Name: Connie Z.
Blog Name: chocolate + connie
Where were you born? Vancouver, BC!
Where are you living now? Still Vancouver, BC!
Why did you start your blog?
I’m a chocoholic by birth so naturally I have a deep love for all things sweet. Back when I was in my teens, I used to spend HOURS googling images of chocolate chip cookies and chocolate cake. Then one time, I internet-surfed onto a picture from a food blog and thought “What?! You can have a website about food?! Just food?! Heck, I’m gonna start one!” Annnnd, that’s how I started blogging. Oddly, I only began baking regularly after I started my blog.
How did you decide on your blog name?
Oh mannnn. Coming up with a blog name was the hardest part of starting a blog. My first blog was called “It’s the Cookie Monster!” and that came about because I was obsessed with cookies. That was fine and dandy when I was 17, but as I grew up I started to feel kind of foolish telling people that THAT was my blog’s name. Last year, I switched from free hosting to self hosting and thought “AH-HA! This is my moment to change blog names.” So I spent MONTHS trying to come up with something witty or punny or funny, but all the good ones were already taken by about 3 other blogs/bakeries around the world. In the end, I settled with chocolate+connie because a) it’s straightforward, b) it encompasses what my blog is about, and c) the plus sign is pretty dang cute.
What do you blog about?
I create and blog about chocolate desserts that are over-the-top, heart-attack-inducing, and involuntary-drool-on-the-keyboard-happening. But I find that writing solely about food is kind of boring, so I like to throw in some random/embarrassing stories about my life. (Not that my life stories are always exciting, but I try to keep y’all entertained.)
What post on your blog most encapsulates you?
My post about homemade pocky most encapsulates me because I describe what it was like growing up in an Asian family in North America.
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
I wish the melting chocolate orbs got more attention. I mean, it’s a chocolate ball that melts away upon contact with hot chocolate ganache. How cool is that?!
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
The Neapolitan cupcakes! Honestly, I only came up with the recipe because I had leftover vanilla, strawberry and chocolate components from another project that day. I didn’t think that I was particularly creative so I’m surprised that they were so well received!
What’s your biggest challenge as a blogger?
The biggest challenge is finding time to blog! As a full time student and part-time job holder, I have always struggled to find time between classes, club/activities, exercise (this is the thing I usually cut out to make more time, ha), social life, work and studying. (Notice how studying is last? Yeah, I didn’t do too much of that. Whoops.)
Just to illustrate how much time (on average) food bloggers put into each post, here’s a breakdown:
- 30mins-1 hr buying the ingredients
- 1-6hrs making the recipe
- 1-2hrs photographing
- 1-2hrs selecting, editing and exporting photos
- 2-3hrs writing content
- 3+ hrs on social media each week
It’s like a full time job!!! But on the plus side, it’s so so SO rewarding.
Share a couple of your favourite food blogs to read. Why do you like them?
Smitten Kitchen, because she’s a story teller, a food blog pioneer and super duper talented.
Gotta Get Baked, because she’s local (yay Vancouverites!), she’s hilarious, and her recipes lend a home-y kind of comfort.
The Cooking Actress, because she cooks with her loved ones in mind, she’s jaw-dropping gorgeous, and she’s been one of my biggest supporters since I started blogging!
Cake on the Brain, because she’s always trying something new, she’s also local, and she’s super hip in the Vancouver food scene.
Favourite food - care to share a recipe or a restaurant destination?
Oh mannn, that is a cruel, cruel question. I love all food, I can’t decide on just one thing! Gonna break the rules and share a couple of my favourites. In Vancouver, my favourite restaurants are Simba’s Grill, Burgoo, East is East, and Le Petit Saigon.
What are you working on next for your blog?
I have a longgg way to go until I’m completely satisfied with my blogging career. Whenever I have time, I like to work on blog tasks, big or small. So I don’t know! The possibilities are endless. Maybe I’ll write an e-book or an actual cookbook. Maybe I’ll officially launch my dessert catering business. Ahh, so many options!
What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?
I’m actually a student in dietetics! Ha, who woulda thunk it?!
What makes your blog unique?
Hmm, to be honest, I think I have a long way to go before I carve out a unique brand for myself. BUT, I guess it’s unique since there aren’t many blogs that specifically focus on chocolate?
What’s your Favourite FBC Feature?
ALL of them!
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