Courtesy Callie Collection
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November 15, 2017 10:23 AM

When it comes to hosting a party, Hilary Duff turned to a pro for advice.

The star of Younger, who has partnered with Callie Collection wines, tells PEOPLE she read a tip in Ina Garten’s cookbook awhile back that has stuck with her ever since.

“One thing that I’ve learned is to give people jobs so everyone is involved,” Duff says. “Not necessarily like a potluck — although I do that, too — if I’m serving dinner and making appetizers and stuff, when people are arriving I like to give them little jobs and I think everybody wants that. No one wants to sit there and feel useless so even if it’s like slicing up a cucumber or putting the crackers on a cheese plate or stirring the pot so it doesn’t burn, it’s actually really helpful and it brings everyone together.”

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Duff says not every party she hosts is perfect, but she’s learned to be casual about it: “I win some and I lose some just like everybody else.”

Although she isn’t hosting Thanksgiving at her house this year, Duff is taking on the challenge of creating something new on the menu.

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“We tend to overcook so this year we trying to not to,” she says. “We are doing something different where we are not making all the same recipes that we normally do and I’m really excited because I found a recipe in Bon Appétit that’s a twice-baked sweet potato with bacon-sesame brittle on top. I was like, ‘That sounds so good I want to eat it right now,’ and then I woke up this morning and I was like, ‘Oh s—, I probably have to do a practice run of this.’ I’ve never made brittle.”

Duff says although she is a bit stressed about how her dish will turn out, it’s spending time with her family that’s most important: “As long as we are all together.”

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