Judy Ann Santos encapsulates her lifelong passion for cooking in her very first cookbook, Judy Ann's Kitchen.
She says she has kept the book simple and easy to read by dividing the chapters chronologically according to her life story.
The book chapters dwell on intimate kitchen stories and everything she has created through the years.
Chapter one, for instance, is devoted to dishes that brought her comfort in her early years in showbiz.
She recalls, "Those were the years when I hitched rides sa caterers namin.
''I started showbiz at eight years old at lumaki ako sa this type of food: chicken curry, sinigang na monggo, ginataang monggo, picadillo..."
She says she keeps going back to these dishes, including her childhood favorites such as sopas and champorado for snacks.
"Personal favorites yung nilagay ko sa chapter one... kung may sakit ako, ang gusto ko kainin sopas.
"Madali siyang gawin, toxic lang yung mga hiwa-hiwa, pero after a while, rewarding naman!"
One interesting chapter of the book is about Ryan Agoncillo making her realize something about herself she had overlooked: her love for cooking.
Chapter two, in fact, puts together all the recipes Judy Ann has cooked through the years for her friends.
She muses, "I have so many friends and I would always cook for them.
“’Pag pagod ako, manonood ako ng cooking shows, so whatever I cook at home, bitbit ko siya sa set.”
This gesture continues to date, and when she is not working, Judy Ann and Ryan invite their friends over to their house.
“We would invite them over, and these are the foods they would request whenever may party sa bahay,” she says, referring to the recipes in her book.
KIDDIE RECIPES. Chapter three is all about kiddie parties and what to prepare for kids.
Juday shares, "That was the time naman that Yohan came into my life.
“I had to research more how to feed your child, kasi wala naman akong alam!"
Juday admits she had difficulty completing the chapter, primarily because she does not have a sweet tooth.
She clarifies, “Hindi ako mahilig sa sweets, pero kids love these so the cookie recipes were added so that the kids section will have more sweets."
Judy Ann reveals she came up with the chocolate chip cookie recipe by accident, “Impromptu nung shoot.”
She relates, “Nagkataon I had ingredients at home, 'tapos nung na-bake na siya naisip ko na maganda sa picture may pula.
''Nung tinikman ko, bongga, masarap, aksidente lang siya!"
The ''pula'' in Juday’s recipe is the red sea salt, an ingredient she threw in at the last minute while baking the cookie.
She says the chocolate chip cookie became a compromise dessert for her and Yohan.
"I love dark chocolate, Yohan loves milk, so para 'di mag-away, pinagsama ko na!" she beams.
She also points to the rainbow cake recipe, the last one in the kiddie chapter, as pure fun.
"Marami pa naman tips and tricks on how to make a rainbow cake, yung akin I was just having fun.
“Nagpapaka-artist ako nung shoot namin sabi ko mukhang ganito yun, at ganito nga," she exclaims.
Her enjoyment in swirling all the different colors together is seen in the videos shown during the book launch.
WIFE/MOM. Chapter four focuses on Juday as a wife and her dinner dates with husband Ryan.
She shares, "Kung ano yung sine-serve ko kay Ryan, pinost ko sa Instagram.
“May tips doon kung paano magluto ng steak, kung paano mag-set ng table setting, mga baon niya.
"These are things that a normal housewife can do kahit hindi siya nag-aral ng culinary.
“They can follow the recipes in the book, sobra siyang daling intindihin
“And the ingredients needed for those recipes, hindi siya mahal."
About the baon and snack recipes for the hubby, she remarks, "My angels at home know how to make it pero iba yung sa akin."
She tell us her unbelievable secret how to manage it all.
"What I do when I get home from taping, halimbawa 3 a.m. and Ryan has to leave by 7 a.m.
"Lulutuin ko na yung baon niya for the whole day.
"Lulutuin ko hanggang 5 a.m., kasi call time niya 7 a.m., so alis siya ng bahay ng 5:30 a.m.
"Diretso na 'yan sa almusal ng mga bata, ‘pag nakaalis na yung mga bata, saka na ako matutulog.”
Juday adds, "It's not hard as long as you know how to manage your time properly.
“For me it's really important na you still have time for yourself."
Juday discloses she gets her much-needed downtime on days everybody is out and she has no taping schedule.
She gives us a rundown of her to-do list, "I go to my derma, kay Dr. Aivee, I go to my gym.
“When I come home, I make dinner, spend time with the kids and we go to bed together.
“I always find time for myself, I have to find time for myself!"
One of her best alone-times, surprisingly, is doing the grocery, “Grocery is my therapy, every other day nasa grocery ako!"
HEALTHY EATING. Chapter five about health and discoveries, according to Juday, was also a tough task.
She recalls, "When we were shooting the book, my current state was to be healthy.
"To discover how to live a healthy lifestyle and how to improve my lifestyle na hindi masyado gumagastos.
"Ang daming nagpapaka-healthy, each and everyone, we have our own personal take.
''So we had to study and research each and every recipe kasi maraming atribida.
'''Di naman ganyan 'yan,' maraming nagmamarunong.
''Yung iba, ginather ko sa ibang cookbooks, and I added ingredients na mayroon tayo dito."
She says she has put much thought and reflection into this chapter, "Very critical na kung may magkasakit sa nilagay kong ingredient diyan.
"'Tapos nakalagay under healthy discoveries, baka mademanda pa ako.
"I had to be safe so whatever I put there, those are the things we eat at home. Hanggang ngayon, buhay pa naman ako.
"Diyan na yung may mga smoothies, whole-wheat pancakes, which are staple breakfast at home."
BOOK TWO? Juday also explains why she has not included her popular #dirtybreakfast brand in the cookbook.
"I did not include most of my dirty breakfast recipes kasi feeling ko that part is very special.
"If ever I will publish again, it's another cookbook. I am still looking forward to making another cookbook na more healthy."
Judy Ann's Kitchen is published by Anvil Publishing and is available in National Bookstores nationwide.