MONROE, Conn -- A breast cancer diagnosis four years ago forced Monroe resident Judy Vig to think differently about the way she cooks.
Naturally, her identical twin, Joy Paoletti of Trumbull, followed suit.
The two, avid chefs and Food Network Challenge winners, had already written one cookbook and done countless cooking demos. The illness, however, not only brought the sisters closer (if that's even possible -- the two finish each other's sentences as itis), but it put them on a mission to teach the world about easy -- healthier -- recipe substitutions.
They are now sharing all that and more -- their banter alone is worth the price of admission -- in a new HooplaHa digital series, Cooking with Twins which debuts in November, just before Thanksgiving.
The two are also piecing today the final touches on their newest cookbook due out in early 2017 that concentrates on the traditional recipes they grew up with in their large Italian family --revamped to be more nutritious, (As of this writing the cookbook remains untitled.).
In other words, expect favorites like lasagna reimagined into lasagna soup and fall favorites like sauces and stews. "For every recipe there will be two versions," explained Vig. "So readers have a choice."
"We'll even have options on adding noodles or not -- or adding less noodles so readers can control their calories," said Paoletti.
All recipes will feature nutrition and calorie details.
And there will be detail on presentation -- something the twins are known for. "We just did a fall stew served in a large pumpkin and people go crazy for that," said Vig.
"People eat with their eyes first," said Paoletti, "So we like to focus on dressing up dishes. Plus, when people hear the word, 'healthy,' they don't necessarily thing 'good' so we want to change that."
"We never want fine with our recipes and presentations,' she added. "We want fabulous."
Both women hope people take away from the show not only great recipe ideas but a lot of happiness and lot of laughter.
"They'll see a lot of sister banter," said Vig of the Norwalk-based HooplaHa show, which will be more of a "chew" than a traditional talk show. It is, after all, a streaming series about food, family, and fun.
And, possibly, family guests.'