Each week we profile a different Canadian Food Blogger who is part of the FBC community. This week we meet Terri, the Calgary blogger behind Food Meanderings where her multi-award winning recipes attract fans from all over the country.
Name: Terri Gilson
Blog name: Food Meanderings
Where were you born? I was born and raised in Winnipeg.
Where are you living now? Calgary
Why did you start your blog?
I was entering a lot of recipe competitions at the time, so I was constantly thinking about recipe ideas. I wanted to share those recipes and write about food. A food blog seemed like the ideal place to do both of those things. In the process, I realized that I also wanted to preserve my family’s recipes; a food blog is a great place to do that as well!
How did you decide on your blog name?
I was looking for a name that described my journey through the world of food. It seemed to fit.
What do you blog about?
Food- mostly in the form of recipes. I share my own recipes, family recipes (including my husband’s, my Mom’s, my Grandma’s, my aunts’, my Mother-in-law’s etc). I also resurrect vintage recipes and create healthy and Weight Watcher friendly versions of my favorite recipes. I also enjoy sharing the stories around those recipes. My blog is the place I celebrate, remember and honor people through their recipes, including those who have passed on.
Is your blog your business, your hobby or something in between?
I’d call it ‘something in between.’ It started off as a hobby but has evolved into a side business. However, it still feels like a hobby because I’m so passionate about it. In fact, sometimes I get up at 4:00 A.M. to work on the blog (before my workday begins).
What post on your blog most encapsulates you and why?
I would say my Ukrainian Daughter’s Crockpot Casserole post. I’m part Ukrainian and love Ukrainian food and culture. Making a giant Ukrainian meal in a slow cooker (with no precooking) is harder than it looks. And therefore, getting the recipe right took more attempts than I’d like to admit. Because I tend to get obsessive, I found that I was wasting too much time and too many ingredients. Afterwards, I established a rule; if the recipe is not up to my standards by the third attempt, I ditch it and move on.
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
I really thought my Skinny Miami Vice Frozen Cheesecake would have received a lot more love than it did. How could you not love a blend of Strawberry Daiquiri and Pina Colada flavours in a light and low-calorie frozen dessert?
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
My Creamy Coconut Blue Raspberry Slushie is a lot more popular than I ever imagined. I made it for my kids because I had leftover blue raspberry martini mix. The kids loved it, so I decided it was blog worthy.
What’s your biggest challenge as a blogger?
Too many recipes and too little time! I currently have over 300 recipes on the blog and almost as many drafts of recipes! I am constantly coming up with recipe ideas and don’t have the time to cook, test, photograph and post them all!
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned as a blogger?
The time commitment is more than I anticipated. I’m passionate about my blog, so it can be all consuming. I’ve learned that sometimes, I just need to close the computer and walk away.
What has been your biggest success as a blogger so far?
There are lots of different ways to measure success. However, in the beginning of my blogging journey I had to ask myself what success meant to me. So, I started writing down short and long-term goals. Then each time I met one of those goals, such as reaching my first 1000 Pinterest followers or hitting 50,000 pageviews a month, I felt successful. Obviously I have to keep raising that bar in order to move forward. But I prefer to measure success this way because I’m not comparing myself to anyone but me!
Share a couple of your favourite food blogs to read. Why do you like them?
Dianne Jacob’s book, “Will Write for Food” was a big part of what inspired me to start my blog. On her blog she writes about food from a broader perspective and shares great tips and resources for food bloggers. I always look forward to reading her newsletter!
I found Nagi, of Recipe Tin Eats, through her Facebook group, Food Bloggers Central. This was a huge support and resource as a new blogger and still is over 4 years later. Then I bought her food photography book and it helped me take my photography to the next level. Her recipes are easy to make, her photography is beautiful and I can always find what I’m looking for!
Favourite food - care to share a recipe or a restaurant destination?
I’d have to say that prime rib roast beef (preferably with mashed potatoes and gravy) is my favourite food! And I can’t believe that I don’t have it posted on the blog yet (it’s in my drafts). Once again, too many recipes and too little time!
What are you working on next for your blog?
I’d like to shoot more videos, finish my e-cookbook and expand beyond recipes. And of course, there’ll be more recipes!
What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?
I’m a wannabe gardener and I dream of having the time for a big garden.
What makes your blog unique?
I like to think it’s the balance of healthy and indulgent recipes that makes my blog unique. I believe that you can eat everything, as long as it’s in moderation.
How do you cultivate a sense of community around your blog?
I regularly connect with other bloggers online. However, it’s a virtual community, so I’m making an effort to meet more local bloggers in real life.
What part of the FBC site do you find most useful?
I love the recipe roundups, especially for seasonal ingredients. I find them so helpful when I’m looking for recipes like sage, for example (which I had a bounty of this year.) I also love all the resources for Canadian bloggers (financial/tax information)
Follow Terri and Food Meanderings on Social Media