Mom, author, and host of Cooking Channel’s new series Haylie’s America, Haylie Duff shares her tips for throwing the perfect Thanksgiving dinner.
What is one tip you have when planning the perfect Thanksgiving dinner? HAYLIE DUFF: I always try to focus on my strong suits. I love roasting lots of veggies including carrots, cabbage, asparagus, and Brussels sprouts. One thing I love about Brussels sprouts is that you can make them so many different ways. The traditional way to make them is with a healthy dose of bacon or pancetta roasted in the oven, but I happen to love the vegetarian variety. I also love making a savory bread pudding. A juicy bird is important, too. I let someone else make the pies.
What is one item everyone must have this season at Thanksgiving dinner? HD: I tend to love the classics—root vegetables being my favorite. I'm not sure how trendy they are but I think they should be on everyone's table this year. One simple way I serve mine is roasted, nestled in to a big pile of greens, and topped with vinaigrette and goat cheese.
What are your plans this Thanksgiving and what unique side dishes will you be creating? HD: We will be celebrating with my family in Texas this year. I'm hoping to be on mashed potato and stuffing duty!
Dessert is a big part of everyone’s Thanksgiving dinner. What is a must-have option at your house? HD: I don't have a huge sweet tooth, but my mom makes an amazing chocolate pumpkin cake. My family loves sweet and salty combos, so we love to make things like bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with blue cheese. To put it simply, they are sinfully delicious. Even the people that claim that they don’t like blue cheese will love these little piggies so much that your family will actually sit around talking about them—how good they are, how you made them, and why you on earth you didn’t make more. Unexpected at Thanksgiving, but always delish.
Let’s discuss Los Angeles and your favorite spot to shop for ingredients for your culinary creations—what are a few of these spots and why? HD: Any and all farmers markets. I find constant inspiration browsing the stands. My go-to is the Studio City Farmers Market.