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From Desperate Housewife to domestic goddess

Eva Longoria's character on Desperate Housewives isn't exactly domestic, but in real life the actress says she "tries to cook every day".

She's released a cookbook called Eva's Kitchen: Cooking With Love For Family And Friends. It includes family recipes and her own favourite dishes such as chicken tortilla soup.

The 36-year-old actress, who plays a former model and the youngest of the housewives on Wisteria Lane, is a big cookbook collector and had a clear vision of the beautiful photos and stories she wanted with her own book.

Compiling the dishes into cookbook recipes, though, was at times challenging, she said yesterday.

"I cook by instinct so if I want salt I'll put salt and if I don't, I don't, so I felt really bad telling people to put, you know, a quarter-cup of cheese if they didn't want it, you know, I'm like, 'Or not! You don't have to!'" she said.

Longoria, who filed for divorce from San Antonio Spurs basketball player Tony Parker last year, said it is essential to get your timing right -- especially with breakfast.

"People tend to make eggs first, and eggs should be the last thing you make because they're the fastest," she said. "You should always make your bacon or your biscuits first because they can sit."

Her must-have ingredient is lemon.

"I put lemon in everything, on everything," she said with a laugh. "It's really great for sauces, for dressings, for fish, for meat. I love lemon.

"Also I have a herb garden so I have cilantro, I have mint, I have basil, and it's always great to just pick those off right from the garden."