Tia Mowry has been very busy since her Sister, Sister days, but most of her projects still revolve around family. Her Cooking Channel show, Tia Mowry at Home, shares Tia’s tricks to balancing a hectic schedule as a full-time mom and working actress. When she’s not on set cooking up a storm, she stars on TV Land’s Instant Mom, which just began its third season.
We recently spoke to Tia all about her inspiration for Tia Mowry at Home, raising her son and still finding time to keep it real in the kitchen, and what it’s really been like to establish a career separate from her actual other half, Tamara.
What made you decide to take on Tia Mowry at Home?
When you become a mom, you become a part of a community. Mothers today are a lot more educated about what goes in to our food now than when my mom was raising us 20 years ago. With that being said, conversations I’ve had at the park or at school would commonly start with, ‘I work and I need to put food on the table for my family. I feel guilt about feeding my kids fast food, but I just really don’t have time to cook.’ So, slowly I began to meet other mothers who were finding out how to balance it all. And so, I just wanted to inspire and help inform other women out there that it can be done. If I can do it, you can do it, too! It’s all about practicality and not being intimidated by the kitchen. Tia Mowry at Home is about creating meals for the entire family that are healthy but never sacrifice taste.
I know you’re very busy holding down multiple projects. When you’re home do you get to cook?
I usually cook two to three times a week. And, what I like to do is, visit the farmers market on Sunday, get all of my fresh produce, and have an idea of what I’m going to plan for the week. I do a lot of prepping. I’ll chop up vegetables or whatever it is I plan to make that week, and that makes it a lot easier to have time to cook for my family.
Right. If you were cooking for your husband and son tonight, what would you make? And are you drinking wine?
Since I plan to make it this week, I’ll go with steak wrapped in asparagus with quinoa. And it’s very easy! Quinoa takes about 15 minutes to cook; asparagus you can bake which takes about 16-20 minutes. Meals like this are healthy and delicious, but practical, and won’t keep me in the kitchen for three hours. And you mentioned wine—I love wine! Wine is my companion in the kitchen. While I’m cooking I’ll drink a nice glass of red wine. I love all reds; Merlot, Shiraz, Pinot Noir—really any full body wine.
Sounds delicious. So, I know Tamara recently gave birth to her second child and you are a mother to 4-year-old, Cree. What’s it been like to raise your children together?
It’s so funny because everybody thinks that because we both have kids that we’re always spending loads of time together, but we are both crazy busy right now. We both work on separate shows—and she also lives in Napa. We would like to see each other more than we do, but when we do get together, it’s truly amazing to see our kids play together. Aidan, my nephew, and Cree, my son, literally act like brothers. And really, they kind of are because they share the same DNA, since Tamara and I are identical twins. We definitely look forward to our play dates.
I bet! The role of being a mother plays out in your day-to-day life, Tia Mowry At Home, and in Instant Mom, the show you star in as a stepmother of three. What’s it like to take on the role of stepmother?
We just wrapped up filming our last episode of the season. I’ll tell you, it’s actually loads of fun! It’s a show that’s very relatable right now; there are plenty of blended families. A lot of the time, you hear the negative side of it—a lot of baby mama drama and the like, but Instant Mom isn’t about that. It’s about how you can have a blended family that works. Of course there are conflicts and challenges, but all in all it’s a family-oriented show that shows the positive side of being a stepmom.
Do you have any fall activities planned with your family that you’re looking forward to?
We are actually moving into our new house around Thanksgiving. I’m really excited because this is my dream kitchen, and it has a butler’s pantry, which will come in handy during Thanksgiving dinner. In previous years, my mom was always the one to make the big dinner, and I would just be the sous chef and help. But now, all of the responsibility has been passed on to me. I’ve done it for two years already, but it will be a whole new experience in the new house. And I’m cooking everything!
Congrats on the new house! Lastly, did you feel that it was hard to shed your Sister Sister image, or on the contrary, has it been the most helpful in establishing your career today?
I feel fine about it, because I think my sister and I have done a great job at dealing with it. I’m not one of those people that think, ‘Oh god, Sister Sister, I wish I never did that show.’ I’m very appreciative of my beginnings. Working with Tamara was a lot of fun and we continue to do projects together, we’re just not on television together. If I’m doing a project by myself, people always ask, ‘well what is Tamara doing?’ I think we’ve learned to balance it out very well. Focusing on our individual careers has allowed us to have longevity. We are different people, and I’m just grateful that the fans and our audiences have allowed us to be individuals. As far as a joint-project, we have a book series published by HarperCollins Children’s Books, called Twintuition: Double Vision, a story about twins who have special powers. One twin can look into the future and see all the good, and the other twin can look into the future and see all the bad. So they become these little detectives and walk around solving mysteries in their town and school. A fantastical version of young Tia and myself!