WHO: Teresa Giudice
WHAT: Signing of "Fabulicious! Fast & Fit" ($18.95)
WHEN: 7:30 tonight.
WHERE: Barnes & Noble Clifton, 395 Route 3 east, Clifton; 973-779-5500 or barnesandnoble.com
UPCOMING: 1 p.m. Saturday, Bookends, 211 E. Ridgewood Ave., Ridgewood; 201-445-0726 or book-ends.com
7 p.m. June 7, Books & Greetings, 271 Livingston St., Northvale; 201-784-2665 or booksandgreetings.com
If you happen upon Teresa Giudice's new cookbook "Fabulicious! Fast & Fit," you may wonder how this tome is different from her bestseller "Fabulicious! Teresa's Italian Family Cookbook," or the bestseller before that, "Skinny Italian."
How much more could this ubiquitous "Real Housewives of New Jersey" star have to say – and cook?
"This one includes 70 heart-healthy, delicious, Italian, authentic recipes," says Giudice, who'll do her first of three North Jersey book signings tonight at Barnes & Noble in Clifton. "And I've never talked about fitness before."
All the recipes, she says, require fewer than 10 ingredients (or "ingredientses," as she's been known to say on the Bravo show). And they take no more than 30 minutes to make, from "start to stove," as she says.
Another difference between this cookbook and the previous ones is that Giudice doesn't write about her "RHONJ" cast mates this time. In the first "Fabulicious!" she angered Caroline Manzo by calling her as Italian as the Olive Garden (the restaurant is a frequent Giudice target that she refers to in the new book simply as "O.G.").
"Yes, I mean, first of all, I've moved on. And I'm in a really good place right now," Giudice says about the lack of references to certain family members and friends.
As for that comment about Manzo, she says that when the two women took part in a meatball-making contest on Rachael Ray's show, producers told her and Manzo to good-naturedly "make fun" of each other, and even fed her the Olive Garden line.
"That's not something I would have said," Giudice says. "It was all in fun. … Never in a million years did I think she'd be offended by that."
Giudice, who lives in Montville, is clearly weary of talking about the "Housewives" feuds.
"I'm focusing on all the positives. There's a lot of good things going on," Giudice says.
For one, there's "The Celebrity Apprentice," on which Giudice made it to the final five and was one of eight fired players who were asked back to help finalists Arsenio Hall and Clay Aiken on their title-determining challenge. (A member of Team Arsenio, she appeared last Sunday and will appear in next Sunday's finale.) Recently, Giudice also launched a sparkling wine called Fabellini, which bears her image.
And then there's this cookbook (co-written with Heather Maclean), for which she is doing a media tour.
Some of the recipes were passed down from her mom, who had to modify her Italian cooking after Giudice's dad developed high cholesterol. Some recipes are ones Giudice improvised on her own – such as chicken with bruschetta topping, her favorite recipe in the book. She invented that recipe when she ran out of bread, and instead put the tomato topping on chicken, baked it and discovered "it was absolutely delicious," she says.
The book gives information on things like how to store herbs, what to look for in canned and fresh products and how to pronounce Italian words. Nutritional information for all the recipes can be found in the back of the book.
Giudice, a mother of four daughters, turns 40 this week and is going to a gym again.
"Your age catches up to you," she says, noting how good exercise is for the heart as well as the body.
In the book, she writes, she's "constantly at events next to big-name celebrities with tiny, tiny waists."
"I have to say, for me, a curvaceous body, I think, is more flattering," Giudice says. "Like the whole thing with J. Lo. That's the type of body I have. I'm pretty proud of it."