Courtesy Haylie Duff; inset: Paul Archuleta/FilmMa
Sometimes all you want is a meal, a glass of wine and some quality time with your BFF.
Haylie Duff is that girlfriend—the one who cooks you a delicious dinner and lends an ear. “One of my favorite things to do is to have my girlfriends over,” she tells PEOPLE. “My kitchen has really become the hub of where we hang out, everyone pulls up a bar stool. I’m lucky that I have an open air kitchen so everybody can sit in there … most of my girls’ nights involve a lot of wine.”
The actress’s friends, family—including her sister, fellow actress Hilary Duff—and readers of her Real Girl’s Kitchen blog were responding so well to her recipes, that Duff decided it was time to compile a cookbook, filled with healthy, easy-yet-elegant fare which is perfect for chatty nights in with the girls.
Even though her new book The Real Girl’s Kitchen was also inspired by the Texan females in Duff’s family, all of whom love to cook, Duff herself didn’t really find her feet in the kitchen until she was 24—when her mother discovered an overabundance of delivery menus hidden in a drawer. One live-in boyfriend, and lots of dinner parties later, she had a roster of recipes to fill it with, like Grape Goat Cheese and Rosemary Pizzette, featured here, that calls for “to-go dough” from your favorite local pizzeria, her “favorite cheese,” and a handful of seedless grapes.
Duff’s friends are eating it up with gusto—but now in their own homes. “I was out to dinner with a friend of mine last night and I got a text from [The Big Bang Theory star Kaley Cuoco], and she’s like, ‘I’m attempting my first recipe [from the cookbook].’ I was like, ‘Yes!’ It made me feel so good.”
For your next movie night (Bridesmaids, anyone?), try Duff’s pizzette paired with your favorite wine.
Grape, Goat Cheese and Rosemary Pizzette
To-go dough (or store-bought pizza dough)
Olive oil or white pizzette sauce (recipe below)
½ cup goat cheese, crumbled
10 seedless purple or green grapes
3 sprigs rosemary
Crushed red pepper
1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Roll out the dough and brush the top with olive oil or white pizzette sauce. Scatter goat cheese on top, add the grapes and sprinkle with rosemary.
3. Place the pizza in the oven, and bake for 15-20 minutes, checking every 10 minutes.
4. Remove from the oven, and finish with a pinch of sea salt and crushed red pepper.
White Pizzette Sauce
2 tbsp. butter
1 tbsp. flour
1 cup low-fat milk
2 cloves garlic, minced
¼ cup parmigiano reggiano, grated
1 pinch kosher salt
¼ cup pecorino, grated
1. In a small skillet over medium heat, melt the butter and whisk in the flour.
2. Add the milk, garlic, and salt and whisk until smooth. Add parmigiano-reggiano and pecorino, and stir until melted.
From THE REAL GIRL’S KITCHEN by Haylie Duff. Published by arrangement with Razorbill, a member of the Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Little Moon Entertainment, Inc., 2013.