Real Girl’s Kitchen Haylie Duff talks Thanksgiving and her hopes for a Season 3

Image courtesy of Kef Media
Image courtesy of Kef Media /

Haylie Duff talks about her new recipes for Thanksgiving, how everyone can give back this holiday, and her hopes for a Real Girl’s Kitchen Season 3.

Many associate actress Haylie Duff with her famously successful film and television career, having made her mark on Hollywood staring in Material Girls, Seventh Heaven, and Napoleon Dynamite. While she continues to act in a number of TV movies, Duff decided in 2014 to start her own labor of love project: the Real Girl’s Kitchen series. Now, there’s something else to be thankful for this Thanksgiving with talks of a possible Season 3.

Her love of cooking having stemming from her family, Duff first began Real Girl’s Kitchen as a blog, telling Food & Beverage Magazine it was a way to deal with the “frustrations I was facing with acting…”

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But this in-between-job blog eventually grew into Duff’s main creative outlet, saying she felt she had “found my path in life.” After publishing her first cookbook, The Real Girl’s Kitchen series began and took on a life of it’s own, airing on the Cooking Channel and becoming a fan favorite.

The show focuses on Duff nurturing her passion for cuisine in everyday life, from baking a Spanish-themed cake for her mom’s birthday, to throwing a candy-themed baby shower for close friends. After a successful first two seasons, Ora TV and Duff began working towards a third, but the project was put on hold in 2015 so Duff could focus on having her daughter Ryan.

Still, Duff continued on with her blog and is now partnering with Libby’s Canned Goods for Thanksgiving to help spread the word about their sixth annual Cansgiving Sweepstakes. Hidden Remote had the chance to talk with Duff about her family’s Thanksgiving traditions, new holiday recipes and the fans who are inspiring her to revive Real Girl’s Kitchen.

Hidden Remote: Let’s start by talking about your show, Real Girl’s Kitchen and how that came about. I loved the first two seasons. They were so cute and so personal, I think my favorite episode was The Duff Cake.

Haylie Duff: Well [Duff Goldman] is one of my favorite people just in life. He’s so funny. I saw him when I was driving the other day recently and I was like, “You!” But yeah, he’s great.

Hidden Remote: And it’s cool you got to bring your family onto the show and kinda make it personal that way too.

Duff: Yeah, thank you.

Hidden Remote: So, where did that passion for cooking come from?

Duff: Well I think it really came from growing up watching everyone in my family cook and having some of our favorite memories be around our kitchen and our dining room table. I think that really served as the biggest inspiration for me.

Hidden Remote: And all these recipes that you do on the show and on your blog, are they all just coming from you or do you adapt them from what you’ve been taught?

Duff: They are. I mean, most of them are either recipes that I grew up making in my home with my family, or they’re adaptions of something that I ate somewhere on a vacation that I loved and then came home and tried to recreate. Things like that. I feel like, when you cook, you draw inspiration from everywhere.

Hidden Remote: Definitely, for sure. What made you decide to turn this passion into a show?

Duff: You know, I think seeing that young people were interested in food television really was the biggest reason for me. I had so many people say, “Well I’m learning how to cook because I’m doing it with you. You’re not teaching me, you’re not talking to me, you’re doing it with me.” So I think that was really my biggest inspiration, that people were responding so positively to it.

Hidden Remote: And it has that visual aspect too, which kind of gives it an added bonus.

Duff: Yeah, it does make it easier to learn sometimes when you get to watch it.

Hidden Remote: Right, and you get to see these things get baked and fall in love with the way they look and all the yummy noises people are making when they’re eating them.

Now, I know that you had these first two seasons come out a couple years ago, is there any chance you’re going to do a third season? I know you’re still doing the blog.

Duff: I’m hoping so. I took a little beat to have my family, so we’ll see. I would love to continue the show, obviously.

Hidden Remote: Definitely. Well, let’s dive into the Thanksgiving stuff. First of all, what recipes are you planning on making this year for your family?

Duff: Well I’m really all about great side dishes. I really love vegetables so I was super excited to work with Libby’s Canned Vegetables this year because I got two kids now, so I need to save as much time as I can in the kitchen and they’re really helping me do that because I’m not prepping for like an hour before I make everything. I’m basically just grabbing a can, popping it open, draining it, putting it into a baking dish.

This is one that I really love, it’s a sliced carrot and beat, and you just drizzle it with some maple syrup, you top it with some fresh thyme, some salt, I love fresh ground pepper, and this bakes for 15 minutes at 400 degrees and it looks beautiful on your table and it could not be easier to make. It pairs with everything and it’s really healthy too. So, nice option for Thanksgiving.

Hidden Remote: And is this a brand new recipe you just came up with this year?

Duff: It is, yes. You know, both of my…Well, not both…I say both because I think of Luca as my kid too, but all the kids in my family love carrots and, surprisingly, love beats. So, this is a very kid-friendly recipe too. There’s nothing “scary” in it, you know?

Hidden Remote: Right, nothing too green.

Duff: Nothing too green, and nothing too scary is what I hear.

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Hidden Remote: Any other recipes that you’re planning on making?

Duff: We make my grandmother’s stuffing every year, I think I’m in charge of turkey again this year, which is not too scary for me because it actually tends to be pretty simple. I’ve figured out a couple good ways to tackle it without it taking up like two days of my life. I’m just really focusing on being with my family and celebrating how we’ve all expanded in the last couple of months.

Hidden Remote: Speaking of your family, do you have any favorite family memories that go along with baking or cooking and Thanksgiving in general?

Duff: During the holidays I always really am reminded of my mom and she was really always encouraging us to give back every holiday season. So, from the time I was a little girl, Hilary and I would gather canned goods and blankets and clothing…we donated a lot, like gifts at Christmas time. So I was really excited to partner with Libby’s for their Cansgiving sweepstakes because they’re encouraging people to share what they’re thankful for.

Hidden Remote: It’s great that you get to give back during this season, it just seems so appropriate.

Duff: I think we have a lot to be thankful for, so we got to help each other out too.

Hidden Remote: That’s awesome. I have one more question for you…for your show, did you get any really cool feedback from viewers and see this passion of yours expand with the show that you did?

Duff: You know, I still get messages from people every single day about the show, or about how they wish we would do more episodes, things like that. That’s kind of the beauty of social media, isn’t it? That we all sort of have open communication to each other nowadays.

Hidden Remote: And you get to connect with these people who have similar passions like cooking.

Duff: Yeah, it’s great and I get to hear, like you, which episodes people loves and which recipes they loved…it’s nice. I get to feel like part of their holiday when they’re making my recipes too.

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Thanks for the heartfelt interview, Haylie!

Fans can catch the first two seasons of Real Girl’s Kitchen on Ora TV’s website. Tell us what your favorite episode is in the comments below.