How Stuart O'Keeffe and Amy Phillips' 'Housewives' Parody Cookbook Celebrates the Bravo Franchise

Plus, get an exclusive recipe from Cook It, Spill It, Throw It: The Not-So-Real Housewives Parody Cookbook, inspired by Teresa Giudice and Melissa Gorga's infamous sprinkle cookie debate

Stuart O'Keffe and Amy Phillips
Photo: harper collins

Stuart O'Keeffe and Amy Phillips have cooked up a real treat for fans of the Real Housewives franchise.

The celebrated Irish chef, 40, and the California-based SiriusXM host/comedian, 43, have co-authored a new cookbook packed full of recipes inspired by the series and its stars — all served with a side of delicious snark.

Cook It, Spill It, Throw It: The Not-So-Real Housewives Parody Cookbook (out now) can help viewers make those Eggs a Lu'Francais Luann de Lesseps infamously made for her Real Housewives of New York City costars in Turks and Caicos, or can show anyone how to put together a You Stole My Goddamn House Salad — inspired by that infamous moment between Kyle Richards and Kim Richards on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

There are also viewing party menus, ideas for theme nights, and original photography sure to make any fan laugh out loud. Naturally, the book's forward is written by Housewives executive producer Andy Cohen himself.

"It's a celebration of the Housewives that everyone can get behind," Phillips, host of Reality Checked with Amy Phillips on Radio Andy, tells PEOPLE. "Stuart and I are both fans of the show, so we really designed this to be something as a companion for fellow Housewives addicts."

"Hopefully, readers will get as much joy out of it as we got putting it together," O'Keeffe adds.

Below, the duo tell PEOPLE about putting the book together, their favorite inclusions, and even share an exclusive recipe born from one of the most iconic moments in Housewives history.

Stuart O'Keffe and Amy Phillips cookbok
harper collins

PEOPLE: How did this project come together?

O'Keeffe: I had done a cookbook already with Harper Collins and was thinking, "What am I going to do next?" And I was on my sofa watching Real Housewives of Beverly Hills with my friend and thought, "Has anyone ever done a Housewives cooking, poking fun at these women and the iconic situations they get themselves into?" So I jumped to Google, did some searching, and realized there was nothing there. I took the idea to my agent, then to Harper Collins, and everyone thought it was a great idea. But I was like, "If I do this, I will need an expert on Housewives to help, and someone funny too..."
Phillips: Chef Stuart O'Keeffe reached out to me and it took me a second because I was thinking, 'A cookbook? About Housewives?" I couldn't envision it. But then I realized, every fight the housewives have ever had — every feud, every argument, every drama-filled moment — they're always surrounded by food at a dinner table or with drinks at a party. And when the gears started shifting in my mind, it all became very clear and crisp the fun we could have with it. So I signed on as fast as a Housewife walks off a reunion stage.
O'Keeffe: I'd loved Amy since her days of doing Rachel Zoe impressions. Her impersonations of these Bravo stars, especially the Housewives, are just amazing. And she had her own show on Radio Andy, so I knew she was in this world. Well, all I can say is, thank God I had Amy Phillips beside me because she brought so much to it. I knew, structurally, we'd organize the book into meal types: breakfast, lunch, appetizers, desserts, drinks, etc. But to fill the chapters out, we needed about 10 recipes and Amy came in just had this encyclopedic knowledge of these iconic scenes. She was just rattling them off. "We need a casserole for Vicki [Gunvalson]. We need the truffle fries Luann never got in RHONY." We probably had 60 recipes ready to go within a week or two.

Stuart O'Keffe and Amy Phillips
harper collins

PEOPLE: Wow! Editing that list down must have been difficult.

Phillips: We had an embarrassment of riches.
O'Keeffe: It was the hardest part. We ended up with about 165 recipes and we had to cut it down to 110.
Phillips: But Stuart is one scrappy chef, let me tell you. He is the kind of person who pulls magic out of thin air. I'd be like, "We have to do something referencing Shannon Beador getting hit with that meditation bowl on her head in Real Housewives of Orange County. What's a dish where you bang on something?" And he'd be like, "Oh yeah, we can do a chicken paillard." So Bangin' Meditation Bowl Chicken Paillard was born.
O'Keeffe: So many of them wrote themselves — Yolanda Bananas Foster, Ponytail Pull-ed Pork, The Sonjarita — but sometimes we'd get stuck. We tried and tried to come up with something to reference when Adrienne Maloof washed the chicken in RHOBH, and eventually settled on Soapy Lemon Chicken a la Adrienne. That one took a long time to get right.
Philips: One regret is that we just couldn't make the Capri Room Caprese salad happen. We already had so many RHOBH recipes and we had already had so many salads, we couldn't fit it in.
O'Keeffe: But we got in the Wow Bethenny Bao, which I was against at first. I didn't want to do bao buns, because they are complicated to make, but that was such a gold moment and the recipe is really beautiful with this delicious Asian pork, we had to include it. I'm like, "Go to the Chinese restaurant and buy the bao buns if it's easier!"
Phillips: He was able to pivot easily with me because the titles really needed to dictate what we were doing. It wasn't like the food necessarily always came first. I'd say, "We need to do something candy-coated for Kandi Burruss" and he was so flexible and creative, he'd find it.
O'Keeffe: It was super, super fun, coming up with everything. Amy was just hilarious, and her puns are extraordinary. I mean, we laughed all the way. We had calls once or twice a week and we'd just be dying laughing on the phone.

PEOPLE: Amy, do you have a favorite recipe?

Phillips: Remember LeeAnne Locken's L'Infinity dress that you could wear 175 ways? Well, I was like, "Wouldn't it be amazing if we had a dressing that we could use 175 ways?" And Stuart created an amazing original L'Infinity dressing, which I was really obsessed with. You could use it as a marinade, you could use it as a salad dressing — and it's freaking delicious. I was like, "Bottle it and sell it, because it's incredible."

Stuart O'Keffe and Amy Phillips
harper collins

PEOPLE: Stuart, seeing as there may be Housewives fans who are less experienced in the kitchen, do you have a tip for first-timers cooking and baking from the book?

O'Keeffe: My ultimate tip if you're a novice in the kitchen is to read the recipe three times. People will often just look at the ingredients, go buy them at the store, and then realize back home that there's more to a recipe than they anticipated. So you have to read it and understand it, because you could have "marinate for six hours" in the directions and you didn't look at that. You'll want to be able to plan accordingly. Same goes for baking, really read the recipe. Take your time. Oh, and preheat your oven. People always forget to do that, and it's really the easiest first step.

PEOPLE: And Amy, seeing as there may be cooking experts who are less experienced in the Housewives, where do you suggest they start?

Phillips: What I love about the Housewives franchise, and what I discovered years ago, is these over-the-top, opinionated, aspirational, outspoken women. I'm an actor at heart. I love the study of humanity and the study of character, and you really can't write better characters than these real women. I'm drawn to them! So if you're tuning into these shows for the first time, trying to embrace the fun of it all. And if you're looking for a place to start, I'd go Real Housewives of New Jersey season 3 or RHOBH season 1. Both have great family drama at the core, but one's East Coast and one's West Coast. Pick your flavor!

Stuart O'Keffe and Amy Phillips
harper collins

PEOPLE: Well, we're going to premiere one of the recipes from the book — the Trash Sprinkle Cookies, which of course is a callback to RHONJ season 3, where we learned Teresa Giudice threw in the trash the sprinkle cookies her sister-in-law Melissa Gorga gifted her one holiday.

Phillips: That was one of the top three recipes we immediately knew needed to be in the book. That moment... to have a family get together and someone bring in an offering of cookies, only to have that recipient throw them in the trash? That is the height of food drama no one has seen before. That needed to be celebrated.
O'Keeffe: And, what I love is that Trash Sprinkle Cookies are a really easy recipe to make. It's just a basic sugar cookie recipe, but they're so delicious and delightful, you're going to want to make them over and over again. Especially for the holidays.
Phillips: They're great for the holidays, and great for kids. I have a 4-year-old daughter, and we've made them together. In fact, in the back of the book, we have a special You Don't Talk About the Kid's Menu. Because even though you likely don't let your kids watch these shows, you can at least let them eat the food inspired by it! So we've got BunnyGate Biscuits, Bloopberry Muffins, Sparkle [Corn] Dogs, Family Van Veggie Lasagna, Pillow Fight Popcorn Chicken, Did You Know... $25,000 (Spaghetti) — which includes beets, which makes the pasta pink. And the Trash Sprinkly Cookies, which kids are going to love.

PEOPLE: Let's get to it, then. Readers, enjoy this exclusive recipe from Cook It, Spill It, Throw It: The Not-So-Real Housewives Parody Cookbook.

housewives cookbook
harper collins

Trash Sprinkle Cookies

We love a good cookie feud, and this one between Teresa and Melissa hits our sweet spot. You shouldn't dare bring store-bought sprinkle cookies to your sister-in-law's house on Christmas or else they'll end up in her garbage can. Teresa may have proven a point by tossing Melissa's cookies into the can, but we're certain these homemade tasty treats would not suffer the same demise.

1 ¾ cups (220g) all-purpose flour
1 ¾ tsp. baking powder
½ tsp. kosher salt
1 stick (4 oz/115 g) unsalted butter, at room temperature
1 cup (200g) sugar
1 large egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
½ tsp. almond extract
¾ cup (220g) sprinkles

1. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line two 13 x 9-inch baking sheets with parchment paper.

2. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, and salt.

3. In a bowl, with an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together at high speed until light and pale in color. Turn the speed to medium and add the egg, vanilla, and almond extract. Add the flour mixture in two batches until everything is combined.

4. Pour the sprinkles on a plate and set aside.

5. Using a 1 ½-tablespoon ice cream scoop, scoop out the dough and lightly roll in the sprinkles. Set the cookies on the baking sheet as you work.

6. Bake until the centers of the cookies still look slightly undercooked (they'll finish cooking from residual heat when taken out of the oven), 8 to 10 minutes.

7. Transfer the cookies onto a wire rack to cool for 15 minutes.

Makes: 24 cookies
Active time: 20 minutes
Total time: 30 minutes

Cook It, Spill It, Throw It: The Not-So-Real Housewives Parody Cookbook is out now.

**This recipe was provided to PEOPLE by a chef, restaurant or culinary professional. It has not been tested for home use.**

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