I'm not a chef. I haven't created any new technique in the kitchen. I'm not a rocket scientist. I think I'm good at writing accessible, fun, and affordable meals for the average American family. That's what I think I'm good at.
I've never been a huge sweets eater, and I've always loved a Mediterranean diet. We eat a lot of dark leafy greens, and a couple meals each week are meat-free. We enjoy eating a balanced diet.
I don't categorize food as bad or a guilty pleasure.
I used to work in kitchens, doing 12 or more hours a day of physical labor, so today, eight to 12 hours of cooking, chatting or filming feels like a vacation. When I have a scheduled 'day off,' I spend several hours writing, then I clean until I crash from fatigue. I don't relax well.
I'm an all-things-in-moderation kind of person. I do eat a warm donut occasionally. I especially enjoy a cider donut when I'm apple picking. I don't think there's anything wrong with that.
I had the lunchbox that cleared the cafeteria. I was very unpopular in the early grades. Because I hung out with my grandfather, I started to bring my lunchbox with sardine sandwiches and calamari that I would eat off my fingers like rings. I was also always reeking of garlic.
EVOO is extra-virgin olive oil. I first coined 'EVOO' on my cooking show because saying 'extra virgin olive oil' over and over was wordy, and I'm an impatient girl - that's why I make 30-minute meals!
I have learned how to breathe, to use my cords differently. I had been tilting my head in a way when I talked that wasn't good for my throat. I've been working on all of that, and it seems to be helping.
Good food and a warm kitchen are what makes a house a home. I always tried to make my home like my mother's, because Mom was magnificent at stretching a buck when it came to decorating and food. Like a true Italian, she valued beautification in every area of her life, and I try to do the same.
Never be a food snob. Learn from everyone you meet - the fish guy at your market, the lady at the local diner, farmers, cheese makers. Ask questions, try everything and eat up!
I live in, literally, the same home when I was swiping my first bank card and wondering if I'd have to put back the Charmin. We still don't have a dishwasher. My mom has done all these gardens so now my house looks like the garden shack in the middle of Versailles.
When you're out grocery shopping for your family, maybe you can put a can of cat or dog food in your cart and bring it to an animal relief center.
We created a line of pet food called Nutrish that's made to human standards, and 100 percent of the proceeds go to animal rescue. One of our top-tier donors is the ASPCA, and they help us challenge animal shelters all across the country to get more animals placed in homes.
When I do a 30-minute meal, for instance, on Food Network, that's my food you see at the end of the show and it's not perfect. And if sometimes things break or drop or the pasta hits the wall when I'm draining it, they never stop tape. They just kind of let me go with it.
I have this extraordinary life during the day, and then I get to come home to my sweet husband who loves to cook with me. I have a nice glass of wine, he has some scotch, we chat, we cook, and we hang out with the dog. I have an absolute dream life.
When men I have dated over the years whined about, 'Oh, you make no time for me' - see ya! I just dumped them. I don't need that pressure in my life.
The most essential part of my day is a proper dinner.
Yum-O! I say this if something is so good that 'yum' just isn't enough of an exclamation. The accent is on the 'O' as in, 'Oh! That is so good!'
If you want to look at the state of humans, you should look at the state of animals first. People are choosing whether or not they can feed an animal and their family. And every shelter coast-to-coast is stuffed.
I felt I'd earned the Good Housekeeping Seal when I designed an oval-shaped spaghetti pot, because spaghetti is long.