Peras al vino especiado

cook & tastecafe con lecheThough it was a little bit of a splurge given the student budget I was travelling on, my day at Cook & Taste Barcelona was well worth it in my books. My friend Jane and I got up early to grab our cafes con leche on the way, and then arrived at Cook & Taste’s lovely space in the heart of Barcelona’s gothic quarter. (SO lovely. I wanted to stay and live in their kitchen.)cook and taste (5)cook & tasteWe started with a little exploring through La Boqueria. I had walked through Barcelona’s famous market a few times before, but it was great to go with our guide/teacher/food-guru for the day, María José, as we stopped to speak to each of the vendors while buying our ingredients. Jane had to jet off to Italy, so I was on my own for the cooking part of the day but my “classmates” were all super fun and friendly. I made friends with a lovely Dutch couple as we prepared mussels for the paella, and seemed to mistify a couple of nice older men from Scandinavia as to why on earth I was traveling by myself, chatted with a fellow Canuck about a certain crack smoking mayor that was making headlines at the time, and bonded with the two Aussie sisters who were charged with making sure everyone had full wine glasses. Everyone was kept busy with tasks in the kitchen and the day went by quickly. Though I had made a couple of the dishes on our menu before, it was great to follow along with a professional. We spent a couple hours getting everything ready, and then enjoyed our delicious little feast starting with tortilla de patatas con pan con tomate, salsa romesco with seasonal vegetables, the showstopping giant pan of paella de marisco, and finishing with these beatuiful burgundy pears.cook and tastecook and taste Click to continue reading…

Fauxtography: Summer in the City

duskcanalchamplainLike all good things, my summer vacation came to an end with a return to school last week. I was funemployed for the first couple months of the summer, and for the first time in a long time had (almost) zero commitments. It felt a little weird at first: no set schedule, no job (no pay-cheque) and no classes, but I adjusted pretty quickly…it was glorious.gatineau I decided to fill some of my free time with a class (couldn’t resist some kind of organized activity, I guess.), and signed up for a beginner photography class at SPAO.national gallerymaman Ever since starting this little blah-blah-blahg of mine, I’ve wanted to set some time aside to properly figure out what I’m doing with a my camera, and this summer seemed like as good a time as any to get the basics under my belt. I’m still learning (but when aren’t we?), and I don’t think I’ll ever call myself a photographer, but hopefully the quality keeps improving around here. My favourite aspect of the class was that it set aside some time to go out into the world with the sole intention of taking pictures. This meant tinkering around with my camera of course, but it also meant that I got to enjoy even more of Ottawa’s summer beauty through my lens. backyardDSC_0891I took an awful lot of pictures of flowers. And Dunlop. Flowers and Dunlop together! And food, of course.dunlopSONY DSC Click to continue reading

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!

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

Continue reading…