Blog Information and Disclaimer

Some posts are written in exchange for monetary compensation

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Women and Healthy Eating....

I was asked to day about a topic that many people alwyas ask me about- How do I think the media and women's magazines are affecting women's eating disorders..I am going t oshare some of my answers with you here..Eat healthy and you will have a wealth of health....
Even though we seem to have recognized that there is a problem with the media encouraging women and younger and younger women eating disorders and claim to be toning down magazine content and using not emaciated models,, there is still extremely mixed messages.
There is also an extreme difference between just staying healthy and eating healthy and eating to stay in shape and healthy and starving yourself to lose weight. We have grown to think that starving to lose weight is also a way to eat to stay healthy and fit. But the two have nothing in common. However, women’s’ magazines seem to play upon this- and- in one article tell us about taking the right amount of vitamins and minerals and in the next two pages may be giving us a way to lose 10 pounds in a week ( a sure way to deplete your body of vitamins and minerals). And then the next page could be a double chocolate brownie that most women will eat and then feel guilty. The worst part is that most will eat a miniscule amount of calories the next day to punish themselves for eating that brownie. .

However, what the magazines need to do is to connect these topics in a healthy way. For instance if you eat in moderation you can have a small piece of double chocolate brownie and still stay healthy and happy and in shape. You won’t feel so deprived that you are going to gobble down the first chocolate brownie that comes your way.
We should not be made to feel guilty for eating that small piece of brownie. So even though there are stories about losing weight and then a heavy recipe in the same issue, they are still sending mixed messages.

We are definitely sending the wrong message and trying to provide a quick panacea that will sell magazines. But there is never a quick fix without repercussions. Losing a lot of weight in short periods of time is a sure way to make you unhealthy.

I have noticed some magazines like Prevention using ‘real looking models’ in their recent issues-that is refreshing!
People need to get in touch with food and learn about it and not abuse it. We need more articles on how to ‘know’ food and not just dump a bunch of ingredients in a bowl or open up a vacuum sealed pack and call that a meal.

Many European countries are trying to spread positive messages to young women. In Spain, they banned overly thin models from participating in Fashion Week.
In Italy, eating disorders are a growing problem, they are organizing initiatives to promote healthy eating .One recent program during fashion week in Milan was a cook off with fashion models presenting cooking classes of gourmet Italian foods. The press is trying to begin to send messages to the public to equate food with staying healthy and eating healthy.

If you want any more on this topic just send me an email, I would love to hearthoughts and ideaso nthis topic form all of you out there. You can email me at

Modeling and living in Europe for some time led to my interest and studying of nutrition and the culinary arts. I got caught up in the unhealthy eating practices so common in the modeling industry and was not feeling so healthy. At the same time I was also learning the real Itlain way fo eating . Spending some time in Italy while modeling there I began to also study the culinary arts and eventually coupled that with my education in nutrition. I then began to eat healthy, stay active, eat more than what I was normally eating but I was not gaining weight and feeling better. It is the Mediterranean diet..all things in moderation…pasta, freshly made cheese, fresh breads, fish, fruits, nuts, veggies, olive oil, wine and an occasional gelato. I could not believe that I was actually eating the most luscious food in the world and still eating healthy, staying fit and not gaining weight.

Ciao for now..Maria

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

Great Politics and great food- a perfect pairing

Is it just me or does it seem like the rest of the world has also gone crazy for our American potlitical election? Many of the European countries have formed interest groups for specific political candidates.

In Italy and France there are some groups that are interested in Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. They have regular meetings to discuss the candidates, have meetings to watch primary elections and see how their candidate fared even though they can not vote for them.

It is all in the fascination for everything American..just as we have a fascination with the Italian way of life.

Italian political watching has become one of my hobbies and I do so enjoy watching their Senate meetings on TV. Quite different from a US Senate meeting. A bottle of champagne may be popped open at the end of a successful meeting.. it is also a chance to see the latest fashions worn by both men and women and a smattering of the latest sunglasses-many Senators wear dark sunglasses to these meetings. Since I have grown tired of many of the same old predictable celebrity events.these political events have now taken my interest..But I am also learning about the rest of the world and the other political systems while being entertained.

It seems as though American politics have become so predictable- well I guess not this year with the first woman and African American candidates- we have added something interesting and we all may be witness to an important part of American history if one of these candidates gets elected..

But Italian politicians are more passionate about what they do and I always get the feeling that I am watching an opera -without the music-and not a Senate meeting or a political speech, everything is always so dramatic and everyone is so passionate about their cause.

It is a veritable modern day opera..

We(Italians) are descended from the ancient Roman Philosophers- a trait that is very visible in today's Italian politicians.

Everyone wants to be the next Roman emperor and have their day in the spotlight or at the Roman forum (Foro Romano) and Italian politicians are no exception.

Oh well just a little happy hour chit chat to enjoy a glass of a light sparkling wine like Bracchetto D'Acqui, it goes great with appetizers and desserts. Here is an appetizer to accompany your glass of Bracchetto:

Torta Salata con Brie
copyright 2008, Maria Liberati from "

The Basic Art of Italian Cooking -Holidays and Special Occasions, art ofl iving, Prima Media,Inc.
This makes a great antipasto!!

*A disc of puff pastry (big enough to cover bottom and sides of a pie pan about ¾”-1” high)
*3/4 lb of brie
*1 fresh red pepper
*1 fresh yellow pepper
Olive oil
Pinch of salt

Cover pie pan with puff pastry. Cut the brie into thin slices (do not eliminate the white skin). Lay brie slices on puff pastry. Wash the peppers and cut into thin slices, place on top of the brie. Drizzle about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil on top, and sprinkle a pinch of salt.

Bake in preheated oven of 375 degrees for about 7 minutes or until puff pastry is golden.
Served best hot instead of warm.

Ciao for now!

Friday, February 22, 2008

Think Positive and "Mangia".....

Think positive thoughts ..think positive thoughts..can be much easier to say than to do. I have been speaking to so many people that have become so overwhelmed with health to family to money problems.. For the health and family problems my advice is always to think positive thoughts and remember that as Scarlett O'Hara said.."tomorrow is another day" and another glorious day it usually turns out to be if you just have patience..

Now for money or financial solutions.. especially for those out there that may want to start their own business or expand their own business or even for personal reasons-to enjoy the finer things in life.. you can get loans for business or even personal loans to enjoy the finer things in life.

In today's economy it seems to be like finding a needle in a haystack finding a loan that is unsecured, but you can find that personal loan have found your needle in the haystack.

So be responsible and realize that for your money problems there is a solution out there..find your loan and move forward with your life....there are always bigger and better things out there for go for it.. Enjoy that trip you have been waiting so long to take or that new car or adding another room to the house..or something special to make life seem more special..

Now..for a positive outlook on life ..don't forget that food..and not just food..but 'great food...puts a smile on anyone's face and makes a not so great day turn into a happier one..
So as we say in Italian (our solution to almost every problem) "mangia" and you will see your life through rose colored least temporarily...

Ciao for now..

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

A new treasure on the net

Have you ever longed for the exotic and the and clothes can be so predictable but now with the dawn of the internet we have the possibility of finding the unusual, the ecletic, the out of the ordinary.. I found it today at this wonderful gem of a site called Afrik-Boutik

The site is a great find for stylish, but yet interesting pieces- to create that one of a kind style. You will find necklaces and handbags from Africa-these are handcrafted pieces that reflect the beauty of African culture, and are really unlike typical things you will find at a regular bricks and mortar store. The boutique was started by two partners who longed to bring the beautiful yet authentic artwork of Africa to the rest of the world. And they have certainly accomplished that. Each and every piece you will find on the site are created by artisans, many of whom are friends of the founders. So many of these pieces are hard to find and you would have to take a trip to Africa to find these pieces, as many tourists do..but how many times a year can you go to Africa and how do you know where to find these pieces.??The African Dashikis are truly beautiful and look like they would be the perfect thing to keep cool in the summer.
However, being a handbag person that I am (I share my bedroom with closets full of handbags) I have my eye on one of their beautiful handcrafted leather bags.. they are all truly a work of art and will be hard to make a decision..But also don't forget to enter the contest for bloggers go to
and enter the bloggers contest for your chance to win ..are you ready..a beautiful handcrafted African mask worth $175.
( I am hoping to win it..) It is one country that, unforutnately I have not gotten to visit yet, so I don't own any art or handcrated pieces from there and look forward to shopping for now at :
And by the way if you visit tell them Maria sent you..
Ciao for now!!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

San Valentino and more....

Thanks to everyone that attended my roundtable interview and discussion on Athena Isle at Second Life. That was my first experience on Second Life and a fun one!!

In honor of San Valentino, here are two more recipes from my upcoming book

The Basic Art of Italian Cooking-Holidays and Special Occasions (copyright 2008 Maria Liberati) to be released later this year..

Let me know how you celebrated your Saint Valentine's Day. San Valentino represented love, so you can celebrate this day with any one special in your life-your friends, your parents ,siblings, somoene that is special in your life..

Cocktail di Mare (seafood Cocktail)

*6 jumbo shrimp(steamed)
*12 large scallops (steamed)
*2-3 drops of Tabasco sauce
*6 tablespoons of olive oil
*1 tablespoon of vodka
*2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
*6 hot red peppers
*10-12 leaves of romaine lettuce
*1 tsp of powdered red pepper
*2 tsps of salt
*6 shish kabob type wooden sticks

Place on sticks first-one scallop then one shrimp (vertically) then one scallop. Repeat using all 6 sticks. In small bowl place vodka, salt powdered red pepper, lemon juice, Tabasco sauce , olive oil. Beat wit ha fork until all ingredients are blended.
In tall glass, arrange a few lettuce leaves on side of glass. Alternate in each glass, 3 hot red peppers and 3 shish kebabs. Drizzle sauce on top and serve.

Cuori di Pane

*Pre made pizza dough-1/2 lb (uncooked)
*3 tablespoons of flour
*2 tablespoons of dried tomatoes
*1 tsp of Sapori D’Italia Spice Blend or Rosemary
*4 dried red peppers
*3 tablespoons of olive oil
*2 tsps of chopped scallion

Drain dried tomatoes and chop into small squares. In separate bowl, crush 3 dried red peppers with wooden spoon, place in chopped dried tomatoes, chopped scallops. Blend. Place ball of pizza dough in bowl and work in mixture. Knead pizza dough for 5 minutes until all ingredients are blended into dough.
Dust wooden board with 1 tablespoon of flour. Place pizza dough on top. Flatten dough to about 1/8 inch thickness. Cut with cookie cutter in shape of heart.
Place sheet of baking paper on cookie sheet. Place hearts on baking sheet. Crush remaining pepper in small dish, mix with ½ tsp of Sapori D’Italia or Rosemary. Drizzle hearts with teaspoon of olive oil and sprinkle remaining crushed pepper mix on top. Let hearts sit for 30 minutes. Then cook in oven preheated to 450 degrees or until crisp and golden (about 15 minutes).

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

San Valentino and dinner pe due

Romantic Dinner Menu for Two
Copyright 2008- Maria Liberati, art of living, PrimaMedia,Inc.
THE BASIC ART OF ITALIAN COOKING, Holidays & Special Occasions

Cocktail : Tintoretto
½ cup Prosecco Spumante (or a Spumante)
¼ cup pomegranate juice
Divide Spumante-evenly- among 2 champagne glasses. Top each glass with pomegranate juice –evenly divided among two glasses. Don’t stir- two colors of each liquid will provide two different colors or layers.
Antipasto: Bruschetta Gratinate
¼ pound of reduced fat fontina or Swiss or baby Swiss cheese
3 leaves of fresh arugula
1 large or 2 small very ripe tomatoes
4 slices of crusty Italian bread (can be day old)
1 tablespoon of olive oil
1 tsp of Sapori D’Italia herbs- Tuscan Picnic blend (by Maria Liberati’s The Basic Art of Italian Cooking)

Cut fontina or Swiss cheese into small slices or small cubes. Wash and dry tomatoes, cut into small cubes and eliminate seeds. Wash and dry arugula and chop finely. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Place bread slices on cookie sheet, drizzle with 1 tsp of olive oil and sprinkle spice blend on top. Place in oven till slices begin to get crusty and turn golden- for about 1 minute.

Remove from oven. Layer remaining ingredients in this way: First place cheese cubes or slices, then chopped arugula, then tomatoes. Drizzle with remaining olive oil and remaining ½ tsp of spice blend. Place under broiler of oven till cheese begins to bubble. Broiler times vary- should be 1-4 minutes depending on broiler.

First Course: Linguine alle Vongole
(Clams with linguine)
1/3 box or 1/3 pound of linguine.
2 tblsps of extra virgin, cold pressed olive oil
2 clove of garlic-whole
½ lb of fresh steamed clams
½ lemon (to squeeze over finished pasta)
Handful of fresh parsley

Fill pasta pot with water and small handful of kosher or gross salt. Place on medium heat.
Place olive oil in large sauté pan. Place in peeled, whole clove of garlic (if you leave garlic in whole pieces the garlic will give the clams a flavor but the flavor will not be an extremely intense one-‘if you don’t want to have garlic on the breath’. If you don’t care about garlic odor then by all means chop it finely). Sate garlic over medium low heat until oil starts to form bubbles and garlic begins to get golden color. Place in clams and sauté for about 5 minutes, stirring the clams every so often to distribute the flavors. Remove from heat. Sprinkle in the freshly chopped parsley. Stir for about one minute.
Place pasta in boiling water according to package directions (about 10 minutes). Taste before draining to be sure pasta is done to your liking. Drain in colander. When water is drained off place in saucepan with clam sauce and toss with pasta pincer till pasta is coated. Squeeze ½ lemon over pasta and toss. Place in individual serving dishes

Can be served with dry white wine – 1small glass

Second Course : Pepperoni Imbottiti
(Stuffed peppers)
1/4 cup cannelloni beans
1 tables minced onion
2 taps of fresh garlic minced finely
1 cans tuna (6 ounces)
1 tblsp of extra virgin cold pressed olive oil
Juice of ½ small lemon
¼ cup freshly chopped parsley
½ tsp Sapori D’Italia spice -Tuscan blend

Drain tuna can. Place tuna in large bowl and flake. Then add in beans, 3 tsps olive oil, garlic, onions, spice blend (leave a pinch behind to bake peppers), lemon juice. Toss.
Take whole peppers, cut of tops and clean out seeds and inside. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place peppers standing on glass or ceramic baking baking dish. Drizzle with 1 tsp of olive oil and a pinch of the spice blend. Place in oven for approx 20 minutes or until tender.

Remove from oven, let cool and scoop in tuna mixture. Divide evenly between both peppers. Serve cool or while peppers are still warm. In the summer you may want to try serving this with raw peppers. This makes a wonderful picnic dish also.

Dolce : Fragole con Limone
(Dessert course: Strawberries with Lemon)
1 pound of fresh ripe strawberries
1 fresh lemon
1 handful fresh mint
1 tblsp sugar or 3 packets artificial sweetener
(Optional- 1/4 cup red wine)

Make this dessert about 1 hour before dinner so that the lemon juice and sugar have a chance to marinade the fruit>

Wash and hull strawberries. Cut each strawberry in quarters. If you are using the baby strawberries (fragolini- little strawberries) you can leave them whole.

Place in serving bowl. Cut lemon in half, with fork incised into lemon half (use both halves). Squeeze juice over strawberries- taking out any seeds. Sprinkle sugar on top. If you want t add in red wine-do so now. Stir and toss so strawberries are coated well with juice and cover bowl, refrigerate for about 1 hour.

When ready to serve, garnish with mint leaves on the top of the individual serving dish.

After Dinner Drink: Caffe Dolce e Speziata
(Spicy Dessert Coffee)
2 cups hot espresso coffee
2 tsps artificial sweetener or sugar
Pinch of nutmeg
Pinch of cinnamon
2 tblsps of light whipped cream

Place hot coffee in individual espresso serving cups
Stir in sweetener, top each cup with pinch of cinnamon, pinch of nutmeg and then 1 tblsp of light whipped cream.

Other useful tips:
*Even though olive oil is very good for you, you may want to lessen the calorie content of some of these dishes by substituting Enova oil for half or 1/3 of the olive oil in the dishes. Always use some olive oil so you still
Capture that flavor in each dish. Enova oil is a ‘good for you oil’ but you do not absorb all of its fat content.

*In any of the dishes that use sugar- even though my recipes don’t generally use a lot of sugar- so the sugar calories are minimum- you can still substitute an artificial sweetener.

*This meal contains a lot of good for you ingredients, Fresh fruits, fresh vegetables, pasta, seafood, olive oil. However, I have included a small amount of alcohol in the form of spumante (sparkling wine) because this is meant to be a dinner for a special occasion. But remember alcohol does add calories- even thought there have been health benefits found- you should limit your alcohol consumption to special occasions so as not to load up on unnecessary calories, etc. I also recommend that if you drink the cocktail (Tintoretto) –you serve that with your appetizer. You should never drink alcohol on an empty stomach. And you don’t want to munch away on salty pretzels and peanuts to add more calories with your cocktail.

*If you drink the cocktail before dinner and still want to drink wine with the meal be sure to drink a small glass only with the meal. Alcohol-even wine does add calories

*Since this is meant to be a romantic meal for two- you may want to partake in a small square of dark chocolate (should be minimum of 70% cocoa to get the health benefits) with your after dinner drink.

for more recipes get your copy of The Basic Art of Italian Cooking at and recieve $5 off retail price and free shipping for a limited time only..

Ciao for now!

Hope you will join me....

Contact: Lauren Scher
1-800-581-9020 x100


Celebrity Chef Maria Liberati Appearing Live in the Virtual World Second Life

Celebrity Chef Maria Liberati will be a special guest of the Second Life Writers Club in an interactive 3-D event on the popular virtual world Second Life on February 13th at 3pm EST, 1 PM PST. Audience members can participate by setting up a free Second Life account at then going to to access the live event.
Ms. Liberati or M1 Dreamscape, her Second Life moniker, will be discussing her bestselling book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking as well as her life in Italy and healthy Mediterranean recipes. The interview will take place on Athena Isle owned by Second Life personality Cybergrrl Oh and will be conducted in a text format which allows Ms. Liberati to answer questions posted by Second Life residents in attendance. The event format will be an intimate roundtable discussion with a 40-seat capacity to give attendees unique access to converse with Ms. Liberati.
A former supermodel, Maria Liberati's passion for fashion gradually switched to food and the Italian way of eating while she traveled the world modeling. Missing the simplistic and natural recipes of Italy, Ms. Liberati began formally studying the Art of Italian Cooking in Italy. She regularly consults with food companies, does special guest appearances at culinary events, TV programs, magazine interviews and features throughout US and Italy, as well as consulting for many food companies. Today, she shares her love of Italian foods through numerous public appearances, her blog, podcasts (, and best selling books, which are a compellation of recipes and heart-warming stories from her life. Currently Ms. Liberati divides her time between Italy and the United States and is working on her second book.


Monday, February 11, 2008

Saint Valentine's Day #1

Food and Romance go so well together like pasta and tomato sugo (sauce) so I felt compelled to post a few blogs this week in honor of this special Saint and his legacy of romance.. Of course I will be posting some recipes this week.
For my first post..a quote by Romano Battaglia.

"If you asked me what was the most important thing in life..I would respond..first, last and forever- it is love..."

Stay tuned for more recipes and sayings for San Valentino..

Ciao for now..

Don;t forget to check out the bestselling book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking for more recipes and romantic stories of life in Italy. Purchase your copy at and rec`eive $5 off retail price and free shipping.

Sunday, February 3, 2008

Today's souvenir I am sendng to you,while here in Italy, is not a recipe but is a town-Sora.

It is one of my favorite towns to take an aftenroon 'passegiata'. It happens to be the birthplace of a talent synonymous with Italian cinema-when it was the real Italian cinema-Vittorio De Sica and also made famous by an award winning film with Sophia Loren- known in Italian as La Ciociaria- which in dialect means the women of Sora. (By the way when you are there you will notice how many coffee bars and establishments are called "La Ciociara"). I still love to just walk up and down the streets and enjoy the scenery where some of the film was made. At that time Sora was just mainly fields and not much around.

But today we enjoyed a stroll incenter of town and in the piazza where the children were throwing colorful paper confetti in their costume for Carnevale. A quick stop at the only coffee bar open in town for a shot of espresso to go with freshly made 'bugie' ( a fried pastry traditional for Carnevale).

Ciao for now..

Saturday, February 2, 2008

Happy Carnevale!!!

copyright, 2008, Maria Liberati

I could not let this colorful festive Holiday pass us by without a noble mention on my blog. Here is an excerpt from the book to be published in late 2008-

The Basic Art of Italian Cooking-Holidays and Special Occasions, copyright, 2008, Maria Liberati

Did you know that Carnevale originated in Rome?
It began in ancient Rome, the term comes from the latin word “carnem levare”. This referred to the period of fasting from meat. The feast lasts for about 10 days But the ancient Romans celebrated it for about 180 days of the year. It was their way of celebrating their victories. After the fall of the Roman empire, Carnevale was still celebrated by the Roman people. It always included a period of fasting, and joy

Carnevale is made up of some any colors- from the beautiful fireworks displays to the costumes to the colored papers and streamers used during this Holiday. To stay in the Carnevale spirit, keep your foods, tableware colorful and festive.

In the spirit of the decadent Romans a masked ball with decadent desserts is the perfect way to celebrate.

Dolce Cioccolata

6 eggs
½ cup sugar
16 ounces of unsweetend baking chocolate (at least 60% cocoa)
2 /12 cups whipped cream
¼ cup Cointreau
Fresh raspberries for garnish

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Butter a pie pan and coat with baking paper. Dip finger tips in olive oil and oil baking paper.

With electric mixer, beat eggs with sugar of 5 minutes – until creamy and well blended. Melt chocolate in glass dish in microwave (approx 2 minutes depending on settings).

With rubber spatula, fold melted chocolate into egg mixture. Im separate bowl whip cream, fold in Cointreau. Gently fold this into egg/chocolate mixture until well blended.

Place pie pan coated with baking paper in a glass or ceramic baking dish. Place water in baking dish to reach half height of pie plate.

Bake for 30 minutes this way in oven. Take out. Place sheet of baking paper on top and bake for another 30 minutes this way. Remove from oven, Uncover and let cool. When cool, refrigerate overnight. Serve garnished with fresh raspberries and dust with powdered cocoa.
For more recipes, go to the bestselling book The Basic Art of Italian Cooking, copyright 2005,2006,2007,2008, Maria Liberati . Purchase at and receive free shipping and $5 off retail price.
Ciao for now!!
Maria Liberati