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EXCLUSIVE: Sarah Michelle Gellar Is Mixing Things Up in Her New Cookbook 'Stirring Up Fun With Food'

by Andi Rocco 9:39 AM PDT, April 04, 2017
Photo: Getty Images

Sarah Michelle Gellar is slaying in the kitchen.

The Buffy the Vampire Slayer star is sharing her creative and kid-friendly recipes in her new cookbook, Stirring Up Fun With Food, highlighting the "special bond that happens in the kitchen and around the table."

Organized by season and occasion, the book offers fun "food crafting" projects for kids to get involved with, allowing them to develop self-confidence and think creatively.

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"I think for my kids, it's been great to see having an idea, starting from scratch, and actually making it into something tangible," Gellar explained during a recent interview with ET while promoting her cookbook. "It's a really proud moment."

Photo: Amy Neunsinger

"I love watching my kids experiment," the mother-of-two gushed. "I love their bravery in the kitchen."

While the 39-year-old actress is adding one more credit to her name as an author, this isn't her first food venture -- she also created the DIY baking line, Foodstirs.

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Stirring Up Fun With Food is available now.

Read the excerpt below to find out Gellar's thoughts on "hiding" ingredients from her kids:

Photo: Courtesy of Grand Central Life & Style

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Most people know me as Buffy the Vampire Slayer. The superhero. The role model. Even her tombstone read, "She saved the world…a lot." I am also a wife, a mother, and -- since I am writing this -- an author.

Food and the experience of cooking mean something different to everyone, but to me they have always been about family. Mealtimes have always been when I "unplug" for a bit and engage in real, honest connections. Once I had kids, this experience became even more important. I wanted my kids not just to love food and to make healthy choices, but to experience the special bonding that happens in the kitchen and around the table.

How often do you hear "My kid doesn't eat vegetables" or "My kid only eats white food"? I was determined that I would never utter these phrases about my kids. And I knew from the start that I didn't want to hide ingredients. I wanted my children to know what they were eating, and through exploration, I believed they would learn to love different flavors (even Brussels sprouts -- peeled apart, seasoned with a little truffle salt and shaved Parmesan cheese, and baked did the trick). By making them creative and fun, I was able to remove the stigma that vegetables weren’t delicious.

I learned quickly that to get my kids to be adventurous with their choices, I had to involve them in the process of preparing food. Next came the tricky part. Unlike my husband, who went to culinary school, my related expertise thus far had been restricted to keeping up with the latest restaurants and making reservations at them. So I wound up learning about cooking with my kids, and sometimes even being taught a thing or two. What I initially thought would be intimidating became an adventure. In all honesty, at first I was worried that it was too late for me to learn, but I found the reality to be the exact opposite.

I discovered a new creative outlet that I was actually good at, and I realized that making fun food with my kids was about more than just getting them to eat. Measuring ingredients; pulling together pots, pans, and bowls; stirring, whisking, dumping, rolling, skewering -- and waiting -- are skills that helped them develop self-confidence, expand their vocabulary and creative thinking, and sharpen math concepts as well as their fine and gross motor skills (and mine too, for that matter). But why food crafting? (And what exactly is food crafting, you might wonder?) As there is no truly acknowledged definition of food crafting, we will have to go with mine: food crafting is taking basic food preparation and elevating it to a level that is both fun and creative.

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Excerpted from the book Stirring Up Fun With Food by Sarah Michelle Gellar and Gia Russo. Copyright © 2017 by Sarah Michelle Gellar and Gia Russo. Reprinted with permission of Grand Central Life & Style. All rights reserved.

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