Family Traditions: The Duff's 'Texan' Crab Boil Recipe

Learn How to Make Haylie Duff's perfect Crab Boil + our favorite bloggers share their family traditions & recipes!

Family is all about creating special memories and fun traditions together. And of course, what better way to do that than by getting food involved? Whether it’s a special holiday recipe that’s made every year or the daily ritual of eating dinner together with your loved ones, there is no denying that family + food = a recipe for great memories.

The best part of the family traditions is getting the whole family involved. Haylie Duff’s family crab boil started with her Dad, got passed to Hilary, and now has been taken over by Haylie. Despite who may be “in charge” the whole family is still very much involved in the prep work, cooking, and of course, eating, and laughing, making for the perfect family tradition.



  • 1 cup of old bay seasonings, reserve 2 tablespoons
  • 1 cup of kosher salt
  • 4 large garlic heads, tops cut off
  • 5 bay leaves, fresh or dried
  • 6 lemons cut in half
  • 1 12ounce bottle of beer, any type
  • 3 pounds of small red potatoes
  • 3 16 oz packages of cooked kielbasa cut in 1 in pieces on diagonal
  • 8 ears of corn, husks and silks removed cut in half
  • 8 pounds of whole live blue shell crab (about 24 crabs)
  • 1 stick of salted butter


  1. Fill a 42 oz Stockpot, with a steam/basket boil insert, about ¾ full with water. Heat on medium high heat.
  2. When water comes to a boil. Add Old Bay Seasoning, salt, garlic heads, bay leaf, lemons, beer and potatoes. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
  3. Add sausage, and corn. Cook for another 5 minutes.
  4. Then add the crabs cook for another 6 minutes.
  5. While crabs are cooking, melt butter in a small sauce pan. Divide into small bowls for each person.
  6. Pull out the steam basket and let drain over stock pot.
  7. Pour the contents out onto a table covered with several layers of newspaper. Sprinkle 2 Tablespoons of reserved old bay seasonings over crab boil on the table

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Taking a cue from Haylie, we asked food blogger Jessica from How Sweet It Is, to dish on her favorite family memory:

Crazy S'mores

Jessica, How Sweet It Is:

For over thirty years my family’s late summer tradition has been vacationing on the lake in Northern Michigan. Almost every night we will get a bunch of different s'mores toppings (from Snickers to Peanut Butter) & sit on the beach and make "Crazy S’mores" while the sun sets. It’s dreamy.'

Some 'Crazy S'mores' Toppings:

  • Switch out the traditional chocolate for your favorite bite-sized candy bar (Snickers, Kit-Kats) - anything can work!
  • Try stuffing your marshmellows BEFORE you roast them with mini chocolate chips, peanut butter cups, strawberries - the possibilities are endless!

Enter to Win!

Now it’s your turn to dish! Post a comment below letting us know about a fun family tradition involving food. Our favorite will win a signed copy Haylie’s 'The Real Girl’s Kitchen' cookbook!

And if you haven't seen it yet be sure to check out Haylie Duff's 'The Real Girls Kitchen' Crab Boil:

The views and opinions expressed herein are those of the author's alone and do not necessarily reflect the views of Ora Media, LLC, its affiliates, or its employees.

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