Blogger Spotlight: The Redhead Baker

This week, we're proud to feature Coleen of The Redhead Baker in the Blogger Spotlight. For those new to the column, every Friday, we highlight a member of The Daily Meal's Culinary Content Network, a limited group of bloggers who write about food and drink.

We look to this group of talented food writers for inspiration and participation in The Daily Meal, whether for restaurant recommendations or new recipes to try out for dinner. Our editorial team covers All Things Food and Drink, and we tap the CCN to keep up to speed on what is happening around the country and the world — from fine dining to home cooking.

Coleen is a Philadelphia native who blogs at The Redhead Baker. She cares for one child and two rescued dogs with her fiancé. Coleen works as a graphic designer contractor in the daytime and loves spending her free time baking in her apartment. Coleen also enjoys reading, shopping, and scrapbooking.

The Daily Meal: What is the mission of your blog?
To share family-friendly recipes that cooks of all skill levels can make.

How'd you get started with your blog?
I tried a career as a professional baker and hated it, so I started a blog to catalog the recipes I tried at home.

What are some foods you can't live without?
Chocolate, chili powder, and cheese.

What are some foods you can't stand?
Olives and hot dogs.

What is your proudest blogging moment?
Being contacted by Cooking Light to join their Bloggers Connection program.

Biggest blog blunder?
On more than one occasion, I've listed ingredients that I don't include in the directions. I get comments like, "Um, hey, there are two eggs in this cake, but the directions never say what to do with them!" Oops. 

What is the most memorable comment from a reader?
I wrote a blog post on meal planning — how and why I do it. I included a bit about how much food is wasted in the United States annually and linked to an article about food waste. A reader told me I was awesome for citing my sources. It gave me a good laugh, and made me think my high school and college paper-writing skills hadn't been for nothing. 

What's on your cooking playlist?
Punk (The Ramones, Rancid, and The Misfits) or '90s alternative rock (Barenaked Ladies, Green Day, and The Offspring).

What are your favorite food blogs?
So many! Annie's Eats, Cook Like a Champion, Cooking in Stilettos, Willow Bird Baking, Nutmeg Nanny, Cravings of a Lunatic, and dozens more. 

Any favorite food apps?
Pepperplate for meal-planning and Fooducate for making healthier choices.

What is the best thing about blogging?
When people tell me they learn something new from my blog. I love helping people learn how to cook.

Worst thing about blogging?
The mess in my kitchen after I'm done testing a recipe! 

What recipe are you currently obsessed with?
French macarons. I've made them three times, but they're very hard to master. 

What would even your most loyal followers be surprised to learn about you?
I was nearly fired from a bakery job. I was managing the ovens (a position I was not qualified to do just out of culinary school) in addition to mixing cake batters, and it was just too much for me to handle. I would get so mixed up. Half the stuff was burnt and the other half was not baked enough. I also screwed up a batch of 70 carrot cakes by forgetting to add the sugar.

Five of your all-time favorite posts: