Ali Larter attends the Dream For Future Africa Foundation gala at Spago on October 24, 2013 in Beverly Hills, California.
Though you might know her as the lipo-loving fitness instructor from Legally Blonde or the superhuman with a whole lot of alter-egos in Heroes, Ali Larter’s friends and family know her as one kick-ass cook and hostess extraordinaire. The L.A. actress and mother just published her first cookbook, Kitchen Revelry, a collection of seasonal recipes and entertaining ideas that are fun, manageable, and definite crowd-pleasers. When we asked Larter to share her list of ten items essential for entertaining, we should have known that all the tools in Larter’s arsenal would be practical, stylish, and fundamental in throwing a successful dinner party.
On the very same day that an email from Ali Larter appeared in my inbox, I was researching her first cookbookKitchen Revelry: A Year of Festive Menus from My Home to Yours. It was, no doubt, a sign. The cookbook is lovely, with intimate, gorgeous photography from famed food photographer Amy Neunsinger. I want to make this simple Apple Crostata now. Thanks for sharing with Eat Boutique, Ali! -Maggie
I love going to the farmers market and bringing home whatever looks the freshest and most mouth-watering. When apples come in, I make my free form crostata. I’m a sucker for any treat that adults love and I can serve my son. I usually use aged gouda, my Mom adds sharp cheddar, but try whatever cheese is your fave. It’s so easy to do… it’s hard to mess it up, and healthy enough to eat dessert leftovers for breakfast.
You can turn the dish into a fun Fall adventure, too: find an apple farm near you, pack up your family and/or friends, and spend an afternoon apple picking (pack a picnic and drink some cider!) It’s all the excuse I need to spend a weekend in Ojai, about an hour and a half from Los Angeles, and stop by the apple farm there on the way home for a truly homemade crostata.
Have a fabulous Fall! Ali xx
On her new cookbook, Kitchen Revelry.
“It’s a year of festive menus, and I’ve been working on it for about two and a half years. I’ve developed over 100 recipes, cooking them in my house with my husband as my tester and my little one running around, but it’s really about fun, delicious, easy recipes.”
On her love of cooking.
“I wouldn’t call myself a chef, but I’m definitely a home cook. I’ve been in the kitchen cooking with my mom my whole life. We love to cook and drink great wine. Food is just such a huge part of my life, and when I created this book, it was just really inspired by a disaster because my first dinner parties were so terrible! I tried too hard, I made recipes that were overly ambitious, and I was always stressed out, so I really wanted to share the tips I’ve learned over the years about how to throw a really great party because in the end all that really matters is being with your friends and family.”
On her two-year-old son, Theodore.
“It’s wild having a two-year-old at home! My favorite thing about motherhood is my incredible child, but it keeps everything in perspective. I used to get so nervous, I used to put so much pressure on myself, and when I look at him, it really just reminds me of what life is about and reminds me to slow down and to say ‘I love you’ all the time and hug whenever I get the chance.”
On her ideal weekend.
“I love staying home. I love to wake up in the morning with my son; that’s our time. We usually will make breakfast together — he loves egg in the hole — and he loves to pop the egg! My husband will get up a little bit later and break out the papers, the coffee is brewing, and we just lay around, sit in the yard, sometimes we’ll go for a hike in our canyon, it’s really more about the quiet time, maybe put some nice music on.”
On her New Jersey beginnings.
“Growing up in New Jersey was amazing. I think New Jersey gets such a bad wrap. I loved going down to the Jersey Shore. Coming back to the East Coast always makes me feel so good.”
On what she wanted to be when she was little.
“When I was growing up, I wanted to be a newscaster. I loved Diane Sawyer, and I loved the idea of going to these places and telling the world all that was happening and kind of unfolding and opening up these stories, so that was something that really interested me when I was younger.”
On her modeling days.
“One of the great things about modeling for me was it gave me a chance to travel the world. I never was tall enough or thin enough, I made enough money really to travel, it paid my way, but it opened up my eyes to all the different cultures and that really inspired me.”
On owning up to her fashion mishaps.
“When I first started in this business, I tried so hard to look a certain way or to follow a trend and I remember I went to a Women in Film event and I was wearing this red-striped plaid outfit and I had this wind-swept hair because I saw it on a runway and I was like ‘Oh, my gosh, it does not work for real life!’ Those things on the runway are to inspire you, not to actually do. So that was a lesson learned
On playing “the bad girl.”
“I’m drawn to very strong, complicated women when it comes to my roles. I love women who push the envelope, and my new show that I’m starting, Legends, is from Howard Gordon, who did Homeland and 24 and it’s really great to put that hat on because she’s not worried about her makeup or clothes and I get to a character who is driven by different things.”
On her must-watch shows
“I’m watching Breaking Bad, of course. I’m obsessed with Walter White and Hank, so that’s a must-see. I’m enjoying The White Queen and Ray Donovan. I adore Lieb Schreiber. And The Newsroom. I think Olivia Munn is doing such great work on that; Aaron Sorkin is a brilliant genius.”