One of the perks of my job is getting to interview inspiring people! Ally Phillips of Ally’s Kitchen is one of my favorite people I have interviewed in over 10 years. We just met last week and I feel as though I have known her for years. She is a former psychologist who decided in her 60s that it was time for a career change. Ally is an amazing cook and was a contestant on MasterChef! She was a finalist on Hallmark “Home & Family”, is a cookbook author, and that’s just the beginning! Did I mention that her Instagram account is phenomenal? There’s so much to learn from Ally’s Kitchen! One of her most recent accolades is being named GE Appliances Great American Grandma.
Ally was kind enough to join me for an interview recently to talk family, her family’s favorite recipes, holiday feasts, and my favorite of all – how to eat greasy foods while cutting calories. She also dished on how to use the GE Profile Wall Oven which has a built-in air fry mode. As someone who owns an air fryer, I must say this is a fabulous addition!
Please be sure to watch the interview below to hear the inspiring Ally Phillips of Ally’s Kitchen dish on everything from inspiring the kids in her family to cook and try new food to how to eat greasy food without the calories, her family’s holiday traditions and her inspiring story! She is definitely one to follow. Happy Holidays!
Watch Candie Anderson interview Masterchef contestant and GE’s Great American Grandma, Ally Phillips
How To Inspire Kids To Cook And Try New Foods
Candie Anderson: You’re such an amazing cook, your family is so fortunate to have you. What are some of their favorites?
Ally Phillips: “We span six generations in our family, Candace. The youngest is 13 months old. What everybody likes is my award winning bolognese meatballs and pasta. I just make extra meatballs for the little ones. They’re not quite into red chili flakes and all the spices.
Another thing I love to do, Candace is just involve the little ones in the kitchen because if they’re cooking with me, they’re more likely to eat it. I have all these little step stools and they’ve all got their own spoons. I like to give things quirky names. I’m almost like an entertainer in the kitchen with them. We might be doing a soup and I’ll say ‘this is the witch’s brew soup’ or a grilled cheese sandwich becomes ‘a stegosaurus cheese’ because we can put bones in it or have no bones – which are basically grapes skewered on a toothpick.
All of these things make it so much fun when the kids sit down and they’re eating that soup – gobbling down those peas and carrots and onions and they don’t even know because they think they’re eating witch’s brew soup.”
How To Cut Calories When Preparing Greasy Food
Candie Anderson: As a huge fan of greasy food, do you have any tips on how to enjoy favorite greasy foods while keeping the calories down and the clutter off our counters?
Ally Phillips: “Who doesn’t like crispy crunchy fried food? I’ve lived in the south for decades. I love fried pickles, fried chicken, onion rings and all of these things. Up until now, it was just on special occasions. With GE Appliances, GE Profile Wall Oven’s new technology there is an air fry built-in mode. It’s precision cooking, which means there is perfect results every time. You have the crisp crunch, and you don’t have the kitchen appliance that just clutters your kitchen counter.”
For more on the GE Profile Wall Oven and to see Ally demonstrate how to cook chicken wings, please watch the video above.
Ally’s Favorite Holiday Dishes
Candie Anderson: With the holidays quickly approaching, what are some of your favorite foods to prepare?
Ally Phillips: “On the holidays I like to prepare traditional recipes. We’ve got dressing mounds that have been in our family for 60/70 years. They’re delicious with a giblet and a liver gravy. I also like to have new things that we introduce to the table. We may have roasted Brussels sprouts with a ruby red honey soy sauce over it and some slivered almonds.
I like to do a couple of really traditional high calorie (the gravy, the dressing) and then err on the side of lots of healthy platters that are roasted vegetables and are easy on the waistline.”
Ally Shares Her Inspiring Story
Candie Anderson: Can you tell us what it was like being crowned the GE Appliance Great American Grandma?
Ally Phillips: “Never in my wildest dreams, Candace did I think that I would receive a crown at the age of 70. My mantra in life is that dreams have no expiration date. We’re not like food, we don’t expire. You never stop dreaming, even in your 60s, 70s, 80s and 90s. In my early 60s I decided to reinvent myself. I had been a psychologist (I was Dr. Alice for over 30 years) in private practice. I just wanted to follow my passion of cooking. My sons would say ‘Mom what are you doing this for? What’s your mission plan? What’s your business plan?’ I said I just like cooking and I’ve got social media now. I can share it, people like it and I make them happy, smile and it’s good food.
I started entering cooking contests and doing other things, Candace. It just started kind of to percolate and exploding. This opportunity for GE Appliances Great American Grandma came across my screen and I thought I could do that. They had the job descriptions: love to take selfies, social media, love to cook.
I’m a gun slinger in the kitchen. I can come in and open your refrigerator and cook a meal, and you think you have nothing.
I did the video resume, hundreds were sent in – amazing grandmas. I was lucky enough to be chosen as the great American grandma. I’m loving every minute of it.”
Where To Go For More Information
Candie Anderson: Do you have any additional tips or information you’d like to share with us?
Ally Phillips: “If you want more information on this new smart technology, recipes go to GEAppliances.com or AllysKitchen.com – that’s my website. You’ll see everything! They’re cross connected. You’ll see all the adventures. You’ll see my family. You’ll see everything I cook. You’ll know my life. We love gathering you around the table and you become our family. There’s always a seat at the table for you, Candace.”
Ally Phillips of Ally’s Kitchen Bio
Ally Phillips: When a move in 2008 to Boston brought a new job for husband, Ben, Ally, formerly Dr. Alice a School Psychologist for 35 years, decided to ‘reinvent’ herself. She wanted to live her passions for acting, stage work and cooking. Her big break in cooking came with an audition for Season 1 of MasterChef. She made it to the semifinals, but was not cast. Not to be deterred, she re-auditioned for Season 2 and was selected as a contestant. Since then Ally’s won numerous cooking contests, from the Wisconsin Cheese Grilled Cheese Academy competition and many more to the coveted Dole California CookOff. She’s been a Top 10 Finalist at the World Food Championships, competed on Food Network’s ‘Clash of the Grandmas’ and was selected as a finalist on Hallmark Channel’s Home & Family ‘Best Home Cook’. In 2015 she authored her first cookbook, “Ally’s Kitchen: A Passport for Adventurous Palates’. Ally manages a huge chunk of her own website, allyskitchen.com, where her original recipes and lifestyle adventures are chronicled. She calls herself the ‘Goddess of Everything’ in Ally’s Kitchen where she designs all of own food styling, tablescapes and shoots most all of her food/lifestyle photography. Ally’s well connected on social media with a robust following of foodie fans numbering close to three-quarters of a million followers on the various platforms. Phillips is an avid traveler and brings back flavors and recipe ideas from around the globe, believing that the common DNA of all people and cultures is food.