Each week we profile a different Canadian Food Blogger who is part of the FBC community. Every now and then we get a chance to chat with a Canadian blogger who is living somewhere else around the globe and this week, we meet Carissa, the Kamloops, BC native who now lives in Wisconsin and is the blogger behind Domestic Dreamboat.!
Name: Carissa Serink
Blog name: Domestic Dreamboat
Where were you born? Kamloops, BC
Where are you living now? Waunakee, Wisconsin
Why did you start your blog?
I started Domestic Dreamboat shortly after moving to Wisconsin. My husband and I had previously enjoyed entertaining often, but being in a new place where we knew no one, that wasn't happening much anymore. I viewed my blog as a way to share my food with friends and family I wasn't able to see often anymore.
How did you decide on your blog name?
It started as kind of an inside joke with my husband. When we first moved in together, he would jokingly call me a "Domestic Dreamboat" whenever I cooked a particularly good meal (or a particularly bad one). The name stuck, and when I started thinking about starting a blog, I couldn't imagine calling it anything else.
What do you blog about?
I've often struggled with coming up with a theme for my blog. I guess there isn't really one. I just share the recipes that my family loves. I try to share mostly healthy recipes, but there are definitely some guilty pleasures on there. I also try to share (mostly) recipes that anyone can make - I don't like to share recipes that require special equipment, or skills that the average home cook wouldn't possess.
Is your blog your business, your hobby or something in between?
While it's led to to some wonderful opportunities, it's definitely a hobby at the moment.
What post on your blog most encapsulates you and why?
This is definitely the hardest question. I'm not sure any one post encapsulates me, but I'm going to say that the closest fit would be my Salmon Noodle Casserole. It's me because it's a variation of a recipe that I've been eating for as long as I can remember. Plus it captures the dietitian side of me because I've modified the original version of the recipe (from my Mom) to make it a little more health concious.
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
Any of my cocktail recipes, including my Blood Orange Margarita. The recipe development process and photography for these ones are so much fun, but they don't do particulary well in terms of popularity for whatever reason.
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
Homemade Hamburger Buns. This is consistently one of the most popular posts on my blog. I dislike the photos (though I'm kind of afraid to change them at this point), and I don't think it's a particularly special recipe. It's just bread, you know?
What’s your biggest challenge as a blogger?
There are so many challenges, from lack of time, to lack of motivation to keep going. However, what I find consistently the most challenging, is keeping on top of new information on the technical side. Things like SEO and social media algorithms are constantly changing, and just when I feel like I know what's going on, I need to start doing things differently (again)!
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned as a blogger?
That simply writing good recipes is not enough. I realized this after writing only a few posts with horrible photography. I learned quickly that I needed to up my photography game if I wanted people to read my blog, and am very proud at how far I've come. I later learned how important social media is at getting your content out there, and of course, photography is a big piece of the social media game too.
Share a couple of your favourite food blogs to read. Why do you like them?
Pinch of Yum - I find Lindsay's writing style, and the fact that she shares a lot of her personal life very engaging. Her recipes are also simple, usually on the healthy side, and delicious.
Things I Made Today - Vicky is a local (Wisconsin) blogger that focuses on local, seasonal ingredients. I love her recipes - they feature unique combinations of ingredients that usually makes me ask "how did she come up with that?", but of course they end up tasting delicious.
The Woks of Life - My family and I love Chinese food. My husband spends some time in China for work, and he often comes back describing the delicious food he's eaten there. When I try to recreate these foods at home, I often find myself turning to The Woks of Life for the recipes - they're easy to follow, provide complete descriptions of unusual ingredients and ideas of where to find them and feature beautiful photography.
Favourite food - care to share a recipe or a restaurant destination?
This is a hard question, because my favorite food can vary drastically depending on when you ask. However, when I think of the food that I will always go out of my way to try no matter where I'm travelling, it is probably Sushi. This is probably one of the reasons that Vancouver is my favorite food destination, and my favorite city in general.
What are you working on next for your blog?
I have no plans for any major changes coming up - just more delicious recipes! I love to showcase seasonal fruits and vegetables through the summer, as well as more vegan and vegetarian meals.
What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?
I love books! Real, actual paper books - no e-readers for this girl! To make my habit wallet friendly, I frequent my local library often. Once or twice a week, I make a trip there, usually emerging with a large bag of books, always including at least one cookbook. I am so proud that my daughter is following in my footsteps with a love of reading.
What makes your blog unique?
I realize that I am not the only dietitian blogger in town, but I think my Nutrition Notes that I include with each recipe is unique. I give ideas on how to modify recipes to alter their nutritional content or make them work with a special diet, as well as what to pair with a certain recipe to make a healthy meal.
What part of the FBC site do you find most useful?
I have found many of the Blogging Resources very helpful for technical things like photography, and keeping current with SEO and social media. For fun, I always read the Featured Canadian Bloggers and have become regular followers of several great blogs because of this great feature. I also love to read Canada's Craft Beer articles as they keep me in the loop about what's going on with craft beer in Canada.
Connect With Carissa and Domestic Dreamboat on Social Media