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May 06, 2021
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Tia Mowry in the kitchen beside charcuterie board on the island
Credit: Anser / J. Strutz

In the public eye from a young age as a child actor, Tia Mowry worked hard in the kitchen long before she and her twin sister, Tamera, scored their big break in the early '90s on TV's "Sister, Sister." In recent years, Tia has turned that love for feeding her family into hosting her own Cooking Channel program as well as a YouTube series offering delicious and easy recipes to fit anyone's busy schedule. Not only that, she co-founded a line of vitamins called Anser with the goal of empowering women to take charge of their health.

Today, Homemade host Martie Duncan chats with Tia about the perfect meatball, her mom's "kitchen sink" chicken, and whether Tia's mac and cheese tops her husband's own unique recipe. Listen to this episode on Apple PodcastsSpotifyPlayerFM, and everywhere podcasts are available beginning May 12.

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About Tia Mowry

With twin sister Tamera, Tia Mowry-Hardrict landed her first starring role on the hit series "Sister, Sister," which debuted in 1994. After "Sister, Sister" ended, Tia and Tamera studied psychology at Pepperdine University. The two went on to star in Disney Channel's "Twitches" and "Twitches Too," the film "Seventeen Again," and the 2011-2013 reality series "Tia & Tamera."

From 2015 to 2017, Tia hosted "Tia Mowry at Home" on the Cooking Channel. She currently hosts "Tia Mowry's Quick Fix" on YouTube. She's the author of two cookbooks, Whole New You: How Real Food 11Transforms Your Life, for a Healthier, More Gorgeous You and the upcoming The Quick Fix Kitchen: Easy Recipes and Time-Saving Tips for a Healthier, Stress-Free Life. She has also published a memoir, Oh, Baby: Pregnancy Tales and Advice from One Hot Mama to Another, and series of children's books with Tia, titled Twintuition. An entrepreneur, Tia co-founded Anser, a line of vitamins for women.

Tia Mowry standing in the kitchen
Credit: Anser / J. Strutz

Episode Transcript

MARTIE DUNCAN Hey, y'all. Welcome to Homemade. I'm Martie Duncan. You may best know today's guest as half of the twin sibling duo from TV's "Sister, Sister" from back in in the 90s or maybe from her current show, "Family Reunion," found on Netflix. She's always been a food lover and has been in the kitchen since she was about six years old. She was the host of "Tia Mowry at Home" on the Cooking Channel, and these days she's on YouTube with her "Quick Fix" series, fabulous recipes, cooking tips, and insight into her busy home life.

Tia joins me today to talk about living in Hawaii as a kid, her favorite recipes, substitutions we can make to avoid inflammation, and so much more. It's my pleasure to welcome the beautiful and talented Tia Mowry to Homemade. Welcome, Tia!

TIA MOWRY Aww. You are so sweet. Thank you so much. You know, when you were listing all of the things that I've done, I'm like, man, I've really kept myself busy throughout these years.

MARTIE You have.

TIA I'm so just — I'm very grateful to be given the opportunity to just continue to expand and to grow as just a creative person. I love, love, love to cook.

MARTIE Can we talk a little bit about some of your favorite recipes and things before? I want to dive into every part of your life.

TIA Yes. Awww, thank you.

MARTIE But before we do, let's talk about food. Like specifically.

TIA Yes. 

MARTIE I saw an episode where you made mac and cheese. 

TIA I was just you, you were going to ask me what's my favorite?

MARTIE Yes. 

TIA That hands down.

MARTIE OK.

TIA The mac and cheese, hands down. It's just so rich, you know what I mean?

MARTIE Well, it's your family's favorite? Right?

TIA Yes. It's my family's favorite. Like I always say that my family doesn't come over to my house to see me on Thanksgiving dinner. They're coming to my house to have that mac and cheese.

MARTIE But I do have to ask you this now. Your husband makes a mac and cheese, too.

TIA He does.

MARTIE Which one is better? Who gets all the accolades?

TIA I'm going to say my husband, Corey's. His mac and cheese, there's just something. You know what the special ingredient in that is? It's the cream of mushroom. It has a very, you know, earthy grounding flavor to it. So when you add that flavor profile with all of the different cheese and then the sour cream and then the milk.

And then he also puts crackers on top to give it that change of texture. You have that nice crunch. So he'll use Ritz buttered crackers.

MARTIE Oh, yummy.

TIA And just, yeah, I know. And so that, see, now, you got my mouth watering. That right there. It's the bomb. So those those ingredients aren't necessarily in mine, so I would I will say his.

MARTIE OK, so I think we need to have a showdown throw down sort of thing.

TIA Yes.

MARTIE Between the two of you. I'll come and judge.

TIA OK.

MARTIE And I will be blindfolded and blind taste test. We'll make a double blind.

TIA OK.

MARTIE You cook yours, he'll cook his. And then I get to decide. OK?

TIA OK. OK.

MARTIE OK? All right, because your family can't do it because they already know which one is which. Did you learn to cook with your mom? Now here's the reason I ask is because when you were of the age where you'd primarily be learning a lot of your cooking skills, you're working full time on Sister Sister.

TIA Yes.

MARTIE So where did you learn to cook? How did you learn to cook?

TIA So I actually started really working in the kitchen prior to Sister Sister when I was like six-years-old. So my mom and my dad, they're both avid cookers. They make a lot of home cooked meals. So I was inspired and around just home cooking. They worked really hard. They were both in the army.

MARTIE I remember reading that.

TIA My yes. And so.

MARTIE Thank them for their service.

TIA Oh, yes. Oh, my gosh. And my dad, he retired after 20 years. My mom, she actually was able to get out of the service, but she was a drill sergeant.

MARTIE Whoo.

TIA And she, I know. I know. She helped train soldiers. It was just incredible, their background. But my point is, is that they worked a lot and long hours, so they needed help.

MARTIE Yes.

TIA So my mom was like, I don't care. You're six years old. Come up on a stool. Right by the kitchen sink so you can step on that and you can help. So I started working as-- or being in the kitchen as her sous chef. First at six, I was washing dishes.

MARTIE Right.

TIA So she wanted me to get comfortable with the kitchen. So I was washing dishes. And then I would say like around maybe twelve, she would get a little more comfortable with me, helping her season the chicken whenever she would make fried chicken. And my mom would throw all of the chicken in the sink. So she would wash the chicken.

MARTIE Right.

TIA And then she would put it all in the sink. And then it was just no measuring just, you know...

MARTIE I love that.

TIA Season salt, garlic salt, the pepper. So she would have me help and I would mix everything together, then set aside, but then she would do the frying.

MARTIE Right.

TIA Because that was too much for me.

MARTIE A little bit dangerous.

TIA Yeah. Yeah, a little dangerous. But then I would start learning how to cut greens.

MARTIE Right.

TIA She would show me how to cut the collard greens.

TIA So that's where my love for cooking began.

MARTIE Right.

TIA And then when it really got serious was when my mom really put me to the task. She said for a week, you would have to cook for the whole entire family for a week.

MARTIE I had to do that one time, too.

TIA See?

MARTIE I did.

TIA That's when I started to learn about breakfast and learn about lunch and then learn about dinner. So really, it started out as like a chore. You know? But then it became something that I liked doing. And then once I got married...

MARTIE Do you have any funny stories about that week of cooking? I have a hysterical one. I'll tell you real quick while you think.

TIA Sure. No, go ahead.

MARTIE My mom was in the hospital and so...

TIA OK.

MARTIE I had cooking for a week. I had made many, many, many times the dressing, the Thousand Island dressing and that would go on the iceberg lettuce salad. Right? But you'd make it with mayonnaise and ketchup and then pickle relish. Right?

TIA OK.

MARTIE So, I hated mayonnaise. I never wanted them on anything. So when she was in the hospital, I made that dressing with mustard because I like mustard. Oh...

TIA Yeah.

MARTIE Did I get in trouble?

TIA Oh, man. You tried to switch up the recipe

MARTIE Yeah, my dad took a bite of it and he said, what in the world?

TIA It was like nahh.

MARTIE And then, yeah. I got sent to my room for that one.

TIA I didn't really have any crazy fails like that. But I do have great memories. Um, and the memories that I just love in particular the were the mornings because breakfast was very easy to take on. Right? It's just scrambled eggs and just cooking some sausages or some pancakes and toast or even Eggos, right? You just throw them in there.

MARTIE Right.

TIA And I just loved seeing like my sister and my brother, but having all of us come down the stairs in our PJs and just, you know...

MARTIE Aww.

TIA I, I remember feeling grown up, you know?

MARTIE Right.

TIA I mean, like, I felt like an adult. So I thought that that was really cool. That I was helping out and helping, you know, take care of the family in some kind of way. And we always had, you know, a lot of fun.

MARTIE Speaking of your sister.

TIA Yeah.

MARTIE We're still all this pandemic.

MARTIE And I saw somewhere where that you haven't even been able to see her for months and months and months.

TIA I know.

MARTIE But you all started...

TIA I know.

MARTIE Doing a weekly cocktail hour catch up.

TIA Yes.

MARTIE Tell me about that.

TIA So, because of the pandemic, I was not able to see my sister because she lives up north and we just wanted to stay safe, especially in the thick of the pandemic when nobody really knew too much information about anything. So, we were missing each other. And so we said, you know what, let's do, it's called Sibling Love. And we even have, you know, you can put titles to your chats?

And so the chat was called Sibling Love, and it had my sister on it, my two brothers on it. And it was only the kids. And we would chat with each other every two weeks and we would have a cocktail.

MARTIE How fun.

TIA And we would just catch up with everybody and we would just, you know, talk about like, how are you doing? How are you feeling? How are the kids? Like, we just, it was a nice check in for everyone, but thank God I was able to see my sister in December and it would had been almost a year since I had seen her.

MARTIE Oh, my lord.

TIA I know. Crazy.

MARTIE So as we're talking about your sister and your family. I just sort of assumed that it was the two of you who were the first on television.

TIA No.

MARTIE But now it was your brother. Tell us about that.

TIA Yes, it was my brother Taj. Yeah. We all came out from Texas. We were living in Texas at the time, and we all came out to L.A. because we wanted to pursue an acting career.

MARTIE Let's say, what were you, seven, eight, nine, 10 years old?

TIA We were around, I want to say maybe 10, 11 years old. But we came to L.A. with a dream and a goal and my brother ended up booking first. So we moved to L.A. for Tamara and I, you know? And then it was like my brother was like, Step aside. I've arrived. And he ended up, right? Exactly. And he ended up on Full House. She was our manager. So she would take the kids with her on set. So we would sit in the stands while my brother was working and an exec came by and said, you girls are so cute. Like do you guys want to act? We were like, yeah.

MARTIE I don't know how you did that show without cracking up every single day that Jackee Harry. She's so funny.

TIA She's fabulous.

MARTIE I don't know how — I couldn't have done my lines. I would have just had to laugh and laugh. Well, I'm sure that's why you had a sitcom and I don't.

Girl, let me say this. On top of all of these things that you're doing, you're also an entrepreneur. You have a Vitamin company, I read. And that stemmed from struggles that you had with infertility and endometriosis. Is that right?

TIA I have my own supplement line and it's called Anser.

MARTIE Yes. 

TIA Yes. A-N-S-E-R.

MARTIE OK.

TIA And it was birthed because of my own personal struggles with my health.

MARTIE OK.

TIA And with my wellness. I was dealing with something called endometriosis. And I've been very open with sharing my story, which can cause infertility. And it's a highly inflammatory condition. 

So with that said, I was on this journey, a long journey of trying to find what was wrong with me, a diagnosis. I didn't know what was wrong with me. Um, I ended up meeting this incredible doctor, around the age of 25. And in order for you to be properly diagnosed with endometriosis, you have to have surgery. So I ended up having surgery and that's when they go in with those those cameras and then they can actually see the scar tissue build up, um, you know, within your uterus. And so anyway, I was diagnosed and, you know, I had one surgery then the scar tissue just kept on growing and growing and growing. And so I had to have a second surgery. And she was like, look, Tia, if you want to be able to have a child and if you don't want to have a third surgery, you're going to have to change your lifestyle. I'm 25 years old.

MARTIE Right.

TIA I'm like, what do you mean change my lifestyle? She was like, you're going to have to start eating healthier, taking out dairy, and so I met with a nutritionist,um, and I learned about food and how food can be medicine and how certain foods that you eat can either exacerbate some sort of situation that you have.

MARTIE Right.

TIA Or suppress a certain underlying condition. And that's exactly what it did for me. Once I changed the way I was eating, I started replenishing myself with important supplements. My whole health and wellness did a huge change. And the first miracle was I was able to have my son Cree, which was just crazy. Um, And then my migraines started to go away. My eczema went away. And so I didn't want to keep this information to myself. 

I wanted to encourage and inspire other people to say that, you know, if you're suffering from whatever it is that you have an autoimmune disease, um, or you just see something like eczema or migraines, that's not a death sentence. You know what I mean? You have the power to take control of your health and wellness. And that's why the supplement it's called Anser, meaning you are the answer. 

MARTIE Wonderful.

TIA You have the power to take hold of your wellness and reach your potential when it comes to your health. And that's the journey that I've been on since my diagnosis.

MARTIE So in addition to the supplements and the vitamins that you have in your collection. 

MARTIE Tell me what you do in the kitchen that makes a difference. 

TIA That's a really, really great question. I stay away from foods_and I'm not saying all the time. But like Monday through Friday, I'm staying away from foods that can cause inflammation in the body. And so that could be dairy. 

MARTIE Right.

TIA That could be processed sugar, or just processed foods. So what I've done is, is I've looked at alternatives. So instead of using sugar, I'll use maple syrup.

MARTIE Right.

TIA And and I go more towards natural organic foods. Um, and so instead of having, you know, a pizza with just regular dough, I will do a cauliflower crust pizza.

MARTIE Which is really delicious, by the way.

TIA It's very good. And, you know, I have a book that I had written when I was going through this whole journey. It's called Whole New You. And I have all of the recipes that I, um, would cook for myself, because as you know, like I was telling you, I love food. Pasta, mac and cheese, all of that. And I didn't want to get I didn't want to get rid of that.

MARTIE Right.

TIA So what I did was I found alternatives. You have all of these nut milks that are out there.

MARTIE Right.

TIA You have macadamia, you have soy, you have almonds.

MARTIE Well, I think the key, too, and you point this out so many times in the videos that I've watched is you have to also allow yourself some treats because you can't stay in a wasteland forever. You have to occasionally allow yourself things and then get back on the program, right?

Let's say we're on a cheat day.

TIA OK.

MARTIE Because here's something I've been wanting to ask you about.

TIA OK.

MARTIE Biscuits. You make biscuits.

TIA Oh, girl, I love me some biscuits.

MARTIE Me, too.

TIA And you know, the thing that I love about biscuits is it's rather quick.

MARTIE Yes.

TIA You know what I mean? Like and you don't have to use, you know, use a standing mixer. You don't need, like, special tools. You know what I mean? To make biscuits is just basically dumping_you got your hands. You're dumping and, you know, um, dump and stir. But you don't want to stir, too, because you don't want your biscuits to be hard rock solid.

MARTIE Right.

TIA But my point is, is that they're easy and they're so versatile. Meaning, you can have them for breakfast, you can make them sweet, and then you can make them savory by adding like a gravy on them for dinner. Um, and then they're a great snack. You can even put like peanut butter and jelly in between those biscuits. And you have a great snack for the kids.

MARTIE All right. So for a quick night at home.

TIA OK.

MARTIE You got the kids, the husband's home. You want to whip something up? What's your go to. What's your number one?

TIA You know what? I'm always going to say pasta. I have this great recipe that we use all the time at the house. You put your pasta and your meat sauce with your sauce all in one. Casserole, which makes it easy because you don't have to have all of these dishes.

So you just throw it in the oven and it all cooks together with some cheese. You can use whatever protein you want. You can do turkey, you can do chicken, you could do beef. And it's just very easy. You don't have to be very familiar, should I say, in the kitchen. It's something that I think that anybody could do. And what also the reason why I love this particular dish is because it's great for leftovers. You can make bulks of it and then so you'll have it for dinner one day and then the next day you can have it for dinner, and then the next day you can have it for lunch. So it goes a long way, should I say.

MARTIE All right, one of your favorite cooking ingredients is one of my secret weapons. Pickle juice.

TIA Pickle juice!

MARTIE Yes, I use it for everything.

TIA Everything.

MARTIE Tell me about... Tell me about pickle juice.

TIA So the reason that I love pickle juice, it's an easy way to brine. Brining takes a lot of time and energy, but there's steps to it. But when you have pickle juice, it's just already made for you and it's just loaded with all of that salt and that flavor it makes your your poultry or whatever, you know, meat that you're cooking nice and tender. And then it also gives it loads of flavor. But like I said, it's an easy way to just take your dish to the next level. And I love pickle juice. I've done this when I was pregnant and when I'm not pregnant. I don't know if this is a southern thing, I don't know. Please tell me if you've done this or if it's just I'm crazy. I drink the pickle juice.

MARTIE Girl, when I was on "Food Network Star," all of the chefs in our house and there were 15 of us, I think, the majority of the professional chefs, they drink pickle juice as...

TIA OK.

MARTIE As a back to whiskey. So they would do pickle backs. I'd never heard of it. Now I used pickle juice for pimento cheese.

TIA Mmm.

MARTIE I use it in my barbeque sauce. I use it for Bloody Marys, I use it for a lot of things.

TIA Ohh!

MARTIE But they would actually take a shot of pickle juice as a back to whiskey.

TIA OK, so I'm not odd.

MARTIE Nu-uh. No, girl, you're not. You're...

TIA Tell me about this in your in your drink? The pickle juice.

MARTIE The Bloody Mary? I use it as an ingredient, and it's my secret weapon. I had_this is my first time to confess it. People always say, what makes this so tangy? I'm like, "Oh, I don't know." But it's pickle juice.

TIA I know...

MARTIE And where I live, and I'll send you some.

TIA OK.

MARTIE If you don't have it out there. But we have something Wickles Pickles. And they're wicked pickles. They're spicy, delicious.

TIA Ooh.

MARTIE And they make it in a pickle and they also make it in a relish. And that is the best thing in a Bloody Mary.

TIA I, no. I've never heard of that. Yeah.

MARTIE Eat all the pickles, save the juice.

TIA Yeah.

MARTIE It's also good if you like, um, because sometimes I'll get a cramp in my leg in the middle of the night.

TIA Yes.

MARTIE You take a shot of pickle juice and it'll knock it right out.

TIA Girl. yes. Because it's like an electrolyte, you know what I mean? It's bringing all of the because you know, when you sweat out stuff?

MARTIE Yes.

TIA You know the salts leaving your body, you've got to put that_I'm telling you, man. It is. Pickle juice is a secret weapon...

MARTIE It is.

TIA For all things.

MARTIE You're listening to Homemade. Stay tuned as we'll talk more with Tia about her oatmeal-coated meatballs, pig roasting in Hawaii and more, after the break.

I'm Martie Duncan and my guest today is Tia Mowry.

Your story is so inspiring. A lot of people...

TIA Aww, thank you.

MARTIE Think, well, you know, you grew up famous and all that, but you had struggles to get to that point. And I imagine as many things as you do that you have to struggle to kind of keep yourself out there, stay relevant.

TIA Oh, yeah.

MARTIE Stay, I mean, let's face it. As women, as we age...

TIA Yes.

MARTIE It's harder and harder to get those jobs. But...

TIA Yup.

MARTIE Can you give me some advice, some of the stuff from your website, for example, and from your YouTube channel. Tell me about like three great beauty tips. You already gave me one, take care of yourself.

TIA Oh, yes. Yeah. Thank you!

MARTIE So give me two more. Two more really great tips.

TIA OK. Yeah. No, like you said, the first tip is definitely take care of yourself. I really believe that self care is not selfish. How could you be the best cook, mom, best friend, whatever your title may be if you don't fill up your own cup. So take care of you. Um, let's see another tip? I would have to say drink your water.

MARTIE OK.

TIA I feel like it's one thing that...

We tend to forget to do. Water is so important. It it hydrates you. It gives you energy throughout the day. And it, yeah, it makes your skin glow. Um, so I would definitely have to say water. I know that when I don't drink as much water, I'll feel very fatigued. You know, I won't feel as, uh, energized. Um, and it's a great way to release toxins in our bodies. Our bodies are, you know, filled with toxicity, just going through life. The air that we're breathing. You know, sometimes the foods that we're eating. So to get that nice flush with water is amazing. Another thing I would say, beauty tip, is I would say exercise. It's a great way not only to keep you feeling amazing and energized, but it's a great way mentally. I think when people think of beauty, sometimes they always focus on the outer side.

MARTIE Makeup, for example.

TIA But really, makeup. Yeah. But really beauty is also about within and how you feel, how you're confident, how you tackle the day. It doesn't have to be, you know, an hour workout. It could just be ten, fifteen minutes or twenty minutes and doing something that you love to do. I always say if you like to roller skate, go roller skate. If you like Hula-hoop, Hulu-hoop. You know?

MARTIE Your husband Corey...

TIA Yes.

MARTIE Y'all be married how long now?

TIA Wow. It'll be 13 years in April.

MARTIE Now, what is the favorite thing that you cook for him? What's his favorite dish?

TIA Oh, that's a really good question. My favorite dish that I cook for Corey would definitely have to be my spaghetti and meatballs.

MARTIE OK.

TIA And I really think what makes this dish special is how I make meatballs. I don't use bread, I use oatmeal.

MARTIE Oh, wow.

TIAAnd I, yes. And so I sit the oatmeal in some milk for about five minutes and then I cut up some spinach in there. It's, healthy, you know what I mean? But again, I'm not sacrificing the flavor. So what I'll do is I'll cook. Then of course I'll saute them in some oil on, um, each side to give that nice crust because I love when when there's that nice crust...

MARTIE Yeah.

MARTIE That's where the flavor is.

TIA Flavor is, girl. That's where the flavor is. . But then I slowly cook them in the sauce, in the tomato sauce. So I'll sauteed in first and then I slowly cook them on the stove, um, in the sauce and he just loves it. Another one I would have to say are my lamb chops. So it's called like a lollipop cut lamb chop.

MARTIE Yes. Yes.

TIA But he loves them because of how I, um, season them. So I seasoned them with herbes de provence, do you know that?

MARTIE Yes. Of course.

TIA That seasoning? And then so it's savory and then I'll put mint. I'll chop up some, um, mint and then I'll drizzle some honey on top.

MARTIE Oh, delicious.

TIA So we have the sweet and the savory um, with, with the lamb. So I would say my turkey meatballs and spaghetti sauce and my lamb, um, chops. Those are his favorite. He loves when I make that.

MARTIE Listen, I am just so enamored of you, I could talk to you forever.

TIA Aww, you're so sweet.

MARTIE I could talk to you forever. So thank you for sharing your life and your kitchen and your stories and your family with us. We have really enjoyed getting to know you.

TIA Oh, thank you so much. It was a joy talking to you. I love your rawness and your authenticity and just your your warmth.

MARTIE And I meant to talk to you about Hawaii and cooking pig in the ground with your daddy.

TIA Oh, my gosh.

MARTIE You know cause, we do that here. We do that here, too.

TIA Wait, you guys do?

MARTIE Oh sure. We cook a pig in the ground. Um, you know, Bocephus, Hank Williams Jr.. He has a whole song about, you know, we put a pig in the ground. All my rowdy friends are coming over tonight. So...

TIA Oh, my gosh. I didn't know that. I only...

MARTIE Yes.

TIA You know, because I grew up in Hawaii, um, and they would they do it at luaus, you know?

MARTIE Right.

TIA I mean, that's kind of like the thing that they do. But my mom and my dad, they actually decide, did I, I don't know if you know the whole story of this. So while we're on the topic, but my mom and my dad, they decided to do it for the first time, you know, in our backyard and, you know, we were kids.

MARTIE Right.

TIA And, you know, I just I just remember seeing them, you know, dig the big pit and then they put the pig in there, um, and they put like all of these leaves and stuff...

MARTIE Banana leaves, yeah.

TIA Yeah. Over it. And I don't I'm like, oh, my gosh, I don't know how or why this happened, but we had a hurricane.

MARTIE Nobody checked the weather.

TIA So gets_nobody and checked the weather. So we had a swing set in our backyard. So guess where that pig landed?

TIA After the hurricane, on the swings.

MARTIE No way.

TIA Yes.

MARTIE Oh, and you didn't get to eat it.

TIA No.

MARTIE Oh, how disappointing. How disappointing.

TIA I know.

MARTIE Do you ever make it back to Hawaii?

TIA Oh, yes, every year. But the only year that we did it was because of COVID. Every year. That's where my heart is.

MARTIE OK. One more question for you then. OK. I haven't been.

TIA Oh, really?

MARTIE Um. I've never been to Hawaii. I've been all over the world and I've never been to Hawaii. And it is definitely on the top of my list once we get out of here and we can start traveling again, it's a place I want to go. And I have a great friend from my season of Food Network star, Ippy.

TIA Oh, wow.

MARTIE Who lives on. So I want to go and visit with Ippy and...

TIA Aww.

MARTIE Where would I go, where should I go if I take my first trip to Hawaii, what should be my first destination? What's your favorite?

TIA You know I love Maui. Honolulu is nice. It's where I grew up. But that's very commercialized.

Where all of like, the, um, fishermen and even the tourists and all of that kind of take off. And they have these really cool restaurants and shops, you know, right on the coast, should I say. It's just like right there and you're looking over into the ocean. Um, but what I will say is this. I grew up eating short ribs.

MARTIE Right.

TIA And kimchi and rice because there's a huge, um, Asian population there.

MARTIE Right. I think one of the Food Network, um, chefs, they're the ones that_I don't know if it was Guy Fieri or somebody recommended this restaurant, but it's like they have kimchi pancakes from the short ribs to Spam. You've got to try Spam.

MARTIE Of course.

TIA Have you tried Spam?

MARTIE I grew up in the South, girl.

TIA OK. Yup. Yeah, Spam.

MARTIE We eat a lot of Spam. Fried Spam sandwiches growing up.

TIA Yup. Fried. Yup.

MARTIE With yellow mustard.

TIA You put mustard on? Girl!

MARTIE Yup. My friend Ippy has a place called Ippy's Hawaiian BBQ and he does the plate lunches but very gourmet.

TIA Oh, OK.

MARTIE He's a Le Cordon Bleu trained chef.

TIA Oh wow.

MARTIE He's one of the best cooks on my season of "Food Network Star."

TIA Wow.

MARTIE So I can't wait go to his place and...

TIA Yes.

MARTIE Taste all these things from his perspective. But when to go, I want to travel around a little bit.

TIA Oh, yeah.

MARTIE So thank you for my tips. And thank you for being such a generous spirit and spending so much time with us. We really enjoyed it.

TIA Thank you so much, buh bye.

MARTIE Be sure to follow Tia on Instagram, subscribe to her cooking series Quick Fix on YouTube, and tune into Family Reunion on Netflix. You can also find information on her supplement line Anser — that's A-N-S-E-R — at shopanser.com.