Haylie Duff wasn't always a good cook. In fact, that's actually why she started her blog, Real Girl's Kitchen, in the first place. Originally intended as an avenue for Duff to try out different recipes to help improve her culinary skills, Real Girl's Kitchen has since spawned a cook book and a show on the Cooking Channel.
And she has another show on the way called "Haylie's America."
Just because her cooking skills have reached a level that would be considered professional by most people doesn't mean that the mother-of-one has left behind her snacking habits, though. She calls snacking her "number one," which makes her #PhillyFlavors partnership with Philadelphia Cream Cheese make a lot of sense.
Not only that, but Duff's one-year-old daughter, Ryan, also loves to snack. Duff admits that having a child has had an immense impact on her eating habits, forcing her to think twice before deciding what to make for her family.
We recently caught up with Haylie Duff on the phone to talk about her first year as a mother, her ever-growing Real Girl's Kitchen empire, her partnership with Philadelphia Cream Cheese and and what her "weakness in life" is.
See photos of Haylie Duff's "Real Girl's Kitchen":
Haylie Duff Real Girl's Kitchen
Haylie Duff Real Girl's Kitchen
Haylie Duff's Real Girl's Kitchen season two premieres Saturday, April 25 at 1 p.m. EST.
(Credit: Yoni Goldberg)
Haylie Duff shares her Avocado, Prosciutto, and Radish Tartine Recipe and also talks about her new show "Real Girl's Kitchen."
Author and 'Real Girl's Kitchen' host Haylie Duff shares recipes from her new cookbook. Haylie shares a super simple recipe for grilled halibut and then shows how to make a tasty turmeric and caper cauliflower dish.
Actress and author Haylie Duff shares her simple, healthy and delicious recipe for a watermelon salad, from her new book, "The Real Girl's Kitchen."
Actress and author Haylie Duff shares her healthy delicious recipe for kale, black bean and butternut squash tacos, from her new book "The Real Girl's Kitchen."
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Check out our full conversation with Haylie Duff below:
Let's talk a little bit about your ever-growing Real Girl's Kitchen empire. You have a blog, a cookbook and a television show! When you first started your blog, did you ever think it would turn into something as big as it is now?
Honestly, Gibson, no. Never! We were just talking about this yesterday -- someone asked me how this all got started, and I honestly started Real Girl's Kitchen -- my blog -- because I didn't know how to cook. The first few recipes I put up were things that I was messing up in the kitchen, and I think that's sort of what drew people into me and my kitchen in general: I was a real girl figuring out how to cook to myself and my family and my friends. Now, it's taken this really beautiful shift into me loving to cook and being passionate about it and at some chance being good at it. But, no, never in a million years would I have thought this, and I pinch myself all the time. The fact that we're going into a second series with the Cooking Channel is amazing. I'm just so grateful.
I actually have a new show coming up that isn't Real Girl's Kitchen anymore -- it's called "Haylie's America," and it's a travel series!
Amazing! What's the premise, exactly?
It's about getting outside of the kitchen and getting out into the world. Basically, I feel like I go through different phases in life with food where sometimes I'm very much in the kitchen zone, cooking all the time and testing recipes, figuring out who I am in the kitchen. Then I go through phases where I don't want to cook as much, and I want to be out in the world meeting new people and experiencing new foods and restaurants. For me, this new series is really about capturing that adventure phase of my life. We're sort of referring to it as the "Snapchat version" of "Real Girl's Kitchen." It's just a little more real and not so polished, but still beautiful food and so much fun. It's a little bit rowdy, and we're really excited for people to see it.
I'm still doing original recipes in every episode, so that's one thing that will stay the same. One thing I'm really passionate about is sharing my recipes with people. The difference here is that I'm not really in my kitchen doing it. Each episode you never really know where I'm going to cook, which I find really fun and probably pretty stressful for the production company a lot of the time. [Laughs] In New Orleans, I cooked on the side of a dock with a propane tank and in Austin we cooked at a bed and breakfast. It's a free format, which keeps it exciting not only for the people watching but also me too.
Talk to me a bit about your partnership with Philadelphia Cream Cheese and how it came to be.
Philadelphia is doing this really fun contest where they're asking people to submit their unique, creative, wacky, amazing -- however you want to describe it -- flavor combinations, and that happens to be right up my alley. I love any kind of interesting flavor combos, and I happen to use Philadelphia Cream Cheese all the time in my cooking and my recipes in my day-to-day life, so when they asked me to partner with them in this contest -- I also have a bit of a weakness for contests -- I was really excited to do it.
So, here I am! I've gotten to try all of these amazing flavor combos, and I'm really looking forward to what people come up with.
What's your favorite Philadelphia Cream Cheese flavor spread?
I have a couple of favorite ones! I have a soft spot for the red pepper and olive one, because I tend to be a savory girl. I love that it's a spreadable cheese that you can put on a cracker or a pita or toast or a bagel and layer it with veggies and stuff like that. I like that you can just dip veggies into it, crudité style. I also love the veggie one and the peach one. I just did a fun pairing with the strawberry and balsamic which was really good.
I feel like people are going to send in some really great combos that I'm probably going to have to steal a couple of ideas from them.
The entire #PhillyFlavors contest is going to culminate in a snacking showdown later this summer, for which you'll be serving as a judge. What will you be looking for?
I'm just going to look for, number one: something that's really tasty, but also number two: something that's different. I want to see the weird things that people come up with; that's what I think I'm really going to be into.
Do you snack a lot? What are your snacking habits like?
I mean, we don't know each other that well, but it's absolutely my number one! I love snacking -- all I do is snack! My weakness in life is crackers, that's the one thing that I really have to try to cut back on when I'm trying to eat more healthily. I'm a big snacker, and I think that's also why I've felt like this is such a good fit for me, too, is that I'm going to leave here with 50 new ideas on how to snack more efficiently.
Do you have any creative snack ideas that you use when making snacks for your daughter, Ryan?
I do! We just got to the point where I starting putting Philadelphia Cream Cheese in her eggs in the morning, and it makes them creamier and puts a little bit of fat in there for her, which she needs because she's growing. She needs the extra calcium and dairy. I use it a lot when I cook for her.
She's just getting her little molars in the back, which is just exciting for everyone. [Laughs] But it's great, because it's making it easier to make more snack foods for her. One of her favorite things right now is little pieces of turkey with a little bit of cream cheese in the middle that I make little roll-ups with. Anything that she can grab herself and eat or bite into is number one. She's a big fan of that.
How has your first year as a mother impacted the way that you think about food and cook for yourself?
It made me plan more, which is good. We have less food waste in our house, because I'm planning our meals a lot more. That was one thing I was never so great about. Another thing I've really focused on is encouraging her to eat what we eat. Someone a while ago told me that if you start making two separate meals, you'll be making two separate meals 'til the end of time. I've really tried to introduce her to the same things we're eating, obviously with some exceptions.
That's one of the biggest things, too -- I've really paid attention to what I feed myself. I'm starting to look at what's healthy and what's not and thinking about whether or not I would want to give certain foods to her. If I'm not making it for her, maybe I shouldn't make it for myself either! We've all sort of cleaned up our acts a little bit, which is good.
RELATED: See photos of Haylie Duff's sister, Hilary, through the years:
Hilary Duff through the years
Hilary Duff through the years
NEW YORK, NY - MARCH 31: Hilary Duff attends the after party for the premiere of TV Land's 'Younger' at Chef's Club on March 31, 2015 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
Hilary Duff, the star of the ABC/Disney Channel show 'Lizzie McGuire', was a presenter at the 29th International Emmy Awards in New York City on November 19, 2001. photo by Gabe Palacio/ImageDirect
HOLLYWOOD, CA - APRIL 26: Actress Hilary Duff (L) hugs singer Aaron Carter as they attend the premiere of The Lizzie McGuire Movie on April 26, 2003 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Lucy Nicholson/Getty Images)
397855 15: Actress Hilary Duff arrives at the 'Divine Design' fundraiser presented by Project Angel Food November 29, 2001 in Santa Monica, CA. (Photo by Sebastian Artz/Getty Images)
401763 17: Actress Hilary Duff attends the Youth, Improving Non-Profit for Children Awards March 4, 2002 in Los Angeles, CA. Former NBA basketball player Earvin 'Magic' Johnson, actor Jim Belushi and former boxer Sugar Ray Leonard were honored at the event. (Photo by Frederick M. Brown/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MAY 1: Actress Hilary Duff guest hosts on MTV's TRL at the MTV Studios May 1, 2003 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - MAY 31: (U.S. TABS OUT) Actress Hilary Duff backstage at The 2003 MTV Movie Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on May 31, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - SEPTEMBER 28: Actress Hilary Duff (L) and Hailey Duff arrive at the opening of the Stella McCartney store September 28, 2003 in Beverly Hills, California. The store is a high end fashion store that caters to the Hollywood elite. (Photo by Carlo Allegri/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - MAY 14: Actress Hilary Duff attends the premiere of the Universal Pictures movie 'Bruce Almighty' at the Universal Amphitheater May 14, 2003 in Los Angeles, California. The film opens in theaters nationwide May 23, 2003. (Photo by Robert Mora/Getty Images)
WESTWOOD, CA - APRIL 3: Actress Hilary Duff accepts an award for 'Best Female Singer' during Nickelodeon's 17th Annual Kids' Choice Awards at Pauley Pavilion on the campus of UCLA, April 3, 2004 in Westwood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - DECEMBER 11: (NY DAILIES OUT) Singer Hilary Duff performs onstage at the Z100 Jingle Ball 2003 at Madison Square Garden December 11, 2003 in New York City. (Photo by Frank Micelotta/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - JULY 10: Actress Hilary Duff arrives at the premiere of Warner Bros. 'A Cinderella Story' on July 10, 2004 at the Chinese Theatre, in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JULY 15: (U.S. TABS OUT) Actress/musician Hilary Duff and actor Chad Michael Murray appear on stage during MTV's Total Request Live at the MTV Times Square Studios July 15, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JULY 16: Singer Hilary Duff makes an appearance on Good Morning America Summer Concert Series July 16, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Peter Kramer/Getty Images)
MIAMI - AUGUST 29: Singer/actress Hilary Duff poses in the press room at the 2004 MTV Video Music Awards on August 29, 2004 at the American Airlines Arena, in Miami, Florida. (Photo by Peter Kramer/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS, NV ? SEPTEMBER 15: Musician Hilary Duff is seen performing on stage during the 2004 World Music Awards at the Thomas and Mack Center on September 15, 2004 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - OCTOBER 5: (U.S. TABS OUT) Actress and musician Hilary Duff appears on stage during MTV's Total Request Live at the MTV Times Square Studios October 5, 2004 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 17: Sisters Haylie Duff (L) and Hilary Duff (R) make an appearance at Milk Studios to debut their advertising campaign for Ice Breakers Liquid Ice February 17, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Peter Kramer/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JUNE 17: Actress/singer Hilary Duff performs onstage during the Toyota Concert Series on the 'Today' Show June 17, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Paul Hawthorne/Getty Images)
UNIVERSAL CITY, CA - AUGUST 14: Host Hilary Duff onstage at the 2005 Teen Choice Awards held at Gibson Amphitheatre at Universal CityWalk on August 14, 2005 in Universal City, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - AUGUST 18: (U.S. TABS OUT) Singer Hilary Duff makes a guest host appearance on MTV's Total Request Live at MTV Studios August 18, 2005 in New York City. (Photo by Evan Agostini/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD - SEPTEMBER 28: Actress Hilary Duff arrives to her 18th Birthday Party at Club Mood on September 28, 2005 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Matthew Simmons/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES, CA - NOVEMBER 22: Singer Hilary Duff performs onstage during the 2005 American Music Awards held at the Shrine Auditorium on November 22, 2005 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 13: Actress Hilary Duff poses in the front row at the Michael Kors Spring 2007 fashion show during Olympus Fashion Week at the Tent in Bryant Park September 13, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images For IMG)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - OCTOBER 28: Singer/actress Hilary Duff attends the 17th Annual Mercedes-Benz Carousel of Hope cocktail party at the Beverly Hilton Hotel on October 28, 2006 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
Los Angeles, UNITED STATES: Singer Hilary Duff arrives at the 49th Grammy Awards in Los Angeles 11 February 2007. AFP PHOTO/Hector MATA (Photo credit should read HECTOR MATA/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MARCH 26: Actress Hilary Duff attends the 18th annual GLAAD Media Awards at the Marriott Marquis Hotel March 26, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Bryan Bedder/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - JUNE 29: Singer/actress Hilary Duff performs onstage during the NBC 'Today Show' concert series at Rockefeller Center on June 29, 2007 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images)
LAS VEGAS - AUGUST 18: Singer/actress Hilary Duff performs at The Pearl concert theater at the Palms Casino Resort on August 18, 2007 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)
MEXICO CITY - OCTOBER 18: Singer Hilary Duff performs onstage during the Los Premios MTV Latin America 2007 at the Palacio De Los Deportes October 18, 2007 in Mexico City, Mexico. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - APRIL 28: Actress Hilary Duff poses at the 'War, Inc.' after party hosted by Cadillac at Tenjune on April 28, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Loud/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - MAY 05: Actress/singer Hilary Duff (L) and NHL player Mike Comrie arrive at the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala, Superheroes: Fashion and Fantasy, held at the Metropolitan Museum of Art on May 5, 2008 in New York City. (Photo by Stephen Lovekin/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 16: Singer/actress Hilary Duff and Mike Comrie of the New York Islanders attend the game between the New York Yankees and the Chicago White Sox on September 16, 2008 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City. Chicago defeated the Yankees 6-2. (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 13: Hilary Duff walks the runway wearing Donna Karan at the Heart Truth Red Dress Collection Fall 2009 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week at The Tent in Bryant Park on February 13, 2009 in New York City. (Photo by Scott Gries/Getty Images for IMG)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 06: Actress Hilary Duff arrives at the Herve Leger by Max Azria Collection Launch party held at Live! on Sunset on May 6, 2009 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images)
NEW YORK - NOVEMBER 04: Actress Hilary Duff attends the 10th Anniversary Lucky Shops VIP Night at Metropolitan Pavilion on November 4, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Jason Kempin/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - MAY 11: Actress Hilary Duff attends An Evening of 'Southern Style' presented by the St. Bernard Project & the Spears family at a private residence on May 11, 2011 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - DECEMBER 07: (L-R) Actress Hilary Duff and NHL player Mike Comrie attend the 7th Annual March of Dimes Celebration of Babies, a Hollywood Luncheon, at the Beverly Hills Hotel on December 7, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Michael Buckner/Getty Images For March Of Dimes)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 25: Actress Hilary Duff arrives at The Hollywood Reporter's celebration of 'The Mindy Project' starring Mindy Kaling at Skybar on August 25, 2012 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 28: Hilary Duff attends T.J. Martell Foundation's 15th Annual Family Day Honoring Tom Corson, President & COO of RCA Records and his Family at Hammerstein Ballroom on September 28, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images for T.J Martell Foundation)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - AUGUST 05: Actress Hilary Duff attends the premiere of Disney's 'Planes' at the El Capitan Theatre on August 5, 2013 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Mark Davis/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - JANUARY 11: Actress Hilary Duff attends the 2015 InStyle And Warner Bros. 72nd Annual Golden Globe Awards Post-Party at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on January 11, 2015 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images)