Haylie Duff is a busy woman -- and she isn't slowing down! The actress, cookbook author and host of Cooking Channel's Real Girl's Kitchen is getting ready to welcome her first child (and celebrated with a lovely baby shower last month) as she simultaneously gears up for the second season of her show. Haylie gave us the inside scoop on the upcoming season, and shared some simple tips for entertaining.
Q: Congratulations on the second season of Real Girl's Kitchen! What are you most excited about for this season?
A: I'm just so excited for everyone to see new episodes. We had a blast making this season and the recipes are next level this year!
Q: Is there anything viewers can expect to see this time around that they didn't get to see in the first season?
A: Our recipes are elevated this year so we spend a bit more time in the kitchen. We have some great trips to farms and restaurants, but there is something great about diving deeper into the recipes. Plus, lots of fun guests!
Q: Where do you draw on inspiration for ideas for your show?
A: Everywhere! I find so much inspiration all around Los Angeles from the farmer's markets to a great dish I try at a restaurant.
Q: What are your favorite seasonal produce items to eat and serve to guests in spring?
A: Spring is one of my favorite times of year because the produce is so beautiful! I look forward to the fresh spring peas, strawberries, greens...
Q: Are there any particular recipes you gravitate toward at this time of year, both for entertaining and for weekly meals?
A: Because the produce variety is so plentiful this time of year, I find myself making a lot of platters. Crudité with homemade hummus or yogurt ginger dipping sauces! And I like to get outside for lots of grilling!
Q: How do you typically go about choosing a menu when hosting an event? How did you choose your menu for your recent baby shower?
A: I try to consider people's likes & dislikes or allergies and then I try to stick with recipes I'm super comfortable with. There is so much to think about when planning a party that you want slam dunk recipes!
Q: For more of a last-minute get together, are there any food staples you're sure to have on hand so you can put something together for guests quickly?
A: A great cheese plate is always a quick appetizer! I always have avocados in my house too, so a great guacamole is always a quick and yummy idea too. Recently I have been adding a small scoop of 0% Greek yogurt in to my guacamole. It makes it super creamy!
Q: Do you have any tricks for making your job as hostess as easy as possible when entertaining?
A: Plan ahead! Make dishes ahead of time if you can. I always set up the drinks/cocktail area and make sure I get dressed and ready first. It is always ok to still be cooking when people arrive, but you don't want to have to run back to your bedroom and put makeup on or get out of your sweat pants!
Real Girl's Kitchen season two premieres Saturday, April 25 at 1 p.m. EST on the Cooking Channel.