Haylie Duff is giving us all major #careergoals as her new job consists of eating her way across the United States in her Cooking Channel series Haylie's America. In its first season, the 31-year-old visits Austin, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, New Orleans and Santa Barbara with famous friends including Trisha Yearwood and Beverly Mitchell to try out the local cuisine. "I feel so lucky that this is my job," Haylie tells HELLO!. "I also love that I get to do an original recipe still so I’m not leaving behind that part of my career."
A pro in the kitchen, Haylie went from reading lines to reading recipes in the most "random" way. "My blog [ The Real Girl's Kitchen] kind of started with me not knowing how to cook and me being inspired to make the dishes that my family had already made," she says.
Haylie isn't just inspiring others to get into the kitchen and whip up a meal for their families, she is also passing on the cooking bug to her and fiancé Matt Rosenberg's one-year-old daughter. "I certainly am excited to be sharing it with Ryan," Haylie explains. "It’s funny to watch her play in her little kitchen in her playroom. She stirs in her pots and pans, and I think gosh she must do that because she sees me cooking all the time. It certainly has been a blessing in my life. I guess it’s because food is always a big part of our life."
Keep reading as Haylie tells HELLO! about her new show, favorite travel companion and all her secrets to being a mom on-the-go.
The concept of your show is grabbing a friend, hitting the road and eating good food. Who is your favorite travel companion on the series?
"Jonathan Bennett came with us to Santa Barbara. He’s so much fun, and he’s also been a friend of mine for something like 12 years. We have known each other since we were kids and we’ve done three or four movies together."
Does Ryan get to come along during the series?
"She makes a little appearance in our L.A. episode, which was so surreal for me to have my baby on the show, after being pregnant all last season on Real Girl's Kitchen. Alanna Masterson came on the show that episode and her daughter was on it with us. Alanna has been one of my closest friends since we were little girls so us looking at each other with our little girls, that was sort of a crazy moment too."
Leaving her behind has to be tough, what do you do to make it easier on yourself?
"Yeah, it is not easy. I think that any moms that leave, even for the day at work and come home every night will tell you that it’s not easy. At the end of the day, you have to make the decisions that are right for your family, and I hope that I am setting the right example for her as a woman and as a mom too."
Do you have any advice for working moms or moms who travel and have to spend time away from their babies?
"Cameras in the house. I think that was a huge game changer for us because I can see her whenever, and it certainly makes it easier for me. FaceTime we found has made it a little harder for her because she is confused by it. She hears my voice, but she doesn’t understand that I’m not there. My advice to moms that have to go to work is to just be easy on yourself and know that you’re doing the best you can."
When Ryan does get the opportunity to travel with you, how do you keep her busy?
"She is not at the Ipad stage yet, we have not introduced that. She is super into books. I bought the books that are paper, but they're water proof and tear proof and super flat and super thin. I can pack about 5 or 6 of them. When she was a baby she was an amazing flyer, she would sleep for the whole thing. Now that she walks and talks, she wants to say 'hi' to everyone that she walks passed."
Is she a good eater?
"She is honestly a diverse eater. She loves vegetables right now still, and I know that’s going to change. My sister [Hilary] is like, 'Don’t you worry that’s gonna change.' She loves food in general. She loves to sit in her high chair and have long leisurely meals, which is hilarious. I got to tell you, she has made it very easy on us I think."
Where would you love to visit with her?
"I definitely have cities on my bucket list that I want to bring her along for. I think that would be a fun thing to do. Portland is one that I think I would take her to because she loves going to the farmer's market."
Haylie's America airs Thursday's at 10 p.m. EST on Cooking Channel.