About kshap

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

Strawberries & Scones

wimbledon breakfastIt was an exciting time for Canadian tennis at Wimbledon this year. With Milos Raonic and Eugenie Bouchard getting close to glory in the singles draws, Daniel Nestor (an unsung hero in Canadian tennis, I think) making it to the semi-finals with his partner in the mixed doubles, and Vasek Pospisil making up one half of the winning men’s doubles team, we had a lot to cheer about. (And with the World Cup on at the same time, there might have been a couple days that were spent almost entirely switching the channel between soccer in Brazil and tennis in England. The most wonderful time of the year.)

Federer and Djokovic delivered a tight and entertaining final. Poor Dunlop (our poodle – yes, named after the tennis ball brand) kept having his morning nap interrupted by our cheering and gasps as we watched the game.dunlop I’ve been a Federer fan ever since I started paying attention to tennis, so the end result was a bit of a heartbreaker, but Djokovic is so great to watch as well that I was just happy it went to five sets. Yay for tennis!wimbledon breakfastNo Wimbledon breakfast would be complete sans-strawberries. I made tiny strawberries and cream scones à la Joy the Baker, and the simplest strawberry jam à la Marilou (I’ve translated her recipe at the end of the post). I also made blueberry lemon scones. Coincidentally, when I posted about Wimbledon two years ago (two years! what?! I remember writing that post from my office cubicle at the time…oops!), I posted a recipe for blueberry buttermilk scones — maybe next time I’ll branch out. Let’s pretend blueberries are a Wimbledon tradition, too. wimbledon breakfast Continue reading…

Happy Canada Day (Drinking)!

20140701-000338-218524.jpg20140701-000501-301011.jpgHappy Birthday, Canada!!

Here is my birthday gift to you: watermelon in the shape of maple leaves. Soaked in rum (mojito!! or not, for a version sans-booze). Stuck on a Popsicle stick and frozen for your patriotic enjoyment. Watermelon might not be Canadian, but that shape certainly is, and I’m pretty sure day drinking might be too…eh? 20140701-011409-4449041.jpg20140701-011518-4518855.jpg Click to read on!


champlainI’ve always liked my home town, but after spending a summer as a tour guide on Parliament Hill a few years ago, I think I truly fell in love with Ottawa. I spent my days trying to show off the city to visitors from near and far — how could I not be smitten with the capital as well?

I was thrilled last summer when I had the opportunity to take over Ottawa Tourism’s Instagram account for a weekend, and I was thrilled again when they asked if I’d like to be their first “local expert” featured in their new #OttawaInsider series. Click to continue reading…

Barcelona, Slowly

tibidabobodega del poblet mirrorThe first time I went to Barcelona I arrived with a long list of things to see and do. I had done a fair amount of research, and had just read “The Shadow of the Wind” so was itching to wander through the Gothic quarter to find the landmarks described in the eerie novel. I’m not even close to organized most of the time, but I like to travel with a skeleton of a plan. It was a wonderful trip, but jam packed.barcelona's zebrasbarcelonetaguelleveningThis second trip was more relaxed. I was joining friends from Huelva who had plans to visit the city, so I followed their schedule and left the guidebooks at home. We walked a lot — admired Gaudi’s handiwork, wandered without a destination, napped on the beach, and explored side streets. I went for an early morning run down Avinguda Diagonal while the streets were still being cleaned and before the rest of the city was caffeinated. We climbed for views, and cooked in our hostel with Beyoncé blaring. Found sunsets and drank in a bar where the only light came from twinkling Christmas lights when their power went out.beautifulbarcelona We ate the best tostadas in a quiet sunny plaza in the old Jewish quarter…tostada

Gorged on tapas at a little family owned restaurant, Bodega del Poblet. Which, miraculously, is only steps away from La Sagrada Familia and was still very “authentic” — picture our server yelling to the back of the restaurant, “Mama. Mamaaa!” to find out if food was coming, and the owner slicing meat just oustide the washrooms…it was great.bodegadelpobletAnd finally, after a several different impressive tapas at Bar del Pla, I had a dessert called simply “El chocolate” (THE chocolate) that lived up to its name and then some. bar del plaIt’s a city worth savouring.
bodega del pobletbarceloneta stroll

Life, Lately

20140614-184744.jpg20140614-185029.jpg20140614-185120.jpgWhen it comes to blogging on the go I tend to either really be on the ball, organizing pictures and drafting posts on trains and planes, orrrr I go a little MIA and plan a list of posts for when I’m back in one spot. Recently I’ve been a sloth-like blogger with recipes and drafts piling up on my laptop. If virtual files could collect dust, these might make you sneeze. 20140614-185440.jpg20140614-185543.jpgBut, I’ll spare you the apologetic schpiel I used to give my journal when I’d neglected recording the fascinating happenings regularly in my life. In short, I’ve had some great times in Spain, Scotland, Alaska, Seattle, Vancouver and Toronto…and back at home in Canada’s capital. Hopefully I’ll get some regular action up on here– sorry to my millions of fans I’ve been neglecting. Right now I’m in Montreal for a weekend that is a little bittersweet–we’re celebrating my grandmother’s life, who passed away in March, and enjoying having the entire clan together. I hope your weekends are wonderful, wherever in the world you might be. xo20140614-190029.jpg20140614-190103.jpg20140614-190221.jpg

Ottawa Race Weekend Cookies

healthy cookiesI can’t believe I have lived in Ottawa my whole life and had never run in the race weekend before! And I can’t believe I had so much fun! After running a (mediocre) 5km without training and with a smile on my face, I’m now determined to run a 10k road race in the next year. (Or having just read this maybe I’ll focus on fast fives?) …and maybe my determination will be helped by the fact that I’m announcing it on the internet. Resolutions, millennium style. pre-raceThere were some pretty ominous clouds pre-race, but the thunder showers that were predicted kindly stayed away and the sun came out every once in a while. The atmosphere was just so positive — I couldn’t believe how many people were out cheering along the entire race route (which is beautiful, by the way –Ottawa is so pretty), and some of their signs made me laugh out loud as I jogged along. In fact, I think I could probably drastically improve my time if I didn’t swerve around the road to get pictures of my favourite signs and high-five their makers. (Also, I’d like to point out that for taking pictures as I ran, they aren’t terribly out of focus!)ottawa race weekend!These little cookies are super. We keep a large batch in the freezer and grab them to go with afternoon tea or for pre/post-gym snacks. …well, they were my pre-run snack on race weekend. Our post-race snack ended up involving stopping by The Brewery Market and pizza at Tennesy Willems. We carbo loaded like we were running several marathons the next day. Maybe not the best game plan to keep up a health-streak, but a pretty great Saturday.carb loading...to the maxcookie doughteatime Click for recipe

Chasing the Sunrise

5:30am parliament from nepean pointsunrise looking to quebecyoungsunriseIt felt like a little adventure to be wandering downtown before the rest of the city woke up. Luckily I have a friend who doesn’t think I’m crazy when I say I’m on a mission to see the sunrise, so I had great company (thanks, Young!). The morning rain paused just long enough for the sun to make a cameo in between the clouds hogging the stage, and the soft glow on the Parliament buildings made the 4:30 alarm worth it (although I might only feel that way because I was able to have a nap later…). There are perks to early mornings. Here’s to summer sunrises.