About kshap

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

La détente à Bourgogne

pinot noirbourgogneburgundy boysI was in grade six when my parents first took us to France. A couple teachers balked at four young kids being taken out of school for three weeks, but most of them were thrilled that the little anglo children (at the very French school) were off to practice their French in Europe. As homework, all four of us were to keep a French journal of our vacation (a task I quite enjoyed – surprise!). I can still remember being in our first rental house in the Loire, my brothers and I sitting around a table chronicling our days and decorating the pages with stickers of French flags while my parents cooked dinner: “aujourd’hui nous sommes allés à un château…”.dijon2postcards from burgundy Continue reading

Adventures In Your Own Back Yard

chinatownWhile I think Ottawa has something to tout for every season (then again, I’m pretty into championing my hometown), signs of summer definitely breathe new life in to the capital. The arrival of warm weather after a chilly start to spring is especially exciting; it seems like everyone in the city is thrilled to be outdoors. Jacket and scarf have been shed in favour of a sundress and sandals. It seems cliché, but it’s hard not to get caught up in all the weather talk when the seasonal transitions seem to happen so quickly, and the transitions are so beautiful. A perfect time for adventures in your own backyard.SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCI spent the last week living in Ottawa’s Chinatown, while I house/cat sat for my cousin (thanks, Anne!). While I’m no stranger to the area, it was swell to play house outside of the burbs and we had a great time acting like locals (and posing in front of murals like tourists). I think I consumed just enough pho and ramen to turn in to a bowl of Asian broth–all things in moderation?adventures in your own backyard (4) Continue reading

Halifax & Hemp Hearts

From Andrea Joynt, photographer-extraordinaire.

From Andrea Joynt, photographer-extraordinaire.

peggy's coveFor Christmas, my friend Andrea surprised me with one of my favourite gifts. There are five of us, all smiling and probably suppressing giggles (except Young, mid-laugh attack), hair windblown, sitting almost too-close-for-my-comfort to the edge on the rocks at Peggy’s Cove. This was our attempt at a seaside self-portrait; it being a weekday toward the end of tourist season and having ventured away from any crowds at the lighthouse there was no one else around to press the shutter button. So we piled our jackets and purses on a rock above us into some kind of makeshift tripod and gingerly placed Andrea’s camera atop it. After several failed shots – closed eyes, mouths mid-joke, blurs – we had our “selfie”.hemp hearts & halifaxlunenburg Back in September, five girls met in Halifax. Friends since high school, we’d been meaning to visit Kylie since she had moved out to the East coast almost two years ago, and we finally made it happen. Halifax was wonderful, but we could have been anywhere. Those girls make the destination. Continue reading

Luskville Falls [Banana Buttermilk Pancakes]

LuskvilleluskvilleThe day had announced itself as a grey one, but it was our Monday-weekend, and we were determined to set off on a spring hike. By the time we made pancakes and hit the road, the sun was starting to peak through, and ended up treating us to a beautifully bright afternoon in Gatineau Park. luskville1SONY DSCThough the falls themselves are only about 300 metres from the parking lot, it’s a nice uphill meander on the Luskville Falls Trail to the top. The recent spring thaw had the water rushing down the escarpment; on a Monday, it was almost the only sound accompanying our climb up.SONY DSCluskville2 Click to continue reading…

Out Like A Lion [Cream of Walnut Soup]

slow thaw (12)Driving in the sunshine today–I had the windows down and radio turned up–it felt an awful lot like the big thaw was on the way (granted, I was still wearing my big winter jacket). And then a few hours later the sun dipped behind the clouds and winter let us know she wasn’t quite ready to pack up and go.slow thaw (6)slow thaw (1) So it would seem that winter will be going out like a lion. Spring has been postponed; it’s #winterforever, if you’re into prefacing your thoughts with a pound sign. The snowbanks are shrinking, though we welcomed the first day of spring last weekend with a slushy snowfall. I can’t deny that I am eager to be able to run out the door without all the layers this winter weather requires, but I don’t mind the cold. It’s a little more conducive to sitting at my desk and getting work done. Or making rich desserts. Both of which I would like to count as being productive.espresso(Or! Great weather to do fun Ottawa things: we stayed warm last week by ducking into the National Gallery, one of my favourite buildings in Ottawa (the M.C. Escher exhibit is fairly mind boggling) and running across the street to peek inside the Notre-Dame Cathedral Basilica (it’s certainly not on the same level as the Notre-Dame, but it’s pretty and I couldn’t believe I had never been inside), before getting cozy for dinner at town, where I tried bone marrow for the first time and had a delicious cocktail made up of whiskey, nebbiolo and sherry– that’ll warm up your innards.).slow thaw (2)slow thaw (3)slow thaw (5)slow thaw (11)The recipe for this walnut soup Click to continue reading…