The Big Decision:
Hello, my friend. It’s been a little while since we’ve chatted, or rather, you’ve read my musings and typed up a lovely comment in response, and I’ve squealed with joy. The truth is, I’ve been working through some major life decisions lately. I suppose I’m in my early (ish) twenties and that’s par for the course, but spending a weekend at a strange “wellness” exposition that was really more hokey pokey than scientific had me re-evaluating my life.
I don’t believe that a “medium” can manifest things for me by blowing into a microphone, but for some reason this experience gave legs to an ongoing reflection on where I’m at in life right now, and where I want to go.
Ask yourself this question: Do I feel like I’m living true to myself in all areas of my life? Continue reading Savoury Apple Crisp with Mozzarella and Gorgonzola + A Big Decision
Organization = relaxation
Right now, I’m sitting at my computer breathing more slowly and purposefully than I have in a while. I set my alarm a little earlier than usual this morning, and began crossing things off my to-do list as my day went on. This allowed for a kind of focus that I haven’t felt in a while. Throughout the past couple weeks, my brain has been all over the place and filled with existential questions like “What am I going to do with my life?” and, “Why am I always running out of socks?”
You understand. Continue reading Best Brownies Ever
Vulnerability in Sharing:
A couple weeks ago, I wrote about the dichotomy between invincibility and vulnerability as a young adult. In that post I focused on my experiences while travelling, but vulnerability is an interesting concept that comes to fruition in many forms and various strengths as your life goes on. When travelling, the vulnerability that I felt related to my personal safety as a solo traveller. But there’s another kind of vulnerability we experience every day: vulnerability in sharing.
This is an emotion that we’ve all experienced in one way or another. Spilling your secrets, gifting something special to a friend, or inviting someone over to your home, all require some aspect of vulnerability. Any time you share a part of your life with another human being, you’re put in a position where you must decide how much of yourself you want to share. Every time I share baked goods with others I go through a mental exercise that consists of my wondering if this person is trustworthy enough that they won’t spit out the potentially gross cookie I made. The behaviour of others is unpredictable, and because of this fact, we take gambles every day. Continue reading MDB Cocktails: The Chocolate Chip Cutie
How I discovered I didn’t want to be a commercial baker:
If you’ve ever worked in a commercial bakery, you’re probably familiar with the bins of flour so big you could dive right into them. A plastic four-cup measuring cup usually has a home in the bin, and as you reach in and take a big scoop, the measuring cup glides through the flour like a figure skater on ice. Even the process of measuring is beautiful in itself.
You name your giant mixers, understanding their quirks and moods and when to give them a break. You’re the momager of the machines, effortlessly timing your work, washing and re-washing, only to wash again. You learn that buttercream frosting has to be washed off right away, or the solidified guck on a stainless steel mixing bowl will be highly resistant to even the experienced dish scrubber.
You’re also the number one taste tester for anything you pump out of that kitchen. A quick spoonful of chocolate cake batter every hour or two does wonders for your mood. The once daunting task of icing a cake becomes second nature, the offset spatula an extension of your arm.
Sounds like a dream, right? So why did I leave? Continue reading Little Lemon Layer Cake
It’s a common stereotype that people who study psychology are gravitated to the field because of their own experiences with mental illness. I’m not sure whether that stereotype has any truth to it, but it certainly proved true in my case, even if I wasn’t aware of my mental illnesses when I chose my major. Coincidentally, one of the disorders that fascinated me the most is one I was diagnosed with near the end of my degree: PTSD.
With most mental illnesses, there is a combination of biological and environmental causes that sneakily work together. One biological factor (of many) that relates to whether or not an individual will develop PTSD is having overactive amygdalae. Your amygdalae are responsible for emotions, among other things. If you’ve ever felt yourself getting really worked up about something, that’s your amygdalae doing their job!
But what about when you get worked up about something in a semi-conscious state? As a kid, I was a chronic sleep walker and sleep talker. I don’t sleep walk anymore (at least to my knowledge…), but nightmares have been a regular part of my sleep since as long as I can remember.
Nightmares are a strange phenomenon. During a nightmare, a part of your brain remains awake and active. That’s the reason that emotions and experiences in dreams can be so intense. But when you have hyperactive amygdalae like me, those nightmares can be even more intense. We’re talking an amalgamation of a thriller film and an amusement park fun house (I’ll spare you the details of those ones.)
Even though I’m not working at the restaurant now, I still have the dreaded serving nightmares. If you’ve ever been a server, you know the ones I’m talking about! You forget to punch in an order, and, all of a sudden, the world ENDS. Everyone you’re serving starts complaining. You get fired, start crying on the spot and…BAM! You’re awake. Continue reading Caramel Cream Cupcakes
By the time I was 15 years old, a little seed was carefully planted in my brain. I wanted to travel the world. I knew it would take me years to save up for this, so I started working weekends at the local Dairy Queen, and opened a bank account dedicated to travel funds. I said “no” to social events that were out of my budget, and worked hard to put away money each month for the next four years.
I refused to touch that account, except of course when text messaging took over the world, and I couldn’t resist dipping into those funds to buy myself a pay-as-you-go flip phone. But that didn’t stop me from my goal, and I had no problem cancelling my cell phone plan when I booked a 5-month solo Europe trip at 19 years old. I feel incredibly fortunate that I was able to have this opportunity at such a young age. I took half a year off school to travel, and since I didn’t feel married to my degree or the city I was living in, it seemed like the right thing to do.
Embarking on this trip, my 19 year-old self was a peculiar combination of brave and naive, neither of which I recognized at the time. I was prepared, I thought. I had memorized all the usual travel scams, and read countless stories about keeping safe when travelling alone. I felt ready, knowledgeable, and invincible.
When I was partying in Florence and Santorini, I felt a sense of safety that I rarely felt in my own city. I trusted the backpackers I surrounded myself with, was conscious of my liquor intake, and wore my money belt like a tattoo. But by the second month of my trip, I had arrived in Athens and quickly realized that I was in fact, not invincible. Continue reading Savoury French Toast with Cambozola and Avocado
What’s your evening drink of choice? This winter, two ounces of rye whiskey with a splash of ginger ale and a splash of bitters kept me warm and toasty. It’s fairly close to a classic old fashioned, but not quite the recipe you’re going to read about today. The old fashioned seems to be having a revival these days with cocktail culture, and you don’t need to go far to find a bartender playing with the classic recipe with flavours like apple and chai.
I was chatting with my mom about my plans to do this recipe, and she mentioned the kind of old fashioned cocktails my Poppa used to make for my Nana. Strangely enough, his old fashioneds were built with rye whiskey, a splash of ginger ale, and a splash of bitters. Continue reading MDB Cocktails: A Classic Old Fashioned
As I finally move towards a stable routine with my new job and this site, I’m considering making more of an effort to do freelance writing. Somewhere along the way, I think I gave up on the possibility of joining the ranks of seasoned freelance writers and stuck to a safety net of small, local magazines. There’s certainly nothing wrong with freelancing locally, but it has limited my writing to some extent.
I’m starting to miss my days at the university newspaper where I wrote about everything and anything. I miss the challenge that is exploring a new topic I know nothing about, while somehow writing with the authority of a professional. I also miss being paid to write. Who wouldn’t? 😉
Income is definitely a factor here. For a while I wanted to throw all my time and energy into this site to make an income, but that path isn’t feasible at this point in my life. I’m past the “unemployed university graduate” stage, but have not quite reached the “comfortable working professional” stage. Feasibility aside, the type of writing that enriches me the most is not the type of writing that content pushing, fast-growing blogs tend to share.
So! This combination of posting once per week and allowing as many words as I wish to flow from my mind through the keys, has freed up my time a little (to this workaholic, that means I now have a weekend day off and don’t know what to do with myself).
I achieved a rare moment of stillness this afternoon that I haven’t felt in months. Laying in my nest with my laptop propped up on a pillow, I opened up a blank document and within half an hour’s time had written a personal essay of over 2,000 words. Shonda Rhimes calls this experience “the hum“, and it’s something I didn’t know I missed until I felt it again. Continue reading Chunky Monkey Chocolate Bark
The internet is an overwhelming place. Don’t you agree?
When you have a job where your office = the internet, it’s very difficult to create a divide between your work and home life. Work is at home, and home is at home. Where is the line drawn?
This becomes doubly complicated when you also use the internet for other purposes, like reading the news, watching Netflix, etc. Signing in to your website’s dashboard is only a click away. As is Lightroom and those photos you’ve been meaning to edit. I’m sure you can relate.
It’s taken me a few years to really understand this concept — this feeling of always being “at work” and “on”. I have always had a strong work ethic, and this urge to constantly work is sometimes to my detriment. I have a hard time knowing when to stop, to power down, to ignore Snapchat for a few days and practice healthy self-care.
I was reaching some sort of internet breaking point when I published my last post. I felt a strong urge to turn off the internet in some way, and taking a break from blogging seemed like the best way. After all, it’s rare that bloggers ever turn off completely as most continue to post and use social media while taking time off. You know who you are ;).
I read an old post recently from 101 Cookbooks (it’s a wonderful read) about maintaining a long term blog. Heidi talks about making realistic expectations for yourself, and for her, the goal was to post once per week.
I’m beginning to wonder if posting three times a week is actually realistic for me. I’ve been experiencing constant change over the past few years, with jobs, relationships, living circumstances, etc. Maybe it’s time I allow some wiggle room in my blogging schedule. Continue reading Easy, DIY Cinnamon Orange Bitters
Happy Valentine’s Day! Or day after, I should say. Are you reading this while raiding the supermarket shelves for discounted candy? I’m going to make my way there mid-week, because the best candy heart deals come along a few days after Valentine’s Day. I think the grocery stores are catching on to us, because these the 50% off chocolates don’t show up until at least a few days after the big day.
How did you spend your Valentine’s Day? I’m actually writing this on Valentine’s Day, but the magic of the internet lets me do things in advance and press a “schedule for later” button. If only this button were permanently stamped onto my arm in bright purple ink. I’d schedule everything for “later” or for “future Katy” and spend the whole day cozying up with my blankets and re-runs of The Mindy Project.
That’s exactly how I’m spending today, since I can still feel a chill from my outdoor adventures last night. Every February, in the dead of winter (the coldest two weeks of the year) Winnipeg hosts its annual Festival du Voyageur. And, every February, Winnipeggers don their long underpants, neckwarmers, and red sashes (ceinture fléchée) and brave the biting wind for maple taffy, wood chip floors, and folk music in celebration of Métis culture. Continue reading Double Coconut Cupcakes
I made a video!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Have you delved into video with your food blog yet? Or maybe just for fun? Video has been that one thing that I’ve been terrified to try. I knew there would be a giant learning curve, since there are so many more tasks involved in shooting a video than taking a photo.
Lighting, timing, editing programs, figuring out how to actually shoot video on my camera — all these things made me steer clear of video in the hopes that it would eventually subside and become less popular and I would never have to learn how to do it.
Then I realized that was wishful and completely unrealistic thinking, and if I want to keep improving, I have to keep pushing myself. I’ve reached this stage with my photography where I am very proud of the photos I put on this site. They look the way I envision them in my head, and there’s little disconnect between how I want them to look and how the finished product appears. Of course I know that I have plenty of room for improvement, but I’m finally passed that “intro” phase (it was a multi-year phase for me) where absolutely everything was new and I was constantly referring to my manual.
That’s certainly not the case with video. I was so scared, I even considered handing off the project to someone else (something I never thought I would do for my blog baby). But then I thought of my Nana (Hi Nana!), who flies around her Mac computer, uploading photos and sending me emails and updates. For someone who grew up writing letters on paper, the amount of knowledge she so easily internalized inspires me. If she can do it, so can I! So, without further ado… Continue reading MDB Cocktails: Honey Kiss Cocktail + A Video!
I received a sample Oatbox for free in exchange for a review. This post contains affiliate links. If you purchase an Oatbox subscription through these links, you’ll receive $5 off your order and I will receive a small commission. It’s a win-win! Thank you for helping to support My Dish is Bomb!
How do you feel about granola? I’m extremely picky, and rarely eat store bought granola. I think it’s something to do with the brown rice syrup that’s usually used as a sweetener–it’s just not my thing. When I had the opportunity to review Montreal-based Oatbox, I was more than excited, because I knew their granola would be different from the rest.
First off, check out their beautiful website. The food photography is an immediate stand-out, and as a creative person, I’m always drawn to the amount of attention a company pays to their design. Oatbox excels in all these areas. Their site has the aesthetic of a food blog by using large, captivating images with a clear, rustic style.
I work from home, and as a buzzing busy bee I tend to jump out of bed and get straight to work, often forgetting the most important meal of the day until my stomach angrily reminds me. Oatbox is a monthly subscription that delivers right to your door, once a month, and takes care of breakfast so you don’t have to. There’s even a cute little glass jar you’ll get with your first order, if you prefer to take your breakkie to-go.
Oatbox partners with Breakfast Club of Canada. For those of you outside of the great white north, this organization holds “breakfast clubs” in needy schools so children who don’t have access to breakfast can come to school early and get some food in their bellies. I’ve heard firsthand from my mom (a teacher) how important these breakfast clubs are, and how much better children learn with an adequate first meal of the day. Each time you order a box, Oatbox gives a full breakfast to a child in need. Continue reading Oatbox Review + Recipe for Granola Cookies