italian

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Love Cats – Second Printing Now Available!

Published June 4, 2020 by Maryanne
Love Cats 2020
“Love Cats” by Krystianna Mercury
With all the tragedy happening, I was hesitant as to when to write about the second printing of my book “Love Cats.” (Krystianna Mercury is the first time I’m using a pen name. You can purchase directly from Pink Flamingo: Love Cats).
I’ve decided that making my announcement today, National Old Maids Day would be appropriate, because it’s a day to support single and childless women.
In “Love Cats” (Love Cats) I address the “old maid” issue via my character Janey.
 
Janey starts out as a smart character who wants a guy with substance. Though when she meets one, her insecurities get the best of her and she subconsciously does everything she could to kill the relationship. Though the difference between me and her is that while creative success is what drove me, Janey doesn’t need any kind of success as she’s already a wealthy trust fund and she’s simply driven by her own selfishness.
 
Whatever motivates us to stay single (work, fear, waiting for the right one, etc.) I think it’s super cool that in these modern times women are viewed as so much more and we no longer have to live in “shame” because we aren’t hooked up.
 
I tell everyone who asks my advice, to wait. Wait until you meet that one of a kind soul mate who rocks your world. There is no need to settle. Nor was there a need to settle 30 years ago either, we just took more shit from people for not settling. I’ve avoided certain relatives for years because they were more interested in who I was dating and how serious it was. Not my career, not my interests, not my dreams or desires. Just who I was dating and if marriage was in the cards.
 
I dreaded those horrible questions, yet stuck to my guns and never settled.
 
Mind you, when I say “never settled” while I did date a ton of jerks, I also dated some really cool guys — just not right for ME. I am still friends with some of these guys and my husband likes them too. We are so blessed that we have such an honest relationship with each other. And his ex-girlfriend’s brother is my favorite of all his friends! And that’s another cool blog for a later date, how trust is the most beautiful thing in a relationship.
 
But back to Janey …
 
In “Love Cats” Janey’s live-in maid, Lucia refers to her as an “old lady” for not having a ring on her finger — and she’s not even 25 yet! But that’s how it was in the 1980s. So much pressure for a young girl trying to find herself. Too much noise from the peanut gallery. Urgh!
 
It’s so cool that it’s acceptable today for women to live at home longer, concentrate on their careers, and not even marry at all if they don’t want to. Even though I’m married, I can sigh with relief that there is no pressure on me to bear children and raise a family. My husband and I are perfectly fine with our little love cat, Derick. Life is so good when you don’t have the rest of the world throwing their desires in YOUR face. We’re so blessed to exist in a live and let live time. Let’s keep it that way!
 
We’ve come a long way baby!
 
THANK GOD!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta can be reached at: maryannechristiano@gmail.com.

She is available for blogging, ghost writing, writing. She is also available for book signings and motivational speaking engagements. In addition to Love Cats, she is the author of the following books :

“Be (Extra)Ordinary: 10 Ways to Become Your Own Hero” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback or Kindle version, visit: https://www.amazon.com/Be-Extra-Ordinary-Ways-Become/dp/1733546227

“I Don’t Want to Be Like You” is available on Amazon. To get your paperback, Kindle or audio copy, go here: https://www.amazon.com/Dont-Want-Be-Like-You/dp/1726273261

Mentions in “Model Mayhem” and “The Italy Daily”

Published April 3, 2015 by Maryanne

Maryanne by Steven RedfernMaryanne Christiano-Mistretta (photo by Steven Redfearn)

It’s always cool to log on the computer first thing in the morning and see that others are digging what you’re doing.

First, I was thrilled to go on my Twitter page and see that The Italy Daily (http://paper.li/GoodBlogPosts46/1318252792?edition_id=8ddff650-d99f-11e4-b0cf-002590a5ba2d) shared, in their Arts & Entertainment section, my WordPress blog about my lecture “Italian American Food Family & Community” at the Carlstadt Library, Carlstadt New Jersey: https://maryannemistretta.wordpress.com/2015/04/02/italian-american-food-family-and-community-at-carlstadt-public-library/

I immediately signed up for updates! Oh, the food on this page is to die for!

Next, I was equally as excited to see that my picture on Model Mayhem was put in the “Killer Mature Models” section: http://www.modelmayhem.com/list/3457

I dabbled in glamor modeling since my 20s. Glamor modeling means you don’t have to be super tall or super skinny. In my 20s to early 40s I modeled swimwear and lingerie — also ice skating outfits and a guitar ad.

SAM_2786Me, in an ad for Guitar Giveaway at Long & McQuade Music, circa 1992

Now at 51, I decided to put my profile up on Model Mayhem and see what kind of results I’d get. This was two days ago and I’m getting some great response already! I am so honored to be a part of Model Mayhem! My goal is to illustrate to all women that life just keeps getting better! We have no expiration dates on us (as you can see, checking out the other lovely Killer Mature Models on that link!) And to work with some awesome photographs, continuing to make great pictorial art!

So my shout outs for today are to the Italian Community and all ladies over 40! Stay busy and happy!

SAM_6498My favorite picture at 51 so far, taken in December!

“Italian American Food, Family and Community” at Carlstadt Public Library

Published April 2, 2015 by Maryanne

Carlstadt LibraryCarlstadt Public Library

Last night I presented my lecture: “Italian American Food, Family and Community” at the Carlstadt Public Library and I had a blast! Website: http://carlstadt.bccls.org/

About 40 people showed up — and one was artist Andrea Mistretta: http://www.mardigrasgraphics.com/

I was thrilled when she gave me two of her prints! I never met her before and it was an awesome surprise.

This presentation was poignant as I had a few other firsts. Another lady said I moved her to tears, reminding her of things she hadn’t thought about in a long time. Then a male patron called his friend on the phone and said, “Come see this!” And she showed up!

Rebecca, the adult program coordinator, was a perfect host! And I’ll probably be back next year! I drove home, almost in tears because I was so happy. What a great group and what a great library!

Here is the synopsis for my program:

Italian American Food, Family and Community

Between 1820 and 2004, about 5.5 million Italians immigrated to the United States. Italian women who arrived during the massive immigration period had to quickly adapt to new and unfamiliar social and economic conditions. Learn how, during that time frame, Italian women placed highest priority on family, remaining strong while adapting to new circumstances and used their home-based economic skills in order to avoid factory work.

Also discover how in the second half of the 20th century Italian American women excelled in practically all fields such as politics, television, health and more. And how today, even though many Italian Americans have inter-married within other ethnic groups, they kept a sense of their culture including Italian food, drink, art, and above all, family commitment – all of which has made its way into American culture.

For more information on other lectures I have available for libraries, rotary clubs, senior clubs — and yes, Italian clubs, please visit: www.peartreeenterprises.com

An Italian Girl Lectures on St. Patrick at a Jewish Community Center

Published March 17, 2015 by Maryanne

SAM_3745At one of my “Luck of the Irish” presentations, March 2014

For almost two years, I’ve been a public speaker at assisted living facilities and libraries. I’ve also included Jewish Community Centers to my roster.

Yesterday I spoke at the Jewish Community Center in West Orange and received a ton of compliments. It was just the kind of magic that transpires when you have a true connection between speaker and audience. It’s still cold in New Jersey, so I wore a snowflake necklace my husband gave me when we first started dating. Interesting, it also looks like a Jewish star and over the years I’ve received lots of compliments on the necklace over the years.

When a lady in the audience complimented me on my “Jewish star” I told her I was Jewish at heart.

She asked me why and I told her because I eat a lot of kosher food: kosher cheese, goji berries with the parve label, potato latkes, falafels and pickles (my favorite thing at the famous Katz Deli!)

And as a St. Patrick’s Day side note, which I share in my lecture, corned beef and cabbage is not an Irish dish. Originally the dish was bacon, but it was too expensive and the Jewish New Yorkers, from the Lower East Side, taught the Irish about a cheaper alternative.

Whenever I present this lecture, I ask the audience if anyone has ever visited Ireland and if so, what did they like best about the country. Every time I get the same answer: the people.

I was truly touched that a Jewish audience embraced the Irish (and me, as an Italian, giving a lecture about Ireland to a Jewish audience!) This just goes to show that we’re are all not as separate as you’d think. The world is one big melting pot and we can all learn from each other and live in harmony.

After the presentation, as I always do, I invite audience members to sing Irish songs. This time we not only had a singer, but a pianist. Both brought the house down!

I said to the audience, “Do I know how to host a party or what?”

And as always, I was treated to a grand round of applause. It was an honor.

Happy Saint Patrick’s Day to all my blog followers!

Maryanne Christiano-Mistretta is available for public speaking events. For a list of topics available and upcoming events please visit: www.peartreeenterprises.com

For availability and pricing, call Maryanne Christiano Mistretta at 908-276-1514 or email: maryannechristiano@gmail.com

A Sauce To Die For!

Published July 14, 2012 by Maryanne

The following is an article I wrote, published in The Montclair Times, January 11, 2006, after I interviewed Sopranos actor, Joseph R. Gannascoli, who had created an all natural Italian pasta sauce.

Quite a few people got a kick out of the fact that Gannascoli admitted to me — a reporter — that he was a food fence!

I asked him, “Is this ON THE RECORD?”

He said, “Yes.”

So, here is the full article, one of my favorites that I ever wrote — ENJOY!

The Sauce of All Sauces: ‘Sopranos’ Actor Joseph Gannascoli Creates Sauces ”To Die For’

By Mary Anne Christiano of The Montclair Times

Most chefs say their sauce is to die for, but when the chef is a gangster, he might mean it a little more literally.

Or maybe not. After all, this chef only plays a gangster on TV.

Joseph Gannascoli, who plays Vito Spatafore on “The Sopranos,” the noted series on HBO cable television, has crafted natural, additive-free sauces to be introduced in his new book “A Meal to Die For.” Both the book and the sauces made their debut on Tuesday, Jan. 10.

There are three sauces to choose from: “Roasted Garlic and Eggplant,” “Wild Mushroom” and “Sunday Sauce.” According to Gannascoli, his sauces feature ingredients, such as wild mushrooms, not often used in other sauces on the market today. The garlic in the “Roasted Garlic and Eggplant” sauce is roasted, not sautéed, which makes the taste sweeter, and there is sherry in the Sicilian “Sunday Sauce.”

Gannascoli, who recently lost 160 pounds, said he tries to eat healthy and that’s why he decided to concoct sauces without any preservatives. “I’d like to see my sauces in Trader Joe’s,” he said. “It’s a novelty.”

While the sauces start out with pretty basic ingredients, Gannascoli suggests doctoring them up. For instance, olives and capers can be added to the “Sunday Sauce” and put over fish. “If I wanted to cook mussels, I can add white wine to the ‘Sunday Sauce,'” he said. Gannascoli also suggests putting the “Wild Mushroom” sauce on pizza.

Before Gannascoli got into acting, he was a chef for 20 years. “People always loved my sauce,” he said. Leaving law school, Brooklyn-born Gannascoli decided to open up a restaurant in Manhattan.

The self-taught cook has been inventing dishes since his youth. He said, “When I was a kid I wanted to be this great chef. All cuisine is interesting, Japanese, New Orleans, Italian …”

During the 1980s and 1990s Gannascoli fulfilled his childhood dreams by opening up a few restaurants while dabbling in acting. But he said he always got bored and started gambling. After losing $60,000, Gannascoli paid off his debts and decided to pursue acting in Los Angeles. He made a few movies but couldn’t take being away from home.

“I went home, opened up a few more restaurants, didn’t gamble as much,” Gannascoli said.

Then Gannascoli got the break he was waiting for, being cast as the character Vito Spatafore in HBO’s Emmy Award-winning show, “The Sopranos.”

It’s possible that Gannascoli’s fictitious character in the show about organized crime in New Jersey lives in Montclair. “I think my home is in Montclair, or close to it,” he said. Gannascoli lives in Long Island and is not too familiar with the area.

After reading a story about a gay character involved in organized crime, Gannascoli decided he wanted his character Vito to be unique and suggested they make him come out on the show. When asked if Gannascoli’s character Vito is anything like him, he said, “No, I love women too much. I just got married!”

However, the character in Gannascoli’s book, “A Meal to Die For” is so similar to Gannascoli he says it’s almost autobiographical.

“It’s based on my life,” he said. “It’s a culinary novel of crime. I think it would make a great movie. It has food. It has the mob. It’s funny.”

The lead character, Benny Lacoco, is a “food fence” who wants to become a great chef. Lacoco moves hot items such as olive oil and expensive wine.

“I was a food fence for five or six years,” said Gannascoli. “But I never got ‘pinched’ [arrested] as they say.”

But even as a food fence, Gannascoli stayed true to his exquisite culinary tastes — if the quality wasn’t there, he said he wouldn’t sell it.

In the future, Gannascoli hopes to get into a bigger food line. He said, “Barbecue sauces, spreads, olive oils … I want to pitch my own cooking show. I want to expand and do as much as I can, while I can.”