If you can’t stand the heat, stay out of Jessica Alba‘s kitchen—and we’re not just referring to her enviable looks.
“I cook as often as I can,” the actress and co-founder of The Honest Company tells PEOPLE. “I really enjoy making food for my family and friends, so it’s really the way I relax—even if it means putting together a last-minute dinner on a Thursday night.” So what’s on her menu?
“My trick is to keep it simple and healthy,” she says. Alba turns to dishes like lemon grilled chicken and kale salad, grilled hot wings in the warmer months and roasted Cornish game hens when the weather cools down. As summer turns into fall, “I’ll prepare roasted butternut squash or other veggies that I toss with olive oil and herbs, like rosemary and thyme,” she says.
That’s what the mom-of-two (daughters Honor, 5, and Haven, 2) is serving—but here are the essentials you’ll find in her kitchen:
“When adapting recipes, I never can remember how to convert measurements,” she says. “So this quick-reference magnet is awesome because it does the calculations for me.” ($7, surlatable.com)
“I use this on everything!” Alba says. “Even when you buy organic, you need more than water to rinse away the pathogens, waxes, dirt, handling germs and bacteria often found on the surface of the produce. Plus, it makes your farmers’ market goodies last longer.” ($7, honest.com)
“The kitchen is our family hub,” Alba says, “so we stay organized and keep track of the girls’ activities with a whiteboard calendar that we attach to the side of our fridge.” ($17, containerstore.com)
“I love the simplicity and function of this timer’s vintage design,” she says. “Plus it’s great for using over the stove.” ($15, surlatable.com)
“I love to mix and match one-of-a-kind dish towels in the same color palette,” Alba says. ($11, etsy.com)