Tiffani Thiessen Says She 'Can Never Say No' to This Comfort Food

September 10 2016

Tiffani Thiessen's love of cooking started at an early age.

Tiffani Thiessen September 2016

"When I was around nine my mom was working the evening shift and I was the only girl left at home. So being that my dad didn't cook, I was placed as head chef, fixing my dad and brothers dinner every night," the host of Cooking Channel's Dinner at Tiffani's told Sweet Paul magazine's Fall issue. "It was my first real lesson in cooking for others."

Now, the matriarch of a family-of-four — Theissen shares Harper, 6, and Holt, 13 months, with husband Brady Smith — still enjoys making meals and passing down her passion for food.

"I have a daughter who has finally become my little side-kick in the kitchen and loves to cook along side of me," said the former Saved by the Bell star. "As well, I have a baby boy who I call my gourmet baby. He eats anything and loves it. He has a big appetite and a love of food...and I am not talking baby food. Once that kid got a taste of real food, he never went back. I can't tell you how much it puts a smile on my face to see my son loving all different types of food."

And since Thiessen is raising little foodies, she makes sure her pantry is packed with a variety of ingredients and snacks.

"Being that I have two kids...I have seaweed snacks, freeze-dried fruit, applesauce pouches, granola bars, graham crackers, and quick mac 'n' cheese for those nights. You know what nights I mean," she explained.

In addition to staples like infused oils, pastas, nut butters and dark chocolate, Theissen also keeps her husband's favorites on hand. "[I always have] ketchup and hot sauce because I'm married to a Texan," said the star. "[As well as] spices galore, different varieties of citrus from my citrus tress, fresh herbs from my garden, and cacoa of every type."

So what is Thiessen's all-time favorite dish? It all comes back to childhood nostalgia.

"I can never say no to a good grilled cheese with caramelized onions and homemade roasted tomato soup," said Thiessen. "Of course it has to be accompanied with a big glass of wine. And then there's nothing wrong with ending a great meal with something sweet like my chocolate espresso brownies."

We couldn't agree more. (People.com)

A little update

September 10 2016

As you know, I haven't updated the site in awhile. I'm sorry. My business is finally taking off and really consuming my time. I don't even know how Tiffani does it herself (she's got to have some kind of superpowers ;).

But I wanted to let you know that I'm here and that the site isn't going anywhere, so feel free to continue exploring. I'll chime in from time to time, like I'm doing now, and do some updates, but I have a feeling, they'll be few and far between.

In the meantime, keep visiting the Tiffani Thiessen Connection website. Summer is doing a great job with new photos of Tiffani, you have to see them!

Thank you for your patience. xoxo Jess

Tiffani Thiessen's Food Diary: What I Eat in a Day

June 25 2016

Tiffani Thiessen June 2016

For Tiffani Thiessen, cooking is a family affair. The host of Dinner at Tiffani's found a love for the kitchen through her mom and grandmother before her, and now she's passing on that affection to her kids.

"I grew up in a long line of women who love to cook," Thiessen tells PEOPLE, "I just kind of went right into it with them. As I've gotten older and I started traveling to other countries, my love of cooking just expanded."

She and daughter Harper, 5, work together on their favorite breakfast most mornings.

"Being from California, avocado toast is very popular in our house, we have it almost every morning," Thiessen says. "She loves making that-I think she just likes smashing up the avocados!"

Thiessen kicks off her day with the Instagram-friendly breakfast, all part of her goal to eat healthy post-baby.

"I wish I could eat what I want, but I just had a baby a couple months ago, so I'm trying to eat healthier these days," she says. "I try to use a balance of the 80/20 percent, where 80 percent of the time I'm eating very well, and 20 percent of the time I'm a little more adventurous." People)

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To lose the baby weight she gained while carrying her 11-months-old son Holt, the 5'6" Thiessen is focusing on boosting her protein intake and banning bad carbohydrates from her diet.

Thiessen kicks off her day with the Instagram-friendly breakfast, all part of her goal to eat healthy post-baby.

"I wish I could eat what I want, but I just had a baby a couple months ago, so I'm trying to eat healthier these days," she says. "I try to use a balance of the 80/20 percent, where 80 percent of the time I'm eating very well, and 20 percent of the time I'm a little more adventurous."

To lose the baby weight she gained while carrying her 11-months-old son Holt, the 5'6" Thiessen is focusing on boosting her protein intake and banning bad carbohydrates from her diet.

"For me, it's high protein, and really coming down on the carbs, or the bad carbs, as much as possible," she says. "I'm nursing, so I can't be too crazy and really be minimal, so I try to eat a whole grain everyday because I think it's important, and because I want to give my baby everything he needs too. He's not on a diet!"

Check out her daily food log below, and pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now, to read more about her diet.

Hydration

3 liters of water throughout the day

Breakfast

Avocado toast, made with ½ and avocado and one slice of whole-grain toast

1 cup of Signature SELECT Kona Blend coffee with Stevia

Post-Gym Snack

8 oz. protein shake, made with protein powder and unsweetened almond milk

Lunch

3 oz. halibut with oven roasted tomatoes and ½ cup quinoa

1 all-natural zero-calorie ginger root beer

Snack

2 sliced Persian cucumbers sprinked with fresh lemon juice

Dinner

Roasted veggie chopped salad, with asparagus, carrots, red onions, romaine lettuce, iceberg lettuce, salami, mozzarella, cherry tomatoes, garbanzo beans, red wine vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper

Total Calories:

1,083

The Verdict

Thiessen's meals are impressively well-rounded, says dietician Keri Glassman of nutritiouslife.com. "That is an excellent, portion-controlled dinner," Glassman says. "It's veggie-heavy, with adequate protein and a little fat." Her post-gym protein shake is "great," because she's "getting protein, which is satisfying, and calcium." But she could easily add in almond butter or ground flaxseeds to increase her low calorie count for the day. Overall though, her meals are "excellent."

NOTE: It is recommended that women eat at least 1,200 calories per day, and men eat at least 1,800 calories per day.

Beverly Hills, 90210 Costars Tori Spelling and Tiffani Thiessen End Their 10-Year Feud

June 25 2016

If only it happened at the Peach Pit! After nearly 10 years of silence, Beverly Hills, 90210 costars Tori Spelling and Tiffani Thiessen recently reconnected at their kids' L.A. school, a source reveals in the new issue of Us Weekly.

Tori Spelling and Tiffani Thiessen

Spelling — who has Liam, 9, Stella, 8, Hattie, 4, and Finn, 3, with Dean McDermott — and the mom of Harper, 6, and Holt, 11 months (with Brady Smith), "hugged at a picnic," says an onlooker. "They're getting back on the path of being really close again."

The rift began in 2006 when Spelling, 43, cheated on then-husband Charlie Shanian with McDermott, 49. The True Tori star broke the news of the split to Shanian through their therapist. Thiessen, 42, who was close with Shanian, "took it personally," adds the source. "She took Charlie's side over Tori's."

But now, continues the source, "she and Tori have mutual friends and it's easier to get along."

Spelling, who played Donna Martin, opened up to Ryan Seacrest in 2010 about feuding with her 90210 pals. "All of a sudden I marry Dean, and I don't know what happened," she said. "I lost all my cast members."

When asked about Thiessen, who played Valerie Malone, Spelling admitted, "She doesn't talk to me anymore."

Zack and Kelly, Together Again! Tiffani Thiessen and Mark-Paul Gosselaar Reunite

June 25 2016

Mark Paul and Tiffani Thiessen 2016

The Saved By the Bell nostalgia continues to flow like milkshakes at the Max.

Fresh off the news that a diner themed around the show will open in Chicago this summer, fans now have a new reason to get excited: Zack and Kelly are back on! Well, sort of.

Tiffani Thiessen and Mark-Paul Gosselaar have returned to television together, this time for an episode of her Cooking Channel show, Dinner at Tiffani's. (People)

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Thiessen had previously hinted to PEOPLE that there "might possibly" be a reunion with her former on-screen beau this season, and now we have photo evidence. Staying true to their roots, the pair is clad in head-to-toe denim to satisfy all of your '90s fashion trend needs.

The Saved By the Bell nostalgia continues to flow like milkshakes at the Max.

Fresh off the news that a diner themed around the show will open in Chicago this summer, fans now have a new reason to get excited: Zack and Kelly are back on! Well, sort of.

Tiffani Thiessen and Mark-Paul Gosselaar have returned to television together, this time for an episode of her Cooking Channel show, Dinner at Tiffani's.

Tiffani Thiessen with Mark-Paul Selfie

Thiessen had previously hinted to PEOPLE that there "might possibly" be a reunion with her former on-screen beau this season, and now we have photo evidence. Staying true to their roots, the pair is clad in head-to-toe denim to satisfy all of your '90s fashion trend needs.

And while we all know that their SBTB characters ended up in wedded bliss with each other, each of them is now happily married to other people — Thiessen to actor Brady Smith, and Gosselaar to Catriona McGinn. Both spouses appear in the episode as well, and the four of them even stopped to snap a selfie together.

Thiessen has had other members of the cast on her show in previous seasons, including Elizabeth Berkley and Mario Lopez.

For a taste of the episode (which airs Wednesday, May 11 at 8 p.m. ET), you can whip up Thiessen's grilled artichokes which she'll serve alongside lobster and blueberry mojitos. Get her full recipe below!

Tiffani Thiessen Shares 3 Easy Treats to Surprise Mom With on Mother's Day

June 25 2016

Tiffani Thiessen is busy these days with her Cooking Channel show, "Dinner at Tiffani's," but it's her role as mom to daughter Harper, 5, and 10-month-old son Holt that means the most to her. The 42-year-old actress stopped by "The Insider With Yahoo" to chat about how motherhood has changed her. "Oh, I'm definitely more tired for sure," she teased. "I think it's definitely the hardest job, but it's the most rewarding job." Thiessen, who's teamed up with Albertsons Companies to help launch its new Signature. (Yahoo!)

Tiffani Reveals the Super-Healthy Meal She Eats 'Four to Five Times a Week'

June 25 2016

Tiffani Thiessen super healty meal cooking

Tiffani Thiessen is a creature of habit when it comes to her meal of choice.

"One thing I make four to five times a week is really beautiful fresh sauteed kale, which we grow, and a lovely fried egg on top on a really nice piece of whole grain toast with a little black pepper," the host of Dinner at Tiffani's, 41, tells PEOPLE. "It's perfect." (People)

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Another of her go-to meals is flatbread pizza — especially if she's short on prep time.

The actress also shared what she considers her signature sandwich.

"If I go more nostalgic, it would be a really good classic grilled cheese sandwich with some caramelized onions," she says. "If I'm going a little crazy, it would be a panini with very thinly sliced green apples, a little arugula, a little walnut oil, some turkey and some nice Brie. You've got a little sour, you've got a little sweet, a little savory. You've got it all!"

Though her Mother's Day plans aren't finalized — "Sleeping in maybe! Putting my feet up..." — the mom to Harper, 5, and Holt, 9 months, says she wouldn't mind doing the cooking for the day.

"Here's the thing — I enjoy cooking," she says. "It's so funny, my husband always says, 'Let's not cook, I want you to relax.' And I'm like, 'But you don't understand, I love to cook!' As long as he does the dishes — which he always does!"

Tiffani Thiessen Dishes on Her Favorite Foods

June 25 2016

NEW HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — You might remember her has Kelly Kapowski on Saved by the Bell or Valerie Malone on Beverly Hills 90210. CT Style Reporter Meghan Yost recently had the chance to chat with Tiffani Thiessen about her newest role, which happens to be in the kitchen.

We all know that a meal is more than just food on the table; it's a chance to create memories, no matter how busy we are. And with so many special occasions coming up — from Mother's Day and Father's Day to graduations — now is the perfect time to look at ways to make meals special that don't necessarily require a ton of time or money.

As a working mom herself, actress and "Cooking Channel" host Thiessen knows that finding time to whip up a four-course meal can be tough. But she says that doesn't mean delicious food — or special moments — have to be sacrificed. Watch the video to find out Thiessen's favorite tips and ingredients that turn the simplest of moments into special memories. (WTNH.com)

Tiffani: I'd Rather Nurse in a Bathroom Stall Than in Public

June 25 2016

Tiffani Thiessen is a proud breast-feeding mother, but she won't be joining the #brelfie movement.

"I think a woman should be able to breastfeed anywhere and everywhere," the Dinner at Tiffani's star, who is still nursing her son, Holt, 9 months, tells Us Weekly. (US Magazine)

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"I do what I need to do, but usually in a restroom and sadly sit on a toilet and nurse my child," revealed Thiessen, who says she feels a bit conservative when feeding her child. "At the same time, I don't judge women who sit at a dinner table and do it. It's just not me."

While celebrities such as Beyonce have touted the weight loss benefits of breast-feeding, Thiessen says it has never made her "skinny."

"That's a myth for me," says the actress, who recently partnered with Albertsons and Safeway to launch its new Signature brand. "I'm still not there. What are you going to do? I can't starve myself because that's not good for my child."

Instead of stressing over the scale, Thiessen is focusing on her family. The Saved by the Bell alum, 42, and her actor husband, Brady Smith, are also parents of Harper, 5, — and six rescue chickens named Scarlett, Mable, Clementine, Molly, Dolly and Ruby.

"I swear, I think my husband has his picture and number at all the rescue places and they just know to call him," Thiessen cracks to Us. "He's obsessed with our chickens right now." And so is Harper. "She feeds them. We give them leftovers all the time, little scraps."

The Los Angeles-based brood also grow their own food in the backyard. "We have tons of veggie gardens and huge citrus trees," she raves. "We kind of have our own little thing going — our own little signature line, per se, in the Smith household."

How actress Tiffani Thiessen hopes to save her young daughter from body image issues

June 25 2016

You know Tiffani Thiessen from "Saved by the Bell," "Beverly Hills, 90210" and "White Collar." These days, she is hanging out in a new locale: the set for her Cooking Channel show. Now in its second season, "Dinner at Tiffani's" finds Thiessen, 42, wearing an apron and preparing food with family, friends and former cast mates. Her husband of nearly 11 years, actor Brady Smith, and their kids, 5-year-old daughter Harper and infant son Holt, often pop in. The family lives in suburban Los Angeles, where they sometimes are spotted at farmers markets and along hiking trails.

What life lessons have you learned in the kitchen?

The lessons were from my mother, my grandmother and my aunt. Those were the women I would be next to in the kitchen as a little girl, learning tricks and tools and how to cook. And I learned to have fun. Having fun is always the No. 1 thing. ... Food to me is connecting. The people who I enjoy cooking for the most are my family. I love being in the kitchen with my daughter right next to me on her step stool. It's sweet; we're connecting. And I love that's what food does. (LA Times)

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What advice do you have to help busy parents avoid the drive-thru?

Sundays are my day that I always try to prep meals for the week. If I need ingredients that I'm not growing in our yard, I go to the farmers market. I really try to plan out my dinners in advance. That helps me a ton, so that I'm prepared. And if I can't do the whole entire week on Sunday, I try to do it in the morning. But mornings are definitely a lot harder than it is to do it on Sunday.

You're a busy, working mom — how do you achieve balance in your life?

Well, I don't know if I can actually say I've achieved it but I'm trying! I would not be able to do it without my husband. We've never had a nanny, but we have a lot of family help. My mom traveled with us and lived with us in New York when I was shooting "White Collar." She helped us with Harper and would go to set with me every day because I was nursing. The same when I had Holt; my mom or mother-in-law helped me with the baby and came to set every day. It was all family. As of right now, we're making it work.

How have you gotten back in shape after having a baby last year?

I'm trying. It's hard with no sleep! I like variety. I'm not a person who does the same thing every day. It's kind of how I feel about food — I can't eat the same thing every day. I do circuit training twice a week. I spin twice a week. I do Pilates once a week. And we love to do a lot of hiking on the weekends with the kids.

You started out as a child doing beauty pageants. It's no secret that Hollywood puts enormous pressure on actresses to look a certain way. How do you deal with that?

When I feel good, my daughter sees that. I would never want her to hear me say something that is putting myself down. I give so much credit to my husband because he's so sweet and supportive. There's not a day that goes by that he doesn't tell me I'm beautiful. If I have a positive attitude about myself, I'm going to teach my daughter the same thing. I want to teach her that eating right and exercising and being healthy is what's important, not what size jeans you wear.

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