2 kids, 3 rescue dogs, 7 chickens, 1 hit Netflix show – and a new cookbook to top it all off. Tiffani Thiessen has come a long way from her Kelly Kapowski days, and the beloved-by-all actress has created a second act that just might be even more impressive than her first. When you meet her, you’ll marvel at how she juggles it all so seamlessly yet stays as down-to-earth as her character on Alexa and Katie (it’s our family’s favorite show to watch together.) On the day of our interview, I hopped in my rental car and drove 30 minutes from West Hollywood to a property that felt a million miles away from the nonstop pace of LA. I hit the buzzer on the gate, and entering the property, I got it.
Tiffani Thiessen’s secret to staying so grounded? The family life she’s created that’s all about enjoying great meals in the sunshine and communing with nature at her oozing-with-charm “farm in Los Angeles.”
Tiffani and her husband, Brady, purchased the 1920’s property (once owned by Hollywood legend Jack Warner) 15 years ago, and have lovingly restored it room-by-room. Luckily, the couple’s not one to shy away from a challenge, and it’s obvious from the rubber work boots by the door and the pickup truck in the driveway that they take their roles as caretakers very seriously. In fact, Tiffani’s desire to jump in and get her hands dirty was evident from the moment we arrived, as she took a break from prepping lobster to grab one end of a heavy dining table that needed to be moved to capture just the right light for our photographer. Then she pulled on those boots and headed out to the chicken coop.
Read on for the incredible Lobster BLT Lettuce Wraps that Tiffani whipped up for us, plus what’s always in her fridge and how she lives life like she means it every day.
We are in love with your “farm in LA!” What drew you to the property?
When we first saw the house it was pretty outdated (lots of mirrors and gold and faux-painted wood), but we felt a connection to the house and saw the potential of what it could be. I think one of the things I love and that makes it so special is that the moment you arrive, you don’t feel like you’re in Los Angeles anymore.
What is life on the farm like?
A perfect day is one spent with the kiddos. Running around outside, swinging, swimming – really anything as long as I am with them.
The family gathers fresh eggs from the chicken coop and uses them in most days’ menus – everything from frittatas to scrambles to baked goods find their way into the kitchen.
What was the inspiration behind your cookbook?
My family. The title of the book, Pull Up a Chair, was a hashtag that I started a while ago, because to me, it was about putting yourself at a table with the people that you love.
What is the one entertaining rule you never break?
Pre-prep! A checklist can do wonders, and I prep all I can in advance.
What would we never find at one of your parties?
Pre-made platters or faux flower arrangements.
What’s your go-to hosting outfit?
For a dinner party or game night, I might put on my leather pants and a cute sweater. For a laid-back girls night (my favorite!), I’ll wear sweats and we’ll relax with tomato soup and grilled cheese.
What would your last meal be?
A gorgeous cheese and charcuterie platter with a giant glass of wine. Actually make that a bottle! 😉
What’s always in your fridge?
Eggs from our girls, fresh greens from my garden and good healthy snacks for the kiddos.
We were amazed by Tiffani’s expansive cookbook collection – and she assured us there were more in other parts of the house. Truly a girl after my own heart!
What makes a good guest?
Anyone who is down to get their hands dirty with me in the kitchen and loves to laugh.
Do you reference any family traditions when you entertain?
Absolutely – I grew up in the kitchen with my mom, grandmother and aunt. I have always loved cooking and learned that from them. But I really started entertaining more when I bought my first house. I loved having people over and having them gather around my table.
Must-have hair and makeup products for parties:
What was one the best meals of your life that you will never forget?
It’s so hard to pick a best because I have been lucky to have been fed by so many talented chefs. But I would say the most memorable was either my first date with my husband or our wedding meal.
LA restaurant that you love:
Malibu Farm. I just went there for my birthday and it’s very much in line with the way I like to cook.
Favorite after-dinner activity or game:
We are big on games in the Smith house. Every month we try to host a game night. Some of our favorites to play are Cards Against Humanity and Celebrity with friends.
It’s not a party without _____
Good company, good food and a good bottle of wine.
When we encountered a stuck champagne cork during the shoot, Tiffani grabbed her saber (yup, she had one casually hanging out in the kitchen), grabbed the bottle and promptly sabered off the stubborn cork. Her tip? Slide the saber up the seam with even pressure. She’s a woman of many talents!
How do you live life like YOU mean it every day?
I make sure the people I love most know how much they are loved and appreciated. I truly feel lucky to do what I do, with the people that I love so much around me.