Tiffani Thiessen as seen in "Dinner at Tiffani's"
The best thing about cooking from scratch, besides the amazing meal that usually comes at the end of it, is that it's a skill that ignores social barriers. That may sound a bit frou-frou, but hear me out: Whether rich or poor, upper class or bottom rung, learning how to cook is something that anyone can do and something that anyone can enjoy.
That is, I think, part of the joy of shows like "MasterChef," watching ordinary folks from all walks of life sharing the one thing that they all have in common: the love of a hot pan and the savory smells of a home-cooked meal.
Even Hollywood actors can feel at home in the kitchen. Case in point: "Beverly Hills, 90210" star Tiffani Thiessen. Her Cooking Channel show "Dinner at Tiffani's" is in the midst of its third season, and is celebrating a classic New Orleans carnival.
In this week's episode, airing Sunday, Feb. 26, Tiffani throws a Mardi Gras get-together with her former "Fastlane" co-star Bill Bellamy, Bellamy's wife, Kristen, and former "Nashville" star Eric Close.
And what would a bayou celebration be without some succulent southern offerings? The hostess whips up a hot crab and kale dip served with a creole crostini, her own take on a classic gumbo, some amazing cheesy grits made with blackened butter and finally some pecan pralines for a sweet end to the meal.
There's more fun to be had in next week's episode, airing Sunday, March 5, when Tiffani lights up her backyard grill and invites comedian Tim Meadows ("Saturday Night Live") and actress Missi Pyle ("Gone Girl," 2014) over for a bite to eat.
First, Tiffani makes her homemade peach barbecue sauce, which she slathers on the chicken destined for the grill. Then, she makes a baked mac and cheese with less-than-traditional ricotta. And, of course, a meal like this one wouldn't be complete without corn bread, and Tiffani has that covered, too: she shares her recipe for freshly baked, oh-so-good spicy jalapeño corn muffins.
With food as good as hers, who wouldn't want to swing by Tiffani Thiessen's place at every opportunity? A new episode of "Dinner at Tiffani's" airs Sunday, Feb. 26, on Cooking Channel.