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Home Body
"Nothing has ever come close to my experience of being a mother," says Alley (with Lillie and True). "I have an amazing relationship with my kids."

06/22/2006 AT 06:00 AM EDT

She certainly meant well. But as Kirstie Alley thinks back on her old notion of stay-at-home motherhood – "Betty Crocker and eating cake batter every day" – her recollections are bittersweet. "I always said I was going to be like my grandmother Annabelle, who was very nurturing and an excellent cook," Alley says. "But she was also four feet tall by four feet wide. Yeah, forgot that part!"

Step into the French-tiled kitchen in her 1920s Los Angeles villa today and you're still likely to find the 55-year-old actress – a self-described "fanatic" when it comes to homemade meals (chicken and rice is a favorite) – behind the stove.

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