Each week we profile a different Canadian Food Blogger who is part of the FBC community. This week meet Ilona, the Ontario food blogger who originates from Poland and who loves creating party printables and developing party menus and recipes at Ilona's Passion.
Blog name: Ilona's Passion
Where were you born? Poland
Where are you living now? Ontario
Why did you start your blog?
Before I had my blog I designed invitations in my Etsy shop. To write more about my designs I decided to create a blog. My first blog was on blogger and consisted of simple party recipes and printables. After a while I basically loved blogging and decided to make my blog more professional with more recipes. I made the leap and I moved to WordPress. I learned a lot about how to blog and I also improved my photography. I posted many more recipes and I kept going.
How did you decide on your blog name?
My blog name came basically just as a surprise, while I named my Etsy Shop: Ilona Paper Passion. My first blog was named the same, when I moved to WordPress I wanted to keep it simple but unique. I just got rid of Paper and I left Ilona's Passion. Cooking and paper are my passion so I think it is the best name to keep. Many times I had my doubts and wanted to rebrand. I brainstormed new names and nothing was perfect so I just gave up and left it how it is. I am happy and I think the name suits me perfectly.
What do you blog about?
I blog about sweet and savory party recipes that are mainly made from scratch. While I have many everyday food recipes recently I try to focus more on party bites and desserts. I also post party printables that I design, party menu ideas, gift ideas and my travel adventures.
Is your blog your business, your hobby or something in between?
While my blog is my hobby I am happy it brings me some income once in a while. However, I would be thrilled if it becomes my full-time business.
What post on your blog most encapsulates you and why?
It will be probably Meringue Apple Crumble Bars. I make these bars often at home and this is the recipe that reminds me about polish desserts.
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
Basil and Cheddar Potato Stacks. It is a very nice recipe and perfect for parties. Did I mention that involves potatoes which I love? Many of our polish recipes are based on potatoes and they've been with me all my life.
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
Matcha Cupcakes with Green Tea Cream Cheese Frosting. When I was posting this recipe I was not sure that matcha cupcakes would be popular. It surprised me right away and I was happy that I created something my readers love.
What’s your biggest challenge as a blogger?
I am a very organized person but I simply fall behind on new blogging trends lately, including Instant Pot, making videos etc. Sometimes, it is challenging to keep up with all the changes. The other challenge for me is to keep up with all the social media channels.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned as a blogger?
I came quickly to the realization that blogging is not only cooking and writing. It involves more work than you can imagine from coding your website to accounting, marketing, social media, photography etc. By looking at all the years I've been blogging I can say I've learned so much in different fields.
What has been your biggest success as a blogger so far?
My photography skills. I learned a lot and deep inside I am proud of many of my food photos. I try to have my own style by shooting bright and simple food photos with soft accents.
Share a couple of your favourite food blogs to read. Why do you like them?
One of my favorite blog is a Polish blog: www.mojewypieki.com. It's a blog that I've read for a long time now. It's a dessert focused blog where I can find many polish recipes. I make them often in my kitchen.
Favourite food - care to share a recipe or a restaurant destination?
Traditional mashed potatoes with meatballs and beets. It is one of my favorite polish dishes that I make at home all the time. I even tell my children once they grow up and they will visit me on Sunday for dinner with their families this is the dinner that will be served 🙂 I don't have the recipe for meatballs but I have a recipe for Lemony Beets on my blog:
What are you working on next for your blog?
I would love to improve my old posts and bring them to life by adding new photos. Also, I would like to focus more on party planning by providing more recipes in one post similar to my Mexican Buffet Menu Ideas. It is basically the whole party set up with all recipes in one post. Finally, I would like to incorporate more party designs and printables with my recipes.
What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?
I am not sure if I should call myself a picky eater but there are certain types of foods that I will not eat including everything from the sea except fish. That's why you don't see any shrimp or crab recipes on my blog. I love fish but there's nothing else from the sea I will eat. The same with meat, I won't eat many types or parts of meat.
What makes your blog unique?
Firstly, growing up in Poland, living in the USA and Canada gave me the opportunity to explore different cuisines. That's why my blog is reflection of all my food adventures. I can say a little bit of everything. Secondly, I tend to make not so sweet desserts. Just enough sugar is enough.
What part of the FBC site do you find most useful?
The Blogging Resources section was the most useful for me once I've become part of FBC. I've learned so much from this section.
Follow Ilona and Ilona's Passion on Social Media