​For the Love of Baking and Instagram

Kasey Schumacher

kasey schumacher—for the love of baking & instagram—july 2020

It wasn't too long ago that I shared a Frankly Green Bay column about the increase in banana bread baking during safer-at-home orders. I snapped a picture of my own banana bread creation and included it in my column. While I've always loved baking and cooking, I've never been the type to take pictures of my food. I enjoy following other chefs and at-home bakers on social media channels, but never considered myself particularly worthy of sharing my recipes or creations.

However, around the same time I shared my banana bread column, I had a conversation with two of my best friends about our various hobbies. We were discussing and even laughing about the hobbies we had tried or taken up during the pandemic. We each found new ways to entertain ourselves, from building our own ballet barres, to latch hook crafts, and uncovering the sheer entertainment of Tik Tok videos. I, personally, was baking and cooking even more than usual.

Within our conversation, my friends inspired me to consider making a specific Instagram account dedicated to my hobby. I have noticed a surge in “hobby” Instagram accounts—profiles specifically designed and centered on a particular topic or hobby. From Shakespeare to elementary school teaching, Disney character-inspired fashion, and DIY crafts, I know people who have taken their passions and showcased them on Instagram. With a hobby Instagram profile, the user's shared content is centered around a specific and intentional topic.

I decided why not? Why not combine my love of baking and cooking with my love of social media? Within a few days of our chat, I created a new Instagram profile called @kasey_in_the_kitchen. It allows followers to step inside my kitchen and see what I'm whipping up. Sometimes I share recipes, sometimes I share kitchen gadgets/accessories, and sometimes I share tips and tricks.

So why not just post my pictures on my regular Instagram account? Was it really necessary to create an entirely new account? To put it simply, my personal Instagram profile is a hodgepodge of content. I share pictures of my son, LMBF performance shots, throwback pictures, etc. Creating a new account allowed me to have a dedicated goal and specific intention when sharing content. I've been managing multiple social media accounts for years, so adding another account wasn't that tedious or complicated for me.

I have enjoyed what has come from the creation of my “Kasey's Kitchen” account. I feel more connected to a worldwide community of bakers and chefs. I've quickly learned how to take better photos of my desserts and food, too. I have discovered new recipes, cookbooks, baking tips, and even made some new (virtual) friends!

For example, I discovered another baker (@handletheheat, a Phoenix-based social media influencer with hundreds of thousands of followers!) who offers a monthly baking challenge. I decided to try her June challenge, which consisted of making all-from-scratch strawberry cheesecake. I had a blast trying something new and sharing my final product. When I shared my picture, I tagged @handletheheat in the photo and mentioned the challenge in my caption. The woman behind @handletheheat actually commented on my cheesecake picture and shared it herself! I felt like I'd interacted with and had been recognized by a baking social media celebrity! It was such a fun process, and I am looking forward to future baking challenges.

Do I think I'm going to become some famous Instagram influencer baker? No. Am I doing this for fun? Yes. Is there any pressure surrounding this account? No. Developing and continuing my @kasey_in_the_kitchen account is all in the name of fun and enjoyment.

I am excited to see where my hobby Instagram account goes in the future. Maybe I'll focus just on desserts. Perhaps I'll transition to sharing original recipes. Maybe it'll become more oriented toward baking and cooking challenges I've discovered. In the meantime, though, I'm having a blast sharing mouthwatering photos of my super-secret chocolate chip cookies!

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