NEW YORK -- Eva Longoria's character on "Desperate Housewives" isn't exactly domestic, but in real life the actress says she "tries to cook every day."
She's released a cookbook called "Eva's Kitchen: Cooking with Love for Family and Friends." It includes family recipes and her own go-to dishes such as chicken tortilla soup.
The 36-year-old actress, who plays a former model and the youngest of the housewives on Wisteria Lane on the ABC nighttime soap opera, is a big cookbook collector and had a clear vision of the beautiful photos and stories she wanted with her own book.
Compiling the dishes into cookbook recipes, though, was at times challenging, she said Thursday.
"I'm a natural cooker, and I cook by instinct so if I want salt I'll put salt and if I don't I don't, so I felt really bad telling people to put, you know, a quarter-cup of cheese if they didn't want it, you know, I'm like, `Or not! You don't have to!'" she said. "I just felt really bossy so that was really hard for me because I always find cooking so natural."
Longoria's advice for those who aren't kitchen naturals is to get your timing right – especially with breakfast.
"People tend to make eggs first, and eggs should be the last things you make because they're the fastest," she said. "You should always make your bacon or your biscuits first because they can sit. Then you make your hot-stove items."
Her must-have ingredient is lemon.
"I put lemon in everything, on everything," she says with a laugh. "It's really great for sauces, for dressings, for fish, for meat. I love lemon. I always have fresh lemons in the house. Also I have an herb garden so I have cilantro, I have mint, I have basil, and it's always great to just pick those off right from the garden and put them into food."
Longoria, who filed for divorce from San Antonio Spurs basketball player Tony Parker last year, says she still has many other dishes and crockpot recipes that didn't make it into the cookbook and she'd like to write another one in the future.