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Kelly Ripa (yes, THE Kelly Ripa) and me – the interview!

kelly ripa electrolux

OK.  I just can’t hold it in any longer….




A few weeks ago I had a lovely phone conversation with one of America’s favorite women – who by the way, is just as warm, friendly, and approachable as she seems – about comfort food and how it fits into a busy, modern lifestyle.  Like many of us, Kelly is incredibly busy, but with the help of Electrolux she still finds time to cook and eat with her family every single night.  Pretty cool.

Kelly and Electrolux just launched a new Comfort Food Made Easy campaign, which features the ridiculously fast Electrolux Induction Cooktop (boils water in 90 seconds!) and benefits the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF).  During the campaign, food lovers everywhere can share and vote for their favorite comfort foods on  Every time you share or vote for a recipe on Kelly Confidential, Electrolux will donate $1 to OCRF, and you’ll be entered to win a FREE ELECTROLUX INDUCTION COOKTOP!!!!!

Head over to the site to start drooling over comfort foods (mac ‘n cheese, anyone?) and for your chance to win!

Now, here’s my interview with the extraordinary Kelly!

Amelia: We all love comfort foods. What are your own favorites?

Kelly: When I think of fall, I think about comfort food – and that usually means my mashed potatoes.  This is really the one thing that I never skimp on.  I’m talking real butter, cream, salt, all the real stuff, and I just can’t get enough of it.  I don’t eat these very often, but for big family meals and holidays, these are my go-to.  They remind me of my childhood, of Thanksgiving, and of spending time with family.  This dish really brings me back.

AmeliaMany comfort foods involve long, slow cooking processes, which are fun on occasion, but not always practical.  Do you have any tips for cutting some of the work out?

KellyThere’s a great recipe that I got from Nigella Lawson‘s show – it’s kind of a take on Fettuccine Alfredo.  I do make some changes to her recipe – I use milk instead of cream, a light cheese instead of the many cheeses she puts in, but it’s an easy meal.  You just boil pasta, then use some of the pasta water, a little butter, and warm milk with your cheese to make a sauce.  You throw the pasta in with some fresh or frozen peas, and you’ve got a creamy pasta with peas.  It’s a family favorite for us – my kids and I love it.  It tastes fresh and creamy, kind of like a restaurant meal, but easier and healthier.

Amelia: Mmmm, your description of that is making me hungry.  We’re definitely into simple, easy meals on Eating Made Easy, so I’m going to give that recipe a try…though I may be tempted to add more veggies!

Kelly: Oh you could totally add more veggies — I bet spinach would be delicious.  And it’s so true, cooking doesn’t have to be so laborious – it’s just a fun way to bring family together.  That’s why I love what Electrolux is doing with their comfort food campaign.  Anyone can go to and put their favorite comfort food recipes online, then people will vote for their favorites.  It’s fun and community-building, and it raises money for the OCRF, all at the same time.  Such a great opportunity, and for a good cause.

AmeliaSo Kelly, it’s clear you’re a health-conscious person.  How does comfort food fit into your healthy lifestyle?  Do you pay attention to portion sizes, balance what you eat with working out, make healthier versions of your favorite comfort foods…or a mixture of all of these?

Kelly: What I do is I exercise everyday.  Exercise is a great thing for your body and for your health, but it does make you hungrier.  So I do eat a lot – I just primarily focus on lighter foods like lots of leafy greens and salads.  I really try to limit simple carbs and high fat foods.  I save those for special occasions — family meals where everyone comes over for a visit, or holidays.  On most nights, we eat lots of veggies plus chicken or fish – very rarely red meat.  I will treat myself once in awhile with the richer foods that I love so much, just not all the time.

AmeliaLuckily, leafy greens and light foods can be really good too.

KellyIt’s true!  I especially love kale and salads.

Amelia: When you’re a working mom with a long to-do list, it’s hard to find time to sit down to family meals.  Do you have any tips for busy moms who want to make family mealtime a priority?

Kelly: I learned a lot about working, balancing my schedule, and fitting in family meals from my mother-in-law.  She taught me how to make large quantities of food to keep in the fridge for the week or dishes that can be easily frozen.  My family always sits down for dinner together – every single night.  Sometimes it’s late because of soccer practice or hip hop dance class, but we make sure to eat as a family every night.  I think it’s important time to spend together, and it helps establish good eating habits.  Family meals don’t have to be big and complicated.  You can throw together a salad or sauté up some veggies really quickly.  Healthy food that doesn’t take very long to make can be comforting too!

Amelia: Thanks, Kelly!

Kelly: Anytime, Amelia.

See?  It’s true – she’s just as friendly and down-to-earth as you think she is!

Now, on to the even MORE exciting news — you could win an Electrolux cooktop!  Be sure to stop by to find recipes and share your favorites.  Not only could you win a cooktop, but you’ll be helping to fight ovarian cancer.  Have fun, help out a worthy cause and be entered to win.  What could be better than that?  (Um…an interview with Kelly Ripa!)

kelly ripa electrolux

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  • Angie
    October 13, 2011 at 7:52 am

    This is sooo cool! How was she? I’ll bet she was super nice. Hoping I win the cooktop!! Keep your fingers crossed…

  • shelley hudson
    October 13, 2011 at 9:04 am

    I’m so jealous! I want that cooktop, woman!

  • Willow
    October 13, 2011 at 9:05 am

    So awesome! Great job on the interview — fun to read and I bet it was so fun to talk with Kelly! =)

  • Tyler
    October 13, 2011 at 9:07 am

    She does sound so nice and down-to-earth! But I’m guessing she doesn’t eat much comfort food 😉

  • Amelia
    October 13, 2011 at 9:07 am

    Me too!!!

  • Anthony
    October 13, 2011 at 9:19 am

    No way she eats comfort food, except maybe in her dreams. Very cool interview and what a nice gal. I think I’m in love.

  • Perla
    October 13, 2011 at 9:20 am

    That interview made my stomach growl. Definitely gonna try the pasta dish! YUM!

  • kari
    October 13, 2011 at 9:37 am

    It’s great that she has found a way to have her own career as well as time to have dinner with her family each night too. It’s true, weeknight dinners can be quick and healthy and delicious, and if you make that a priority in your life itis an achievable goal with so many benefits.
    How nice to have such a great role model!

  • kari
    October 13, 2011 at 9:41 am

    and let’s be honest…that red dress is AMAZING!!!

  • Sue
    October 13, 2011 at 10:00 am

    This is a wonderful interview! I am so glad to hear Kelly’s suggestions — thanks for doing it!

  • Amelia Doherty
    October 13, 2011 at 10:04 am

    This is so cool! I love to hear that she’s just as down to earth as she appears. Awesome interview.

  • Amanda Werth
    October 13, 2011 at 4:04 pm

    Great interview Meels! I am sure Kelly would consider your home-made granola, my personal fav, a definite comfort food. I sure do!!!

  • Laila
    October 13, 2011 at 6:27 pm

    Wow! Way to go, Amelia!!!! Great interview–neat interview-ee! 🙂 Keep up the wonderful blog and website!!!!!!

  • Amelia
    October 13, 2011 at 8:36 pm

    Thank you, Laila! 🙂

  • Becky
    October 13, 2011 at 9:04 pm

    Great article! I love the re-affirmation that dinner can taste good and be done quickly and I really appreciate the value of families eating together. It’s so true!

  • sunday hendrickson
    October 13, 2011 at 9:26 pm

    That was a lovely interview , Amelia!
    And I’m realy enjoying your blog.

  • Deana
    October 13, 2011 at 10:13 pm

    Its great to make a point to have dinner as a family every night!

  • Linda Steidel
    October 15, 2011 at 10:04 am

    Great interview Amlia! I really like knowing that someone as busy as Kelly Rippa still finds time to cook for her family.

  • Amelia
    October 15, 2011 at 10:23 am

    Thanks, Sunday!

  • Amelia
    October 15, 2011 at 10:24 am

    Mmmm, homemade granola on yogurt is def a yummy comfort food!

  • Amelia
    October 15, 2011 at 10:24 am

    So true, Kari!

  • Amelia
    October 15, 2011 at 10:25 am

    Haha – you’re right. But if I was Kelly Ripa, I would be motivated to do the same 🙂

  • Joyce Byard
    October 15, 2011 at 6:24 pm

    How wonderful Amelia~you are both amazing women with a much needed message.

  • Amelia
    October 15, 2011 at 10:16 pm

    Thanks Joyce!

  • Dana
    October 16, 2011 at 10:19 am

    Thanks for the great interview! I really appreciate her desire to make time for her family despite the chaos of her life and am hoping our family can do the same.

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