Haylie Duff on Cooking Thanksgiving for Her Sister Hilary: 'She's Very Particular About It'
The Real Girl's Kitchen host has partnered with T.J.Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods for their "Bring Back the Holidays" campaign.
Haylie Duff seems to be her family’s go-to chef, but it’s a role that the Real Girl’s Kitchen host doesn’t mind taking on.
“The problem is like now that I cook so much people, especially my family, are like, ‘Well why don’t you make the blah blah blah?’ I’m like, ‘Okay, so I guess I’m making this or I guess I’m making that,'” Duff tells PEOPLE.
So this holiday season, Duff is handling a Thanksgiving staple again. “My sister [Hilary] is a big fan of turkey on Thanksgiving and she’s very particular about it,” explains Duff. “She wants crispy skin, and she wants juicy turkey. So I think I did her proud last year, and I’m all too happy to make her the turkey again.”
The delicious recipe, which consists of “three different types of peppercorn,” along with lemon and orange zest, star anise, “tons of salt and a bunch of fresh herbs,” is “really, really simple,” says the Cooking Channel host.
And when it comes to side dishes, Duff, 31, has a few favorites she’ll definitely be whipping up this year.
WATCH: Haylie Duff Shares Her Favorite Recipes
However Duff, a mom to 18-month-old daughter Ryan, is still trying to figure out holiday foods that her baby girl can also enjoy.
“I’m going to have to probably consider [Ryan] because she’s still little,” says Duff. “She still has baby teeth and can only eat certain things.”
“I don’t get to go home as much as I’d like to, and I think that’s something that most people feel,” says the Texas-native, who hosted a dinner on Thursday to kick off the campaign, which focuses on creating opportunities to bring people together.
“This is what the holidays are about for me, intimate times with people that I love and great food and just sort of shutting everything off – putting my phone away and just focusing on the people in my life,” explains Duff. “I want to share how I spend the holidays with people and I hope that, that inspires people to get involved with this campaign and share with me how they spend their holidays.”
As part of the campaign, T.J.Maxx, Marshalls and HomeGoods are inviting people to share how the retail stores and Duff can help bring back the holidays by using the hashtags #bringbacktheholidays and #contest on Twitter.
“We get to pick ten people to go home with their families,” says Duff of the contest, which runs until Nov. 18. “Then we’re putting together some care packages for them to really just set their holidays off right.”
RELATED: Haylie Duff’s Jalapeño Chili Dogs
As for her own holiday plans? “My holidays are split into two this year,” says Duff. “So half of our holidays will be Thanksgiving with my dad in Texas and then the other half will be a little vacation for Christmas.”
The family, who usually goes to Duff’s, her mom’s or sister’s house for Christmas, where they “always end up in [their] pajamas, staying up late [and] playing games or watching a movie,” is “doing something a little different” this year and jet-setting to Hawaii.
“My mom has been saying, ‘Let’s do a vacation Christmas,’ and it’s something that’s been on our bucket list for a long time,” explains Duff. “We finally just said, ‘If we’re not going to do it now, when are we going to do it?'”
She adds: “It’s something a little different and we’re excited about it. We don’t know what it’s going to look like necessarily, but we’re excited to do it.”
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