FBC Featured Member: Mia's Daily Dish

Name: Mia Staysko

Blog Name: Mia’s Daily Dish

Where were you born? Edmonton, Alberta

Where are you living now? I have spent the past 21 years living on an acreage just south of the Calgary city limits with my husband of 26 years, my two boys and my dog, Brie.

Why did you start your blog?

I started my blog for several reasons.

Firstly I am a very creative person. By that I mean I am happiest when creating something, especially something pretty. I need outlets for that passion and short, sweet, visually oriented projects suit me best. Blogging fits that bill.

Secondly, I love to cook. I think about food an awful lot, both in a practical “what’s for dinner?” way, and in a more creative “what’s new?” way. I adore artisan products made with attention to detail and to quality and I love cruising gourmet grocery stores. I also travel with my taste buds and dream of eating my way across the world.

Lastly, a blog provided a way to be accountable to my own eating habits, as well as a way to document the recipes and techniques that I have used to feed my family over the years. If my grown boys need to know how to make something, it will be found here eventually and since we eat what I post, if I am posting healthy delicious meals, then I obviously am eating those as well.

How did you decide on your blog name?

My blog is intended as a personal expression of myself. When I chose the name I was thinking of the word ‘dish’ as meaning not just food but also commentary, opinion and advice. I have an opinion on everything! New to food blogging, I feel like I am still finding my voice and haven’t yet reached out into all of the directions that I was imagining when I chose my name, but I hope to get there eventually.

What do you blog about?

I blog about whole foods and a bit about gardening as well. I hope to encourage people to eat real food, preferably that they have grown themselves or know where it came from. My dietary focus is on reducing grains and dairy, but frankly, I love cheese and I’m sucking at the dairy part!

What post on your blog most encapsulates you?

FBC Featured Member: Mia's Daily Dish

The post that I think most encapsulates my personality is my Vension Sausage Three Ways. My husband Steve and I are true DIYers. We look at things and think “We could do that!” Charcuterie is our latest project. Led by a desire to create home crafted, wholesome foods without a host of preservatives and chemicals, we have been experimenting with more and more home ferments and cured meats. We’ve got some Spanish Lomo (cured pork loin) just about ready to go and I can’t wait to blog about it. (BTW, I find sausage REALLY hard to photograph!)

Which post do you wish received more love and why?

FBC Featured Member: Mia's Daily Dish

The post that I wish got more love is my Beet Salad with Peaches and Honey Balsamic Dressing.

Though this is not a recipe that is complicated or even all that unique, I know where the ingredients for this dish came from intimately. This movement toward knowing where our food comes from is such a passion for me, but my biggest reason for wishing more love upon it is for the bees! They are the canary in the food-chain coalmine and their struggle is most definitely our struggle. Their success, if we are lucky, may point us in a better direction for our success.

Which post’s success surprised you and why?

FBC Featured Member: Mia's Daily Dish

I was surprised by the feedback that I got to my Roasted Duck Legs with Haskap Sauce. This post got picked up and re-tweeted more than any previous post because of its unusual ingredient. In hindsight I shouldn’t have been surprised though, as the desire by producers to promote this newer introduction into the mainstream market is obviously high and not many people are talking about haskaps yet.

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What’s your biggest challenge as a blogger?

I’d say my biggest challenge is in building audience, and also in time management. I’m still learning how to create images for a blog with the same food I intend to put on the table. I miss a lot of opportunities to create posts because I wasn’t prepared to do the photography ahead of time.

I also struggle with comparing myself to other bloggers, worrying that I’ll be boring but not wanting to resort to the strange prattling speak that so often comes out in food blogs. It often sounds inauthentic to me. Although I want people to like the blog, and more importantly the food, short, sweet, to the point and delicious is what I’m all about and I hope I can do that and retain my own voice.

Share a couple of your favourite food blogs to read. Why do you like them? 

Love The Healthy Foody. Sonia Lacasse has a perfect combination of winning paleo inspired recipes and great photography.

The Bojon Gourmet is also a favorite. Due to the high sugar content I seldom make any of Alanna Taylor-Tobin’s recipes, but her photography is absolutely spectacular and her Tao of Bojon life philosophy rather reflects my own!

Favourite food - care to share a recipe or a restaurant destination?

OMG, I would have so much trouble choosing a favorite food! My favorite food to order in a restaurant is something unusual that I would never make at home. I would love to go to Blue Hill in NY both to taste the food and to support chef Dan Barber’s philosophy in showing people that growing better food results in better flavor and is better for the planet.

What are you working on next for your blog?

Since my blog was started as a personal project, my focus in my first year has been content creation above all else. Rightly or wrongly I saw no point in spending a lot of time sending people to a blog with only a handful of recipes! 2016 will be the year for audience building so please, come on over!

What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?

I do so many things it is ridiculous. I always tell people that I have a short attention span. I practice and teach Feng Shui, I design, I have published my own online magazine. I love to create and above all else, to learn. My newest interest is in bees. I am thinking of getting a few hives for my property. I know they will have lots to teach me.

What makes your blog unique?

Honestly, I’m still exploring the food blog medium and through that exploration only beginning to discover what makes my blog unique. Since I find myself constantly wanting to describe all of my recipes as easy, simple or quick, I think it is fast becoming my niche. If you need a quick, reliable recipe with ingredients that you probably already have, I hope to provide that. I also hope to become more of an eco-food advocate (is that a thing?).

What part of the FBC site do you find most useful?

I love the blogger resources! There is just so much great information there for both new and seasoned bloggers, it is a beautiful thing.

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