The Best of Me

Written by Rolemommy contributor, Kristin Flannery.
Thumbnail image for BOM-1Sht.jpg
Ever wonder what it would be like to reconnect with your long, lost love? I have to say that this Rolemommy contributor found out but alas we figured out why it didn’t work in the first place. This wasn’t the case with Nicholas Spark’s THE BEST OF ME which opens in theaters on Friday October 17, 2014.
Rolemommy sat down with the films stars James Marsden and Michelle Monaghan to find out what it was like during filming and if they ever found their own lost loves.
This isn’t the first time that James Marsden has been in a Nicholas Sparks movie (he played the ditched fiance in The Notebook) so we were wondering if he was promised a happy ending…
James Marsden filled us in “Yes, he’s a sadistic, isn’t he? Oh, I have to be careful. You’re recording this. I didn’t mean that, Nick. Which is going to be a slow progression over the next 10 years, when I’m in the next Nicholas Sparks movie.Something else is going to happen right before I get the girl. No, I didn’t actually meet Nicholas until “The Notebook” premiere. So, he’s obviously is a presence in these movies. But, when we’re out there filming the scenes and working with Michael (director Michael , it’s pretty much just us.” Michelle Monaghan thinks “he is writing the next 10 books, basically, while we’re out shooting.”
We thought that this one was the most violent Nicholas Sparks movie, book, that we have seen yet so we wondered how was it on the set.
James Marsden confessed “It’s pretty intense. I mean, I know that Luke got the brunt of all of that, and dealt with that more than I did, except that I, you know, I’m sort of the product of that down the line. But, I think, there’s an edge to this movie. And his upbringing, love and someone defining that for him at a young age was very absent in his upbringing. And so, that’s what I think when he meets Amanda. It’s like he comes alive, you know. It’s the first time he’s ever felt these emotions for somebody else, and what it feels like to be cared for and to care for somebody else. It was a very serious thing that he was dealing with, and in having an abusive father.”
It’s a really nice story, I think, as somebody in middle age to see you come back and you have a second chance in there. And are there anything that you guys would want to have second chances at now in your life?
Michelle Monaghan believes “It’s funny because you can sort of look at your life and go, “Okay. Well, maybe I would have made a different decision,” or something like that. But, I guess regrets are kind of hard because every single one that I’ve made, whether they’ve been good or bad, they’ve informed my life in some way. So, I can’t say, “Oh, dear, that was maybe not the right thing to do.” But, I learned something from it, or I have grown from that. And I think that’s where people in general just grow.”
We wondered have you really been in this kind of love, like in this love, because it’s lovely to see these kind of movies, but thinking in real life?
Thumbnail image for BOM kristin and James.jpg
James Marsden replies “Not everybody is lucky enough to find it. I like these characters so much in this movie because there’s so much goodness about them, and they’re so unselfish with the love that they give to one another and how they show it. And I think you can better your chances at maybe finding that by nurturing it as well. It’s not just like love at first sight, and the universe has these two people. And then, for some reason, just them, they’re the only ones allowed to experience it. I think that it’s what they do with their initial reaction to one another and how they treat one another that it’s that that love is then nurtured, and then it becomes that sort of timeless love, I think.
In closing we wondered if they found those emotional moments a lot when they were filming, where you were so drawn into it that you were off-set or on-set like–.
Michelle Monaghan believes “Yes. Well, I think that’s the beauty of these sorts of films, it’s like a privilege to be able to go there, because I think we’re so used to shooting a lot of films, like James was saying yesterday, there’s a lot of bells and whistles, and a lot of special effects and things like that. And this really is just about the emotion. And it’s about these scenes. So, you’re invested in these characters, and you really want to bring as much emotional truth as you can to it. And so, James and I, along with Michael, we really spent a lot of time in creating this emotional arc, and making sure that it made sense, and that it was truthful and based in reality, and it was grounded, and that the emotional responses were earned and deserved. There is joy behind heartache. That is so Nicholas Sparks. There really is joy behind heartache.”
Don’t miss Nicholas Sparks’ THE BEST OF ME in theaters October 17th and for more information follow them on twitter at #thebestofme.
Check out the special trailer here.

VIP for a Day at CBS’s “The Talk”

Written by Role Mommy Wing Mom Danielle Feigenbaum

104912_D0012_1.jpg Last week, I was lucky enough to attend a taping of CBS Daytime’s Emmy nominated show, The Talk! They were filming all week in New York City and I was thankful to have the opportunity to see the lovely ladies of The Talk in person. There is something so special about being in the audience of a live show. You can feel the excitement in the air. When I found out that the one and only Idina Menzel was the guest, I flipped out.
I have to admit I have always had a girl crush on Idina Menzel. It all started back when I saw her in “Rent” on Broadway, continued on when she starred in one of my all time favorite musicals, “Wicked” and then my kids fell in love with her in “Frozen”. She was just as wonderful chatting with the hosts and I would hope she would be. They addressed Oscar night when John Travolta butchered her name, and I loved her response “Come on, it’s the best thing that could have happened to me!” It helped her become an even bigger household name. She was incredibly genuine throughout her interview, telling adorable stories about her son and talking about the struggles of being a Broadway performer and mom, she misses putting her son to sleep! I also found out that she played tennis growing up (as did I!), she had a poster of Rob Lowe on her wall when she was growing up (same taste!) and she loves Billy Joel so much she would stalk him outside his house (Billy Joel is my favorite!) If those aren’t all signs that Idina and I should be best friends, I don’t don’t know what is.
Besides seeing my want-to-be-best-friend in the flesh, we were so lucky to be there when Chi-Lan Lieu showed us some great Summer Essentials. From The Miracle Suit (helps you look 10 lbs thinner!) to fabulous Samsonite luggage and more, the entire audience went home with all the items Chi-Lan presented! The show ended with a cooking segment from
the fantastic Sal Scognamillo, who’s grandfather was Pattsy, from the amazing Pattsy’s Restaurant! We all went home with his cookbook and I am definitely going to make FRANK’S VEAL MILANESE this weekend!
Thumbnail image for thetalkcollage2.jpg

RIO 2! In Theaters This Friday

Written by Role Mommy’s Danielle Feigenbaum

Thumbnail image for Rio2-Banner.jpg
The delightful cast of RIO is back in the hilarious, fun-filled sequel, RIO 2 that will have you dancing in your seats. Whether you see it in 3-D or not, you will be swept away by the amazing scenery and be transported to the Amazon.
My husband, kids (ages 10 and 7) and I were lucky enough to see an advanced screening of the film and attend an awesome RIO 2 pool party! First, I want to tell you about the movie, then we’ll get to the party. RIO 2 finds Jewel (Anne Hathaway), Blu (Jesse Eisenberg) and their three kids leaving their domesticated life in that magical city for a journey to the Amazon. They encounter a menagerie of characters who are born to be wild, voiced by Oscar nominee Andy Garcia, Oscar/Emmy/Tony-winner Rita Moreno, Grammy winner Bruno Mars, and Tony winner Kristin Chenoweth.
My kids have been listening to the soundtrack from the film every single day, dancing around the house. They know every word by heart, and so do I. Take a listen to one of the fantastic tracks… “What is Love” Lyrics Video by Janelle Monáe
photo 1 (3).JPG
After the screening, we headed next door to Le Parker Meridien Hotel for the rocking pool party! Waiting on the elevator line the woman in front of us (who happened to be Natalie Morales from NBC News and is the voice of the reporter in the movie) was chatting with my kids about their favorite part of the movie. She was really sweet. Once inside the party room we felt like we were in the jungle of the amazon. I try not to get star struck but when Edie Falco is on one side of you with her kids and Jeffrey Tambor is on the other side, it’s hard not to smile from ear to ear.
photo 3 (3).JPG
We enjoyed yummy food and great music. There were Brazilian dancers with beautiful, colorful, feathery costumes! We got on the dance floor and did a little samba/salsa type of dancing. Then the kids changed into their suits and had a blast swimming (any time my kids can swim in NY when it’s not the summer, they are psyched!) The pool was filled with beach balls and pool noodles and the DJ was playing all the songs from the two RIO movies. It was paradise and we completely forgot that we were on the top floor of an NYC hotel.
There were so many fun memories from the day, but I think my daughter (who LOVES to play the piano and has been playing since she was six) meeting the crazy-talented Alicia Keys was a major highlight! She was so incredibly nice and even posed for a picture with my daughter, which is now a treasured keepsake.
Here are the kids with one of the nicest Directors around, Carlos Saldanha. Not to mention super talented! He took some time to chat with my kids about the movie. How cool is that?
photo 4.JPG
We all really enjoyed this movie. Everyone should take the family to see it this weekend. It opens nationwide this Friday, April 11th! And trust me, you will want to download the soundtrack as well so you too can have nightly dance parties!
RIO 2 stars the voices of Anne Hathaway, Jesse Eisenberg, Will i am, Jemaine Clement, Tracy Morgan, Leslie Mann, George Lopez, Rodrigo Santoro, Andy Garcia, Rita Moreno, Natalie Morales, Kristin Chenoweth, and Jamie Foxx.
Connect with RIO 2 Online – #Rio2
Visit the Official Website
Like Rio 2 on Facebook
Follow @RioMovie on Twitter
View the trailer and clips on YouTube
Follow on Google+

The Book Thief

Written by Role Mommy Contributor, Kristin Flannery

The Book Thief, based on the beloved bestselling novel, is a deeply , moving movie which tells the inspiring story of a spirited and courageous young girl named Liesel, who transforms the lives of everyone around her when she is sent to live with a foster family in World War II Germany. Rolemommy sat down with Director Brian Percival (best known for directing PBS’ Downton Abbey) and Author Markus Zusak to discuss taking a novel to film.
The story and its characters sprang from the imagination of author Markus Zusak
whose novel The Book Thief was published in his native Australia in 2005 and throughout the rest of the world in 2006. The book has sold eight million copies worldwide, held a place on The New York Times best-seller list for almost seven years and has been translated into over 30 languages. Rolemommy correspondent, Kristin Flannery, was actually introduced to the novel by her niece when she read it in high school on her reading list. So we were wondering, how does an author write such an incredible book and how does he channel the character of death?
Markus opened up to us about how listening to his parents’ stories helped him create such rich characters, “I don’t know to tell you the truth. I don’t know anything anymore. I think a different version of me wrote that book. I couldn’t write it again now. To me, it all started with my childhood, growing up in Sydney, beautiful sunshine. And then, you come in and it’s like a piece of Europe came into our house, and my parents told their stories, and they’re amazing stories about cities that were burning, kids who were giving bread to prisoners on their way to camps and getting whipped for it and so on. I grew up hearing these stories over and over again.”
Being a parent means that you take a different look at your own parents’ history and how they lived. Markus believes, “Just, don’t be afraid to tell the stories again and again and again, because I’ve realized now that my mom is 76-years-old and she still cleans people’s houses for a living. My dad was a housepainter and he still paints. He painted my house. He didn’t do a very good job the last time. His eyes are getting a bit shot. But that’s funny, a housepainter, a housecleaner, and there they were telling me their stories of growing up and I realized they weren’t only telling me about their lives. They were teaching me how to write. Talk about you would never imagine that people in those professions would give you a career in literature, but that’s exactly how I grew up.”
Being a Director on a film based off of a novel has it’s challenges, what do you keep in and what gets cut? Director Brian Percival took us through the process, “Well, you know, a lot of decisions had been done already by the time I got this because the screenplay had been in existence for about six to seven years before the time was right to make it because it was done quite early on. For the producers it was a labor of love. It really was. It was a very important project to them, and they were emotionally attached to it. And so, the time was right for them to make it and fortunately, I was in the right place at the right time. I read the screenplay, and I’d never ever read anything like it. I wasn’t–shamefully I wasn’t aware of the book. I stayed up really late. I was shooting something else, and I stayed up really late one night and then finished at 1:30 in the morning and just e-mailed off to Los Angeles and said, “You know, if I don’t do anything else in my life, I’ve got make this film.” So a lot of those decisions had been made. When it actually comes to make the film, obviously I get pictures in my head of how I want it to look, but we’ve got a 580 page guidebook on how to make the film. We never really wanted to come away from Markus’ vision and his message. We just wanted it to reach a wide variety and to be in a different medium.”
There’s some really beautiful contrasts in the movie. Like, there’s that scene where–the choir scene–and they all look so angelic and they’re so proud. Then they start sort of the second verses, and they’re horrible. Was there a scene anytime in the shooting where you kind of felt this is it, this is the most surreal?
Brian reflected, “No. I mean, not particular. See, the film is full of contrast. That was always my intention. But you see the innocence of those children. They’re singing something so proudly that they think is so beautiful. And then, you see–we’re given the brutality of the truth of what actually happened. But there’s contrast right the way through. When you see Rudy in a Nazi uniform, part of you is saying, “Oh, what a cute kid,” and the other part’s going, “Oh, he’s–but he’s becoming a Nazi.” In a lot of films Nazis are always being portrayed as generally I think one dimensional. They’re evil guys with the blonde hair and the chiseled jaw or whatever. And we get the teacher that comes to take Rudy to the camp for elite training. He looks incredibly tough, but he’s actually a bit stupid. There were always things in there that I tried to create contrasts and that was the important thing to me. I had to work on more than one level so that we would see something and then we would actually question it.”
You know that a novel is amazing when you are sad at the end because you want to know more. Did the story end for you at the end of book or do you know what happened to all the characters after? Do you know how Liesel finds growing up and what Max did for a living?
book thief author and director.JPG Turns out that we are not the only ones who want to know what happens beyond the pages. Markus has fans all over the world, “Someone came up to me. A few people have said, “I really wanted to know what happened between them. I feel like I just cut to the end of her life.” I’m like, “How long did you want the book to be?” It’s like 500 pages. Just make me write another 3,000 pages while we’re at it. So, I always imagine that Max goes his way and Liesel goes her way, but they have this kindred relationship their whole lives, but that is just me. Everyone else has their own take, but I have several reasons why.”
Even Director Brian Percival has his thoughts on the ending, “That’s part of the beauty of it for me is that we leave the reader or the audience to make up their own mind and that’s ultimately satisfying.”
Book Thief can be seen currently in theaters but to see more clips and information, log on to

Role Mommy Talks to the Stars of THE BOOK THIEF

Written by Role Mommy Contributor, Kristin Flannery

Based on the beloved bestselling book, THE BOOK THIEF tells the inspirational story of a spirited and courageous young girl (Sophie Nelisse) who transforms the lives of everyone around her when she is sent to live with a new family (Geoffrey Rush & Emily Waston) in World War II Germany. Rolemommy sat down to discuss the film.
Though audiences might not know SOPHIE NÉLISSE (Liesel) right away, at the young age of 13, she has already won a Genie Award for her performance in Monsieur Lazhar which was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film of the Year in 2012.
Since Sophie is so young but very talented, we wondered how she felt working with a seasoned professional such as Geoffrey Rush. Sophie told us, “Well, it was fun, but at the same time it was kind of hard because you know the scene when Max vomits the soup. I say, “Is he going to be all right?” And then, he would go, “Of course… not.” And that was just so funny. I would do the scene, and you can hear him, he’d go, “Of course.” I would start laughing, and I had to be serious. It was just so fun to work with him and to see how he gets every detail of the scene. I’d be looking at the scene and go, “Okay, so that’s it.” And then, he’s going to go, “No, no, no, why is my character doing this?” Every little detail, like maybe I should throw the spoon or maybe I should do this there or change my legs there, and it’s just how every scene is so detailed. I remember going in rehearsals with him and he had the book with all these little posters saying, “this there,” just underlying all this writing. I’m quite organized myself. I did have a lot of post its saying like, “this scene and this scene,” but I didn’t have any links from the book because I actually didn’t read the book. But he just details everything and it’s really interesting. It’s amazing to just see him work really.”
Sophie even memorized the whole script. She revealed that she would often help Geoffrey remember his lines, “He would stop the scene and go, “I can’t remember what I’m saying.” And so, I’d have to tell him his line but that’s fine.
We were wondering if Sophie has ever stolen anything. Sophie told us a story of when they were filming in Berlin, “I stole some books because it was the birthday of someone on set and I had nothing to buy. There was this shop right in front of the hotel, and I just said, “I’m going to steal some books.” So, I took three random books and left. Eventually, I figured out like a week after that my mom paid for the books. It was kind of a bummer because it like sort of ruined my fun. But at the same time I was happy that she paid for them because I don’t steal.”
Geoffrey let us know that he was in on it, “I said, “I’ll encourage Soph to do it and everything,” but I knew that she’d warned the shop staff. She wanted to do that just to feel the adrenaline.”
A huge part of the theme of the movie is about friendships. We wanted to know what Sophie learned about friendships during the filming of the Book Thief. Turns out, she proved to once again be wise beyond her age, “Oh, that friends are really important and that you don’t have to have many good friends. People just going around saying like, “Oh, I have 500 friends on Facebook,” but no. You only have the good friends you can only count on your hands, you know? And I would say that I have three, three good friends that I know that’ll never change.”
Don’t miss Sophie Nelisse and Geoffrey Rush in their beautiful performances as they bring to life the characters of The Book Thief, an adaptation of Markus Zusak’s 2006 novel of the same title in theaters in limited release November 8th. There is already Oscar buzz surrounding these performances, see for yourself in the latest trailer –

Tweet and Heard: The 10 Funniest Tweets About the Government Shutdown

I know the government shutdown is no joking matter but I can’t help but find some of these tweets hilarious! Leave it to Twitter to bring Republicans, Democrats,Tea Partiers, Independents, and Anarchists together to laugh at the incompetence of the U.S. government at this time.

10) If we survived the apocalypse I guess everything else seems small in comparison

Apocalypse Tweet

9) I bet there are members of Congress that don’t understand Internet lingo
BRB Tweet.png
8) For the Breaking Bad obsessed
Breaking Bad Tweet.png
7) The Grammar Police are in full force
Grammar Tweet.png
6) Watching grown men fight on ice skates is definitely more entertaining than a Congress debate 
Hockey Tweet.png
5) If the government shutdown inspires another movie with Justin Timberlake starring as Sean Parker, I’ll take it.
Napster Tweet.png
4) Was National Treasure based on a true story? Is there really a map on the back of the Declaration of Independence?
Nic Cage Tweet.png
3) There’s nothing better than using Nicki Minaj lyrics to explain the government shutdown 
Nicki Minaj Tweet.png
2) Nope, they’re still spying on you
NSA Tweet.png
1) All I can say is poor Leslie Knope
Parks and Recs Tweet.png
Enhanced by Zemanta

“The Talk” Confessions

After a brief summer hiatus, CBS’s “The Talk” is back and better than ever! The new season of the hit daytime talk show premiered with a bang this week as all of the hosts confessed their deepest secrets! Check out their secrets here:
5_001 (2).jpg
1. Aisha Tyler revealed that after years of saying she didn’t want kids, she had a change of heart and recently underwent fertility testing. Unfortunately, Aisha found out that the odds of her conceiving are minimal, and decided that it’s too late for her to have children of her own. As moms, I think we can all relate to Aisha’s struggle. Click here to see more of Aisha’s confession.
2. Julie Chen admitted that years ago she had cosmetic eye surgery after a local news director told her she looked bored during interviews and would never make it big because of the way she looked. This caused controversy in Julie’s family, but Chen says she’s still very proud of her Chinese heritage. Check out the before and after photos…what do you think? Does Julie’s confession say something about our society’s standards of beauty? To see Julie’s entire confession,click here
3. Sara Gilbert discussed how she came to terms with her sexuality after dating her “Roseanne” co-star Johnny Galecki. Gilbert admitted she realized that she was a lesbian while kissing her Roseanne costar and boyfriend, Johnny Galecki who kept her secret private and has always been one of her closest friends ever since. She also revealed that being on “The Talk” helped her overcome her fear of being publicly gay, but that she’s also still afraid there will be repercussions when she discloses personal information, such as her recent engagement to girlfriend Linda Perry. Yet Gilbert ended her confession with some inspirational words:
“I want to live a true life. Beyond that, we do often say things like “it gets better” – and it does get better. I have an amazing life, but there can still be a struggle with it, and that’s ok. There can be a part of you that doesn’t want to be different or feel scared. And that is more important than any of it.”. To see the whole video, click here.
Click here to check out Sharon’s secret! And click here to watch Sheryl’s emotional revelation about her childhood.
What do you think of “The Talk” confessions? Do you have any confessions of your own?
Don’t forget to tune in to the new season of “The Talk” – Weekdays at 2 PM ET and tweet along @TheTalk_CBS.

Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters

20th Century Fox ‘s Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters comes to theaters on August 7th . Based on the publishing phenomenon, PERCY JACKSON: SEA OF MONSTERS continues the young demigod’s epic journey to fulfill his destiny. To save their world, Percy and his friends must find the fabled and powerfully magic Golden Fleece. Embarking on a treacherous odyssey into the uncharted waters of the Sea of Monsters (known to humans as the Bermuda Triangle), they battle terrifying creatures, an army of zombies, and the ultimate Evil. Starring Logan Lerman, Brandon T. Jackson, Alexandra Daddario, Jake Abel, Douglas Smith, Stanley Tucci. Rolemommy sat down with Director Thor Freudenthal and the stars of the movie Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Brandon T. Jackson and Leven Rambin to find out what is in store for the second installment of everyone’s favorite book series.
Rolemommy: Since this is the second movie, we were wondering if you were signed up for the series or if the first film was so successful that they made the second one.
Alexandra Daddario (Clarisse) filled us in, “Well, I think speaking for me, Logan [Lerman] and Brandon [T. Jackson], we’re locked in for three movies. And I think there’s something really cool about that, because you know that you’re joining something that could potentially be around for a long time.”
Rolemommy: Is it more difficult to do an original film where you already have fans or sequel of the book where you have diehard fans?
Director Thor Freudenthal, “Well, I did do the first part of another book series. And doing the first part of something is kind of hard, because you’re navigating the tone and the feel of a movie. You’re casting it from the ground up, in the Diary of a Wimpy Kid series, it feels like it took forever to find the Wimpy Kid and establish how much comedy, how much emotion you do.”
“Chris Columbus kind of had already done that to an extent. So, he had done a lot of the footwork of explaining the world and introducing the main character to the world. Since he had already done it, it gives you a level of freedom just kind of using it as a jumping off point and having, in a way, more freedom to explore the world further and expand it and play with the tone a little bit. I felt that the book series, to me, was very irreverent and funny, kind of like tongue in cheek. And we wanted to bring a little bit more of that into this movie. So, that was fun for me to do.”
Rolemommy: Seeing as these kids have very prominent mythological parents (these teens are known as half-bloods) what would you say would be the underlying message with this particular film?
Thor Freudenthal believes “The underlying message is we have a bunch of young people who have parents who are larger than life and mostly inaccessible to them. The kids kind of doubt themselves for the most part. So, the central message in this movie, looking at Percy and how he starts out at the beginning of the movie not trusting himself, his abilities and so forth, and throughout the movie, and you’ve only seen a half hour of it. But, in the movie, through himself and his friends, he gains the confidence that he needs to succeed on his quest. And that’s what you can do in life. ”
Rolemommy: For the characters, you have so many children that look up to you. So, what’s some advice that you have for the children that adore you and adore your characters?
Logan Lerman (Percy) shared a personal story, “My father works at a children’s hospital, and he works with a lot of kids that are going through tough times. And they’re really excited about the fact that his son is Percy Jackson, and, now, every patient now brings their book. The movie makes them happy. And that goes for a lot of kids. So, it’s really cool, and that’s got to be one of the biggest benefits of doing a movie like this is. It’s a big movie and it’s a fun one to make. It is mainly for the kids, right? And it makes them happy, so it’s cool to be a part of a project like this in that way.”
Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters comes to theaters on August 7th and Rolemommy will be bringing you more of our interviews with the stars this week.
Photo credit: Elise Derby

‘Sweets Talking’ With CBS’ American Baking Competition Judge Marcela Valladolid & Contestant Carlo Fuda

7m24eFDvvmaZzL9yE2WdCY9GTZGZJKUyrf5YjxtIDVc.jpegRole Mommy recently got the chance to chat with Marcela Valladolid and eliminated contestant Carlo Fuda from CBS’s new show, The American Baking Competition. Marcela and Carlo talked with several food and parenting bloggers about their experiences with the show, shared their favorite recipes, cooking tips and more. Be sure to watch the second episode of The American Baking Competition tonight on CBS at 8 PM!
Genesis Moments: Out of all the contestants, are there any of them that you see a little bit of yourself in from when you were first getting started?
Marcela: Absolutely! I see myself a little bit in all of them. Carlo, for example, wears the Italian flag on his chest and I’m kind of the same way with my Mexican cooking. Sometimes people want to streamline me and make me more approachable and more acceptable and my response is always, “why would you want me to change what’s in my core?” I carry both the American and the Mexican flag with equal amounts of pride but my traditions and my cuisine are deeply rooted in Mexican cooking and I see a lot of that in Carlo. In terms of Effie, she could not talk about her family without getting emotional and so much of her cooking is tied in with those family stories. For me, everything is so tied into my experience of being a daughter of a strong mexican cooking woman and also being the mother of a half mexican half american son and I think Effie is very much like that. Also, Whitney reminded me of how innocent I was at the beginning of my career. I would jump into stuff I wasn’t nearly ready for but I was so passionate about what I was doing that I didn’t care. I just jumped in with my heart on my sleeve. She stands behind what she believes in but at the same time she’s so young and she has such a bright beautiful future ahead of her.
Adventure Yum: Knowing that you like to cook fresh and with a more healthful approach, what did you really think of Francine’s chocolate bacon peanut butter pie?
Marcela: It was awesome! I appreciated that just by looking at it, you knew it was going to be a huge explosion of richness and flavor. There was no misleading in that sense. You looked at that thing and it was garnished in like a quarter pound of bacon so you knew what was coming in your mouth. I would have maybe found a way to make it a little more subtle in terms of the presentation; she didn’t need as much bacon on the top because there was so much wonderful bacon flavor in there. I love the combination of smoky bacon with rich sweet chocolate, and it’s a great combination that’s very much in and happening in the culinary world right now. Francine absolutely knows what she’s doing.
Rural Mom: What ultimately defines a “showstopper” bake for you? If all the dishes were all fairly on par with each other, would there be one key factor that put it over the top for you?
Marcela: For me, what made the show stopper a showstopper was something that I would want to pay really good money for. Is this something you could see in a pastry shop? Unfortunately for these guys, I studied in Paris so I know what a pastry window is supposed to look like, so for me that was it. Literally looking at something and saying, “I am willing to pay good money because of how it is presented and how it looks absolutely scrumptious and executed to perfection,” so from the start it has a lot to do with presentation. And it’s the same for the first bite. It just has to be something comparable with the level of pastries at the professional level, things that you’d want to pay for.
Role Mommy: What is the most surprising thing that you have come away with from the show?
Marcela: I’m very professional in terms of my work and I’ve been a judge on shows before, and I’ve always been very good at separating myself from the personal stories and the contestants. I never thought at the end of it I’d be so emotionally invested in what these guys were doing. I genuinely hope all of them either publish books or open bakeries. I wish I could award the prize to all of them. I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with each and every one of the contestants because each of their personalities are so spectacular.
51a639f75267b.preview-300.jpgQuestion Carlo, you were the first contestant eliminated from the show. What’s next for you?
Carlo: I’m working a lot on my food blog which I started when I was in my corporate setting. I’ve been to Italy 30 times, I worked in the professional social media capacity, and now after The American Baking Competition, I feel really prepared to take the next steps in this new path with my blog. I have long term aspirations of opening up a cafe where I live in Pennsylvania. I’m also a singer so I want to pursue that dream as well. I’ve learned that dreams are not impossible, dreams should be followed, and that’s exactly what I’m doing now. I’m so excited and happy and the support from my friends and family gives me the confidence and the momentum and the energy to do everything that I want to do.
Simply Southern Baking: You mentioned lavender was your secret ingredient in your Baker back story. What is your favorite recipe to use that in?
Carlo: My personal favorite recipe is one that I actually have on my blog, lemon ricotta cookies. I just adore ricotta, it’s just so good. I just love making ricotta cookies because they’re light, airy and sweet and I love to make things that are like that. Lemon and lavender is one of those flavor combinations that just go so well together so for the I make lavender icing for the cookies. You have to be careful with it because it can get too “perfume-y”, but just the right amount gives you this weird sensation in your mouth where you’re like, “Am I eating flowers?” I love that in Northern Italy, where many of my relatives live, you’ll find things like rose, violet, and lavender ice cream and that’s kind of an inspiration for me and it takes me back. I also love mixing it in cheesecakes.
Watch this sneak peek from tonight’s episode!

Don’t forget to tune in tonight at 8 PM to catch the latest edition of The American Baking Competition and join us as we tweet live during the show with @ChefMarcela, @Carlofuda, and more. Make sure you follow @BakeonCBS #GetYourBakeOn. Hope to Sweet Tweet you there!

Get Ready for The American Baking Competition on CBS!

rolemommy Jeff Foxworthy & Marcela-1.jpgGrandma’s recipes, a crying firefighter, one celebrity chef, one master baker and Jeff Foxworthy…. a great mix for a sweet baking competition show!
Rolemommy sat down with host Jeff Foxworthy and judge Marcella Valladolid (chef and bestselling cookbook author) to learn about CBS’ new show “THE AMERICAN BAKING COMPETITION,” premiering this Wednesday, May 29th at 8:00pm.
10 bakers were chosen from a nationwide search of amateur bakers through local casting bake-offs. 6 females and 4 males were chosen and they range from such careers as firefighter, attorney, college student and photographer. Comedian Jeff Foxworthy hosts with Chef and bestselling cookbook author Marcella Valladolid and master baker and current judge on the UK format “The Great British Bakeoff” Paul Hollywood as the judges.
Contestants bring their own recipes and compete in three unique challenges – “Signature Bake,” “Technical Bake” and “Showstopper Bake.” The final challenge will be between the three remaining contestants, one will be crowned the Best Amateur Baker in America and win the $250,000 grand prize. The winner will also be awarded a publishing contract with Simon & Schuster to publish their own cookbook with Gallery Books.
While Marcella and Paul have the hardest job of judging, Jeff Foxworthy gets personal with the contestants and even makes a few cry. The first challenge is the “Signature Bake” in which contestants use recipes handed down to them from generation to generation and all Foxworth had to do is ask about a grandmother or two and the tears flowed. When Foxworthy noticed the buff San Diego firefighter’s pink frosted cupcakes all he had to do is ask about his daughters and water works ensued. Recipes are an important part of who we are which tie us to our own personal family connection that this adds an emotional element to a competition show. So grab your tissues and make sure you’ve already had a snack because you’ll need those when you sit down to watch “THE AMERICAN BAKING COMPETITION”.
Check it out right HERE!