Interview With Carlo Fuda (Contestant from The American Baking Competition)

american baking comp


I contacted Carlo Fuda, a contestant from The American Baking Competition on CBS, and asked him if he’d do an interview with me for the blog!  He said yes!!!

Why do you think CBS chose you to be on The American Baking Competition?

Although born in the United States, practically everything I make is strongly influenced by my personal and direct connection to Italy – I have been there about 30 times, visiting most of the boot, top to bottom, lived there several times, went to school in Florence, worked in Milan, performed with a rock band in Turin, and raised by my awesome parents who are from Italy.  I think CBS selected me for the competition because I brought a unique perspective on baking – one strongly influenced by Italy, but made by a proud American.   
You like to bake… what’s your favorite part of baking?

My favorite part of baking is definitely the sharing and the eating.  I love making food for others – it’s so personal and shows people you care – you want to feed them.  I also love the eating.  Actually, now that I think about it, eating is my favorite part.  

If you could do it all over again… would you still have made Ricotta Easter Pie as your signature pie?

Absolutely. Without. A. Doubt. I bleed red, white, and green, and my Ricotta Easter Pie, which included a spice combination and flavor palate that is common in Italy, truly represents my passion for Italy and the many adventures I have had there.  If going bold means going home, I’m okay with that because it’s important to me to stay true to my essence.

Have you ever been to the Sistine Chapel?

My first trip to the Sistine Chapel was in 1999, and that is one of my most favorite and most memorable trips to Italy (it was with my brother, who is my best friend).  I stood in absolute awe when I visited – I could have stayed looking at every detail for hours.  I have a unique souvenir from that experience – I later got a tattoo of “The Hands of Creation” to always remind me of that trip. 

How hard was the technical bake?

The technical bakes were challenging because you have no idea what to expect.  It could be something you make all the time or something you have never even eaten. 

What is your most favorite Italian baked item ever?

My most favorite Italian baked item ever is the Rum Baba.  It is a small mushroom shaped cake drenched in rum and often filled with cream.  It packs a punch and is so delicious! 

If you had to choose pizzelles, pasticiottis, or cannolis (any flavors) – and you could eat one and not the others for the rest of your life, what would you choose?  (I tried to answer this question myself and I just CAN’T choose!!  So I want to know your thoughts…)

This is a tough one!  I adore pasticiottis (especially lemon), but admittedly have a soft spot for cannolis – They are one of my ‘go-to’s’ when I visit Arthur Avenue in the Bronx.  I love the crunchy shell and many variations of the cream filling (from chocolate to candied fruit).  I have made them so many times with my Zia Concetta who lives in Italy, and her ricotta cream is my favorite that I have ever had.  It’s not that I don’t like pizzelles, but I require gelato sandwiched in-between two when I eat them. 

Who are you closest to on the show, The American Baking Competition?

The most amazing part of this journey has been the friendships.  I got along with everyone – and all of my baking friends were a pleasure to meet.  As you know, Whitney is my girl.  I’m very close with Effie and Francine – I talk to them almost daily, and not only are they dear friends, they are my baking mentors.  They are amazingly talented!
Was Jeff Foxworthy hilarious?  

Not only is Jeff hilarious, but he is one of the most sincere and sweetest people I have ever met.  I loved talking to him about his trips to Italy, which of course would lead to conversations about food, la dolce vita, and limoncello! 
Is Marcela Valladolid as beautiful in person as she is on tv?

 More so.  I admire Marcela so much – she is beautiful inside-out.  I love her style, appreciate her expertise, and respect her admiration for her cultural heritage, which is something I can definitely relate to.  

What is your most favorite memory from being on the show, The American Baking Competition?

My most favorite memory from being on the show was the finale party where all of the eliminated contestants surprised the three finalists along with their families.  It was so much fun and so exciting!  I remember laughing a lot that day, and we got to fill up on the finale showstoppers.  YUM!


Thursday Thoughts



The WINNER of the American Baking Competition…. BRIAN EMMETT (sorry if you were planning to watch this and I ruined it for you).  Brian’s not who I wanted to win.  I decided from the beginning of the last episode I wanted Darlene Pawlukowsky to win, and I was going to buy her book.  I don’t think I’ll be purchasing Brian’s (sorry).

Here is a link to Darlene Pawlukowsky’s Peanut Cake Roll and Brian’s Peanut Vanilla Chiffon Rolle

I am so sad this show is over!!!  I hope they do another season.

I’ll be traveling tonight during the Big Brother eviction… If Elissa leaves I’ll stop watching the show (that’s probably not true) – but I will be really sad.

big brother mean girls

(I found this on tumblr and it’s hilarious and perfect!)

Thursday Thoughts (a day late)

Today is FRIDAY and I’m doing Thursday Thoughts with Jen over at Ramblings of a Suburban Mom.  I know, I’m a day late, but yesterday was the 4th of July!
We were celebrating all day!

american baking comp
We’re down to the final 3!!!!  I was so sad to see Elaine Francisco and James Reddick go!  But I couldn’t argue with the judges decision.  Actually ever episode I’ve agreed with the judges choice of who goes home.  Here’s a link to Darlene Pawlukowsky’s apple/pear/cranberry Tarte Tatin.
Exciting news… I reached out to Carlo Fuda, one of the contestants on The American Baking Competition, and he agreed to do a little interview with me for the blog!  Soo that’s coming soon!

big brother
For big brother news…. I am SOOOOOO glad that Elissa wasn’t the first one out of the house.  I’d probably stop watching all together.
I really didn’t care to see David go (sorry David).  Your “showmance” with Aryan was making me feel dumb.  (and yeah I know, watching big brother 3 nights a week isn’t the most intelligent activity, but watching that relationship “develop” made it much worse).  And I JUST read about David saying his sheets smelled because “black Candice” sat on them.  And Aryan responded with something like, “at least you didn’t make Asian eyes in the diary room.”  Totally NOT cool.  I hope Aryan’s the next to go.
So long David.

Thursday Thoughts


Well, I am a BIG fan of the show The American Baking Competition.  This week Whitney Appleton Beery, AND Carlo Fuda visited my blog and left comments.  So cool!


Last night on the show it was bread week!  Darlene made the most amazing looking twist and turn pesto wheel.


I wish that they put that recipe on but they didn’t.  But who am I kidding, bread!?  Aint no body got time for yeast and proofing!  I have to admit, anyone who makes a yeast bread is pretty talented in my world.  Here is Elaine’s Old Fashion Loaf recipe.  This also looked very good!


I think I am just as shocked as everyone else.  This was totally unexpected.  RIP James Gandolfini.

teresa interrogizing

Anyone else catch Teresa Giudice on this week’s episode saying “I’m not interrogizing you sweetheart.”? I love it!!

Whitney Appleton Beery’s got my blog blowin up!

Hi! I’ve found out that people are visiting my blog from a link on facebook. All Whitney Appleton Beery fans… AND Whitney Appleton Beery (link to her blog)!

I really enjoy the show The American Baking Competition on CBS! When it first started I wrote a post about my first impressions of the contestants, and the order I thought they’d be eliminated (you can view it here).

I am a big fan of the show!  The reason I questioned if that was her real name is because it’s just a great name for someone who bakes!  My first impressions were just that and I totally understand that reality TV shows are edited.  I am sure Whitney is a terrific baker – she made it on the show, that’s a big deal!


image from

Thursday Thoughts


Today is Thursday and it’s time to link up with Jen at Ramblings of a Suburban Mom

american baking comp

Last night on The American Baking Competition (episode 3)…  I love Elaine’s cakes!  She made Coconut Pineapple Upside Down Cake and it looked delicious.  Oh and poor Kolette!  The judges keep telling her to work on her presentation and it just not working out for her.  BUT she totally made up for it in the suprise inside cake where she made a towering checkerboard cake!  Which really inspired me to bake more again…  and Elaine’s suprise inside cake chocolate and vanilla with strawberry mouse inside the shape of a heart- OMGGG it looked amazing!!  I wish they posted that recipe!  I am TOTALLY going to make at least ONE of the recipes from the show this summer.


there’s a suprise inside!!!!

the view

This week on The View my girls from Real Housewives of New Jersey were on (sans Teresa Giudice).  I loved it but they were only on for like 7 minutes.


Nicholas saying I love you – ohhh I cried and cried!  It made me so happy and touched my heart!



Anyone watch the Bruins vs Blackhawks game 1 of the Stanely Cup?  Maybe if you were living on the West Coast… because that thing didn’t end until the THIRD overtime!  And overtimes are an entire 20 minutes if no one scores.  Sadly the Bruins lost … glad I went to bed after the first overtime.

Thursday Thoughts…


celtic circle necklace

I bought this necklace for my Niece’s 11th birthday.  I have a celtic necklace I wear sometimes and she said she wanted one.  The celitc knot is charm size, but it being tiny makes it delicate and sweet.  The etsy shop is here: – she makes nice handmade jewelery at incredibly affordable prices.  This necklace was $12 with $3 dollars shipping.

This Week’s Reality TV Villian Awards…

The Bronze Medal goes too…


Joe Giudice!!  He makes the list for calling Milania’s Aunt Melissa “Horsey Face” on the phone before meeting her for a play date.  Not nice Juicy Joe!


The Silver Medal goes too…

Brian Emmett!!!  From the American Baking Competition.  He sort of cheated by making two batches of cookies – when the rules were to present what you made.  They were kind of not clear about that… but the show needs some suspense.  I guess he just makes Silver.

 The GOLD medal goes too…


BEN SCOTT!!!  From the Bachelorette.  Ben did bring his son to the first episode to meet Desiree and he was adorable (the boy, not Ben).  If I was that boy’s mom my head would have exploded.  I don’t really understand Ben’s relationship with the mom, he says they’re best friends…   Anyway, that’s not why he won the Villian award.  He won it when he ALREADY had a rose – and was cutting guys off like a creep.  Something about this guy gives me chills… I do not trust him and it seems like Desiree really likes him.

Thusday Thoughts


Today is Thursday and it’s time to link up with Jen at Ramblings of a Suburban Mom

american baking comp

The American Baking Competition Wednesdays on CBS… This show premired last night… and I had no intentions of watching it… but nothing else was on.  I gave it a shot… and it was inspiring!  It made me want to bake!  It also taught me that the WORST thing you can do to a pie is have a “soggy bottom”.  I think a lot of my pies have had soggy bottoms… I didn’t know this was a key indicator of a good or bad pie!!  So since this is a competition show, each week a contestant is eliminated… I HAVE to share my predictions based on the first episode…

#1 Carlo Fuda: first eliminated… and I called it.  He did bad on all three challenges.

#2 Whitney Appleton Beery:  Is that really her name?!  I think she’ll be second to go.  She’s just too young (21)!  The others have years of experience… she’s a little bit too cocky for my liking too.

jeremy cross
#3 Jeremy Cross: He was so not impressive the first episode and likey to be eliminated very soon… it would be predictable to say he’s 2nd to go but I’m going to say he’ll be 3rd.

#4 James Reddick: The heart throb of the group… you have to have a young handsome baker for the woman watching the show to drool over.  I think this will only take him so far… and the other ladies will beat him with experience.

#5 Darlene Pawlukowsky: She seems like a middle of the pack kinda lady now… but I am sure she’ll shine in a later episode.

#6 Kolette Biddle: She’s cute!!  But is she an emotional mess?  We’ll see!!!

#7 Elaine Francisco: Ohh I want her to teach me to bake.  Her peach cobbler was a mess though, to be fair she didn’t have enough time!!  Her lattice was a mess too… but she redeemed herself!!

briana emmett
#8 Brian Emmett: I am pretty sure he’ll make it far in this competition but he won’t win… he seems a little too full of himself and not the kind of person they want winning.

#9 Effie D. Sahihi: She’s adorable!  I loved her tarts!

#10 WINNER Francine Bryson: nothing she makes is low calorie… but I wanna eat ANYTHING this lady bakes.  WOW!  She’s super funny too!  Totally a fan!  She’ll be the winner!