TODAY | November 10, 2009
>>> this morning, we're cooking with one of our favorite chefs, "cooking with giada ," italian chef and "today" contributor. food fanatics attended the cooking show in washington, d.c., so we asked giada to go through the hundreds of items and pick holiday gifts for the season. hello, giada . was it hard to pick among --
>> well, i picked nick among them all.
>> first of all, let's identify this child, because we have a helper, an elf helping you. his name is nicholas.
>> and he is our producer jenny thompson 's cute, cute, cute little son. so, are you ready to help us out?
>> all right.
>> we're off and running. don't worry, jenny, we've got him.
>> this is a fun project. it's a ginger bread house and we loved it, because first of all, it's got a nice cardboard frame, so you don't have to worry about the house falling into itself and falling apart. the idea is, they give you the mix and the icing and all you add is egg and water, like any premade box you buy. and you roll the dough -- nick, you can continue decorating.
>> nick's just posing. he's very busy --
>> he's thinking about his grandparents, his mom, dad, sister, everybody in his family.
>> you want to help us?
>> you want to decorate, honey? put the icing on the candy, or you can just eat the candy. anyway, you roll it onto the cardboard and bake it. then when it cools, you can decorate it first like nick's doing. then you hook it in like this.
>> okay. that's adorable and easy.
>> right? you can put it all together and kind of decorate the sides. like you can put --
>> the candy cane on the side.
>> and it holds it all together. it's a really fun project. it's for a family that's a little crafty. it could take time, but it's fun if it's a snowy day or what have you.
>> nick, keep working and we'll check ba back with you. so, for southerners, there is a southern delight --
>> which you know about.
>> hello. talk to us about this cake.
>> okay. i didn't know about this. i was at the show with a friend of mine, susan lasalle, and she told me this was an absolute traditional salad --
>> he's calling mommy.
>> she's waving. you're doing great, nick.
>> this is a tradition in the south and i fell in love with it.
>> it's a carmel cake.
>> it's a carmel cake. and look how beautiful the layers are. you can taste some -- in fact, nick, you can have some carmel cake if you want.
>> anyway, this lady has been making this --
>> take the whole thing. yeah.
>> oh, yeah!
>> good one.
>> the other half is for you. so, the lady made it for one of her children's birthdays, they fell in love with it and now she has a business making them. this is really popular. she ships it everywhere. you can get the plate to go with it.
>> it melts in your mouth, by the way. what is going on? what are these hats for? i see three hats and two people that will be wearing them.
>> you buy these cute birthday hats. they're not made of paper, so you can hold onto them. in fact, nick loves the purple color.
>> nick, want to wear this one? i love nick. come on. look at nick. stop it.
>> you don't like it? i thought you liked the purple --
>> nick, this is your day. this is your day --
>> i want to take it off.
>> you want to take it off?
>> absolutely. take it off. if you don't want it, honey, you don't have to.
>> so, salt is a big deal --
>> cool food trends. obviously, salt is popular. this was our favorite.
>> it's okay, nick, we'll wear the hats. we'll wear the hats.
>> good job.
>> the idea behind this one is this lady who started it found out how many -- how good salt is for you, especially this kind of salt that isn't processed, so there's no additives for caking or anything that you usually find in table salt .
>> this is sea salt ?
>> this is sea salt . this is a lime sea salt for you to taste and a tropical sea salt . she's got lots of flavors.
>> we have 20 seconds. why do we have vodka around a young child is what i'm asking?
>> this is for a foodie that likes to make their own vanilla extract . so, you add vodka to eight madagascar vanilla beans, seal it for two to four months and you have vanilla extract .
>> the pasta you love, you can cook it in three minutes.
>> and crackers.
>> we've got a lot more coming up. test. test. test. test. test. test. test. test. test. test. test. test. test. test. test. test. test. test.