POSTED FEBRUARY 22, 2012  9:00 am

From Parenting:

What inspired you to write a third cookbook?  My fans. They wanted more of the classic Italian recipes, like linguine and clam sauce, and I’m reaching a milestone birthday—I’m not going to say what one—and it’s important to stay fit. So in this book I give my fans the classics they wanted with a healthy edge.  (Tree will be 40…)

What are the most important things to keep in mind while in the kitchen?  Cooking is not hard; the more you do it the better you get it. We use fresh ingredients, we jar our own eggplant, make our own sauce, even our own sausages! Oh, and always be sure to use real EVOO [extra virgin olive oil], there is no substitute.

When did you first start cooking?  When I first got married. I wanted to impress Joe, so I went out and bought all of these cookbooks. They would have a million ingredients, I’d spend all this time on it and I wouldn’t even like it! My husband was like, “Thanks, but you should stick to what you know—what your mom cooks, what my mom cooks… You don’t have to cook all this fancy stuff.”  (Juicy doesn’t like too many ingredientzeszzzesss!) 

Do your girls like helping you make dinner?  Every time I cook I try to get my daughters involved. Whatever Mommy loves to do, they love to do. Mommy loves putting on makeup, so they love putting on makeup.  Mommy loves to shop, so they love to shop. So, mommy loves to cook; they love to cook!

Mommy and Milania grocery shopping…

Do you make anything your kids won’t eat?  The kids, God bless them, are not picky eaters. They’ll eat anything. I think it’s because I started them on real food when they were around 4 months. They ate what we ate. I would just mash it up with a fork or blend it in a food processer.  (God bless them…)

Celebrity Apprentice is just about to air; how was that experience compared to your three seasons on the Real Housewives of New Jersey?  Housewives came along and I thought, oh, this is fun; I’ll do it for fun. I didn’t know it was going to be what it is and I’m grateful for that, but now it’s a job and that’s it. Celebrity Apprentice was a breath of fresh air; it’s what I am now. I’m a mom and a businessperson. I want to show my girls that Mommy is working hard so they grow up to be successful independent women.

What charity did you chose to represent?  I’m representing NephCure; I actually just did a PSA for them that will air soon. It supports a rare kidney disease, Nephrotic Syndrome, that doesn’t have a cure.  I want to raise as much awareness as I can for them.

Do you have a personal connection to NephCure?  I had met this little boy, Matthew, at a charity event. He was so sweet and later I found out he had this rare disease. When I met him he was 7 and my daughter is 7. He takes 15 pills everyday and his cholesterol is 365. Even if he could get a kidney transplant, 70 percent of the time the disease will attack the kidneys again. He’s become the son I never had.  (Interesting… changing up the charity story… now Tree met Matthew when he was 7!  Wonder if Juicy is OK with his new son???…. more about Tree’s connection to NephCure here.)

Juicy didn’t even like Tree’s brother JoeGorga!!!

Did you enjoy being on the show and participating in the challenges?  Everyone asks Was it fun?! Ha! I wouldn’t say it was fun, but it was very challenging—long hours, but now that I did it, I feel like I can do anything. Donald Trump is amazing.  He is a very smart man; if he wasn’t, he wouldn’t be where he is today. It was an amazing experience, and I’m glad I did it.  (Trump would not be where he is today without the $35 million inheritance he received… puh-leeze… ain’t got nuthin’ to do with his “smarts!”)

What’s up next for you? Fabulicios!: Fast and Fit  comes out in May; I have this new bottled cocktail called the Fabellini, an all-natural peach- or raspberry-flavored Bellini, coming out in Jersey liquor stores this month and hopefully will be national soon, and who knows maybe I’ll start making some Skinny Italian brand sauce!   (Note to Tree:  Check with Don Caro about selling that sauce… is her “Brownstone” sauce still available???)

(Thanks to SH reader “JZ”!!!)


AND… if you were wondering what ever happened to Tree and Juicy’s  house in the Catskills… HERE.

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  1. Sauce is still available. I’ve never tried it though but have seen it at the supermarket next to other Italian halls sauces. Naninas on the Park has the market covered with their marinara. It’s really good. I’m more apt to make my own sauce but if I’m going to buy a jar, I’d buy Rao’s or Hoboken Farms (both restaurants in NY/NJ)

    • I get my Rao’s sauce at the WalMart down the road here in South Carolina, if you can believe it. I don’t flip the dining room table when we eat it with a nice ziti or ravioli however. I will absolutely try the Fabellini–the peach puree from Cipriani is not at WalMart (yet!), and is outrageously expensive anyway to even purchase it online. I’d rather have a Bellini than a skinny girl margarita.

        • Hey CC, I am in Columbia! There are quite a few of us from the South Cackalackie on SH. After all, we do know stoopid when we see it, ha ha! I lived in New York City, England, Georgia (Nene’s hometown of Athens), but I really do love South Carolina, it is beautiful, and the living is easy. How bout yourself, are you in the midlands, low country, or upstate?

            • They need to do a Real Housewives of Charleston! Between the Camellia Debutante Ball, the Spoleto Festival, and all those magnificent homes along the Battery and beyond, they should have plenty of material. After all, the New York HW’s have Manhattan as their backdrop and they couldn’t seem to get decent storylines going. Charleston Receipts is one of my favorite cookbooks!

  2. Couldnt have Don Caro made a better label for the sauces? These labels are identical to the labels my local supermarket uses for their store brand generic items. That packaging is not appealing. Anyone know how the sauces are doing? Are they selling well?

    • At Foodtown there are TONS of jars and they ar 7.99 each!!!! They also ran out of Blk water I guess they arent selling it there anymore.

  3. Does anyone remember Jac or Caro one said a while back that they had some things in the works and that Teresa was going ahead and marketing the same items they were working on which really ticked them off? I wonder if the sauce is what they were speaking of.

    • I suspect they were referring to a few items – cookbooks, drinks, t-shirts, other reality show opportunities. None of these things are unique or previously unreleased products tho. Don and Co. didn’t invent these things. The way they’ve gone on about it, you’d swear Don developed a pill to cure cancer in her basement and Tree snuck in to her house and stole it while she slept. I’ve never seen any evidence yet that Teresa ” stole” any of these things from them tho, as you mentioned they’ve openly claimed. More likely, they are just not as marketable as she is and that really, really p*sses them off.

  4. Andy the wash-woman asked Betheny-(who I find unbearable) what she thinks of Tree’s new beverage and Betheny made a snarky comment about “imitation being ineffective flattery, blah, blah.” I give Tree credit for getting published and marketing herself but she did coat tail on the formula Betheny started. The “skinny” cook books and bottled chick-liquor are blatant knock-offs. Brazen

    • I gotta hand it to Tree. She completely stole Bethenny’s schtick, threw an Italian spin on it, and claimed it as her own. But now that she just keeps pumping out the cookbooks and drinks and other crap, she’s flooded the market and made me forget that Bethenny was there first. Shouldn’t be long until Bethenny starts up her snark machine to steal back the “skinny drinks” and “skinny cookbooks” from fake Housewives market.

      • The difference between Bethenny and Theresa is that Bethenny has money… and, lots of it. Another big difference is that Bethenny is smart… enuf said. Angry posted the trademark timelines – proof is in the pudding. Theresa met with Bethenny a long time ago, and B gave her advice on how to get started. Theresa is so wrapped up in her own head, she’ll never give accolades to B for helping her out. Even if T was served with a copyright infringement lawsuit, she’d probably react by saying, “yeah, but…” She should be grateful that B decided not to pursue legal action, and B didn’t probably didn’t because it wasn’t worth her time, effort or money.

        • I take it you’ve never heard of “Skinny B*tch”, a diet book from 2005. Really, Beth stole it first. I like BF and TG, but “Skinny” was marketed long before her.

          • No, I haven’t. Interesting. Thanks for the info. I still have to hand it to Bethenny though because she set the precedent (which is now a requirement) for the Bravo HWs.

        • Is this a joke? People have been making low calorie diet shit for decades because women are so obsessed with weight. Low calorie ice cream bars, diet sodas, sugar-free candy, etc. Bethenny has no patent on low calorie foods or sweets. Teresa can make cookbooks for people who watch their weight if she wants to. Anyone can. Unbelievable. Guess Bethenny should go after skinny cow. They clearly stole their name and gimmick from her -___-

          • No one said that she has a patent on diet foods. My point is that B did help T out when she was starting out and gave her advice. Since, there isn’t much neuron action in T’s brain, maybe, T took it literally. Skinny Girl Margarita… hmm…I’m Italian and sorta skinny…. Bethenny cooks… T has her Aha! moment. Pay attention Paaleeeez… :-)

          • In the diet/cooking publishing arena of bestsellers…….titles with the word “skinny” is most definitely a contemporary trend. I’m not a big drinker (yeah, right) but bottled, pre-mixed cocktails marketed towards dieters is fairly recent.

  5. No, actually Teresa had skinny Italian books named before Bethenney came out with her drink. Now, she may have named her drink (personally) before trademarking it but Teresa didn’t swipe that one.

    • Bethenny trademarked Skinnygirl for use on alcoholic drinks on Nov. 25, 2008 and published “The Skinnygirl Dish” on Dec. 29, 2009. Bethenny annoyingly promoted the Skinnygirl brand on RHoNY almost since the beginning.

      Tree published “Skinny Italian” on May 4, 2010.

    • Might as well credit Rory Freedman for starting the “Skinny Bitch” diet book empire (2005) which every single woman (+ half the men) in my office were hooked on.

      • Caro should come out with a brand called “Fat biatch.” By the way, I knew she really was Olive Garden when she posted her recipe for Pasta Y Fagiole on her blog. She throws in a can of navy beans. What, she can’t soak and boil some beans? Some friggin Italian she is. A can of beans, indeed. For shame. Go scratch. Go shave. Go give advice to the wind in your backyard.

        • LOL totaly agree with your post. ManzHo is not a true italian. Any self respecting italian would never use a can of beans. We lovingly sit for hours peeling boxes of fresh beans. My theory she can speak or understand Italian so she ought to STFU about being italian!!

  6. I actually like Teresa. I think she gets a really bad rap because she speaks her mind & of course sometimes says things that are outta line (like all of us).
    Skinny Italian is a great cookbook but I do have to mention that any Italian like myself (& my Mom was born there) has these recipes. Also as much as I love EVOO for years my family used regular OO that comes in the big tin jug or from my cousin’s orchard cold pressed. People have said my Mom can make bread & water taste good so I’m not concurring with Tree on all her recipes. I think the EVOO people give her a kickback like they do Rachel Ray & so thats why now she is all about that.
    Manzo’s marinara is disgusting from what I hear from my sister Louise who lives in Norwood NJ & bought some last year. She said its too salty & taste “jarred”. If Tree does it hopefully it will be better. I like Tree’s meatball recipe, easy to make & really yummy. My Mom makes great ones too but hers are a lot of work & time I don’t have unless it is Sunday.

    • No, the reason she got a “bad rap” is because of her psychotic, uncontrollably feral behavior, e.g., A: the table flipping and screeching in a public restaurant, and B: her purposeful initiation with Danielle after the fashion show, and chasing her throughout the establishment and into the parking lot.

    • Savonna,
      I bought 2 jars (when it was on special) at Shoprite of Oakland NJ. They have copious amounts on display (I assume because it is close to the Frankin Lakes border). It really was not good, sort of on the level of Ragu. I used the second jar when my 5 year old twins wanted to make their own pizzas (I wanted to get rid of it) Victoria Sauce is 1,000 times better if you have no time to make your own. I’m not hating here, just being honest. I’ve eaten at their catering hall, and the food has been good.

  7. & Good for her too for even doing the Celeb Apprentice for any charity at all. Sure it promotes her & her stuff but hey she could sit home on her skinny Italian ass & do nothing. So Brava toTeresa!

  8. Corrados SUCKS! I went there twice and could never find decent quality meats, cheeses, etc… Sub-par! I used to live on LI and then moved to NJ (to be with hubby) and never found a good Italian pork store. Ever.

    Tree definitely stole the “Skinny” idea from Bethenny. Bethenny began talking about it LONG before Tree penned any books. Bethenny has a wonderful, informative website about nutrition and she really knows what she’s talking about. I flipped thru Tree’s books (I’d never pay for them!!), and the recipes don’t sound authentic to this Sicilian. Sorry. Mellissa looks like the real deal, as far as cooking goes——–her food at Christmas looked like authentic, Italian dishes, and you can see her cooking in the kitchen, very naturally. Some things you can’t lie about.

    • Bethenny has a “wonderful and informative website about nutrition”? The woman clearly has an eating disorder and says ludicrous things like “Taste everything, eat nothing.” She doesn’t have a solid background in nutrition at all, and it is evidently clear to anyone well-versed in nutrition who reads her books.

      • As a former diet/weight counselor, I had to take nutrition classes. Granted, I’m not a nutritionist, but I am well versed about nutrition, and B’s site had HEALTHY, positive things on it. There was nothing on it about weightloss.

        • From everything I have seen, B’s idea of nutrition is all about being obsessed with calories, fat grams, and “detoxing”. It seems like she just read some issues of Women’s Health and decided to call herself a “nutritionist”. She has zero credibility in the nutrition world.

    • The former Lookers employee is such a great cook. She even knows how to burn paste so that it sticks to the bottom of the pan.
      The former Lookers employee didn’t cook Christmas dinner. Her sisters, mother and cousins do all the cooking in the family

    • The thing about Melissa’s Christmas spread? She admitted that her sisters and Mom were the cooks, not her. I guess the fur apron made her appear to be a great cook. Lol

      • My bet is MeHo had someone else prepare her Christmas dinner. Yeah her mum and sisters would have helped but im sure she had the rest catered for and took credit for it.

  9. Not one product by any housewife is original. None. I find it humorous that ANY housewife would be snarky or catty about another housewife. Is Teresa’s makeup line copying Bethany’s facial wash at Walmart?
    Because of this, Im mystified Jac & Caro cry & whine that Teresa “stole” their ideas. Didn’t Caro shop around a cookbook and no publishers were interested?
    It appears to me, a consumer, it’s more about the housewife with the motivation, drive and work ethic that has any semblance of a successful product on the market. As consumers, some might prefer Kathy’s Red Velvet, others Ramona’s wine, others Bethany’s and so on…I’ve no tolerance for the crying that “their” ideas were stolen or Bethany’s condescending attitude toward a “copycat” housewife. Take pride in your accomplishments, thank God anyone buys it and be happy for others!

  10. Just a couple of things I’d like to say:
    1. I don’t like T like I used to, but I’ll pick her over Bethenny the Biatch a.k.a. Jim Carrey mask face any day.
    2. Teresa and her husband should pay back that guy and the other people they both screwed over, then worry about making a “sauce”.
    3. Bethenny didn’t create skinny. She created Gaunt Face.
    4. At least Teresa didn’t step on people to get where she is. Well she kind of did, but at least she doesn’t trash her in laws and have meltdowns every 5 seconds.

    • What in the world does someone’s physical appearance have to do with someone’s ability at biz? I just don’t get it. Bethenny came from nothing. After all, she didn’t even have a place to call home and lived with Jill. She parlayed an idea (cloned or not) into millions and, for that, I have enormous respect for her. We’re all nutz and have our issues, but it has nothing to do with B’s success as a business women. Martha Stewart is one of the most hated women in the biz (and, a wackadoo, to boot). Doesn’t mean that she isn’t a genious at business and could, most probably, be the best marketer of the decade. Despite her personal issues, I have enormous respect for Bethenny so it’s hard for me to say anything derogatory about her.

      • Physical appearance isn’t important. I was joking. You know..hahaha? Yeah, she’s a good business woman, but she tore a lot of people down and lied her way to get to the top. She is no Steve Jobs in my eyes. BTW, look up Bethenny’s dad. She did come from something.

      • Vegas: BFrankel came from nothing? Yeah, BFrankel wants you to believe that crock. Feel really bad for BFrankel… her parents sent her on bad ski vacations and gave her a really crappy Sweet 16 party. Yeah… she came from nothing! We are not BFrankel fans here at SH… she’s fulla crap. Do a search on SH and you’ll find the info… TFC!! SH

      • Ok Vegas, when a TV personality markets themself as a “brand” ie skinny Betheny = skinnygirl–food, beverages, detox, beauty products… then their appearance will be viewed by consumers as part of the package, or at least discussed. An obese Betheny could not publically promote skinnygirl anything. Her weight and appearance have everything to do with what she sells.
        *my personal favorite reason for disrespecting Betheny is having viewed her in a bathroom, pants down, squatting over a commode, urinating on national television. But hey, she’s made millions of dollars in ‘biz’- so what if she’s a vulgar pig right?

  11. Audriana is so cute & chubby! =) Her face is just too adorable! Such a beautiful baby… Milania reminds me of a roller coaster because she’s always moving all over the place. She never stays still, but that’s why she stands out. She’s the one everyone notices! I love watching her, and all the little crazy things she says…

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