Hilary Duff is probably best known to millennials as the sassy and stylish tween Lizzie McGuire of the early 2000s, but these days she’s known as the “hostess with the mostest.” Duff spent this summer collaborating with Stella Artois on its “Host One to Remember” event series. We caught up with the busy singer/actress/mom and spoke with her about her favorite party recipes, tips for hosting get-togethers, and her most embarrassing hosting flub.
The Daily Meal: It’s almost Labor Day! What’s your strategy for hosting a perfect barbecue before the summer draws to a close?
Hilary Duff: I am super into entertaining in the summer when you can barbecue and sit outside comfortably. It never takes too much convincing to have a get-together, and since winter is on people’s minds, you want to throw something people will remember. My hosting style is not super extravagant. I prefer comfortable and casual. The last party I threw, I had a long farm table. I sometimes do photo booths for my parties or put Polaroid cameras on the tables and encourage people to take photos. We always stay up too late!
What’s the one dish you make that’s a crowd-pleaser?
I think now that I have become a mom, my cooking style is more simple. I have recently been making a sticky honey garlic chicken with the skin on it. I have also been making cauliflower rice a lot, and I put crumbled bacon into it. It tastes amazing, but it’s a vegetable instead of a carb! I also stole my sister’s recipe for this incredible watermelon feta mint salad. You cut the watermelon into long cubes and make a stacked Jenga. It looks challenging but it’s actually easy.
What’s your take on the perfect burger?
A party is a time to splurge, right? So I go for a higher fat content for my beef. It’s better for making a burger. I put an egg in there and season it up. I really like two thin patties mashed together with the cheese on the inside.
Like a Juicy Lucy?
Wow, I had no idea it had a name! You learn something new every day.
Do you have any party hosting disaster stories?
One Thanksgiving, I decided to cook the turkey. My whole family and some friends were over. I had done the most amazing turkey about four days before Thanksgiving to practice because I had never cooked a turkey before. On the day of, I decided to cook two small turkeys instead of one and it threw off the timeframe. When I took it out of the oven it looked amazing on the outside, and on the inside it was completely raw. So we all just had sides for that Thanksgiving, but that’s OK because the sides are better anyway!