Each month we profile a different Canadian Food Blogger who is part of the FBC community. This month we meet Andrea, a professionally trained Chef and Pastry Chef that has been working in the food industry for over 25 years.
Name: Andrea Mut
Blog name: My Pocket Kitchen
Where were you born? Port Perry Ontario
Where are you living now? Napanee, Ontario
Why did you start your blog?
The idea to start a blog came from a transformational time in my life when I sold by bustling bakery in Toronto. I was looking to do something that would afford me the freedom to work from home, while embracing my passion for cooking, recipe development, and photography. The blog provided the perfect place for me to channel my creativity and expertise.
How did you decide on your blog name?
My Pocket Kitchen was a perfect fit because I lived in Toronto's neighborhood known as "The Pocket," and my kitchen was incredibly small. I wanted to show readers that you can cook delicious food without a big, luxurious kitchen. My recipes are like handy back-pocket secrets for tasty meals, and that's how it all came together!
What do you blog about?
I specialize in creating healthy recipes with restaurant-quality flavor, using easy-to-find ingredients that are quick to prepare. Whether it's a regular weeknight or a special occasion, my dishes impress without spending hours in the kitchen—even the kids love them!
Is your blog your business, your hobby or something in between?
It is my part-time business. I have never considered cooking or baking as a hobby. I have spent most of my life working in kitchens so it’s always been a job for me. However, photography has been a bit of a hobby for me so it’s fun learning about food photography and incorporating that into my business.
What post on your blog most encapsulates you and why?
Choosing just one post from my blog that truly encapsulates me is challenging but if I have to pick it would be my Tex Mex Chicken Bake. I love a good one-pan meal that’s both effortless and tasty. It works equally well for a weeknight with the family as it does for entertaining guests.
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
One of my favorite dishes, and probably the one I've made the most, is the recipe for a traditional Tortilla de Patatas (Spanish Omelette). I love how a dish with just 5 ingredients (including salt) can be incredibly delicious and intricate. Recently, I updated the post, so I'm eager for it to reach a wider audience and share the joy of this family favourite.
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
It all comes down to how you define “success”. On social media my recipe for Loaded Cauliflower Bake received a big reaction and everyone went crazy for it! It surprised me because it's such a straightforward recipe, and despite my love for cauliflower, I thought maybe people are tired of it. But this post's popularity proved that simplicity is what people want and that recipe hit the spot.
What’s your biggest challenge as a blogger?
While I've encountered various challenges along the way, the most significant one has been juggling all the moving parts of running a food blog independently. Many people don't realize the multitude of tasks involved beyond just creating recipes and having fun in the kitchen, which only accounts for about 5% of the workload. It's easy to get overwhelmed and experience burnout. Learning how to manage it all has been the most daunting aspect of being a food blogger.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned as a blogger?
My biggest lesson, that ties into my previous answer, is the importance of taking breaks and stepping back from my blog intentionally. These breaks allow me to return refreshed, ready to be creative, and tackle any technical issues at hand. Without breaks, my inspiration tanks and my heart just isn’t in it. In the world of blogging, where tasks seem never-ending, it's crucial to recognize the value of stepping away to maintain a fresh perspective and prevent burnout.
What has been your biggest success as a blogger so far?
My biggest success as a blogger so far has been my growth in technical knowledge and SEO. When I started, I had zero experience in website building, SEO, or keyword research. As someone who has spent most her life working in kitchens, delving into the technical aspects was a significant learning curve, but I took on the challenge and actually started “geeking” out on it. I'm immensely proud of my progress and the fact that I've come this far all on my own. The learning journey continues, especially in the area of SEO, and I'm excited about the possibilities that lie ahead!
Share a couple of your favourite food blogs to read. Why do you like them?
I follow a lot of food bloggers for inspiration so it’s hard to name just a couple but here are the first 2 that come to mind:
Simply Suwanee - I absolutely love Thai food and Suwanee’s blog is not only beautiful to look at it’s very informative and has so many of my favourite dishes. I am inspired by her beautiful photography and tasty dishes.
Plant You - because I’m always looking for plant based meal inspo. I’m a meat eater so those choices don’t come to me easily but I’m trying to incorporate more plant based protein in my diet.
What are you working on next for your blog?
Right now I am focused on improving my SEO by updating older content. I had an SEO audit in May and since then have been focused on going through all my recipes and doing updates. I’m also preparing myself to take on the challenge of writing a cookbook. I have had many requests from my readers and although the idea is overwhelming I’m starting to waram up to the idea. Stay tuned…
What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?
In 2009 my husband and I packed all our belongings into storage and took our 2 boys (then 9 and 11 years old) to Argentina for 6 months. We rented an apartment in Mendoza and used that as our home base to travel around Argentina, Chile, and Peru. It was a trip of a lifetime and created lasting memories for the whole family. Many people thought we were crazy but it turned out to be an invaluable experience for everyone.
What makes your blog unique?
I have worked in kitchens my entire life so I bring a lot of practical experience to the table. I take pride in offering recipes that deliver restaurant-quality flavors and techniques without demanding hours of effort. This is what I believe my readers keep coming back for.
How do you cultivate a sense of community around your blog?
I love engaging with my readers and audience on social media. I respond to emails and DMs as quickly as possible and am open to answering any questions or helping troubleshoot recipes, even when they aren’t my own. I’m considering starting a Facebook Group but it’s on the back burner for now. I’m uncertain how much interest there is in Facebook Groups these days.
What part of the FBC site do you find most useful?
The Blogging Resources section has been very helpful for me. I also like these Featured Blogger segments. It’s great to get to know about other Canadian bloggers out there.
Follow Andrea and My Pocket Kitchen on Social Media