Haylie Duff is putting her actress/singer hat on the back burner for her new docuseries, Real Girl’s Kitchen, premiering on the Cooking Channel at 2 p.m. Saturday.
Keeping Up with the Duffs this is not. Though we may see snippets of her family, which includes famous younger sister Hilary Duff, the show is based on Haylie’s popular namesake blog and cookbook, Real Girl’s Kitchen. So think recipes (e.g., watermelon gazpacho, mozzarella bites and tuna crème fraiche), not drama.
We spoke to the 29-year-old former 7th Heaven star, who recently got engaged to T-shirt designer Matt Rosenberg. The couple split their time between New York and Los Angeles.
Have you always been into cooking?
Yes! I’m one of those people who always has food shows on. I also love cookbooks. I can sit down and literally read one cover to cover. My mom and my grandmother have shared recipes with me, and even my dad, who is great on the grill, gave me good tips. We have him on the barbecue episode. I started Real Girl’s Kitchen as a blog about three years ago, and it’s grown in a crazy, organic way. It’s such a dream realized for me to be on the Cooking Channel.
What is your style? How often do you cook?
I love comfort food, but nothing tastes better to me than flavors of the season. In Los Angeles, we’re a little spoiled with all the farmers’ markets. So I’m on the healthy side, with definitely some cheat stuff thrown in. I try to find a balance between the two. My schedule is not normal. If it were, I’d be planning out meals Monday through Friday. I try to cook a little bit every day. It’s what I love. It’s part of me. Some of my signature dishes and what my family most often requests on a regular basis are buffalo dip, kale salad with tahini dressing and lemon caper chicken.
How do you stay trim with all this food around?
I am dieting right now. We’re from Texas, we’re hunters, meat eaters. The best thing for me is protein. I try to not always make meals about meats. I’ll often thrown in quinoa and nuts. But truthfully, when I’m watching my weight, it’s hard to cut out bread and definitely no fun. But give me a good piece of chicken or sausage, and I’m cool.
Can you divulge any wedding plans yet?
It’s so exciting, a whirlwind. But we’re kind of busy and focused on work. We’ve started little talks here and there, and we have a lot of ideas. In the next few weeks are we are going to sit down and really dive into this thing. I’m starting to get obsessed with wedding blogs. It’s funny, I used to think I would have a beach wedding. Now that it’s actually here, I’m like, ‘What if it rains? What if it’s windy?’ Am I getting old? What happened to me? [Laughs].