She’s a working mom – one who juggles six kids, a movie career and philanthropy – but Angelina Jolie still found time to whip up a sweet treat for son Maddox’s birthday in August, thanks to TV chef Sandra Lee.
“I was really surprised when her friend let me know she made my No Bake birthday cake,” says Lee, whose show hit Food Network show, Semi-Homemade Cooking with Sandra Lee, provides viewers with no-fuss recipes prepared in minutes. “She’s a Semi-Homemade mommy just like the rest of us!”
The cake, which Lee says is “a beautiful display that anyone can do in five minutes,” starts with a store-bought white sheet cake, topped with a plain white round cake and then surrounded by cupcakes and pre-decorated cookies. “What’s great is that you get to personalize that beautiful display,” says Lee.
“She’s a very busy, overextended mother,” Lee, 43, tells PEOPLE. “I’m very proud not just that she made my cake but that someone of her stature isn’t delegating these [tasks], like her children’s birthday, to other people. I’m glad she loves the show and that the kids apparently also watch it too.”
The chef and New York Times best-selling author would know a thing or two about balancing a busy schedule. In addition to Semi-Homemade, she also has Sandra’s Money Saving Meals on the Food Network and will be releasing three new cookbooks (Semi-Homemade Money Saving Slow Cooking, Semi-Homemade Weeknight Wonders and Semi-Homemade Cocktail Time) on Oct. 25 – the same day she’ll be appearing on Extreme Makeover: Home Edition.
Swapping spatulas for hammers – “I was sawing, drilling, carrying furniture, unloading trucks and making hamburgers for the community,” she says – Lee helped a family in Illinois rebuild their home and fundraised to pay off their mortgage.
“It was touching for me personally because they quit their corporate job to run a food bank,” says Lee, who recalls growing up on welfare and food stamps.
“The genius of Extreme,” explains Lee, “is that they’re able to, somehow, find these unique families in these unbelievable situations that do so much good in their community and are so selfless. I think this show should be on every single night of the week!”
Extreme Makeover: Home Edition featuring Lee, along with fellow celebrity chef Rocco DiSpirito, airs Oct. 25 at 8 p.m. on ABC.