March 30, 2012 05:00 PM

Courtesy Ellamarie Fortenbach

Elisabeth Röhm, best known for her roles as Serena on Law & Order and Kate on Angel, has marked a year blogging for PEOPLE.com.

The actress recently appeared on CSI: Miami. Beginning in April, she has a recurring role on The Client List, while upcoming films Transit and Officer Down will be out later this year. She can be found on Facebook, Google + and @ElisabethRohm.

In her latest blog, Röhm — mom to 3½-year-old Easton August with fiancé Ron Anthony — participates in the production of a cookbook, which enlightens her about the importance of the family meal.

How often are you able to eat dinner as a family? How do you make sure it happens? Share your tips and tricks in the comments.

“A family that eats together stays together,” so a mom on a mission has shared with me lately. I know she is right and that this makes all the sense in the world. But with our hectic lives and the divide between kid food and grown-up tastes sometimes we find our kitchen table divided. But, but, but …

I’m sure that some of you relate! This mom on a mission — that I had the pleasure to meet and cook with — isn’t giving up on us just yet. She is trying to inspire all of us to keep it together and make time for that defining moment of the day where we are creative, close and fed. “Feeding the mind and the soul through love.” She’s a delightful and yummy soul herself!

Nothing is more inspiring than someone who has hope and is tirelessly giving like this mommy I’m about to introduce you to. I came into contact with Ellamarie Fortenbach through her delicious new cookbook, Cooking With Celebrities and Their Kids. It’s all about her mission, which is why Little E. and I participated. Ellamarie is the real deal and authentic through and through!

Courtesy Ellamarie Fortenbach

Easton and I had the joy of getting messy in her kitchen as a way to participate in her new cookbook that’s coming out in January. Cooking together and finding a connection through mealtime has been important and a challenge for our family. It has been statistically proven that if a family has meals together, the kids do better in school. I’m sure this is true.

Today, most of us are so darn busy! This is a fast and financially challenged world. I know all of us are working really hard and doing the very best that we can as parents. If we don’t make it to a sit down dinner I’m sure that we all still feel encouraged that we are together, loving and present. So what if we don’t have the means or the time to cook a big meal?

However, there is something to be said about having a family dinner. I was drawn to Ellamarie’s philosophy that we should dedicate at least one meal together as a family twice a week. Cooking together and then eating that meal is truly nurturing! Last night we had a big one with my sister, nephew, a friend and of course Ron, Easton and me. It was really nice. I feel so connected today as a family today because we made the time for each other.

Courtesy Ellamarie Fortenbach

I was drawn to Ellamarie’s fantastic food for an entirely other reason as well! I am always humbled when someone gives of themselves completely. She has made a commitment to give 50% of the profits for Cooking With Celebrities and Their Kids to A World Fit For Kids, Kevin Sorbo‘s non-profit.

A World Fit For Kids focuses on Los Angeles public schools, promoting kids to stay in school and teaching about healthy foods. Together this duo is devoted to the wellness and health of children, yours or mine and I am in awe of their vision to create a better tomorrow.

As Kevin Sorbo says, “Cutbacks in our kids education is destroying our children’s faith in themselves and their ability to succeed. However, working together ‘We the People’ — like Ellamarie — may help get the government’s attention.”

Courtesy Ellamarie Fortenbach

This is truly a “Mom on a Mission,” like my friends at Healthy Child, Healthy Word like to tag. “Stay in school” is her motto. Easton and I are in such support of her and had so much fun cooking one of her more sweet treats the other day, Pumpkin Spice Truffles. Oh, the pleasure of food!

When we were cooking, Ellamarie said something in regards to her three daughters that has stayed with me — “I’d rather my children try many new things and just have fun trying. It is when we expect them to be perfect that stops them from wanting to try.”

Yikes! That rang true with me. So now more than ever I’m devoted to making a mess in the kitchen with Easton, PEOPLE.com. Giving her that power and encouragement to cook is truly building her confidence these days!

Courtesy Ellamarie Fortenbach

Join me in a newfound commitment to the family meal! Thank you Ellamarie, we love you! Cooking With Celebrities and Their Kids is going to be good for others, useful and entertaining what with the likes of Kevin Sorbo, Danny Glover, my personal pal Eva La Rue, Maria Canals-Barrera, Peyton List, Steve AzarJoey King, Ariel Winter, Kenton Duty and on and on; all of us cooking it up with our little ones!

P.S. Another special item I came across this week is the “Sleep Bear” my dear friend Sophie B. Hawkins made for her son. If you love her music as I do, you will flip over this bear that sings your kid to sleep with the warmth and tenderness of her familiar lullaby, “As I Lay Me Down.” She’s made it available to all on her personal website Sophiebhawkins.com. It’s the sweetest lovie around!

I love moms who do good things for kiddos! Tell me what you are up to ladies … what’s your vision for a better world these days?

Until next time…

— Elisabeth Röhm

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