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Haylie Duff uses love of food to connect to fans (EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW)


Haylie Duff is no stranger to the camera or performing in front of an audience. She has appeared in the popularNapoleon Dynamite, 7th Heaven, the Broadway musical Hairspray and more. And now she’s putting on yet another hat: a chef’s hat! Her cooking show, Real Girl’s Kitchen, is set to premiere the second season this Saturday.

For her, one of the most surprising things about taking on a TV show like this was the amount of responsibility.

“I’m involved in every aspect of the show — I produce it, I write the recipes. I asked someone to help me test the recipes because there’s just so many,” Haylie tells us. “You go on a movie set and you kinda just show up and you do your job… and with this it’s much more hands on.”

Despite the amount of responsibility that she has with her show, she always leaves room for some fun. One of her favorite moments from the first season was the crab boil episode with her sister, Hilary Duff. Every year, her family orders pre-cooked crabs from Maryland and has a party at their house. But when it was her turn, she did things a little differently.

“When it was my turn to host the crab boil, I bought live crabs, because that’s what I thought everybody else did. But figuring out how to tackle that was fun to do with my sister,” Haylie said.

She also shared the most rewarding part about having a cooking show: the response she receives from her fans and how interactive they are, especially through Instagram, where viewers share their experiences with her recipes.

“I think that when you’re dealing with food, it’s a much more intimate thing than watching someone on a movie,” Haylie said. “I know that sounds weird but feeding someone is a very intimate thing, and you’re showing people what to put into their bodies, how to be healthier, how to indulge when they want to. There’s a sort of trust that’s built there.”

Hayley Duff

Image: Yoni Goldberg

In the second season, viewers can expect new recipes and exciting celebrity guests like Duff Goldman, who tries to teach her how to bake (she admits she’s not a baker!), and an episode with Lauren Conrad, where they talk about Lauren’s company The Little Market. One of Haylie’s favorite recipes from the coming season is an innovative dish with ramen that you won’t want to miss, some great Italian food and an episode where she cooks for kids who are all vegan.

As the second season starts to air, Hayley is preparing for another addition to her resume: mom!

“I’ve had a really easy pregnancy. I worked and did the show while I was pregnant so there was a lot of distractions, so I wasn’t focusing on all the aches and pains that come along with it,” she told us.

The third season of Real Girl’s Kitchen will be filmed in her house, and she hopes that this will allow her to keep a work-life balance.

As she goes through her last month of pregnancy, Haylie shared that she has been making a lot of chili. That’s why one of her kitchen staples is to always have good quality frozen ground beef that can also be used for tacos and other dishes. Other items to always have on hand include eggs, cheeses, strawberries, avocados and lemons. As far as seasoning goes, she recommends having lemon pepper, garlic powder, paprika and cayenne in your pantry.

For anybody who wants to entertain and share their cooking with others, her advice is to just do it. And don’t be afraid to experiment. “You can’t mess up unless you burn everything,” she reminds us. For the first couple times, start with easy recipes and go with things that you can prepare ahead of time.

“I would just throw your first dinner party or a happy hour at your place. Honestly, whatever you put together or whatever spread you have out for people is thoughtful, and is more than most people are getting that evening,” she concluded. Well said!

Season 2 of Real Girl’s Kitchen premieres at 1 p.m. on Saturday, April 25, on the Cooking Channel. You can also follow Haylie’s adventures on her blog or try some of the recipes from her cookbook .

More on Haylie Duff

Haylie Duff talks love: Her engagement and Hilary’s divorce
Haylie Duff’s Real Girl’s Kitchen cooks up LA love
Haylie Duff has a new show and an engagement ring!

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