Each week we profile a different Canadian Food Blogger who is part of the FBC community. This week meet Randa Derkson, the BC food blogger behind The Bewitchin' Kitchen.
Name: Randa Derkson
Blog name: The Bewitchin’ Kitchen
Where were you born? Smithers, BC
Where are you living now? Prince George, BC
Why did you start your blog?
I started back in 2009 while I was home, pregnant, and bored. A friend had a blog, so I thought why not? I used it more so as a recipe share site between my friends and I. I never thought it would be anything more than that (I didn’t even know it could).
How did you decide on your blog name?
I originally wanted Bitchin’ Kitchen but after a quick Google search, I saw that it was taken (and was a Food Network show), since I had kitchen in mind I did what I could do make it work. I thought The Bewitchin’ Kitchen was memorable and I’m glad I took it!
What do you blog about?
Well, the obvious is food. However, I also like to share all my passions and those include health and travel as well. I used to try to do it all, but found that only hurt my blog. After stopping and actually LISTENING to what my readers want and what I prefer: I’m sticking with healthier recipes (with a few treats because, life), travel, and health. 8 years later, and I feel that I finally figured it out. We’ll see what happens in the next 8 😉
Is your blog your business, your hobby or something in between?
Blogging is my full time business.
What post on your blog most encapsulates you and why?
As a person, I’m sarcastic, pretty easy going, and I don’t take myself too seriously (in a professional sense). I do my best to show that in my writing, I like to have a conversation in my blog posts and I feel that this post has that all rolled in: One Pot Perogie Bake.
Which post do you wish received more love and why?
My fajita pasta salad! It’s so good. It was one of those recipes that I was so excited for when I tried my first bite. I knew it would be a hit…but it wasn’t. The recipe is delicious, so much in fact that my sister snuck over massive to go containers and raided my fridge and took it home to feed her and her roommates.
Which post’s success surprised you and why?
The One Pot Perogie Bake surprised me. It wasn’t my usual style of recipe (it’s the opposite of waist friendly), and I wasn’t overly thrilled with the photos. Yet, it has driven the traffic.
What’s your biggest challenge as a blogger?
My biggest challenge is being nice to myself. I find that I’m constantly pushing myself too hard and not being happy with my end image (when it fact, a year or two ago - I would have been over the moon with the result). I am learning to stay present with my work and celebrating success instead of it never being good enough and comparing myself to highly successful bloggers.
What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned as a blogger?
Photography brings in the readers, or at least it does for my site. I work hard on my images to bring in the reader from Pinterest. It’s my first impression, so I want it to be a good one. I then follow up with quality content to serve the readers and hopefully by then they find it helpful where they stick around.
That and community is incredibly helpful. Be nice, not everyone knows what you think they do. We are all learning, whether or not we’re at the same stage in education. This isn’t a competition, so let’s build each other (and our businesses up)!
What has been your biggest success as a blogger so far?
I have been able to do some pretty cool things in the past few years, but 2017 has been my favorite. I was able to contribute some incredible vacations to my family’s year, thanks to my hard work. This is a big deal to me. Before the last three years, I have never been able to be financially independent, and now I am from something I have built from nothing. I’m so thankful, and am passing it forward with Click Start Club. Earning it for myself feels awesome, but showing others how to do the same, oh it’s indescribable.
Share a couple of your favourite food blogs to read. Why do you like them?
I’m drawn to Wholefully from the moment I hop on her site. She has delicious recipes and her blog is aesthetically beautiful.
Pinch of Yum because I love the photography and the food is right up my alley.
The Movement Menu Monica is a friend of mine and OMG - her recipes are so yummy! Try her drunken zoodles.
The funny thing is that as a blogger, I don’t go and browse blog often. I do, however, search on Pinterest and then get sucked down the rabbit hole from there haha. It’s always a fun way to discover new people!
Favourite food - care to share a recipe or a restaurant destination?
We eat so much chili in my house, it’s insane. Always a different version, dependant on what’s left over in the fridge but this recipe is delish: Whole 30 Chicken Chili.
I’ve been really into easy (and spicy) stir fries lately with pickles (I know, it’s weird) but sadly, due to my pregnancy, I can’t have spice as it gives me terrible acid reflux. It’s my big pregnant foodie problem right now.
My favourite thing to eat is the Bibimbop from Earls, but our local Earls doesn’t have it anymore and it’s torture. If your local Earls does - order it (with extra pickled zucchini for me). Great, now I’m craving it.
What are you working on next for your blog?
I have plans for soups, I am a huge soup person and I feel that I don’t have enough soups available. I am looking for easier things so I can focus my attention on a side passion project, Lazy Girls Eat Healthy.
What else should we know about you that may or not be in your “About Me” page?
Oh that darn About page needs to be rewritten, it’s so bad haha. So, interesting things about me hmmmm…I’m a huge Disney fan, but if you follow my @RandaDerkson IG account, you probably already know that. I have enrolled in the Culinary Nutrition Program and I’m super excited about starting that in the fall. I enrolled after doing almost the two years at CSNN and then quitting right before the exam, I regret doing that and found that this program better fit my needs. It seems like a great fit!
Oh! I’m expecting a little girl in June.
What makes your blog unique?
I’m going to go ahead and say me. I don’t take it seriously. Don’t get me wrong, TBK is my baby and I treat my professional relationships seriously but I don’t overthink my content. My writing style is conversational, there will be grammar errors (even with my Grammarly Plugin). I don’t want readers to come to TBK and be overwhelmed! I want them to see that cooking at home is fun and just an everyday part of life, not a chore.
What part of the FBC site do you find most useful?
The food styling resource is a great one, and one I need to pay more attention to (I don’t really do much styling and I need to). I also like the newsletters. I save them and open them when I can to see what’s new and check out the FBC buzz.
Follow Randa and Bewitchin' Kitchen on Social Media