One year. One hundred and twenty-six recipes in 365 days.
It’s pretty wild for me to be sitting here reflecting on my blog’s one year anniversary, because to tell you the truth I didn’t know if I would continue blogging this long. In the beginning, I made sure to purchase a month by month hosting plan in case life got crazy and I’d have to say goodbye to Katy’s Kitchen.
Thankfully, I fell in love at first post.
It’s been a whirlwind year, filled with the magic of publishing content on a regular basis; crafting my site through different designs until finding a minimalist style I love; connecting with bloggers I admire from afar; diving into photography; creating a radio show where I get up close and personal with local foodies doing imaginative things; baking my first pie crust, learning the ways of smartphones and instagram; writing about food every chance I get within my job at the newspaper, obtaining bakery work in a real live restaurant kitchen…just to name a few things.
People often ask how I keep so busy without burning out. The truth is, I do burn out. Frequently. Sometimes weekly. But I can’t not keep busy. Everything is so fulfilling and and interesting and exciting and I’m continually blown away by the talents of others that I want to meet them, cook like them, and learn.
I get a smile on my face every time I see a comment reply from Averie, who–even though she must receive thousands of visitors a day–makes a point to connect with her readers on a regular basis. I stare in awe at the talents of Izy, who, at only 18 years old, is a compete food blogging whiz and photography aficionado. I could go on like this about every 50 or so bloggers on my feed reader, really.
This food blogging world is an exciting, diverse, welcoming one and I wouldn’t want it any other way. Thank you for your continued support, comments, shares, likes, and visits. You’re wonderful.
To celebrate, I’ve made a Chocolate Almond Tart. It’s vegan, easy, and sinfully delicious. I used a puff pastry that requires rolling (by accident) so to make it even easier, use a different brand. Tenderflake brand is vegan by default, so be sure to check labels if that is important to you.
Begin by preheating the oven and toasting the almonds on the stovetop. Leave the pastry in the fridge for as long as possible, as it needs to stay cold — similar to pie crust. By the time the almonds are toasted, the oven will be warm and ready. At this point, roll out the dough and prepare it for baking by making an incision around the crust (about half an inch from the edge) and use a fork to prick the centre.
Once the crust has cooked, take it out of the oven and place the chocolate chips around the whole tart, leaving a small edge free. If the crust has ballooned in the centre, just give it a little tap with the back of a fork. Place it back in the oven just to melt the chips, about one minute.
The tart is very rich due to the chocolate chips, so even though it’s thin you really only need a small piece — a little goes a long way.
- 2/3 cup sliced blanched almonds
- 1 sheet puff pastry*
- 1 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips
- 1 Tablespoon icing sugar
- Preheat the oven to 400 F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Toast the almonds. Set a non-stick pan over medium heat and add the almonds, stirring constantly until golden brown. The almonds will burn quickly once browned, so pay attention the entire time. Remove from heat and pour onto a plate to cool.
- Skip this step if your pastry does not require rolling. Place a sheet of waxed paper on the counter and dust with flour. Place the pastry dough on top, dust with flour, and cover with another piece of waxed paper. Roll the dough until mostly thin, then flip the sheets of waxed paper and dust again with flour. Roll until the dough is very thin but not broken.
- Make a small incision about ½ inch from the edges of the pastry, not slicing all the way through. Using a fork, prick many times inside the line. This helps the edges puff and the centre stay flat.
- Bake the pastry for 15 to 20 minutes, or until golden. In the last minute or so, remove the pastry from the oven and sprinkle the chocolate chips across the centre, leaving a small crust. You may have to tap on the centre with a fork to deflate. Place the pastry back in the oven for one remaining minute to melt the chocolate.
- Remove the pastry from the oven and using a spatula, spread the chocolate evenly across the pastry. Sprinkle the almonds on the pastry and sift icing sugar on top. Serve immediately.
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