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?”
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
Lately I’ve been purposefully thinking about stress, and its effect on my life. Did you know that stress is actually adaptive for our bodies, and without it we wouldn’t be alive?
Stress exists to prime our bodies against a real or perceived threat. Your endless to-do list might be a “threat”, and your worry and anxiety about your to-do list would be the “stress” you experience. Stress is a reaction, not a situation.
Unfortunately, some of us are primed to have a difficult time shutting down the stress response. We can’t control it. In my case, when stress relates to a mental illness, it’s very difficult to turn off that reaction.
But none of us are immune to regular old kick-you-when-you’re-down stress that occurs due to major life events or changes, work stress, family problems — anything, really. We all feel it. We all wish we didn’t.
When I feel stressed, it feels like I can actually sense the cortisol running through my body. My chest tenses up, my mind loses focus, and I start fidgeting, talking really fast, or getting upset about small things. I’ve been thinking alot about how to reduce the amount of stress in my life, and to do that, I need to try to eliminate some of the situations that cause that stress. A good friend of mine gave me this sound advice. Continue reading Chocolate Dipped Funfetti Rice Krispie Squares + Some Thoughts On Stress
Whenever I hear the words “hot chocolate” I think of this song. I used to play alto sax in school jazz band, and one day I found the score for Hot Chocolate stuffed among the ripped and folded music sheets in the band room. For the music nerd I was, it was a very special find.
Jazz used to be everything to me, in fact, I used to think my only career trajectory would be becoming a professional jazz musician. I soon learned that my passionate personality extended towards more than just music, as travelling, cooking, and writing worked its way into my life and I became absorbed in those activities just as I did in jazz.
Right now I’m absorbed in these hot chocolate bars. They combine chocolate and simplicity into one decadent, soft, perfect dessert. It’s a riff off of my popular easy vegan fudge, so the texture is similarly soft, especially with the addition of marshmallows.
They’re no bake, made in one bowl, and require only 10 minutes prep. You’ll get marshmallows in every bite and lots of rich chocolate flavour. Enjoy.
Hot Chocolate Bars
Author: Katy’s Kitchen
Serves: one 8×8 pan
2/3 cup full-fat coconut milk
12 oz (350g) semi-sweet chocolate chips
2 cups mini marshmallows
Spray an 8×8 baking dish with non-stick spray and set aside.
In a medium-sized saucepan, add the coconut milk and bring to a simmer, stirring often to avoid scorching.
Add the chocolate chips and stir until melted (whisking helps get rid of any clumps).
Remove the pan from the heat and fold in the marshmallows. Pour into the baking dish and refrigerate until firm (2 hours or overnight).
If you find yourself in the kitchen often, cooking and baking up a storm (something I imagine to be true for most of you, otherwise why would you be reading a food blog?), you probably understand the stress and excitement of cooking and baking for others.
Giving away your baked goods is like giving away a piece of your heart. Cookies, cakes, and brownies are almost always guaranteed to bring a smile to another’s face. Unless of course they are on a diet, in which case you should desperately try to convince them that cookies are much more important.
Baking requires such precision, careful attention, and some sense of confidence to known when to pull something out of the oven, even when the recipe is yelling at you to wait another ten minutes. Sometimes you just know. Or smell the burning. Either way, you’ve put so much of yourself into this little edible wonder that be you’ll be damned if they don’t like it. That’s where the stress comes in…will they like it?
But of course, that’s also where the excitement comes in. Because that moment where they put the brownie in their mouth and you see a grin creeping up, you know you’ve done your job. It’s the greatest feeling, really. Continue reading Vegan Zucchini Brownies
Mocha Cream Bars are a simple vegan, gluten-free, and no-bake treat full of wholesome ingredients.
Today I want to talk about expectations. I’ve been thinking about this alot lately. “Lower your expectations so you won’t be disappointed,” seems common counsel. I suppose that works. If you go in to a situation expecting the worst, you will be pleasantly surprised when you encounter the opposite.
But there’s a problem with that train of thought. You’ll begin to surround yourself with a cloud of negativity, always expecting the worst will happen. Raising your expectations doesn’t really seem beneficial either, since it can set you up for alot of disappointment when life doesn’t pan out the way you hoped. Continue reading Mocha Cream Bars
You might remember when I said I’m not into New Years Resolutions. I tend to be a little obstinate and stubborn at times, and don’t like to do things that “everyone else is doing”. So naturally, I made a “mid-January” resolution to eat at more restaurants throughout the year. 😉 Continue reading Chocolate Curry Coconut Bar
Looking for one last quick and easy gift for the holidays? Look no further. Easy vegan fudge has four ingredients and takes 15 minutes to throw together.
I sometimes hesitate to title my recipes “easy” because I strive for ease in all of my recipes. I hope that when you visit Katy’s Kitchen, you’ll find uncomplicated recipes that you will actually make in your own kitchen, instead of just admiring from afar.
But this vegan fudge is so easy I just had to put “easy” in the title. All the ingredients get thrown in one pot, melted and whisked. The oven stays off as the fudge cools in the fridge, or the freezer if you’re desperate. Continue reading Easy Vegan Fudge
So I managed to make some cinnamon shortbread without lighting my oven on fire. I swear I will eventually stop using that as an opening sentence.
I usually save baking shortbread for holiday festivities, as the rich treat is just that — rich. Butter and sugar in almost equal amounts make for a decadent treat. Add a few scoops of flour, and you have a flaky, crumbly, melt in your mouth delight. Continue reading Cinnamon Shortbread
There are times when I find out that something I always thought to be true is definitely not the case. This happens quite frequently with word pronunciation. Let me give you an example. Recently, I learned I had been pronouncing “fungi” wrong all my life. In case you were wondering, the word should be pronounced with a soft g (listen here). I had always said “fun-GUY”. Wrong.
When life gives you sweet potatoes, make sweet potatotwo-bite brownies.
I know, I know. A sweet potato isn’t exactly a lemon. It’s not going to make your lips purse in sour distaste, and it’s not going to turn into a refreshing drink either. But it just so happens that a sweet potato makes for a wonderfully moist two-bite brownie.