Each month we profile a different Canadian Food Blogger who is part of the FBC community. This month we meet Lisa, a home cook who loves experimenting and playing with food and creating delicious meals and dishes for her family and friends.

Logo A day in the Kitchen

Name: Lisa Day

Blog name: A Day in the Kitchen

Where were you born? Vancouver, BC

Where are you living now? Hong Kong

Why did you start your blog?

I started my blog in 2016. I had reached a point in my life where I was trying to find “purpose”, what with my children needing me less as they were growing older. A Day in the Kitchen became my creative outlet, a way to combine my love of cooking, photography, and writing in one place and get great personal satisfaction from doing so.

How did you decide on your blog name? 

My husband actually helped with that, in more ways than one! Without him, I wouldn’t have the last name “Day”, and he came up with the great play on words. We joked that it’s a good thing his last name wasn’t “Loser”.

What do you blog about?

A Day in the Kitchen is about creating easy, delicious recipes in a small kitchen since small kitchens are commonplace in Hong Kong. It started out as “Small kitchen. Big ideas.” I am still cooking in a small kitchen and I still cook a variety of dishes, but the blog has evolved over time, with my recipes appealing to two groups: the ones who are interested in gluten-free baking and the ones who are interested in traditional Chinese dishes. 

For the gluten-free baking crowd, I try to demystify the whole gluten-free baking experience that can seem intimidating, especially to people new to it. I aim to create recipes that are easy to follow and where the final product is so good that you wouldn’t know it’s gluten-free.

For the traditional Chinese dishes readers, I create recipes that are based on what my mother used to make when I was young, dishes that are more representative of home Chinese cooking and are very nostalgic to me and many other Chinese readers of my generation whose parents immigrated to Canada.

Is your blog your business, your hobby or something in between? 

My blog is something in between. It started out as a hobby and passion and a way to spend time on something that was purely for myself. Then my audience grew beyond my wildest dreams and I am incredibly grateful that that allowed me to start making money doing something I love.

What post on your blog most encapsulates you and why? 

Chinese Taro Cake on a plate

It’s hard to choose just one, but my Chinese Taro Cake (Woo Tau Goh) is one that comes to mind. My mum would make this dish around Christmas time and also during Chinese holidays, and I loved how it tasted and how satisfying it was to eat. I especially loved all the toppings on top of the cake since that’s where the majority of the flavor came from. I was so happy when I was able to recreate the recipe for one of my favorite childhood dishes, and I feel incredibly nostalgic whenever I make it.

Which post do you wish received more love and why? 

Vietnamese Beef Vermicelli on a plate.

There are a few posts that fall into this category, but one that stands out for me is my recipe for Savory Vietnamese Beef Vermicelli. This was inspired by a dish we made at a cooking class in Hoi An and I make this dish quite often for my family…we just love it. It’s full of flavor, fresh, healthy and satisfying!

Which post’s success surprised you and why? 

Whole eggs in cooker.

My post on How To Cook Eggs in A Rice Cooker completely caught me off-guard. It was one of those posts where I thought I would just share something I had learned, and I remember racing daylight, taking photos in lighting that was less than optimal. Somehow it all worked out and took off and it is still the all-time most viewed post!

What’s your biggest challenge as a blogger? 

My biggest challenge at the moment is creating videos. I have created several, but I have gotten out of practice since we moved to a new place and I haven’t figured out the optimal setup yet. I’m a bit of a perfectionist, so I can get caught up in trying to make sure everything is “just right” before I can even start recording. However, I also know that, in the end, I have to just dive in and do it and I will probably end up with something most people would be completely happy with.

What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned as a blogger? 

I think one of the biggest lessons I have learned is that I shouldn’t get too caught up in making things “perfect” before publishing and just get content posted. I still want to put up quality content, but some things that I get caught up on or that I question myself on, most people don’t even care about in the end.

What has been your biggest success as a blogger so far? 

I would say my biggest success so far is the connection I have made with so many readers. There are those who have expressed joy in being able to enjoy bread again with my gluten-free bread recipes. Then there are those who have expressed how my Chinese dishes have brought back so many memories of their own childhood and growing up with the same dishes cooked by their parents or grandparents. It is incredibly heartwarming for me to be able to reach people like that. 

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

I enjoy watching videos from Made with Lau. I love how this family is recording and documenting the father cooking Chinese classics and talking about history and traditions around the food. 

I like watching Andy Cooks and how he tackles all sorts of recipes, his explanations, and his video shorts.

Also worth mentioning, I like watching videos from MorinoKomepan. I find her videos calming and mesmerizing and I just like the overall quality of her content.

What are you working on next for your blog? 

I’m working on going through recipes that I used to make a long time ago, wanting to adapt them to being gluten-free. I’m also working on more recipes my mum used to make when I was a kid, to keep those recipes alive. Finally, I’m trying to get back into making videos and including myself in them.

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

When I was a kid, I used to rip recipes out of magazines and save them in a big binder. I had them all organized into categories…but I never actually made the recipes. I just liked the photos and how the recipe names sounded so delicious. It would be fun to look back on everything I saved, everything that I thought was “delicious” back then, but unfortunately, I don’t have the binder anymore.

What makes your blog unique? 

I don’t know if my blog is necessarily unique considering how saturated the food blogging world is. I just try to create recipes that I hope will inspire others to get cooking and baking.

That being said, I think one other thing I’m particularly proud of is the fact that all the photos have been taken with my iPhone. I know my blog is not unique in that aspect either, but it is something that I also hope inspires others to get creative with their phone cameras.

How do you cultivate a sense of community around your blog? 

I think the recipes for dishes from my childhood create a sense of community with Chinese readers of my generation, those whose parents immigrated to Canada or the US and who grew up with the same foods. It’s the shared nostalgia and sharing of similar stories that feed that community.

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

I like the Where To Eat series of posts, highlighting different cities and getting restaurant suggestions. I haven’t lived in Vancouver for a long time so it’s nice to get fresh ideas whenever I visit!

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