Each week we profile a different Canadian Food Blogger who is part of the FBC community. This week meet Wanda, the Calgary, Alberta blogger behind Bakersbeans
Name: Wanda Baker
Blog name: Bakersbeans
Where were you born? Calgary, moved away at 9 months old
Where are you living now? Calgary
Why did you start your blog?
I started my blog in 2006 as a way to share photos and updates with our family and friends who span several provinces and countries. Many people were writing newsletters, I started a blog!
Soon after I started the blog we started posting recipes. This was so well received we moved to a self-hosted blog.
How did you decide on your blog name?
Baker is my last name. My cooking has always involved creating simple recipes utilizing a variety of cuisines and methods not specific to any one defined area. We wanted my last name in the blog name somehow relating to food but did not want people to think we were “bakers”!
Beans relates to my kids (my little beans), food (jelly beans, legumes) and beverages (coffee beans). After throwing around several ideas, Bakersbeans was born.
What do you blog about?
Since my blog's inception in 2006 I have blogged about quick, easy recipes (vintage, creating new recipes, reviving old recipes, testing cookbook recipes), lifestyle, family adventures and travel. The last 5 years have included media events I am invited to when it’s part of the ask.
Is your blog your business, your hobby or something in between?
My blog started as a hobby and a legacy for my kids. An online journal if you will of our adventures and favourite recipes. Since I have other jobs, Bakersbeans has progressed beyond a hobby but not quite into a full-time money making business.
What post on your blog most encapsulates you and why?
One post comes to mind, Adventures in Eating New Cuisines. When I first came to Vancouver for Expo 86, my senses came alive with the variety of food available. This was enhanced and inspiration hit constantly when I moved to Vancouver for University in 1989. I love trying new cuisines, flavours and foods.
Then I married an English man with very little diversity in his meat and potatoes diet. We decided to explore new cuisines with our kids ensuring they learned about new cultures and the food each time. We further expanded on this when we started hosting International Students.
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
I’d say either of my Christmas in November in Jasper posts here and here. This event is a food lovers dream in a beautiful setting and location. The CIN people take care great care of you, the celebrity chefs are all, for the most part gems, and I’d love to see this event get more exposure (I am not paid to say this!)
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
My Teriyaki Beef Broth Fondue is my second most popular recipe for 2017. The Fondue trend has been coming and going since the 70s. I’ve always fondued and had my first of several fondue pots by age 20. It surprises me this post has so much traction right now as fondue doesn’t appear as trendy as it once was.
What’s your biggest challenge as a blogger?
- Getting support.
- Brands, companies and other who play favourites.
- As a blogger I have no interest or time in watching videos and always skip past them to get to the recipe. I know so many bloggers who feel the same way yet others who are all video all the time. It’s an interesting time in the blogging world. The pressure to “have” to be like everyone else to be successful is not for the faint of heart.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned as a blogger?
There’s two things. It’s every blogger for themselves and I have learned you have to invest in yourself and your blog.
What has been your biggest success as a blogger so far?
Growing as a person through my writing on the blog, writing online and print magazines and organizing major food events in Calgary. You can learn a lot about yourself when you write, interview others, reach out to collaborate, work with local businesses and charity and success depends on you. It can be a humbling experience.
Share a couple of your favourite food blogs to read. Why do you like them?
While I try to listen to podcasts and read the odd blog, I seriously just don’t have a lot of time.
Favourite food - care to share a recipe or a restaurant destination?
My favourite food is pierogies. My mom would make all kinds when we were kids and I always tried to eat as many as I could. Her style of pierogi is a little more doughy then the ones you find available or made today, but we still stuffed our faces until we hurt.
My plum pierogi recipe was inspired from the prune plum tree in our yard. Several times a year we would make plum pierogies together using plums from the tree. I make them today exactly the way my mom did, not using circle cutters to make them perfect, but sectioning dough, rolling out the dough, filling and cinching the edges, boiling and serving with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle of cinnamon. Right now my mouth is watering.
What are you working on next for your blog?
A makeover. We are currently redesigning our website and excited about a new look for 2018!
What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?
I was named one of Calgary’s top 200 influencers.
I am the new Get This Columnist in Calgary’s City Palate.
I founded YYC Pizza Week in 2014. To date 11,097 pizzas have been eaten and over $35,000 raised for charity. I lead an amazing team of volunteers who work hundreds of hours to make this event happen annually. This is an achievement I am very proud of.
What makes your blog unique?
I eliminate the fluff and try to take advantage of my strengths and experiences to help make my blog stand out.
What part of the FBC site do you find most useful?
I love the Bloggers Resources and frequent that section regularly!
Follow Wanda and Bakersbeans on Social Media