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May 11, 2018 12:55 PM

Tiffani Thiessen wants you to Pull Up a Chair.

The Saved by the Bell alum is releasing her debut cookbook Pull Up a Chair: Recipes from My Family to Yours this fall, and PEOPLE has an exclusive first look. The collection of 125 recipes features a plethora of new dishes, family favorites, and a few highlights from her Cooking Channel show, Dinner at Tiffani’s.

The title of the book, due out October 2 and available for pre-order now, was inspired by a phrase she’s used throughout her transition from actress to entertaining guru. “I used to say it on the show all the time,” Thiessen tells PEOPLE. “It’s kind of just my whole way of thinking and feeling about food and how I love that it connects people.”

“Food can change your mood,” adds the Alexa & Katie star. “It’s almost like music a little bit, you know? It can break a fight. It could calm a child down. It could do so many things, and that’s what I love. So this book is really about pulling up a chair and really connecting with people over food.”

Courtesy of Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Inside, you’ll find stunning photography of her gorgeous kids Harper, 7, and Holt, 2, indulging in dishes they truly enjoying eating at home. “My kids love the cherry and maple granola. We make it every weekend to last us all week long,” she says. “It is so good! I even give it out as gifts.”

RELATED VIDEO: Tiffani Thiessen Says ‘Beer & My Husband’ Keeps Her Nearly 30-Year Friendship with Mark-Paul Gosselaar Strong

Thiessen’s husband Brady Smith, a Houston-native, has also been an influence. “You’ll see a lot of Texas flare in there,” she says of recipes like her three-cheese queso and short rib enchiladas.

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The project has been a long time coming, she says. “I’ve loved food since I was little. I’ve always loved to cook, and then my love of it just grew as I got older, and started traveling, and started entertaining.”

Now, after three years of work, she’s thrilled to share her passion with her fans. “It’s been a hard labor,” she says, “but I know very rewarding in the end.”

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