About kshap

A happy generalist. Budding environmental scientist, singer, mediocre tennis player & hopeful kitchen goddess.

Here’s to Good Cheer and Two Years [Pamplemousse 75]

pamplemousse0pamplemousseAround this time of year I feel like I become a hybrid between a sentimental grandmother and an excitable child — ’tis the season? The twinkling lights, my favourite music, the snow, the gingerbread…none of it ever seems to get old for me. And then even uber-consumerist commercials can have me tearing up. I get caught up in it all pretty easily.discoAmidst all the hustle and bustle of the season, I just wanted to take a moment to say a big THANK YOU to all of you for making this little hobby of mine so much fun. This past week marked two years since I tentatively dipped a toe into the world of blogging, and I’m so happy I did. Continue Reading…

Flapjacks in the Snow

flapjacksflapjacks2Dashing through the snow running errands in the Glebe, my mum and I needed a little pick-me-up and happened to find ourselves beside one of Ottawa’s newest additions to the food truck scene, Flapjack’s Pancake Shack.flapjacks3Tucked behind Mrs. Tiggy Winkles on Bank Street, Flapjack’s is down a little alley way but you can’t miss their big sign (I really think this logo would make a rad TShirt…?!). The truck looks great in the snow; it reminded me of a little sugar shack with their wooden picnic tables and log chairs. Corey, the friendly founder/lumberjack/pancake flipper onsite, suggested that for our first visit we try their classic breakfast Panwich (egg, bacon and cheese in between two buttermilk pancakes) and the ‘Campfire’ (marshmallows and Nutella between graham cracker pancakes), both served with real maple syrup, of course. My mum and I split our savoury and sweet options, and they were delicious– I think the flavour was even enhanced by the snow globe Ottawa seems to be stuck in (it’s the most wonderful time of the year!). flapjacks4I’ve always loved having pancakes beyond breakfast, so I’m already looking forward to going back for seconds. Check them out if you’re in Ottawa! Happy weekending! xo flapjacks5
Flapjack's Pancake Shack on Urbanspoon

And then textbooks took over….

longbournI’m not quite out of the exam-woods yet, but I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. I think that light is actually coming from the fireplace…which is where I will be curled up with a good book once I can read for fun again! If you find yourself with downtime during the holidays, here are some books I’ve enjoyed lately… Continue reading ….

The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap! [Chocolate Pistachio and Cherry Biscotti]

cookieswapI think sending and receiving snail mail is one of my favourite things (brown paper packages tied up with string…). So snail mail containing cookies? Oh, baby. cookieswap1This was my second year joining in The Great Food Blogger Cookie Swap, and considering I really only participated by proxy last year I was even more excited. (Plus, all the entry fees go to a good cause — yay cookies!)
Continue reading…

Ottawa’s First Underground Chef’s Market a Success!

Sold out and bursting at the seams with delicious creations, Ottawa’s First Underground Chef’s Market was a definite success!

Sold out -- their pupusas were popular!

Sold out — their pupusas were popular!

There was a long wait at the bar, and some confusion when lines at different vendors criss-crossed, but overall there was an excited buzz in the Ottawa Convention Centre as market-goers tasted what local chefs had to dish out. With everything from duck confit sliders to chocolate sushi on offer I didn’t get a chance to taste everything, but I put in a good effort, and what I did taste was delicious (somewhat surprisingly, my favourite discovery of the night might have been these raw organic truffles…). The vendors I spoke to were all very enthusiastic; for many of them it was their first time selling their dishes at a public event, but there were also chefs from established restaurants as well as one of my favourite street vendors on hand.
Confit pork belly, smoked bacon & a pierogi from Mitch's Pork Station -- a delicious trio.

Confit pork belly, smoked bacon & a pierogi from Mitch’s Pork Station — a delicious trio.

YumTown City's "Carpet Steak" sandwich with a deep fried oyster on top...so good.

YumTown City’s “Carpet Steak” sandwich with a deep fried oyster on top…so good.

Chocolate sushi from Chef Tex Cuisine (with pop rocks on top!), and decadent cake truffles from Curly's Cravings

Chocolate sushi from Chef Tex Cuisine (with pop rocks on top!), and decadent cake truffles from Curly’s Cravings

The event organizers, Privé Food Thought, are already busy planning their next event: a Noodlefest on February 22nd. Check out their website and Facebook page if you want to keep up with what’s happening in the new year. If you’re interested in becoming a vendor, you can get more information and register here.

I feel like the food & drink scene in Ottawa has been getting quite a bit of hype lately, and I love it! Looking forward to tasting what’s next! xo

First Snows [Baked Hot Chocolate]

snowfallbakedhotchocolateThe first few snowfalls were polite little things, gently reacquainting us with the season. Then overnight, winter determinedly made her entrance. Ottawa woke up to 30 centimetres of freshly fallen snow yesterday and I, for one, was so excited that the novelty of shovelling the driveway won’t wear off for a little while yet.parliamentsnow With the school semester coming to an end and the holidays almost beginning, I tend to be a little all over the place at this time of year. Should I be baking gingerbread or studying for exams? (Baking gingerbread, obviously. In my dreams.) But this decadent dessert doesn’t take much time to come together and it only requires four basic ingredients — perfect for a quick winter study break.firstsnow Musical accompaniment: A Fine Frenzybakedhotchoco2 Continue Reading

Stamp Your Passion Passport [Barcelona a Year Ago]

barcelona2güellJust over a year ago I was on my first budget airline flight ever, heading from Sevilla up to Barcelona. And thus began my great love for Ryanair….Just kidding. I have a love/hate relationship with that (sometimes) crazy cheap airline.guell2The ceiling could almost steal the show at the Palau de musica The ceiling could almost steal the show at the Palau de musica[/caption]flamencoIn any case, Barcelona was a blast. And one of the great things about my weekend in Catalonia is that I got to spend it with Zach. I had met Zach a few weeks earlier in Madrid through my twin brother. Zach mentioned that he was planning to head to Barcelona the next month and invited me to tag along. I was thrilled: Barcelona was high on my travel wish list, and now I had a cool travel buddy.fcbarcelonagoal!Zach at work. Zach at work

Continue reading…

Ottawa’s First Underground Chef’s Market

privefoodthoughtFoodies get ready, on November 30th there’s a new culinary event in town: the city’s first Underground Chef’s Market.

The event is being organized by a new start-up, Privé Food Thought, whose goal is to produce and promote culinary-related events in the city. The Underground Chef’s Market will be made up of professional chefs as well as passionate home cooks. Featured will be dishes from over twenty vendors who were picked based on their application’s flavour, presentation, and uniqueness. The aim is a street food-type feel, so that market-goers can have tastes of everything from Spanish tapas to Sicilian snacks and Asian fusion as they explore the vendors set up in the Ottawa Convention Centre.

The organizers say they want to bring this event to the capital to “rebrand the city’s food scene”. By promoting independent cooks and businesses, they are hoping to provide a platform for emerging vendors to get a feel for the public’s response to their dishes, and at the same time will introduce Ottawa to new local chefs and flavours. The aim is to run the Underground Market a few times a year.

What can you expect to eat? Privé Food Thought has shared glimpses of the diversity to be featured: duck popcorn, chipotle waffles, gourmet donuts and Salvadoran papusas are just a few of the dishes set to tantalize your taste buds. A DJ will be on hand to spin some tunes and artwork by local artists will also be showcased. Tickets are $10 in advance, each dish will cost between $1-10, and there will be a cash bar inside (the event is 19+). Intrigued? Come out at the end of the month to taste these creations while they’re above ground!

And there’s more to come –follow Privé to find out what they have in store for 2014….
Bon appétit and see you November 30th! undergroundmarket

Lest We Forget


People gathering at the National War Memorial in Ottawa

Always grateful for those who have served and are serving for our country. Thank you.

A timely article from the Ottawa Citizen on such an important subject:
“Our soldiers need more than a single day of remembrance; more than a “moment of silence” for their service. They need a government that pays them more than lip service and a public whose support goes beyond chest-thumping patriotism.” Worth a read, we need to help our veterans.

Autumn Aglow [Pumpkin Coconut Macaroons]

mapleonthetableAutumn fades rather quickly. The trees go from leafy green to nude in the blink of an eye if you don’t stop to pay attention. SONY DSCphoto (9) It’s a transition that I love; the colours, that brief but perfect time we call sweater weather, the seasonal treats. One of the loveliest sights for me is the sugar maple in our backyard. When the leaves become bright orange and the sun is out, our house is flooded with warm light. For a couple hours a day, a couple weeks a year, autumn is aglow.SONY DSCThe oranges and reds have since fallen to the ground, and snow is on the way, but these macaroons are sure to continue brightening the season.bruce pitSONY DSC

Recipe after the jump