OBB: On Beyond Bravo

Mariah and Nick call it quits...actually they called it...months ago. Photo Source people.com

Mariah and Nick call it quits…actually they called it…months ago. Photo Source people.com

By Lesley Rousso

Happy Friday! Let’s start this weeks OBB by wishing Christina Aguilera a huge Mazel on the birth of baby girl Summer Rain. According to Us Magazine, Summer was born Saturday to The Voice star and her fiancé Matthew Rutler.

Pat O’Brien, former cohost of Access Hollywood and The Insider has been making the rounds this week, promoting his memoir, I’ll Be Back Right After This. In it, he discusses his alcohol addiction, an elevator ride with Angelina Jolie and his days starring in P. Diddy videos. I think I’ll give it a read, sounds juicy. Stay tuned for a review.

America’s Got Talent host Nick Cannon has confirmed to the NY Daily News that he and Mariah Carey are indeed separated and have been for months. Apparently Mariah was none too happy when Nick went on a radio show in March and revealed that he slept with Kim K back in the day. Nick says his main focus is the couples’ 3-year-old twins Monroe and Morrocan.

Julianne Hough is returning to Dancing With The Stars but not as a dancer. She will join the panel as the fourth judge. Season 19 cast members will be revealed September 4th on Good Morning America.

A very Happy 60th birthday to our favorite weather man, Mr. Al Roker! Did you get to keep the Stay-puff marshmallow man? I’ll be seeing you on The Plaza in September for a selfie! Congrats to The Today Show‘s Jenna Wolfe and partner Stephanie Gosk who announced they are expecting baby number two.

I’m ending with my favorite Howard Stern item of the week. Zac Efron has nominated Eric the Actor for the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge. Ashley Tisdale posted the video of herself and Zac on IG getting doused with ice. Zac nominated Robert Pattinson, Matthew McConaughey and yes, Eric the Actor. No word on whether or not he’s accepted the challenge, but I’m sure he’s bitching about it to whoever will listen. Stay tuned…

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Just Say Zeppole

image…and get the attention of everybody, including the Housewives. If you are not familiar with the term zeppole (perhaps those from the Jersey Belle cast who are still familliarizing yourselves with cannolis) you surely have had them in some other form. Basically zeppole is fried dough, the same as a funnel cake, or what’s blanketting Oreos, Twinkies, even pats of butter at your local county fair. Is the whole country with me now? Good, let’s get down to business.

Zeppole is the Italian version of this guilty pleasure and the secret ingredient that gives it that doughiness deliciousness is…wait for it..Ricotta cheese. Shocking right? I know I was floored by that, but then again what’s an Italian delicacy without the ricotta? I started making zeppole two years ago after our local Italian festival here left me craving more. At the time I had a friend staying with us and the extra hands on deck made the adventure, and cleanup, less daunting. But I’ve learned that this can be done quite quickly and easily on my own, so long as somebody else is corraling my kids. You do not want them around the hot oil.

Since then this has become one of my go-to recipes to bring to parties because it is easy, quick, yields a lot, and is relatively simple to make. With Labor Day barbecues rights around the corner I dare you to bring this one. It will be a hit!

Zeppole (adapted from AllRecipes.com)

We told you this dish gets attention! Just check out how many Housewives dig this dessert!

We told you this dish gets attention! Just check out how many Housewives dig this dessert!

*large container of vegetable oil (2 qts at least)

*1 cup all purpose flour (sorry but white works best…it’s zeppole, don’t even try to make it healthy)

*2 teaspoons baking powder

*Pinch of salt

*1 1/2 teaspoons white sugar

*2 eggs

*1 cup ricotta cheese

*1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract

confectioner’s sugar for dusting or dipping

Fill a large pot (think large spaghetti pot)  1/3 high with oil. Heat over medium heat. It is ready when you drop a test piece of batter in and it fries (If you own a deep fryer heat 2 qts of oil to 375 degrees F or 190 C). Combine dry ingredients in a medium saucepan. Beat the eggs and then stir into the dry ingredients with ricotta and vanilla. Mix over low heat until it is well blended and forms a sticky dough. Carefully drop teaspoons of dough 3-5 at a time and fry until golden brown, turning over if needed (sometimes they will flip on their own). Average frying time is about 4 minutes per zeppole. Finished zeppoles are golden brown. Using tongs, place in paper towel lined casserole or foil pan to drain. Dust with powdered sugar. Let oil cool and dispose of in containers either in the trash or through a municipal oil recycling program. *Do not put oil down your drains! Makes 30-35 zeppole

*Bringing them somewhere? Use a 1/2 lb deli container filled with powdered sugar. Poke holes in the top so people can sprinkle their own or lift off cap and dip!


Dina Manzo Begins Again

imageHappy Saturday folks! I know it’s taken me longer than usual to print this, but things have been moving so fast this summer! I took a couple of days off to reconnect with my own real housewife world by taking my tots to the beach. Back and refreshed, and ready to get down to unfinished business, I knew I had to start with getting this little eventerview from July to you.

On July 13th Velocity 1 Media held the RHONJ premier party and many of the Housewives and Househusbands were on deck along with other Bravolebs. High on my list of priorities was getting to meet born again Housewife Dina Manzo. Dina, despite her petite stature, emits quite a powerful presence…maybe all those Buddhas in her home have worn off. Whatever it was, I didn’t want to approach her like the throngs of fans were and disturb her peace. Lucky for me an old classmate was there who works for her…fate always keeps me attached to this business somehow. The resulting conversation was in actuality not intimidating at all. I found Dina to be all love and light. She thanked ME for taking the time to talk to her. Dina, the pleasure was all mine…

TBB: How does it feel to be at your first premier night back on Real Housewives of New Jersey?

DM: Tonight feels amazing! We’re here raising money for two great causes; Project Ladybug being one of them, and meeting the fans was always my favorite part of this. Everyone’s so nice, I get to know new people, it’s just a good experience.

TBB: Will we see a lot of your Project Ladybug work on (RHONJ) this season?

DM: Yes, you’ll see a big event and all the drama that leads up to it (laughs).

TBB: How did your daughter Lexi feel about your decision to return to Housewives

DM: She was cool with it. She’s 18 now, she’s not impressed by her mother on television at all so she was like, “Yeah, whatever you want to do…”

TBB: Well, welcome back. I think I speak for a lot of the fans when I say that when you left so did a lot of the fun and the light heartedness and we’re all hoping that you can bring it back again!

DM: Well I think, I hope I did a good job. I know I chuckled at my interview comments so I hope I bring that little “taking the edge off the drama” back.


How do you feel about Dina’s return to the show so far this season? Share your thoughts below. Your email will never be shared or sold.