Name: Betty Binon
Blog name: Stems & Forks
Where were you born? South Korea
Where are you living now? Toronto
Why did you start your blog?
My blog was born out of burnout and a need to embrace a new outlook on life. I ran a successful floral design business for over 20 years that commanded every ounce of my energy and attention. After some intense soul-searching, I decided to create this blog to share all the loves of my life: confections and pastries, florals, photography and of course my family. Stems & Forks is all about taking the ordinary and creating a sense of occasion.
How did you decide on your blog name?
“Stems” represents my passion for flowers and “forks” represents my love of food (delectable pastries and confections in particular).
What do you blog about?
I usually write about experiences relating to the recipe I post. It can be a simple family story to a fiery political statement or a humorous anecdote. Whatever I feel like writing really. Which is the beauty of being a blogger I feel.
Is your blog your business, your hobby or something in between?
My blog started off as a hobby but is quickly evolving to more than just an after work activity.
What post on your blog most encapsulates you and why?
Definitely my first blog post. I really went in-depth about the journey that led me to starting Stems & Forks. It was very personal and I shared a lot about what terrifies me but also what inspires me as well. It was tough to be that vulnerable on a public platform but surprisingly really liberating too at the same time.
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
Eclair with black lavender crime patisserie. I have to admit I was a little disappointed that not as many people as I had hoped, tried the éclair recipe. I think home-bakers may be intimidated to attempt pastries that look “fancy” or complicated, but it’s actually a lot simpler to make eclairs than one would think.
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
Chocolate Mascarpone cake . This one really surprised me because it’s such a classic and it made me realize that people really like to stay within their comfort zones. I guess it’s like my favourite pair of flats. No matter how many new, sexy shoes I get, nothing beats the feeling of slipping into those faithful old flats.
What’s your biggest challenge as a blogger?
I think there’s a general misconception out there that blogging is a very spontaneous and easy to do. It actually takes a lot of planning and thought. The biggest challenge is carving out regular chunks of time on a daily basis.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned as a blogger?
To always publish your best work and not post just for the sake of posting. Anything posted online is evergreen and I constantly remind myself of that.
Share a couple of your favourite food blogs to read. Why do you like them?
Bakers Royale I find I’ll bake something from a celebrity instagrammer and the result is mediocre or at times just plain awful. With Bakers Royale, I find every one of Naomi’s recipes is a hit.
Salt And Such Maria’s blogs are so cool. Her tone is always relaxed and her photos are dymaite. And her recipes are always spot on.
Call Me Cupcake Linda Lomelino…Gorgeous photography, yummy baked goods. What could be more wonderful?
Mimi Thorisson Manger. Makes me dream about living in a castle in Médoc France…maybe one day!
Coniferes et Feuillus Annika's blogs for me represent the quintessential Canadian experience. I find her writing beautiful and her stories relatable. "
Favourite food - care to share a recipe or a restaurant destination?
This is easy. I would eat a slice or two of pie or a wonderful hunk of panetone over any savoury dish any day!
What are you working on next for your blog?
I’m really excited for the next one: I’ll be blogging about an epic gathering with some of my favourite food bloggers/stylists from around the world. We’ll be cooking and baking up a storm in my house...stay posted for the blog!
What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?
I’m often told that my posts are really refined and polished but that definitely does not mirror “real life.” Sometimes the perfectly iced cake in the picture is missing its entire backside because my toddler decided to stick his fist in it just as I set it down to photograph.
As well, people always ask the same question. Who eats all these baked goods? Well me of course!
What makes your blog unique?
I think it’s unique because it is the culmination of so many different passions in my life. It’s not just all about food or just flowers. The recipes are an extension of myself and my family. You can definitely get a sense of the amalgamation of my Asian heritage (and growing up in Canada) and my European husband being a relative newcomer to the country. The blog takes the reader on a journey of not just culinary but cultural experiences.
What part of the FBC site do you find most useful?
The blogger resources tips are great and very useful. I remember when I first started blogging, the FBC resource tips were a great starting point.
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