In this series, we review celebrity cookbooks -- not "chef" celebrities, but the stars of the silver and small screens. This time we're reviewing Eva's Kitchen: Cooking with Love for Family and Friends by Eva Longoria.
Who knew that Desperate Housewives star Eva Longoria could cook? We assumed she's just like her character, Gabrielle Solis, who is a plain travesty in the kitchen. (Remember her trying to bake a pineapple upside-down cake this past season?) But in fact, real-life Eva seems to outshine Gabby when it comes to cooking.
Though we always imagined that Eva was born in heels and bathed in baby shampoo made with liquid diamonds, her book reveals that her beginnings were far humbler -- she grew up on a ranch outside of Corpus Christi, Texas, tending the garden and the chickens. Her dad instilled in her a "waste not want not" philosophy, and her biggest cooking influence came from her Aunt Elsa, who ran a catering business. Well, count us red-faced.
If you're thinking this book is all Latin cuisine, think again. Eva's recipes take international inspiration from her life's journey, covering a bit of French (which, ahem, we're all assuming is inspired by her ex-husband, NBA player Tony Parker), Italian, Caribbean, American and Hungarian cooking. She also praises the virtues of buying organic produce, humanely raised chicken and grass-fed beef.
Here are a few things we found interesting about Eva's book ...
Most Questionable Author Quote: "I cannot count the number of times that I've found myself in a Gucci dress and heels -- with full hair and makeup, about to run out to an event -- pulling a roasted chicken out of the oven in order to make sure that my family is fed before leaving the house to face a hundred photographers on a red carpet." We're going to be looking for grease stains on her next red carpet dress.
Second-Most Questionable Author Quote: "A childhood spent on the water meant that by the time I was 7 years old, I could catch, gut, and fillet a fish." We'd like to see proof of this.
Best Quote About Booze: "[Teri Hatcher] is our unofficial on-set baker, and her philosophy on banana bread is 'the more booze, the better the bread.'"
Shocking Ingredient Recommendation: Miracle Whip (she prefers it to mayonnaise) in her Avocado Stuffed with Shrimp. She also uses ketchup in her dad's Shrimp Cocktail and in Turkey Shepherd's Pie.
Author's Most Requested Recipe: Tortilla Soup, which is based on a magazine recipe she clipped at 12 years old.
Celebrity Cameos: Mario Lopez's Honey-Glazed Salmon, Lake Bell's Eggplant Parmesan, Teri Hatcher's Banana Bread, and Cindy Crawford's Strawberry Rhubarb Pie
Fact Check Alert! When speaking of churros, the book says that "churros are basically Mexican doughnuts ..." (Sorry, but they're Spanish.)
Recipes Our Editors Most Want to Make: Ceviche, Goat Cheese Balls, Banana Bread
Number of Photos In Which Eva Is Dangerously Prepping Food: Three. We really fear for Eva's fingers here. She's never looking at the food!
Overall Rating (1-5): 3
If you're not already an established cook, this celebrity cookbook might be worth buying -- not just for the fact that it's Eva Longoria's book, but also because we'd be happy to try most of the recipes.