Lola is the writer and voice behind https://cheflolaskitchen.com/ on YouTube. She studied Geology and mineral science for her first degree but never worked with the certificate. She chose to follow her passion which is creating delicious recipes and teaching people how to do the same in the comfort of their homes. She shares with Favour Boluwade how she has managed her digitalised food business over the years.
What got you interested in food blogging?
The whole blogging idea came from my husband; when I moved to the United States a couple of years ago, my husband and I usually organised get togethers in our house every weekend where I cooked for everyone.
The rave was so much that my husband thought we should open a restaurant, but we knew the restaurant would not thrive because we lived in a very small town, amongst other reasons.
He then encouraged me to start a youTube channel to share the recipes I made. It took some time for me to get convinced, but I did it anyway, and it’s been one of the best decisions I’ve ever made. I share them on cheflolaskitchen on Instagram too.
This generation is gradually progressing to more business on social media, how have you made your presence effective on social media platform and YouTube especially?
I try to post recipes with my audience in mind. I prioritize visual content as often as possible because these are popular among the demographics I serve and all audiences in general.
Has social media really done enough marketing for you?
Yes, social media has helped to get the word out about what I do.
But even more important than the exposure, it has given me the opportunity to develop and grow a relationship with my audience. In that way, I’ve been able to learn from them, know their interests, and get feedback!
What challenges have you faced mainly, and how do you accomplish them?
As a blogger, you need to learn a lot. It’s not just about writing a food article. It takes me a lot of time to think about recipe ideas, shop for the ingredients, prepare the food, cook or bake them as the case may be, clean up after the whole process, set up the finished food, photograph them, then write the posts.
To make things a little easier, I’ve learnt to delegate. The truth is, I can’t do it alone so as not to burn out, so I hire people every now and then to assist with different aspects of the work.
Any advice for people who have ideas and haven’t worked on them?
Never limit your potential! Set your goals and attack them hard! Learn to be comfortable with who you are and what you are. In pursuing your goals, don’t try to be something you are not. Use your passions and creativity to share positive and encouraging messages. Put God in all.
How do you manage your family and business?
It’s hard! Yes, I just said that! Juggling kids with business is not a joke, but thanks to a super supportive spouse. We try to share the responsibilities as much as we can.
I have personally learned some things in the process to make family life a bit easier: I set work hours, and I try to stick to it. I work while everyone is sleeping – I learned to sacrifice a bit of sleep time so that I can be present for them and I take a break when I need to.
My family does not serve as a distraction to me; instead, they fuel me to do more. They are my number one critique, and my number one fan!
Tell us more about yourself
I’m Lola Osinkolu- the lucky wife to a man who is very supportive of what I do; he’s my number one fan. I’m a super busy mom to three adorable kids who keep me running even when I don’t want to, and, of course, I’m a foodie!
I am a self-taught baker, but I guess that runs in the blood because my late grandmother used to be a baker, and my aunt does the same for a living. I guess it runs in the blood!
When I’m less busy, I love to sing, sew, and go to the play park with my family. I’ve got a lot more to say, but I’ll stop here.
What recipe do you want to share today?
I will be sharing my super easy, but it’s bursting with flavour – made with shrimps, sweet pineapple chunks, rice, vegetables, soy sauce, and scrambled eggs. All stir-fried together to create this easy but tasty fried rice. It’s a complete meal in a bowl.
It comes together in less than 30 minutes if you use leftover white rice!
5 cups cooked rice
2 Tbsp Coconut oil
1/2 lb shrimp
1/2 cup green peas
1/2 cup red onions diced
1/2 cup bell peppers diced
2 scallions diced
1-1/2 cup pineapple cubed
1 Tbsp ginger minced
1 Tbsp garlic minced
2 Tbsp sriracha
1 tbsp soy sauce
salt and black pepper to taste
Preheat one tablespoon oil, add the eggs and fry by scrambling it throughout the pan. Once done after a minute or two, remove from heat and set aside.
Heat the remaining two tablespoons oil over high heat. Add the diced onion, ginger, and garlic and cook stirring until just fragrant, about 30 seconds.
Add the shrimps and cook on both sides till pink on the inside
Add the diced red bell peppers and green peas and stir fry for another two minutes
Stir in the rice, sriracha sauce, soy sauce, salt (optional), and black pepper until the rice is heated through.
Stir in the cubed pineapple, the scrambled eggs, and green onions.
Be sure to pat dry with a paper towel before cooking the shrimps
Fresh pineapple or canned pineapple can be used for this recipe. However, if you choose to use fresh pineapple, be sure to use the ripe ones with yellow skin. They are sweet and juicy!
I have used shrimps for this recipe but you can use chicken or beef or keep it vegetarian.
For best results use a day old rice. If you don’t have that, you can use freshly cooked rice but be sure to let the rice cool down completely before stir-frying it.
Use a non-stick pan that holds heat well and large enough to hold all ingredients comfortably.
I used basmati rice, which comes out with more well-separated grains when cooked, and there’s also a noticeable flavor and texture when you use basmati rice. However, since this is a very versatile recipe, any type of rice can also be used.