Last night, at Posh Boutique in Morristown, I had the pleasure of meeting Teresa Giudice. And when I say a pleasure, it was indeed a pleasure. Despite of what some tabloids might say about her personality (which I never take their word for anything anyway) Teresa is the sweetest, most approachable, cutest, petite lady. Yes! super slim and she just recently gave birth to her fourth girl. How did she do it and so fast? Good Italian genes or smart eating? Judging from her fabulous book that I haven't been able to put down ever since I got it, the secret might be strong family bonds and sharing a table where love and happiness are the main ingredients.
I read once a book tittled "French Women don't get Fat -The Secret of Eating for Pleasure" by Mireille Guiliano. When I first came upon it at the book store, while browsing in the Health & Fitness section, I thought to myself: "ha, that's pretty odd considering France being famous for its pastries!" Sweet is one of my weaknesses- especially chocolate. Who doesn't love pain au chocolat, or better known here as chocolate croissant? And the oh so delicious éclair, palmier (a big puff pastry sugar-covered cookie) Yum!
I thought maybe, just maybe I could stay away from these sugary temptations if I learned how French women stay slim. But I realized way too quickly, that women in France are on a deprivation diet. I'm sorry but those tiny little plates are not cutting it for me.
I am Latin, and just like Italians, we find any excuse to gather and celebrate with food. It's our way of showing love.
My kitchen is filled with Italian Recipe Books. I do have an obsession with the Food Network, I must admit. Miss Paula Dean and all her buttery dishes, my favorite Giada De Laurentiis- her lovely Italian accent and her seductive way of cooking...oh my! Chef Mario Batali and of course the lovely Rachel Ray. My mouth waters just to think about all these delicious recipes from this amazing masters of the culinary arts. But when I think of these dishes, one thing comes to mind besides "heaven in my mouth" is "fatness in my buns!" I can't stop laughing, but it's so true...everyone knows Italian food is the true soul food. And no matter your native tongue...the word "Mangia" is understood in every language. Linguini, fettuccine, zucchini...and everything that ends in "ini" yes is what anyone in the United States say is speaking "Italian".
What I think makes Teresa's book "Skinny Italian" genius is the contradiction of a stereotype. See! Not only French women could be slim. But Teresa shows in her book that you don't need to starve to stay fit and still enjoy great Italian recipes.
I am enjoying how colorful are the images on the book, as rich as the colors in the recipes' ingredients. Roasted peppers, fresh basil, tomatoes, oregano, garlic, onions.....all fresh ingredients. Reading the book is an invitation to her home, it really feels that way. Teresa welcomes us to the intimacy of her kitchen, the heart of a home. She shares stories of her family, her love for her husband and beautiful daughters, her beauty secrets - I mean everything you could possibly talk at a dinner table and more! Because after all, it wouldn't be Teresa if she doesn't bring the flare to the table. And I mean it in a very positive way -I think the Puertorrican would've come out of me too if I was provoked and felt so passionate about what's true and fair. So flipping a table, darling, just shows our passion! Nevertheless, Teresa is a very classy, loving, down to earth, fabulous woman that I'm sure mamma Antonia must be very proud of.
I'm glad she came out with this book because it is a proven fact that you could still look hot with an apron on (fabulous pumps), making dinner for your family, being a supportive mother, sexy wife and an inspiration to many housewives out there! Putting family first and still finding the time to live a fabulous life, or like she would say: "la bella vita"- or maybe I like the way her husband, Joe says it best: "happy wife, happy life!"
I can't wait to start making some of the dishes she shares in "Skinny Italian". I encourage you to buy this book and learn a bit more about why Teresa Giudice is a "Real Housewife"!
Viva la Mari