Name: Kacey Joanette
Blog name: The Cookie Writer
Where were you born? Toronto, ON
Where are you living now? Bowmanville, ON
Why did you start your blog?
I have always wanted to be a writer! While pregnant with my daughter I began to wonder what I would do with my days and decided to combine my love for cooking with my love for writing! Then my daughter came along and I realized running a blog and raising a newborn was a lot harder than I originally thought 🙂
How did you decide on your blog name?
It is kind of a play on words. I love writing, I love cooking and baking, so why not be The Cookie Writer (a play on kooky since I consider myself a bit crazy, haha.) Plus, who doesn’t love cookies?!
What do you blog about?
I am a vegetarian, but my daughter and husband eat meat. My mother-in-law suffers from Celiac (among a ton of food intolerances,) so I feel my blog brings all of our lives together. The recipes are what WE eat. So you might find some tofu thrown in with some meat recipes, and served with a side of gluten-free carrot cake.
Is your blog your business, your hobby or something in between?
It began as a hobby, but it has turned into my full-time job. I like to joke with my husband that I am no longer a “deadbeat,” haha. But in all seriousness, I treat it as a job because it is one. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy it, however, while there are lots of fun parts, there are also the not-so-fun parts (clean-up on aisle 3!)
What many don’t realize when they begin to consider blogging full-time is how much time and effort needs to be put in. Heck, I feel I don’t put in anywhere close to others (and I still consider myself a hard, dedicated worker,) but I have seen growth. People feel discouraged when they compare themselves to others and I hear you! But posting irregularly or sometimes not at all is not going to bring in readers. Be yourself, be true, and remain professional.
What post on your blog most encapsulates you and why?
My vegetarian mushroom stroganoff recipe represents me in every way. I want to show people that yes, a household can have a mix of dietary lifestyles without overwhelming the cook in the house. I’ve transformed many of my husband’s favourite meat dishes into vegetarian ones and he loves them all the same. It also helps that my family is more than happy to enjoy a vegetarian dish once in a while, saving me the hassle of making two different dishes 🙂 Plus, mushrooms are AWESOME!
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
I love marinated artichoke hearts and wish people would see how wonderful they are to work with! I make sauces like this artichoke hearts and caper pasta sauce all the time and my husband readily turns down any meat dish for these creations (which isn’t always a good thing since he is lactose intolerant!) Something about white wine, cream, and artichokes has my heart going a mile a minute. 🙂
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
Pan Fried Fingerling Potatoes with Bacon. I’m going to be honest, I have made this dish soooo many times, and yet I have still not updated the original pictures from that post. This was the recipe I submitted for the Little Potato Company campaign that FBC offered up way back in 2014 and not only does this post continue to be one of my most popular recipes ever, it landed me a brand ambassadorship with LPC that still continues to this day. I am happy my readers and LPC looked past those pictures and saw how great the recipe is!
What’s your biggest challenge as a blogger?
I know many struggle with comparing themselves to others (and it is hard not too!) But as of late, my biggest challenge has been fighting burnouts. I used to scoff when someone said they were burning out because I thought “how can you burnout from something you love doing?!” Well, then I began to think of all the times my dad bought me something from the grocery store in bulk because I said I like it… Before long I couldn’t eat certain foods any longer, lol. I know I am a person who needs change so I have been working to fight this issue, along with coming up with new ideas for my site.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned as a blogger?
Share and you will be rewarded. Not to say you should only share to expect something in return. Having joined one particular share group I have not only become absorbed in other blogs, but have created great friendships, too. I love that we have never met in person, but we all hold a strong bond with one another. We love helping each other out, and honestly, I have learned so much from others that I don’t think I would be where I am today without them!
Share a couple of your favourite food blogs to read. Why do you like them?
I have been a big fan of Chrissie’s, The Busy Baker, for a long time, and the fact that she is continuing her blog while abroad in Romania is so inspirational!
As of the past year I met Lily on a sponsored campaign that we are/were working on together and fell in love with her blog, Little Sweet Baker. I am a big sweet eater and her humour is just like mine, so it was hard not to love everything about her blog!
Favourite food - care to share a recipe or a restaurant destination?
ANYTHING MEXICAN! Pretty sure I could eat Mexican cuisine every day for one full year and not be sick of it. Actually, I could go for it right now…
What are you working on next for your blog?
I have this little segment idea in mind that involves my 5-year old daughter (who is super excited to be on board!) It gets her into the kitchen but also brings change to my life (much needed right now!)
What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?
While I tend to be outgoing in some sense of the word, I am really quiet and shy. Working in the food industry before starting my blog forced me to interact with customers and coworkers which better helped me. I feel I can join into a group or conversation no problem (FBC 2016 was the real test!) but I always have that little nagging voice at the back of my head making me doubt myself. This is probably why you don’t see me participating much in the FBC forums. Otherwise, bright, bubbly, and game-lover definitely describes me!
What makes your blog unique?
I specialize in both cooking and baking. Now, I do sometimes think this hinders my growth because either people like to cook OR bake, not both. Not saying it doesn’t happen, but my cooking recipes always seem to do better than my baking ones (which sometimes saddens me because I really, really love to bake!) I also consider myself self-taught (no cooking background) so I am always trying to learn new things and share those with my readers (and that means steering away from easy, quick meals, though those type of recipes do make appearances.)
What part of the FBC site do you find most useful?
The resource section is amazing. It covers so much, and honestly, I have used it to my advantage (it also helps to settle down anxiety during tax season.) I’ve also been loving the little round-ups that have been put together each month because it allows me to see what others have been up to!
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