Plus, her favorite travel essentials and the organizing tool she can't live without.
Sarah Michelle Gellar knows the pitfalls of technology—it’s made us glued to our phones at every moment, which can prevent us from really connecting with our family and friends. And that's exactly why she started cooking more. Gellar noticed how her culinary school-trained husband, actor Freddie Prinze Jr., and their two children were able to connect and have fun while cooking together. Now, the actress is so enthusiastic about cooking and food that she created Foodstirs, easy baking mix kits sold online and at Whole Foods, and authored a cookbook, Stirring Up With Food.
Real Simple got the chance to chat with Gellar—who partnered with Capital One to launch the company’s new rewards card for food and dining, Savor—about her favorite kitchen gadgets, plus her best organizing and travel hacks.
Real Simple: You and your husband Freddie Prinze, Jr. have both authored cookbooks. You must be so passionate about food.
Sarah Michelle Gellar: It was sort of a really interesting transition. I grew up in New York City, so I made reservations. I was good at finding the best restaurant, getting the best table, but he was a chef and he went to culinary school. I was really happy with my life of him making food and me doing the dishes. Then we had children and I noticed these moments he was having with them in the kitchen. I started to sit back and realize, in this digitally connected society, what are those moments where you put the phone down and you really connect? It’s always around food, whether it’s in the kitchen or at a table. When you have children, [cooking is] such a great experience. It’s helping them learn science, motor skills, vocabulary, and about different countries.
I was missing out, so I was like, “I got to get in the kitchen, I got to do this myself.” But I had to figure out what my place was, because he is such a great chef, so I wasn’t going to try to compete with him. So what was my thing? What could I bring to the table? I realized that we live in a society where everybody was pinning these amazing desserts and food and yet who has the free time to do this? There has to be a simpler way to go about doing this. How do you de-mystify that?
RS: Is there a go-to dish you like to make?
SMG: Freddie does most of the cooking and I do the baking, so we split it up. Pretty much, if it’s in a Foodsters box, I can make it.
RS: Are there any kitchen gadgets you swear by?
SMG: It’s not a thing I can’t live without, but I’m obsessed with cherry pitters. I think it’s the neatest invention. Zucchini spiralizers are really good—my kids are very into zucchini spaghetti, and I do not have the time to sit there and do that. There are some things where we’re very traditional—like my mom loves a good gadget, and we’re much more likely to use a knife. I say the most important kitchen tool that anyone could have is a really good set of knives. Keep them sharp, use them appropriately, and you’re good. We collect them from all over.
RS: You and Freddie have been together for 15 years. What is the secret to a successful marriage?
SMG: I don’t know if there’s any one secret to the success of a relationship, but I think whether it’s a marriage, a partnership, or a friendship, everything comes down to communication. Again it goes back to how do you communicate—and where are those moments, especially now with these phones. And it always goes back to food: you’re at a dinner table, you’re in the kitchen, or you’re getting groceries.
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RS: You’re always on the go and traveling, any travel hacks or things you always bring with you?
I have gotten to the age where I do not fly without compression socks. They make really cute compression socks now. I have pink and white polka-dot ones, purple argyle ones… people always stop me on airplanes for my compression socks.
RS: What’s on your reading list?
RS: Are there any books you like to read to your kids?
SMG: We’re very into Harry Potter right now—we’re deep in Potterland. Freddie does a lot of the voices and my kids do too.
RS: Do you have any organizing hacks?
SMG: I love a label maker. Nothing makes me happier than getting to label a drawer.