Finding a New Creative Path With Food with Sonja Overhiser

Have you ever considering finding a new creative path? Our guest has and it led her to create a successful business in food blogging, and also gave her the opportunity to realize a lifelong dream of becoming an author.

Finding a New Creative Path With Food with Sonja Overhiser
Photo credit: A Couple Cooks

Sonja Overhiser is the founder of A Couple Cooks and she has a new cookbook out called Pretty Simple Cooking. Despite having a cooking blog and a cookbook she wasn’t always into food and cooking! Growing up she had no interest in the kitchen, despite her mom’s efforts.

Instead, her creativity was expressed through music. Sonja is a classically trained musician who played the piano and the French horn; she was serious about both. She even went on to major in French horn performance in college, and she always saw food as a way to simply fuel up. She never saw food as a way to express creativity.

Halfway through her musical career, Sonja realized it wasn’t the right fit for her so she opted to pursue writing instead. After college, she got a job working as a technical writer and still looked at food the same way: it was fuel to get her through the day.

Since her creative spirit wasn’t completely fulfilled by her work, Sonja started a side hustle. She played with some ideas but it was through her day job that she found a new calling.

She started going out to Farm to Table restaurants, and after one particular meal, she called her husband to tell him the food had tasted like art. That was the first time she connected creativity and food.

Sonja began to eat more quality food, and spend more time with people who loved to cook. She and her husband, Alex, even thought it would be fun to have people over and cook for them. They began trying different recipes, and their friends enjoyed the food so much, Alex and Sonja dove in deeper: they rented DVDs and cookbooks from the library and started cooking a lot. A few years into their cooking experiences they turned their personal blog into a cooking/food blog.

Sonja tells us what happened next including their other influences, her lessons on cooking and her triumph over cancer. Listen in to hear her inspirational story and wisdom on today’s episode of The Portfolio Life.

Listen to the podcast

To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).

Show highlights

In this episode, Sonja shares:

  • Why she switched from a music degree to journalism?
  • How is writing a cookbook like technical writing?
  • What is the reason she and her husband are doing this?
  • What is different and unique about writing a cookbook versus a book?
  • What is liminal space?

You don’t have to have it all figured it out at once.

Sonja Overhiser

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Professional food blogging

  • How long did it take before they were making money in this market?
  • What are ways they make money from their blog in the beginning and now?
  • How do they determine which brands to work with?
  • Why did they create a vegetarian cookbook?
  • Why doesn’t she identify as a food blogger?

Trying and failing is one of the best ways to learn.

Sonja Overhiser

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On being a full-time writer

  • Did she ever dream of doing something like this as a career?
  • What is the most surprising part of this work for her?
  • Why does she think she wouldn’t have learned to cook without technology?
  • What is it like to put part of her personal life into the public eye?
  • How does she navigate what to share on social media?


Have you ever found a new creative path like Sonja did with food? Let us know in the comments.