Food, Promotions, Travel

The Cooking Channel- Vinny and Ma Eat America Q & A with the Stars

6jqb_Q0K

Next Tuesday you can catch Vinny Guadagnino, most well known for his hit reality show, “The Jersey Shore” and his mom, Paola in a fun show, Vinny & Ma Eat America.

Vinny Guadagnino’s mom, Paola, is the best cook in their big Italian family, but the problem is she only cooks and eats Italian. Now, Vinny is taking his Ma across the country on a culinary road trip of a lifetime, to taste and discover delicious food she’s never tried before. No passport is needed on this trip — this mother and son adventure is all about eating America!

VN0101_Vinny-and-Paola_s4x3.jpg.rend.snigalleryslide

I was given the opportunity to do a Q & A with Vinny and Paola. Here are my questions for them and their responses:

1) Growing up with a Sicilian Grandfather I know that the Italian tradition is food that mimics grandmothers kitchen. Are there any restaurants your family will eat at that is considered close to real Italian cuisine?

VINNY: Staten island (where we are from), has a very large Italian-American population so there are various little restaurants that do it pretty well. I’m a fan of a restaurant named il Mulino in Manhattan because they serve you a lot of appetizers before you even start your meal as you would in an Italian household. But nothing is like your own family kitchen .

2) I live near Seattle, so I’m curious what type of cuisine you both would associate Seattle with and what foods you would seek out in the Pacific NW?

VINNY: I’ve actually never been to Seattle. I  am a fan of the show Portlandia, so I ignorantly think a lot of that area of the country eat sort of hipsterish (i.e., organic, local, vegan type of cuisine. ) I wouldn’t assume there would be a lot of Italian food there.

3) About making foods! Do you cook all things fresh and homemade or is there a pre-made grocery store must-have you use at all?

VINNY: It depends. My mom makes anything with dough from scratch (i.e. bread, pizza, cookies.) But only special occasions will she make pasta from scratch and we have our go-to brand names that we use on all other occasions. We would never buy pre-made sauce. All of our meats like chicken dishes are from scratch. So mostly fresh, but we have little things we use here in there from the store.

4) If someone wanted to start making fresh pastas (which I really do want to learn)-should one remain as intimidated as making pasta seems to be?

PAOLA: The ingredients aren’t hard but when we make homemade pasta we roll out each piece by hand. So if you want to do it the old fashioned way like us, be prepared to wake up very early to roll all day.

For anyone attempting homemade pasta-what one piece of advice would you give that is a must-know?

PAOLA: Always keep a drop of olive oil on your hands while rolling and handling the dough to prevent it from sticking. In one of the episodes on “Vinny And Ma” this was a very simple but important thing to do while we learned Chinese Noodle Pulling.

5) What does (Italian) food mean to you? What roots does food touch and keep alive about the Italian traditions?

VINNY: Italian food means everything to my family. It brings us together almost every week and on every occasion when we have our feasts. The food is the center of it all. It makes us happy and with each bite we go back in time because every recipe has been passed down from generation to generation.

2016 Holidays, Home

Mohu ReLeaf Indoor Antenna #HolidayGiftGuide

Sample sent for feature

Moho Indoor antenna logo

In our many camping trips this summer only a few RV spots had cable hookup and the ones that didn’t we had to rely on our RV antenna which is not great at finding channels. We don’t camp to watch TV but we do live in the Pacific NW and sometimes weather does not cooperate. When it starts pouring we all crowd on the beds, heat up cocoa and watch a movie or show.

We have put the RV away for the winter and am so excited to take our new Mohu ReLeaf antenna with us next season. But, because it is so easy to use and hook up, I have it in my son’s room. If I want it in the RV or in another room, I unhook from the TV, take it off the wall and switch locations.

Indoor antenna contents

There are not many contents because it is so simple to use. This new ReLeaf antenna is made with recyclable materials so you can reduce waist while reducing your cable bill.

Indoor antenna instructions

My son has a TV in his room that is not hooked up to cable in any way. It is in there only hooked to a VCR player for his movies. So, I decided to give my Mohu ReLeaf a try right away (until I can take the RV out) and see how well it does on an older TV.

Indoor antenna install

I connected the cable to the antenna and the other end to the TV. I grabbed his remote to find inputs in settings and chose ‘Antenna/Air’, then I went into set up and asked it to scan for channels. It found 15 that play great.

Indoor antenna tv

All but 2 channels (they were off channels) were well-known stations and came in very clear with no flaws. The other 2 channels just had some screen lines every so often, but they aren’t channels we would watch.

Indoor antenna channels

Mohu is known for it’s easy-install indoor and outdoor antennas and the ReLeaf is an eco-friendly way to go to get that TV working with some common channels right away. No cable provider or box needed.

Back To School 2016, Education, Home, Kids, Movies Reviews, Parenting

Xfinity X1 for TV and Online Learning

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of XFINITY. The opinions and text are all mine.

c3f1ecf4-58cd-11e6-9ceb-22000a7d00a4

Summertime for the boys means summer break for me too. I work at the High School so I am home too and at the start of summer I was all about limiting TV. The boys left at home are 8 and 18. The 18 year old I don’t monitor as much and he is hardly home, but the 8 year old had rules. However, I suddenly turned to TV a lot more this summer for reasons I never expected. We have been Xfinity customers for many, many years starting when Comcast was our local provider. Each year they seem to advance in technology more and more. Today we have DVR, boxes in many rooms, high-speed Wi-Fi, home security, apps and more through Xfinity X1. NO matter what room we are in, we can access shows and the internet.

IMG_8872

How did I use TV in in some unexpected ways this summer? There are two reasons that may not come back around for several years. The Copa America and Summer Olympics. The Copa Cup came to America this year for the centennial celebrations. 3 games were played right here in Seattle. We are huge soccer fans and had 2 of our Seattle Sounders players participating in the games for USA. I bought my son a COPA shirt one day and it started a conversation about countries. The shirt had the soccer balls with the Country Flags design and he memorized each country flag. 2 months later when the Olympics began he recognized flags as we watched the opening ceremonies. At 8, I could only tell you our flag, but he recognizes 8 other countries flags because of watching the Copa Cup and apparel he had.

As he ended 2nd grade this year I never imagined that 2 widely televised sports events would give him such a Geography lesson. As parents, we see these unexpected lessons and want to capitalize on them so I did just that. I found a few books about other countries-China, Japan, Europe, Brazil. I also would seek out fun online games. With the high speed internet Xfinity provides us, online learning is always successful and we never have issues with speed or (fingers crossed) frequent outages. Any online lessons are flawless with our connection at any time of the day or year.

IMG_8871

On the topic of Xfinity we also started a fun family tradition this year. Once a week we had family movie nights and these movies would be blasts from the past. We would go into our DVR movie menu and find the older movies we knew he would enjoy. We have shown him The Goonies, original Ghostbusters, Home Alone, Honey I Shrunk the Kids series and more fun movies as we scan our Xfinity TV movie genres and can access so many great titles, new and old.

Screen Shot 2016-08-14 at 10.33.52 AM

Anthony will be a third grader this year and I know that means a bit more computer time and online research. As an Xfinity customer I know I can rely on Xfinity X1 to get my son online and find all the research topics he needs. From practicing multiplication facts to researching countries or animals. I can do frequent speed tests for free and in about 2-3 minutes to assure there are no issues with our IP or area. Head to XFinity and follow Xfinity on Facebook or Latino Xfinity on Facebook. Start today by accessing your favorite TV shows and internet sights with the speed and reliability of Xfinity X1. It is always here for my family and will be for yours too.

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of XFINITY. The opinions and text are all mine.