'Real Housewives' Kathy Wakile on indulgence and making enough for an army

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September 26, 2014|Richard Gorelick | The Baltimore Sun

The Baltimore Book Festival is this weekend. Among this year’s lineup of visiting cookbook authors is Kathy Wakile, a cast member of Bravo's popular “Real Housewives of New Jersey” series. 

Wakile is on a national tour for her first cookbook, “Indulge: Delicious Little Desserts that Keep Life Real Sweet,” published by St. Martin's Griffin.

Wakile, who lives in Wayne, N.J. with her husband, Rich, and their children, Joseph and Victoria, answered our questions about induldgence and the Thanksgiving episode that first brought her desserts to the attention of “Real Housewives” fans.

It is really OK to indulge? Does keeping dessert bite-size keep people from over-indulging?

It’s not OK to overindulge; however I believe having a small bite of something indulgent will satisfy your sweet tooth. If you deprive yourself altogether I’ve found that your craving only gets stronger and that’s what can lead you down the path of overindulgence. By keeping my desserts bite-sized you're focusing on what you can have rather than what you can’t. Since the portion is already done for you, it’s something to look forward to instead of feeling like your missing out on something special. 

Is indulgence making a comeback? 

I feel that being realistic is making a comeback. Let’s be honest, it’s very difficult to live a lifestyle that is so rigid and strict. That goes for our diets as well. However, if we stay on a healthy path and set realistic goals for ourselves, allowing some indulgence, we'll have a more successful long-term balanced lifestyle, and we’re happy. 

For readers that don’t know "Real Housewives of New Jersey," the Thanksgiving dessert extravaganza was a big deal. Did the crew get to eat any of the desserts?

"I always cook and bake enough for an army, it’s just the way I was brought up, so yes absolutely! I even brought take-home containers for everyone on the crew. It was Thanksgiving and they were away from their families and loved ones I wanted them to indulge and have a sense of holiday as well. 

What was the hardest thing about doing a cookbook?   Were there some recipes that you just made by instinct and memory but now you had to put them on paper?

The hardest thing for me about writing this cookbook was remembering to pay attention to every small detail and remembering to write everything down. There are some recipes that I tested too many times to recall, simply because I was multi-tasking as most creative people do, especially in the kitchen. I had to constantly remind myself that this was for a book that would potentially be used by first-time bakers and/or someone that’s not very experienced. Instinct comes from doing and experience.   

Do you have family or friends in Baltimore? Have you visited before?

My family and I  visited Baltimore a few years ago; however our visit was so brief. Rich and I are looking forward to visiting again this weekend.  I don’t have any family or friends in Baltimore. However, I have a feeling after this weekend that will change. That has to be the best part of traveling across the country -- meeting and connecting with so many wonderful people, many of whom my husband and I have maintained lasting friendships with.  

The Baltimore Book Festival is noon to 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday at the Inner Harbor.

The popular Food for Thought stage, which presents celebrity chefs, cookbook authors and food demonstrations throughout the weekend, is located this year in Kaufman Pavilion at Rash Field. 

Kathy Wakile will appear at the Food for Thought stage Sunday at noon. For the Food for Thought schedule and more information, call 410-752-8632 or go to baltimorebookfestival.com.

 Correction: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated Wakile's status on "The Real Housewives of New Jersey." She is still a cast member. The Sun regrets the error. 

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