Name: Colleen Milne
Blog name: The Food Blog
Where were you born? Nelson, BC
Where are you living now? Kelowna, BC
Why did you start your blog?
For a long time, I worked in a job that wasn’t a great fit for me. I’ve always been creative, and I needed an outlet for that. I love photography, and writing. Being in the kitchen, cooking, has always been a kind of therapy for me, and my cooking has always brought happiness to those close to me. Starting a food blog was a perfect creative outlet for me.
How did you decide on your blog name?
Ha ha, not a very creative or original name, right? But, before I actually started, in my obsessive thoughts, it was always “the food blog” so that became the name, for better or worse.
What do you blog about?
I live in a place that has an abundance of fantastic, local, seasonal ingredients, which I love to showcase in recipes. And I grow a lot of my own organic food and herbs, myself, which I often use in my posts.
Is your blog your business, your hobby or something in between?
I guess my blog is something in between, in transition from being what was once a hobby, to what I’m trying to build, which is a business.
What post on your blog most encapsulates you and why?
I would have to say this Purple Cabbage Soup I love being creative in the kitchen with fresh ingredients. Colour often inspires me, and never being one to follow the crowd, I’m drawn to the unexpected.
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
This recipe Sweet Potato Soup with Black Beans and Corn turned out to be so good, it’s an easy recipe, and I was really happy with the styling and photos. But for some reason it just didn’t get that much attention. And it has sweet potatoes!!
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
My homemade Naan Bread. I was astonished (and thrilled) by the response, never having had that kind of traffic. To me it was a simple, and very humble recipe that I’ve been doing for a long time. But it’s authentic, and I guess that’s why it resonated with people, many of whom grew up with their mothers making naan. I got emails and messages from people all over the world. That recipe got the most page views in one day that I’ve had before or since, and continues to get visited daily.
What’s your biggest challenge as a blogger?
Technology! It’s a wonderful thing that makes what I do possible. On the other hand, there’s always something new to learn or figure out or fix, taking time away from actually creating.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned as a blogger?
Being a part of a community is something that I never thought about when I started my blog, but it has become an integral part of the journey. It’s great to connect with and learn from other bloggers.
Share a couple of your favourite food blogs to read. Why do you like them?
I like Abbeys Kitchen because anyone from vegans to carnivores can find something healthy and delicious there, which is what I try to do in my own blog. And I am a fan of The Food Gays Their success story, as well as their beautiful styling and photography are such an inspiration to me.
Favourite food - care to share a recipe or a restaurant destination?
In my family, we love our spices, and I grow lots of hot pepper varieties in the garden; then dry, freeze and preserve them for the winter. So, a lot of my dishes include a little heat. I do try to give instructions for toning down spicier recipes like in this Tequila Chicken Chili
There are so many great places to eat in the Okanagan, but I always suggest Raudz Regional Table, owned by chef Rod Butters, for fantastic organic and local dishes and all local wines. Can I mention two? Because Old Vines Restaurant at Quail’s Gate Winery is another top pick, for outstanding food, service, and setting. And of course, the wine…
What are you working on next for your blog?
I want to get around to doing some videos. And put together an e-cookbook for my subscribers. This year I plan to do a redesign of my website, too.
What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?
I was the owner of my own organic garden supply business for 14 years, and have also owned and operated a food truck, called “Java Joe’s”, so I appreciate good coffee, can run several espresso machines simultaneously, and make a mean cappuccino.
What makes your blog unique?
I’ve always been passionate about cooking from scratch, and eating food that isn’t made in a factory. I know home cooks are busy, so I try to help them to see that it isn’t necessarily time consuming or difficult to do that, by keeping my recipes as seasonal, and as simple as possible. A lot of the time, my ingredients are sourced from my garden or from neighbor’s gardens and trees, and from local farmer’s markets and produce stands
What part of the FBC site do you find most useful?
Follow Colleen and The Food Blog on Social Media