The Real Girl’s Kitchen.

My newest cookbook!
My newest cookbook!

Given that I did about ZERO reading in 2015, I only asked for one book for Christmas, and it wasn’t even a novel. Instead, I asked for a cookbook, particularly Haylie Duff’s “The Real Girl’s Kitchen,” which serves as a companion to her TV series on the Cooking Channel.

Upon getting with the times and treating myself to DVR in September, I know I mentioned my slight obsession with her show. I kept seeing plugs for it on Hilary Duff’s Instagram, and wanted to check it out.

To be honest, I’m not 100% sure what “Real Girl” kitchen she’s referring to, because I don’t usually find myself in the situations that Haylie does: cooking up late night eats for hot Los Angeles bar owners or throwing impromptu Texas Barbeque parties in my Hollywood backyard, but I’ve got a big imagination and I’ll take any excuse to dream. Maybe one day, Haylie, maybe one day.

But seriously, the 30-minute show usually features some sort of adventure where viewers get to see inside the kitchen of a restaurant, see how a dish is made, and then Haylie replicates it in her kitchen, and/or puts her own spin on it. Plus, she’s got lots of little kitchen hacks that are pretty cool.

The cookbook features several meals and appetizers she’s made on the show, but of course, there’s a slew of other recipes in there. Upon first glance, I was really impressed with the beautiful photos for the book, as well as the amount of actual writing – there’s lots of stories in there behind the recipes and the cooking in her family. Very cool.

On Christmas Day, I’d already planned to make a recipe I saw on the show, “Short rib stew” and it was very, VERY delicious! It was hearty, warm,  and full of flavor. The recipe called to cook it in a Dutch oven, but I don’t have one, so I just slow-cooked it in my crockpot for around six hours. It was fantastic!

I also whipped up a batch of organic dog treats that I saw in the very back of her cookbook. I’ll write more on these another day (they’re super easy) and delivered them to all of my puppy loves when I went to visit my friends in Indiana over the weekend (and yes, they are now puppy-approved).

I’m so excited to explore the cookbook some more and see what other simple, yet fabulous and delicious meals I can whip up a la Haylie Duff!

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