About kshap

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

Sevilla, tres veces [salmorejo cordobés]

When spending a night in Sevilla seems old hat, you know you’re spoiled.sevilla1salmorejo1While living in Huelva last year, going to Sevilla somehow became part of the travel “routine”, just a necessary stop to catch a plane or a train onto the next destination.
But, of course, Sevilla never gets old. Even the city’s oldest landmarks can fill you with awe, whether it’s your first or fifth time strolling by. The city is small enough that you can get around on foot all day–soak up the sun and the culture while working up an appetite to stop for tapas and cold drinks along the cobblestoned streets.sevilla4sevilla3sevilla2 Continue reading…

On Tinder and Salad

So, I have Tinder. And I’ve been using it. But, that is a story for another post or even another (anonymous?) blog. My mum is my number one reader here (hi, ma!).

Anyway, the other night I was out for dinner and my date (a very nice guy, in case you’re reading! Edit! I’ve been told by a guy friend that calling a date a “very nice guy” is “brutal” and if I want a second date I should at least say he was charming. So, you were nice AND charming…) who had found my blog before he met me, asked me what my favourite food to make was. And what did I say? Salad. …I then proceeded to rhapsodise about the different kinds of salads I liked to make, about my current favourite with warm potatoes and arugula and black olive tapenade (seriously, that will be another post), before deciding that I should probably stop gushing about vegetables.jerusalem salad Continue reading…

From Madrid to Granola

Madrid sunshinemadrid poodleAfter a rather unfortunate (read: embarrassing and expensive) start to my travels, a weekend that revolved around a brunch reservation in Madrid was wonderfully restorative.  The concept of brunch seems to be taking off in Spain’s capital and my friend Britney picked out a fun little spot: The Toast Cafe (this seems like a trendy name for a Spanish brunch spot, actually), where their brunch menu includes a primero plato of a massive fluffy pancake AND a segundo plato of picante huevos rancheros…we practically rolled out of there we were so full by the end of it.thetoasthuevos rancheros at toast cafeThe sun was shining, brunch was bright, and we wandered around the city until an equally delicious dinner.  It was all about catching up and good food. Mostly talking about boys…so, a weekend of food and girl talk. Priorities! (Gracias, mi hermana!) Continue reading…

A Ceilidh In Edinburgh

20140421-121616.jpgMy lovely friend and hostess in Edinburgh, Sara, was invited to a ceilidh by one of her friends on Saturday evening. I had never heard of a ceilidh before and neither of us really knew what this might entail, but it seemed like a quintessentially Scottish experience that we couldn’t miss. So not quite knowing what to expect, we picked up some booze (BYOB dance events in churches are such a great idea) and walked into what ended up being one of my Edinburgh trip highlights. 20140421-122039.jpg Continue reading

Diez días

20140416-143930.jpg 20140416-144831.jpg20140416-144838.jpgFrom Madrid, then south to Andalucía, and back up to Barcelona, it has been a sunny and wonderful whirlwind in España. After a bit of an unfortunate start to the trip, my ten days in Spain were like a dream.

It almost seemed surreal to be traveling through cities that became familiar during my time in Spain last year. Having been to all the cities before, the pace was more relaxed as I didn’t arrive with a checklist of things I wanted to see (but I did have a bucketlist of Spanish food that I needed back in my life!). More than anything, this trip was about the people. It was such a blast to travel with the friends I met last year in Huelva (and some cool new amigos), and to all be in one place again. (Muchísimas gracias to all my travel buddies and wonderful hostesses…you are all fantastic.)

As usual, I’m leaving Spain already fantasizing about my next visit, but for now it’s off to somewhere new…
Hasta pronto!20140416-144915.jpg

I Swear I’ve Done This Before

20140405-075410.jpgI believe I have just made my most expensive travel mistake, so far…hopefully ever. At 6am this morning I landed bleary eyed but full of beans in London and hopped on a coach to transfer between airports and fly on to Madrid. While I dozed on the bus, inwardly I was congratulating myself for packing light for a change (only one carry on! only two pairs of shoes!) and for feeling so comfortable navigating through my solo travels. Silly me. Continue reading…

Off Stage

spamprogramThe end of a show is always bittersweet. After the final curtain call last Sunday, we put away all the costumes in a blur of glitter and sequins, colourful wigs and knight’s armour, packed up the set and all the silly props (coconuts galore) and that was it.

chorusgirllife

The accessories of a chorus girl…

Despite being a bit relieved that I don’t have to try and do school work backstage anymore, I still find myself humming tunes from the show and throwing around Monty Python one liners — the everlasting joys of Camelot (Spamalot!).backstage

roses!

A chorus girl receiving roses? Thrilling! <3

It was a blast to be a part of Spamalot; it’s such a silly musical I think it would be impossible not to have a hoot onstage. I’m so glad I got to meet such wonderful people in the cast and crew — we had a ball.

Members of the ensemble (out of costume!).

Members of the ensemble (out of costume!).

Continue reading…

Winter Brights [Opening Night and Citrus]

wintercitrus1citrustart1Hello again! It’s been a month since I last managed to blog (what a funny verb), and I didn’t even have time to notice. Now, February 2014 will forever go undocumented on Kate’s Plate. How devastating. With nine days spent in gloriously sunny Jamaica, and the rest spent desperately trying to stay organized with school, rehearsals for a musical and napping on the sofa in front of the Olympics (I was competing against my dog for a medal in couch surfing), February seemed even shorter than usual. februaryAnd now! We’re in the home stretch of this semester, Jamaica feels like a million years ago, and our musical opened last night (!!). If you’re in Ottawa and you want to have a good laugh, come check out the Orpheus Musical Theatre Society’s production of Monty Python’s Spamalot! We had so much fun with our first audience last night and we can’t wait for more! There are eight more shows running until March 16th.spamalot One thing that hasn’t really changed since I last posted is the season. We’ve still got a bit of winter left (which I am loving, though I know that’s not the popular opinion), but the days are longer and the sun has been shining. It’s been exactly as Dickens put it: “It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.” Perfect. (Thanks, Corinne for reminding me of that one!)wintercitrus2citrustart2 So, things have been a little hectic around here, but happily so. Without sounding too twee (or trying to, at least), within all the running around I’ve been finding a lot of joy and gratitude in stopping to appreciate the little things; these sunny March days and colourful fruit have been at the top of my list of oh-so-lovely things.

I just wanted to say hi after a little impromptu break:) Hope February treated you well! xo

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Winter Light [Oatmeal Spice Pumpkin Muffins]

winterlight1winterlightIt’s early days, but I’m going to go ahead and guess that “polar vortex” will be one of the biggest buzz words from 2014. Normally a steadfast staple and clichéd topic for small talk, we have somehow sensationalized the weather. winterlight2Yes, it’s been cold. Frigid, even. But isn’t that just “winter” in this part of the world? In any case, this Friday we’re ringing in the weekend with balmy temperatures — only -7°C! It’s the first day in a couple weeks that I left the house without Continue Reading…

Whistler Wonderland [Two Bite Brownies]

peak2peaktreetopswhistler2As a proud Canuck, friends always seemed surprised when I told them I had never downhill skied before (one highschool friend’s reaction was to tell me that I wasn’t as “cultured” as she thought I was). Happily, I was able to check that off my bucketlist just before the end of 2013 with a family trip out to beautiful British Columbia. Guided down the Whistler Blackcomb mountains by my talented skiing cousins and aunt (the same aunt who makes some of my favourite granola), we beginners all progressed to blue runs before the end of our ski week and even attempted some small moguls (most of which I managed to stay on my feet for). With only one nasty bruise, I’d say my first skiing experience was a success and I can’t wait to try again!sunnypines Continue reading