Pat Benatar's Next Hit: A Different Kind of Cookbook

Find out why the hitmaker's next number-one just may be a cookbookBy Anna Dysinger

Pat Benatar knows how to rock. Her feisty tunes have earned her four Grammys and three American Music Awards, and she was the first female artist to be featured on MTV. But the 60-year-old mom of two (Haley, 28, and Hana, 19) isn't stopping yet. She and her husband, Neil Giraldo, are just finishing a small spring concert series before beginning their main tour across the US and Canada on June 7, 2013, all while recording Neil's Christmas album. While the singer's no stranger to the stage, she's just as likely to be in her kitchen. Between shows, Pat chatted with WomansDay.com about her family recipes, her garden in Maui, HI, and her cookbook that's coming out this winter. Photo by Beth Herzaft.

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Where did your love of cooking come from?

It came from my husband's love of eating! I didn't cook all that much when I first met him, but he loves food-he's half Sicilian. I decided that I better start learning how to cook.

Are your daughters as into cooking as you are?


Yes, my older daughter, Haley, is an excellent baker, and my youngest, Hana, is an excellent meatball maker.

What are some of your favorite meals to prepare?


We do a lot of Italian food. We're carnivores, so it's a ton of grilling, braising, stews, things like that. And, of course, Sunday gravy and pasta.

Do you have any family traditions centered around food?


Holidays are big. We bake cookies at Christmastime and do a big ham at Easter. And then we have this other thing from my Polish side: At Christmastime, we also do pierogies, Polish dumplings. My mother has an amazing recipe that was handed down from my father's mother so we make these in my kitchen and they're all over the counter.

When you're on tour do you still cook?


We have to eat out quite a bit, but we cook on days off. We have date night on the bus! I drag all these pots and pans, and I have to have a stove and an oven. And then I bring all kinds of portable things, like a griddle and a GrillMaster. I bring a Crock-Pot so I can stick food in there in the morning and it'll cook all day. The girl who does production assistance backstage, she and I cook when we have a couple days off in a row. We get banquet tables from the hotels, and then we cook in the parking lot. The band and crew get to eat. It's really great.

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What's your specialty?


I have the most amazing chocolate-chip cookie recipe in the universe. And all the stuff that I cook when we're in Hawaii; the fruit there is ridiculous.

What do you grow in your garden in Maui?

Normally we have arugula, different lettuces, all of the herbs. Basil grows like a weed, so we use it as a bush, like a hedge. We also have eggplant, cucumber and tomatoes. And then we have bananas, mangoes, papayas and passion fruit. You can't eat a mango on the mainland ever again once you've tried one there!

We're excited to hear about your upcoming cookbook! What will it be like?


It'll be filled with my family recipes, but the best part? It won't be a straight cookbook-it'll have lots of photographs and stories, like how a particular recipe was born. You'll be making some fabulous food from this cookbook.

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