By Kim Jansen
News Report Staff
A passion for cooking, mixed with a dab of social media savviness, a splash of creativity and a huge heaping of personal drive has led to an Effingham woman’s success on YouTube, Facebook and Instagram.
Samantha Casselman has always enjoyed cooking and loves to watch cooking shows and videos. But it wasn’t until she moved to Effingham from India that she really became acquainted with her kitchen.
In 2011, Samantha moved to Effingham after marrying her husband, Eric Casselman, but because she did not have her Green Card, she wasn’t able to work.
“I was waiting on my Green Card, and I needed to pass my time while I was at home,” said Samantha. “I always enjoyed watching people’s cooking videos, and I wondered if I could cook something that would interest people.”
The answer was “yes” because Samantha now has her own YouTube channel, Facebook page and Instagram page with dedicated followers who tune in regularly to see what is happening in Baby Goose’s Kitchen.
Samantha has posted over 100 YouTube videos, including her most popular video for Stir Fry Vegetables that has received over 115,000 views.
The name Baby Goose’s Kitchen came from the pet name “Goose” that Eric gave her, which came after Samantha started calling him “Duck.” Samantha felt like it was the perfect name for her venture.
“It is very catchy, and I think people remember catchy stuff because Baby Goose is easy to remember,” she said.
Although Samantha had very little cooking experience when she came to America, she has quickly become the “Queen of Spices,” as she experiments and creates unique dishes.
“When I was in India, I would cook now and then, but not always like I do now,” said Samantha.
Samantha has been happy with the success of her dishes and the response she receives on social media, but she said the one opinion that matters most is that of her husband.
“We have a fun ranking system. She always asks me what it rates,” said Eric, who rates each dish on a 1 to 10 scale. “I really enjoy almost everything, but my favorite is her pot roast.”
Samantha said it must be “husband approved” before she will even consider posting it online.
“It has to be Eric approved to go on the website,” laughed Samantha. “I am my biggest critic, while Eric is my biggest supporter.”
Eric said that if a dish does score lower than a 10, he offers suggestions to improve it.
Samantha has always been a one-man production team when it comes to everything from cooking the dishes, to video recording the process, to editing the final product, to promoting it online.
“When I do YouTube, it is a one-man show because I do everything,” said Samantha.
However, she has made some changes in the past few years to the equipment she uses to make the jobs a little bit easier.
When she first began video recording for YouTube, she would record on her camera phone. She now has a camera with a tripod and has been pleased with the quality of her videos.
Her new camera also allows her to take photos of the final dishes, which she then uses to promote her recipes.
As far as her cooking style, Samantha said the Indian culture does influence her dishes. But she also finds inspiration in other parts of the world, so her dishes also included Asian, American and Italian influences.
Although she really likes Facebook and Instagram, she said YouTube is still the outlet she prefers.
“YouTube will always be my first love because that is what got me started,” she said, adding she has even had success in her videos that has allowed her to earn a paycheck from the company.
Eric keeps up with Samantha’s videos and is constantly surprised by his wife’s talents.
“When the Stir Fry recipe got so many views, I was really surprised,” said Eric.
Samantha plans to continue to create new recipes and share them through social media.
“It is very challenging,” said Samantha. “When I actually got paid by YouTube, it was a huge success because I had only did it for a hobby. It motivates me to continue with this challenge.”
Although she does enjoy the success of her videos, she said the best reward is that Eric enjoys her cooking.
“My true happiness is when Eric comes home and enjoys my food,” she said.
To find Samantha’s videos on YouTube, search the username samanthacastellinocasselman or Baby Goose’s Kitchen.
Other social media sites include Instagram, where she can be found with the username @samanthacastellinocasselman or #babygooseskitchen, and Facebook with the page name Baby Goose’s Kitchen.