Name: Korena Vine
Blog Name: Korena in the Kitchen
Where were you born? Victoria, BC.
Where are you living now? I grew up on Salt Spring Island, BC, and now live in Shawnigan Lake, BC.
Why did you start your blog?
When I was a kid, I would sit on the kitchen floor and read The Canadian Living Cookbook cover to cover, and I actually considered becoming a food writer when I started university (so I could work for Canadian Living!). I’ve always loved to cook and bake, and when I discovered food blogs (Smitten Kitchen, The Pioneer Woman, Chocolate & Zucchini, and Steamy Kitchen at first), I was totally hooked. Then I came across the Daring Bakers, which is an online baking group that tackles a different recipe or technique “challenge” each month and the members share their results on their blogs. I desperately wanted to join because the challenges were all things that I wanted to make and it was a way to connect with like-minded people, so I started a blog and about a month later, joined the Daring Bakers group.
How did you decide on your blog name?
I’m almost always in the kitchen. Also, alliteration!
What do you blog about?
Recipes, with the occasional restaurant review. At first I blogged about pretty much anything I made, but since then it has evolved into more elaborate recipes, “projects”, or techniques with step-by-step photos and instructions. Baking is my passion, so there are lots of cakes, pastries, and bread – oh, and tea parties.
What post are you most proud of and why?
My sourdough danish pastry post. It was an epic undertaking to make danish pastries in the first place, let alone with sourdough starter. I did a really detailed photo tutorial on how to fold the different danish shapes, and the photos ended up on Tumblr and Imgur and got a TON of attention, which was mind boggling (the day it was posted, my daily page views went from about 200 to over 12,000!) but a little frustrating too (no one asked to use my photos). It was pretty crazy, but also kind of validating because I’d worked so hard on that post!
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
My post on sourdough tortelli piacentini, which is an elaborately shaped stuffed pasta. It took a lot of research to figure out how to make it, but I guess it’s obscure enough that not many people are Googling for it. Too bad, because I think it’s probably the prettiest pasta ever!
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
My post about cream cheese Swiss meringue buttercream frosting, which unfortunately ended up being a total disaster of a recipe. I made it to frost a friend’s wedding cake and posted about it before actually putting it on the cake (rookie mistake), whereupon I discovered that it was more like curdled cream cheese soup than frosting! Oddly enough though, that post generated a ton of hits – I guess there was a dearth of cream cheese Swiss meringue buttercream recipes on the internet – and I always felt badly because it the recipe was such a dud (I even updated the post with a warning at the top!). Happily, I have since discovered how to make non-soupy cream cheese Swiss meringue buttercream frosting, and now the updated recipe gets all the traffic.
What is one (non-kitchen) gadget you can’t live without?
My laptop – I wish I could live without it! I waste way too much time staring at its screen.
What is one kitchen gadget you can’t live without?
The dishwasher! (And no, I don’t mean my partner, but I wouldn’t want to live without him, either.) My KitchenAid mixer is a close second – I bake so much that I have literally given myself tennis elbow (baker’s elbow?!) from too much hand mixing!
Favourite food, care to share a recipe?
Vanilla ice cream with homemade chocolate sauce. My dad taught me how to make chocolate sauce out of chocolate chips, a little butter, and a splash of milk, and to me there is nothing better than the combination of cold, creamy vanilla ice cream topped with warm, dark, bittersweet chocolate sauce. Chocolate and vanilla are a classic pairing for a very good reason.
What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?
I’m 5’ 7”. I drive a purple 1997 Acura Integra. I’m an only child. I only recently (like, a month ago) learned about manual focus on my camera. Over the past year or so I’ve been working on an ad-hoc basis with SeaChange Seafoods, a company based on Salt Spring Island, BC, as a recipe developer, guest blogger, and food stylist. I used to tap dance and do ballet. I try to garden but I’m not very good at it (this year I haven’t even been able to grow lettuce successfully!).
What makes your blog unique?
I guess my step-by-step tutorial approach makes my blog unique. I like challenging myself and making seemingly complicated things, but I also like breaking them down to show that they’re not actually so complicated. Honestly, my focus isn’t on being unique or creating “niche” content – I blog about what I am inspired to make, and there seems to be an audience that likes to read what I share, thank goodness!
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