Blogger Spotlight Update: Simple. Tasty. Good.

If you were to describe your own home cooking, those are the words you'd hope your diners would use. To steal some of June's secrets for simple, tasty, good food, read up on her favorite recipes!
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Created from scratch in the SideChef Kitchen, where recipe inspiration and ingredient experimentation are a way of life.

Meet June!

June is the blogger behind Simple. Tasty. Good. She started her food blog to bundle all her favorite home recipes for herself and to give her family and friends a way to try out the meals that she prepared at home and for them.

We interviewed her to get some insight into the woman behind the recipes that are, in three words, simple, tasty, and good.

What do you do now? What is your passion? What projects are you working on?

A lot has changed since my first interview for this Blogger’s Spotlight a couple of years ago! I still love food blogging, cooking and photography. The last 2 years have been a whirlwind. My website is doing very well. I am earning a nice amount of money with ads now.

I also started writing paid food related articles for a popular Belgian culinary magazine. But the biggest change for me was when I reactivated my Instagram account. I put a lot of time and effort in it. Now I have over 14K followers. Which also attracts attention from businesses and brands.

And being featured in a magazine as one of Belgium's most influential food bloggers also helps. In a matter of months I started to get invitations for food events, openings of new restaurants and bars in town, workshops.

Getting paid to show up, shake a few hands (post corona obviously), take some pictures, eat and drink for free and just mention it in my Instagram stories. Lots of free products and cookbooks also ended up on my doorstep. I was meeting a bunch of other influencers as well and I loved it.

Unfortunately, all that has stopped now since the virus lockdown. And I wonder what will be left of all this after the dust settles. But I stay positive. I put plenty of time in fine tuning my recipes and website, and growing my followers on social media. Not only my Instagram but my Twitter and Pinterest account are booming as well. Since the lockdown it shows that people have started cooking and baking at home even more. My visitors stats have doubled. After all we still need to eat, and food companies will keep selling products. Things will be different in the long run for me as an influencer and blogger but I also see opportunities.

What was your favorite childhood meal?

I grew up in a pescetarian family before meatless dinner options became mainstream in supermarkets. Meals consisted of potatoes, soybeans, vegetables, rice, fish, eggs, nut roasts, seitan, or tempeh. However, when I was a child, I frequently wondered how the forbidden foods would taste. Therefore, my favorite childhood meal is the split pea soup that my granny used to make, complete with a thick slab of smoky pork belly. I would devour every bit of the pork, skin and all, like there was no tomorrow! I still prepare that soup at home.

What's in your bag and what are your kitchen essentials?

Bag:

-Laptop when I’m traveling
-iPhone
-Sunglasses + sunscreen
-Water
-Spare set of contacts
-Mints
-Earplugs
-Lots of pens

Kitchen essentials:
-A chef’s jacket
-My precious Global chef’s knife
-My pink KitchenAid stand mixer!

Always present in my pantry:
-Miso paste
-Garlic
-Ginger
-Wine
-Pasta
-Eggs
-Bacon

What is the best or weirdest thing you've ever eaten in your travels?

A Cambodian delicacy!

Weirdest: Fried Tarantulas and Balut in Cambodia! OK, the Balut was a bit edgy. But I would definitely order the fried tarantulas again. They taste like fried pork. The waiter asked me if I wanted to choose my own tarantulas like you would choose a fish. Thanks, but no thanks.

What accomplishment are you most proud of?

First off, when people ask me what I do, I’m always proud to say that I’m a full-time food blogger. I feel so blessed to be able to get up in the morning and start cooking and experimenting all day.

My second achievement is moving to an island in the Atlantic Ocean! I’ve always dreamed of living abroad. That might sound a bit odd, but I was born in a country where people are so hooked to their hometown and prefer to stay there for as long as they live. Moving to another town, let alone another country, is an absolute no-go.

Describe your dream kitchen or dining room.

I go for design and minimalist...so my dream kitchen is an indoor and outdoor one!

My perfect day would be...

A swim and breakfast at the beach, buying fresh food at the farmer’s market, preparing dinner and spending my evening with best friends or family, food and wine.

I believe any problem can be solved with...

The perfect combo

Patience, bacon, and wine.

When I need liquid courage, I drink...

Bloody Mary’s!

My guilty pleasure is...

A mayo sandwich with Worcester sauce or a huge chunk of blue cheese.

I wish I had the superpower...

Creating days of 48 hours because there’s still so much I want to cook and eat and do and visit and see!

What are your favorite recipes on the app, why?

DAIRY-FREESHELLFISH-FREE
Soft Tuna Tacos
Simple. Tasty. Good.

I love anything tacos, chicken wings, or steaks! I’m a sucker for red meat (not bad for a pescatarian, hey).

SUMMERTREE NUT-FREE
Lime Chicken Tacos with Tomatillo Salsa
Chef'd

You don’t have to wait until “Taco Tuesday” to enjoy this delicious south of the border meal. Tender chicken nestled in a warm corn tortilla makes the base for the roasted green salsa, while cumin-spiced black beans and fresh corn create a simple, fresh and tasty side.

HEALTHYSUGAR-FREE
Stuffed Eggplant Parmesan
Live Eat Learn

Sweet and salty teriyaki sauce made with fresh ginger and garlic tossed in crispy baked chicken wings.

What is your advice to people who aspire to be in your field or do similar projects?

Just imagine turning your hobby into a full-time job! But it takes time, patience, and lots of effort to get there.

Stay active. Food blogging is not a nine to five. I work more now than when I had an office job. But I love being able to choose every day what and when and where and for how long.

Having a food blogger's off day? Stop what you are doing, go out for a good walk, meet a friend for a chat over a coffee, go for a swim, and once you’re home again, refocus. Works every single time for me! Put your heart into your passion every single day, and it will pay off--I guarantee you!

Created from scratch in the SideChef Kitchen, where recipe inspiration and ingredient experimentation are a way of life.
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