Actress Sasha Pieterse, known for her infamous role as Alison DiLaurentis in "Pretty Little Liars," is now adding cookbook author to her resume!
This month, the 23-year-old released "Sasha in Good Taste: Recipes for Bites, Feasts, Sips & Celebrations," which guides readers through everything they need when hosting a party, from food recipes to decor ideas. AOL's Julia Webb caught up Pieterse to get the inside scoop on how she tackles holiday hosting. Keep scrolling to read their entire conversation.
AOL: There is a ton of great advice in "Sasha in Good Taste," but what would you say is your No. 1 holiday entertaining tip?
Pieterse: Oh my gosh, there’s so many! I think for me, and this is more so whatever it means to you, but I am always down to personalize things. Obviously, we know our loved ones well and so if there's something that they like, I love to include that and make everything feel special, and the homier the better! Basically, incorporate your family and your friends into your party planning.
What is your favorite piece of party decor that is affordable and easy to pull off, but still makes an impact?
I think for me, when it comes to the holidays, I love to put little gifts on the place settings. That is a tradition that my parents kind of did when I was younger — they did crackers — but I’ve kind of taken that and put my own spin on it. I love little presents and again I personalize them for each person. I think it’s a good way to start off your season and it makes gift giving a lot more fun.
As a pro hostess yourself, what would you say is your favorite hostess gift to give or to receive?
I love to bring baskets! I like filling baskets with things whether that’s a bottle of wine and blanket or a cookbook or something that makes sense for the home, even if that’s just coasters and a cute card. Receiving thought, I will take any blanket. You give me a blanket and I will be a happy camper!
There are a ton of delicious looking recipes in the book, do you have a favorite one?
Ah, that is such a hard question. I don’t know about a favorite, but one of my go-tos are the Jalapeño Bites -- you can change out the fruit for the season. I like peaches, but if peaches aren’t in season, you can use pears. There’s a little bit of that sweetness mixed in with the jalapeños that really makes a difference and they are so easy to do. They’re such a crowd pleaser and you can make a ton of them.
Hosting and cooking for a lot of people can be pretty stressful. Is there anything that you do the day of the party you're hosting that is just for you so you don't feel overwhelmed?
I eat. I know that that sounds silly, but before when I first starting party throwing, if you will, I forgot to eat. I would be stressed and I would be so worried about getting everything done and getting everything right that I’d feel like when the party actually stared I was starving. I think eating really just helps. Get your meals in, maybe some coffee!
And then at the end of day, knowing that everyone is coming to celebrate because they want to see you and see each other and to relax and have a good time. You’re not always going to get everything done. There’s always going to be something that you miss, but at the end of the day your guests don’t know that. They don’t know what you didn’t get done and I think that’s something to remember.
You act, you write, you're a great hostess, what do you want to conquer next?
A lot. I want to produce and direct. I want to obviously continue acting. I’d love to write another book. I think the great thing about cookbook is that you can actually customize them to your life and what your experiences are. I'd love to write a PCOS book actually because that’s what I deal with, and you know kids, that chapter will continue, my life with my friends. There’s a lot I want to accomplish and I will do my best to check all of those boxes.
This interview has been edited and condensed.