05/15/2013 at 09:00 AM EDT
Food Network star Sandra Lee created an all-white oasis in the kitchen of her Westchester, N.Y., home, because "our days are so cluttered with stuff we have to do – chores, homework and work – so I try to keep the kitchen as uncluttered as possible."
That is until her boyfriend
, New York governor Andrew Cuomo, 55, and his daughters Cara and Mariah, 18, and Michaela, 15, come home for dinner.
"We all chip in," says Lee, 46. "Some cook, some clean, some stand in front of the refrigerator and just stare, because they just can't decide on what they want!"
While the governor is known for his grilled chicken ("It's perfect," says Lee), "We have lots of chicken dishes and pasta, and the girls love my red cabbage salad," says the Emmy-winning cook. "But some nights we order in, anything from Chinese food to pizza."
Cooking lessons are on the table as well.
"We do a lot of baking, and I try to share tidbits that I was taught by my grandmother," says Lee. "It's a family affair when we're in the kitchen."