Each week we profile a different Canadian Food Blogger who is part of the FBC community. This week we meet Jessica, the Alberta blogger whose aim is to give people more confidence in the kitchen - because cooking at home doesn't have to be that hard!
Name: Jessica Wenzel
Blog name: Whipped It Up
Where were you born? Calgary, Alberta
Where are you living now? Calgary, Alberta
Why did you start your blog?
Years before I started my blog one of my family members planted the seed in my head that I should have a blog to share all of my recipes. It took me a LONG time to buckle down and actually do it, but I am SO happy that I did. The bottom line is I love being creative in the kitchen and I love sharing what I create!
How did you decide on your blog name?
My blog name took me the longest time to figure out (years in fact)! It sounds silly, but everything I thought of didn’t seem good enough. I finally came to the realization that I was always going to overthink the name, and one day while reading a cookbook one of the directions said “whip it up”. As soon as I said it aloud I knew it was the one, I jumped up off the couch and bought the domain that night.
What do you blog about?
My blog is about food and recipes. I like to offer a variety of “quick and easy meals” that aren’t prepackaged or boring.
I also aim to give the average home cook more confidence in the kitchen, by offering a variety of “advanced” recipes, and showing that cooking isn’t all that hard, as long as you are confident in yourself!
Is your blog your business, your hobby or something in between?
Right now, something in between. I adore blogging and everything that comes along with it, I hope one day it will be my business!
What post on your blog most encapsulates you and why?
Cupcakes like these Pumpkin Spice Cupcakes are where it all “clicked” for me. One day I learnt how to pipe hydrangeas and roses onto cupcakes and I was so proud of the end result and they stunned everyone who saw them. I love the creativity that a blank cupcake top brings to me. It has also been a running joke of mine that during hard times, turn to the cupcakes and they will get you through!
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
My Apple Rum Monkey Bread! I was so pumped to get this recipe live on my site. It was a recipe that I created years before starting my blog and I just expected it to be the one that “took off”. It took me hours and hours to shoot this recipe and a few days to write the post. When I was done I didn’t have a doubt in my mind that it was going to be a good one. Alas, it fizzled out a few days later and has been quiet ever since.
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
This is an easy one, my Classic Hamburger Soup! It remains the most viewed post on my site (by a long shot) and it was one of the first recipes I posted when I began Whipped It Up. It has always baffled me that such an oversaturated recipe has gotten so much attention on my small potatoes blog! But, it is an amazing recipe!
What’s your biggest challenge as a blogger?
Having to “know” all the things and not ever having enough time in a day! When I started my blog I never in a million years thought that I would have to learn as much as I have. I love learning it all though, I never stop! I listen to podcasts for hours per day and I always wind up having a list a mile long of everything I need to figure out or look into. But being the “jack of all trades”, means whatever happens, I have to figure it out. I find myself saying at least once in a day “what does THAT mean!?” At this point google and I are bffs…
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned as a blogger?
If you are comfortable, you are not growing! I am a total introvert and not only putting myself out there, but promoting my work makes me want to run for the hills. Although, I show up everyday, and everyday I am getting more and more comfortable in this online world!
What has been your biggest success as a blogger so far?
My biggest success has been learning how to run a self-hosted website! When I started my blog I jumped straight into a self-hosted site. It was overwhelming in every way possible, I didn’t even know what a plugin was. One day I was so confused and I remember thinking that “maybe plugins aren’t all that important and maybe they will just go away”... was I ever wrong! Now, I am confident in completely running and navigating the backend of my website and I can keep up with the “lingo” for the most part.
Share a couple of your favourite food blogs to read. Why do you like them?
Pinch of Yum - Bjork and Lindsey are an absolute godsend. I have learned SO MUCH from these two. I was keeping up with their blog Pinch of Yum for years before starting my own. Their recipes are beautiful and they always inspire me to try new concepts and ideas!
Sally's Baking Addiction - Sally’s Baking Addiction was the very first blog that I ever followed! I was and still am an avid reader of her recipes, she is such an inspiring person.
Damn Delicious - The photography on Damn Delicious is INCREDIBLE. I started reading this blog in 2018 shortly after starting my own, and it inspires me everyday! Also, I am obsessed with her two corgis, Butters and Cartman!
Favourite food - care to share a recipe or a restaurant destination?
Eggs Benedict has been my favourite food for as long as I can remember. My mom used to make it as a treat when I was a kid and I have just never stopped loving it! The secret to the most perfect eggs benny, is the hollandaise sauce. It can be a tricky sauce to make, but my mom taught me how to make it the “easy” way when I was a kid and to this day, I think that it is still the best hollandaise sauce out there!
What are you working on next for your blog?
I always have new recipes in the queue, but I have really been focusing on starting up a few more “series” this year. I ran a 12 days of christmas series this past December and I LOVED it so much.
What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?
I love designing and building things. I am constantly moving things around in our house and we ALWAYS have a project on the go, always. I also yell at the smoke alarm about 13 times a day and tell it that “IT’S NOT BURNING!”
What makes your blog unique?
My blog doesn’t have a clear niche, other than it is 90% recipes. I know this is frowned upon, especially in the SEO world. I just could never bring myself to put a “limit” on what I could create and share. I love all types of meals, foods, and baking. From the very beginning I knew I wanted to share it all!
How do you cultivate a sense of community around your blog?
I love interacting with my readers in the comments on my blog and on social media. I want everyone who visits my blog to feel comfortable and not overwhelmed by the recipes, and I try to portray that in my writing.
What part of the FBC site do you find most useful?
I love the “blogger resources” section on FBC! I can easily sink into that section and read for hours at a time! Being a blogger in Canada it can be hard to find accurate information that pertains to the rules in Canada. It is so refreshing to know there is a resource like this where I can find answers to my questions!
Follow Jessica and Whipped It Up on Social Media: