About kshap

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

in the speakeasy

SONY DSCSONY DSCSONY DSCI just came back from class.

Full disclosure: my boyfriend organizes/teaches these beer classes, so I may be wearing rose-tinted glasses (or just beer goggles?). But I have to say objectively (or at least, I’m aiming to!), that these are pretty wicked sessions for anyone who wants to learn more about beer, enjoys drinking neat stuff, or just wants to do something cool on a Tuesday night.

But, I actually sat down at my laptop to write about an entirely different occasion in the speakeasy – Sunday’s Supper Club. Started by Union 613’s Jamie Martyniuk, the Supper Club brings different chefs into Union 613’s speakeasy once a month for a unique dining experience. The second supper club took place this past Sunday, and featured Chefs Marc Lepine from Atelier and Briana Kim from Café My House. It was a real treat. A 24 course menu that was a little weird, a little whimsical, and totally delicious; it was certainly a memorable meal.union 613 (2) Continue reading

so gouda

cheese at homeHappy Cheese Lover’s Day! (There are food “days” for every day of the year now, I think. But this looks official enough for me.)

I did a little research in the name of spreading the good cheesy word — you can go learn about some of Ottawa’s top cheese authorities and their favourite cheeses over at Ottawa Magazine. Continue reading

a cup of kindness

bubbles at home (1)Realizing that I would want a splash of milk in my first coffee of 2016, Tristan and I just dashed to the grocery store (crazy busy, of course). We came back home, hastily popped a bottle of bubbly before T had to head to work, toasted, and now I’m sipping alone until friends come over. Just me, vintage Beyoncé, and a glass of sparkling. It’s a nice pause as 2015 fades out.

Though it’s certainly too late for your celebrations at this point, I wrote a little thang for Ottawa Magazine — some top Ottawa sommeliers and sommelières have some recommendations for next time you’re picking up a bottle of bubbly or if you’re wondering what wine trends might be coming up in the new year. Continue reading

on the move [grapefruit ricotta pudding]

SONY DSCSONY DSCJokingly, I told Tristan that upon moving into our new aprtment, my first order of business would be to get a little Christmas tree. Strangely, once we moved, my priorities shifted slightly — suddenly I was more concerned about getting a real mattress (off the floor!), and having vegetables in the fridge. But Tristan took me seriously, and a week after the move he delighted me by suggesting that we best go pick out a tree.

So, with my priorities straightened out, we’ve been settling in nicely. We hosted our first little shindig the weekend before Christmas and it was so fun to see our friends in a place we’re calling ours.

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pumpkin granola with cacao nibs

west van & granola (14)west van & granola (3) The west coast smelled like fir trees and cedars – likely due to a small wind storm that hit shortly before our arrival, but I’m happier romanticizing it as part of Vancouver’s charm. On a too-quick trip to hug my aunt and cousin, we managed to climb most of the way up a mountain, see a couple shows, try a bunch of beer, and enjoy some impressively sunny November weather.

West Van seemed even prettier than I remembered (“Oh my gosh, you can see the mountains from here! And the ocean from here! etc…). Or, maybe it is so beautiful out there that I just can’t help gushing. With coniferous breezes and palm fronds waving by the seawall, it seems instinctive to inhale as deeply as possible. (Woah, did I just get a little yogic/life coach-ish on you? Blame Vancouver.)

So, four days on the other side of the country did us good. Vancouver smelled like firs and cedars, and fresh baked granola every morning.

I credit my aunt with introducing me to homemade granola a few years ago. It comes together so quickly, and is such a versatile thing to bake that it quickly became a staple in my baking repertoire. Variations are endless, which is part of the fun. This warm spiced pumpkin and cocoa nib combination is one I have been enjoying a lot lately. I hope you do, too.west van & granola (5)

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on sundae

vanilla ice cream with balsamic syrupThe old aphorism “opposites attract” probably best describes this pairing. The slightly acidic tang from the balsamic syrup with the softly sweet vanilla is a winning combination. Elegantly simple. Vanilla pairs perfectly with so many things that we made the ice cream our vehicle for taste testing several different flavoured balsamic vinegars. Fig, black cherry, chocolate, pear…just a few of the versatile vinegars from the Unrefined Olive, and all delicious. David Lebovitz’s recipe for vanilla ice cream has been my go-to. I was so excited to get a double batch done while family was visiting (so that we could have our balsamic tasting experience!) that the second batch might not have been completely frozen…I tried to pass it off as soft serve. Continue reading