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Expert Interview Series: Colleen Delawder of Faith, Hope, Love, and Luck Survive Despite A Whiskered Accomplice On Comfort Food (and Cats)

Colleen Delawder is the author of the food blog Faith, Hope, Love, and Luck Survive a Whiskered Accomplice. We had a chance to sit down with Colleen to discuss topics ranging from comfort food and slow-cooker meals to Bundt...

Food

Colleen Delawder is the author of the food blog Faith, Hope, Love, and Luck Survive a Whiskered Accomplice. We had a chance to sit down with Colleen to discuss topics ranging from comfort food and slow-cooker meals to Bundt cakes and cats.

How did you develop your love of baking and cooking?

I grew up in the kitchen with my mom in western Maryland. We lived on a small farm where growing, harvesting, and storing food was a must. I can't remember a time when cooking, baking, and canning didn't play a massive role in my life - and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Tell us about your "whiskered accomplice." How does she "help" you in the kitchen?

My whiskered accomplice is a thirteen-year-old Bengal cat named Brenna. She is full of energy, always looking for trouble, a serious cutie pie, and a handful to live with on a daily basis. She makes time in the kitchen challenging on even the best of days. Anything that falls on the floor is fair game and is guaranteed to almost always be poisonous. Cooking anything with chicken is always a "thrill;" it's her favorite and she always demands to have some.

Your blog has a section on Bundt cakes. Given that many young people have no idea what a Bundt cake is, why did you choose to feature these desserts?

I seriously had to ask a few people if they had ever heard of a Bundt cake. Bundt cakes are just something I grew up with and have never thought twice about. They are simple and don't need a lot of bells and whistles to fancy them up. I feature these cakes because of a Bundt Bakers group I became a part of to challenge myself to bake cakes on a more regular basis. I look forward to baking a new cake each month.

You also commemorate "Crockpot Monday" every week on your blog. What's the most unusual thing you've ever created in a Crockpot?

The most unusual recipe I have created would have to be Crockpot Egg Salad with Capers, using a crockpot to hard-boil the eggs used in the salad.

You're also a big fan of "comfort food." Do you think that comfort food sometimes gets a bad rap in today's health-conscious society?

I do, but I don't think that comfort food has to be high in fat, carb-loaded, or packed with preservatives. Comfort food at its best is simple, loaded with flavor, and able to put a smile on one's face.

In my world, garden fresh tomatoes, pickled beets, and cucumber salad are just as comforting as mac and cheese, fried eggs, and homemade biscuits. As with everything, moderation is key.

What's your favorite comfort food recipe?

My all-time favorite comfort food recipe is titled "Colleen's Famous Deviled Eggs." My dream is to one day create a deviled food cookbook, so I am always playing around with new variations - but these will always be my favorite and most well-received.

What are some of the most frequently-used kitchen utensils, pans, or other items when you're baking?

Silicone spatulas, measuring cups, measuring spoons, and cutting boards are a must-have in my kitchen. I can never have enough, and no matter how many I have I can always go through them all on a day spent in the kitchen. As of right now, I have over twenty spatulas, over seven sets of measuring spoons and cups, and around nine cutting boards. That doesn't stop me from always being on the lookout for more.

If you could have any kitchen gadget or appliance that you wanted and money was no object, what would it be? (Sorry - they don't make cat repellent machines!)

Oh, if someone could invent a Brenna-safe stove, I would live a much less stressful life. However, until that day arrives, I think my dream appliance would have to be an industrial strength blender. It's the one item I have not allowed myself to purchase yet due to space constraints.

Check out Cilantro's selection of blenders and other electrics here.