This girl almost blew up her microwave, but now has her own cooking show—and the recipes are so easy that they will wow your guests.
Sister to Hilary Duff, actress/singer/songwriter Haylie Duff has always led a pretty hectic life. Being in the spotlight from a young age definitely had its challenges, especially when it comes to eating right and maintaining a healthy family life.
For Duff, a quick call to a favorite take-out spot was her normal dinner plan. Finally her mom called her out on it, telling her, “You have this beautiful kitchen. Why are you ordering take out all the time?” True—and that’s when Real Girl’s Kitchen was born.
“When I started Real Girl’s Kitchen blog, I didn’t know how to cook at all. So I started the blog out of sharing my trials and tribulations to learning how to cook. Through that process I really found confidence and a creative outlet for myself in the kitchen and it changed my life!” expresses Duff.
“The blog really grew with me and that’s what’s been really special about it. People have gone on the journey with me learning, discovering new things, and failing in the kitchen.”
After four-plus years working on her blog and now on the third season of her TV show on the Cooking Channel, Duff shares how healthy living is more than just eating right and working out. It’s about balance.
How do you get comfortable in the kitchen?
Don’t take yourself seriously in the kitchen. The biggest lesson Duff suggests is to have fun and not expect perfection.
“The best approach is just get in there and do it. Pick a recipe that is simple, and start from there. Once you make a few things, and it turns out well, you can tweak things here and there to make it your own. The ability comes as you keep experimenting.”
How do you set family expectations?
If you’re a parent, then you know your children follow your lead. Duff can’t express how important it is to create a healthy lifestyle for her daughter, and the first place it starts is in the kitchen.
“I want to set the example of sitting down and eating a meal as a family and cooking together for my daughter. These are lessons and memories I want her to remember. You know, I remember sitting on the kitchen counter snapping peas with my grandmother when I was a little girl. Eating fresh veggies and spending time together—these are the type of memories I want my daughter to have.”
How do you find balance?
With work, training and family, it’s hard to balance everything. Duff is no stranger to a busy life, but one of the most important factors to maintain some sanity is to sit with family.
“Put the cell phone down and turn the TV off. We forget to focus on family because life is so busy and we are glued to screens all day long. Everyone should set that stuff aside and focus on family time—enjoy the food together. This will help you get through so many other obstacles in life.”
How do you create healthy recipes?
You work hard and exercise, so fuel your body with healthful ingredients. When it comes to creating family traditions, Duff takes traditional meals that her mom and grandmother used to make, and puts a healthy twist to them. This way she keeps the memories going, but they are her own—and she can enjoy them guilt-free!
“I really wanted to try to make Easter my own. I wanted to create my own traditions of my own that my family would associate with me. I want to create a memory like my grandmother and mother did with their recipes, but make them my own. So that’s where my motivation began.”