Tia Mowry is a wife and working mom of two kids with a plethora of jobs, but she’s not slowing down any time soon. Her second cookbook The Quick Fix Kitchen , released last month, features easy recipes and time-saving tips for a healthier, stress-free life. In an exclusive interview with ESSENCE, Tia discussed the importance of community, motherhood, and one very important step ladder.
The Quick Fix Kitchen is so much more than a cookbook… it almost reads like an inspirational novel! Your voice came through loud and clear- you didn’t assume a superior “perfect mom” tone. How do you believe this book helps moms save time and live a healthier, stress-free life?
Thank you so much! From one pot to sheet pan meals and beyond, I’m always trying to learn and understand in the kitchen. I know other moms feel the same way, and in The Quick Fix Kitchen there are tons of healthy, stress-free hacks. For example, Cairo (age three) loves cheese, especially cheese quesadillas. In an effort to get healthy ingredients into the kids any way I can (and as frequently as I can), I add ground flaxseed and spinach to her cheese quesadillas at home.
Your conviction to live authentically, in your truth, is admirable. I personally went from a fan to stan when you unapologetically posted your gray hairs on Instagram three years ago. Then earlier this year, you openly shared your struggle with endometriosis. Why do you feel personally compelled to represent and support women, from your social media feed to your entrepreneurial ventures?
I really appreciate that! I’ve always had a calling to encourage others and been inspired by community; I want to make sure women have a community to lean on. I wanted to show women how I navigate through the kitchen because, like many of them, I’m a mom with more than one job. Many facets of parenting occur in the kitchen, from putting food on the table to feeding children to making memories at the dinner table. Our lives as moms gets hectic and we’re constantly dancing (or tangoing) from one activity to the next… it can be stressful! The Quick Fix Kitchen is just one way I’m providing community to moms, sharing recipes and pantry essentials with their lifestyle in mind.
Black working moms are burned out. Your cookbook encourages those women to task their family with some of their responsibilities. In fact, your introduction for The Quick Fix Kitchen shares some creative ideas. What are Cree and Cairo’s daily responsibilities in the kitchen?
Cree’s chores (age 10) are similar to the ones I had as a child, so it almost feels traditional for those to be his chores [too]. Every night he either washes or puts some of the dishes in the dishwasher and takes out the trash. On the uneventful nights we can manage to sit down at the dinner table he sets the table.
Cairo washes dishes using her step ladder after dinner. She can’t wait for everyone to finish eating so she can wash dishes! She’s even learned how to put some of them in the dishwasher. She also loves being an assistant when I’m filming videos; she stands on that step ladder of hers and smiles, knowing she gets to taste the food after filming is done.
I also had the pleasure of interviewing your sister (Tamera Mowry-Housley) and she admitted she was never the organizer out of you two- her patience is always tested as a mom. But with all of your responsibilities, I can only imagine you crave order and structure. Is this true? Have you encouraged Tamera to use some of the stress-free tips mentioned in The Quick Fix Kitchen?
Yes! Well… I have NOT rubbed off on Tamera when it comes to organization (laughs)! I need order and structure, you’re right. Cairo is like me when it comes to organization, but I appreciate how Cory and Cree at least recognize that organization is important to me. They leave the order and structure to me and my system organizer, who helps me once a month put everything back in its place. I love feng shui and believe in color psychology since I studied psychology at Pepperdine University. My love for organization comes through in my new homewares collection Spice by Tia Mowry launching next month- the line has organizational pieces!
People might still be surprised at your skilled level of cooking, but rightfully so. You’re a powerhouse! You star on Netflix’s #1 most watched family series, co-founded a line of vitamins and supplements (Anser), have a YouTube channel, and have a new homewares collection (Spice by Tia Mowry)! Where do you find the time to perfect your culinary craft?
Everything I do comes from being inspired by my life, my personal journey. I live and breathe Cocoa, my Family Reunion character, because I can relate to her. I find passion in that role. In trying to find a way to overcome my health and fertility issues related to endometriosis, I started meditating and using supplements. That inspired me to start Anser. I created Tia Mowry’s Quick Fix because as a mother, I’m always looking for hacks and tricks to get my kids to eat healthy, nutritional meals. Yes, I’m making meals and filming content for the channel sometimes for 12 hours a day, but it’s my way of purposefully and authentically perfecting my craft.