Network site, matches the cookbook.] Anyway, I decided against making the recipe for the time being because of this. I know I shouldn't fault the cookbook because of the show, but I find it all a bit troubling.

I also had some concerns with the "Back-of-the-Fridge Bachelorfest" chapter. This chapter is supposed to "conquer the challenge of the bachelor fridge! The good news is that some of the tastiest dishes in the world are peasant dishes, so you don't need fancy-pants ingredients to make a good meal." Sounds great, right? However, these recipes include ingredients like a vanilla bean, Crana Padano cheese, Scamorza cheese, and 7-year-old aged balsamic vinegar. Really? In a bachelor fridge? I cook all the time and I don't even have these ingredients...haven't even heard of the cheeses.

Despite my complaints above, I plan to make some of the recipes at some point. I'd still recommend this cookbook for fans of the show and for those looking for an unusual and fun cookbook.

For more information about this book, please visit the Random House website.

According to the book, there are two websites for Nadia G. and Bitchin' Kitchen. However, I couldn't access either of them when I was writing this review. The first one was active at one time and contained some great stuff, but I don't know about the second one. Anyway, I'll list them here in case they come back online at some point. They are: and

I'd like to thank those nice people at Random House for this review copy.

Bitchin' Kitchen Cookin' for Trouble by Nadia Giosia, Ballantine Books (Random House), ©2011. ISBN 9780345531827(Trade Paperback), 208p.

1 comment:

  1. I've seen this show on tv, but never taken the time to actually watch a complete episode. While I'm trying to shed some pounds, cooking shows are a no-no. :)

    I agree with you completely about the "plain" ingredients. There are frequently ingredients that I not only haven't heard of, but can't get in the area where I live. Very frustrating. I wrote to Rachael Ray about it once - asking if she could give more substitutes in her recipes for those of us who can't buy things like lemongrass in our little store's produce department - never heard back. :)

    Thanks for the review. I may try to catch the show a few times before I buy the book.

    Also - could you please email me your mailing address again. I have a stack of packages to get to the post office - and one of them is your flower seeds. I'm sure I have the original email somewhere, but I'm too lazy to dig for it. I promise (seriously) that I'll get them in the mail so you can get them in the ground soon.


Thanks so much for your comment. I really appreciate it. Unfortunately, I've been getting lots of spam comments, so I'm turning on word verification to help keep spammers away. I know it's a pain; I don't like it either. Hopefully, in time I'll be able to turn it off again. Thank you!