Coleen Hill is the force behind Redhead Baker. She is a graphic designer and a food blogger. She has a degree in Pastry Arts, and worked for 3 years in professional kitchens, from catering to bakeries to restaurants.
The focus of her blog is making cooking accessible: sharing recipes that cooks of all skill levels should be comfortable cooking. She aims to explain techniques and methods to make beginner cooks more comfortable trying a more advanced recipe.
She lives in Philadelphia with her son and two rescued dogs.
1. You mentioned in your blog that you started baking at an early age. What is your fondest baking memory?
I remember baking with my grandmother. She was from Glasgow, Scotland, and would make a quick bread loaf with lots of cinnamon and currants or dried raisins. The smell of cinnamon always takes me back to those moments.
2. What's the most challenging thing about developing new recipes?
Coming up with ideas that are "new" but not too daunting. I want my recipes to feel accessible to home cooks of all skill levels
3. You've worked in bakeries and restaurants. Have you considered putting up your own pastry restaurant? A small cafe, perhaps?
No. Working in bakeries and restaurants took the fun out of it for me. It's one thing to make a cake or a batch of gingerbread men cookies, and it's quite another to make 80 cakes or 1,000 gingerbread men cookies, all decorated the exact same way. People tell me I should sell my baked goods out of my home, but Pennsylvania has strict cottage food laws.
4. What is the one culinary treat that people shouldn't miss if they ever visit Philadelphia?
Philadelphia is known for its cheesesteaks, which I love, but we have other good food, too. Definitely try a roast pork sandwich: shredded roast pork, broccoli rabe, and provolone on a cheesesteak roll. Also try our soft pretzels.
5. Finally, can you give us your best savory recipe? Your best cookie recipe
My favorite savory recipe is the one for Chipotle Honey Lime Pulled Pork Tacos. My favorite cookie recipe is this Lemon Doodles one: I normally prefer chocolate over fruity cookies, but these are addictive.